Home Cars The Fastest Muscle Cars of 1969: What They Cost Then and Now

The Fastest Muscle Cars of 1969: What They Cost Then and Now

Vukasin Herbez April 27, 2023

Photo Credit: Auto WP

1969 Corvette L88 – 13.30 seconds

Price New: $6,500

Price Now: $1 million +

Even though the first big block, the 427 Corvette, left the factory in 1966, it was further refined with four levels of power for the 1969 model year. The list started with a 390 HP 427 V8 and ended with an extremely rare and powerful L-88 427 V8 (via Hagerty).

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Corvettes equipped with this engine were a class for themselves since the aluminum head L-88 produced close to 600 HP and came with a heavy-duty suspension, brakes, and handling package. This option was for racers and was very expensive, almost doubling the price of the base ’69 Corvette.

Photo Credit: Auto WP

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – 13.16 seconds

Price New: $7,200

Price Now: $1 million +

In the late ’60s, Can-Am was a famous racing series featuring prototype-class cars with V8 engines. Chevrolet wanted to purpose-build a power plant for this championship. They produced an all-aluminum 427 big block called ZL-1 in 1969. It was a high-revving, 7.0-liter V8, with around 550 HP in mild tune. Chevrolet produced about 200 of those engines. While most of them went to Can-Am racing teams, 69 of ZL-1 were installed in C.O.P.O Camaros and sold to drag racing teams (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Camaro ZL-1 was the same as a regular 1969 Camaro on the outside, but it was so fast it was barely street-legal. The 1969 official Chevrolet literature doesn’t mention the ZL-1 option for the Camaro. But if you were a successful drag racer or dealer, you knew about this expensive option. That’s why only 69 Camaros ZL-1 left the factory.

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1969 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi – 12.91 seconds

Price New: $3,900

Price Now: $240,000

When it first appeared in 1968, the Roadrunner proved to be a very influential and essential muscle car. It introduced the new trend of inexpensive and fun cars and was also a strong seller, affecting the whole segment. The entire idea behind the Roadrunner was simple. that was to present a low-priced but still powerful model and attract performance-minded buyers on a limited budget (via Riga Master Workshop).

Photo Credit: Barett Jackson

The most appealing thing about the Roadrunner was the fact that Plymouth used the popular cartoon character. Chrysler paid $60,000 for the rights to use the name and design, and everyone thought the company was crazy for doing so. The sales results proved everybody wrong. The Roadrunner was the first muscle car with crazy graphics and the car that started the trend. The Roadrunner had a bench seat, no luxury options, and manual steering. But it came with the powerful 383 V8 as the base engine and buyers could also opt for the 440 or the mythical Hemi 426.

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