Five rare and unusual muscle car options you’ve probably never heard of
Supply and demand—it’s that pesky thing that affects the value of the cars you desire. Statistically, there’s a very good chance that those cars you like are the very same ones others are after. If you’re a regular Joe and are tired of being a few dollars short, it may make more sense to change up your hunt. Here are some interesting vehicles worthy of consideration that may make enjoyable substitutes for what the masses are chasing.
1968 Pontiac GTO with Endura-Delete
When the redesigned 1968 GTO hit the streets, it took Pontiac style to a new level with a pioneering monochromatic look unlike anything else in the market. Specifically, the front bumper was made from a malleable “Endura” polyurethane foam molded over a steel core, which became a GTO exclusive until 1970 (although Pontiac used it sparingly on select 1969 models). Starting in December 1967, Pontiac made the Tempest/LeMans chrome nose and grille available as a delete option (code 674) for the GTO (with hidden headlights unavailable as an option). There’s some debate whether the mid-year option was due to the Endura schnoz being too much for some, but for racers the chrome bumper was lighter and scored you a $26.33 credit to boot. Out of 87,684 GTOs built in 1968, only 2108 GTO had option code 674.
1970 Plymouth Barracuda with Quarter-Panel Scoop
Truth be told, no 1970 Plymouth E-body is cheap, but the base Barracuda is cheaper than the performance ’Cuda variant. If you find one with option code M46, you’ll have something that actually looks racier than any ’Cuda out there. The equipment included with this obscure option is somewhat up for debate because no factory images exist aside of the Plymouth shop manual, but the important stuff included a Elastomeric rear quarter-panel air scoop in front of the rear wheels, matte black lower-body trim with white and red pinstripes, rear-panel black-out (similar to the ’Cuda’s) complemented with chrome trim from the Gran Coupe, and blacked-out valence front and rear. Per Chrysler’s U.S. records, fewer than 450 were built, with many losing their identity over time, so check those fender tags when you’re hunting.
1970 Ford XL with Dualtone Paint
Ford’s XL first appeared in 1962 as the sporty and luxurious Galaxie 500/XL with bucket seats and console. For its 1970 swan song, the four-speed was gone, but nonetheless the XL gave its all with the Dualtone appearance package. This gave the XL a contemporary custom look, thanks to a contrasting color along the beltline, front fender tops, and hood. A number of color combinations were available, with Ford using Candy Apple Red with Raven Black and Yellow with Ginger in promotional material. XLs are easy to find because 33599 SportsRoof and convertible models were built, but only around 2700 featured Dualtone paint. Find one with the 429/360 and it’s the last of the big, fast Fords.
1972 Plymouth Satellite Coupe with V21/V25 Hood/Deck Stripes
The redesigned 1971 Satellite coupe brought “Fuselage” style to Plymouth’s B-body line. Perhaps the sleekest of the mid-size cars produced that year, the Satellite received only marginal styling changes for 1972, including a new taillight treatment. The Road Runner featured several new stripe packages, including optional twin flat-black hood/rear deck stripes (codes V21 and V25) that were only available when the Air Grabber hood was specified. Interestingly, thanks to a flat hood that shared the same contours with the ram air hood, the base Satellite, Sebring, and Sebring-Plus trim levels also could be equipped with the stripes. Like the Barracuda above, this was a cool option that could make a car look racy even though it may have a tepid V-8 under the hood.
1972 Buick Skylark Sun Coupe
Buick offered a Skylark Custom convertible in 1972 for the sun crowd, but another sunny experience was available with the specially trimmed Sun Coupe package for the Skylark 350 hardtop. American Sunroof Corporation handled the chopping duties, which also included a vinyl folding sunroof available in white, black, sandalwood, tan, brown, or green. Unique to the Sun Coupe was a special carpet available in bright gold or bright red, although black or sandalwood carpet could also be chosen. Gold sail panel nameplates showed this wasn’t just another Skylark. Buick’s records of Sun Coupe production is sketchy, but documents show at least 1127 and no more than 3943 being built. It is known that six GSs were special-ordered with the Sun Coupe package.