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15 Sweet Muscle Car Finds at AACA Fall Meet at Hershey

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 2015-10-23 Barry Kluczyk

001 2015 Hershey Finds Overall Alt 1© Provided by Hotrod 001 2015 Hershey Finds Overall Alt 1 The chocolate-making capital founded by confection king Milton Hershey is nestled among rolling hills and distant mountains that become a kaleidoscope of color as the leaves turn. It is beautiful country. No wonder thousands of enthusiasts make the trek each October for the AACA’s annual fall meet, as they’ve been doing since 1955. That means as classic car events go, this one has achieved antique status itself.

The Hershey Fall Meet’s enduring drawing power has to do with sheer size and amazing diversity. The swap meet, known as the flea market, is so vast that you pretty much have to warp time itself to see it all. And the car show is likely the only place you’ll see a perfectly preserved, million-dollar Duesenberg on the same field as a perfectly preserved, hundred-dollar Ford Escort diesel wagon.

001 2015 Hershey Finds Overall© Provided by Hotrod 001 2015 Hershey Finds Overall Fortunately, the muscle cars this fall were plentiful on the show field and within the third element of the event: the car corral. We spent hours checking out the Boss 429s, GSXs, and Superbirds on the show field, but we spent even longer looking over the cars for sale. Some were show-ready, others were in desperate need of restoration, but the majority were driver-quality cars looking for a new lease on life.

001 2015 Hershey Finds Overall Alt 2© Provided by Hotrod 001 2015 Hershey Finds Overall Alt 2

As in the show field, the diversity of muscle cars offered in the car corral was surprising and enticing. And the sellers were there to make deals. Value is always in the eye of the beholder, but smart negotiators with cash on hand drove off with some terrific cars. We’ve highlighted 15 of the most interesting muscle cars at the event. Call them the sweetest finds at Hershey (and give us due credit for keeping the candy puns in this story to a minimum).

1969 Camaro RS/SS Indy Pace Car

002 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car Replica© Provided by Hotrod 002 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car Replica

This Z11 pace car replica was a fairly rare 350/four-speed car with a 12-bolt Posi. It was offered as a numbers-matching car with 86,000 original miles. It wasn’t the cleanest-looking car on the outside but was very presentable overall. The original asking price was $55,000, and by about midday on the final day of the event it had dropped to $52,000.

1965 Oldsmobile 4-4-2

003 2015 Hershey Finds 1965 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible© Provided by Hotrod 003 2015 Hershey Finds 1965 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

One of the better deals was this genuine 1965 4-4-2 convertible, one of only 1,695 built with a four-speed manual trans backing the 345hp/440–lb-ft 400 engine. Equipped with the optional console and tach, it was offered at $23,500. The car’s info didn’t call out a numbers-matching engine, but even if it wasn’t, a deal based on the asking price seemed very fair for a red, four-speed, drop-top, early muscle car.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

004 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302© Provided by Hotrod 004 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

We didn’t disagree with the seller’s description of this Boss 302 as a “well-sorted driver.” The original-engine car boasted a number of popular options, including the shaker scoop, Magnum 500 wheels, spoiler, tachometer, and 3.50-geared locking rear axle, all of which helped justify the $62,500 asking price. That was a bit high in our opinion for a car that needed details to take it to the next level, but the price definitely left room to haggle.

1971 Dodge Charger

005 2015 Hershey Finds 1971 Dodge Charger© Provided by Hotrod 005 2015 Hershey Finds 1971 Dodge Charger

Judging by the all-too-reasonable $28,900 asking price, we are guessing this Hemi Orange Charger decked out in Super Bee trim wasn’t one of the three factory Bees painted that color and equipped with the 440+6 powertrain. Nevertheless, it was a great-looking car that would be a blast to drive, and one that could be enjoyed without worrying about lowering its value.

1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula SD-455

006 2015 Hershey Finds 1974 Pontiac Firebird Sd455© Provided by Hotrod 006 2015 Hershey Finds 1974 Pontiac Firebird Sd455

Word was this 1974 Formula Super Duty—one of 58 and believed to be the only one in black—was offered the previous weekend at the Fall Carlisle event, where it was a no-sale at the same $69,000 price that was asked at Hershey. Frankly, we’ve seen prices for the Super Duty cars fluctuate quite a bit of late. While this one was billed as having a matching-numbers block rather than engine, the price seemed on the money. And talk about rare!

1970 AMC Rebel Machine

007 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Amc Rebel Machine© Provided by Hotrod 007 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Amc Rebel Machine

From its unique version of the 390 engine (with 340 hp) to the standard four-speed transmission and Twin-Grip limited-slip rear axle, AMC’s Machine was built to perform. This example was offered as a complete “nut and bolt rotisserie” resto, and one of the first 1,000 or so of the 2,326 produced with the red, white, and blue paint scheme. The asking price was $65,000.

