The Greatest American Muscle Cars, Ranked


| LAST UPDATE 01/03/2022

By Tiana Blanco

The infamous sleek design and speedy engines of muscle cars were all the rage in the 1960s-1970s. From companies like Ford and Chevy, each one produced a better car than the next. Here's a ranked list of the best ones.

60. 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2

Original price: $2,910

Current average value: $5,400

By 1965, the old 1950 Pontaic model was outdated. The companies designers upgraded the car to fit in better with the times. They amplified the base of the wheels and transformed the frame into the 'coke bottle' style.

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Wikimedia Commons via Sicnag

The owner of the Pontiac Cataline 2+2 got to pick between three different engines. The Standard and more affordable one gave drivers 338 horsepower. The 421 4-barrel engine came with 353 horsepower. And the best one was a 421 HO with the highest power, 376 horsepower.

59. 1968 Dodge Dart GTS

Original price: $3,189

Current average value: $10,100

The 1968 Dodge Dart BTS was known as a "compact" muscle car, as claimed by car devotees. When it first was put on the market, it wasn't Dodge's leading car. It only received admiration when more youngsters opted to buy it over other models. The Dart succeeded in its capabilities.

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The price point was the reason more young people were buying the vehicle. The 1968 car fell between the budget-friendly Plymouth and the costly Chrysler. Putting the Dodge in a position for buyers to pick it over other cars for its performance and reasonable cost.

58. 1963 Plymouth Valiant

Original Price: $2,340

Current average value: $10,700

The Plymouth Valiant was arguably best known for its dependability and long life expectancy. Throughout its 16 years spent being available to purchase, it became known as one of Chrysler's most sold automobiles between 1960-1970, a prominent time for muscle cars.

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Instagram via @skylark_1967

The vehicle was a big success, even without having the maker's brand name, Plymouth, as a way of advertisement. Road & Track magazine named it "one of the best all-around domestic cars." A preowned Valiant can be bought today, for roughly $10 to $20 thousand dollars.

57.1961 Ford Thunderbird

Original price$4,170

Current average value: $11,600

Automobile manufacture, Ford, became one of the best options for luxury cars towards the end of the 1950s. The Thunderbird, also known as the T-bird, helped the company reach that title. The popularity remained even after they remodeled from a 2 seater to a 4.

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The model was beloved by car fanatics since its reveal in 1960. It gained the label "Bullet-Bird" due to the loud cutting edge sounds it made while being driven. It's still possible to purchase a second-hand T-bird today since 62.5 thousand of them were made.

56. 1967 Ford Mercury Cougar

Original price: $2,851

Current average value: $11,600

The admiration Ford had in the 1960s was immense due to the success of this Mustang. When Ford Mercury produced the Cougar in 1967, their success seemed to expand. The automobile was arguably appreciated because of the engine. When it first hit the streets, it had a V8 standard engine.

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But it wasn't just a regular one, to our surprise, the engine had a 428 cubic inch, seven liters FE V8, giving the muscle car an immense 335 horsepower. The Cougar had other desired qualities. It debuted Ford's first-ever controllable sunroof. If that didn't scream luxury, we don't know what would.

55. 1964 Mercury Montclair

Original Price: $2,957

Current average value: $13,650

Mercury Montclair's fourth generation hit the streets in 1964 with new upgrades and designs. This time around, the car featured a grille design, rather than the previous concave. The rooftop was a "breezeway" type, so the Ford-owned configuration could keep with other companies.

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The model had the stamina of 266 horsepower, with a 390 cubic-inch V8. The other version of this design reached upwards of 330-390. One engine of the Mercury Montclair model even made it to 425 horsepower! These bad boys go for around $13,000 in today's market.

54. 1966 Plymouth Barracuda

Original price: $2,556

Current average value: $14,000

Another car with impressive horsepower was the 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. With an engine of 235 power, it took this muscle car under 10 seconds o reach 60 miles per hour. Too bad we could not snatch this baby up back in the 60s when it was just $2,556.

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Wikimedia Commons via Greg Gjerdingen

Lucky for us, the Barracuda is actually easier to come across than most other infamous muscle vehicles. But when searching to purchase the automobile, don't let the name confuse you with other models. This first generation's engine is a lot better than 'Cuda, a different car.

