While some vintage vehicle enthusiasts may prefer a leisurely spring cruise in a convertible, others will be looking for something much sprightlier inside a fixed-roof coupe. Muscle cars, you know. In this week’s This or That, we’ve chosen a $35,000 garage price ceiling to bring you a selection of torque-happy steeds, all of which are currently available in the classifieds. You know the drill: which one would you choose to bring home this week?
A look at a Few Muscle Car Prices
MERCURY CYCLONE FROM 1966
New price: $2,700 -In today’s money: $23,672- This week, we’ll go through our quartet in chronological order, beginning with Mercury’s Comet/Caliente-based Cyclone, this two-door hardtop from the 1966 model year, when the performance model was expanded from one to two styles. Bucket seats, chrome wheels, a model-specific grille, and Cyclone emblems were standard equipment in base trim. A high-output 289 was also available, but it paled in comparison to the two 390-cu. V-8 engines are on the options list. The mid-market division produced 6,889 basic hardtops and 13,812 GT-trimmed coupes. The following are excerpts from the seller’s description:
Many Mercury Cyclones, particularly 390 big-block cars, are fetching exorbitant prices. Thankfully, this two-owner car isn’t one of them. It’s an excellent example of a well-maintained vehicle at a reasonable price. The 390 V-8 and four-speed transmission are said to be numbers-matching and to run and shift smoothly. The car now has an 850 cfm Holley carb, new brakes, new fuel lines, a new fuel tank, a new fuel pump clutch, and a new throw out bearing. Furthermore, the Polar White body is complemented by newly redone front buckets and back seats in white vinyl. The vehicle also has new chrome bumpers, taillight housings, center console, body seals and rubber, and hood springs. The original 3.25 geared 9-inch rear axle with an open differential is still present on the car.
AMC AMX 1968
New price: $3,245 -In today’s currency: $26,688 -The introduction of the two-seater AMX, such as this eye-catching 1968 example, caused quite a stir at American Motors. Some argue that the AMX is not only a muscle car but also a grand tourer and a viable sports car in comparison to the Corvette. Aside from semantics, AMC accomplished a lot with its limited operating budget. Big Bad colors, ride and handling packages, engine and transmission options – it all worked in the independent’s favor, resulting in a surprising pony car on the streets as well as in various racing disciplines. During the AMX’s initial mid-year release, American Motors produced 6,725 units. Fantastic Cruiser! Big Bad Blue with White Stripes on a Red Interior. The 343 Casting 343 cubic inch four-barrel AMC V-8 engine is paired with an automatic transmission. Factory air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, an AMC AM radio, Rally wheels wrapped in white letter BFGoodrich radials, and other features are included.
BUICK GS 1970
$3,098 -In today’s currency: $22,911 – Buick served notice to the rest of the muscle car market at the start of the new decade when its 455-powered GS dropped a 510-lb-ft torque bomb; it was more than a 426 Hemi and anything else GM pushed out the door that wasn’t strapped into a Luxo-barge. While many gearheads flocked to the businessman’s muscle car, others with similar ambitions but less disposable cash slid into its super small-block sibling: the base 350-powered GS, such as this 1970 example. That 350 wasn’t the pedestrian version, even if it wasn’t as monstrous as the 455; it got a compression boost and dual exhausts, which helped boost output to 315 hp. Buick produced 9,948 units. Power steering, power disc brakes, working factory gauges, bucket seats, factory console, tilt steering column, dual sport mirrors, and chrome Buick Rallye wheels with BF Goodrich white letter radial T/A tires are among the options.
DODGE CORONET 440 1970
New price: $2,907 -In today’s currency: $21,498 – Dodge had been playing the muscle car game for a while, spearheading its involvement with corporate cousin Plymouth with a series of hemispherical engines, the most recent of which was the 426 Street Hemi, or Elephant. The 1970 Coronet line at Dodge included this 440 Series coupe, which could have been equipped with the venerable 383 Magnum V-8. Anything above that was off the table, lest one end up with a Coronet R/T or Super Bee. That hasn’t stopped gearheads from making modifications; our featured example benefited from the addition of a 440.