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17 of the Rarest Muscle Cars With Single Digit Production Numbers

Vukasin HerbezMarch 7, 2019

There are many articles on the internet about rare muscle cars. It is a fascinating topic that has captivated every car enthusiast’s imagination for decades. But, most of those articles talk about Cobra Jet Mustangs, Yenko Camaros, Hemi Cudas or Shelby GT500s, which are rare beasts, but they still produced them in several hundred or more copies.

But, today, you will learn about something a bit different. These are the muscle cars with single digit production numbers. These are the ultimate rare finds of the muscle car world. In fact, they are so rare, most car enthusiasts are not sure they even existed. As you will see, most of the cars on this list are Hemi-powered models, but not all.

This is simply because the Hemi engine option was rare and expensive back in the day. It was available on a range of Plymouth and Dodge models, but some are rarer than others. So, keep reading to learn about these virtually unheard of vehicles.

  1. 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst Convertible: One Example

Everybody knows about the legendary Chrysler 300 “Letter Cars.” This was a series of high-powered coupes and convertibles they built from 1955 to 1965. However, in 1970, they produced a special limited edition, the 300 Hurst. Chrysler built it in limited numbers at around 500 coupes with the help of the famous transmission company, Hurst. It featured a special white and gold paint job and similarly styled interior.

And better yet, they integrated a rear spoiler into the rear deck lid. Under the hood, there was the mighty 440 V8 engine that produced 395 HP. It could propel this two-ton beast to respectful acceleration times. But, for promotional purposes, Hurst only built one 300 Hurst Convertible. Most car fans believe it the rarest muscle car in the world.

  1. 1967 Shelby Super Snake: One Example

They built this unique Shelby GT500 as a rolling laboratory to showcase the possibilities of the Mustang platform, as well as for testing Goodyear’s “Thunderbolt” tire line. It had a Le Mans-winning GT 40 race engine and a special transmission, suspension, and tires. However, they only produced one example.

There were plans for a limited production run. But the proposed price was over $8,000, which was an enormous sum for the late ‘60s. And most Shelby fans think that’s too bad since the Super Snake was capable of a 170-mph top speed. That was unheard in the late ‘60s. However, it could have put the Mustang in place at the world’s fastest muscle car

  1. 1967 Ford Country Squire Wagon 428 4-Speed: One Example

Ford’s luxury 1966 Country Squire station wagon was the perfect example of a muscle car they disguised as a family long roof. To the average person, this car looked like a big old station wagon that could haul nine people and carry a lot of cargo. But to experienced enthusiasts, just one glance under the hood revealed the true nature of this car.

For 1966 and 1967, Ford offered the 428 V8 engine as an option on its station wagon model lineup. However, this 428 V8 was not the famed Cobra Jet, but an engine from the Thunderbird, which they underrated at 345 HP. With over 460 lb-ft of torque, the Country Squire could go fast, despite its size and weight. But, they only built one of them with the four-speed manual.

  1. 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi Convertible: Two Examples

The 1967 Coronet with the R/T package is quite a find. In fact, the R/T stands for road and track. But, when you find one with the Hemi engine, you have struck gold. However, that is not all. In 1967, Dodge produced just two R/T Hemi Convertibles, one with a four-speed manual and the other with an automatic.

  1. 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi Convertible: Two Examples

It was a watershed year for the classic muscle car culture in 1970. Never before or since were there so many cars to choose from. Dodge was at the forefront of the movement with the Charger and Challenger. But, the Coronet wasn’t as popular, even though it had almost the same options and engine choices. In 1970, you could order a Coronet with the R/T package, which included the optional 426 Hemi and convertible body style. But apparently, just two customers did that, making those cars incredibly rare.

  1. 1966 Shelby Cobra Supercharged: Two Examples

What do you get when you put a big Paxton supercharger on top of a Ford 427 V8 engine and install it in the light and nimble Cobra body? In 1966, Carroll Shelby answered that question in the form of the fantastically rare Cobra with 800 HP he produced as a special project. They only made two cars, crashing and destroying one of them. However, the other one recently sold for a staggering $5.5 million.

  1. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL-1: Two or Three Examples

The 1969 Corvette ZL1 was an experimental car with a special, all-aluminum 427 V8 engine Chevy designed for racing. But they didn’t advertise the car, so even the dealers didn’t know it was available. Only factory insiders and those well-informed of Chevrolet’s activities knew the ZL-1 even existed. Interestingly, Chevy only produced two examples, but rumor has it there was one more.

  1. 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Hemi Convertible: Three Examples

The Roadrunner was always a popular muscle car. However, most Plymouth customers looked for standard models with 383 or 440 V8 engines, closed bodies, and no options. But, some wanted to option their Roadrunners to the max, and the 1970 Hemi Convertible is a perfect example. However, they only made three such cars that year. One came with a manual and two came with an automatic transmission.

  1. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible: Three Examples

The second generation Corvette (C2) Chevy produced from 1963 to 1967 was one of the most beautiful and aggressive looking cars from the muscle car era. Despite the fact they introduced the big block 427 Corvette in 1966, they further refined it with four levels of power for the 1967 model year. The list started with the 390 HP 427 V8 and ended with the extremely rare, valuable and powerful L-88 427 V8.

