Classic Car Watch
Affordable Real Muscle Cars

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

September 1, 2008
By Scott Lewis

This month's cars started while looking at Premium Motor's we site. I saw a number of reasonably priced Muscle Cars. I thought I would continue looking for similar cars. I did get a little off track. There is a LeMans below with a 400 engine which should let it count as a Muscle Car even though it does not have GTO emblems. However, the term "correct date coded" for the engine tells me this car did not ship from the factory with a 400 engine. If it is an original 400 car with a replaced engine then it should qualify as a Muscle Car even without the GTO name.

I also included a Cutlass below with a 350. This too goes against the Muscle Car theme of an intermediate body with a big block engine. However this particular Cutlass does have the factory installed Ram Air. I really liked the style of this car with the Ram Air so I had to include it.

Let's see how many big block power cars we could find. Since the price of almost all these cars is well over this columns usual $15,000 budget, I brought back the NADA price listing. I am only showing the NADA Average Retail value of each car in case the asking price seems out of line we can quickly determine that.

1970 Road Runner - $25,995

Description: Powered by a stock 383ci V8 engine with automatic transmission. Finished in Purple Metallic with Black custom cloth interior. Equipped with Factory gauges, original fender tag, mag 500 wheels, CD player in glove box, hood pins, original glass, new carpet, power steering, excellent trunk/frame/floors, body is laser straight with little to no defects, paint looks great, and the Road Runner decals are perfect. Road Runners are becoming harder and harder to find. This RR is ready to be driven and taken to shows.

NADA Average Retail: $23,700

Source: Holt Auto Sales

Found: 8/3/2008

Comments: Another dust trail graphic on a 70 Road Runner. But this one is Plumb Crazy. When done right this is my favorite Mopar Muscle Car color. I couldn't help list the Plumb Crazy Road Runner first, even though its asking price was higher than its NADA value. I love this color.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 - $ 23,500

Description: I am offering you a numbers matching "REAL" 1969 Chevelle SS 396 that is super straight and in outstanding condition. This Arizona Chevelle is truly in turn-key condition that starts first time, every time plus can be driven anywhere. It has been used now primarily as a Show Car and has been garaged its entire life. Fathom Green with the Light Green bucket seat full center console interior with black vinyl top. The glass, stainless and chrome are all original and in super condition. This Chevelle SS is one solid classic ready to go. Factory air conditioning, rebuilt Turbo 400 automatic transmission, power steering, power disc brakes, AM/FM radio w/cassette, tinted glass, seat belts, spare tire & jack, aftermarket gauges, Tach, dual exhausts through Flowmaster Mufflers, Factory wheels w/beauty rings.

NADA Average Retail: $25,850

Source: Cactus Classics

Found: 2:56 PM 7/20/2008

Comments: A real Muscle Car for slightly less than NADA's Average Retail. How could I pass this up. I like the look of this car a lot. The A/C and center console cinch it for me. The ad was longer and mentioned some non stock items. I doubt they would matter, but if you were looking for something restored to stock this would need work to get it back to stock. This could make a great drive Muscle Car. Its value is going up, and as long and you keep the wear minimal it could be a fun car to enjoy when you can afford the gas.

This is probably the best buy here. It is a matching numbers Muscle Car priced below its NADA Average Retail price. That's something. This could make a decent investment if you are into that sort of thing.

1970 Plymouth Road Runner - $19,995

Description: 383, no rust, mint body and paint, power brakes. Drives like it looks.

NADA Average Retail: $23,700

Source: Premium Motors

Found: 7/20/2008

Comments: I love the dust trail graphics on this year Road Runner. With such a short description I am concerned about this car. Oh well, nothing a phone call can't take care of. A nice price if the NADA Average Retail is accurate. I mention that because they list a 2 door coupe and a 2 door hardtop. The cheaper one was listed at around $16K. I don't know how to tell them apart myself. So a little research would be necessary one this one. Otherwise another great looking drive Muscle Car when you can afford the gas.

This one comes after the Plum Crazy even though it is priced below NADA's Average Retail. Sorry, it is not Plumb Crazy. Also the description is so short I have to wonder about the car.

1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme - $14,995

Description: 350 with w-25 option (Factory ram air), Show quality Black paint and body. Excellent bucket interior, Tach and gages. Power Disk brakes.

NADA Average Retail: $8,350

Source: Premium Motors

Found: 7/20/2008

Comments: O.K. So this is not a real Muscle Car since it does not have a big block. But this car is equipped with the factory Ram Air hood that just looks awesome on this car. This hood made me like the Cutlass as much as the Chevelle back in the 80's. That's saying something for a die hard Chevy guy. Unfortunately NADA does not give credit for the Ram Air or show quality paint. Go carefully with the price here. It may fit in this column's $15K budget, that does not mean this car is worth it. If I did buy it I would add a full length console and air conditioning and drive the wheels off it.

