10 CLASSIC MUSCLE CARS THAT CAN KEEP GOING FOR YEARS

Classic cars, including vintage muscle cars, are loved for their clean looks, character, powerful engine options, and elegant interiors that set them apart from any other modern car. While a number of these are still available in the used market today, not many find buyers because of their expensive maintenance costs and sub-par reliability.

A few of these, however, are well-known for their impressive reliability and cheap maintenance costs, and thus are appreciated by many enthusiasts.

We looked at owner feedback on Carsurvey.org to find out just how long these classic muscle cars hold up over time.

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1970 Plymouth Road Runner 383

The 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, unlike the other muscle cars in the market at its time, was offered with powerful engine options and an affordable price tag. The base-spec model of the 1970 Road Runner was offered with a 6.3-liter engine that delivered 335 hp and 435 lb-ft of maximum torque. It's also currently considered one of the cheapest to maintain classic cars.

1970 Road Runner Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

Two Road Runner owners who reported their experiences on Carsurvey.org gave the 1969 and 1970 models an 8/10 and 10/10 respectively in reliability. The 1969 owner claims to have acquired the vehicle at 78,000 miles and reached 130,000 miles over the course of 13 years. The 1970 owner claims to have acquired the muscle car in 1999 when it had 120,000 miles. The latter mentions some concerning faults saying, "About half of my trunk had rusted before I repaired it. Half of my rear quarter panels had rusted out."

  • Problems Owners Report: Rust and electrical issues
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 129,000 miles

1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Ford launched the Mustang Mach 1 facelift in the year 1972 and offered a flexibility for buyers to opt for several engine options, including a 5.8-liter V8 engine that was tuned to deliver from 140 hp to 275 hp, depending on the variant opted. While the claimed 0-60 mph time stands close to 6 seconds, there was enough grunt on offer for hardcore enthusiasts. Tuners also report a positive experience, and this version of the Mustang is well-known for its flexibility and multiple tuning options.

1972 Mach 1 Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

A 1972 Mach 1 owner from the Netherlands reported their experience with a 5.0-liter V8 302 version on Carsurvey.org. Scoring the Ford muscle car a 8/10 in reliability, the owner provides a laundry list of maintenance and repairs done over the years. They write: "Over the years; annual maintenance such as grease jobs, oil and filter changes, spark plugs, air filters, one new right front tire, one new left rear tire, windshield replaced due to a crack."

  • Problems Owners Report: Vapor lock, can become costly to maintain
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 42,900 miles

1972 AMC Javelin

Unlike the other muscle cars of its time, the 1972 AMC Javelin was launched with a super clean and subtle design, without any major styling elements. What made it even more appealing to buyers was a comprehensive warranty package that covered all the repairs excluding tires annually. In addition to this, the strong build quality and great reliability helps the 1972 AMC Javelin take on its rivals in the market and fetch an impressive resale value for buyers.

1972 Javelin Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

A 1972 Javelin SST 258 owner based in North America scored the AMC muscle car an 8/10 in reliability on Carsurvey.org. For a list of faults the owner writes: "Car needed the carb rebuilt, new starter, alternator, belts and battery. It had been parked for over 5 years before I bought it." The owner claims the vehicle had 61,000 miles when they acquired it in 2009.

  • Problems Owners Report: Cooling system, doors' length (when parking)
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 62,000 miles

RELATED: 10 Cheap Muscle Cars With High Reliability Ratings

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile Toronado was one of the first few muscle cars to be launched by the brand in the American market, and the 1966 model was an instant hit for its reliability, looks, and performance. The Toronado was so famous among buyers that the brand kept production going until the early 1990s. The '66 Toronado hasn't lost its charm yet and still enjoys a lot of demand in the used car market today because of its no-nonsense package and striking looks.

1966 Toronado Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

Two 1966 Toronado owners gave slightly lower reliability scores at 7/10 and 5/10 (both for the 7.0-liter 425 models) on Carsurvey.org. Among the faults cited were the electrical boards, power steering pump, and thermostats. Parts are not easy to find either, according to one owner. One vehicle had clocked 139,000 miles by the time its owner acquired it in 2003, while the other had 67,000 miles in 2000 durings its first year of ownership.

  • Problems Owners Report: Parts are hard to find
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 140,000 miles

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

Also referred to as the COPO Camaro, the 1969 Chevy Camaro is considered to be one of the most iconic and legendary muscle cars to be launched on the market and is currently one of the highest selling classic muscle cars. Chevy offered this model of the Camaro with a 427 big-block V8 engine that delivered a maximum power output of 424 hp and gained a reputation for its reliability and performance over the years.