Corvettes equipped with this engine were in a class by themselves. In fact, the aluminum head L-88 produced close to 600 HP. Also, it came with a mandatory heavy duty suspension, brakes, and handling package for racers. But, it was expensive, almost doubling the price of a base ’67 Corvette. And that is why it is one of the rarest with Chevy building 17 coupes and three convertibles.

  1. 1969 Hurst Oldsmobile 442 Convertible: Three Examples

One of the most successful collaborations between a major car company and a small aftermarket outfit was the deal between Hurst and Oldsmobile. At the time, Oldsmobile was under the GM ban, which forbade the company from putting engines larger than 400 CID in their intermediate cars. However, since Hurst was an independent company, the GM rules didn’t apply. So, Oldsmobile shipped some partially disassembled 442s to Hurst where they installed the biggest engine Oldsmobile had, which was the mighty 455 V8 that delivered 390 HP.

Of course, the Hurst Olds package also got numerous other performance upgrades, like a ram air induction system, heavy duty suspension and brakes. Since the Hurst Olds was a limited production factory hot rod, it was quite expensive and the convertible wasn’t available. But, in 1969, Hurst did produce three convertibles for promotional purposes only.

  1. 1970 Dodge Super Bee Hemi Two Door Coupe: Four Examples

The 1970 Dodge Super Bee had a great design and the best of corporate technology in the form of mighty Hemi engines. Most of the cars they produced were hardtops or convertibles, but Dodge offered a two-door pillared coupe, as well. This was the choice of serious street racing guys who wanted the lightest body with the most powerful engine. And that was exactly what the 1970 Super Bee two-door with the Hemi was. Dodge only made four of them, all with a manual transmission.

  1. 1966 Dodge Coronet Hemi Sedan: Five Examples

The Chrysler Corporation introduced its legendary 426 Hemi engine for 1966 as an option on selected Plymouth and Dodge models. But they also provide the iconic power plant on the Dodge Coronet as well, and technically, it could be ordered with any body style. However, buyers associated Hemi power with two-door coupes and convertibles, so most people didn’t realize they could have a Hemi in a sedan, or even in wagon form.

That is why only a few people bought the Coronet De Luxe Hemi four-door in 1966, getting the ultimate muscle car sedan. With an advertised 425 HP under your right foot, the Coronet Hemi four-door was arguably the fastest production sedan in America and the ultimate muscle car four-door.

  1. 1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible: Six Examples

A large number of muscle car enthusiasts will tell you that the first model year for the Shelby Mustang convertible was 1968, but this is only partially true. In 1968, Shelby offered a convertible version to the general public as a regular production option. But they produced the first convertibles Carroll built himself in 1966 as a secret project.

At the end of the 1966 model year, Carroll Shelby decided to produce a limited and secret run of six GT350 convertibles to give to his family and friends. This car was a commemorative edition to celebrate the success of the GT350, as well as a prototype for the production of convertibles. Each car received full options like air conditioning and a roll bar. Also, each car was in a different color with its signature white racing stripes.

  1. 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible: Seven Examples

The mighty Hemi engine was an expensive, top of the line option for the 1970 and 1971 Barracuda lineup available in coupe or convertible form. It cost around $900 over the price of the standard Barracuda. But they only installed in approximately 600 coupes and 17 convertibles during its two year production period. However, for 1971, only seven Cuda Convertibles got the Hemi treatment, making them incredibly rare and desirable cars.

  1. 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Convertible: Eight Examples

In 1969, Pontiac wanted to present a model they could homologate for Trans Am racing. So, Pontiac made the Firebird Trans Am as a loaded version of the standard model. They equipped it with big block power from the famous 400 V8 engine and a Ram Air III or IV intake system.

This special version comes with its signature white paint, and blue stripes. The Rally II wheels and other equipment made it a tough sell, so they only sold 634 Firebird Trans Ams. And among those, only eight were convertibles.

  1. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi Convertible: Nine Examples

Despite the fact that Plymouth presented the Barracuda as the first pony car model two weeks before the Ford Mustang, its stablemate, Dodge didn’t enter the segment until 1970. They immediately revealed the Challenger with the full firepower of Mopar engines. But, buyers could also get the powerful 383 V8, big 440 or the famous 426 Hemi, too.

Since the Challenger was a true muscle car, the majority of sold examples were coupes, but the convertible was also available. In 1970, Dodge produced only nine convertible Challengers with the Hemi. And that makes this model one of the rarest, as well as the most powerful muscle car convertibles Dodge built in those golden years.

  1. 1968 Dodge Coronet Hemi Convertible: Nine Examples

A major redesign of the whole Dodge mid-size lineup, including its muscle offerings, happened in 1968. The Charger got its famous Coke-bottle shape and the Coronet got new sheet metal. But for those who wanted more out of their regular Coronet, Dodge prepared a nice-looking convertible and the 426 Hemi as an option. However, only nine people decided to purchase this fast and rare cruiser.

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