9 Muscle Cars Nobody Wanted 50 Years Ago… Today They’re Worth A Fortune

Shirley Beal

It’s no secret that used car prices are up, especially within the classic car market. It’s also no secret that classic American muscle cars absolutely dominate the market and are worth a fortune to collectors and racers alike. Would you be surprised to learn that Chrysler dominates the segment though? Or that economy-brand Plymouth owns the title of most expensive muscle car? Or about the first classic muscle car to be sold for over a million dollars?

Get ready to call your bank and take out a loan, mortgage the house, and claim the inheritance from your uncle. Here are 9 muscle cars nobody wanted 50 years ago that are now worth a fortune.

Related: This Rare 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible Gets The Engine It Deserves

9 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible – $3.5 Million

1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible
 via Mecum Auctions

No surprise the ’71 Hemi Cuda is here. Only 108 ’71 Hemi ‘Cudas were ordered, 7 of which were convertibles, according to Mecum. Making it one of the rarest muscle cars, and the first to sell for over a million at auction.

1971 saw a massive sales slump for the ‘Cuda, going from a little over 50,000 units sold in 1970 to just over 16,000 in 1971. Nonetheless, the ’71 Hemi Cuda Convertible is worth $3.5 million, making it one of the most expensive classic muscle cars.

8 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Coupe – $533,000

1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda in white front third quarter view
Mecum Auctions

As previously mentioned, only 108 1971 ‘Cuda coupes with the 426 HEMI were ever sold; making it also one of the rarest American muscle cars. It’s aggressive looks also make it one of the most intimidating muscle cars ever made.

Classic.com states that the average market value of a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Coupe over the last 5 years is a resounding $533,000!

7 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T Convertible – $2.5 Million

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT Convertible Cropped (1)
Via mecum.com

Like its Plymouth cousin, the 1970 Challenger proved to be a popular pony car, but only 1,070 buyers optioned their Challenger convertible with the high performance R/T package. Furthermore, only 9 ordered their R/T Convertible, and only 4 of those ordered them with automatic transmissions.

Today, Mecum estimates the 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T Convertible to be worth $2-2.5 million. We bet more people wish they ordered one before they were worth seven-figures! What’s not to love about the 1970 Dodge Challenger?

Related: Classic Dodge Challenger And Detroit Legend ‘Black Ghost’ Is Going Up For Sale

6 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible – $2.25 Million

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible - $2.25 Million
Via Mecum

As we mentioned earlier, the 1970 ‘Cuda was a hit, selling over 50,000 units in its first year on the e-body platform. Surprisingly, though, only 9 convertibles were ordered with a ‘Hemi and 3-speed automatic.

Mecum now appraises the 1970 Plymouth ‘Hemi Cuda Convertible between $2.5-3 million, though we think this estimate is a little high and sits more around the $2.25 million mark.

5 Small Fortune: 1969 Dodge Dart GTS – $40,400

1969 Dodge Dart GTS parked on a dirt road
via BaT

The Dodge Dart GTS is a badass American classic that no one wanted 50 years ago. The Dart was sold as a bare-bones economy car for grandma to take to church and back. So it is no surprise they could only convince 6,700 buyers to buy a high-performance version of their compact economy car.

Hagerty appraised this once undesirable economy car at $40,400! That’s nearly 15-times what the original asking price of a 1969 Dodge Dart GTS was in 1969! Today, the Dart is one of the most popular muscle cars on the market due to such a low bar of entry.

Related: Here’s How Much A 1969 Dodge Dart GT Costs Today

4 Small Fortune: 1969 Ford Torino Cobra – $110,000

1970 FORD TORINO COBRA in red front third quarter view
Via: Mecum Auctions

The Torino Cobra was cast under the shadow of the Dodge Charger 500 throughout most of the muscle car era, but now buyers are flocking over this piece of Ford history. Only 3,768 were built according to Hemmings.

Classic.com estimates an average value around $39,00, but some have gone on to sell for $110,000. Mecum estimates a mint conditon Torino Cobra could sell for upwards of $120,000 at auction if equipped with some rare options.

3 Small Fortune: 1970 Dodge Coronet 500 Convertible – $80,000

1970 Dodge Coronet 500 Convertible parked in a parking lot
via Barrett-Jackson

The Coronet was Dodge’s intermediate-sized offering throughout the 1960s and 1970s, competing with the Ford Fairlane and Chevrolet Malibu. Many didn’t see the point in buying the Coronet 500 when the Super-Bee and Charger were both offered, though.

Only 924 Dodge Coronet 500 Convertibles were sold in 1970, making it one of the rarest Mopars of the era. Such limited production cars come at a premium, though, with one selling at Mecum for $80,000 last December.Related: “Graveyard Carz” Restores 1-Of-2 Hemi 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible

2 Small Fortune: 1969 Ford Torino Talladega – $72,100

1969 Ford Torino Talladega parked in front of the owners garage
via BaT

The Torino Talladega is a hidden gem in Ford’s 1969 lineup, often forgotten about because of greats like the Mustang Boss 429 and Falcon. No one is quite sure how many Torino Talladegas are in existence, but Hagerty puts the number at only 700.

Hagerty also values the Torino Talladega at $72,100 in good condition, but a pristine condition Torino Talladega could easily be worth six-figures. If you can get your hands on one of the 700 floating around, you’d have a truly special piece of American muscle car.

1 1970 American Motors Rebel Machine – $132,500

AMC Rebel Machine
via: Mecum

The AMC Rebel Machine may be the most muscular car of the 1970s, with a loud and proud 390 cubic-inch V8, patriotic paint scheme, and brawny styling. AMC could never keep up with GM, Chrysler, and Ford sales though, resulting in only 2326 ever being produced according to Classic.com.

Classic.com appraised the AMC Rebel Machine at $132,500 for a nice example, although this is a bit higher than what they typically go for. This is easily one of the coolest cars AMC ever made.

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