The American Muscle car is a cultural sticking point. Though the cars may be somewhat more relic-esque, some models have been preserved and remain functional in the modern days. Though the golden era for this style of the engine was very much back in the 60s and 70s, the muscle car remains a popular ownership goal for many car enthusiasts. It’s easy to see why. They are built to look impressive, they sound the part, and they can move. Despite their high rust rates and lack of practicality, people still want them, so here is a guide filled with information, tips, and tricks about the muscle car market.
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The History of Muscle Cars
When did it all begin? The American Muscle Cars date back to the early 1960s and are largely associated with the ‘baby boomer’ era. This genre can be pinpointed specifically to the 1964 Pontiac GTO, a car we will take a closer look at in the next point, though the idea of muscle cars predates this model, starting more in the 1940s.
With no real discerning features across all the models to follow, the category is better defined by character and time period. They have big engines, big frames, lighter bodies, and a big sound too. Thanks to the bigger engine size, they are also fast and powerful (hence the muscle) and were quite often used by the younger generation for drag racing. They have to be made in America to qualify as a real muscle car, feature the coupe body style (two doors, big seats up front and small seats in the back, and a noticeable roofline), and a powerful engine.
The 1964 Pontiac GTO
This is the first well-known, established American Muscle car model that people covet in modern times. They were not built to last, but they were built for speed, being able to reach 60MPH/96KMH in just over 5 seconds. This was very impressive back in the 60s. It featured a truly powerful 6+ Liter V8 engine, which as you can imagine, gives it a definite punch. The sleek, coupe body alongside those all-important big front seats made the Pontiac GTO the ultimate guide for every American Muscle car of that time.
Muscle Cars Buyer’s Guide
Here are the best guidance points when shopping around for Muscle Cars.
Always Look Before You Buy
If you are not committed to any particular model, and instead you just like the idea of owning some muscle, it is imperative to shop around. Similarly, if you do have a particular make in mind as your dream purchase, browsing all the options is still the best route. Most of these cars are now privately owned and distributed, therefore there is an added need to be vigilant and have a base knowledge before you pursue the journey. When you understand what to look for and what to avoid, it makes everything easier and just because one option has a few red flags, doesn’t mean that the next one on the list will not. You should never make a big purchase like this without first seeing the asset, so an in-person visit to verify everything is as it is advertised is a must.
Lots of these cars, because of firstly their age and secondly the way they were made, will fall victim to the dreaded rust. When rust sets in on a vehicle like this one, there is no real way to reverse it or remove it effectively. Rust does not yield great prospects for cars because it causes all types of damage internally as well as to the main body. All the parts that make the vehicle function will be compromised as the rust grows (and it will grow), and the body will become weak and structurally unsound. Therefore, if a car is showing signs of rust, it is best to move on and look at different options.
What to Realistically Expect
These cars have not aged all too well unless they have been looked after meticulously. That is why it is vital to stay realistic throughout this process. Muscle Cars are great for what they are, but there is a big chance that you will have to do some work. There are bound to be parts missing or faulty, as well as general bodywork to be done as well. So, if you are not a mechanic or car-savvy in any way, make sure you have good industry connections or take a step back from the process and look at another type of car. If it is your hobby to fix cars up, you’re looking at the right category of vehicle.
The Market Is Not a Lucrative One
There is no real money to be made in Muscle cars anymore, so to speak. The odd few sellers with the required expertise will definitely have a booming profit. But, overall, given the market is so niche and the parts become ever less sustainable and ever more obsolete, these cars are less for mainstream use and more one of a trophy purchase in the general collective. So, unless you are a complete expert and know the trade inside out, don’t expect to make loads of money here.
Be Led by Your Heart
With major acquisitions like these, your heart will tell you what your head needs to know. Sure, it is wise and valuable even to look at the statistics and state of a vehicle, but don’t let overly pushy sales guide your process when you already know what you want. Be smart but find a balance between that and advocating for your desires.
Expand Your Search Process
Do not be limited to just used car search sites. The internet is a great place and search engines are useful but used car search sites may not show up the best results for Muscle Cars. Second-hand e-commerce is the better alternative, and web pages like eBay have a bunch of sellers, all accredited, with reviews and ways to get in touch. Social media is a useful tool here too as people often use these platforms to liaise with other enthusiasts and showcase vehicles on offer.
Looking at Alternative Models is Okay
If you can’t find the car you want, that’s okay. You can either wait until one crops up, or you could expand your line of thinking and explore other models. There are a few staple offerings to consider from the Pontiac to Ford Mustang, Chevrolet, and Dodge. Every brand has its own unique offerings so don’t limit yourself to just one!
Listen to the Expert Enthusiasts: They Know the Score
There are many people spread out over the globe who love, know, and breathe Muscle Cars. These are known as expert enthusiasts, and often have other areas of professionalism and expertise too, just like Mike Savage New Canaan. A legitimate expert will be able to recommend vehicle types and parts, highlight purchase potential and inform their fan base or subscribers of the most relevant facts and figures. Always look to the hobbyists, because they have poured their recreational hours into this area and know what they’re talking about in a bigger capacity than mainstream salespeople. Chances are, they may have some models up for sale too!
When it comes to Muscle Cars, you have to know what you’re looking for. This is not a process you go into empty-minded, because you will never be able to walk away with the best deal. Listen to the experts, and let your heart take the lead.