1969 Ford Mustang 428 Super Cobra Jet

008 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Ford Mustang Super Cobra Jet© Provided by Hotrod 008 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Ford Mustang Super Cobra Jet

We wish we knew more about the history of this rare 1969 SportsRoof originally ordered with the 428 SCJ package. Wearing Candy Apple Red paint and black interior, the San Jose-built car was originally delivered in California before winding up in the Hershey car corral 46 years later. It was priced at $63,500, but nothing on the seller’s info sheet indicated whether it had the original engine.

Plymouth Road Runner

009 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Plymouth Road Runner© Provided by Hotrod 009 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

A 1969 Road Runner with the base 383 engine and 727 trans isn’t particularly rare, but few are left in such strong, unrestored condition. This one still wears the original Ice Blue Metallic paint and black vinyl top. Offered at $29,900, we think it would be a strong deal in the mid-$20,000 range, with the plan to leave it as is. It’s only original once.

1970 Pontiac Trans Am

010 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Pontiac Trans Am© Provided by Hotrod 010 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Pontiac Trans Am

The 1970 Trans Am is a bit of a rare bird. Only 3,196 were built, and they incorporate a number of specific features not shared with later models, from unique hood hinges and the lack of underhood cross braces to even the grain on the dashboard vinyl. That makes authenticating an original car or finding parts for a restoration a bit more difficult. This award-winning, fully restored Ram Air III example was offered at $75,500 but was still sitting unsold towards the end of the event.

1971 Ford Torino GT Convertible

011 2015 Hershey Finds 1971 Ford Torino Gt Convertible© Provided by Hotrod 011 2015 Hershey Finds 1971 Ford Torino Gt Convertible

We loved this original-condition, unrestored 1971 Torino GT convertible. The 73,000-mile ragtop was driven by a 302/three-speed manual combination and looked great in yellow with the laser-stripe graphics. It would have looked even better with the original Ford wheels. The $34,900 asking price was about $8,000 too high, in our opinion, for a 302 car—albeit a great-looking, original-condition 302 car.

1969 Chevrolet Bel Air 427

012 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Chevrolet Bel Air© Provided by Hotrod 012 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Chevrolet Bel Air

This one presented a quandary. It was a rare, factory 427/390hp, four-speed Bel Air, and the Bel Air was way rarer than the Impala that year. Problem was, the original 427 had been replaced with a thumping 468 engine. The car itself was in otherwise solid condition but in need of a total restoration, and the asking price was a strong $16,900. We’d probably want the price under $10,000 to make it a viable resto candidate.

1969 Plymouth GTX

013 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Plymouth Gtx© Provided by Hotrod 013 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Plymouth Gtx

We’ll take low-mileage, original sheetmetal cars every time, and that’s exactly what this red 1969 GTX offered. Showing 29,000 miles and powered by a 440/four-speed powertrain, it was also a “big brake” car with the A34-code Super Track Pack. The $59,900 asking price was crossed out on the final day of the event, and the seller simply wrote “let’s talk” on the info sheet. If we had the extra money, we’d have started the conversation.

1970 AMC Javelin

014 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Amc Javelin© Provided by Hotrod 014 2015 Hershey Finds 1970 Amc Javelin

An original-condition car with amazingly low mileage of 16,000, it was hard not to fall for this gorgeous AMC, which was offered at $19,000 or best offer. The seller’s info, however, indicated the exterior had been “dusted with paint,” because it was “so dull.” Really? Did it sit outside for years while not being driven? And the euphemistic “dusted with paint” description didn’t fool anyone: It was repainted. The car looked strong, but we had questions.

1967 Pontiac Firebird 400

015 2015 Hershey Finds 1967 Pontiac Firebird© Provided by Hotrod 015 2015 Hershey Finds 1967 Pontiac Firebird

Easily one of our favorites in the car corral, this 1967 Firebird 400/four-speed car was offered as a two-owner, matching-numbers car with only 58,000 miles. The paint quality seemed too nice to be original, but regardless, the $35,900 asking price seemed market-correct and even leaned toward the “good deal” side of the market.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

016 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1© Provided by Hotrod 016 2015 Hershey Finds 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Oh, baby. This factory 428 Super Cobra Jet Drag Pack Mach 1 was fresh off the rotisserie and sporting its original Black Jade exterior/black interior color combination. The presentation was terrific, but conspicuously, the description didn’t indicate that the R-code engine was the original. You’ve got to read between the lines when shopping, and with this car’s strong $84,900 asking price, that question needed to be asked by any prospective buyer.

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