10 Cool Muscle Cars That Won’t Break The Bank

Lately, it feels like the prices of muscle cars have been going crazy, with a new record auction sale being reported just about every week. Naturally those are rare, highly sought after models, but even the most common old Mustangs have suddenly become incredibly expensive. Everyone has muscle fever, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, but there are still a few outliers, even a couple Mustang models are pretty affordable (please, let’s not count the Mustang II).

As is the case with all vehicles, condition plays a big part in the price, so for the sake of this list we won’t be considering any wrecks. These are all relatively affordable, drivable classic cars.


It beggars belief that these handsome cars are still affordable, it is a testament to how undesirable AMC as a brand became.

It is hard to excuse the V8s that came with these cars though, they were not particularly well-designed, but do make decent power. Just be aware of all the known failure points, of which there are many.

9 Ford Mustang 5.0

After the tragic Mustang II finally left the building, Ford shook off all the malaise and made the Fox-body Mustang of the 80s.

Styling is obviously dated, but not unattractive, and the 5.0 liter V8 they put in these cars was one sweet piece of Americarna.

Related: Here’s What A 1979 Ford Mustang 5.0 Costs Today

8 Chevrolet Nova

So not everyone cares for the Nova. It has seen something of a revival and matching numbers cars will be a bit expensive, so forget them.

Find one with a good solid V8 and have fun with it, drive it, don’t park it. It is essentially an economy car with a big engine, which is the very definition of a muscle car.

7 Mercury/Ford Capri

So this might be a bit contentious, because the Capri that came out in North America with a V8. A V8 can fit though, as proven by the Ford Capri Perana (above).

Peranas are rare and very expensive as they were a special limited edition model made in South Africa, but there are several cars that got converted. So if you are willing to have a go at owning somebody else’s old project car, then this is an incredibly fun (can be read as terrifying) car.

Related: Here’s Why The Ford Capri Perana Is The Best Non-American Muscle Car

6 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

If you are indeed after something a little more modern, the worst generation of the Camaro has this incredible IROC version.

It still isn’t all that popular, mercifully, and won’t cost a fortune, even in good condition. As far as muscle cars go, 245 horsepower isn’t earth-shattering, but still enough to make these cars fun.

5 Mercury Cyclone GT

This might not be all that easy to find as they were never popular, but it is much the same as the more popular (and now expensive) Torino.

You can find these with a V8 that was good for 300 horsepower, even though it was heavy, that is still a lot of muscle for the money.

Related: 1975 Gran Torino Owner Trades Starsky And Hutch Tribute For 1972 Mustang Mach-1

4 Plymouth Duster

Mopar cars in particular have gone up rather dramatically in value, with a pretty stout support base, this is understandable but still…

The Duster is one of the lesser known muscle cars which was still getting sold after the era had come to a bit of a halt with the gas crisis, but getting anything newer than a 72 model will mean dealing with all the archaic malaise era emissions control devices.

3 Ford Ranchero

Technically not a car, but a unibody pickup. It is for that obscure reason that most people don’t really go around looking for these.

Finding one that has done a bit of work, but not too much, isn’t all that hard, and they came with a powerful, highly tunable V8 engine. It is where muscle car meets muscle truck, what’s not to love about that kind of blend.

Related: A Brief History Of The Ford Ranchero

2 Dodge Dart

Unlike the Plymouth, some dart models have already become desirable, but your best bet would be to hold out for one of the less desirable mid 70s cars with an engine conversion.

These were pretty popular cars and are in no real danger of getting collectable, conversions among Mopar enthusiasts are common too, so happy hunting.

1 AMC Rebel Machine

So this is not exactly all that affordable, but considering how rare they are, they are severely underappreciated.

It is an incredible classic muscle car, and an iconic car in its own right. It is also a pretty fun car with loads of power, made for one very short model year before the malaise set in industry-wide.

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