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August 18, 2014

Classic American Muscle: Cars that Keep Their Value

The phrase “muscle car” more than likely conjures up images of cars manufactured in the United States that were synonymous with providing owners with high-performance. For the fans of these elite machines, the vehicles represent a subculture that includes roaring engines and high speeds. Not surprisingly, vintage collectors typically own at least one of these era-specific autos, which invariably affects the value and price.

1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda

Manufactured by Plymouth beginning in 1964 and based on the Valiant, the Barracuda was continually overhauled until the 1971 models no longer resembled the original concept design. The exception was the inclusion of the 426 Hemi engine. The new version donned a shaker hood scoop and a wide body. The exterior design was well-proportioned and the available colors, trims and transmission packages varied. The vehicle’s name also became known simply as “Cuda.” The cost of the car combined with insurance expenses restricted manufactured numbers to approximately 119 units. The power under the hood meant that the car capably finished the quarter mile in around 13 seconds, which adds to the attraction of the Cuda today. This classic car is valued at anywhere from $425,000 to $2,000,000.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-454 LS6

Equipped with a powerful big-block 409 V-8 engine, the ’70 Chevelle was considered a beast. Though the engine was rated at 450 hp, most believe that the actual performance rating was actually between 470 and 500hp. The forward-thrusted front end remains the most easily recognized feature accompanied by the bold, chrome SS badge on the black-out grill. The most valuable versions of the vehicle feature a 4-speed transmission, Rally wheels and a factory installed 8-track player. Today, the Chevelle SS is valued at anywhere from $75,000 to $369,000.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV

The GTO was considered the first muscle car when it was originally introduced in 1964. By 1970, Pontiac had to make major improvements in order to compete with the vehicles making an appearance in competitor showrooms and on the streets. Out of the factory came the 1970 GTO Judge. Equipped with the Ram Air IV engine, the 400 cubic inches of V-8 power was complete with high-flow heads. The new design also featured unique exhaust manifolds. Consumers additionally had the option of purchasing the vehicle with luxury interior packages. Currently, the GTO Judge is priced anywhere from $80,000 to $205,000.

1968 Shelby GT 500KR 

Ford Motor designer, Carroll Shelby, was responsible for the now iconic Shelby GT. Not only did he design the cars, but rumors include that he derived an equal amount of pleasure from racing his creations. Initially producing cars in his own shop, Shelby combined efforts with Ford in 1968 with the GT 500 King of the Road. He believed that this Mustang was the most appealing and capable of all the vehicles that he ever designed. Only 933 coupes were manufactured, along with 318 in convertible models. Equipped with 428 cubic inch V-8 engines, the Shelby today has a value of between $130,000 and $190,000.

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