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Rare American 'muscle car' could sell for $1 million

By Laura Allsop for CNN
  • Classic American muscle cars now command up to $1 million at auction
  • A collection of these belonging to car enthusiast Milton Robson goes up for sale this week
  • Included are rare Pontiacs and Chevrolets from the heyday of muscle car production

(CNN) -- Once marketed to young people, classic American muscle cars now command up to $1 million at auction. Only the luckiest teenager could afford one these days.

A selection of these cars from the 1960s and 70s and other American classics, belonging to U.S. car enthusiast and entrepreneur Milton Robson, will go under the hammer this week at Robson's estate in Gainesville, Georgia.

The star lot of the sale is a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible. Only five of these cars were ever made, and only one in black.

The collection includes a Ford Cabriolet dating from 1933 and a 2008 Mega Truck with a trailer measuring 48 feet. But it's the muscle cars that are the star attraction.

Alain Squindo is the RM Auctions car specialist for the event. He told CNN: "A muscle car is a performance car that was built in Detroit in a brief period in its heyday in the 1960s."

Muscle cars aren't any different and as with Ferraris it's always rarity that counts
--Auctioneer Alain Squindo

"By definition, they are typically a mid-size car with a motor from a full-size car, so they were performance-oriented cars for young people."

Used for drag-racing as well as showing off in the school parking lot, the cars would often be decorated with stripes or flames and had powerful engines.

Muscle cars also became famous in chase movies of the time like the Ford Mustang in "Gone in 60 Seconds" (1974) and the Dodge Charger, to name but one, in Steve McQueen classic "Bullit" from 1968.

Estimates for what these cars could command at auction range between $100,000 and $1 million. According to Squindo, a rare example can be as covetable as a European sports car from the same era, a fact which he attributes to nostalgia for the period but also rarity.

"Muscle cars aren't any different, and as with Ferraris it's always rarity that counts," he said.