Muscle cars are what America is known for. They’re loud, fast, and designed to look as intimate as possible. However, many of them are prone to mechanical issues. As muscle cars make a comeback, we’re seeing that some of the best muscle cars ever made are still very reliable and still make an impression of being driven on the streets today.
In this article, we’ll walk you through ten of the most dependable muscle cars that were made during the ’60s and the ’70s. We’ve chosen these cars based on their popularity in the past, how reliable they are today, and how easily you can get spare parts for them in case something does go wrong.
These ’60s muscle cars should last you a lifetime. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean they are flawless, but considering their relative simplicity, they are far less prone to mechanical problems.
10 1966 Pontiac GTO
Our list begins with the car driven by Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day—a classic muscle car legend that is known for its great drivability, handling, and looks. According to multiple owners, ’60s Pontiac models, including the 1966 GTO, are extremely reliable and easy to live with.
For its time, the muscle car delivered a great performance as it had a 0-60 time of just 7.9 seconds and a 122-mph top speed. Its V8 engine might be a bit outdated, but you won’t have a problem repairing it since chances are it won’t show any faults.
9 1965 Buick Riviera GS
Classic Buick models are mostly known for their luxurious interiors, but what many people fail to realize is that the manufacturer produced some fairly reliable cars. One of those is none other than the 1965 Buick Riviera GS. Being one of the very first luxury muscle cars to hit the American market, this cruiser cranked out 360 hp and provided a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds.
Even though the car’s engine might not be easily upgradeable, it won’t break down under a heavy workload. Still, one of the most reliable parts of this vehicle seems to be its differential which is quite strong and known for its durability.
8th 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
We couldn’t put it any better than this owner, “this car is for a car-crazy person, you spend lots of money on it to enjoy it not to sell it.” It’s true that this particular Chevy is a real beauty, but it also is always thirsty for fuel. With up to 375 hp on tap, this beast could net enough power to reach 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest muscle cars of the ’60s.
As you can see, the interior was pretty bare-bones, which played a big role in reducing the vehicle’s total weight enough to provide such great performance on the road. Just like its successor, the 1966 model was and still is a pleasure to drive.
7 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1
Rocking a 430-hp 427 cubic inch L88 V8 engine, the ZL1 was beyond its time as it was able to reach 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds! You’d expect a car with such great specs to break down easily, but that isn’t the case here. As it works out, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was and still is a rare but very reliable car.
The ZL1 did come at a price of $7,260, double that of a base Camaro, which was fairly expensive by 1969’s standards. That said, if you are lucky enough to still own one of these, you could easily earn more than $600,000 should you sell it at an auction.
6 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400
Many people mistake this car for a Camaro, but if you take the time to pay attention to all its little details, you will realize it’s a completely different car. The two vehicles do have something in common though, and that’s nothing other than their reliability. Many owners have reported that even after owning the car for 30 years, it still drove extremely smooth and hasn’t displayed any serious mechanical errors.
The Firebird 400 combined both performance and looks as its V8 engine could output 325 horsepower resulting in a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds!
5 1968 AMC Javelin
Just like the 1968 AMC Javelin, the successive models have all had one thing in common and that is their great looks, right? Well, both yes and no. Sure, the car looked great and undeniably was one of the most successful pony cars to hit the market in the ’60s, but what about its reliability?
With basic faults like leaks at the shift shaft seal and transmission repairs, the Javelin has proven itself a reliable car that can be used as a daily driver that only needs oil and tire changes as well as a tune-up to drive smooth and properly.
4 1968 Dodge Charger R/T
Looks put aside, the 1968 Dodge Charger was an extremely well-made muscle car. Both the engine and the transmissions were created in simple yet effective ways resulting in minimal wear and tear. As expected, this led to the ’68 Charger R/T being very reliable.
However, even if you are one of the lucky ones to still have this car in your collection, you don’t need to worry since almost every part, mechanical or not, is still being reproduced.
3 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner
1960s Plymouths are well-made vehicles that are meant to be good for daily city driving, and even though they are rare, they can still be spotted today. The reason we share that with you is to prove that they are very reliable cars. For example, check out this review of a 1968 Plymouth Road Runner that has been heavily modified and still hasn’t shown any major mechanical faults.
For those of you that are eager to know every little thing, just know that the car is equipped with a 335-hp V8 engine and achieves a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds.
2 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
Two versions of the Boss 302 have been manufactured. This of 1969 and the 2012 model. When asked which one they would prefer, most fans chose the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 over the 2012 model. Sure, having the original would be great, but would taking it be a wise choice reliability-wise?
As stated by many owners who commented on the original post, the ’69 Boss 302 would still be a good and reliable daily driver that doesn’t present any major mechanical faults.
1 1969 Plymouth Barracuda
The main reason we kept the 1969 Plymouth Barracuda for last is the story of an owner who drove his car for over 438,000 miles and still didn’t need to rebuild his engine. If that isn’t a good enough example of why Plymouth muscle cars are reliable then we don’t know what is.
Just make sure that you take good care of it by servicing it regularly, and you use a good synthetic gear lube just like the man in the story did!