American muscle cars have been growing in popularity for years, becoming more and more valuable as time goes by. Maybe, this increase in value is because Americans have a desire to capture what used to be great about our country- strength and power. Or maybe, it’s because muscle cars have slowly been fading away and have become harder to find. Either way, the value of top-tier classic muscle cars has never been higher.
Today, one of the most coveted of all American muscle cars is the ’71 Plymouth Hemi Cuda. In recent years, the ’71 Plymouth has been valued upwards of 4 million dollars! However, many car owners are refusing to sell. This is because the car is so rare; only 11 of those models were produced that year. This has made classic car collectors drool and drop to their knees, lusting after the rare gem. In 2007, one of these eleven cars went up for auction in Phoenix, Arizona. The car was nearly perfect in every aspect, except one: it didn’t have the original stock engine. This is a big taboo in the collector’s world. Not having the stock engine can drop the value quite a bit. The car- which was reworked with an engine that was ALMOST identical- did sell for 2.5 million dollars.
However, over the past ten years, there hasn’t been a muscle car that has sold for more than the 1967 Shelby Cobra. The ’67 Cobra- which branched from the Ford Mustang division- combines a classic roadster body with a tube space frame and a lightweight American 260 ci V-8 engine. In order to get this 510 horsepower, big block engine to fit in the small frame, designers had to extend the tube frame by five inches and add coil spring suspension and flared fenders for wider wheels. The car has the capability of reaching 145 mph and is extremely rare. Only 400 were ever made. This car ended up outselling the 71 Plymouth by going for a whopping 5.5 million dollars! According to Haggerty Autos, “Shelby Cobras are the apogee of bare-bone sports racers, and demand is fierce for these cars. They are one of the few blue-chip collectible American cars, with eager buyers residing the world over, so provenance is vital.”
With every year that passes, these vehicles become more and more in vogue. Cars today may be more dynamic or may be able to go faster, but they are not classic muscle cars. Classic muscle cars are more than just vehicles at this point. They are representations of an era and a period of time in which America was great. A time when America was making money hand over fist, asserting its power over the rest of the world, and showcasing a world of innovations that included the muscle car itself. It’s no wonder that people are willing to pay top dollar to relive history.