53. 1963 Studebaker Superlark

Original Price: $2,315

Current average value: $14,050

Back in the day, the Studebaker Superlark was condemned for its older style, they said the design seemed to have too much of a 50's style. So in 1963, Studebaker manufactured an upgraded model. It included a vanity mirror and a small makeup tray for the passenger's side.

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Wikimedia Commons via Sicnag

And even tho we can't imagine a car without a mirror, buyers in the '60s weren't interested in purchasing the vehicle. Due to its unpopularity, the company ceased production just three years after the car's makeover. Today, it is seen as a classic muscle car.

52. 1964 Pontiac Tempest

Original Price: $2,904

Current average value: $14,300

The first generation of the Pontiac Tempest proved to be a success. So much so that the compact vehicle was added to the General Motors family a total of two times. It hit the streets between 1960 to 1971 and then once again in 1987-1991. In between the two time frames, the design team rolled out an upgraded model.

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The second generation of Pontaic Temple was in 1964. The updated vehicle's difference was the size, it was classified as intermediate. It continued to maintain the sharp look that muscles cars were known for. To buy this sweet ride in the modern-day, it'll cost around $14,000 dollars.

51. 1968 AMC AMX

Original price: $3,395

Current average value: $15,700

With so many popular muscle cars on the market in the 1960s, AMC had a difficult time selling their vehicles. That was until they began selling the 1968 version, the AMX. The design team included enhanced features, as the goal was for the new model to increase sales.

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AMC concentrated on creating an unbelievably fast engine. The company achieved this. In January of 1968, the United States Auto Club revealed that the vehicle had broken two records. Apparently, the car could reach up to 189 and even 200 miles per hour!

50. 1969 AMC Javelin

Original Price: $2,500

Current average value: $16,000

The 1969 AMC Javelin had everything a muscle car enthusiast would look for in a vehicle. The designers made sure that they would interest buyers, especially young ones. With new vibrant colors, a different set of wheels, and a rocker panel trim, this model had it all.

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Not only did the Javelin include mounted roofs, but if buyers were willing to drop a bit more dough, they could get a custom-made version. The special style was specifically designed to meet the qualities that iconic race car driver, Craig Breedlove, enjoyed in his cars.

49. 1968 Ford Mustang GT

Original price: $2,602

Current average value: $17,600

One of the first original Mustangs to hit the market was in 1968. The Ford Mustang GT gained mass recognition after it appeared in the movie Bullitt. Being seen in a Stevie Mcqueen production made the car wanted by thousands. Talk about a famous muscle car!

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By putting the vehicle in his film, Mcqueen helped the desirability and the price skyrocket. The legit Mustang seen in the movie went on to be sold for 3.7 million dollars! Today, it's worth around 17,500 grand, but of course, it's not the OG vehicle that appeared in the film.

48. Mercury Cyclone

Original Price: $2,768

Current average value: $17,800

Ford's sub-company, Mercury, created the Cyclone which helped them launch their recognition from car-lovers. The car was highly in demand between 1964 through 1971. During that timeframe, the company released 4 different generations of the model. The Comet, Cobra Jet, and the Spoiler.

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With each new version, came a new type of engine. The first car in 1964, included a 289 cu inch, and by the production of the last model, it went up to be a 351 cu inch in 1972. To get to be able to ride one of the Cyclones today, $17,800 dollars is needed.

47. 1964 Ford Falcon

Original Price: $2,400

Current average value: $18,000

Between the years 1964 and 1965, Ford had two versions of the Falcon hit the market. The second-generation car included an option known as the "Sprint Package." If buyers went all out and spent the extra money, the deal provided them with added mods.

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Additionally, the Falcon would have come with a louder exhaust and a stiffer suspension, so when the customer drove down the streets, most people would hear it. This was a great selling point because drivers could show off their vehicle since in the '60s muscle cars were an in-demand item.

46. 1971 AMC Matador

Original Price: $3,493

Current average value: $18,000

In 1971, AMC launched its latest model, the Matador. The car introduced new types of designs when compared to previous AMC models. They called it a "facelift" for the company. Before its successful release, the brand had previous hardships selling its vehicles.

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Unforetunly, AMC had to eventually withdraw the production of other models, due to a decline in profits. But, the Mandator helped the company, because of its "Machine Go" deal. Which offered customers a bigger engine and a design that looked like a classic muscle car.

