Do Muscle Cars Attract Girls?

muscle car restorationWhile the classic muscle car restoration industry is typically a man’s world, there is a slew of women who love muscle cars and the men who drive them. They may not actually drive them, but they certainly appreciate them. And chances are, if you’ve done any form of hot rod restoration yourself, then you may have already reaped some of the benefits.
 
Ultimately, it may be the guy behind the wheel that attracts the girls, but when that guy does his own muscle car restoration, his cool factor rises tenfold. While not all vehicles will have the same effect on women, there’s definitely something sexy about muscle cars and hot rods. You don’t hear many female characters on television talking about the cute guy driving that red Prius or the white Jetta, but you definitely hear about the hottie with the Hemi engine.
 

Of course, there are lots of women who prefer the real-world practical cars to fantasy vehicles—but most likely for their own ride. They can pretend they’re not looking at that Ferrari or Maserati, but deep down, we know they are. Yet wen you compare the woman looking for that luxe ride, such as one of the ones mentioned above or the latest Porsche, Mercedes or Lamborghini, the girl who’s all about the hot rod restoration shows a classic style of her own and an appreciation for history and timeless beauty. That makes her even hotter.

While many women will admit that the right muscle car makes a guy look better in her rear view mirror, you have to hope that it’s because she appreciate your dedication to the care and upkeep of a classic vehicle, and that it shows commitment, rather than dollar signs.

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Hot Rod and Muscle Car Communities

Muscle CarIf you’re working on a custom hot rod or classic American muscle car on your own, chances are you spend a lot of time in the garage by yourself, tinkering around with ratchet and radio the only sounds you hear. If you don’t have a friend to rebuild with, you may want to get consider getting involved with one of the many online communities with members from across the country—and even the globe.

Sometimes you have questions. Sometimes you need advice. And sometimes you just want to shoot the sh—. Online communities are a great way to connect to fellow enthusiasts. Here a few simple ways to get connected.

Google+

The Google+ communities section is growing fast and is easy to use. You can search through existing groups or you can start a brand new group, giving yourself more control over content and membership. Here are the search results for hot rods + muscle cars.

Reddit

You may have to wade through ‘for sale’ posts, but Reddit does aggregate a lot of content from all over the country. Browse around and you’ll find good people and good chats.

Facebook and Twitter

The old war horses of social media. Facebook has a lot of communities connected with muscle car restoration and classic hot rods. These communities are typically less specific than the Google+ communities; you may be one of 100,000 members as opposed to 100 or less. Twitter is good for following updates from the car shows and major brands you like.

Pinterest

Pinterest isn’t just about crafting, fashion and beauty. Believe it or not, many muscle car enthusiasts put their vision boards here so they can keep track of inspiring hot rods and get ideas for restoration.

This Blog

Click here to see some of the new muscle car restoration posts that go live each week along with our repeat readers. Comment and ask questions—the Brauns community is listening!

5 Reasons the ’57 Chevy is an Icon

hot rod restorationWhen it comes to classic cars, the 1957 Chevrolet is an icon of pop culture. Walk into any auto hot rod restoration shop and you’re bound to see one getting worked on or just on display. Regardless of whether it’s a coupe, sedan or convertible, the ’57 Chevy is a model that is revered by all the classic car aficionados.

Why is this car such an icon? Read on for five reasons we think it has turned heads for decades.

1. The ’57 Chevy Has Style

The ’57 Chevy is characterized by sleek tailfins, beautiful chrome bumpers and recessed grilles. The two spears on the hood and the side and fin make it extremely recognizable and unique. What many aren’t aware of—except for the hardcore classic car experts—is that the ’57 Chevy’s hood and cowl were dropped one and a half inches, making it seem lower and wider. The stainless steel, excessive chrome and two-tone colors represent the 50s very accurately.

2. Everyone Had One

The ’57 Chevy was extremely popular, making it one of the biggest sellers that year and way beyond. It is widely considered the best known and best ranked car of its decade.

3. The ’57 Chevy Had its Own Postage Stamp

The ’57 Chevy was pictured on a 33 cent first-class stamp in 1999.

4. The Car is Fast

In 1957, Chevrolet won 49 NASCAR Grand National races. That is the most any car has ever won in the history of NASCAR. The ’57 Chevy’s lightweight size made it a favorite among drag racers as well.

5. There is a Song About It

The song “I’ve got a rock and roll heart,” was one of Eric Clapton’s many popular hits. The lyrics feature the iconic car in its hook: “I get off on ’57 Chevys…” Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Muscle Car of the Week: Mustang Boss 302

Blue muscle car Mustang Boss 302We’ve all known a guy who had one of these. It’s a favorite among the customers at our muscle car restoration services shop. We knew a very passionate owner of one in the mid-seventies. He knew this car was special even way back then. He babied it most of the time and would occasionally prove that it could indeed do 0-60 in 6.9s. He did this when we least expected it. Let us tell you, the Boss 302 could peel the skin off your face.

