10 Overrated American Classic Cars We Wouldn’t Waste Our Money On

10 Overrated American Classic Cars We Wouldn’t Waste Our Money On

The USA has taken decades of pride in the great cars they have produced. Some of the coolest classic cars in the entire automotive world were created in America, and they have been now existed for over half-a-century. Gearheads and enthusiasts, especially those who are ardently old-school, still fondly love and remember these great American classics. Collectors today are willing to give an arm and a leg, spending eye-watering amounts on classics that have carved a name for themselves in the automotive hall of fame.

However, not every classic car that gearheads fawn over deserves all that praise. We’re not saying they’re actually bad, but occasionally, some cars get a lot bigger share of the limelight than they actually deserve, leading to them becoming rather overrated. Some might have questionable build quality, or are actually terrible to drive despite their spec sheet and history, all the while coming with egregious price tags in the modern day. In that vein, here are 8 classic American classic cars that are actually overrated.

10 1975 Chevrolet Camaro

1975 Chevrolet Camaro

Gearheads fondly look back at the 1975 Chevrolet Camaro, which is definitely a charming classic in its own right. However, it was a victim of the oil crisis of the mid-seventies.

Chevy had added a new catalytic converter to the Camaro’s exhaust system, which de-tuned the 5.7-liter V8 engine’s power significantly. With just 145 horsepower to boot, the 1975 Chevy Camaro was rather useless at the time. Sure, it is breathtakingly beautiful even today, but apart from being a glorified project car, the ’75 Camaro is good for little else.

9 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback
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Ford’s name is a rather uncommon presence when it comes to unreliable engines, but the 4.9-liter V8 engine in the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was just that. The pistons on the Boss 302 were prone to cracking or breaking off completely just around 20,000 miles, which led to massive internal damage.

Today, the ’69 Boss 302 remains one of the most popular Mustangs to ever come off the Ford assembly line, and it boasts a huge legacy. However, as a functional car that could go the distance across years, there are better classics to go for.

RELATED: Watch As A Scruffy 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Transforms Into A Pristine Restomod

8 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

White 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona on the road
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The Dodge Charger Daytona is as unmistakable as they come. A winged warrior with a gigantic spoiler, this car was built for NASCAR. A year after the Daytona lost its aerodynamic privileges at NASCAR, it became a street-legal warrior that could go down the road at 200 mph.

As a daily driver, however, the Daytona was utterly useless then, and it remains that way today. The beak and the spoiler serve no purpose other than to lend the car its unique image, and even though the car’s rarity and heritage make it extremely valuable, it certainly is overrated.

7 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 quarter front
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The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is almost synonymous with the golden age of muscle cars in America. Powerful looks and lightning-fast performance made the Mach 1 a fantastic car and a phenomenal collector’s toy today.

However, it was a rather expensive car to maintain when compared to its contemporaries. Plus, Ford built the ’70 Mustang Mach 1 for straight-line speed, thanks to its 7.0-liter V8 Cobra Jet engine, which sadly made the car downright unusable in corners and on curvy roads. Even the gas consumption of this car was dreadful, which, paired with the sky-high maintenance costs, would lead you to bankruptcy.

RELATED: Here’s How Much A 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Costs Today

6 AMC Javelin

1973 AMC Javelin SST Cropped
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The American Motor Company marketed the Javelin as an affordable ‘muscle-car’ for everyone to drive. They even positioned it as a viable home-made track toy. Reality, however, was quite disappointing.

The Javelin does deserve props for its great looks, but that’s about it. Notorious for its low-quality build, the AMC Javelin was slow even for its time, let alone today. An overrated car even back when it was launched, the AMC Javelin is one classic we wouldn’t open our wallets for.

5 Chevrolet El Camino SS

1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS front third quarter view
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Chevrolet’s El Camino SS was a rather bold design, as it attempted to blend the functionality of a truck with the heart of a muscle car. One of the strangest-looking American classic cars, the Camino SS was certainly a good attempt at bringing the two worlds together.

Sadly, it was the master of none, as the truck/muscle car-hybrid failed to be as functional as a truck when it came to going off-road or hauling big loads. At the same time, it also proved to be slow and sluggish thanks to the added weight on the chassis.

RELATED: This 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS Is The Mullet That Parties Up Front And Back

4 1965 Pontiac GTO

1965 Pontiac GTO Hardtop Coupe
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In the mid-sixties, Ford and Chevrolet were going strong with their mass-produced sports cars. Pontiac decided to fight back with the GTO. As such, the Pontiac GTO was a remarkable car for its time, and while it had decent speed and performance back then, those figures are quite laughable today.

Overrated because of how the lens of nostalgia makes gearheads blow its status out of proportion, the 1965 Pontiac GTO was great as a product of its time, but nothing more.

3 1969 Camaro ZL1

Black 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on the road
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Old-school gearheads will swear up and down that the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was the end all and be all of the muscle car age in America. The ZL1 was actually the result of a few Camaros being fitted with more powerful V8 engines, getting more power under the hood.

Even today, the 1969 Camaro ZL1 is extremely fast, going from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. However, what makes the car so overrated is its egregious price today. The sky-high price tag the ’69 Camaro ZL1 comes with today is because of its rarity, while in truth, the car is simply nothing more than an engine-swapped standard ’69 Camaro.

RELATED: This 2018 Challenger SRT Demon Tries To Dodge A 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

2 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6

Rare 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle 454 SS LS6 Classic Car
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A classic case of stunning beauty being brought down by slow speed, the Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 is remembered for its looks, which could still turn heads everywhere today.

One of the most beautiful classic muscle cars money could buy, the Chevy Chevelle LS6 is simply not quick. The car can barely cover the quarter-mile in 13 seconds, let alone ten. Plus, these cars were also poorly built, and several Chevelle models have a bad rep for breakdowns and cheap parts.

1 1970-1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda
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There is no denying that the Plymouth Hemi-Cuda is one of the best-looking muscle cars of all time. A legend even today, calling the Hemi Cuda overrated, could get pitchforks out before you have the time to blink. Armed with a Hemi V8 that cranked out a massive 475 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, the Hemi Cuda sure is a beast.

Today, acquiring a Hemi Cuda could cost you millions, but the price simply doesn’t justify itself. Despite its fantastic looks, the car came with a vague steering which made it next-to-impossible to use in corners. There is also the problem of the car’s poor build quality, bringing down its total life expectancy.

Sources: history.state.gov, Hagerty, FastestLaps.com