45. 1970 Chevrolet El Camino 454 SS

Original price: $2,769

Current average value: $18,400

In 1970 the Chevrolet El Camino 454 Super Sport hit the streets. The half pickup truck, half car obviously had a sleek design, which was well wanted at the time of its release. Don't be fooled though, the sporty exterior wasn't all that the car had to offer.

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The vehicle had an immensely accelerated engine. The 454 sports car only needed 5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. Thanks to its 7.0 liter and 500 horsepower V8 engine. Buying the automobile must have been an easy choice for buyers who wanted both the speed and style of a muscle sports car.

44. 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

Original price: $6,631

Current average value: $19,000

The 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado was pretty hard to get one's hand on. It was one of the first-ever muscle cars ever manufactured. With only 2250 of them ever made, the exclusivity of the car made it receive so much recognition. And, of course, the classic design.

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It's possibly known as one of the more luxurious vehicles in the US. The car was expensive for the time of its release, it set buyers back a whopping $6,631.The Cadillac had a 7.0 liter 16 valve 429 CID and V8 engine, that kind of power drew attention from car fanatics around the nation.

43. 1964 Rambler American

Original Price: $1,979

Current average value: $19,269

In the 60's compact muscle cars ruled the streets of America. The American Motor Corporation decided to join in on the fun in 1958, with their first model of the Ramblr American. The difference between their versions and other companies was the price point.

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It was known as one of the most affordable options on the market, especially the 1964 generation. From four doors to convertibles, the different models had it all. The classic car could be possibly be found today at auctions, but the price has definitely changed. Depending on the condition it can reach up to $20,000

42. 1965 Buick Skylark

Original Price: $2,552

Current Value: $20,000

Although the vehicles on the list each have a powerful engine, drivers also expect a smooth drive. And that's just what the 1965 model of a Buick Skylark provided customers with. With so many muscle car options on the market, companies had to think outside of the box to make sales.

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Flickr via Greg Gjerdingen

It has previously been reported that at least 70,000 of the 1965 models were bought. With 300 cubic inches and a V8 engine, the classic design still remains popular with car enthusiasts. It would cost around 20k now to own Buicks first ever muscle car.

41. 1963 Buick Wildcat

Original Price: $3,849

Current average value: $22,500

The next muscle car on the list was first officially a part of Buick's Invicta series. But in 1965, big changes were made, the Wildcat debuted as its own series. The design was clearly competing with the Oldsmobile Starfire model. The design team pulled out all their stops with metal trim paneling.

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Instagram via @b_royal_classics

The Wildcat showcased a variety of different designs. They had a sleek convertible, a hardtop, and a four-door sedan. They opened up doors for future muscle car styles. But while sales were high, production, unfortunately, stopped after only one year spent on the market.

40. 1968 Oldsmobile 442

Original Price: $3,127

Current Value: $24,000

One of Oldsmobile's best-selling cars was its 1968 Oldsmobile 442. There was a reason the muscle car was given that name. The vehicle had a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, and 2 exhausts, aka 442. It seems obvious why so many people tried to get behind the wheels of this sick ride.

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Wikimedia Commons via Reinhold Möller

Like most of the other muscle cars on this list, this 1968 car had an impressive 375 horsepower. Meaning drivers could take this bad boy from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just a mere 7 seconds. This vehicle had both a shiny, compact look and a powerful engine. Continue to learn about more awesome muscle cars…

39. 1962 Ford Galaxie

Original price: $2,667

Current average value: $25,250

In 1962, compact, small vehicles were usually seen cruising down the streets. Ford decade to take a risk and make a full-size model. Luckily the name of Ford Galaxie and its association with Space Race made customers interested in buying the innovatively designed car.

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The muscle car was deemed to be popular in the late '60s. A success for the automobile company that released the Ford Galaxie as direct competition with Chevrolets Impala. The model truly asserted its supremacy with its 6-cylinder engine and noticeable smooth edges.

38. 1968 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds

Original Price: $3,341

Current average value: $26,000

Whenever these two automobile brands collaborated, magic happened. First with their successful 442 models, where Hurts Performace helped out by providing its own components. And secondly, with the 1968 Oldsmobile Hurts/Olds. They combined the 422 and Cutlass Supreme to create was a special edition car.