After a couple of years, our friend sold the Mustang Boss 302 and got himself a Corvette Stingray. Not long after that he traded the beautiful Stingray in for kid-friendly transportation (you see the progression here). While he never mentions the Stingray, he does keep a photo of the Boss 302 tacked up in garage. We’re looking for a muscle car restoration project for him to work on. He is dragging his feet a bit. I think he is holding out for The Boss. And why not?

The Mustang Boss 302 Car Interior

The Boss 302 isn’t a pick-your-favorite-year muscle car. It was a limited-run monster. An instant myth. In 2007, a fully restored 1969 fetched north of 500k at auction. Somewhere our friend is weeping.

Designed by Larry Shinoda, the car was given the name “Boss” because anytime someone asked Shinoda what he was working on he replied, “The boss’ car.” A nod to his inside joke. The Boss 302 engine was anything but a joke. A small block V-8 with large Cleveland heads the 302 clattered at perfect idle, almost as if it was annoyed to be sitting still. The listed horsepower was 290. Nonsense. Ford listed that for race purposes. We would love get a Boss 302 into the Brauns garage for a true dyno-run.

Car and Driver said, “The Boss 302 is a hell of an enthusiast’s car. It’s what the Shelby GT 350s and 500s should have been but weren’t.” Our take? The Boss 302 is a legend.

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1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Fastback

hot rod restorationArguably the most legendary hot rod of all time, the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Fastback is a true American classic. It is considered the holy grail of hot rods to auto restoration car enthusiasts. This rare and mythical muscle car restoration machine lives up to its reputation with a 355hp V8 engine.

The Ultimate Hot Rod Restoration Project

If you were to run chassis dyno testing on this timeless vehicle, you would immediately see why it’s revered as the ultimate hot rod restoration project. Shelby added a custom fiberglass hood, nose, and intakes, giving this classic ride its distinctive look. The car featured numerous powerful upgrades from its stock counterpart, including improved carburetors, manifolds, transmission, and braking system.

Unrivaled Manual Transmission

The Shelby had a four speed manual transmission that powered it into the history books—race after race. Due to its immense popularity, it is exceedingly hard to find a well maintained one for sale. That is where Los Angeles auto restoration shops like Brauns really shine. Their skilled mechanics have taken countless weathered classic cars and turned them into truly show-stopping hot rods. The shop is a perfect example of hot rod restoration at its finest.
The GT500 is also the only car to have the distinction of having its own credit in a movie. It is listed as “Eleanor” in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds (the old school original made in 1974, not the remake). This movie essentially solidified the Mustang’s prominence in American pop culture with its groundbreaking chase scenes.
A recently auctioned 967 Shelby GT500 commanded a whopping $1.3 million price tag when all was said and done. Under the hood of this one-of-a-kind Shelby is a 427 cubic-inch V8 from none other than the Ford GT40 racecar. This car is the pinnacle of hot rod restoration—no detail on the vehicle was overlooked and the result was unparraleled.

Bigfoot—A Monster Hot Rod

chassis dyno testingWhether you are a car fanatic or don’t know the meaning of chassis dyno tuning, you probably have heard of Bigfoot. It’s a name synonymous with Monster Truck Rallies—rooted in redneck lore. Yet the brand name didn’t start out that way. While today Bigfoot is a brand name with many generations and models in its repertoire, back in 1979 it was Bob Chandler’s concept hot rod and is considered the “original monster truck.”

Originally, Chandler, a former construction worker from St. Louis, Missouri, was simply looking for ways to reduce his many four-wheeling wreckage costs. In fact, that is where the name “Bigfoot” originated from. He asked his friend, Ron MacGruder, why he kept wrecking and MacGruder responded “It’s ‘cause of your big foot!”

Chandler’s first major modification was to add steering that could be controlled from either the front or rear axle. This made the truck operable in case of breakage and effectively made it a 4x4x4. He started taking Bigfoot to car shows and tractor pulls in ’79, but it was a video that he made in ’81 that truly started the legend and launched the modern Monster Truck format.

Chandler set up a couple of dilapidated cars in an open field and taped them being crushed by Bigfoot. While he originally made the tape as joke, when he began playing it at his shop, it started gaining attention, so much so that request after request for repeat performances rolled in, eventually leading to a Ford sponsorship and iconic status. In addition, Bigfoot’s immense popularity led to the truck’s appearance in the 1981 film, Take This Job and Shove It, directed by Gus Trikonis.

In 1986, Chandler built Bigfoot 5, which the Guinness Book of World Records dubbed the “World’s Tallest, Wildest and Strongest Monster Truck.” The later model Bigfoots boasted insane horsepower, 572 cubic inch engines that ripped off anywhere between 1200-1500 bhp. We would almost be scared to dyno run that bad boy!

