Before anyone even starts, we will not argue here that some of these cars are quite special. And we definitely won't say that we don't love a good number of the cars in this car-ticle. But, what we will say is that every one of the cars on this list is or has been, at one point or another, a fairly weaksauce muscle car...that pretty well just tends to lose.
It's not our fault. Don't blame us. Maybe don't even blame the cars if people don't want to. Blame the drivers or the weather or technology. Either way, just know that, at some point, these cars have been on the losing end of things and just probably couldn't get a handle on a race if they tried.
20 2010 Mustang
Here's the thing about the 2010 Ford Mustang. It was actually a pretty good car for its time. It could take on a Camaro or a Corvette and take the day...of course, that was typically not the stock 2010. It was a GT or a Boss or a Cobra. That being said, much as we love Mustangs, it doesn't help that this model had such a big leak problem, it was probably hard to keep up while putting the pedal to the puddle...
19 2004 Impala SS
The Impala is a car that has actually just gone down in our estimation in past years. Sure, it was once a good-looking and mean machine. Now it can just sometimes be a mean machine. So mean that it will cause power loss when hitting the throttle hard as was the case for one Impala driver who hit the Chevy forums looking for a cure. Can't win races that way...
18 '86 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2
There is something about this car that really is just a sad story. It was actually geared toward racing. There was a limited number of these machines and it was expected that the Grand Prix would make it into the circuit but it was underpowered and overpriced (Hemmings.com). This car was realistically just barely a muscle car.
17 '83 Dodge Charger
Dodge went through an unfortunate time through the 70s and 80s where they just pretty well gave up on the creation of real Chargers. That has since changed, thankfully, and the more recent 00s Chargers are definitely contenders for the racing game, but the 83 was on the cusp of changes that pretty well almost broke the Charger forever.
16 '80 Dodge Aspen
Well, look. Considering that someone rebuilding one of these cars managed to get the machine to 8+ seconds for a run of 0-60, we can't say that the Dodge Aspen really would give us a load of confidence on the track. Sure, when it's all shiny and ready for town, it can look nice enough, but it's no racer.
15 '78 Challenger
Well, here's the thing with the 78 Dodge Challenger. It is hard to dig up racing info on this thing. Why? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that it was just a pretty body put on top of an economy car built by Mitsubishi. That pretty well takes away its muscle car status. No wonder no one would race it.
14 '77 Mustang II Ghia
Don't get us wrong, the Ghia did well at the market back in the day and it is a pretty car, for sure. Yeah, it's not the rough and tumble sort of Mustang that people should want to race, but it was enjoyable all the same and pricy these days for a restored model. But we can't say it was any good on the track unless it got a modded rod fix-up.
13 '76 Camaro
The Camaro in 1976 was actually a very well-received car, to be totally honest. It was probably the peak of the second-generation Camaro. However, this car hardly changed from the previous model year and didn't exactly impress a whole world of people on the circuit. It did make room for increased sales with the Camaro though, at least.
12 '75 C3 Corvette
While Corvette racing was indeed a big deal in the 70s, the 1973 C3 was not among the very best by any stretch. Corvette teams would often take each other on but awaiting a new design to widen the car and change the tires on the track that wouldn't come until 1974 sort of put a damper on the 73 edition.
11 '74 Chevy Nova
These days, the 74 Chevy Nova is pretty well just used as a parts car while fixing up a better and perhaps more distinguished model. That being said, it was a good-looking car in its time and we do have to give it some credit, even if it never made a big deal at the race track...not unless it had some heavy modifications (SuperChevy).
10 '71 Dodge Charger 500
We have to give some credit. Richard Petty did make a decent go with making a name for the Dodge Charger in the 70s...but that was with his 1974 Charger. The 1971 was not really of the same caliber, nor could one really take it on a track and expect it to perform flawlessly without some good modification.
9 '70 Mustang Mach 1
Sure, there might have only ever been five original 1970 Mach 1 Mustangs originally made (MustandAndFords), but they were hardly racecars. The best they seemed to get on a track at all was being used as a pace car. Not a race car. Now, maybe we don't know anything about racing but that seems like a pretty lowly position to have on the track.
8 '70 Monte Carlo SS 454
Now, it is true that the Monte Carlo really brought racing back to Chevy for a while. They spent almost eight years out of the loop until they modded a Monte Carlo to hit the NASCAR track in 1971 (Hemmings) and that is awesome, but don't expect the wider and bulkier stock car to make pole position like its modded companion.
7 '69 Buick Skylark GS 400
Well, we have to admit that the fact that the Skylark is on this list is not really the fault of the car here. It has more to do with marketing, we think. This has actually been labelled a pretty underrated car, at least in terms of its engine (Hemmings) and if we can squeeze the power of more horses out of it, maybe people should've thought to use that back in the day!
6 '68 Plymouth Barracuda S 340
Unless someone lands the 68 Super Stock version of the Barracuda, the chances are they are not going to be holding on to a very successful racer (Hagerty). After all, the standard barracuda is hardly a muscle car anyway. It's more a pony car than anything else. That being said, it is still fairly sought after...mainly because it's affordable.
5 '68 Mustang GT 390
Yes, some might recognize this car. If it were painted green people would know for sure that this was the model used in the Steve McQueen film, Bullitt. They would also know that this car famously beat out a Charger in an 11-minute car chase. While the top speed of this Mustang is greater, there is almost no way, without a straight, that the Stang would beat the Charger, just based on power alone (Driving).
4 '67 Corvette Convertible
Sure, the right version of the 67 convertible might be worth a sweet $170,000 (Hemmings) but that does not make it a racer by any stretch of the imagination. At least not the standard model. Maybe if it was something rare like the L88, which sold for $3.2 million. But no base model is going to be a winner.
3 '67 Camaro SS
Here is another case of a standard model being virtually useless. Now, of course, racecars are typically built or modded specifically for racing, but no one would want to street race the standard 67 Camaro. They were few in number, they sold less than half as well as the Mustang (CarAndDriver) and unless they had racing specs, they were just good to look at and make noise with.
2 '62 Studebaker Avanti
There was once a twin-supercharged Avanti out there that was called the Duo Cento because it was believed to be the one that would break 200mph. However, back in 1963, that was something that just could not and did not happen. It took over 30 years for someone to push the Avanti Ron Hall to that goal...a little late to the party.
1 '62 Plymouth Fury
Alright, Christine might not be a good example of a car to use on the track, but there are stories of people decking out their Plymouths and hitting track records (back in the day). But this was never really looked at as a car that should be on the track...that's why they put it in a John Carpenter movie instead!