One needs to look no farther than the latest high-line car auction to know that muscle cars are making a comeback. Collectors are paying more than ever for rare and restored cars from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Did you ever think of using a used car website, such as Bestride.com, to locate your four-wheeled gold mine of the future? Used car websites are the safest and most convenient method of locating that special car that no one else has, so that you can put in great condition and turn it over for a bundle of cash.
Here are ten of the most prized muscle cars among collectors and auctioneers.
The Wildcat was originally a subseries of the Buick Invicta but in 1963 it evolved into its own car-line with a hard-top coupe, hard-top sedan, and a convertible. Since the Wildcat is less common than traditional Camaros and Corvettes, it is popular at shows and cruise-in events. The 1964 Wildcat is best known for its optional 425 cubic-inch Wildcat V8 engine, which was specially tuned to deliver 340-horsepower using a single four-barrel carburetor or 360-horsepower from a “dual-quad” setup that featured 2-four-barrel carbs. This engine was also equipped with distinctive finned aluminum valve covers with the Buick logo attached. If you can locate a Wildcat, equipped with the 425 engine it would be a dandy starting point for a very profitable restoration.
This car pretty much speaks for “herself.” This is the one known an “Eleanor” in the film entitled “Gone in Sixty Seconds.” Nevertheless, many Mustang fans are oblivious to the factory KR label attached to cars equipped with the 428 Police Interceptor engine and unique Shelby high-rise intake manifold. The KR was short for “King of the Road’, because with (modestly under-rated) 335-horsepower the Cobra Jet engine, as it was called, was believed to be the ”cock of the walk” for Detroit production hardware of the era. As one of the most recognizable sports cars in history, it is a hit at any car event.
Cadillac style has always meant something extraordinary and never quite as much as during the waning years of the 1950s. Cadillacs of the late 1950s are remembered for their huge sharp tail fins, dual bullet tail lights, distinctive dual roof lines and roof pillar construction, and a new jeweled grille and deck-lid panel. The El Dorado became a car-line unto itself in 1959, with the Biarritz model as the center piece. It was powered by a huge 6.4-liter V8 engine that produced 345-horsepower (impressive for its day). Like most Caddillacs, the El Dorado featured “power everything” and to cruise in one of these beauties today, is to truly cruise.
What is a muscle car list without a GTO, huh? The 1965 model is a standout for several different reasons. First is the newly redesigned exterior. It is sleeker and more muscular than the 1964 model, with simulated hood scoops. Next, consider the 6.0-liter engine underneath the bonnet. It was available with a “three-deuce” setup that included 3-two-barrel carbs as factory equipment. The three deuce setup was rated at 360-horspeower and mated with the Muncie “Rock Crusher” M-22 manual transmission that could literally tear up the drag strip. Independent testing proved that the GTO could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8-seconds, with a quarter mile time of 14.5-seconds at a trap speed of 100-mph.
The Dodge Challenger is one of the most popular of the great retro-rides which are flooding the market today. These cars take their inspiration from the 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T model. This car has one of the most menacingly beautiful exteriors ever created. It has always been a mystery to me how a car can be intimidating and beautiful, simultaneously. The 1971 Challenger R/T looked intimidating and looks were not deceiving. Engine choices included a 383 cubic inch Magnum V8 rated at 335-horsepower, a 375-horsepower 440 cubic inch Magnum V8, a 390-horsepower 440 cubic inch engine with 3-two barrel carbs (called the ‘Six-Pack”), and a 425-horsepower 426 cubic inch Hemi V8.
The Buick Special is more of a cruiser then a racer. It features high sharp fins and it weighs enough for two cars but it has style that goes on for days and days. The sedan versions were some of the first four-door pillar-less automobiles ever produced. The Special was equipped with a 322 cubic inch V8 engine that only delivered 225-horsepower to the rear wheels but a larger 250-horsepower 364 cubic inch power plant was on the way for 1957. The Special was sold as a coupe, sedan, or a convertible. The convertible models with their bulging fenders, deeply etched lines, and sharp pronounced rear fender flares are the stuff of which legends are made.
Half car and half truck the Ford Ranchero is an automaker’s attempt at being all things to all people. Manufactured from 1957 through 1979, the Ranchero took the design features of whatever popular coupe was in production during a particular era. There are Falcon-Rancheros, Galaxie Rancheros, and LTD Ranchero models available. This particular model is based on the Galaxie and it is the most handsome of all the Ranchero designs. Because the ranchero shared a production line with the Galaxie and Torino models of this decade, it also shared in some legendary engines, as well. The 1968 Ranchero, for instance, was offered with the 428 Cobra Jet engine, and virtually any luxury amenity available on any Ford or Lincoln product. I told you it was beautiful.
The much maligned and often overlooked Buick muscle car is having its day, today so just bear with me. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but more of a continual offering and open to suggestions. This is a car that evolved from an ugly mass (1950s and 1961 through 1967) into a beautiful muscle car (1968 through 1974- little blip in 1970) and back into a enormous mess from 1975 until end of production in 1998. Nevertheless, the 1972 Buick Skylark was pretty, particularly when it had a big old honking 455 cubic inch big block churning away underneath the hood.
As possibly the most iconic muscle car in history, no drive in, cruise, car chow, or auction is complete without a ’57 Chevy. Again, tame in the horsepower by today’s standards (as most of these cars are) the Chevrolet Bel Air was produced continuously from 1950 until 1981. It reached its pinnacle during the years of 1055, 1956, and 1957, with ’57 being the stand-out year for collectors and enthusiasts.