Hemis are the baddest, rarest muscle cars out there. Or are they?


There seems to be a perception that Mopars are the rarest muscle cars out there. And why not? The Chrysler Corporation was third among the Big Three, and Dodge and Plymouth had a smaller dealer network than several among General Motors and FoMoCo. Combine Mopars with the limited consumer appeal of the 426 Hemi (it was expensive and wasn’t the best engine to go from Point A to Point B—unless it was in a straight line) and you have some of the most desirable muscle cars of the era. Combine that with the convertible body style and it’s among the rarest.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/26/hemis-are-the-baddest-rarest-muscle-cars-out-there-or-are-they


Another one for the list, Mecum Auctions sold a 1969 El Camino SS 396 L89 in January 2017. Had no idea these even existed, probably one of a couple ever built. https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0117-269471/1969-chevrolet-el-camino-ss/


@Greg - That El Camino is amazing. Kudos to the person who filled out the order form there, very well done.


I had a friend back in the 1980s who had a 69 chevelle convertible ss 427 4 speed. He ordered it brand new from GM. Now that was a car. He still has it and will until he dies.


I guess I have the right cars!


Chances are there’s more to the story because no SS had a 427 and no 427s were convertibles. This is straight from GM Heritage Center records.


Well, you know hot rodders. Maybe he had replaced the 396 with a 427, but it was an awesome car, in any case.


Just called my friend and he said it is an original 427 from the factory but is a hardtop, not convertible, that is my mistake. He swears it is original, one of about 300 made.


Then likely you’re mistaken about it being an SS. COPO Chevelles were regular Malibus but had the SS hood.


Hey, I’ve got one of those! Okay, so it’s a 302 with a C4, but I see these Torinos referenced so rarely it’s nice to see it covered.


A COPO 427 Chevelle is a very rare car, any pics? He bought it new and still has it? That’s rarer still.


Finding a GTE at a local car show is like finding hens teeth in a desert. Great list here. Here is my 39k mile original paint 67 xR7


I bought a 68 Torino GT in Aug of 68. One of 660 made with a 428 CJ and C6 Auto.


PONTIAC! Everyone goes to the GTO. Everyone forgets the LeMans GT37 (not to be confused by the T37.)
GT37 (1971 5802 built)

Order code 332

Hardtop 3337

Coupes 3327 (1970 only)

Vin 233371P------

400 4bl L78(99 head) 572or718built

455 66head L75 (54or69 built)

455 197 head LS5 unknown number but less than the L75

This package was in response to the Judge pack that was originally thought up to offer a “striped GTO”!and went so far the wrong way.

All the history states they were all built in MI. My dad special ordered his with a 400 M21 4.10 tracpack. It was metallic blue with reflecting stripes. They used 3 stripe packs through 71, his was the latest and rarest. It was delivered to IL but built in CA assembly plant. They were offered from 350ci to 455, and any transmissions Pontiac had. Most were 3sp floor, I think you could get it up on the tree too; you couldn’t however get anything but a bench seat! The dealer was kind enough to check the box for the rubber trunk mat that he paid for ($13 I think) otherwise you got bare steel.
The biggest benefit my dad saw as a 21yr old male of the time was his insurance man saw “LeMans” on the paper work and not “GTO” as the 68 bench seat green on green 4sp he traded in.
Unfortunately it was traded in 73 for a 74 GrandAm.
I’ve been looking for this car now for almost 20yr for my dad with no luck.
PM me if you have one!


We had a 1970 Fairlane (Budget Torino) when I was a teenager. I always thought it had pretty good lines.

A few years ago the Peterson Museum in LA had an exhibit on Italian design. When I saw this one, I instantly recognized the front end design. Perhaps you will too. It was smaller but unmistakable.


Very rare muscle cars are 1971 Shelby Europa cars. After Shelby Cobra production (in 1965-1970 with total production of about 13,800 cars) in the USA came to end, Shelby production continued for one more year in Belgium by Claude Dubois under Carroll Shelby’s licence. Only nine cars were made, of which only two were convertibles.

More info from Wolfgang Kohrn’s website: http://www.ponysite.de/sheleur_main.htm


1967 Chevelle SS 396/375 L78 only 612 were built. Even less convertibles.


And the 8 1969 Trans Am Convertibles


I agree with the above choices as the very rare muscle cars… I have owned a 65 Buick Gran Sport two-door hardtop 401 with the original two four-barrel setup as the Riviera Gran Sport had since 1980. I bought this car from the original owner it has the factory 3 on the floor and the documentation to go with it. I spoke to the selling dealer before his death and the car is as it was I saw production figures many years ago claiming 604 Skylark Gran Sport with a two-door hardtop and 3 on the floor out of that the number that got the two four-barrel option has got to be very few. this is not an “I saw one once” the car still remains in my garage with approximately 80,000 miles. ! I would have gladly posted more pictures but as a new user I’m only allowed to post one


They’re close to Hemi Cuda Convertible expensive as well. Assuming I had the funds, I would take one over a Cuda without hesitation.