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Instagram via @itsmarkiephillips

With a 4 barrel Rochester Quadrajet 4GC carburetor and a powerful 390 horsepower engine, it's clear why enthusiasts still adore this car today. Hurts/Olds could still be found at auctions and depending on its condition, the model could be bought for roughly 26 thousand dollars.

37. 1967 Dodge Coronet WO23 GSX Stage 1

Original Price: $3,199

Current average value: $27,500

While other versions of a Dodge Coronet were produced to be sold to the everyday person, this version was made with a special reason in mind. The Dodge Coronet W023 GSX Stage 1 was released in 1967 and the rare model was designed especially for car racing.

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Its been reported that only 55 models got to speed down the race tracks with the iconic driver, Warren Barnett, behind the wheels. Of course, with such an important job, the engine on this bad boy needed to dominate all others. Each WO23 included a Hemi 426ci engine.

36. 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Original price: $2,290 (base)

Current average value: $28,400

Arguably one of the most recognized and admired muscle cars from the 50s- 60s was the 1957 Chevrolet Bal Air. The larger body style, 2 door model, and signature tailfins were probably what makes car-fanatics describe this car as having the classic muscle look.

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Instagram via @highfly_noonk

With various models and versions of cars being put on the market in the '60s, it was hard to keep up with the trends. But, the Chevrolet Bel Air stayed atop the game. The design team knew what they were doing with the trendy look. Being behind the wheels of this car was definitely cool.

35. 1969 Chevy Nova SS 396

Original Price: $2,524

Current average value: $28,600

In 1969, Chevy debuted their latest model, the Chevy Nova SS 386. It was one of their greatest version thus far. The designer for the company, Clare Mackichan said about past models, "There was no time for experimentation or doodling around with new ideas."

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Instagram via @1969_supernova

Only less than 2,000 of the Nova were manufactured. Meaning it has a high value in today's market and finding one of these sweet rides would probably be a mission. If successfully found, the four-cylinder model can be purchased for just over 28,500 grand.

34. 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Original Price: $2,984

Current average value: $29,100

With such a high demand for the product, each automobile company was producing muscle cars like no other, in an effort to beat out the competition. In response to Ford's Fairlane model being released in 1964, Oldsmobile made the Cutlass model in 1964. It was their second generation of the car.

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Instagram via @sabotage_cars

With newer, better components, the model presented an improved look. It's no wonder 167,000 people were reported to purchase the car. The Cutlass debuted a larger built design and an upgraded size for the wheelbase. Wanna know about other past muscle cars? Continue scrolling…

33. 1970 Plymouth Duster

Original Price: $2,172

Current average value: $31,500

The Plymouth Duster was first introduced to the world in 1970. The car was created to be a direct competition against Ford's Maverick and the AMC Hornet. Even though it was only available for 6 short years, the model was arguably a major influence on future muscle cars designs.

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The semi-fastback two-door cope resembled a different Plymouth model, the Valiant. It's been reported that around 192,375 Dusters were manufacturers using automatic and manual transitions. To snag this sick muscle car in modern times, a person would need to spend about 31,500 thousand dollars.

32. 1970 Ford Maverick

Original Price: $1,995

Current average value: $33,995

The reason the 1970 Ford Maverick was priced at just under 2 thousand dollars, is to persuade buyers to go for this model over any other. The competitive industry has new models being produced left and right. The Maverick was made in the rivalry between Ford and Japanese companies, such as Datsun and Toyota.

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It was a success the vehicle received plenty of attention for its nameplate design, which looked similar to a cattle horn. The car came in many different styles, from a 2-door option to -doors. Today, it would set back a car collector around 34,000 dollars to own this bad boy.

31. 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

Original Price: $3,178

Current average value: $34,650

With a price difference of just $250, it seemed worth it for buyers to choose the 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX over the Pontiac GTO. The Belvedere included a strong 440-cubic inch engine, a major difference when compared to other GM models, which had limitations to the engine.

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Buyers had various options to pick from, either a sedan, hardtop, convertible, or station wagon. The classic sleek design is a sight for sore eyes! It can be found at auctions today, and depending on the conditions of the car, will cost around 30 grand.

30. 1962 Dodge Polara

Original Price: $2,960

Current average value: $35,418

The early '60s was a time where compact cars ruled the streets. Nearly the entire nation was interested in buying and driving muscle cars. It all began when Chrysler's company president mistook what ideas Chevrolet's chief was planning. Cue, models like the 1962 Dodge Polara and many others rocking a small style.