I listed this one next because I see serious negotiation potential here. Plus this car would make a good driver with A/C. I would also consider modifications to improve mileage, such an fuel injection and overdrive transmission.

1967 Pontiac LeMans - $11,995

Description: The body and paint is stunning in its factory gulf turquoise color . The chrome, stainless and glass is in excellent condition. It has the correct date coded (xy) 1967 400ci 350hp engine that runs great. The interior is also in excellent condition, with no cracks or rips. Center console floor shift. There are no cracks in the dash and has the original radio (not working).

NADA Average Retail: $13,150

Source: Premium Motors

Found: 7/20/2008

Comments: Now this is our contradiction car. I assume it was possible to order a LeMans with a 400 engine. But they do not tell us that this is an original 400 car. I have to assume this was probably a 326 car and a swap was made. That's how I priced it on NADA, and apparently the dealers knows this as they kept it below NADA's Average Retail price for a car without a 400. So we have here a nice old car that should make for a fast driver at a reasonable price.

This car should be the burnout king of these cars, as much because of the big lock as the price. You can buy a lot of tires with the money saved buying this car instead of any of the others here.

1971 Plymouth Roadrunner - $25,000

Description: Matching Numbers 340 Engine, 727 Torqueflite Automatic Transmission, 3.90 SureGrip Rearend, Power Steering, Factory Tuff Steering Wheel, Factory Brocade Interior, Factory Air Conditioning, Factory Rallye Gauges, Factory 150 MPH Speedometer, Factory AM Radio, Remote Driver's Mirror, Factory Hood Stripes, Factory Strobe Stripe, Front Chin Spoilers, Rear Wing, Magnum 500 Wheels, Uniroyal Radials.

NADA Average Retail: $25,300

Source: Sportscar Gallery of Beaver Falls

Found: 8/31/2008

Comments: Now here's a perfect example of demand and its influence on value. This car is essentially the same as the Charger/Super Bee above. We did this one credit for having A/C with NADA, but the car was listed with an Average Retail price of $23,000 without the A/C. SO the Super Bee rates almost $5K less, just because it is a less popular body style. But they are right. I would take this car in a heartbeat over a 71 Charger.

1968 Dodge Coronet 500 - $18,995

Description: Factory 383, Factory bucket seats, New Black interior, Excellent body and paint, No Know rust. New Cragar wheels with new TA's. Flowmaster duel exhaust.

NADA Average Retail: $16,000

Source: Premium Motors

Found: 7/20/2008

Comments: Here's an example of the non Muscle Car Muscle Car. This is not a Coronet R/T or a Super Bee, but it does have the factory 383 big block. That makes it a real Muscle Car to me. They are asking a little more than Average Retail, but the car could be in better than average condition, so I can't complain without seeing the car in person.

1971 Dodge Charger SE 2 Door Hardtop - $21,500

Description: 383 c.i. 4BBL V8, #’s Matching Engine Block (#16101159), Automatic (727 Torque-flite), #’s Matching Transmission (#16101159), 8 3/4” Rear w/ 3.00:1 Gear Ratio, Power Steering, Factory A.C., Factory AM Radio, Correct Bright Blue Metallic Exterior (Paint Code: GB5), Correct Medium Blue Interior (Trim Code: E5B5), White Vinyl Top, Front & Rear Spoiler, Appears to be Original Fenders, Floors, & Quarters, Factory 15” Rallye Wheels, Raised White Letter Tires, Spare, Jack, & Tool, Only 73,XXX Actual Miles, Great Driving Charger SE!!

NADA Average Retail: $14,420

Source: Fast Lane Classic Cars

Found: 8/3/2008

Comments: I thought this was going to do better on NADA's Average Retail value. Oops! At least it is worth $30K at high retail. I am not a big fan of this body style, but life is ful of compromises. DO you want a Changer with a numbers matching big block. Then this is more affordable than the 68-70 versions.

1971 Dodge Charger/SuperBee - $25,000

Description: Original 383 Magnum/335 Horse Engine, Original 727 Torqueflite Automatic Transmission, Original 3.23 SureGrip Positraction Rearend, Power Steering, Deluxe Cloth & Vinyl Interior w/Wood Trim, Bucket Seats, Center Console, SlapStik Floor Shifter, Factory Rallye Gauges (150 mph Speedometer/Oil Pressure/Water Temperature/Ammeter), Dual Side Mirrors w/Remote, Front Chin Spoiler, Rear GoWing, Vinyl Top, Factory Stripes, Factory Rallye Wheels w/Radials.

NADA Average Retail: $18,600

Source: Sportscar Gallery of Beaver Falls

Found: 8/31/2008

Comment: I was surprised at this car's value on NADA. I expected it to e higher. Maybe the NADA guys don't understand that the Super Bee was put on the Charger for this year only. Anyway, I saw this car and had to include it.