As far as muscle cars are concerned, their most important job is to swallow as much pavement in as little time possible while heading down the straight line. Cornering simply isn’t their forte. Then again, there have been many muscle cars over the years that had had additional jobs to perform. Being as plushy as possible and offering as many feats as there were was one such assignment. Then there were the bare bone muscle cars poised on doing the initial job while remaining friends with the owner’s wallet at the same time. After all, some people either weren’t able to afford the extra options or they simply craved for raw power. Or they couldn’t be bothered with the air conditioning, power windows or the leather seats.
Furthermore, these were often the ultimate racer’s choice. They weren’t the most powerful. Not by a long shot. But race spec muscle often cost almost double the entry-level car’s price. For that kind of spare change, every racing enthusiast could have beefed up their car according to their needs and still save enough for a moped. Here are the 10 powerful entry-level classic muscles we deemed better than the others.
1970 AMC AMX
AMC changed the powertrain lineup in all of their cars for the 1970 model year, and AMX was no different. 290ci V8 was dropped entirely while the 343ci V8 was replaced by the new 360ci V8 capable of producing up to 290 horsepower. That gave the base 1970 AMC AMX 65 more horses compared to the 1969 base option. For that feat alone, 1970 AMC AMX was one of the best entry-level muscle cars of its day. But that’s not all. “Go Package” which was available with the 360 engine for additional $298.85 (around $1,900 today), added the power front disc brakes, ram-air induction, handling package and F70x14 raised white letter tires. Priced just below $24,000 in 2017 dollars, this setup could have held its own against much more prestigious opponents. Not to mention that this sports car/muscle car blend served as the poor man’s Corvette of sorts.