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30 Muscle Cars Drivers Avoided That Are Now Worth Millions

Vukasin HerbezDecember 14, 2020

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3. Pontiac Can-Am

Back in the late ’70s, the American performance car segment was a shadow of its former glory. Tight ecological and safety standards killed those high compression engines and ruined performance. Although there were a few surviving models, “performance” was just a word people used in magazine ads. But in 1977, everything changed when Pontiac introduced the Can-Am. The Can-Am was a one-year-only model and the last real muscle car. It had big-block power packed into its unique body style. Under the hood scoop sourced from the Firebird Trans Am, a big 455 engine was delivering 200 HP. That was more than any other muscle car on the market at the moment.

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The Can-Am package consisted of special rear window louvers, rear spoilers, and optional extras. Pontiac introduced the Can-Am in early 1977 and the market responded well. Pontiac received between 5,000 and 10,000 reservations but only sold 1,377 of them. The problem was that the outside contractor that assembled the Can-Am suffered equipment failure. They had to wait three months for the new equipment, but Pontiac couldn’t wait, so they canceled all orders. This killed the Can-Am, and they didn’t offer this model again until 1978.

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2. Mercury Cougar Boss 302

They conceived the Mercury Cougar as a luxury pony car, building it on a stretched Mustang platform. This meant all the engines they installed in the Mustang could easily fit into the Cougar as well.

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In 1969, Ford introduced the Boss 302, and Mercury got its own version too. They called it the Cougar Boss 302. Strangely, Ford didn’t widely advertise this highly-capable pony car, so it remained obscure. Mercury produced just 169 of them, and it’s a mystery how many have survived to this day.

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1. 1969 Plymouth Barracuda 440

The biggest news for 1969 was the introduction of the Barracuda 440 V8. It was a monster pony car with the biggest engine ever installed under the hood of a car in that segment. The Barracuda 440 produced 375 HP and a massive 480 lb-ft of torque. This made it fast but also hard to launch due to loads of wheel spin.

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Due to the engine’s tight fit, there wasn’t enough space for a power steering pump. That meant Barracuda 440 owners had to use their muscles to turn this compact but overly powerful car. Plymouth only made a handful of these models, which makes them very rare today.

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