Come 2023 and restored muscle cars are selling like hot cakes at public auctions. And the rare ones have become quite expensive too, fetching six-figure sums. But not all of them have been lucky enough to get restored. Many classic muscle cars are still rotting away in junkyards, barns, and backyards.
And while you’d be tempted to think that it’s the more common models that get abandoned, some of them are actually of the rare variety, like these 1970 muscle cars discovered by YouTube’s “Shade Tree Vintage Auto” in an unnamed town in the Arizona desert.
Part of a small stash parked in someone’s backyard, these rare cars have been sitting for years, waiting to be put back on the road. Luckily enough, the dry weather kept them rust-free, so they handled all those years of exposure to the elements rather well.
So what do we have here? Well, the video starts off with a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner. A 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) car, this Mopar isn’t exactly rare (Plymouth made 34,000 of them that year), but it’s an original In Violet example. Yup, that’s Plymouth’s version of Plum Crazy purple. Sure, the paint is gone on the outside, but look at that cool patina. This thing has “rat rod” written all over it.
Up next, we see another 1970 Road Runner, but this one’s not a mundane 383 car. It’s not a HEMI either, but it packs a 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) Six-Pack, which makes it similar to the 1969 A12. Since it’s a post car, it’s one of 1,130 built in 1970. But the four-sped manual narrows it down even further to 697 examples.
The car appears to be relatively complete inside and out, and it still has the original Dana 60 rear end. The engine and the four-speed are no longer in the car, but the owner still has them. And hopefully, he’s planning to restore this car real soon because it’s totally doable.
But the Road Runner is not the only 440-6 muscle car. There’s a 1970 Super Bee right next to it. This car also left the factory with a 440-6, a manual four-speed, and a Dana 60. And this setup makes it even rarer than the Road Runner because only 106 were built like that in 1970. It’s the rarest car on the lot, but it’s missing a few parts.
The yard is also home to a 1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye, a 1970 Dart, and a second-generation Plymouth Barracuda (1967-1969), but they’re nowhere near as rare as the B-body Mopars.