It seems my parents always had great vehicles when I was growing up. Mom had several nice coupes and Dad had some really cool pickup trucks. The car that Mom had that stands out in my memory was a 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury. This car was the epitome of style and muscle that was so popular in the 1960s. I believe this was the first car I ever drove. I was just tall enough to see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals. To this day, nothing beats the feeling of driving that car. It was a sad day when my folks sold that old Plymouth. At least I still have the memories.
Now that you know where my love of Mopars originated, I’m going to share a few of my favorite classic Mopar muscle cars. These are some of the greatest muscle cars ever built and have gathered quite a following.
1965 Plymouth Sport Fury
Of all the classic Mopars on my list, this car is one of my favorites. My parents had a Sport Fury while I was growing up in Mississippi. The car sported shiny blue paint, spinner wheels, and lots of chrome trim on the outside along with bucket seats, floor shifter, and deluxe steering wheel in the interior. In the Sport Fury, a 318 cubic-inch V8 came standard or buyers could choose between two 383 Commando engines or a 426 Commando. Sometimes if I asked, my mother would let me drive the car and I have to admit, it was one of the coolest cars I’ve ever driven.
Hot tip: The Sport Fury with the 426 Commando is the rarest and will probably command a higher price over cars equipped with the other V8s.
1967 Plymouth GTX
When Plymouth introduced the GTX in 1967, they did it right. They made the Super Commando 440 the standard engine and gave buyers a 426 Hemi as an option. With the 440 equipped with an automatic, the GTX was capable of 0-60 times of 6.6 seconds and could run the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds. If this car looks familiar, it’s probably because you saw comedian Chris Farley driving one in the movie “Tommy Boy”. With dual hood scoops, blacked-out grille, and a flip-up chrome gas cap, the GTX was quite a looker and still gathers quite a following at the car shows and cruise-ins.
Hot tip: Buyers looking for a rare 1967 GTX should seek out the Hemi convertible. Reports indicate less than 20 were built.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
A year before the Plymouth Superbird was built, Dodge introduced the original winged warrior — the Dodge Charger Daytona. Created specifically for NASCAR racing, these cars were modified with an 18-inch nose cone and 58-inch-wide rear wing. Power was put the pavement by either a 440 Magnum or the 426 Hemi V8. Sadly, the era of the winged warrior was short lived. NASCAR banned all winged cars at the end of the 1970 racing season.
Hot tip: Since only 70 Daytonas were built with the 426 Hemi, finding one can prove to be quite a chore.
1970 Dodge Challenger
When Dodge introduced the Challenger in 1970, they made sure to give buyers several engine and trim choices. Standouts for the year include the performance oriented R/T and the limited edition T/A. A popular option with R/T buyers was the functional Shaker hood scoop that gave the car an aggressive look. Buyers wanting something a little tamer could get the SE model which included amenities such as an overhead consolette and nine-gauge instrument cluster. An R/T 440 Magnum was featured in the drive-in classic “Vanishing Point”.
Hot tip: One of the rarest Challengers is the Hemi R/T convertible. Only 9 Hemi of these convertibles were built.
1970 Dodge Charger
If something isn’t broken, why mess with it? That’s basically the rule that Dodge used when it came to the 1970 Dodge Charger. Other than a new grille, front bumper, and taillight panel, not much changed on the exterior. Things got interesting underneath the hood with the optional 390 horsepower 440 Six Pack. Buyers could get their Charger painted in colors such as Plum Crazy, Go-Mango and Sublime.
Hot tip: Buyers wanting a little more flair could get the SE package on the Charger 500 and R/T. This included deep dish wheel covers, simulated walnut steering wheel, and leather/vinyl bucket seats.
1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda AAR
Named after Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, the AAR ‘Cuda was a one-year only muscle machine limited to around 2,700 cars. AAR ‘Cudas are easily identifiable by their black hood, strobe striping, and rear spoiler. Another unique feature of the car is the exhaust pipes exit the side of the vehicle in front of the rear wheels. Power gets to the pavement by a 290 horsepower 340 cubic-inch V8 through a 4-speed manual or TorqueFlite automatic. AAR ‘Cudas also came in wild colors such as Sassy Grass Green, Lemon Twist, and Vitamin C.
Hot tip: Finding an AAR ‘Cuda can be a chore. Since only 2,724 were built and fewer than that exist, those that really want one snatch them up pretty quickly.
1970 Plymouth Road Runner
In 1970, Plymouth upgraded the look of the Road Runner by adding a new grille, hood, and non-functional scoops on the rear quarters. V8 choices ran from a 335 horsepower 383 all the way up to a 426 Hemi spewing 425 horsepower. Plymouth also gave the Road Runner outrageous colors such as Vitamin C, Lemon Twist, and In-Violet. In keeping with the Road Runner theme, Plymouth gave the Road Runner a beep-beep horn that sounded just like the popular Warner Brothers character. Due to being raced and driven hard, it can be difficult to find a Road Runner in good condition.
Hot tip: 1970 was the last year a Road Runner convertible was offered. Fewer than 850 were built that year.
1971 Dodge Charger
For 1971, Dodge restyled the Charger by giving it a rounder “coke bottle” shape and split grille. Popular trims included the R/T, 500, and SE. Dodge also made the Super Bee available on the Charger for 1971. Due to rising insurance rates and higher gas prices, Hemi buyers were somewhat scarce this year. Less than 65 Hemi cars were built this year.
Hot tip: Buyers seeking a rare 1971 model should seek out those painted in Citron Yella. This color was only offered for the 1971 model year.
1970 Plymouth Superbird
Developed with NASCAR racing in mind, the Superbird was crafted from the Road Runner by adding a nosecone and tall rear wing. Rumor has it, the Superbird was conceived with the intention of luring Richard Petty back to Plymouth. Power for the bird was supplied by either a 426 HEMI or the 440 Super Commando with one or three two-barrels carbs. Growing up, I remember seeing pictures of this car and thinking how cool these actually looked. Due to high insurance premiums and restrictions on emissions, the Superbird was produced only for the 1970 model year.
Hot tip: Be ready to shell out a lot of dough if you want a nice ‘Bird. The 440 Hemi cars can easily command around $250,000.
1971 Plymouth Barracuda
This is definitely one of my favorite pony cars from the 1970’s. V8 power ranged from 250 horsepower in the 383-4V and up to 330 horses in the 440 Six Pack. 1971 was also the only year the ‘cuda featured quad headlights and gills on the front fenders. If this car looks familiar to you, it’s probably because you were a fan of the show Nash Bridges. The show featured a yellow convertible that actor Don Johnson drove around the streets of San Francisco.
Hot tip: If you’ve got a few dollars to spare, try finding a Hemi convertible. Only 11 were built and due to their rareness, sell for a million dollars or more.
Thanks for checking out my favorite classic Mopars. I still get excited when I see these and other classic Mopars at car shows and cruise-ins. Also, I sometimes get online to see if I can find the 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury my parents had. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to find out what happened to it.