5 Classic Muscle Cars That Saw Their Prices Increase In 2021 (5 American Classics That Are Actually Cheaper)

Classic cars are a dime a dozen. Finding a 1970 Mustang in fair condition and at a decent price is not a huge ordeal. With that being said, rarer classic American icons can be almost impossible to find. First, they tend to only be featured in high-end auctions. Second, they might go for a price that the vast majority of petrol heads cannot afford. However, the only constant is change.

RELATED: 5 Cheap Classic American Cars That’ll Give You Endless Joy (5 You’ll Regret Buying)

Gearheads may have noticed the fluctuations of classic cars prices over the last 12 months. Some of these classic muscle cars can make the best dragsters, but modifying should be a considered a federal offense. They are just fine the way they are and need absolutely nothing else. That kind of classic cars have increased in value in 2021. Others, however, would be great for a project as their value keep on decreasing.

10 Went Up: 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS

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Chevy was going toe-to-toe with Ford in order to win as many market segments as possible. The most popular rivalry between the two automakers was of course between the Mustang and the Camaro. Though it is fair to concede that the Mustang won, nothing could get the Nova off its pedestal. The Nova was a much smaller muscle car compared to other vehicles available during that area.

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Despite being small in size, Chevy moved ahead with a serious powerplant for the ’69 Nova SS. There are several things gearheads forgot about the Chevy Nova, such as the fact that the ’69 was offered a mean 396 cu in V8 that makes 375 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. The median auction sales price in 2020 was $32,475 for a Nova SS in great condition. In 2021, the median auction sales price shot up to $49,500.

9 Tanked: 1971 Mercury Comet

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Despite being divided into tiers, carmakers make sure to always have a car that would satisfy each and every demographic. Not everyone can afford to daily drive a 429 cu in V8. Even when gas prices were low, driving a sports car fitted with a humongous engine was far from being financially sound. As a result, carmakers made sure to have muscle cars that were smaller in size.

RELATED: 10 Sickest Mercury Cars Ever Made

1971 Mercury Comet GT Cropped
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The 1971 Mercury Comet GT may not be the go-to muscle car, but it is a very attractive small muscle car that packs quite a punch. Despite being far less sexy than its predecessor, the rarest V8 version with the two-barrel carburetor churns out a healthy 210 hp. Back in 2019, the ’71 Comet GT used to fetch on average $40,700 at auction. Two years later, the Comet GT lost its appeal and would go for $23,000 on average.

8 Went Up: 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible

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Throughout the 1960s, Dodge failed to combine both power and aesthetics. While General Motors and Ford had a couple of cars in their respective lineups that were appealing both inside and out, Dodge were still essentially focusing on fitting its ugly cars with terrific engines. It may have been part of Chrysler’s plan to make Dodge cars ugly. Chrysler’s management may have not wanted to see their high-end Chrysler-badged luxury cars being overshadowed by cheaper Dodge cars.

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The ’69 Coronet R/T is the sort of classic Mopar cars you can modify into monsters. However, whoever modifies a ’69 Coronet R/T Convertible should not be allowed to own a car. Only 10 convertibles were made in 1969, thus making this oldie a rare gem. On top of being rare, this classic is fast. Fitted with the legendary 426 Hemi, the Coronet R/T Convertible has all the element necessary to make it a true collectible. This green beast was estimated to sell between $600,000 and $800,000 at auction. Its value has been steadily increasing in 2021.

7 Tanked: 1974 Ford Mustang II

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The Mustang is the most popular American car by a long shot. While it has often been said that the Mustang is a secretary’s car, Ford partnered up with the right people and companies to turn the Mustang into a legitimate muscle car. Like most iconic nameplates, the Mustang went through some rough phases.

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The 1974 Mustang II is remembered for the wrong reasons. It was released during an era that was not favorable to the automotive industry. Consequently, the once almighty Ford pony car was turned into a donkey. The base version was equipped with a lousy four-cylinder engine, which is why the Mustang II’s value never took off. A clean base Mustang II is not worth more than $11,000 in 2021.

6 Went Up: 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1

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It has been almost 35 years since Buick released anything worthwhile. The last time Buick blessed the scene with a truly magnificent vehicle was back when the 1987 Buick GNX hit the market. Today, each and every Buick vehicle seems to be engineered to please motorists in their 80s. That wasn’t always the case.

