Five rare and unusual muscle car options you’ve probably never heard of


Supply and demand—it’s that pesky thing that affects the value of the cars you desire. Statistically, there’s a very good chance that those cars you like are the very same ones others are after. If you’re a regular Joe and are tired of being a few dollars short, it may make more sense to change up your hunt. Here are some interesting vehicles worthy of consideration that may make enjoyable substitutes for what the masses are chasing.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/10/five-rare-and-unusual-muscle-car-options


Not a muscle car, but still sporty and fun to drive, the 1975 Gremlin X. My father worked for AMC from the late 60’s to the early 80’s. He had a free company car and could lease a car from AMC for about $50 per month for the family. My brothers had moved out, so I was the lucky lone driver. Every 8,000 miles I would get a new Gremiln X and had to order one with power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission (for easy resale). With the V8 option dropped earlier in the year, I was looking to make the 1975 order special in some other way. I check marked 2 options on the order sheet that I have never seen on any other Gremlin, flip-out rear side quarter windows and bright stainless steel wheel-well mouldings.


We have a 1966 Mustang with a BENCH SEAT. A bit of research shows this was an exceedingly rare option, but when combined with the V8, automatic, and Air Conditioning, it made an awesome cruising and drive-in movie car for my partners Grandfather, who checked these options when he ordered it from the factory!


More rare than bench seat, my early 65 mustang has cloth seat inserts, code 56/76. check the 64.5 and 65 sales brochure.


What about a ca. 1970 Ford option called “drag pack” that included a beach water dispenser for the rear tires?


Actually, I have heard of every one of the five you mention in your article. What you guys fail to acknowledge is the unheard of 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ HURST 4 speed with a 455HO engine and a tach on the hood. How come you NEVER acknowledge that car? It was a muscle/personal luxury car that everybody seems to simply overlook. Did you know that John DeLorean took part in creating that car and did you know when it came out in 69, the body style was so popular that it sold three times the units sold in 1968? Did you know that in spite of its weight, the 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ (The J stands for John DeLorean) could keep up with and surpass many of the muscle cars of that year? No, you don’t know that or you simply choose to ignore it. Can we see some articles on this car? I’m tired of you overlooking it and I am tired of seeing the 69 Chevelle, the 65 Mustang, the 67 GTO, etc., BORING! Let’s hear about the 70 Grand Prix SJ. It’s time has come.


All the Mopar guys know about the Barracuda M46 quarter scoop (the 72 b body stripes too) but I’m glad you gave our cars some love. The scoops were a curious option. All of the Mopar scoops and spoilers were made really well and still stand up to this day… except for the M46 that is. It was an obvious marketing afterthought and a real piece of junk. If you’re lucky to find an original pair, you’ll see. Build quality was rotten. Held on by external screws. I think lot of people pulled em off and tossed em. They were a bigtime mud collecting rust farm and no doubt accounted for 400+ cars that rotted the front quarters well ahead of schedule. Looked kinda cool, bad execution.


With regard to the 1972 Buick Sun Coupe, as a Judge/Team Captain evaluating the Driver Participation Class at the Antique Automobile Club of America’s 2016 Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, I looked at a Chevy Nova coupe with the same folding sunroof option. I do not remember the exact year, but it was in the 1969-1974 body style. Because I had never seen that option before, I asked the owner if he had documentation to prove that this was a factory option, and of course, he did. It was an eye-catcher and probably the most looked at DPC vehicle in the field that year.


From Wikipedia:
A new and short-lived option for 1970 was the vacuum operated exhaust (VOE), which was vacuum actuated via an underdash lever marked “exhaust”. The VOE was designed to reduce exhaust backpressure and to increase power and performance, but it also substantially increased exhaust noise. The VOE option was offered from November 1969 to January 1970. Pontiac management was ordered to cancel the VOE option by GM’s upper management following a TV commercial for the GTO that aired during Super Bowl IV on CBS January 11, 1970. In that commercial, entitled the “Humbler”, which was broadcast only that one time, a young man pulled up in a new GTO to a drive-in restaurant with dramatic music and exhaust noise in the background, pulling the “exhaust” knob to activate the VOE and then left the drive-in after failing to find a street racing opponent. That particular commercial was also cancelled by order of GM management. Approximately 233 1970 GTOs were factory built with this rare option including 212 hardtop coupes and 21 convertbiles, all were “YS” 400ci 350 hp with either four-speed manual or Turbo Hydra-matic transmissions.


Everything about this option was cool, right down to the one and done marketing. Thx for sharing.


Agreed and lest we forget the LS5, 4 speed Monte Carlo SS.


Absolutely, the Monte Carlo gave Pontiac a run for it’s money in 70.


1970 'Cuda with Mod Top.


The Drag Pack was 3.91 or 4.30 gears plus a number of heavy-duty upgrades for the 429 Cobra Jet (and the 428 CJ too). There was no water dispenser.


There is no “fail to acknowledge” of anything. With 5 choices here, all from different marques, there’s no way to make everyone happy. In fact, your complaint is somewhat curious: “I’m tired of you overlooking it and I am tired of seeing the 69 Chevelle, the 65 Mustang, the 67 GTO, etc.” yet I didn’t write about any of these cars.

So the takeaway could be:

  • Did you enjoy the article?

  • Did you learn something?

  • What other interesting options can you think of that may make a car worth chasing instead of the usual?

Also, I might as well point out that “J” had nothing to do with DeLorean’s name. Rather, it was invoking the Duesenberg.


VOE has been written about to death.


No 4-speeds behind the SS 454. And, besides, it is not in the essence of the article.


No, you didn’t write about the Chevelle, etc. but that is all I see in Hagerty articles. Pictures of 57 Chevys, 65 Mustangs, GTOs, etc. etc. etc. I’m tired of hearing about these cars. They are boring and they are not the only cars of interest to car buffs. Your article mentioned some out of the ordinaries but also included one we always see and hear about. All I’m saying is think outside the box, which is what I think you were trying to do. You just missed the mark. There are some very overlooked common cars from the American market out there. Here is what I am talking about below:



I think there’s a great variety of topics on Hagerty. Certainly not so Chevy-centric. There’s a good bunch of writers coming up with things that are different than the usual same, old same-old promoted by Yahoo or in Facebook.

As for missing the mark, I’m the one who created the topic so it’s a bull’s eye.


So I guess I can’t expect to see any accurate and well-written articles on the 70 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ or SSJ 455 Hurst any time soon. Probably just going to be same old, same old, right?