Muscle cars ignited the national zeitgeist in the 1960s and ‘70s with their hulking engines, exuberant styling, and tire-shredding torque. Though the performance of these charismatic throwbacks can’t hold a flame to modern sports cars, nostalgia rules supreme because the demand for old-school automotive brawn is as hyped as it’s ever been.
“One of the most potent segments of the collector-car market are classic muscle cars, loosely defined as being produced from 1964 through 1974,” says John Kraman, TV commentator/analyst for Mecum Auctions, which has offered examples of the most coveted cars in this category. “This decade of performance set the tone over 50 years ago for an image that has transcended generations to now include Generation X collectors in large numbers. These legacy buyers are actively seeking muscle cars to experience a very special era of both automotive and pop culture history. This market is breaking sales records and we are now seeing entries from long-term ownership into the market.”
To help identify the bygone models that have become exponentially stronger in this regard, Robb Report turned to the team at Hagerty, purveyor of collector-car insurance and also responsible for some of the world’s leading automotive events.
“The top-10 list of muscle cars is dominated by vehicles which best represent the excesses of the era and built in small numbers,” says John Wiley, manager of Valuation Analytics at Hagerty. “They have a combination of the monster engine, the most desirable body style, a competition orientation, and sometimes all three.” Using Hagerty’s valuation data as a blueprint, and with values based on the top condition for each model, here are the 10 most collectible muscle cars, at least for the moment.