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So you’re a car shopper who wants one of the absolute fastest muscle cars you can get for under $50,000? Well, you’ll have to shop used, then. Don’t fret, though; there are some blacktop-bashing muscle cars you can snag for under $50,000 if you shop smart. Here are some of your best options to fit your American muscle car budget, like the Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcat. 

  • Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
  • Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (S197)
  • Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

How much is a used Charger SRT Hellcat?

If your definition of a muscle car includes a sedan with the supercharged beating heart of a Hellcat, this Charger more than earns its place on this list. Despite sharing the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2L Hellcat V8 with the Challenger coupe, the first Charger Hellcats were faster due to aero advantages. Car and Driver tested the first Charger SRT Hellcat in 2015 and returned a shocking 0-60 mph time of just 3.4 seconds. 

The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is even quicker than the Challenger SRT Hellcat on the list of the fastest used muscle cars.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat | Stellantis

It doesn’t stop there, either. The Charger Hellcat was the fastest sedan in the world at the time of its release, with a top speed of 204 mph. Oh, and the best part? Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says savvy shoppers can find one with 50,000 miles for around $48,000.

Is the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 one of the fastest used muscle cars? 

I know, “but why does it have to be so old?” Well, when it can sprint to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and crush the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds on its way to over 200 mph, it makes the list. Enter the 2013 (and 2014) Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, a 662-horsepower testament to the modern American performance bargain. Better yet, you can get yours with around 50,000 miles for roughly $50,000 if you shop smart. 

The 2013 and 2014 Shelby GT500 is quicker than the Challenger SRT Hellcat on the list of fastest used muscle cars under $50,000.
Shelby GT500 | Steve Russell, Toronto Star via Getty Images

Is the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 one of the fastest used muscle cars?

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is an absolute missile with less focus on straight-line speed than on conquering the track with muscle car style. This 650-horsepower supercharged beast with 11 intercoolers and a Corvette heart transplant is not for the faint of heart. However, if you’re up to it, you can expect a fair purchase price of $48,370, according to KBB. You’ll be glad you did, too; MotorTrend tested the 2017 ZL1, and it hit 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. 

It’s no surprise that the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat makes the list

It’s probably the most hyped-up muscle car of the mid-2010s; the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat instantly had a fan base and haters to match. Love it or hate it, the first Hellcats laid down the law. In Car and Driver’s tests of the volcanic coupe, it hit 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds on its way to an 11.7-second quarter-mile run. However, unlike the Charger that shares its 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2L V8, the Challenger’s aero limitations keep it just shy of 200 mph; Dodge claims it would do 199. 

If you’re interested in one of the first Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats, you can snag one for under $50,000 with around 50,000 miles.

Which one should you buy?

If you want a seriously fast car for nearly the same price as a much slower 2022 Ford Mustang GT Premium, there’s no shame in buying a used muscle car. If you want your V8-powered muscle machine to have four doors, your only option here is the Charger Hellcat. However, if you want a vehicle with serious pedigree, consider the Shelby GT500. Scroll down to the following article to read more about muscle cars!


Fastest Muscle Cars in History by Decade