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Pedal To The Metal: What You Need To Know Before Buying A Muscle Car

Want to feel the thrill of being on the road? Want the ladies to check you out when you pull up at a red light? Want people to wonder what you’re overcompensating for? Then put the pedal to the metal and hit the road in your own fully decked-out muscle car! Muscle cars offer an automobile experience that is distinct in every way; whether it is the experience of driving them, the way they look or the sound they make. Every aspect of the muscle car exudes raw power, which makes it unmistakably American and undeniably male.

For most of us men, vehicle purchases have been about economy and safety. Our first cars were typically used pieces of scrap that barely got us from point A to point B.  Later in life, we had to put our family’s needs before our own and traded in our manhood for a minivan. Well, now it’s time we treated ourselves to the grown-up version of the Hot Wheels car we always wanted. But before your inner speed demon jumps out to bring home one of these high-performance beauties, remember these tips to make sure you get more bang for your buck. And keep in mind that we’re only talking about the classic beauties from the 60s and the 70s (the Clean Air Act and rising prices killed their production in 1973) and not these sissy 4-cylinder, fuel efficient models that pass for muscle cars today.

Know What Makes These Cars Muscular

A real muscle car packs a large V8 engine for raw horsepower. So, that means you should expect 8 cylinders. Nothing less will do. The shape and trim of these cars are also very era-specific.  A cursory look at muscle cars like the original Pontiac GTO, the Buick Gran Sport and Oldsmobile 442 will tell you that these cars have a distinctive shape that makes them stand apart from today’s monotonous design.

Spend More Money Upfront

If you’re buying a classic high performer, make sure you buy one in good condition. Sure, the idea of buying a down-on-its-luck oldie and restoring it back to its former glory sounds like a fun project but it can drill a hole in your wallet if aren’t planning to make a killing off it (more on that later). Buying a well-maintained or well-restored vehicle at a higher price is better than paying less first and then constantly spending for a long list of fixes.

Be Ready to Maintain Them

Like all cars, these old titans of the road will eventually find themselves in need of repair or new parts. Unlike most cars today, you’ll have to go to some extra effort when this kind of thing happens. Although reproduction parts are available for most classic models, there will be a time when you’ll be needing replacements that are hard to get today. In that case, you can get help from salvage companies or car restoration experts.

You can keep these situations at bay by actively maintaining these cars. Store them away from dampness to ensure the body doesn’t catch any rust. Apply your knowledge of car maintenance (wiring, carburetor, engine care) to your vintage vehicle. Join some local muscle car clubs (both online and offline) and network with them. You’ll not only get the company of fellow car enthusiasts but will also benefit from their maintenance tips and contacts.

Know How to Invest

There’s no better time than now for a serious car enthusiast to invest in muscle cars. The collector car market has recovered back to a peak position after taking a tumble in the 2008 recession. Know that when you buy a vintage muscle car today, you also make a good investment. If you plan to turn-around a fixer upper and then sell it, don’t buy a car that has too many operational problems. In short, an ugly-looking car that still works without a hitch is better than a pretty one that can’t move. This kind of purchase should be between $12,000 and $15,000. The money you make out of the sale depends on the demand of the model, the level of work you’ve put in and how well you negotiate with the buyer. As per current trends, the sale of your muscle car should go between $30,000 and $70,000.

Of course, muscle cars aren’t for everyone. It takes a certain kind of road warrior to handle a car with this much power. But if you think you’re man enough, or woman enough, to drive one of these babies then more power to you!

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Manopause Team

An overeducated and underpaid team of writers, researchers and very opinionated men and women of all ages. Venturing into heretofore uncharted online territory, they are dedicated to entertaining, educating, inspiring and uniting men over 50 ...and the people who love them.

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