RELATED: 5 Best And 5 Worst Buicks Ever Produced

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The GSX was one of the cars that helped Buick build a solid reputation. During the Golden Age of the American muscle car, the GSX was the underdog that most connoisseurs would be on the lookout for. Realizing that there was money to be made, Buick released the Stage 1 version of the GSX. With only 118 units made, the GSX is not an oldie that can be daily driven. The beautiful beast comes with a 455 cu in V8 that churns out a solid 360 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. In 2021, the value of the GSX Stage 1 with the four-speed manual transmission went up by 20{e3fa8c93bbc40c5a69d9feca38dfe7b99f2900dad9038a568cd0f4101441c3f9}. At the lowest end, the Stage 1 will now go for $159,000.

5 Tanked: 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442

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Oldsmobile was among the oldest domestic car companies. Established in 1897, the company was acquired by General Motors in 1908. Between 1908 and 1975, Oldsmobile was a successful mid-range automaker with a decent amount of appealing vehicles in its lineup. Unfortunately, Oldsmobile did not fare well when things started changing.

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In 1975, the Cutlass 442 was nothing like its predecessor. Once a respectable muscle car, the Cutlass was turned into a wannabe muscle car powered by awful engines. The base version was now fitted with a 250 cu in six-cylinder unit that develops 105 hp. In 2020, ’75 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 were, on average, going for $31,350. A year later, the average price had dropped to $16,500.

4 Went Up: 1971 Plymouth GTX 426

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Plymouth used to be regarded by Chrysler as its low-end brand. Though it is fair to admit that nothing beats some of the mean-looking machines released by Dodge, some of Plymouth’s muscle cars were simply gorgeous inside and out. As time went by, the vast majority of Plymouth muscle cars went up in value and are now worth as much as brand new sports cars.

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It is well-known that the Barracuda is one of the cars that made Plymouth great. Less popular monsters, such as the GTX 426, tremendously helped Plymouth become a serious muscle car provider. The GTX came with a variety of motors, including a 426 cu in Hemi V8 that pumps out 425 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque. With only 32 units made that years, it is normal that its value has been going up over the past year. The car was worth $175,000 in January 2021. By the end of the year, its value had gone up to $262,000.

3 Tanked: 1977 Chevy Camaro

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The Camaro is the second-best pony car ever made. Released two years after the Mustang, the Camaro did not receive a warm welcome from critics. Realizing some of the mistakes made by its Engineering Department, Chevy rectified the issues and made sure its Camaro would become a true American icon. While Chevy succeeded at creating an icon, the company sort of lost the plot in the late 1970s.

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Most muscle cars have either gone up in value in the most recent years, or have seen their values remain stable. Though this is true for the vast majority of muscle cars, some of them were so awful upon their release that they aged like milk under the sun. The 1977 Camaro equipped with the 250 cu in inline-six is one of them. In 2021, the value of the Camaro went down by 30{e3fa8c93bbc40c5a69d9feca38dfe7b99f2900dad9038a568cd0f4101441c3f9}, which means that it is easy to find a base ’77 Camaro in average condition for less than $6,000.

2 Went Up: 1976 AMC Pacer X

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American Motors Corporation (AMC) may not be the most popular car brand out there, but did not implode like the DeLorean Motor Company. AMC banked on manufacturing smaller and more affordable muscle. It is true that most AMC cars were far from being jaw-dropping from an outside perspective. However, a true connoisseurs can easily see the value of AMC vehicles.

RELATED: Why AMC Pacers Are Finally Getting The Respect They Deserve

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Though the Javelin AMX may not be as glamorous as a Boss 429, it is nonetheless a legitimate mid-size muscle car. At best, the Javelin AMX comes with a potent 401 cu in V8 that makes 330 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Recently, Ringbrothers built a 1,000 hp Javelin that was at the forefront of the restomod scene. This restomod brought AMC back to life. Between 2020 and 2021, the value of smaller V8-powered Javelin AMXs went from $26,400 to $40,700. It is fair to assume that the top-line Javelin AMX is following a similar trend.

1 Tanked: 1982 Pontiac Firebird

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In the 1980s, domestic carmakers seemed to be unable to recover from the oil crisis that rocked America in the mid-70s, and the emissions regulations that plagued the entire industry. American sports cars ended up being overlooked as European cars were increasingly fast and luxurious. For the less fortunate, Japanese cars were widely available.

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The Malaise Era did not stop in the late ’70s. In fact, most muscle cars released during the ’80s were equally disappointing as their predecessors. The base Firebird came stock with a lousy 2.5L inline-four engine that produces 90 hp to the wheels. As time went on, the base model lost almost all its value. Between 2020 and 2021, the value of the base Firebird went from $8,250 to $4,250. The Firebird is likely to keep on depreciating as time goes by.

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