What makes cars so fascinating, outside of their obvious usefulness in our everyday lives, is that they are large collectibles. Really! While we may not have the money to go around collecting rare cars in our spare garage, we can definitely catalogue them on the internet. Today we are going to breeze through 35 of the rarest cars ever to be produced America. The rarity of each automobile you will read about will be insular. Some of these cars are rare intentionally while others are rare due to outside factors — such as a production freeze during World War II. Are you ready? Get your greaser jacket on, you’re not gonna believe what you see!
35. 1963 Chrysler Turbine
Developed by Chrysler in the early ’60s, the ’63 Chrysler Turbine was a limited run vehicle that got incredible press. Chrysler showed these beautiful vehicles in malls all across the country. If you’ve ever heard one of these babies rev their engine then you’ll likely never forget it. Only nine still exist to this day.
34. 1964 Ford GT40
Though considerably less famous than the Ferrari, the GT40 was Ford’s answer to the popular automobile. Only 107 of these cars were ever built and it’ll cost you a pretty penny to make one your own. In 2014 a Ford GT40 was sold at auction for just over $7 million dollars.
33. 1958 Eldorado Brougham
Cadillac won’t be getting a ton of run on our rare list but we still have to include the Eldorado Brougham. Cadillac called this vehicle ‘America’s Dream Car’ but they priced it out of anyone’s reach. In 1958, when the car hit the pavement, you’d have to spend $14,000 to snag one — $5,000 more than a Rolls Royce at the time.
32. 1901 – 1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout
Casual car fans are probably wondering where the horses are that pull this thing. The ’01 – ’03 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout is a lesson in classic beauty. It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come over the years. If you’re a car collector then you need to nab one of these babies. They sold for $650 back in 1901.
31. 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird
If you want to sweep your lady off of her feet with some ‘old school cool’ it’ll cost you nearly $250,000 nowadays. Only 135 of these cars were ever produced and they can go anywhere from $150k to $500k at auction.
30. 1953 Muntz Jet
This odd looking vehicle was created in Glendale, CA by the Muntz Car Company. The side body was created out of aluminum and the rest of the vehicle was fiberglass. Intense labor costs kept production levels down and now only 49 still exist today.
29. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1
If you want some good old American muscle then start saving your pennies now. The ’69 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 is a vehicular prize for anyone who gets their hands on one. There were only 69 total units produced. At an auction in 2012 one of these bad boys sold for $450,000.
28. 1958 Dual Ghia
Dual Motors only ended up producing 117 of these cars. The body was designed by Coachbuilder Ghia, an Italian invention, and the vehicle was favored among Hollywood elite — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and so on.
27. 1906 Stanley
This beautiful and bizarre looking vehicle was known at the time as the fastest car on the planet. 200 were produced and their top speed was 127 MPH. The 1906 Stanley was ahead of its time and only 200 were ever produced. Jay Leno, of course, has one.
26. 1967 Plymouth R023 GTX
The R023 GTX perverted the regular GTX by removing as much dead weight as possible while bulking it up with a huge Hemi engine. 0 – 60 in about 4.8 seconds. Only 55 still exist today.
25. 1929 Duesenberg Model J
America tried to one up the Rolls-Royce back in 1929 when they produced the Duesenberg Model J. The car came off of the production line valued at almost $25,000. Nowadays you’ll have to spend over $2 million to purchase one — if anyone is even thinking of selling. There were only 200 units ever produced and who knows how many still exist today.
24. 1948 Tucker Torpedo
The ’48 Tucker Torpedo was the first car to really ‘go for it’ after the economic dead zone that followed WWII. Developed by Preston Tucker and marketed as ‘The Car of Tomorrow’, the 1948 Tucker Torpedo was an instant classic.
23. 1932 Cord L-29 Cabriolet
What a gorgeous little vehicle. The Cord L-29 had a slightly larger production run than most vehicles on this list at just over 4,400 units. You can buy a fixer-upper for $35K or spend roughly $400,000 for a pristine model at auction.
22. 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda Convertible
Somebody call Don Johnson — we have the car of his dreams. Only 21 of these vehicles were ever pumped out and we probably understand why. Overlong and a little too heavy, the ’71 Barracuda was all style with just a splash of substance. Still, this ultra-rare muscle car will cost you a TON to become an owner. As recently as 2014 a ’71 Cuda was sold for $3.5 million.
21. 1949 Mercury Two-Door Coupe
Man, when there’s a hit you just know it. The ’49 Mercury Two Door Coup is an automobile icon. You can get your hands on one in fairly good shape for roughly $60,000.
20. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88
Only 20 of these gorgeous cars were ever produced which makes them too rare for our wallet. The Chevrolet Corvette L88 is a master class in sexy automobile design but we’ll just have to settle for the Hot Wheel version.