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Instagram via @b_royal_classics

With so many options on the market, each brand tried to outdo the others. The Dodge Polara competed against Ford's Fairlane car, so they gave customers the choice of including a Max Wedge engine. Other design options buyers got were a pick between a sedan, hardtop, convertible, or 4 door vehicle.

29. 1958 Plymouth Fury

Original price: $3,032

Current average value: $35,900

This blast from the past was first debuted in 1958. But it only began to receive attention in 1983, after it was seen in the scary movie, Christine. The Plymouth Fury, also known as the "Golden Commando" wasn't just a car with style, it also had a powerful engine.

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Instagram via @bestamericanclassics

The sporty car was designed to rival Chevy's Bel Air model that was released back in 1957. And based on its ranking on this list, it's obvious the company achieved success. But they only manufactured 5,303 Plymouths, so it's become difficult to find the muscle car today.

28. 1968 Plymouth Road Runner

Original Price: $2,870

Current average value: $30,800

As probably made clear by this list, a great muscle car included a stylish exterior, and of course, an engine like no other. Arguably known to have mastered the latter was Plymouth. Each of their cars had strong horsepower, but nothing compared to the Road Runner model.

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As their third best-selling version, the Road Runner had a V8 engine that was deemed popular in the 1960s. The company had no trouble getting customers to buy the automobile, so Plymouth decided to produce another edition. The Super Bee was the next model, and behind it followed many others till they stopped in 1980.

27. 1968 Dodge Super Bee

Original Price: $3,027

Current average value: $40,000

It was most likely hard for design teams to come up with innovative ideas for the already popular classic muscle car look. Yet somehow Dodge came up with an exceptional new car, the Super Bee. The 1968 debut revealed a 2 door coupe with a 426 cubic inch Hemi V8.

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The engine gave the Super Bee the power to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a mere 6 seconds! No wonder this sick design was sought after. The car became known to be a collector's item, with only 125 models ever made with a Hemi engine. This made it probably one of the rarest cars on the market.

26. 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible

Original price: $5,841

Current average value: $55,000

For a whopping $5,841, buyers could cruise down the streets in a Chrysler convertible. But not everyone who wanted one could get their hands on the 300F version. The automobile company only had 248 models produced, resulting in a rare collector's piece. That wasn't its only remarkable achievement...

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Instagram via @b_royal_classics

The car won many awards at muscle car fairs since its release in 1960. The convertible style debuted Chryslers's first ram-induction intake design. It also included double 4-barrel carburetors and the 30-inch runner manifolds. The innovative design and scarce quantity are properly why its value today is set at $55,000.

25. 1970 Ford Torino Cobra

Original Price: $3,270

Current Value: $56,000

Back when Ford's Torino Cobra was made in 1970, Motor Trend's named it the car of the years. It soon became known as one of the greater muscle cars in the US. From its high-speed 360 horsepower engine to the four-speed manual transmission. We can see why the 2-door coupe was so beloved.

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So loved that the sporty car stayed relevant for many years to come. In 2008, the Cobra made an appearance in the movie Gran Torino. The compact design proved to be a timeless classic. Continue reading to see which other cars are adored by car fans.

24. 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Original Price $3,635

Current Value: $70,000

Chevrolet created two different generations of the Camero, and sometimes the first time around is when it's done right. The 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 impacted muscle car designs that followed its release. The sporty style and 340 horsepower engine made the vehicle more suitable for day-to-day drives.

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Instagram via @wilwaxu

The style was deemed so popular, that years later in 2010, the company's fifth-generation Camaro resembled the classic look. Proving that vintage muscle cars look to continue to be admired by car enthusiasts. The OG ride can be bought today for 70 grand.

23. 1969 Pontiac GTO The Judge

Original Price: $3,940

Current Value: $80,000

Pontiac was inspired by the comedy sitcom Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In for their 1969 model release. It is possible that the name GTO The Judge was taken from one of the show's funny skits. Even though this muscle car is anything but funny. Actually, it became known to be one of the most renowned models.

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Instagram via @arbithejudge

Why was it so well sought after? Well, if buyers went all out and chose to pay extra, they would have received added benefits. The package included a car with a wider set of wheels, multiple decals, and even a back-end spoiler. But even with the regular deal, drivers enjoyed a 366 horsepower and 4-barrel Quadra-jet carburetor.

