The Ford Mustang was the king of the road in the ’70s, but the real excitement is with the rarest muscle cars of that era. While millions of Mustangs roared onto the streets, it was the limited-run powerhouses that really stood out.

Despite tougher emissions laws and stiff competition, these rare muscle cars packed serious horsepower and became legends. Here’s 10 classic muscle cars that could make a collector cry.

1970 AMC Javelin AMX

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Out of 26,866 AMC Javelins sold in 1971, only 2,054 featured the AMX performance package. Standard with a 5.9-liter V8, the Javelin AMX pushed out 245 horsepower. The optional “Go-Package” upgraded it to a 6.6-liter V8, boosting power to 330 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque.

This package included performance suspension and power-assisted brakes. Achieving 0-60 mph in about six seconds and a top speed of 130 mph, this model became a coveted classic, especially after a recent sale at $28,000 due to AMC’s unique market status.

1970 Plymouth Superbird

Morven, GNU_Free_Documentation_License, via Wikimedia Commons

The Plymouth Superbird, a NASCAR homologated version of the Road Runner, was produced in a limited run of 1,935 units in 1970. With the legendary 426 Hemi V8 engine, only 135 units were made, enhancing its rarity and desirability.

This engine produced 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, propelling the Superbird to 60 mph in less than six seconds and completing a quarter mile in under 14 seconds. The Superbird commands an average price of $649,083 in today’s market.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

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With only 859 units built, the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 is a pinnacle of Ford’s racing legacy. Designed by Larry Shinoda, it dominated the 1969 NASCAR season with David Pearson. Powered by a 7.0-liter V8, the Boss 429 was the most formidable in the Boss series, outperforming its siblings from 1969 to 1971.

Producing 375 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a four-speed manual transmission, this Mustang is a collector’s dream. Its racing pedigree justifies the steep $288,000 price tag.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

By Jeremy from Sydney, Australia – 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, CC BY 2.0,

The Dodge Charger Daytona, with just 503 units produced, became the first NASCAR car to hit 200 mph in 1970. Part of the aero wars, it featured a design so advanced that it led to its racing ban. With a drag coefficient of 0.29, it edged out the Superbird in speed.

The rarest and most coveted variant houses the 426 Hemi V8 engine, pushing 425 horsepower. This exclusivity brings its value to around $1 million.

1970 Buick GSX Stage 1

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The 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1, limited to 400 units, set a high bar in performance with its 360 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Buick enhanced this model with a robust suspension system, including stiffer springs, shocks, and a rear anti-sway bar.

Available in Saturn Yellow or Apollo White, the latter color is rarer, with only 278 of the 678 produced. Its current average market price is $122,654.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible

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Of the 40,149 GTOs made in 1970, only 168 were GTO Judge Convertibles, making it an exceptional find. This variant boasted a 6.6-liter V8 engine delivering 366 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque.

The Judge Convertibles were few, but even rarer were the 17 featuring the Ram Air IV engine. Fewer than ten of these had the High-Output 7.5-liter V8.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 stands out with its hand-built, aluminum 7.0-liter V8 engine, producing 430 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. Known for its quick acceleration, the ZL1 can hit 60 mph in about five seconds, with a top speed of 140 mph.

Built to meet SCCA homologation requirements, only 69 units were made. The ZL1 is highly valued, averaging $610,714 today. It was offered in colors like “Tuxedo-Black” and “Olympic-White”.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible

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The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible, with just 26 produced, housed the formidable 454 V8 engine, which was Chevrolet’s answer to the 426 Hemi.

This engine unleashed 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, enabling a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.4 seconds. With comprehensive upgrades like heavy-duty suspension and an enhanced air intake system, the Chevelle SS 454 LS6 stood as a pinnacle of American muscle.

1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible

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The 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible, with only 11 units produced, is a monumental figure in muscle car history. Equipped with the 426 Hemi V8 engine, it boasts 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque.

This luxury muscle car could cover a quarter mile in 14 seconds. Its rarity and power make it extremely sought after, highlighted by a rejected bid of $4.8 million in 2021.

1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

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The 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake is the epitome of exclusivity, with only one unit ever made. It features the formidable 427 V8 engine from the Ford GT40 MK II, enhanced with high-performance components capable of enduring the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Producing 520 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque, it could sprint to 60 mph in an estimated four seconds. Originally sold for $5,000, its value skyrocketed to $2.2 million at a 2019 auction.

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Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs


Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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