The 10 Best Muscle Cars of All Time

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American muscle cars remain among the most powerful and stylish in the automobile industry–and for good reason.

If you’re a classic car collector who’s shopping for the best muscle cars to add to your collection, you won’t want to overlook these treasured American classics.

If you already own a classic muscle car, you may wonder: What is its value in the trending market?

Whatever the case, see which vehicles are taking the crown as the 10 best muscle cars of all time (After all, you might just find the model you own featured on this list).

Muscle cars are a specific type of American-made car, typically defined by high-performance V8 engines and 2-door, rear-wheel drive. Their handling capabilities, designs, and acceleration made them stand out, leaving a lasting impression on classic car collectors.

These cars have had significant roles in popular culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and music videos. Their presence in the media has helped solidify their status as iconic symbols of American automotive history.

Top 10 Muscle Cars of All Time

1. 1964 Pontiac GTO

  • Engine: 6.4-liter (389 cubic inches) V8
  • Horsepower: 325 
  • Transmission: Three-speed manual or optional four-speed manual
  • Torque: 428 lb-ft
  • Price: $50,000 to over $100,000

The 1964 Pontiac GTO marked the birth of the muscle car era and remains an emblematic figure in automotive history. Its design blends elegance and aggression, capturing attention with its distinctive bodywork. The Pontiac GTO was the catalyst that introduced the concept of a high-performance, mid-sized car to the masses.

2. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

  • Engine: 7.4-liter (454 cubic inches) V8
  • Horsepower: 450
  • Transmission: Three-speed automatic or four-speed manual
  • Torque: 500 lb-ft
  • Price: $50,000 to $100,000 

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6, nicknamed the “King of the Streets,” made history with its powerful engine and stunning design. It was a force to be reckoned with on the drag strip in the golden era and is highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors today. The Chevelle Super Sport’s performance and design made it a worthy rival to other muscle cars of its time.

3. 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

  • Engine: 7.0-liter (426 cubic inches) Hemi V8
  • Horsepower: 425
  • Transmission: Three-speed automatic or optional four-speed manual
  • Torque: Around 490 lb-ft
  • Price: $150,000 to over $500,000

Few cars from the golden age have left as much of an impact on motorsports as the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, a true NASCAR legend. Its unique nose cone, rear stabilizer wing, and a top speed of over 200 mph made it a formidable force on the racetrack. 

4. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback

  • Engine: 7.0-liter (429 cubic inches) Boss 429 V8
  • Horsepower: 375+ 
  • Transmission: Four-speed manual
  • Torque: Around 450+ lb-ft
  • Price: $200,000 to over $300,000 

The 1969 Mustang Boss stands out as a limited production icon. Built to homologate the 429 semi-hemispherical engine for NASCAR racing, it was one of the rarest Mustangs ever made. Its NASCAR-style forged internals, minimal emissions equipment, and high compression ratio made it a competitive racing car.

5. 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

  • Engine: 7.0-liter (426 cubic inches) Hemi V8
  • Horsepower: 425
  • Transmission: Four-speed manual or optional three-speed automatic
  • Torque: 490+ lb-ft
  • Price: over $1 million 

The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda boasts a powerful 426 Hemi engine and an eye-catching design. Its engine with dual 4-barrel carburetors offers incredible power and performance. Also, the lively design of the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda has cemented its position in American muscle car history.

6. 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R 

  • Engine: 5.2-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 526 
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Torque: 429 lb-ft
  • Price: $50,000 – $70,000

The 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R delivers exceptional power and stands out for its remarkable track-honed engineering. Its magnetic suspension system and carbon-fiber wheels contribute to an agile and responsive ride, elevating the driving experience. 

Save up to $1,200/year on car storage

7. 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 

  • Engine: Supercharged 6.2-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 807 
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Torque: 717 lb-ft
  • Price: Starting around $85,000

The focus of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 on drag racing prowess is what sets it apart from other top muscle cars. Engineered for the drag strip, this 2023 Dodge Challenge SRT Demon 170 is lauded for its widebody construction and optimized launch system. This specialized design caters to adrenaline-seeking drivers aiming for unparalleled acceleration and quarter-mile supremacy.

8. 1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

  • Engine: 5.0-liter (305 cubic inches) TPI V8
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Transmission: Four-speed automatic or five-speed manual
  • Torque: Around 275 lb-ft
  • Price: $10,000 to $30,000

The 1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, an icon of the ’80s, is a testament to the producer’s commitment to performance and style. What truly set the IROC-Z apart was its role in popularizing tuned port injection (TPI) technology, enhancing fuel efficiency and performance. 

9. 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

  • Engine: 6.6-liter (400 cubic inches) V8
  • Horsepower: 200 
  • Transmission: Three-speed automatic or four-speed manual
  • Torque: Around 325 lb-ft
  • Price: $20,000 to $40,000

The 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am has an iconic appearance that hinges on its shaker hood and prominent (and almost instantly recognizable) “screaming chicken” decal. Its solid handling and distinctive exhaust note complement the car’s performance. 

10. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Engine: 7.0-liter (427 cubic inches) all-aluminum V8
  • Horsepower: 500+
  • Transmission: Four-speed manual
  • Torque: 450 lb-ft
  • Price: over $500,000

The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has an all-aluminum engine developed specifically for drag racing. The incorporation of lightweight aluminum components drastically enhanced its performance, resulting in blistering acceleration and unmatched power. Its rarity and performance make it a crown jewel in the league of classic cars.

In Summary

Muscle cars have a promising future as electric power and cutting-edge technology develop at race-track speeds. Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro and Ford’s Mustang Mach-E stand among the best muscle cars, thanks to their electric power source that allows them to perform at new levels.

If you love muscle cars, you may have considered adding a few to your collection. But before you do, you’ll need the right storage space. Don’t let the misconceptions fool you; it’s possible to own a classic car without a garage. All you’ll need to do is rent a storage facility to protect it from theft and inadequate climate conditions. 

If you need help storing your muscle car, Neighbor, a self-storage marketplace, provides safe, nearby, and budget-friendly storage spaces for vehicles of any size.

People Also Ask 

What Was the Most Powerful Muscle Car?

The 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda is often considered one of the strongest and most iconic muscle cars ever built. It featured a massive 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 engine with about 425 horsepower. 

What Is the Most Sold Muscle Car in the US?

The Dodge Challenger holds the title for the most sold muscle in the United States, dethroning the Ford Mustang. Over 54,000 units of Dodge Challenger were sold in 2022.

What Is the Most Desired Classic Muscle Car?

A few models consistently rank high in terms of desirability include:

  • 1969 Dodge Charger 
  • 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
  • 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda
  • 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
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