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Does the supercar-fast Dodge Demon 170 have you dreaming muscle car dreams? Let’s say you don’t have $100k to blow on the latest Hellcat halo car. The good news is that you can buy a lot of used muscle car for under $20k. Everything on this list is a RWD available with a V8. For added sportiness, all of these cars are even available with a manual transmission.

  • 2005-2009 Ford Mustang GT
  • 2008-2014 Dodge Challenger R/T
  • 2005-2013 Chevrolet Corvette C6
  • 2005-2007 Cadillac CTS-V

Ford Mustang GT (2005-2013)

The back of a green 2008 Mustang GT in a parking lot, palm trees visible in the background.
2008 Ford Mustang GT | Cars & Bids

Ford launched its retro-styled fifth generation of the Mustang for the 2008 model year. Ford offered this Mustang with a 4.6-liter aluminum block V8. When optioned with the V8, the car is badged as a “Mustang GT.” The Mustang was also available with a five-speed manual transmission. Many Mustang fans seek out the sixth-generation GT, with its 5.0-liter V8 (2015-present). But at 300 horsepower, the 4.6 was no slouch. The 2005-14 Mustang GT is one of the better deals in gently-used muscle cars.

Of the 44 fifth-generation Ford Mustangs with V8s recently sold on eBay, 26 changed hands for $20k or less. Several sixth-generation Mustangs with the 5.0-liter V8 went for the same price, but the vast majority command more. Over on Cars and Bids nine fifth-generation Mustangs have sold for under $20k, including the 2008 Bullitt edition with a manual transmission pictured which was worth $18,750.

Dodge Challenger R/T (2008-2014)

Closeup of hte grille of a Challenger SRT, a garage lined with toolboxes visible in the background.
2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 | Cars & Bids

Dodge dove into the retro-looking muscle car market with its 2008 Challenger. Like the Mustang, you could order this coupe with a V6, naturally-aspirated V8, or a range of special-edition SRT engines. Though supercharged Hellcat variants continue to make headlines, the early V8 Challengers are a compelling used muscle car.

Used Challengers are more expensive than Mustangs. Why? This car’s vintage styling means that even a 2008 Challenger looks at home on today’s roads. In addition, Dodge just made fewer Challengers than Ford made Mustangs. But if you opt for a Challenger before the 2015 facelift, you might find one under $20k. At least five have sold on eBay for this price, but they often move for $20k-$30k. The good news is that the number of used Hellcats is driving down the price of often-overlooked SRT and Scat Pack special editions. For example, the 2012 SRT8 pictured (which had an SRT-tuned version of the 392 cubic-inch HEMI) sold on Cars and Bids for $30k with just 2,600 miles on the odometer.

Chevrolet Corvette C6 (2005-2013)

A burnt orange Corvette parked in front of an airport, planes visible in the background.
2006 Chevrolet Corvette C6 | Cars & Bids

Chevrolet’s contestant in the retro-looking muscle car wars was the Camaro. It came with similar engines–at similar prices–to the Mustang and Challenger. But I’d urge General Motors fans to consider “America’s Sports Car.” The sixth-generation Corvette (often written “C6”) was the second-generation Chevrolet built with a V8 up front and a transmission integrated into the rear axle (called a transaxle) to better balance its drivetrain weight. Doug DeMuro called the C6 “One of the best bargains on the used car market.” But if you prefer Radwood-cool pop-up headlights, you might look for a low-mileage C5 instead (1997-2004).

More than half of the C6 Corvettes which recently sold on eBay went for just $20k or less. Also, more than half of the C6 Corvettes listed there are optioned with a manual transmission. Over on Cars & Bids, four have moved for under $20k. Someone landed a 2006 car in sunset orange (pictured), which was optioned with the magnetic “Selective Ride Control Suspension” system, for $19,500.

Cadillac CTS-V (2004-2007)

The front of a red Cadillac CTS-V muscle car, woods visible in the background.g
2005 Cadillac CTS-V | Cars & Bids

Today, the Cadillac V series is legendary. There’s even a “V” Escalade tuned to be just as fast as a truck-based SUV can be. But this badge started when Cadillac decided to shoehorn a 400-horsepower Corvette Z06 engine (5.7-liter “LS6” V8) into its four-door CTS sedan. For the 2006 model year, GM swapped this with the latest engine (the 6.0-liter “LS2”), which had the same peak power but a wider torque band. The CTS-V also featured stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, and a limited-slip differential. Every one of these CTS-Vs had a six-speed manual.

The first-generation Cadillac CTS-V is one of the more unique used muscle cars around. But also one of the rarest. You will be hard-pressed to find one in a used car lot or on eBay. But nine have sold on Cars & Bids–all for under $20k. The second generation (2009-2014) is worth quite a bit more. Second-gen CTS-Vs configured as a wagon command the highest prices. But the red 2005 (pictured) went for $14,500 with 83k miles on the clock.

Next, find out the most reliable used Dodge Charger alternatives or see more cheap used muscle cars in the video below: