A car should never be abandoned. There should be rules to prevent this type of behaviour. Old cars should be left in scrapyards to be recycled, but not all those cars deserve this treatment. These muscle cars with such a history behind them should not be left to rust in this way. However, there is a place called Old Car City, USA, whose owner, Walter Dean Lewis, loves to collect abandoned vehicles and honour their history. According to The Journal, back in 1931, his parents had opened a local shop that sold everything, including car parts. In the 1970s, the car collection contained only 40 vehicles, but Lewis thought it would be great to have as many old cars as possible because one day they will be worth something. Six years ago he decided it was time to stop selling parts and transform the whole deal into a museum. He now sustains his business by charging $25 for pictures of the cars and $15 for visitors that want to have a look. At the moment, the collection has got 4,000 classic cars situated on 32 acres of land, but the idea of a junkyard museum is priceless.
On the other hand, the abandoned cars in Japan tell a different story. According to Opposite Lock, the Japanese consider old cars bad and change them every six years if they are able to own a parking spot. They consider the car a fashion accessory as well as a mean of transport and this is one reason why they prefer to abandon them on the side of the road and go get new ones.
20 1977 Pontiac Firebird
As mentioned above, Japan is a place where one can find a lot of abandoned vehicles, but it seems that there are a few American muscle car junkyards with Camaros, Mustangs and a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, too.
The Pontiac was not in good condition, as can be seen in the picture, but it was repainted at one point in order to look like a special edition.
The unit under the hood was a 6.6-liter (403 cu in) judging by the fact that the car was equipped with an automatic gearbox. Another interesting option of the vehicle was the “T-top”, an amazing way to transform the car into a convertible, but not take away its structural rigidity, according to Heacock Classic.
19 1968 Dodge Charger
This 1968 Dodge Charger seems to have been abandoned for quite some time, judging by the branches, leaves and other tree parts that are resting peacefully on its hood and roof. The original green colour can still be seen here and there, but the car has definitely suffered an accident as can be understood from the front grille and dented chrome bumper. It is truly sad to see these type of cars in such a bad condition, keeping in mind the fact that they can be restored and they can still be used. This Charger is part of the trees now, part of the nature that surrounds it.
18 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
According to Hot Rod, this car is an original 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, with the proper Z/28 badges on the front and also on the rear. Unfortunately, it was not kept safe in a barn or in a garage.
The Chevy was found in the owner’s backyard along with a second disco-era Z/28 sitting next to it.
As the owner explained, the original DZ302 engine was not under the hood anymore because he had replaced it with a newer Chevrolet big-block unit taken from a truck. He did not have the time to finish the project and the vehicle’s trunk became a bee hive with time.
17 1983 Chevrolet Camaro
This 1983 Chevrolet Camaro, found in a junkyard from a San Francisco Bay Area, was the slowest one ever sold on the market, according to Auto Week. The hood was hiding an Iron Duke four-cylinder engine that delivered only 92 horsepower. The 1960-technology three-speed automatic transmission was a really bad choice, even for that engine. GM could have chosen the four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive for this model, but they preferred not to. Weighing 2,864 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio of this vehicle was approximately 31.1 pounds per horse that the engine had to offer. Despite this fact, it was able to outlive the Celicas and Accords from that period.
16 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
The Corvette is not considered a muscle car by definition, but it used muscle car powertrains so it has the right to be on this list. This 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible had a long time to collect dust before eventually going to market. One may wonder if these vehicles were ever taken care of in any way.
With so much dust on the car, it must not have been moved in a very long time, meaning the engine may have seized.
If not, we doubt anyone has started it to keep all the fluids running. Very sad that such an iconic car was rusting away in a garage.
15 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Getting back to Japan, more exactly to a junkyard or abandoned lot from Kurume City, Kyushu. This rusted 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, a ½ model to be more exact, can be seen in the first picture, next to the Pontiac Firebird from number 20. According to Motor Authority, the car was owned by a single person in US before it was exported to Japan for money. Verifying the numbers, they all matched except for a modification made to the final drive gearing. Unfortunately it was left to rust in a car graveyard, even if it could have been saved. Pointless.
14 1968 Ford Torino
This one was a rare find, according to Hot Rod. The 1968 Ford Torino was discovered in the hills of Tennessee. At the first glance, it seemed to be a Cobra model, but after taking a look under the hood, the car was more than just a Cobra. The oil cooler seemed to be part of a Drag Pack and this could have only meant one thing: the car was a Super Cobra Jet 428. With a hardtop, bench seats, 3.91 Traction-Lok 9-inch axles, ram air and a four-speed gearbox, this rare piece should not have been left in the bushes like that.
13 1969 Dodge Charger 440 R/T
The legendary 1969 Dodge Charger 440 R/T was equipped with a 6.9-liter engine that delivered 425 horsepower, according to Top Speed. The exterior changes made to this model in 1969 were a new front grill that had a central divider and the taillights that were longitudinal.
Being a muscle car with a powerful history, it should not be abandoned like this.
The original blue paint can be seen under the thick layer of dust. Somewhere along the way, this car has been restored once, but it seems that the owner had forgotten it at the moment. Too bad because others would love to drive it.
12 1979 Pontiac Trans Am
This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am was left on the side of the road to rust in peace, be abused and have parts stolen or sold from it, until 2017 when the owner decided it was time to sell it for not more and not less than $600. The exterior is damaged entirely, including Ethan’s signature on the left. The interior is missing, except the driver's seat that is in very bad shape, the V8 engine is rusted and no one can be sure it will start again without replacing a lot of parts. Not to mention that it cannot be moved because the tires are long gone.
