Buying Guide for Old School Muscle Cars


Muscle cars are described as high-performance American cars. In some definitions, American muscle cars are described as intermediate-sized cars that are fitted with a V8 engine. Historically, American muscles were all rear-wheel drive. When you decide to look for used and old-school muscle cars, your preferences will be different. There is no one right choice to buy a muscle car. 

Buying an old-school muscle car can depend on the taste or budget. Also, the muscle car you will be looking for might not be as powerful as the other one. Well, some muscle cars are classics forever. Finding an old-school muscle car with the perfect fender, paint, and engine can be a difficult task to do.

Buying Guide for Old School Muscle Cars

Before you decide to buy a Shelby Cobra, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Galaxie 7 Liter, or Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, there are few things to consider to make a perfect buying according to your preference. 

Manage Your Expectations

If you grew up in the ’70s or ’80s, it might be tempting for you to think of muscle cars as just used cars. But in reality, they are not just used cars. When they are 45 or 55 years old, they are old-school muscle cars. Except for the few muscle cars or monsters kept in amber. Most of them have been hit for a couple of decades. 

They might be rusty or they might have gone through repaint jobs several times. Most people who built or designed them are dead by now. So, you have to be realistic while deciding to buy an old-school muscle car. If you find a perfect one, keep in mind that it will drive like a 50-year-old car but not like a brand-new Ford Focus. Hence, you have to keep the expectations in line. 

Seek Out Alternatives 

You might be looking for a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda. Of course, who doesn’t want to have ’71 ‘Cuda. It is expensive than other old-school muscle cars. ‘Cuda having a small-block 340 V8 engine will not be cheaper than others but the drive of this old-school muscle car will be better than temperamental Hemi. 

Sticking over a particular muscle model can be a certain way to get ripped off. You don’t want it to happen with you because you might have saved your money to buy an old-school muscle car. 

Rust Is Death 

You can expect that the old-school muscle car might be rusty. Well, most of them will be having rust. Now it makes a big difference when small surface tears and wear with rust. But some muscle cars will be having overwhelming corrosion. A rusty bucket, say 1967 Camaro Z/28 will be fascinating and tempting for you but it will not be more fun than a regular 1967 Camaro Sports Coupe. 

An old-school muscle car having a deep tear and wear, and overwhelming corrosion cannot be fun for you if you are not planning to restore the muscle car. You have to work for a couple of months to make it right and do the paint job. 

Buy What You Want 

If you are not an enthusiast of old-school muscle cars, then you should not be planning to buy one because you saw them outperforming in the iconic car movies. You should be following your passion than that of someone else. Sometimes, people advise you to buy an old-school muscle car because of their preference. You buy it and then regret it. 

If you have loved a ’68 Javelins, then you should be going for it and stick to the honest advice that finding AMC parts might be impossible. Also, the replicas are rare and prices are high. If you have done everything to make it perfect, it still is an old Rambler. 

Check The Vin 

Before you make a deal with a good-looking, well-maintained, and super clean old-school muscle car, look for the vehicle’s identification number (VIN). In most cars, it is directly stamped onto the engine. In some cars, it is stamped on the exterior of the dashboard and you can easily see it from outside. The character length of VIN ranges from 5 to 17 characters. 

Once you have located the VIN, look for it in other known locations within the vehicle. For example, you noted the VIN stamped on the engine, another VIN you found on the exterior of the dashboard is different from than engine. It means that the engine has been changed and not registered with the state. 

Don’t Expect to Get Rich Off This 

If you have in mind that you will be making a lot of money with your muscle car, then you are keeping your expectations too high. For example, a restored 1967 Pontiac GTO was sold in an auction for $78,100 in 2005. A year later, the same car was sold at the same event for $95,700. Then in 2007, it was sold in an auction for $83,600. 

If you have put your money in the savings account, then it would have given you a guaranteed return. Also, you would not need insurance, an oil leak, and a climate-controlled garage. if you are lucky enough, then you might have made few dollars on reselling your old-school muscle car. 

In the motor industry, you might get a bounce or hit back or break even. On the other hand, you can go for 21st-century muscle cars. It is because they are having a higher value than the old ones. 

Be Honest with Yourself 

If you know mechanic work, then it means that you should be having a paint booth in your home and a body expert. As a result, you will be able to buy a cheaper old-school muscle car. It might be having issues with body parts like overwhelming corrosion or engine problems. If you know how to fix it all, you can go for a cheaper old-school muscle car and build it on your own. 

If you have not done anything like this and you have never tested your talent, then you should not be diving into a deep sea. It will cost you more money and time than an expert mechanic who knows how to fix everything. 

What You Want to Do with The Car 

If you are one of the front row guys at Barret-Jackson, wearing a chunky watch and Hawaiian shirt with your surgically enhanced partner, then just bidding on the car may be enough. Also, you want to buy an old-school muscle car for your huge-sized garage where she will look pretty or enhance the beauty of your collection.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an old-school muscle car to drive to work or other places, then find a clean one. It should be super clean or good-looking that you hesitate to take it out of your garage. Just because you are afraid to get a scratch on your thousand’s dollar old-school muscle car. 

Old School Muscle Car – Think Twice

If you are a true gearhead, then you have fantasized about getting behind the wheel of one of the muscle cars of the ’50s and ’60s. You have been imagining placing the key in one of the American muscle cars to summon the angry horses under the hood and hit the gas pedal. If you have been doing so, then first you should know the factors that you should be considering before buying any muscle car. 

You can buy it from an auction, dealer, or private party. Make sure that you are considering all the factors so that you are buying the right old-school muscle car for yourself. Later on, you don’t want to regret buying a two-door, V8 powered and 4-speed muscle car. 

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