By   February 3, 2016

5 Affordable Classic V8 Muscle Car Options

5 Cheaper Classic V8 Muscle Car Options

Owning a classic muscle or pony car is the dream of many a car enthusiast. A machine with plenty of power great styling and a bulletproof drivetrain can be a joy to drive.

The problem is that classic muscle cars are no longer inexpensive, especially the cars with powerful V8 engines. However, there are still a few options if you want that classic car look and feel along with a V8 under the hood.

5. 1973 Dodge Dart Sport 360

1973 Dodge Dart Sport 360

The Dodge Dart Sport 360 from 1973 is an often overlooked classic muscle car. The vehicle features bold lines with a fastback body style. The top of the line V8 offers 240 horsepower to help move the solid car. By today’s high standards that isn’t a lot (after all the new V6 Dodge Challenger makes 305 horsepower), but it is a good number for a car from 1973. The Dart Sport 360 had a larger front end and re-worked bumpers that not everyone is a fan of. This works in our advantage in helping to keep the price down.

You can find decent examples in good working condition for about $5,000-$6,000. The high end of the price scale for a concours quality car is about $11,000 making it a great value for some classic muscle.

4. 1971-1973 Ford Mustang

1973 Ford Mustang

If you want a classic Ford Mustang with a big V8 engine then the 1971-1973 models years may be your best bet. While something like a Mach 1 can fetch a very high price, you can find a SportsRoof with the 351 cubic inch displacement V8 with the 4 barrel carburetor outputting 266 horsepower for much less.

Current values have a car in good condition going in the $7,000-$14,000 range. A non-Mach 1 V8 in concours condition will fetch $17,000-$20,000. For a Mach 1 this can raise above $40,000, so the non-Mach 1 is much more affordable, but will always be less desirable to a collector.

3. 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

The 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am provides classic muscle car styling with the traditional split Pontiac front grille. Under the hood you can find a 250 horsepower V8 that is enough power to kill a few tires, although a bit more can always make for more fun.

You can purchase a good 1971 Trans Am in the $7,000-$14,000 range. For a car in concours condition this goes up to $18,000-$30,000.

2. 1970 Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro

The 1970 Chevrolet Camaro was the second generation of the American muscle car. As opposed to the styling of the earlier ’60s Camaro the second generation had a more pronounced front grille with a sleeker lines going back to the rear end. The 350 cubic inch V8 powered Z/28 will fetch the most amount of cash, but if you go for the lower end 307 cubic inch V8 with 200 horsepower, prices are a good bit cheaper.

A 1970 Chevy Camaro with the 200 horsepower V8 in good condition will cost you between $13,000-$15,000. For a concours quality car you’re looking at $17,000-$22,000.

1. 1973 Dodge Charger

1973 Dodge Charger

The 1973 Dodge Charger has great muscular styling. It just oozes cool when you see it, especially in one of those bright ’70s colors. For 1973 power is down a bit from the early ’70s cars (some of which is due to the change from gross horsepower to net) which helps get you into a Charger for a reasonable price. To find a more affordable V8 powered car look for the 318 cubic inch with a 150 horsepower output. By today’s standards that isn’t anything to write home about, but it has a great soundtrack and is plenty for most situations.

The average price of a 1973 Dodge Charger with the 150 horsepower V8 in good condition is in the $8,000-$12,000 range. You can move up to a concours quality car if you can reach the $14,000-$24,000 range.

Conclusion

While many classic muscle and pony cars have become so expensive that they are no longer within reach of the average enthusiast, there are still plenty that will cost you less than a new Honda Civic. Just plan on keeping an eye out for the right one and take your time looking. These cars were made before very good rust protection, so you’ll want to weed out the cars with cancer (unless you would like to do a complete restoration). A pre-purchase inspection by a shop knowledgable of the car your are wanting to buy is always a good idea. It can keep you away from a lemon or can be used as a bargaining chip.

Picture Source: www.forabodiesonly.com, OSX II, Bull-Doser, Shusuke