For some people, no number of slick sports cars from Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati or Lamborghini can replace the good old-fashioned muscle car. Muscle cars usually involve outfitting a family-style, full or medium size car with a powerful engine. Intended mainly for street use and drag races, these cars can more than hold its own in terms of speed and power even though they cost a fraction of the price of the high-end sports cars.
That is why even up to now, the muscle cars that came out decades ago are still much desired by real car connoisseurs. There is nothing like the sound of an engine revving up the bulky automobile. Here now is the top 10 most sought after classic muscle cars.
11 Plymouth Roadrunner
Marketed as a muscle car for the young, the Plymouth Roadrunner was first introduced in 1968 and was in production until 1970. The base price at that time was only $3,000. It was advertised with the cartoon character of the same name, complete with the beep horn as Wile E. Coyote was chasing it down. Famed for its simple and no-frills design, the engine however is usually modified by enthusiasts to boost its horsepower from 383 to 390. Others even make use of the 426 Hemi. It can go at more than 140 miles per hour and can complete a quarter mile in just 13.5 seconds.
10 Buick GSX
The Buick Skylark was a popular medium-sized model back in the 1960's. In 1970, the company that manufactured the Skylark decided to put a 7.5-liter engine with 400 horsepower into the vehicle. The result was outstanding. Its base horsepower was at 360, but could easily top 400 with a few tweaks in the camshaft, heads and valves. Its quarter mile speed was 13.38 seconds.
9 Oldsmobile 442
The Oldsmobile 442 got its name for its four-barrel car, four-speed gearbox and dual-exhaust system. The 1971 L69 version had three double-barrel carbs and could hit 360 horsepower with a quarter mile speed of 14.8 seconds. It can fetch $85,000 in today’s market. A rarer W30 version was also made, with only 54 units built, though dealers installed an additional 97 units. It had a six-pack motor, air induction system and capability of generating 365 horsepower.
8 Chevrolet Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro was in production from 1967 to 1969. The initial release was the Z-28 and was designed mainly for road races. It had a 4.9-liter V8 engine that can produce up to 290 horsepower and can speed down a quarter mile in just 14.8 seconds. It had a four-speed manual gearbox, power steering and positraction. In 1969, the ZL1 was released with aluminum V8 engine and quarter mile speed of 13.16 seconds. At 500 horsepower, its top speed was 125 miles per hour. Only 69 units were made and it now has a price of $91,000.
6 Plymouth Superbird 440
In stark contrast to the Plymouth Road Runner, the Plymouth Superbird 440 featured a trendsetting, albeit odd-looking, body. It was actually based on the Road Runner, but it was redesigned to meet certain requirements of NASCAR. The Superbird 440 was built in 1971 and had a Magnum 440 V8 cubic engine that could go up to 375 horsepower. Upgrades were available through either the six-pack with a trio of two-barrel carbs or the Hemi V8 engine with 425 horsepower. Its price has been increasing dramatically the past few years, from $67,000 in 2001 to $107,000 in recent auctions.
5 Dodge Charger R/T 440
The Dodge Charger R/T was in production from 1968 to 1969. Fans of movies and television know it as the car in the hit show The Dukes of Hazzard and the one being pursued by Steve McQueen in the most memorable movie car chase of all time in the film entitled Bullitt. Its hidden headlights and distinctive front grill emphasize the car’s power. More than the aesthetics, however, is the car’s suspension system that allows for excellent handling. It was sold for $3,500 in 1968, and a good condition Charger can now command $170,000, more than four times higher than the price from only a decade ago.
4 Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO was one of the first muscle cars and has thus achieved iconic status. Built from 1964 to 1969, it burst into the limelight through the 1965 Goat model that had a 6.3-liter V8 engine. It changed from a six-pack to a single four-barrel carb in 1967 that could go up to 360 horsepower. In 1969, it released the Judge model that had a 6.5-liter engine. It can fetch as much as $200,000 today.
3 Chevrolet Chevelle
One of the most popular muscle cars, the Chevelle was based on the 1961 Chevrolet Impala. It was manufactured from 1966 to 1970, with the first model being the Super Sport 396. Only 100 units were built and it can fetch up to $369,000 these days. A 427 COPO version was released in 1969. It had a V8 engine and only 320 units were made. In 1970, a 7.4-liter engine with 450 horsepower was released. It could go from zero to 60 in just six seconds.
2 Plymouth Barracuda
The Plymouth Barracuda was first introduced in 1964, though it only got the attention of muscle car enthusiasts in 1970 when a 7.2-liter engine was fitted into the car. It was capable of producing 390 horsepower. A more powerful version was the one with a 7-liter Hemi block. Called the Hemi-Cuda, it could produce 425 horsepower and could go from zero to 60 in just 5.6 seconds. Only a few hundred were made, each with its unique trim and color. Some of the best-maintained Barracudas can fetch up to $2 million.
1 Shelby GT500KR
The Shelby GT is the only non-American classic muscle car in the list. It was manufactured from 1964 to 1968. Called the King of the Road, or KR, it had a V8 engine capable of 360 horsepower for its original release. A 1966 version had an even more impressive 480 horsepower. The original 289 roadster can fetch up to $330,000 today, though the holy grail is the one of a kind Shelby Super Snake that is estimated to cost $5.5 million.