Muscle cars are the most coveted types of classic vehicles among Americans. And there’s a good reason for that. Classic muscle cars era represents the golden age of the American car industry. Correlation between the two is unavoidable since most people relate to American cars through the muscle car scene of the bygone era. Even a few remaining muscle cars today are well known to gearheads across the globe. Something which can’t be said about your typical American mid-size sedans or even most of domestic SUVs.
Yet, not all muscle cars have been successful. Moreover, fewer have passed the test of time. Others are mostly forgotten or simply a rare sight on modern roads. This time we’re reflecting on 15 such rare classic muscles that you’ll be hard-pressed to see on a road today. We’ll avoid the obvious rarest muscle cars ever made as it’s understandable why a three or even a two digit production number total appears once in a blue moon. The following 15 aren’t obscured, unheard of or holy grail of muscle cars. They’re simply established nameplates whose numbers have thinned down considerably – provided they were large enough to begin with.
1970 AMC Rebel “The Machine”
What was likely the most outrageous AMC muscle car ever created, only managed to find 2,326 buyers in total. Exclusive for 1970 model year, “The Machine” was a result of AMC/Hurst collaboration. Unlike its predecessor – the 1969 Hurst SC/Rambler – “The Machine” was officially marketed without the Hurst bit in its nameplate. Powered by 390 cu in AMC V8, “The Machine” was more than capable of hitting 60 mph from standstill in 6.4 seconds, doing quarter mile in 14.4 seconds and maxing out at 127 mph. After all, it packed 340 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque.
But that wasn’t all. AMC dealers offered numerous “over the counter” options for it, including drag racer’s 5.00:1 gear ratio and $500 “service kit” which increased this unique Rebel’s power to well over 400 ponies. Fitted with these options, “The Machine’s” quarter mile time was easily reduced to 12.7 seconds. After the first 1,000 units in red, white and blue were sold, AMC decided to offer “The Machine” in other color options as well. Still, only a handful of these ultimate AMCs remain. Especially if they were painted Big Bad Green or Frost White with a flat-black hood of which only one and three remain, respectively.