Get a Hot Rod in Your Cool Hands: The Art of Buying a Muscle Car
You were hooked on cars the first time you watched some teens cut donuts in the school parking lot with their tricked-out '68 Barracuda. There was something about driving a powerful, sexy car that stuck in your mind, and every now and then, a rumbling engine brings back those memories. You now have the time, money and space. It's time to make good on your dream of owning a muscle car.
What Resonates With You?
First, pick the years you want to look at. The '60s and '70s saw unique designs come out of Detroit for muscle cars. Start thumbing through the car magazines and Hemmings Motor News,and just look at the photos. What features do you click with? Smooth lines? Hidden headlights? A street car or race car look?
What kind of engine do you want? Street legal or drag? Do you want vintage restored or newly rebuilt? Check out the hot rod magazines, such as Mustang Monthly and Super Chevy, to see the options available to you. It's also time to get out to the local car shows to see some of these beauties first-hand.
How Will You Use the Car?
Now narrow in on why you're buying your muscle car:
How Much Can You Spend?
Now that you have an idea what you want and how you'll use the car, set your budget. Kelly Blue Book has used cars and prices for any make, model and options combinations you want. Just like real estate, cars are valued by the market. If everyone is looking for a 1966 Pontiac GTO, that'll be one expensive car.
Keep in mind the costs you'll need to cover, such as insurance, inspection fees and the cost to ship your car home. Don't run out of money before you get your car into your garage.
With all of this information in hand, it's time to go shopping. One final tip: It's all about how the car makes you feel when you sit in it. Enjoy.
Photo by Flickr user aresauburn