5 great alternatives to high-priced muscle cars


Depends entirely on condition. If it’s a perfect #1 car then that’s an incredible price. If it’s a #5 parts car, then not so much. A good driver-quality '70 4-4-2 hardtop with typical options might go for $18-22K.


Lemme know where they’re easy buy from and I’m there!


Isn’t that what I said? :slight_smile:


I’d like to find one too, but the point is that there are alternatives out there if you keep you mind and eyes open.


Muscle cars!! Muscle cars!! All the publicity would make one believe that they are absolutely de rigueur for the car collector. Well, I own a muscle car, a 1966 Chevelle SS396 with the L-78 motor and a 4 speed. It’s a nice car and has won many trophies. I also have the other end of the Chevy 1960’s spectrum in the shape of a 1963 Corvair Monza 900 convertible with a 2 speed Powerglide transmission and the air cooled boxer six. It is as much fun to own and drive as any muscle car but in a different way. Here is what I find fascinating. Both cars are restored and maintained equally. In fact I actually think I did a better job on the Corvair than the Chevelle. And the visual impact of a black on yellow 1st generation Corvair is quite impressive but the Chevelle has won more trophies. Such is the mindset of the hobby. I have come to realize that the people limit their interests to the much touted muscle car are denying themselves much pleasure that comes from owning a lesser collector car. As a final note the Corvair has been the car of choice for the wife and I on our last two summer vacations. The 10MPG Chevelle sits while the much more thrifty Corvair racks up many miles as we enjoy this collector car using it for what it was intended…to be driven. I fail to see why I should not enjoy any of my cars while I am alive instead of not enjoying them and saving them for the next owner.


I don’t think the subject of the 326 HO came up at all.


I mentioned it in my reply to Corvette Don.


I agree with Tommy44432. I have both a 1987 Grand National and a super rare 1987 Regal WE4 Turbo-T. Buick built ONLY 1547 WE4s whereas more than 20k GNs. My GN has garnered awards many times over while the WE4 doesn’t get a second look other than from those that think it’s a GN. On the flipside of this, you can’t give away a WE4 whereas the GN gets all the money.


In the sales brochure the option LS3 400 in 1970 Chevelle is a 402 big block. Chevy had both a small and big block 400 but the big block was in name only.


Chevy never had a 400 big block V8 , starting in 1969 all 396 big block V8’s were really 402 cid, the 400 was the largest small block chevy made at that point. And it was a p.o.s. no cooling between the bores so it over heated.


here’s a $4200 sleeper. Pay attention to these , they are out there.
78 Mercury Monarch (Granada Cousin). This one has a the Ghia package. 302/ 4-speed stick/ A-C / Factory AM-FM-8-track . It’s as fun to drive as a Camro, Mustang , or GTO.
Low HP Motor but such fun to go through the gears.


So I guess my car is fake even though I have documentations with the build sheet and matching numbers of the motor/trans. Also the sales brochure must be wrong too. It says 330hp turbo jet 400. Big blocks designated with turbo jet while small blocks were turbo fire.


I might as well add the small-block 400 was not available in the Chevelle 1970-72, but it was available in the Monte Carlo if I’m correct.


I wrote that sarcastic remark in reply to cherrytom63. I stopped going to car shows due to this same argument. There were both big & small block 400’s. Rpo ls3 400 is a big block but is actually 402 cubic inches just like all the 396’s were for 1970.The 400 small blocks I am not sure which models got them. I think the Impala and Monte Carlo but don’t know about the Chevelle.


I completely understood your point. I simply was adding clarification to the 400 SBC issue.

The 400 BBC is clearly listed in Chevy literature. I generally call it a 402 but the badges on the side say 400.


I agree with tommy44432 here, to a point. I’m really glad these days to see people that have a heart for the less-popular, less-optioned cars, and particularly for the unique cars. I’m a Chevelle guy. I had a 1966 Malibu 4-door hardtop as my first car. It was not a highly-optioned SS 396 coupe, and I had to live with what dad bought me, but as a teen cruising in my first car with my friends, I soon appreciated summers with all four windows down and 6 in the car. I survived that car because it was just a 283 with a 2-barrel carb. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive me, and when the insurance money came my next car was a 65 Malibu SS convertible. Both cars felt special and unique, but today if I had to choose between what’s behind garage door A) a restored 1965 Malibu SS convertible, or garage door B) a restored 1965 Chevelle 2-door wagon, I’d be likely to choose the wagon because of how rare and unique it is. As a kid, my dream car was a 1968 Camaro RS/SS convertible. But these days, first gen Camaros are everywhere. I still would love to own one, but what gets me excited at a car show is seeing a time-machine car, something rare, something unique. Just figure out what your car kink is and go for it, restoration cost or resale value be damned.


I was born in 1967 and bought a '67 SS 396 4 speed Chevelle when I was 17. Should have kept that car. I could’ve sold it today and bought a 1967 Malibu 4 speed with a 327 (much better car to drive than the big block version) and a Corvair. I will own a Corvair sooner or later for all the reasons you gave. They are cool, no matter what people say!


The lack of cooling passages between bores is not a problem. Just drill some steam holes. Richard Petty easily won the Daytona 500 using an illegal 400 ci small block - witnessed by Ronald Reagan. It didn’t overheat. Nothing POS about it. I’d like to find more blocks like that - few are left. It has big block cubes without the static and reciprocating weight. Spins up quicker than a big block because of lower inertia.

My Corvette has a modified 400 ci small block in it - currently with 40,000 miles. I live in Florida and it runs a cool 190 degrees at most during 95 degree weather.


I have a 1972 Pontiac LeMans conv I ordered with 400 cu engine 2 bar withe turbo auto trans dual ext Sundance orange white top white interior had it new and it is still looking new


My roommate in college had a Ford Granada with the 302 and 4 on the floor. I like that Mercury. Very cool.