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Hagerty Employee

10 monster muscle machines crossing the block this January | Hagerty Media

For muscle car fans, the auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona and Kissimmee, Florida that happen each January are all but a required pilgrimage. At least once in a lifetime, you must walk the rows of muscle cars that seem to stretch for miles. Unfortunately for many would-be travelers, 2021 will be a little different.

Make mine the 70 Chevelle SS 454. It's a beauty & beast.
Intermediate Driver

One each will be fine.

Once again, these are not cars. They are "jewelry" for collector/investors. None of these will be driven to local super markets or parked on streets for fear of damages or theft. Some will be garage queens parked in isolation for years in the hopes of gaining value over time. Others will be driven to car shows just to garner attention and bragging rights. With initial cost, minimal maintenance, insurance, and storage, these "collectors/investors" will be lucky to break even years down the road. Those issues aside and concern for one's safety, they also lack ABS, front crumple zones, air bags, stability controls and side impact bars in the doors. Some don't even have three-point seat belts. Lastly, memories of their performance capabilities are greater than their actual performance. The current six cylinder Toyota Camry can easily outrun the legendary Chevrolet 409. Car enthusiasts are different from "collector/investors".

And the bottom line, after your business school assessment of cars as an investment, is that you are pissed that you don't have the money to buy one of these unique machines. Right?
New Driver

I think you are missing the point of these cars. Jewelry, maybe. But they are now part of the human experience. Some of us grew up with these cars and they recall a simpler time. A time when they were the alpha cars. By today’s performance and safety standards they of course all fall short. Sometimes they burped up through the carburetors or farted back through the tailpipes, unlike today’s computer controlled fuel management. We loved the way they sounded, looked and even smelled. They bring back memories of a time we will never have again, and that is what endears them to us. Don’t think of them as having to compete with today’s vehicles, because they stand on their own historical merit. Remember there are less expensive examples of most of these available for most of us drive and enjoy.

New Driver

Couldn't agree more Mnkstk. Even though those cars will most likely not be driven, they are a part of our past.
Unfortunately many younger folks these days could care less for the 60's & 70's muscle cars. Although owning one of those auction cars is unrealistic for myself - I'm more that happy to drive a 74 Dodge Challenger with a high compression crate 408 stroker and plenty of Klotz octane boost - Still living the dream!!!
Community Manager

@Fatcat32 by the way I just sent you a private message with more questions.  If you can help us get to the bottom of this, we'd sincerely appreciate it. 

Intermediate Driver

Reply sent.


I've always loved the original Monte Carlo. Add a 454 and only my checkbook stands in the way.

The early Monte Carlo, hands down. I have a big thing for what we used to call sleepers. There you are, looking like everybody else in traffic, in its time, rolling up to a stoplight like a big pussycat.....
Then the light turns Green......

That 68 cougar xr7 would be sweet lil sat afternoon driver in red
Intermediate Driver

In 1970 I was 13, a guy about a mile away from where I lived had a new 70 BOSS 429. One day I rode my bike to his house and he showed me all around the car and then took me for a ride. At first it wasen't running right but then he pulled the hood scoop lever and it took off!! It looked just like the one shown. What a GREAT car.. I would love to have this one, but way over my head...Though I do have an 05 Viper and love it also..
Advanced Driver

The only one I'd be interested in is the Cougar, and even that's out of my "price range" by a factor of 5 or 6!
- Jim
New Driver

These are all worthy cars, but it just doesn’t get any better than the 71 Cuda 440 6-Pack Convertible! I just don’t have that spare pocket change lying around...
Intermediate Driver

This is the first either / or on any of these forums where I cannot pick! So, since I cannot afford any of them why not go for broke. I will pretend I am bidding on all so that I could have an awesome collection in one shot.

I would bid on the clone big block with a few miles on the odo, the rust spot, and the chips in the paint here and there because I am going to do what 90% of those bidders won't and actually drive it
Intermediate Driver

Ooo. A GT-E....I'll take that, and the SS454 convertible, and the Boss, and the Judge please : )

"Back in the day" (I might as well make that my screen name) I was a good friend of someone with a '70 Monte Carlo. He often enjoyed repeating that he'd read his car had "the longest hood ever installed on a Chevrolet". I built the 350 in it for him and it looked like a 2/3 scale model in that engine bay. The fan shroud was almost two feet long.

Used to short track stock car race a gen1 month. 2 of us could stand under the hood in the rain. Raced at Riverside Park,Stafford,Thompson,Westboro, and Monadnock. Great fun in the late '70's early '80's. Saw a lot of now classics,but back then just used cars torn up.

haven't read, just skimmed to see what's up there but those over the hump (decade divide) might B less desirable (ie '69/70). Most of the muscle was pre pollution control (started in 1960 in the states, net/gross measures of HP, etc) building until the '70 law which dealt the final death blow. As usual, lill interest in these out of reach markets (almost any auction) their price point, what is "in" for awhile, etc. The detail and actual vehicles are interesting. Esp pre-muscle and during (late '50s - late '60s).
Intermediate Driver

Although I grew up with the cars on your list and tend to love almost all cars I learned more about myself when considering your list. For me its not just the fastest, top speed, cost (even if I had no limit), quality of product/production, nor style. I did learn something about myself though and that is I guess my taste is based strictly upon style even with muscle cars and in this class I think your 1969 Chevrolet Camero ZL1 captures the muscle car style and emotional appearance to the highest level in this class. You can just hear how nasty it is visually. Enjoy these type articles very much.
charlie b
Intermediate Driver

Without a doubt I'd go for the ’71 440/six-bbl Cuda! Have wanted a Cuda since I was a kid.

Recalling these various makes of Muscle Cars and the imaginative engineering (if not fit and finish) that went into them, one really has to wonder where all that American competitive vigor has gone. Now, it's how many truck variations you can stamp out. Is that the only way forward for American manufacturers?

As the teenage grandson/son of a small-town Chrysler dealer, and actually being allowed to spec out the order form for a few stock/show cars, the arrival of the carrier with a 300X or a Roadrunner or even a vanilla V-8 'Baccaruda' was a must-attend moment, just to hear them fired up. Who gets excited now when the carrier rolls up?
Pit Crew

The GT350 is technically not a muscle car, but a sports car as it ran in the SCCA B Production class winning the championship in 1965 thru 1967. The Shelby & Cougar are the only two cars on the list with any real competition cred’s. The rest of these cars are nice looking cars with big motors.
Intermediate Driver

I like the jacked up olds. that's a keeper for when I go out to the pasture to chase the cows home. I'm shocked and so is the olds.
Pit Crew

Friend bought a 1970 Olds 442 W30 new and still has it. It still looks like it just came off of the showroom floor ! He use to drag race it at the track.
New Driver

Yes a new Honda would beat a gto but the old cars are made of metal new cars are made of mostly plastic no soul
Pit Crew

I guess I'll be different. I'll go with the 1965 Chevelle big-block Z16. Never see many of these around, but was well aware of them as a teen-ager. Besides, I always liked Bonanza . . . and "Hoss" Cartwright—he had one.