There was a time, before the internet, when some muscle cars were spoken of like tall tales. Like a 25 foot great white shark, everybody knows they’re out there, but were never seen. These are the most legendary muscle cars of all time.
“Hemi ‘Cuda” is a phrase that gets thrown around far too easily. But in truth, they’re extremely rare. Less than 1000 were ever produced in both 1970 and 1971. While they were rated at 425 horsepower, actual output was closer to 600 horsepower.
The story for the Charger, and indeed all MOPARS that had a 426 HEMI engine available as an option, is much the same as the ‘Cuda. While everyone assumes that a HEMI was standard fair on 1968 – 1970 Chargers, only about 500 were produced each year.
Based off the Plymouth Roadrunner, the car was designed specifically to compete in NASCAR, so Chrysler had to produce the car for the street in order to qualify. While some figures say as many as 3000 were built, it may have been closer to 2000, with only 1000 still left in existence. The car also sold horribly due to it’s freakish appearance, with some sitting on lots for two to three years.
COPO stood for Central Office Production Order, and meant that you could order a car any way you want, option list be damned. What this usually meant is that racers and hot-roders would order the most basic looking car possible, and then stuff in a giant 427 V-8, that would normally only be available for the Corvette. GM initially denied their existence. These cars shouldn’t exist, but they do.
Most people know about the iconic, Yenko Camaro. Dom Yenko ordered COPO cars to be transformed into his signature machines, so they share the same 427 V-8. While there are many clones, only about 200 real Yenko Camaros were ever made.
Boss Mustang 429
While most are familiar with the Boss Mustang 302, the 429 is far less iconic, but incredibly more rare and indeed wonderful. Like the GM COPO cars, the Boss 429 was mostly just plain jane fastback Mustang, with a giant experimental engine stuffed under the hood. Less than 1500 were ever produced, but unbiased tests have confirmed that this was the best performing muscle car ever produced.
Shelby GT500 Super Snake
While Shelby will sell you a new Super Snake no problem, in 1967 only one was ever made. Powered by a high performance 427 race engine from Ford’s LeMans-winning GT40, it recently sold for a whopping $1.3 million.