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5 great alternatives to high-priced muscle cars


#1

Several years ago, a men’s magazine had a popular feature that suggested healthier substitutes to your favorite food cravings. As enthusiasts, it is not unusual for us to crave a certain vehicle, only to find ourselves a few pennies short for that special car. Rather than spend your time hoping something will fall into your lap, you could be having clutch-popping fun driving one of these muscle car alternatives that offer at least 95 percent of the experience for half the price.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/03/5-alternatives-to-muscle-cars

#2

I like these affordable classics.


#3

Most of these cars are quite rare. I think due to that, if you could actually find one it probably wouldn’t be a hell of a lot cheaper than its musclecar big brother.

Exceptions: 383 Belvedere/Satellite and 330 Olds Cutlass. Lots of these around and they’re almost always cheaper than Roadrunners or 4-4-2s.


#4

i had a 1973 Pontiac Lemons GTwith the 350 HO and factory 4-speed. Wow it was nice


#5

Did you get rid of it because of the lemon law?


#6

There 400 chevy is a small block . In 1970 the 396 was in fact a 402 bigblock .


#7

Back in the day when you could order a car exactly the way you wanted I was 19 years old. I ordered a 1965 Pontiac LeMans. At the time I didn’t think my Dad would approve a GTO. I ordered all black inside & out, 326 cu in, 4 barrel, 4 speed, duel exhaust, bucket seats, black wall tires & small standard hub caps. I already had Mickey Thompson mags & installed them the first day. They didn’t have all the dealer fees back then, like extended warranty, dealer prep, delivery charge, paint & interior protection & numerous other charges. I bought this car for a total of $2,900.


#8

Funny - my first swap was a '67 Malibu 283/Powerglide (bought from a little old lady for $600 - yes, a long time ago)… when I blew up the 283, like a typical idiot teenager, I went to the junkyard and told them I was going to “make an SS”, so they sold me a 396. I only found out it was a 402 when the guy at the parts store asked for the engine codes to get the correct water pump! (he had a book - pre-interweb). Another one I should have kept…


#9

Oh and the 350 Pontiac is closer to a 355 cid than a 350 cid. The block is also the same size as a 400 and uses the same 3.75 stroke crank . Just has a smaller bore. Very easy to make a 350 into a 400.


#10

I had it for about 6 mths and got orders to Korea and had to let it go at a loss


#11

No. I had it for only about 7months when I got orders to go back to Korea. Wish I had kept it as it was a great car. Dark Maroon, had the optional buckets and loaded with air and Posi 3.60 gears. JB


#12

Hard to find the “junior” models since car flippers buy them up to build clones. They’ve ruined any chance of getting these models.


#13

I have a 70 Malibu 400 with a four speed. The 400 is a 402 big block but on the build sheet, air cleaner and fender emblems it has 400.


#14

400 is a small block the 402 is a big block in 1970 the 396 badged cars had 402 big blocks in them .


#15

Supply and demand. Lots of people would prefer a Road Runner to a 383 Belvedere, even if the Bel has rarity on its side. Plus, they’re easy to buy cheap from someone who thinks it’s “just an old Plymouth.”


#16

The 350 HO was built in 1968-69. What you had was just a 350.


#17

The badges of the Chevelle said 400.

So the 402 masqueraded as a 396 and 400. :slight_smile:


#18

Spiritual precursor to the 350 HO. In fact, I had trouble deciding between the two for the article.


#19

Wouldn’t the precursor to the 350 HO be the 326 HO?


#20

I found a 1970 442 for 12,500 is that a good price? Maybe it’s a 1969 not sure