Muscle cars are monsters on the road, and that is a good thing. They are kings of the highway because of their top-notch performance and sexy looks that definitely make heads turn when they drive by. Since muscle cars have made a name for themselves, many people dream of having them. Even older muscle car models are highly sought-after not only because of the power they offer but because of their distinct appearance and utmost durability. It seems that older muscle cars, which most call vintage, can stand the test of time. Hence, during auctions, you can still see classic muscle cars that get sold with enormous price tags. Furthermore, older muscle cars are considered rare. They are like gems in the smorgasbord of new yet less appealing cars in the market.
There is a certain kind of sophistication that you get when you drive a rare muscle car. Hence, if you want to get your hands on one, you should be ready for some serious spending. Here are 15 of the most expensive muscle cars that are worth the money. Not only are these expensive but most of them are hard to find. So you can be sure that if you have one, it is likely that you are the only one (or there is just a few of you) owning such car.
15. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster ($779,100)
The Shelby Cobra nameplate is considered as a fleet of rare vehicles. Moreover, the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster is even rarer than the other models. This muscle car was manufactured in England. It is a unique car that many considered as a masterpiece because of the iconic inscription on its door that says, “One of the rarest CSX3301 Carroll Shelby.”
It was initially purchased by Mr. Franck, a local from France. After getting passed between several owners, the 427 Roadster was sold for a steep price at a Mecum Auction in 2013. This was after some major restoration done on this muscle car.
14. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 ($825,000)
The 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 is a rare muscle car known not for its looks alone but for what is inside it. This car carries an engine that was made available only for two years between 1967 and 1969. Hence, a car like this one is hard to come by. Even if you find something similar, if it has passed through a major overhaul, it might not be carrying the aforementioned rare engine anymore. So, it is important to check its engine if you are looking to buy one and it comes with a high price tag.
The one sold at an auction in 2013 was rarely used. It only clocked in around 20,000 miles. Due to its infrequent use, it did not need any major restoration and it was sold at an auction for $825,000 with the original bill of sale still intact.
13. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 ($880,000)
Another L88 that was sold with a huge price tag and which is a year younger than the previous Corvette L88 mentioned. Apparently, this was more difficult to find, which is why its price was jacked up a bit to $880,000 compared to the $825,000 L88 from the 1969 model year.
Just how rare is the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88? The automaker built only 80 examples of this muscle car. The one sold for $880,000 only runs 13,000 miles. Since this car was not used frequently, it felt like buying a new car even if it was decades old. It was not driven a lot because this unit was mostly used for demos. Hence, they were able to preserve it, including the original user’s manual and other documents, making it an expensive piece of metal and rubber.
12. 1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona ($900,000)
At the 2017 Mecum Auto Auction, the 1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona was sold at a whopping $900,000. Almost priced at a million dollars, this iconic muscle car is well-known for its outlandish rear wing spoiler. You can easily spot it just by seeing its high-rise spoiler. Moreover, it carries that sharp nose front that defined muscle cars for the Dodge brand.
Still considered fresh, the original quality of the 1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona was kept. The car only clocked a little over 6,000 miles. Due to its low mileage, it kept its engine in mint condition. Hence, its price tag was jacked up to reach almost a million dollars.
11. 1965 Shelby GT350 R ($984,500)
When it comes to auction listings of expensive cars, there were two 1965 Shelby GT350 R that were found. Both of the cars were sold. The other one had a higher auction price when it was sold at $990,000.
Both muscle cars were expensive because they are fast and rare. The 1965 Shelby GT350 R is a lineup so rare that it is the only one that came out directly from the Shelby line. Back during its heyday, you could have purchased the car from Ford and brought it straight to the race track. Moreover, due to its sheer power, it is also an award-winning muscle car.
10. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ($1,000,000)
Sold at a million dollars during the 2013 Mecum Auction, this Camaro ZL1 is considered as a rare collectible. This muscular piece of machinery may appear bulky but it is complemented well by a powerful engine, making it fast. Although it looks huge, this car is constructed using aluminum. Hence, it is extremely lightweight, which is why you can drive it at a high speed.
It is a rare muscle car because Chevrolet released only 69 units of this car into the wild. At present, there are even fewer units remaining. It makes sense that it is an expensive muscle car because of its features yet it is difficult to come by.
9. 1966 Shelby Cobra Roadster ($1,000,000)
Another classic muscle car worth a million bucks, this roadster is expected to be expensive. Carrying the name Shelby Cobra, you can be sure that getting this car requires a huge price tag. This muscle car may be about half a century old but they were able to auction it for $1,000,000 because it passed through significant restoration to meet Shelby Cobra standards of the past.
