It’s amazing how many fantastic V8-powered antique muscle vehicles are still underpriced and neglected on the used market. You’re not driving a muscle car if it doesn’t have an excessively huge V8 engine, according to the unspoken rule of the muscle car community.
That’s why enthusiasts despised the V6 and inline-4 abominations that automakers attempted to develop in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
You might not have the tens of thousands of dollars required to buy a brand new muscle car with a ferocious V8 engine under the hood right now.
However, a few thousand bucks on the used automobile market will get you a stunning classic muscle car that looks and sounds better than most new cars. These are the ten you should be on the lookout for.
1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – $7500
The 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am had a hood scoop alteration and a considerable facelift compared to previous model years. The cherry on top was seeing this vehicle in Smokey and the Bandit, where it was played by Burt Reynolds. This cemented its place in American society.
It wasn’t simply that a Hollywood superstar had driven the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that mattered. Rather, the factory V8 engine with 400 cubic inches of displacement turned this car into a four-wheeled party.
It wasn’t the most powerful engine on a muscle car at the time, especially when compared to the Dodge Dart Sport 360. But none of that mattered when the V8 rumbling was accompanied by Burt Reynolds’ voice.
1985-90 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z – $ 12,400
The renowned Chevrolet Camaro series’ third generation began with this nameplate. The IROC-Z version of the Chevrolet Camaro was introduced in 1985 and featured a new snout, front spoilers, and deeper valances.
This Camaro took no inspiration from the muscle cars that came before it when it was initially debuted in 1982. Instead, it featured revised front and rear window angles that reflected advancements in overall car design.
The IROC-Z, named after the International Race of Champions, was one of the optional packages. This model was equipped with a 220hp 5.0L V8 engine. It was even named one of Car and Driver’s top ten vehicles of 1985.
1979 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 WS6 – $8,400
When Pontiac saw the muscle car industry was set to explode, they didn’t want to miss out. That’s when the Pontiac Firebird, one of the best muscle cars ever made, was released. The goal of the Firebird’s launch was to not only acquire market share in the muscle car sector, but also to compete with the Mustang, which had made a solid showing.
Pontiac followed up with the 1979 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 WS6, which was part of the second-generation Firebirds. It was only available as a coupe, with a 6.6L Pontiac V8 capable of producing 220 horsepower.
1993 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra – $18,505
Between 1979 and 1993, this is the greatest 4.9L (sorry, 5.0L) Ford Mustang manufactured. The 1993 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra is a fearsome car with a ton of insane power and a grin-inducing driving experience.
The ’93 SVT Mustang has a specifically tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels that manage to handle the 235 horsepower produced by the 5.0L V8 engine. The SVT Ford Mustang Cobra is tastefully clothed in a superb, distinctive body style that gives it a dominating look. This is also the first vehicle produced by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team division.
1971-75 Ford Maverick Grabber – $9,800
The Ford Maverick Grabber was not a muscle car in the traditional sense. This excellent marque, on the other hand, looked, acted, and drove like one. A 4.9L two-barrel 210bhp V8 powered the 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber. When Ford adopted net ratings in 1972, that output was reduced to 140 horsepower, and it was further reduced to 129 horsepower in 1975 once emissions were taken into account.
That means the 1971 Grabber should be your go-to model year if you’re looking for something substantial. The 1972–75 model years, on the other hand, are no slouch. Despite falling horsepower statistics over the years, the Ford Maverick Grabber remained a zippy car with fantastic looks and a simple driving experience that drivers, particularly Brazilians, adored.
1974-76 Dodge Dart Sport 360 – $8,600
By 1976, the United States’ performance had reached an all-time low. No one wanted an engine that burned too much fuel, and since turbochargers weren’t widely used at the time, the drop in engine outputs was alarming. But then, out of nowhere, the Dodge Dart Sport 360 appeared.
The ordinary Dodge Dart Sport 360 finished second behind the scary Chevy Corvette and ahead of the proven Trans Am in a top-speed test organized by Car & Driver. This spectacular display was not the result of pure chance or one driver’s sluggish clutching.
Rather, the seemingly unassuming Dodge Dart Sport 360 was equipped with a 200-horsepower 5.9L V8 that quickly propelled it to a top speed of 121.8 mph.
1971 Pontiac LeMans Sport – $13,800
The Pontiac LeMans Sport was created in 1971 to make the highly popular Pontiac GTO more accessible to the general population. Most of the available equipment on the Pontiac LeMans was comparable to that found on the more expensive GTO. Even now, the Pontiac LeMans Sport sells for a fraction of the price of the crazy GTO.
There were two engine options for the LeMans Sport. You may choose between a 400 cu-in V8 capable of 300 horsepower and a 455 cu-in V8 capable of 335 horsepower on the dyno. Despite being mostly forgotten (because of the GTO), the LeMans Sport remains the superior option for anyone who does not want to break the bank by purchasing the more expensive GTO.
1994–96 Chevrolet Impala SS – $13,500
The Chevrolet Impala SS is known as the true gangster among muscle vehicles. This iconic ride first appeared in 1958 as a high-end luxury automobile for families. But then Chevy tweaked the engine, changed the appearance, and ultimately delivered a muscle vehicle that any fanatic would lust after. It eventually became the best-selling full-size automobile in the United States.
The Chevy Impala was revived as a concept in 1992. The Impala SS made its debut in 1994, with a 260hp 5.7L V8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. This reimagined Impala was a huge success, making ripples in both the film and music industries.
1971 Plymouth Satellite Sebring – $15,200
The 1971 Plymouth Satellite Sebring was the company’s stunning third-generation vehicle. The 1971 model has a slew of new safety features as well as a fresh design. The main drawback, according to some critics, is that the 1971 Satellite Sebring lost a little muscle. Nonetheless, given the similarities it shared with the much quicker GTX grade, you could tell this was a muscle car that meant business.
The Plymouth Satellite Sebring was available as a two-door coupe with a powerful V8 engine. The automobile was a huge success, with a nearly ten-year production run.