5 Hottest Muscle Cars And Trucks, And Their Cheaper Alternatives

Dan Smith

Muscle cars are hot right now! The truth is they never really cool down. This is good news for those who already have their dream car, but not so great news for those looking to finally scoop up an example of pristine personal perfection.Chevelle, Challenger, Torino Big names such as have established immortal status, and prices are constantly rising. Haggerty said that in early 2022, rising demand and a decline in quality cars will see the value of famous muscle cars rise significantly. We have a few other muscle cars and trucks, let's call them MVP. RELATED: 10 Most Luxurious American Muscle Cars of All Time
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10/10 MVP: 1968-1972 Chevy NovaFront 3/4 shot of a parked yellow 1970 Nova with forest in the background

The king of Chevy muscle cars, the Chevelle is so popular that a rusty roller behemoth sells for $7,000 on Facebook Marketplace. That means a lot of interest has shifted to Chevy Nova, Chevelle's mini-me clone. The example above sold for $110,000 on Bring a Trailer, but there are still plenty of great Nova's out there with finished drivers for under $20,000. The supply of good restoration examples is dwindling, with prices on everything going down to 'I know what I got' Hulks dragged out of the woods. Many of these cars are drag cars It's been used as a rig and will need some re-tuning and gear before it becomes a comfortable daily driver or weekend cruiser. It's time to get a Chevrolet Nova.

9/10 The Alternatives: 1970-1977 Ford Maverick/Mercury Comet

1972 Comet Mercury
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A frontal 3/4 shot of a parked white and black striped 1972 Mercury Comet, against a backdrop of residential scrubland
The Ford Maverick and its sister Mercury Comet were produced from 1970 to 1977 and were successors to the slightly larger Ford Falcon of the '60s. Initially marketed as an in-line 6-cylinder only, the tried-and-true true 302 small block became an option from his 1971. The most desirable are Glover's Maverick and Comet GT options. 1971-1977 Glovers are easily identifiable by his VIN, but his original 1970 Glover is a little harder to identify, and can be done with a little research. These cars are easy to find as good drivers for under $10,000 with most units close to his $5,000-7,000 range. Mavericks are a great option if you want to see Nova looks at half the cost. Ford was able to keep the mini muscle car look until his 1977, even after the Nova lost its great line after his 1972. RELATED: 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

8/10 MVP: 1968-1972 Chevrolet C10

1969 Chevrolet C10 Pickup
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Front 3/4 shot of a parked Fleetside Silver 1969 Chevy C10 restomod
As major muscle car players begin to dry up, muscle trucks have taken their place. King of muscle trucks is the 1968-1972 Chevy C-10. The short bed Fleetside model is the most popular and most expensive option. Bringing these beasts back has become the name of the game and has pushed the price up to his low $80,000 range. Depending on how much work the buyer is willing to do, you can find loose change as an example. (The author's 1970 Stepside, titled Racetrack Project, was purchased for just $3,500!) Thanks to companies such as Auto Metal Direct, nearly all sheet metal is now complete units or patches Available as a panel. Finding a quality short bed unit is getting harder and harder, but aftermarket support has created a conversion kit to help you convert your cheap long bed to a short bed over the course of a weekend. If so, the C10 is a great investment and a door to the world of muscle cars.

7/10 Alternative: 1972-1979 Dodge D Series

1979 Dodge Lil Red Express
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Side shot of a parked 1979 Lil' Red Express
Other manufacturers, from Falcon to Nova, tend to be a little behind General Motors, as these third-generation D-trucks are doing to the C10. Like Dodge muscle cars, these trucks had some fun names. Li'l Red Express, Warlock and Adventurer pop out at you and make him one more fun with classic Muscle his truck. These D-series trucks from Dodge don't have as many cab corner and door rust problems as the Chevrolet C10, but they seem to have less. Search the Facebook Marketplace and Bring a Trailer and you'll find many good examples, from survivor trucks to very solid builders, which usually cost about half as much as a similar C10. RELATED: 10 Reasons The Oldsmobile Rallye 350 Gets More Value

6/10 MVP: Chevrolet C3 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette
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1969 Corvette, parked blue front 3/4 shot with white top convertible
The third generation of the Chevrolet Corvette, often called the Stingray, covers model years from 1968 to 1982. The C3 has had three separate era cars within the family. It is a chrome bumper car sold as a model from 1968 to 1972. 1973-1977 was a transitional period and saw the demise of chrome his bumpers and the start of composite fronts and rears. The last of the generation ran from 1978 to 1982 and can be easily spotted by the 'whale window' which replaced the vertical windshield of earlier years giving it a hatchback look. Many C3s can actually be found for under 1000, but don't be fooled by the fact that they are cars you don't want to invest in. Most of the lower priced examples I found have major problems within the "birdcage" that holds the windshield. And give the guest room its structure. These regularly rot, allowing water to seep into the body mount area and make the connection of the body to the frame questionable. It can reach 10,000 and take years. Birdcage rot has made a clean, solid example reach stratospheric heights and become unappreciated by most car enthusiasts. Trailer show sales regularly hit his six figures, topping him at $631,000!