19. 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500
Is there any model out there that just screams out ‘classic’ like an old Mustang? The ’69 Shelby GT500 only had a production run of 1,000 units. Today you are going to need about $300,000 to get your hands on one — if anyone is willing to part with theirs. Mustangs age well and sell better.
18. 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible
You want to talk about a car that impresses and passes the eye test? Look no further. Only 17 of the ’71 Pontiac GTO Judge’s were ever put out on the streets and you’re talking close to half of a million dollars to become an owner.
17. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet sure is well represented here. The 1953 Chevrolet Corvette is an instant classic with an iconic white body with fans and curves. 300 were produced and they can cost up to $200,000 at auction.
16. 1967 Ford Fairlane 500 R-Code
The 1967 Ford Fairlane isn’t particularly rare as over 238,000 were produced. However, only 57 of that number saw an R-Code engine be installed. A savvy car collector could find one of the R-Codes on the cheap and end up with a $40,000 vehicle.
15. 1967 Yenko Camaro
What we have here is a ’67 SS Camaro that has seen some upgrades done. The ’67 Yenko Camaro has a Corvette 427 CID Engine in it and is valued at $350,000. This is a sleek muscle car that is as rare as they come — only 104 were ever created.
14. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6
The car’s name may be a bit of a mouthful but that doesn’t put us off at all. This classic American muscle car has some serious longevity going for it. This specific model only saw 20 units ever made. The SS 454 LS6 is considered one of THE premier muscle cars in vehicular production history.
13. 1940 Cadillac V-16
The Cadillac V-16 is a love letter to car collectors. 138 units were built and released in 1940 and 70 of them saw unique variations on their construction. We love the elongated nose and the front end chrome. Just gorgeous.
12. 1941 Willys Coupe
The sloped design looks a little dopey nowadays but it is definitely a throwback to the time period surrounding WWII. Due to production halts only 20,000 were ever produced and the few that remain can cost upwards of $100,000. These are rare cars that are still attainable and for that we salute them.
11. 1908 Ford Model T
Where would we be without the Ford Model T? This was the first car sold ‘for the masses’ though it is mistakenly thought of as the first car ever made. If you want to get your hands on a fully restored Model T you will need around $150,000 as well as a willing buyer.
10. 1934 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe
This luxury car was produced in 1934 and cost nearly $10,000 at the time. We could barely afford one of these pretty vehicles back then. Thanks to a timeless design and a limited run the ’34 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible is valued at over $200,000 at auction. Only five have been sold to this date.
9. 1991 Shelby Completion Cobra
Only nine of these fantastic cars were ever created. They were made in 1991 after Carroll Shelby utilized production numbers from back in 1965. Brand new the Cobra was worth half of a million dollars. We almost can’t put a price on them for today’s value.
8. 1911 Mercer 35R Raceabout
This anachronistic classic car is pretty darn special. This is the first sports car designed for both the road and the track. Only 12 Mercer 35R Raceabouts were ever made and you’ll have trouble getting your hands on one for under $3 million dollars.
7. 1967 Shelby GT500 Convertible
We are all about the Shelby right now. This is the rarest car on our list. Only one was ever made and, you guessed it, it isn’t for sale.
6. 1948 Davis Diva
No, this isn’t the space car from The Jetsons. The ’48 Davis Diva is the only three wheel car that has ever been produced by an American manufacturer. This car was built for Joel Thorne, a millionaire race car driver. Only 15 were ever produced due to the owner, Gary Davis, being thrown in jail for fraud and theft.
5. 1969 Chevrolet AstroVette
With the space age upon us it only made sense that Chevrolet would try to cash in on the hype. There were only three of these cars ever produced and one was given to Alan L. Bean — the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 12 mission.
4. 1954 Desoto Adventurer II
The body was designed by Ghia in Italy, like another vehicle on our list, but it was produced in America and powered by a FireDome Hemi V8. DeSoto created this car in response to the ’53 Corvette but only the prototype was ever built.
3. 1954 Oldsmobile F-88
In 2007, the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 was sold for $3.2 million dollars to John Hendricks – founder of the Discovery Channel, Animal Plant, and TLC. Only one was ever built and we doubt it’ll ever hit the market again.
2. 1938 Phantom Corsair
Developed by Rust Heinz, the Phantom Corsair was going to be the future of automobiles. It cost $370,000 in today’s money to be built back in ’38. When Rust Heinz died in a tragic car accident the Corsair was left alone. Only the prototype was ever built and it is valued at almost $10 million dollars. It currently sits in the National Automobile Museum.
1. 1908 Crane-Simplex 50 Speedcar Roadster
This car is basically a steampunk fan’s dream vehicle. There are only a pair of these vehicles still in existence today which makes them essentially priceless.
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