6 Cool Concept Muscle Cars That Never Made it Onto the Road

Alexandra Maloney
· 4 min read
Sad but true, some of the best cars don’t ever make it out onto the road. Almost every
car brand
you know and love has had some failed attempts at turning their latest and greatest model into a reality, for reasons ranging from production issues, to expensive cost, to almost anything else you can imagine.
But, just because a car never saw the streets doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth driving. Here, we’re highlighting six cool concept
muscle cars
that never made it onto the road, but would’ve been epic if they had gotten there.
Unfortunately, some muscle cars never made it into widespread production.


We talked about the AMC AMX/3 in our list of
Awesome Vintage Muscle Cars
, and we have to bring it up again here because it truly was an iconic car. The AMC AMX/3 was designed by an American, but manufactured in Italy. It had a cool, sleek design and did go into production in Italy. 
But, because of United States safety guidelines and a high production cost, the car was never able to make its way to the U.S. If you’re curious and want to know more about this sweet ride, Motor Junkie also highlighted the AMC AMX/3 on its list of the
20 Most Fascinating Muscle Car Concepts You Would Want to Drive
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Mercury Messenger 

Mercury was a brand under the Ford umbrella that largely sold Ford cars with luxury upgrades. The Mercury Messenger, a two-door coupe sports car produced in 2003, fell perfectly into the Mercury brand. The car has a 4.6-liter, V8 engine and a futuristic feel. 
Unfortunately, production was stalled in the concept stage and a few years later, Ford ended the Mercury brand altogether. 

Ford Mustang GT-R

Topping Hot Cars’ list of the
Coolest Muscle Car Concepts Ever Introduced
is the Ford Mustang GT-R. Hot Cars describes the Mustang as, “basically a race car based on the Mustang GT platform.” It came with a 5.0-liter V8 engine, clean and sharp lines on the exterior, and
bold colors
that would really make a statement on the road. 
For reasons unknown, the car was never actually produced, although the concept muscle car did make an appearance at a few showcases around the world. 

Ford Torino King Cobra

It wasn’t uncommon in the ‘60s and ‘70s for muscle cars to try their hand on the
race track. Ford wanted their muscle car to compete with brands like Dodge and Chevrolet, which had already made an appearance on the racetrack. Thus, the Ford Torino King Cobra was born. 
The car had hidden headlights, different bumpers and fenders and overall was perfect for racing. Unfortunately, Ford got word that NASCAR was going to ban Aero Specials in the coming seasons, so the car was never put into production.

Chevrolet Aerovette Wankel 

The Chevrolet Aerovette Wankel had a unique engine—a four-rotor Wankel unit with more than 400 horsepower to be exact. This vehicle was true of the muscle car name in every sense of the word: it was attractive, sleek, and sporty. 
But the public didn’t react as well as Chevrolet had hoped for their new car and many had concerns about how loud the powerful engine would be while driving. This, combined with the expensive production costs, caused Chevrolet to halt production before it even started.

Pontiac GTO

The Pontiac GTO was a silent beast in the world of muscle cars. Pontiac was pretty under the radar, until it debuted a GTO concept muscle car in 1999 at the Detroit Auto Show. Journalists and the public alike seemed to love the aggressive, sporty muscle car and were totally shocked by its unveiling. A few years later, a “warmed-up Monaro” was released as a production GTO, according to Hot Cars.

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