5/10 Alternative: Opel GT

Silver 1972 Opel GT
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Frontal three-quarter shot of a parked Silver 1972 Opal GT
These diminutive sports cars are often called poor man's Corvettes because they look so much like the C3. The Opel GT loses the muscle part of his C3 muscle sports car, but makes up for it with style and uniqueness. This car was in production from his 1968 to 1973, with over 100,000 on the market, making it a rarer car than the C3, but a much more affordable car. Bring a Trailer's equivalent top-seller scooped for just $35,000, so you can get the Vette look and feel for a lot less. Being a unibody car means you don't have to worry about birdcages rotting under a clean veneer, but having the body metal instead of fiberglass means more room for rust. To do. The rest of the examples are mostly fully restored or in need of a full restoration bin, so be prepared to spend between $5,000 and $20,000 on a really nice unit. You can easily find someone in need of restoration for $500. For those looking to add some of that muscle, many hot rod examples like the one pictured above are built around spicy drivetrains from modern cars like the Mazda Miata. waiting. RELATED: 10 Weirdest Things You Should Know About the Dodge Coronet

4/10 MVP: 1969-1973 Ford Mustang

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
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Parked 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 frontal 3/4 shot with white and black stripes
At the time, Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers weren't considered muscle cars. They fell into their own "ponycar" class. They fall firmly into muscle car territory, but now it's a day. This generation Mustang disappeared in 60 seconds When John Wick and the lack of production interruptions that other pony cars have felt. Rare instances have traded for as high as $350,000 or more, while a clean driver's car runs from about $20,000 to his over $50,000. In the example above, he won $72,500 at the Bring a Trailer auction. Popularity has driven the prices of these cars to a point where solid rollers with 90% of the car covered in surface rust cost him over $7,000. If you don't have a lot of money or a desire to build from a dubious start, you may just be out of luck.

3/10 Alternative: Original Mercury Cougar

Maroon 1970 Mercury Cougar
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1970 Mercury Cougar, parked deep maroon front 3/4 shot
The 1967-1970 Mercury Cougar is a great example of brand competition done right. Despite sharing the same basic platform as the Mustangs of yesteryear, the Cougar stands out on its own thanks to its slightly longer wheelbase and its own seat metal. It's refreshing for the trend of the time to change little between its own brands the cougar isn't the offspring of cousin kisses like the chevrolet camaro and pontiac firebird his platform shares are hot old Appears as a cousin. RELATED: 10 Things To Know About The Forgotten Ford Torino Talladega

2/10 MVP: 1970-1974 Dodge Challenger/Plymouth Barracuda

1970 Dodge Challenger
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Front 3/4 shot of a parked orange 1970 Dodge Challenger
Built on the Chrysler E body, the Challenger and Barracuda are other examples of pony cars turned into muscle car phenomena. You might be able to find some odd E-bodies for around $20,000, but anything below that is likely to require at least some work. The example above outperforms the other end of the spectrum sold for over $500,000 in 2022. The Barracuda was just a tad smaller and had a lower level of trim, but in the same driver example he gets an entry point of over $20,000. Less than 270,000 of these two iconic muscle cars were produced in total, making them increasingly difficult to find.

1/10 Alternatives: 4th Gen Dodge Dart/Plymouth Duster

1968 Dodge Dart
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Front 3/4 shot of an orange 1968 Dodge Dart
In the Chrysler family, a cheaper alternative to the Challenger was the Dodge Dart, which appeared from 1967 to 1976. From 1970 to his 1976, Plymouth Duster participated in the fray and completed the work. A-Body Dart and Duster are other popular drag racing his platforms like Chevy Novas built to compete. Like many Chryslers of the era, it was offered in a truly unique trim level that set it apart from other models produced by the Big 3. Names like Demon, Swinger, Sizzler, and Valiant Scamp really captured the imagination. These cars are readily available at around $10,000 for him, and the hefty sale price is only $80,000 for him. These aren't as big of a value as the Challenger or Barracuda, but they don't easily get their place as entrants into the muscle car world.