22. 1963 Corvette Stingray

Original Price: $4,037

Current Value: $100,000

The sleek 1963 Corvette is a timeless car, arguably well known by most people. For the second generational Stingray, the automobile brand asked Zora Arkus-Duntov, an infamous engineer, to help design the vehicle. This proved to be a smart move on their part.

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Instagram via @kylemasnec

Because Arkus-Duntov worked on the Corvette, it had everything a muscle car could ever need. From a stunning exterior to a large range of motion, what else could we ask for? And even with a 360 horsepower engine, the Stingray had a lightweight feel to it.

21. 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR

Original price: $4,500

Current value: $120,000

Take one look at this picture and it's obvious why the 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR caught people's eyes as they passed by. The polished design was what muscle car dreams were made of. No wonder the 'KF' stands for 'King of the Road' because that is definitely what this vehicle was.

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Yet, of course, it matters more what's on the inside.. right? The Mustang had a 428 cubic inch engine that reached a high horsepower of 355, even though some reports claimed it sometimes went over 400. We're really wishing we could still buy this classic car for its original price, rather than 120,000 grand!

20. 1968 Dodge Charger Hemi R/T

Original Price: $4,110

Current Value: $150,000

The next muscle car on the list may look a bit familiar. That's because the 1968 Dodge Charger Hemi R/T was seen on the big screen. Just like one of the above-mentioned cars, this too made its way into a Stevie Mcqueen production, in the 1968 movie, Bullitt.

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Flickr via David Merret

Why did McQueen find this Dodge particularly desirable? With a 425 horsepower engine and times sleek style, it's clear why he picked this car for the film (We would have to). While it was all the rage in the late 1960s, it still remains cherished by car collectors.

19. 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Ram Air IV

Original Price: $4,906

Current Value: $150,000-$200,000

Tiny muscle car's popularity from the 1960s persistent well into the 70s era. The 1970's release of the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Ram Air IV was a show car. It's clear why... the compact sport 2-door coupe allured people in. Especially the iconic stripe that went across the hood of the car.

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pontiac firebird trans Airpontiac firebird trans Air
Instagram via @63sdcat

To get to cruise inside one of these rare automobiles, it'll probably set you back over 150 thousand dollars. Why so expensive? Pontiac only ever manufactured 88 models! Resulting in a very exclusive club of people who get to drive the 400 cubic inch V8 engine.

18. 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang

Original Price: $4,798

Current Value: $180,000

Since its debut in 1964, the Mustang has dominated the attention of car enthusiasts. It's arguably one of the most well-recognized names in the car industry. With each new generation, it somehow got better and better. The 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang proved just that. Here's why...

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Flickr via nakhon100

The updated version was in competition with Chryslerss 426 Hemi. They held nothing back when it came to outdo their rivals. Ford's model included an engine with 375 horsepower. But that wasn't all, the Boss 429 debuted Mustang's first-ever back-end sway bar. This car was truly remarkable, sadly only 1,000 of them were created.

17. 1970 Buick GSX

Original Price: $4,880

Current Value: $185,000

What enlisted this vehicle to be the 17th best? Well, this 1970 Buick GSX stayed at the top of its game for nearly 30 years! It possessed the highest torque output, meaning its engine was conveying the most power. Thanks to the muscle car's 500 ib-ft rankings.

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Flickr via Sicnag

Options for an upgrade were available for customers to browse, along with two different colors to choose from, Saturn Yellow and Appollo White. The long narrow car was and is till this day recognized as a quality automobile, from its unique look to its smooth ride. If only we were able to snag this ride for the OG price...

16. 1970 Plymouth Superbird Hemi

Original Price: $4,298

Current Value: $150,000-$200,000

Take one look at the picture and it's pretty clear why Plymouth named this 1970 model a "Superbird." The back-end of the muscle car resembled the wings of a bird. Driving one of these bad boys down the street was sure to grab the attention of onlookers.

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Instagram via @truckymctruckface

Except that's not what happened, the car was originally intended to be driven down a NASCAR race field, making this automobile a collective. With a 426 Hemi V8 engine that powered up 425 HP and nearly 500 lbs of torque, we can see why this wasn't a commercially sold car.

