The muscle car remains one of the most quintessential American vehicles ever created. These terrific machines dominated the 1960s and ‘70s although they fell out of favor when the U.S. auto industry crashed in the ‘80s. The key problem is that these are big gas guzzlers and suffered when the oil crisis of the late ‘70s hit hard. This sadly led to several muscle cars being left behind and abandoned in various areas. While finding and restoring such cars is a popular pastime for many auto enthusiasts, some still slipped through the cracks.
This has led to scores of muscle cars found in very odd areas. Some are out in the woods or a field with no clue how they got there in the first place. Others are found in abandoned dealerships or even someone’s barn. It’s amazing how some owners still possess cars that only need a little work to fix but refuse to sell them off. Other vehicles just remain ignored to the elements. It’s sad yet it happens more than one might think. Here are 20 pictures of sadly neglected muscle cars that deserved better fates.
20 Crushed Corvette
It’s one thing to see a great car that’s suffered from some rust. It’s another to see a once glorious muscle machine now nothing but scrap metal. The question on this one is if it was wrecked in one major go or if it fell apart slowly over time in what looks like a jungle.
How it even got there is another issue. It’s already missing half of its frame even if much of the engine is still there. What was once a fantastic cruiser is nothing but a home for forest critters.
19 Field Chevelle
It’s understandable that when a car gets into a crash in a wide field, it’s a pain to have it towed out. But just leaving it behind is something else. That’s especially true for a Chevrolet Chevelle, a terrific machine that was often in the shadow of the Camaro.
Despite a smaller engine, the Chevelle could do well on the road and this deserved a better fate than becoming a field decoration.
18 Soggy Stingray
It’s amazing what one can find with Google Street View. According to Jalopnik, someone was using the app when they discovered an amazing 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Split window coupe located in Spokane, Washington. The owner was found but not only was he not interested in selling but didn’t seem to care what happened to the car. It’s astounding how someone can just ignore this fine machine.
17 Pontiac Tree
To many, the Pontiac GTO is a serious contender for the title of the most perfect muscle car ever made. From its smooth frame to the amazing engine, the GTO meant “go” for muscle enthusiasts. That was lost on the owner of this model who had ignored the car when he parked it in his yard. According to Jalopnik, over the course of thirty years, a tree literally grew through the hood to leave the car there. Thankfully, upon selling it, the owner finally freed the car so it could hit the road once more.
16 Charged Yard
Junkyards have gained a new reputation in the last several years. They’re now seen as great places to find some long-ignored cars that can be restored to prominence. This Idaho junkyard boasts thousands of cars, many still in good condition. Sadly, this Charger is not one of them.
The elements have stripped it of the multiple paint jobs so it’s a hodgepodge of colors that marred the frame as well. It would take a major effort to get this Charger back in running shape.
15 The VH1 Collection
Back in 1989, the music channel VH1 held a contest to give away 36 Corvettes, one for each model year. It was only after he won that Long Island carpenter Dennis Amodeo realized he didn’t have anywhere to put three dozen cars. Artist Peter Max bought them but then just let them rot away in various garages. According to Jalopnik, they were sold off again yet the sight of so many Corvettes just collecting dust in a garage proved how poor a “prize” this was.
14 It’s Weare?
A popular spot for fans of abandoned dealerships is the small town of Weare, Massachusetts. There rests a dealership that closed down in the 1990s. Inside, with almost no mileage on the odometer is a gorgeous 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible. According to Amnesie’s Automotive Corner, the family who owns the building has refused all offers to sell this so this Mustang remains stuck in this building.
13 Forest Find
The Tornio has been making a bit of a comeback in the public eye thanks to various movies. While it’s named after the cultured Italian city of Turin, the Torino is a pure American muscle machine capable of some great speeds and its Cobra Jet V8 could pump out 340 hp and 460 pounds of torque according to CarMax. The green color lets this model blend in with the forest setting with the leaves a sad touch on an otherwise great car.
12 A Slow Death
The Trans Am is always known as the “Bandit” car thanks to Burt Reynolds’ classic movie character. A top-notch Trans Am is a great sight while a neglected one is downright pitiful. This is one of the best examples as this 1974 model has been sitting in a driveway for over 30 years, according to Barn Finds.
Amazingly, the owner has been given some nice offers to buy the vehicle but refuses to sell and would rather let it die a slow death on his lawn than allow someone else to restore it.
