Step into an auction like Mecums or Bonhams, and you’ll see muscle cars fly off to be rubbed with a diaper inside of a garage for eternity. Some of the most popular and rare muscle cars sell for $250,000 or more, which can be daunting for an average Joe trying to break into the affordable muscle car scene with only $10-15,000. Those in that position might want to turn their attention to a little company called Plymouth. Plymouth made some of the most iconic muscle cars in the 1960s and ‘70s, and are surprisingly affordable today.
1965 Plymouth Barracuda: the cheaper older brother
If you’re interested in classic muscle cars, you’ve probably heard of the Plymouth Barracuda, or ‘Cuda’. Plymouth made the ‘Cuda for three generations over 10 years. Nowadays, third-generation ‘Cudas go for around $400,000 in showroom condition. It’s a little out of range for some people. However, you can have a ‘Cuda for much less; it’ll just be a few years older. First and second-generation ‘Cudas sell for anything between $5,000 and $20,000 and are sometimes in great shape. You can build a fast ‘Cuda with a first-generation model and the 426 Hemi V8.
1962-1973 Plymouth Fury: borderline muscle
Plymouth Furys might be easier to find than the ‘Cuda. The Fury was sold as a sedan, coupe, convertible, and station wagon. Third and fourth-generation Furys received a slew of V8 engines, including the 440 and 426. Although it was meant to compete against the Ford Galaxie and Chevrolet Impala, it was a mid-size car from 1962-1965 and had big-block V8s. You can find a third, fourth, or fifth-generation Plymouth Fury for any price between $2,000 and $35,000.
1970-1976 Plymouth Duster: a race car
The Plymouth Duster was short-lived, and although it never had a big block V8, it made a significant impact competing against other compact cars, including the Chevrolet Nova and the Ford Maverick. The Duster is criminally undervalued as a potential performance car. The 1970 Plymouth Duster had at least 275 horsepower and had an 8,000 RPM redline with the 340 cubic-inch V8. A limited-slip differential allowed the Duster to hit 60 mph in just 6 seconds. You can find Dusters on sale between $7,000 and $50,000 for showroom quality.
1974 Plymouth Scamp: a Valiant muscle car
Like the Barracuda and the Duster, the Plymouth Scamp was derived from the Valiant platform. Plymouth took the Valiant, gave it some new body panels, made it a semi-fastback, and then gave it the “Scamp” package. Scamps from 1973-1974 could feature a 318 V8, power disc brakes, and electronic ignition, says MotorTrend. The small block 318 gave the Valiant some semblance of a muscle car, and that with the fastback style helped the Scamp into a subdued muscle attitude. Though not as bold as a Dodge Charger or Pontiac GTO, the Scamp made a statement in its own right. Scamps in show condition go for around $30,000.
Plymouth muscle cars aren’t as flashy as Chevrolets, aren’t as popular as Fords, and aren’t as menacing as Dodge, but that’s a good thing. Plymouth muscle cars offer an affordable way to get into classic car ownership, and they’re common enough for you to find them almost everywhere.