11 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
This 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T has not been used since 1980, according to a video posted by two guys on You Tube. They have heard that the car was not far from their houses and went to have a look at it. The owner told them that he had it since he was still in high school, but never moved it since the ‘80s. He wanted to fix it one day, but that day never came. However, it can still be saved if someone wants to start buying almost all the parts to fix it and make it brand new. It still has the original wheels and exhaust tips.
10 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Three 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 models were found at a farm in Omaha, Nebraska, according to Muscle Car Days. One of them has been sitting outside, in warm and cold weather, for 30 years. This has become a classic tale: “Someday I will restore this car”.
In most cases, the cars end up being repaired by others or are simply left to rust in backyards and junkyards.
This is quite a waste. Fortunately, these three Mach 1 versions were bought by a man that wanted to restore them. One was used for parts for the other two because it was too damaged to be saved.
9 1964 Ford Mustang
Look at this 1964 Ford Mustang laying on the sand in San Elizario, Texas, abandoned and almost destroyed. Could one believe that it was for sale? According to Barn Finds, this rusted car was on sale on Craigslist with the “amazing” price of $2,000. The headlights and taillights were missing, the whole body was rusted, the interior was completely destroyed, the engine was missing a few parts and it looked horrible. Who could have the heart to abandon this kind of muscle car and let it end up in this bad shape only to post it for sale with such a huge price?
8 1969 Ford Torino Talladega
According to Car from UK, this was an awesome discovery in Texas. An incredibly rare 1969 Ford Torino Talladega 428 Cobra Jet was found in a barn, stored by the last owner for 30 years, until he passed away. He made a few adjustments and modifications to it: replaced the original bench with front bucket seats, replaced the original air cleaner with a chrome one, replaced the steering wheel and the center caps of all four wheels and added an Accel distributor. There was only a bit of rust on the rear of the deck lid along with some body damage on the right quarter of the car.
7 1970 Plymouth Superbird
According to Ryan Brutt, the Auto Archaeologist, a great part of a massive warehouse complex contains a lot of unique and rare muscle cars: Mercury Cyclone Spoilers, Ford Talladegas and a 1970 Plymouth Superbird. The last one from the list had a 4-speed gearbox and a 440 six barrel unit under the hood.
They were all left to rust side by side, in case they were feeling lonely.
In the video posted on YouTube, it seems that someone wanted to restore them at some point because the hoods and trunks were opened, but the Superbird is in a really bad shape meaning it was left aside.
6 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
The story of this 1967 Chevrolet Camaro is quite amazing actually. According to Steve’s Camaro Parts website, in 2014 he made a perfect muscle car deal with a neighbour he did not see or know since he had moved in that neighbourhood from Texas, approximately 13 years. One of his friends had a thing for Camaros, he knew how to track down hidden ones and this is how Steve had found out about a ’67 Camaro RS/SS without its engine that was kept in a barn in his area. After he made the call, he had found out that his unknown neighbour had it and he bought it in the end.
5 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was a special car, built specifically for the NASCAR race, according to Top Speed. It had an enormous “wing” spoiler placed on the trunk with a height of 58 inches and a huge aerodynamic nose. The engines mounted on these models were 426 HEMI units or 440 Magnum cid ones. According to Hot Rod, Alabama was the place where Charlie Lyons, a Dodge Daytona fan, had found this beauty from the picture, hidden in a barn. The car had only 20,000 miles on the dashboard and two owners in its entire life. Everything was in place, the numbers matched and it was one of the few Daytonas with a console, automatic transmission and bucket seats.
4 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Even if it is not considered a muscle car, the Corvette was an US performance vehicle for the past fifty years and it should be on this list. Who would have guessed that Google Street View can offer this impressive discovery: a rusted 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Split window coupe. The picture taken by a Google vehicle, which shows the vehicle sitting under a tree in Spokane, Washington, according to Jalopnik.
After a few phone calls, the owner was found, but he was not going to sell the vehicle.
It seems that he did not care of it, but in the same time he did not want to give it away for others to enjoy this amazing vehicle.
3 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396
According to Barn Finds, this car was found in Cave Creek, Arizona, in 2017 and it was also on sale on eBay for a price of $14,600. Incredible, but true, it was almost rust free, with only a few spots here and there. The climate was doing a great job for this car. The interior of the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396 was not in its best days and it needed a lot of work before it could be used again. Why let such a fine muscle car end up like this? It can still be saved, but the owner could have prevented this type of damage.
2 1969 Pontiac GTO The Judge
Here is the legendary 1969 Pontiac GTO The Judge, one of the rarest and most collectible muscle cars in history, according to Hot Rod. The true story of this vehicle states that the new owner that bought it more than 25 years ago wanted to keep it in a safe place until he restored it. He took it in a cow barn. Unfortunately, he had an out-of-state job and the car was forgotten. The cow manure, the rat excrements and the mud found on the car surely suggest that the owner will not start the restoration project very soon. However, owning such a car and keeping it like this is quite sad.
1 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The well-known and also legendary 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 fastback or Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds. However, this one is not even close to being compared with a muscle car that can be driven somewhere, anywhere or that can be restored at some point. According to Hot Rod, this yard art piece is situated in Georgia. At some point, it used to be lime green, but now it has green stuff coming out from the engine bay. The owner stated that the car was parked on that same spot for more than 20 years and that it used to be the Crazy Horse drag race car driven by Wayne Blackwood in Cumming, Georgia.
Sources: HotRod.com, TopSpeed.com, BarnFinds.com