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Muscle cars will always be popular, and will always deliver a fun drive — and that's precisely why they are so much more expensive than a standard family sedan. Truth be told, muscle cars are a specialty car which often requires people to pay for quality. After all, top tier V8 engines aren't cheap to produce.
If you want to have a muscle car, but don't quite have the money needed to make the splurge for a classic vintage muscle car or a race car, looking at affordable muscle cars is a good halfway point. The cheapest muscle cars on dealership lots right now don't always have solid names, but can offer a lot of zip for the right driver.
Here are some of the most interesting picks you can get, right off the lot.
2017 Ford Mustang
If you want to get a brand new car that's still going to offer a lot of power, your best bet is to buy a 2017 Ford Mustang. Believe it or not, it's currently one of the cheapest muscle cars on new car dealership lots — despite having a sterling name behind them.
Right now, a standard Mustang can be bought at around $25,000 for the bare-bones edition. That's as cheap as you will be able to find a traditional sports car — barring the $16,000 Kia Fiesta, of course. (The Kia Fiesta is more of a sports car, though, so we didn't put it on this list.)
If it sounds a bit cheap for a Mustang, you might have to remember that this is the price of a standard model. Convertible Mustangs and other add-ons, though, might make this a bit more pricey.
2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Ford's biggest competitor, Chevrolet, has always managed to get car enthusiasts interested in buying — and it's obvious why. Being a stylish ride packed with horsepower and amenities is the Camaro SS's claim to fame. That being said, getting one of these a couple of years old isn't a bad idea.
Right now, you can drive off with a 2015 Camaro SS at around $30,000. If you want new, but don't feel like hopping on the Mustang bandwagon, then this is a superb choice.
2004 Mercury Marauder
Most people don't think of "Mercury" when they think about muscle cars, but in the Marauder's case, they totally should. This slightly-old car packs a powerful 302 horsepower in its engine and has an impeccable 0-60 time of under seven seconds.
That being said, it may not be as sleek as others on this list, and many people may find that to be a bit of an issue. However, at around $10,000, we can't really argue that it isn't one of the cheapest muscle cars of last decade.
1970 Ford Torino GT
It is just so weird to see a known classic muscle car like the Torino GT on a list of the cheapest muscle cars on the market right now, isn't it? Believe it or not, the Torino got the short end of the stick when it came to classic muscle car pricing.
Since the Torino GT was not as well-known as the Mustang, there was (and still is) less demand for them. Right now, you can get a decently preserved Torino GT for around $11,000 at the right used car dealership — or online. The standard model will give you 250 horsepower, while a more powerful V8 engine with 360 horsepower will cost around $15,000.
Not too shabby, is it?
1973 Pontiac GTO
Perhaps one of the cheapest muscle cars with a big name under the "classics" umbrella is the 1973 Pontiac GTO. Now, a car like this doesn't need an introduction. It was the last traditional GTO, and that means that it offers around 230 horsepower in its standard V8 engine.
Owning one of these is a piece of history, as well as a huge statement on one's love of classic cars. And, at around $12,000 for the standard model, it also happens to be one of the cheapest famous muscle cars on this list.
1966 Chevrolet Corvair
If you're really into classic cars that have a lot of style to them, why not go for one of the most beautiful cars of the 60s? Believe it or not, the 1966 Chevrolet Corvair is available for sale, and yes, it can be one of the cheapest muscle cars you can buy in its category.
These cars will typically sell for around $8,000 to $12,000 based on upkeep and quality. That being said, a well-maintained Corvair will be more likely to run closer to $12,000 than $8,000 — and some Corvairs aren't exactly muscle cars due to having a paltry 95 horsepower. So, if you do buy this, make sure it's the 185 turbocharged version if you want to feel the pony power in it.
1962 Ford Thunderbird
The 1962 Ford Thunderbird has a bit more horsepower than you'd expect, thanks to its big block V8 engine. (If you're curious, they packed around 300 horsepower.) So, a Thunderbird can definitely offer a lot for people who love gorgeous classic cars with a need for speed.
Surprisingly, it was the fact that they were so common that made the Thunderbird so affordable today. That being said, while it is possible to find them for as little as $12,000, many aren't really the cheapest muscle cars out there.
Mechanics who love a little project are in luck, though. "Project cars" of this breed tend to sell for as little as $5,000.
2000 Chevrolet Corvette Hardtop Coupe
If you're looking for a new-ish muscle car with a nice sense of style, then the 2000 Corvette Hardtop Coupe might be the best option out there. Though it's almost 18 years old, these coupes were really ahead of their time when it came to amenities, horsepower, and style.
This beautiful car's LS-1 V8 engine can roar out over 340 horsepower, so there's definitely a lot of fun to be had with them. More impressively, these are also some of the cheapest muscle cars under the Corvette name. A well-maintained car will only cost around $9,000.