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These 9 Ford Muscle Cars Are So Rare, You’ll Be Shocked They Exist!

Ford has a rich history of producing some of the most iconic and rare muscle cars in the automotive world. From dominating NASCAR races to creating legendary drag racers, Ford’s muscle cars have left an indelible mark on the history of high-performance vehicles.

Here, we explore nine of the rarest Ford muscle cars ever made, each with a unique story and unmatched legacy.

1. 1969 Ford Torino Talladega

1969 Ford Torino Talladega
1969 Ford Torino Talladega

The 1969 Ford Torino Talladega was a special car that Ford made to compete in NASCAR racing. Named after the Talladega Super Speedway, which opened the same year in Alabama, this car featured a more aerodynamic front end, a lower center of gravity, and a powerful engine.

Ford produced nine prototypes, five pilot cars, and 736 homologation production cars, all of which are now highly valuable due to their historic significance and rarity. The Talladega proved to be a dominant force in NASCAR that year, winning 26 out of 54 races and helping David Pearson win his second NASCAR championship.


The street version was almost identical to the race version, equipped with a 428 cubic inch Cobra Jet V8 engine, which, despite being underrated at 335 horses, actually produced up to 450 horsepower.

2. 1970 Torino GT 429 SCJ

1970 Torino GT 429 SCJ
1970 Torino GT 429 SCJ

Redesigned for 1970, the Torino featured a sleeker and more aerodynamic body style. The Torino GT was the sporty model, offering various engine options, including the new 429 cubic inch Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet V8 engines. These engines replaced the previous 428 CJ engine, rated at 370 and 375 horsepower, respectively.

The SCJ engine was part of the drag pack option, including a four-speed manual transmission, a 3.91 or 4.30 rear axle ratio, an engine oil cooler, and a shaker hood scoop.

This option made the Torino GT SCJ-429 one of the fastest cars of its time, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds and completing the quarter mile in 13.99 seconds. In 1970, only 241 Torino GT 429 SCJ drag packs were produced.

3. Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

The Thunderbolt project was initiated by Dick Brannon, head of Ford’s drag team, who realized that the Galaxy was too heavy and slow for competitive drag racing.

He chose the smaller and lighter Fairlane as the basis for a new drag car, ordering 100 units from Ford with minimal equipment and no sound deadener or seam sealer. These cars were shipped to Dearborn Steel Tubing for extensive modifications.

The Thunderbolt featured a massive 427 cubic inch V8 engine with dual four-barrel Holley carburetors, producing 425 horsepower but believed to unleash nearly 600 horses.

Sold only to selected racers, the Thunderbolt had a sticker price of $3780 but was sold for $1500 plus a $1500 refundable deposit. This car helped Ford secure the 1964 NHRA Super Stock Championship.

4. 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 R Code

1966 Ford Fairlane 500 R Code
1966 Ford Fairlane 500 R Code

In the mid-1960s, Ford wanted to dominate the stock drag racing classes, facing fierce competition from Chrysler’s Hemi-powered cars and GM’s big block cars.

Ford’s racing division took the Fairlane 500 and fitted it with the R code 427 engine, initially designed for NASCAR racing, making 425 horses and 480 pound-feet of torque.

The result was a car weighing about 3400 pounds that could run the quarter mile in just under 13 seconds. In 1966, Ford produced only 57 Fairlane R codes, just over the NHRA’s 50-unit threshold.

5. 1963 Ford Thunderbird M Code Sports Roadster

1963 Ford Thunderbird M Code Sports Roadster
1963 Ford Thunderbird M Code Sports Roadster

The third-generation Thunderbird, introduced in 1961, featured new and sleeker styling. In 1962, Ford introduced the Sports Roadster option for the Thunderbird convertible.

The rare and desirable Sports Roadster was equipped with the M code engine, a special version of the 390 V8 with three two-barrel carburetors, producing 340 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque.

Only 37 M code Sports Roadsters were built in 1963, with fewer than 25 believed to exist today.

6. 1965 Shelby GT350R

1965 Shelby GT350R
1965 Shelby GT350R

The 1965 GT350R was one of the first race-spec Mustangs, proving its capability on the track by winning numerous races and championships.

Only 36 units were built, including two prototypes and 34 customer cars. These original GT350Rs are highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors, fetching millions of dollars at auctions.

A 1965 Ford Shelby GT350R competition was sold at Mecum’s auction in Kissimmee, Florida, for $4,070,000, making it the most expensive Mustang ever sold.

7. 1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible

1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible
1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible

Considered one of the most valuable and collectible Shelby cars, only four Shelby GT350 convertibles were built in 1966, each in a different color: green, yellow, blue, and red. These cars were part of a prototype program to test the market demand for a convertible version of the Shelby GT350.

Powered by a 289 cubic inch Ford high-performance solid-lifter V8 engine, the convertibles produced 306 horsepower.

Distinctive features included brake cooling scoops on the rear quarter panels, air conditioning, and chrome Magnum 500 wheels.

8. 1969 Ford Torino King Cobra

1969 Ford Torino King Cobra
1969 Ford Torino King Cobra

In 1969, Ford was losing ground to Chrysler in NASCAR, as the latter had introduced the Charger Daytona and Superbird.

To compete, Ford created the Torino King Cobra, a car based on the Torino Cobra Sportsroof with a modified chassis and suspension for increased speed and downforce.

Ford planned to produce 500 units to meet NASCAR’s homologation rules, but the project was canceled, with only three prototypes built. These prototypes featured various powerful engines, including the Boss 429, 429 Super Cobra Jet, and 429 Cobra Jet engines.

9. 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake
1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

The 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake is a legendary muscle car created as a one-of-a-kind engineering study for high-speed tire testing by Goodyear.

Based on a white 1967 Shelby GT500 fastback, it featured a lightweight 427 cubic inch racing engine modified to produce 550 horsepower.

The Super Snake remained the only one ever built and became one of the most valuable and collectible Mustangs, sold at auction in 2019 for $2.2 million.

Ford’s muscle car legacy is defined by innovation, power, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. These nine rare models exemplify the best of Ford’s engineering prowess and continue to captivate car enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

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