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Step into an auction like Mecums or Bonhams, and you’ll see muscle cars fly off to be rubbed with a diaper inside of a garage for eternity. Some of the most popular and rare muscle cars sell for $250,000 or more, which can be daunting for an average Joe trying to break into the affordable muscle car scene with only $10-15,000. Those in that position might want to turn their attention to a little company called Plymouth. Plymouth made some of the most iconic muscle cars in the 1960s and ‘70s, and are surprisingly affordable today. 

1965 Plymouth Barracuda: the cheaper older brother

1965 Plymouth Barracuda (left) alongside a Ford Galaxie at Goodwood
1965 Plymouth Barracuda (left) alongside a Ford Galaxie at Goodwood | Michael Cole/Getty Images

If you’re interested in classic muscle cars, you’ve probably heard of the Plymouth Barracuda, or ‘Cuda’. Plymouth made the ‘Cuda for three generations over 10 years. Nowadays, third-generation ‘Cudas go for around $400,000 in showroom condition. It’s a little out of range for some people. However, you can have a ‘Cuda for much less; it’ll just be a few years older. First and second-generation ‘Cudas sell for anything between $5,000 and $20,000 and are sometimes in great shape. You can build a fast ‘Cuda with a first-generation model and the 426 Hemi V8. 

1962-1973 Plymouth Fury: borderline muscle

1966 Plymouth Fury III on display in Cardiff
1966 Plymouth Fury III on display in Cardiff | Dünzl\ullstein bild via Getty Images

Plymouth Furys might be easier to find than the ‘Cuda. The Fury was sold as a sedan, coupe, convertible, and station wagon. Third and fourth-generation Furys received a slew of V8 engines, including the 440 and 426. Although it was meant to compete against the Ford Galaxie and Chevrolet Impala, it was a mid-size car from 1962-1965 and had big-block V8s. You can find a third, fourth, or fifth-generation Plymouth Fury for any price between $2,000 and $35,000. 

1970-1976 Plymouth Duster: a race car

Plymouth Duster 340 drag racing
Plymouth Duster 340 drag racing | Craig Cutler/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

The Plymouth Duster was short-lived, and although it never had a big block V8, it made a significant impact competing against other compact cars, including the Chevrolet Nova and the Ford Maverick. The Duster is criminally undervalued as a potential performance car. The 1970 Plymouth Duster had at least 275 horsepower and had an 8,000 RPM redline with the 340 cubic-inch V8. A limited-slip differential allowed the Duster to hit 60 mph in just 6 seconds. You can find Dusters on sale between $7,000 and $50,000 for showroom quality.

1974 Plymouth Scamp: a Valiant muscle car

Like the Barracuda and the Duster, the Plymouth Scamp was derived from the Valiant platform. Plymouth took the Valiant, gave it some new body panels, made it a semi-fastback, and then gave it the “Scamp” package. Scamps from 1973-1974 could feature a 318 V8, power disc brakes, and electronic ignition, says MotorTrend. The small block 318 gave the Valiant some semblance of a muscle car, and that with the fastback style helped the Scamp into a subdued muscle attitude. Though not as bold as a Dodge Charger or Pontiac GTO, the Scamp made a statement in its own right. Scamps in show condition go for around $30,000.

Plymouth muscle cars aren’t as flashy as Chevrolets, aren’t as popular as Fords, and aren’t as menacing as Dodge, but that’s a good thing. Plymouth muscle cars offer an affordable way to get into classic car ownership, and they’re common enough for you to find them almost everywhere.


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