15. 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

Original Price: $3,900

Current average value: $197,400

Another muscle car that was specifically manufactured to be driven down a race track was the 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt. More specifically for the NHRA drag racing events. Now it makes sense why the value of the car reaches nearly 200,000 thousand dollars today.

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The Ford model was one of their most collectible design since only 100 of them were ever manufactured. But, a second version of the Thunderbolt proved to be even rarer than the first. Only 49 models were made that included four-speed manual transmission.

14. 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda

Original Price: $4,348

Current Value: $200,000

A classic design is really timeless. The 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda can be seen driven in Hollywood even up to this day. If stars like Kevin Hart shell out thousands of dollars to own the popular muscle cars, we can't even imagine just how wanted they were in the '70s.

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We're sure it was hard for Hart to get his hands on this sleek 'Cuda since only around a few hundred models were ever commercially sold. With a 425 horsepower engine, it proved that the vehicle wasn't just beloved for its sleek exterior, but also for the inner workings of the car.

13. 1971 Baldwin-Motion Phase III GT Corvette

Original Price $10,500

Current Value: $230,000

Possibly one of the rarest cars ever made is the 1971 Baldwin-Motion III GT Corvette, with only 12 models ever put out to the market. The muscle car was deemed extremely collectible, thousands of people wished they could take this bad boy out for a spin.

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Instagram via @dtrockstar1

Hence, the high price, both during its original release and today. But the car's price tag wasn't only for the eye-pleasing design. The horsepower of this magnificent engine reached 500! And the car even included a stereo system, so those 12 lucky people could listen to tunes as they cruise.

12. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Original Price: $7,200

Current Value: $500,0000

In the 1960s spending, over 7,000 thousand on a car was very unusual. Yet, Chevrolet decided that it was an accurate price tag for their luxurious Camaro ZL1. It was debuted in 1969 with a list of quality characteristics. From a fast engine to an iconic style, we can understand why the cost was so high.

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Flickr via Joe deSousa

It became known as one of the best Camero's ever produced. A car collector dealer, Colin Comer said, "When a car has the right options - color, chambered exhaust, and four-speed - and is in exceptional condition with known provenance and factory documentation, a world record result can result."

11. 1969 Dodge Charger Hemi Daytona

Original Price: $5,903

Current Value: $900,000

Along with a few other muscle cars mentioned, this one was always intended to be seen driving down a race track. It was designed specifically for the vehicle to be able to drive at an incredibly fast speed. With its "nose cone" and 23-inch stabilizer wing, it did exactly that.

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Wikimedia Commons via Sicnag

The sports car was known as a special collectible, only 500 models were ever made. To drive this one-of-a-kind muscle car, you'll need nearly a million dollars. With its 426 cu in magnum V8 engine, we're sure it's worth every buck. Keep reading to see the top 10 best American muscle cars.

10. 1970 AMC AMX/3

Original Price: $14,000

Current Value: $1,000,000

This 1970 muscle car looks look a tad different than the ones we've seen so far. That's because the designer of this car was an Italian engineer, named Giotti Bizzarrini. He made the vehicle look a bit more luxurious than the other classic AMC models.

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Wikimedia Commons via Brian Snelson

The AMX/3 model had an impressive engine, the V8 machine reached up to 340 horsepower. That type of power gained a positive response from customers at the Chicago Auto Show. But the praise didn't last long. Due to financial problems with the automobile company, this model was never fully released. Only 5 prototypes were made.

9. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6

Original Price: $4,000-4,500

Current Value: $1,200,000

Compared to the other top 10 automobiles on this ranked list, the price of this Chevrolet was pretty fantastic. Especially when taking into consideration all the great qualities it had. From a 454 big lock V8 engine to its classic muscle car style. No wonder it was nicknamed the "King of the streets."

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Wikimedia Commons via Classicsworkshop

Hot Rod Magazine described the vehicle, "The future may never see a car like this. It is one of the brutes, and all it needs is a way of staying in contact with terra firma." Wow, what a review! The 1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6 was definitely a sweet ride.

8. 1970 Dodge Challenger Hemi Convertible

Original  Price: $4,900

Current Value: $1,500,000

In 1970, Dodge released its latest model, the Challenger Hemi Convertible. The car was quite different from the past ones seen by the company. This sweet ride could take drivers down the freeway exceptionally fast. Hold on to your hats while we explain how…

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David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

This muscle car had its very own personalized speedometer. Meaning it was specifically created to zoom through traffic. With 150 miles per hour/240kpm and an 8,000 RPM tachometer, its no doubt it will cost over a million dollars to purchase this vehicle today.