It’s debatable what this is as the YouTuber who posted the video claims it’s a Barracuda, although it resembles a Dodge Super Bee. It’s harder to tell because of the layer of snow covering the car which hides some of its identifying features. It all adds an air of melancholy to the vehicle as the windshield is gone and it sits by a tow ramp. It just seems sad to leave this car to slowly freeze over time.
10 Dusty Dodge
What’s sadder? A car long neglected or one that got restored but then ignored again? This 1969 Dodge Charger 440 R/T was a terrific car in its time, one of the best of its era.
Found in a barn, it appears this was restored once before with an improved engine and a nice blue paint job. Sadly, the heavy layer of dust buries it completely and makes it nearly impossible to tell what this once was.
9 A Challenge to Save
A major problem with those car restorations shows is how they make it seem easy to turn any car into a pristine machine. Even the best car mechanics would look at the 1973 Dodge Challenger and declare there’s no way to help it. The wheels are gone, the entire hood has been stripped to expose the engine to the elements, the doors are off the hinges and the rust has created holes. It would take years and a fortune to make this car anything but a beater.
The Interceptor’s unique design has always aided its reputation. It looks terrific with its elongated front hood and larger interior space. Some muscle enthusiasts might think it’s not as sleek but it still possesses an engine so top-notch that it’s nicknamed “TNT.”
It looks as if this was parked right before a tree seconds before it crashed and the owner never got around to backing it up. The rust on the rear shows how this machine was just abandoned for no good reason.
7 Swatted Bee
The Dodge Coronet Super Bee never got the widespread love it deserved. While so many muscle cars get the press, the Bee was a sharp Mopar capable of 390 hp and 490 pounds of torque according to Carmax. The name came from the unique front which eschewed the usual rectangular grille.
Seeing a rusted-down version with missing wheels stranded in what appears to be an automotive graveyard is appalling. This Bee deserves to fly much higher than this poor model.
6 Mud Bath
The sight of “the Judge” treated so badly is horrifying but it was never intentional. The owner had bought this 1969 Pontiac GTO intending to restore it. He stored it in his bar only to get an out-of-state job. This meant that the Pontiac was soon surrounded by cow manure, rat excrement and plain old mud that had it literally sinking into the ground.
This is a “barn find” that should just be put out to pasture.
5 Not So Super
Better known as the Auto Archaeologist, Ryan Butt has specialized in finding long-abandoned cars in odd places. One of his YouTube videos had him stumbling onto a warehouse packed with scores of neglected cars. Prominent was a 1970 Plymouth Superbird.
It appears as if there had been attempts to restore it with its hood open and 4-speed gearbox still inside. Yet it just ended up ignored like many others in this building.
4 Sandy Mustang
It’s amazing what people will ask for on Craigslist. According to Barn Finds, an owner in San Elizario, Texas, put this battered 1964 Ford Mustang up for sale. It’s clearly been in the Texas sun for too long with major rust, the headlights and taillights missing, the wheels crumbling and most of the engine gone.
The asking price for this heap? $2,000. That’s truly outrageous.
3 Forest Charger
It’s always strange when someone is walking through the woods and finds a car left behind. How did it get there? Who owned it? And why would someone leave a terrific 1968 Dodge Charger totally alone in the woods rather than try and save it? It appears to have suffered an accident judging by the dents in the front yet much of the car remains intact. It just seems a shame to leave a great car like this hidden in the woods.
2 Hawaii Duster
When Hawaii is mentioned, most people think of pristine beaches and an island paradise. As a Hawaiian News Now story revealed, there are ugly parts to this state. A house owner somehow amassed more garbage for his home than his entire street does in a year. Mountains of trash were visible which included burying a Plymouth Duster under a huge pile of garbage and vines. This was no paradise for this car.
1 Hidden Cobra
Finding a terrific car in a barn is an urban legend. Yet every now and then, it can happen. This is a terrific example as YouTuber Tom Cotter was checking out a house in North Carolina and made an astounding discovery. There in the garage was a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 and 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 sitting side by side. The Cobra was just gorgeous with the red paint still clear and the engine is not too bad. Having it be a home for mice was terrible so it’s a good thing Cotter found this baby for restoration.
Sources: businessinsider.com, pinterest.com, jalopnik.com, barnfinds.com