1969 Camaro Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

A 1969 Camaro owner on Carsurvey.org (with the 307 engine) mentions the engine needing to be rebuilt twice (at 127,000 miles and again at 230,000). They ultimately scored the classic muscle a 9/10 in reliability. Another owner with the 1969 Super Sport 350 from North America cites the heater core and transmission as faults (with the latter requiring a rebuild). Overall they also gave the vehicle a 9/10 in reliability.

  • Problems Owners Report: Transmission fluid leaks and gear shifting issues
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 256,000 miles

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

With a consumer reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5, the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 remains one of the best classic cars to be launched in the golden era of muscle cars and was offered with the legendary 429 cu V8 engine, which is well known for its performance and easy maintenance. Only 857 units of the Boss 429 were produced by Ford, making it a rare and expensive muscle car today. With an average retail price of $306,000, the 1969 Mustang Boss 429 demands a strong premium, justified by its strong reliability.

1969 Mustang Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

One Mustang owner with the 302 V8 on Carsurvey.org gave it a reliability score of 6/10. By the time they acquired it in 2006, it had 176,000 miles and needed a new starter and exhaust system. They said, "Mechanics will drool over working on the car, But parts are expensive and most have to be special ordered."

  • Problems Owners Report: Expensive parts
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 176,000 miles

RELATED: This 1969 Ford Thunderbird Is A Budget Mustang Boss 429

1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

First launched in the 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette is a well-known classic car that is known for its performance and bold exterior styling. The Corvette is also one of the oldest selling models in the Chevy's portfolio and is renowned for its impressive long-term reliability and special edition models which were introduced over the years. With only eight units of the 1971 Chevy Corvette ZR1 ever produced, it is one of the rarest Corvette models.

1971 Corvette Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

A 1971 Corvette owner with the 270-hp 350 engine gave the classic muscle a 8/10 score in reliability on Carsurvey.org. The owner acquired the vehicle in 2005 with 56,000 miles and started experiencing issues 2,000 miles later (with a failed harmonic balancer). They also cite the front brake caliper and engine gaskets leaking. The owner writes, "I also need to replace all the suspension bushings as they are dry rotted."

  • Problems Owners Report: Engine gasket and brake caliper leaks
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 59,000 miles

1965 Chevrolet Corvair

Very often regarded as one of the most talked about classic cars in America, the '65 Corvair made its debut with a completely new styling, an updated cabin, and better powertrain options. Right from the launch, the 1965 Chevy Corvair was adored for its clean design style, a bold front fascia and a great build quality.

1965 Corvair Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

One 1965 Corvair Monza owner on Carsurvey.org failed to provide a reliability score but has positive things to say about its reliability. "In spite of being very old, it has never let me down," the owner writes. They mention getting the classic new bushings, shocks, oil seals, and rebuilding the brakes. They acquired the car in 1983 when it had 83,000 miles. As of 2010, it logged 112,000 miles.

  • Problems Owners Report: Oil leaks
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 112,000 miles

1979 Pontiac Firebird

Introduced in the market to take on rivals like the Chevy Camaro Z28 and the Corvette, the Pontiac Firebird was a run-away success for the brand and still enjoys a strong demand in the used car market today. What makes the 1979 Pontiac Firebird extremely special are its dynamics and a power packed performance. Those wanting better power output and performance can opt for the more powerful Trans Am version.

1979 Firebird Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

The 1979 Firebird looks like a more reliable car among classic muscle options today. Two owners who've submitted feedback on Carsurvey.org gave it a reliability score of 10/10 despite breaking transmissions. "Never a spot of rust and handled incredible like new," one owner writes. An owner with the 6.6-liter model acquired the muscle car in 1985 when it had 63,000 miles and reported in 2010 its most recent mileage at 250,000.

  • Problems Owners Report: Transmission (slipping or shifting issues and leaks), water pump failure
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 250,000 miles

1970 Buick Skylark

The 1970 Buick Skylark is known for its powerful engine, which make it an ideal option for those looking for performance and a dominating character. Buick also launched a more powerful Skylark GSX S2 with a 7.5-liter V8 engine under the hood, which delivered a peak power output of 540 hp.

In addition to a powerful engine, the Skylark GSX S2 also boasts a number of mechanical updates to handle that extra power and offer improved dynamics. Despite all the performance upgrades, the '70 Skylark GSX S2 outshines most of its rivals with its prowess and reliability. It was because of these factors that the '70 Skylark GSX is renowned as a legendary street racing muscle car.

1970 Skylark Reliability Based On Owner Feedback

One 1970 Skylark owner with a GS Stage 1 model provided feedback on Carsurvey.org. Acquired in 1982 with 114,000 miles, the owner last reported getting it up to 253,000 miles in 2002. Two faults cited include the head gaskets leaking along with the alternator and starter going out around 130,000 miles.

  • Problems Owners Report: Head gaskets leaking, alternator and starter failure
  • Highest Mileage Reported On Carsurvey: 253,000 miles

2023-05-26T21:35:39Z dg43tfdfdgfd