June 25, 2022

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These Are The 10 Most Reliable American Classic Cars Money Can Buy

When buying a used car, one of the biggest factors you should consider is reliability. After all, if you’re spending your hard-earned money on a classic car, it better last for more than just a few years without forcing you to spend on costly non-routine repairs.

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Most customers assume that the most reliable classic cars are Toyotas, Hondas, and other Japanese cars, but that’s not always the case. There are also many fantastic classic cars from American automakers, so reliable that they can outlast your favorite Japanese cars. Let’s explore ten of them.

10 Jeep Cherokee XJ


via carspecsguru

The Jeep Cherokee needs no introduction, as it’s one of the most popular SUVs in the US. The Cherokee was introduced in 1974 – long before SUVs were popular – and since then, it has been the vehicle of choice for gearheads looking for a day-to-day family car that can also double as an off-roader when needed.


2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport SUV
Via: BringaTrailer

All Jeep Cherokee generations are great, but when it comes to reliability, the XJ is unbeatable. The XJ had solid build quality and a variety of rugged engines that seemed indestructible.

9 Ford Mustang


67 GT500
Via: BJMotors

The Mustang is America’s pride and joy. When any gearhead is asked to name the quintessential American car, they’ll likely mention the Mustang before any other car. There’s a lot to love about the Mustang – it has always had a great design, excellent driving dynamics, and tons of power from its mighty V8 engines.


Mustang Mach 1 - Rear Quarter
Via Street Side Classics

There’s one underrated quality about the Mustang, though – its reliability. Throughout its six-decade history, the Mustang has been one of the most reliable muscle cars. Even if you buy a 1960s model, you can easily drive it daily without having to worry about it breaking down.


8 Plymouth Valiant


1962-Plymouth-Valiant
via hotrodnetwork

The Valiant will forever be remembered as one of the greatest cars Plymouth built. Introduced in 1959, the Valiant was developed to give Chrysler an entry into the burgeoning compact car market. According to chief designer Virgil Exner, the Valiant needed to be smaller and lighter than full-size cars without sacrificing passenger or cargo space.


1966 Plymouth Valiant
via Barrett-Jackson

The Valiant was an instant hit, selling 146,000 units in its first year of existence. It became well-known for its superb durability and reliability, and was one of the reasons why Chrysler survived the economic downturn of the ’60s and ’70s.


7 Ford Crown Victoria


Ford Crown Victoria
Via-Mecum Auctions

Ford has used the ‘Crown Victoria’ name on several cars throughout its history, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the four-door sedan it introduced in the early ’90s. If this car looks familiar, that’s because it was the car of choice for most US police precincts in the ’90s and taxi cab fleets in the 2000s.

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NYC Taxi Ford Crown Victoria
via Flickr / Jason Lawrence

Police units and taxi cabs typically cover thousands of miles every week. So, for the Crown Victoria to be chosen for such roles, it needed to be solidly built and reliable. Ford didn’t disappoint.


6 1961-1969 Chevrolet Impala SS


1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409
Via-Mecum Auctions

In 1960, a press release by Chevrolet introduced the Impala Super Sport option to the market. Buyers who chose the SS package in 1961 got a performance bump that included engine and suspension upgrades, upgraded tires, springs, shocks, and brake linings.


1963 Chevrolet Z11 Impala Classic Car
Via: Mecum

The SS package also came with special badges and other appearance upgrades that made it look a lot cooler than the base Impala. The Impala SS gained a reputation for reliability, which is why it’s one of the highly sought-after collectibles today.

5 Chevrolet Corvette C4


1990 Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1 Front
Via: Orlando Classic Cars

The Corvette is the most popular sports car of all time for a reason. Everyone loves the Corvette for its styling, excellent driving dynamics, and the fact that it costs a lot less than European sports car equivalents.


Chevrolet Corvette C4
Via Mecum

The third-generation Corvette almost killed the beloved nameplate, largely due to emission restrictions that had forced Chevy to detune its engine. Thankfully, the fourth-generation variant swooped in and saved it. The C4 Corvette had a great design, lots of power, particularly in the ZR-1, and was just as reliable as previous Corvettes.

4 Ford F-150


ford_f-150_1999
via: favcars

In most countries, the best-selling vehicles are usually small, affordable family cars or hatchbacks. Not in the US. The best-selling vehicle in the US for the last four decades has been a large full-size pickup truck – the Ford F-150.


1975 Ford F150 XLT Ranger Pickup
Via: Mecum

The F-150 is the ultimate vehicle you can buy in the US – it’s spacious and comfortable enough to serve as a daily driver for you and your family. Tough and rugged enough to conquer off-road trails, and suitable for hauling heavy items when needed. The F-150 is also super reliable, which is why you’ll still see early-generation models on the road today.


3 1994 Dodge Ram


Via Auto-Database

When the second-generation Ram pickup truck debuted in 1994, every gearhead was excited. It had an all-new design featuring a big-rig-looking front end and a huge grille that proved popular with consumers.

RELATED: These Are The Coolest High-Performance Pickup Trucks Ever


Via BestCarMag

The Ram was so good that it won Motor Trend’s 1994 Truck of the Year award and had sold over 1 million units by 1996. Other than the design, the other thing people loved about the 1994 Ram was the reliability of its engines regardless of whether you got a V6, V8, or V10 model.

2 1986 Ford Taurus


Via:Hemmings

The ’70s and ’80s were horrible for all American automakers, but more so for Ford. The Blue Oval brand was staring down the barrel of bankruptcy in the ’80s, so it decided to build a cheap, reliable sedan to save itself. The result was the Taurus.


1986 Ford Taurus
Via: Wikimedia Commons

There was nothing special about the Taurus’ design or power, but it won over American hearts for being solidly built and being more reliable than almost every Ford built before it. By 1991, Ford had sold over 2 million examples of the Taurus.

1 Buick Roadmaster Estate


Buick Roadmaster Estate
via bloombergquint.com

The Buick Roadmaster Estate is a legend of the American auto industry. The Roadmaster Estate was built since as early as the 1940s, but we’ll focus on the top-level luxury station wagon that GM re-introduced in 1970. This large station wagon was the car of choice for families looking for a comfortable daily driver that could run forever with little maintenance.


1995 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
Via mecum.com

Although some of its bodywork was wooden, the Roadmaster Estate was lauded for being almost indestructible. These cars could cover over 130,000 miles without major breakdowns, giving owners plenty of time to enjoy them.


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