10 wimpiest muscle cars ever
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1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra
Ford's legendary performance car hit its nadir with the downsized Pinto-based Mustangs of 1974–1978, called Mustang II. Although this generation of Mustang came with a V-8, it was a 302 cid V-8 with a mere 139 hp. Yes, you read that right. Second-gen Mustangs pumped out just 19 more hp than you'd get from the 1.6-liter four-cylinder in today's Ford Fiesta.
But that's not the most embarrassing part of the Mustang II. That would belong to the rare one-year-only 1978 Mustang King Cobra. The Cobra name should have been kept off junk like this, but Ford had already resurrected the "Cobra" name as a sticker and spoiler package for 1976. The '78 King Cobra got some really special performance enhancements, such as a hood snake decal, even more stripes, and 13-inch "Lacy" aluminum wheels. You could buy the King Cobra in black with gold trim—an obvious attempt to lure would-be Trans Am buyers. But with a deficit of 81 hp compared with the top Trans Am, the Ford wasn't much of a threat. Thankfully the all-new 1979 Fox Mustang would kill the King Cobra and mark the return for Ford performance.
1974 Pontiac GTO
The '64 Pontiac GTO is widely regarded as the first muscle car. The performance formula was simple: Drop a big 325-hp 389-cid V-8 (348 hp with Tri-Power carburetion) into a relatively small Tempest chassis and you've got a seriously quick car. The GTO went from option package to becoming its own model, and horsepower officially peaked with the 370-hp Ram Air IV V-8. (Unofficially, the big 455 High-Output (HO) of the early 1970s reportedly reached the 400-hp plateau.)