Ever since Ford created the first American automobile for the public, manufacturers in the States have worked tirelessly to improve their vehicles every single year. With this pursuit, come successes and failures. However, the ones that succeed become remembered for ages.
Unfortunately, the “best” muscle cars of today are often as rare as they are expensive. When sold in auctions, they can go anywhere from a hundred-plus thousand to millions of dollars. No wonder too, as those particular vehicles have a certain degree of history, pedigree, and a proven track record. To see an example of this, here are ten of the rarest muscle cars currently owned by collectors around the world.
10 2020 Ford GT Heritage Edition
From all the way back to the mid-twentieth century, Ford has been producing their GT models. Although, originally, they weren’t designated as GT, but GT40; the very same cars that fought against Ferrari at Le Mans. More recently, in 2016, Ford announced their newest supercar: A return of the Ford GT.
The GT had made its appearance before in 2004, but wasn’t nearly as impressive as the new one. To mark a special anniversary and acknowledge their GT40 roots, Ford announced the sale of a limited-edition Ford GT ‘Heritage Edition.’ It was eventually sold for $2.5 million with the proceeds going to charity.
9 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P
Many individuals dream of a successful career in racing, but few do it the way Mr. Shelby did it. To facilitate his love of cars and desire to race, he designed Shelby Cobras: Small ‘kit cars’ that were very fast and exceedingly lightweight.
Not only did the 289 have multiple wins, but it also had profound popularity amongst drivers. To this day, the original Shelby Cobras are very sought after. Many companies, nowadays, have sprouted up who specialize in making replicas of these same vehicles.
If you want to get a real one, though, be prepared to dish out a good bit of dough. Preferably more than a million, just to be safe.
8 Dodge Charger Daytona
You may feel like life has backed you into a corner at some points. Fear not, though, as it could always be worse. For example, you could be Dodge’s racing department in the late 60s. However, take notice of their response to difficulty, as the answer to their problems was the 1968 Dodge Daytona.
The Charger Daytona is one of the most famous NASCAR vehicles in existence. This was also back when racecars could be raced and then driven home the same night (The good ol’ days). The Daytona had a wild aero-package for the time and an ability to go over 200 M.P.H.: The first NASCAR vehicle to do so.
With its pointy and pronounced body style, racing success, and rarity, the Daytona quickly gained in value. Now, they easily sell for more than a million dollars.
7 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
Sometimes, the past seems like greener pastures, especially for car enthusiasts. The thought of a manufacturer like Ford making a drag-specific version of a normal town car is wild. In 1964, though, this proposition was a reality with the Fairlane Thunderbolt.
The Fairlane Thunderbolt was only made for that one year. In total, around one hundred versions were made when it was said and done. What caused its downfall, though, wasn’t poor sales or bad marketing, rather a change in the Super Stock racing rules; where the Thunderbolt was set to compete.
6 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1
During the late 60s, the Camaro was supposed to have a smaller engine. However, thanks to some a clever individual at a Chevrolet dealership, a Camaro with an aluminum 427-block engine was ordered, creating the first ZL-1.
At the end of the day, Chevrolet produced sixty-nine ZL-1’s. There were rumors of the ZL-1 having more than 500 horsepower, but nothing for sure. What is known, notwithstanding, is the price of an original ZL-1. Once, they were less than 10K but now go for more than 100 times that at auction.
5 Hemi Barracuda Convertible
Before the gas crisis swept through America, Plymouth was hard at work making large and powerful V8s. One of their best, at the time, was the Barracuda’s 426 Hemi. It was a pretty penny to get, but well worth it.
Since the car was expensive, not many bought them. As a result, they didn’t make many Barracudas with 426’s in them. Nonetheless, they made twenty-one convertible versions of the famous Cuda. Due to their limited number and rare engine, the Hemi Barracuda Convertible is easily one of the most unique and costly muscle cars out there.
4 1967 L88 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
Once again, it seems as though convertibles were an exceedingly rare luxury during the 60s and 70s. Few manufacturers made many of them, either because of price or customer preference. Regardless of the reason, Corvette was subject to this too as they only made a limited amount of convertible editions in 1967.
Like nearly every other Corvette at the time, the L88 (coupe and convertible) is a beautiful piece of machinery. The name “Stingray” fits so well with the C2’s sharp wedge and sleek figure. With all of these features combined with the few convertibles produced, a genuine L88 drop-top could set you back almost $2 million dollars.
3 Mustang Shelby GT500 ‘Eleanor’
After the famous Nicolas Cage movie, Gone In 60 Seconds, the Eleanor tuned version of Shelby’s Mustang GT500 soared in popularity. The Eleanor, to some, takes what Shelby did in 1967, and improves it even further.
Whether this is an improvement on the source material or not, the fact that the Eleanor is a successful and beautiful car can be agreed on by just about everyone. If you have a GT500 and want to give it the ‘Hollywood touch,’ then consider getting an Eleanor package/replica to scratch that itch.
2 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX 2000
It seems like Carroll Shelby can’t stay out of the limelight. His cars are world-renowned for a reason after all. What made Shelby what it is today, though, was their first-ever Cobra in the United States: The Cobra CSX 2000.
When it was created, a magazine called Sports Car Graphic (According to RMSothbys) called the CSX 2000 “one of the most impressive production cars we’ve ever driven.” Obviously, it had won over the consumers of the 1960s, as well as those today. When the CSX 2000 was last up for auction, it sold for a dream-shattering $13.75 million.
1 Ford GT40 Prototype
After getting absolutely creamed by Ferrari at Le Mans and every other racing series, Ford had finally had enough. They had tried to beat them before but were not successful until the creation of the Ford GT40, the precursor to the modern Ford GT.
Of course, to beat a giant like Ferrari at their own game, Ford was going to need a lot of money and a lot of testing. Several prototypes were built and a few actual GT40’s were made in the end. Evidently, the GT40 will be expensive, however, not as much as a Prototype that made it through testing.
There are two types of rare: GT40 rare and GT40’s surviving test model rare…