These are hugely strong and powerful mechanical beasts, called muscle cars (or prior to this, super cars) that have emerged relatively recently, since the 1970s. Traditionally, all are, of course, made-in-America, and they are used in what is described as “high-performance driving.” What they have in common is speed and power, and the raw metal power that allows their drivers to succeed. They generally have two doors, a rear wheel drive, and they are affordable. Bring on the competition, but just remember it changes all the time. Several of these most expensive muscle cars are Chevies, and just for the record, these prices were all achieved on auction.
#8 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster
Shelby Cobra 427 Roadsters are rare cars, but some are more rare than others. Originally built in England in 1966, this one is exceptional, a fact proven by the inscription on the “door” of the glovebox by the maker: “One of the rarest CSX3301 Carroll Shelby.” Bought new by a Frenchman, Mr Franck from Paris, it was sold in 1977 and then again in 1979. In 2001, with 6,755 miles (10,872 km) on the clock, it was meticulously restored by a New York company. In January 2013 it was sold at a Mecum Auction sale for $779,100.
#7 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88
In 2013 this natty number was sold at auction for a mere $825,000, making it one of the most expensive muscle cars around. Since the engines for this car were only available for two years, from 1967, this makes them amazingly rare and highly sought after. What is surprising though is that the L88 in this picture was an original with a mere 20,000 miles on the speedometer. No restoration required since it was sold with its original bill of sale. How special is that? Even more special, it has been named “a Gold Survivor” by Bloomington Gold, a company that is well known for the Corvette auto shows it produces.
#6 1968 Corvette L88
Older and considerably harder to find than #8, this Chevy – and yes it is also a Corvette – was sold for $880,000, so it too is one of the most expensive muscle cars. There were only 80 of these made in 1968, and it had only done 13,000 miles. It would be a bit like buying a showroom car, since this was a car that had been used for demos only when it first went on the market. Just in case you think your muscle car might be worth something similar one day, bear in mind that this one was sold with all the original paperwork as well as the owner manuals.
#5 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
A Central Office Production Order (COPO) muscle car produced in 1969, this Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is highly collectible, extraordinarily fast vehicle. Manufactured from aluminum to reduce its weight, there were only ever 69 of them made. Generally valued at about $500,000, this particular car sold for double ($1 million) at a Mecum Auction sale in 2013. The reason it sold for so much was that it had been restored to its original factory specs by engine builder, Barry Burnstein.
#4 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 427 LS6
When it comes to serious collectors of muscle cars, this model Chevelle is considered to be amongst the best, and of course yet another expensive muscle car. Part of this has to do with the fact that there were only 20 of them made with the powerful LS6 427 cubic inch engine. But of course, condition is also a vital factor, and this particular car had been professionally restored when it was offered on auction in 2013. Its matching numbers had been verified, as had its build sheet, and it sold for $1,150,000.
#3 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible
From being a popular muscle car in the early days, Hemi Cuda convertibles fell from favor during the late Sixties and early Seventies. For this reason relatively few were made after 1970, eventually making them quite rare and sought after. Only 11 Hemi Cuda convertibles were made in 1971, and this one sold for $2,200,000 at a Barrette-Jackson auction in 2007, even though it didn’t even have its original engine. Ironically though, prices started dropping again, and when this same car was sold by the same auction house in 2013, it went for a mere $1,320,000.
#2 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 — $3.2 Million
One of the most expensive muscle cars ever sold, this classic 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 fetched $3.200,000 at a Mecum Auto auction in 2013. Highly sought after, there were only 20 of these cars ever produced, and this one was virtually destroyed in action – racing. Nevertheless it still had all its original body panels, and so a complete restoration was possible. The restoration process used was so successful that this is the method that is now officially recommended by the National Corvette Restorers Society.