American muscle cars have a special place in many motor fan’s hearts. They are classic rides – in particular those from the mid-to-late 60s.
The trouble is, you need a heck of a lot of dough to buy them. Those classic models cost a fortune unless you are prepared to do them up yourself. In recent years an L88 Corvette from 1969 was sold at auction for $3.5 million.
But there are alternative ways to get the look – or the power – of these classic beasts. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Buy A Later Model
While it would be to buy a multi-million dollar car, it’s not realistic unless you are Donald Trump. But those classic 60s models cost so much because people are prepared to dive deep into their pockets. Really deep.
But set your sights to a few years beyond the muscle car heyday, and things become a lot more affordable. CarAndDriver.com did a great piece on this which is a good place to start your journey.
If you know what you are looking for just head over to the NADA Classic Car Guide. Enter the details into their search function and you will see that not all muscle is madness. For example, you pick up a 1975 Pontiac Grand AM in excellent condition, for less than $17,000.
Buy A New Model
OK, so new cars don’t have the distinctive look that the classic models have. But they certainly have the power and will need a lot less attention given to them.
Think about the model you lust after, and take a look around at local dealers for modern-day muscle. This company website will give you a good example of what to expect from an updated Chevrolet, for example.
The best thing about new models is that they offer an internal luxury that the classic cars cannot compete with. Sure, those classics are awesome to look at from the outside, but they aren’t always a comfortable drive. You can pick up an excellent, brand new alternative for less than $50,000. And you will enjoy driving it.
The DIY Approach
Vehicle restoration and car tuning is a great pastime – if you have the time and money on your hands. If you are the type who is interested in vintage vehicles, the likelihood is that you are also the type who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty.
Scour the web for a dilapidated old muscle car that is going for next to nothing. Most cars are salvageable, but you should get some expert advice here if you need it. You can pick up cars that are headed for the metal yard for next to nothing. There is a good guide to restorable classic cars over at Hemmings.com.
Bear in mind that to restore a broken vehicle back to its former glory will cost a tidy five-figure sum. However, if it’s going to make that back and then some on a resale, or give you your dream car for a fraction f the price, it is surely worth the investment.
Photo: Markus Spiske/Flickr