The Top Ten American Muscle Cars and What They Are Worth

A new breed of automobiles called Muscle Cars emerged from Detroit in the 1960s. This was during an era when drag racing was highly publicized and winning race cars sold briskly at car dealerships. In general, muscle cars were simple to build. They had large-displacement engines and drivetrains optimized for maximum acceleration. Back in the day, genuine factory-built muscle cars were relatively affordable but today command considerable prices in the collector car marketplace. Here are ten models that command some major money when they are offered to the public via auction or private sale.

1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda

The Plymouth Baracudas have always offered great performance but the the baddest of them all was the 1970 model with the 425 hp, 426 hemi engine. Affectionately referred to as a “Hemi ‘Cuda”, this car was a beauty to look at. Only 119 of these cars were made and today the current market value of an original Hemi ‘Cuda is, ready for this, some $450,000 to $500,000.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 was a beast with a big block engine a robust, muscular looks. At 450 horsepower, the SS 454 with the LS6 option offered the highest power rating from the muscle car era. Today a genuine Chevelle SS 454 LS6 will set you back some $80,000 to $100,000.

1970 Buick GSX Stage 1

The top dog Buick muscle car was the 1970 GSX with the 455 Stage-1 V-8 engine. Rated at 370 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque this car did the quarter mile in just 13.38 seconds – and that was unmodified. The limited production GSX Stage 1 cars came in just two colors – Apollo White or Saturn Yellow. The current market value of a GSX Stage 1 is around $75,000 to $90,000.

1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang

The 1969 Boss 429 Ford Mustang boasted a “semi-hemi” 429 engine that produced 375 HP. It accelerated from 0 to 60 in just 6.8 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds. The Boss 429 was born out of Ford’s ambition to qualify its new racing engine for NASCAR racing. Just 858 units were built and original 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustangs now command $220,000 and up.

1969 ZL1 Camaro

This one is the Holy Grail of muscle cars. In 1969, there were only 69 ZL1 cars ever built. Each one was outfitted with a big block 427 all-aluminum engine and was rated at 500 mind-blowing HP. These cars could launch to 60 MPH in just 5.3 seconds. Just recently at ZL1 sold at a Barrett-Jackson Auction (Scottsdale, AZ) for $451,000.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30

At the peak of the muscle car era, Oldsmobile offered the high-performance W-30 option in their 442 models. With a 455 cubic inch V-8 engine, these 370 HP beasts have become highly sought after by collectors and typically bring $160,000 or more when they come up for sale.

1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird

No list of famous muscle cars would be complete without a mention of the amazing Plymouth Superbird. The Superbirds were decorated with a protruding aerodynamic nose and an enormous wing rising off the rear deck. Engines were either a 440 Commando six-barrel or the massive 426 Hemi. Restored examples of these cars typically run over half a million dollars.

1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty 455

Some say that the muscle car era essentially ended by 1970, however, if that’s the case no one at Pontiac got the memo. In 1974, they created a version of their Firebird Trans Am with a Ram Air IV 455 cubic inch engine, honey-comb wheels and flamboyant graphics. These were a good looking car and the current market value of good examples can fetch over $100,000.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air

Here come de Judge, her come de Judge (for those that aren’t familiar with the refrain, type it into Youtube). The Pontiac GTO was there at the beginning of the muscle car era in the mid-1960s and by 1970 their GTO with Ram Air IV engine, a 400 cubic inch V-8 with special high-flow heads and unique exhaust manifolds, was one of the most desirable muscle cars on the market. The current value for a restored 1970 GTO Judge is over $100,000.

1969 Corvette ZL-1

If you have a taste for rare automobiles, here’s the vehicle for you. In 1969 General Motors built only 2 Corvettes with their famous ZL-1 aluminum block 427 engine installed. Although rated at 430hp, it could easily be pumped up to 585 hp with tuned headers. Only one example is known to currently exist and the price…well, until it gets sold again, it’s by definition priceless.

Article Courtesy of: Dutchess Chrysler Jeep Dodge


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