7. Shelby Cobra 427 (AC Cobra)

Original Price: $7,500

Current Value: $1,500,000 to $2,000,000

One look at the image, and it's clear that this car was definitely a sight for sore eyes. This coupe has become possibly one of the most classic sports cars in the US. The Shelby Cobra 427 even made an appearance in the film Ford vs. Ferrari in 2019, years after its initial debut. 

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National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

But rising to fame was the easiest part what took a bit more work was manufacturing. Carroll Shelby, the creator of the muscle car, explained why. He said it took quite a while to decide on the ultimate engine. In the end, he went with the now infamous Windsor 221-cubic inch, 3.6-liter V8.

6. 1965 Shelby GT350R

Original Price: $4,584

Current Value: $500,000 to $850,000

Another Shelby that appeared on our screens in Ford vs. Ferrari was the 1965 GT350R model. Most car devotees will probably recognize it more from something else. This vehicle was granted as being the first-ever Mustang to win first place in a vital race. 

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Instagram via @ovcmustangs

"The object of the Gt350 program was to beat the Corvettes in SCCA racing," explained the engineer, Chuck Cantwell. It accomplished more than just that, it went on to become the model that helped make the Shelby name known. Mustangs were and still are admired by most Americans.

5.1971 Shelby GT500

Original Price: $8,000

Current Value: $1,000,000

We've officially made it to the top five, starting off strong with the 1971 Shelby GT500. Another model from the company that achieved popularity by being in movie production. Gone in 60 Seconds featured the sports car, where they called it "Eleanor."

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With its film appearance, a 428 cubic inch engine, and 600 horsepower, the coupe will set you back around 1 million bucks in today's age. Even before its big Hollywood break, in the 1960-70s thousands of car fans wanted to ride this bad boy around town.

4. 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible

Original Price: $4,348

Current Value: $2,000,000 to $3,500,000

Being one of the rarest car collector's pieces, the Plymouth Hemi 'Cuba Convertible is valued at over 2 million to even 3.5 million dollars! Only 17 models of this classic muscle car were ever manufactured, even though it spend two years being produced.

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Flickr via Dominic Alves

This convertible coupe, of course, included a 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8 engine, hence the name. With its amazing performance abilities and timeless design, who wouldn't want to cruise down the streets with their hair flowing in the wind in this sweet ride.

3. 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

Original Price: Not sold to mass market

Current Value: $2,200,000

One of the greatest things about compact vehicles is their ability to drive at incredibly high speeds. This is exactly what the 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake was known for. This mighty car could be driven at 500 miles at the average speed of 142 miles per hour!

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Instagram via @wilwaxu

The sleek ride was initially developed as competition against other vehicles seen on the streets in the '60s. Shelby was successful since the compact car was extremely popular. In the modern-day, it's been named one of the most expensive Mustangs to ever be made. It goes for more than 2 million dollars.

2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Original Price: $6,600

Current Value: $2,400,000 to $3,300,000

Zora Arkus-Duntov helped create various different car models still beloved to this day. The European engineer was responsible for countless popular muscle cars. One of his most well-known works was with Chevrolet's Corvette L88 Convertible. The compact vehicle was the ultimate sports car.

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Assembled with a powerful 427-cubic inch big block engine, the automobile obviously ruled the race tracks. Both the performance and the design were top-tier. Sadly, only a couple of dozens of the models were produced, it quickly became a collector's item. To be someone that owns this Corvette, $3.3 million will need to be spent.

1. 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX2000

Original Price: Not sold to mass market

Current Value: $13,750,000

The first and arguably best muscle car was the 1962 creation of the Shelby Cobra CSX2000. What was it that made this model so special? Being the first Shelby Cobra ever made is one major reason, the specialty of that made this compact masterpiece worth millions.

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Instagram via @pienoir

In 2016, the iconic automobile was sold at an auction, for the high price of 13,750,000 dollars! With such a high value, this sale broke a record. The Cobra was named the most expensive vehicle ever sold in the US. Hopefully, the owner puts their money to good use and cruises around town flexing the car.