Basically, this car is like a time machine, carrying the amazing specs of the past into the future. So, if you are a die-hard fan with the patience of a saint, you might be able to hunt down one of these for yourself when it becomes available. Granted you have a million dollars to spare of course.
8. Eleanor GT500 Replica ($1,000,000)
The ‘Eleanor’ car was made and customized specifically for the filming of the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. The car was based on the GT500 but was modified to make it look and feel more powerful. There were many units made, however, most of them were for aesthetic use only and don’t have an engine underneath. The working ‘hero car’ though became so iconic that it was even sold at an auction. At the Mecum Auction, people were surprised when bidding for the Eleanor car began. The price began to soar until the auction ended and the lucky bidder was able to bring the muscle car home for a price of one million dollars.
7. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 427 LS6 ($1,150,000)
One the finest Chevelles and definitely one of the muscle cars in high demand among collectors, the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 427 LS6 comes at a steep price. Apparently, in an auction, one rare unit of this car was purchased at $1,150,000.
Why is it so expensive? Because it is extremely rare. Chevrolet released only 20 examples of this car with an LS6 427 engine roaring under the hood. Moreover, the car sold at the auction was priced as such because it refurbished professionally in 2013 to meet the original standard. After a few verifications, the car was proven legit so it was bought for over a million dollars.
6. 1967 Shelby GT500e Super Snake ($1,300,000)
Sporting a contemporary vibe in a classic muscle car, the 1967 Shelby GT500e Super Snake is another pricey auction car. There was a time when a unit of this muscle car was auctioned at $1,300,000, making it one of the priciest Mustangs ever sold. Initially, it was planned that 50 examples were to be released into the wild. However, only one ever made it out of production.
Back in the day, the Super Snake was only used for racing. After becoming a decorated muscle car, it became street legal. Although only one was produced, technically, people who wanted to buy it could have asked the dealerships back then and more could have been produced.
5. 1970 Hemi Cuda Convertible ($2,000,000)
The first of the two expensive Hemi Cudas sold during an auction, this one came with a price tag of two million dollars. Although convertibles were not very famous during the 70s, it gradually earned its popularity. Soon, many people found it cool, and more wanted to own it. We don’t blame them, just look how slick this car looks!
This specific car was almost preserved in terms of quality, which is why it came at a high auction price. On record, the car only ran 19,000 miles. Although it was over 50 years old, it was kept in tip-top shape.
4. 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible ($2,200,000)
A true blue classic, the 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible was popular muscle car then and is one now. During its launch in the 70s, it instantly became a high demand car of that generation. Due to its extreme fame, car enthusiasts and collectors of today still dream of having this in their garage.
An extremely rare vehicle, Plymouth built only 11 units of this muscle car. It is only with extreme luck (and loads of money) can you get a car like this. A super lucky car collector got their hands on this car by spending $2,200,000 at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson auction. Although they were lucky at that time, they became unlucky during the next auction because the price for it dropped in the next auction and the same car was bought at only $1,320,000.
3. 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible ($2,250,000)
This expensive muscle car was originally for Chrysler’s lead designer, John Herlitz. He was popular for creating the iconic Barracudas for the car maker. At a young age of 27, he was able to disrupt the motoring scene with the Barracuda. As a reward, he was to have his own Hemi Cuda.
Due to the story of this car, it was sold at a high price at the 2016 Mecum Auction. Bidders fought for it because it was originally owned by a Chrysler icon. In the end, the highest bidder got it at $2,250,000.
2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 ($3,200,000)
The 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 is one of the most expensive muscle cars ever purchased at an auction. In one purchase, the winning buyer got it for $3,200,000. This was during the 2013 Mecum Auction where many buyers fought hard for it.
Looking back, Chevy produced only 20 units of the 1967 Corvette L88. Due to this, this muscle car is difficult to find at present. An original version of this car is virtually impossible to find. Hence, when one becomes available, especially during auctions, many car collectors fight for a price just to bring it home.
1. 1971 Chrysler Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible ($3,500,000)
The most expensive muscle car ever sold at an auction is the 1971 Chrysler Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible. This muscular metal beast was auctioned by Mecum Auto for $3,500,000. The purchase was done in 2014.
Plymouth released such a powerful car with a 426/425 hp V8 engine, making it a classic powerhouse on the road. It is super expensive because only one remains in existence today. Hence, the owner of this car today is the only person who has such beauty. Aside from being the most expensive muscle car that has been auctioned, it also made a record as the most expensive vehicle from the Chrysler production line.
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