Most car experts characterize the 1970s as a low point in performance. By definition, a muscle car must have some pretension of “muscle”—meaning, motivating power—but due to forces beyond the control of the auto industry, horsepower pretty much evaporated after 1971. For performance nuts, the decade of the 1970s is pretty much a dead player after 1971, but the appearance of performance still marched on. If you’re one of those folks nostalgic for the 1970s and remember the performance-leaning luxury coupes of the era, you may be inclined to revisit these cars; besides being nicely styled, they take to modification easily, with their large engine bays and traditional front-engine V-8, rear-drive layout. Toward the end of the decade, the beginnings of what would become true performance began to reappear, and though nobody would count them as muscle cars at the time, they have become sought-after starting points for some very cool builds. Are they true muscle cars? Maybe, maybe not—we’ll let you decide!