Speaking of which, click here to see some of our chassis dyno tuning videos.`

image credit: pixabay.com

4 Affordable Muscle Cars

classic cars los angelesYou don’t have to be a millionaire to own a muscle car. There are plenty of cool models that we see on the road, at car shows and at the auto restoration shop that will set your heart aflutter. Look for models older than 1972 and you’ll find some affordable options with plenty of horsepower and character.

1. 1973 Pontiac GTO and 1973–75 Pontiac Grand Am.

These babies have tons of style but won’t break the bank. In 1973, all of GM’s mid-size A-cars were designed with bigger, heavier colonnade-style bodies. Most were built with 230-hp, 400-cubic-inch (6.6 liter) V-8 engines, with optional 250-hp 455. You can easily get your hands on one of these
classics for between $12k and $17k.

2. 1971–75 Ford Maverick Grabber.

While it may not look like your typical muscle car, this vehicle is easy on the eye and boasts by a 210-gross-horsepower, two-barrel 302-cubic-inch (4.9 liter) V-8. We’ve seen them pass through the auto restoration shop with price tags lower than $12k.

3. 1979 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 WS6.

While most late 70s Trans Ams will put your wallet in a quandary, the Formula from 1979 received less hype—yet 1979 is the only year this car was offered with the 220-hp true Pontiac 400 (6.6 liter) V-8. In addition, it boasts a WS6 handling package with four-wheel disc brakes and those coveted
snowflake alloy wheels as well. Only 24,851 Formulas were manufactured that year, though not all featured 400 and WS6. Still, you can find one with a price tag of around $16k and lower.

4. 1970–71 Ford Torino GT.

Built on the same mid-size chassis as its predecessors, these Torinos have nicer interiors and most come with 250-hp, 351-cubic-inch (5.8 liter) V-8. You can find these for anywhere between $12k and $19k.

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There’s Something About Muscle Cars

classic muscle car restoration

There’s a reason why classic muscle car restoration is so popular in Los Angeles and across the country. Whether it’s the machine strength, sleek lines or ultra powerful engines that characterize these vehicles, muscle car enthusiasts just cannot get enough of these high performance automobiles.

If you walk into any auto restoration shop, you’re sure to see several muscle cars getting worked on. Even though newer models and modified versions of the same vehicles are available, muscle cars are in demand. They are popular items among collectors due to their nostalgia factor, but are also in demand among younger drivers, including teenagers who just started driving.

Many American-made classic muscle car restoration are available today as collectors’ items, worth thousands of dollars. The goods news is, their market value continues to grow every year, which is why muscle car restoration in Los Angeles is growing in demand. Muscle cars are also popular in Australia, as well as the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. These countries were highly influenced by original American muscle cars, prompting car manufacturers to release popular variants during the height of their popularity.

If you walk into any auto restoration shop, you will see a wide array of vintage muscle cars, but there are some classics that have a rising value and seem to be a favorite among the collector community. Some of these include the Boss 429 Mustang, which was released in the late 1960s and available into the early 1970s. The 450-horsepower V-8 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 is another hot item, as is the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD455. Other favorites include the 455-cubic inch V-8 engine Oldsmobile 442 W-30, the aerodynamic Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi, the great looking Ford Mustang GT500KR and the hand-assembled Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. And muscle car enthusiasts will tell you—there’s just something about each and every one of these cars.

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image credit: pixabay.com

How to Sell Muscle Cars and Hot Rods

auto restoration shopYou’ve waxed and wiped the beautiful fully restored muscle car in your garage hundreds of times. You’ve taken her to shows and gushed about her lovingly. You took her to an auto restoration shop and fixed every single thing you could. You still love her. You do! But, you’ve got your eye on other girls. A curvy Dodge Charger? A Barracuda in need? Don’t beat yourself up, it happens to every muscle car enthusiast worth his salt. Sometimes you’ve just got to move on.

But, before you do you’re going to need some cash to fuel your new project. It is really tough to let go of a project, so if you’re going to do it, do it right. Parking it at the local supermarket with a “For Sale” sign in the window isn’t going to cut it. Here are a few tips to get maximum value for your primed and cherry American muscle car.

Keep Detailed Records from your Auto Restoration Shop

Buying a restored muscle car is an expensive venture. Make sure you have all original paperwork and a detailed history of ownership. You will also want a detailed history of the work you’ve put into the car. Which parts are original? Which parts are after market? Is the big V-8 under the hood stock or have you tweeked it to spike up the horsepower? If you have been organized from he start this should be easy. If not…

Build Up a Buzz

Don’t post an ad or join an auction until you have primed your audience. The internet is loaded with blogs and forums dedicated to specific muscle car makes and models. Got a Mustang to sell? Get on the forums, talk to other enthusiasts, post pictures of your ride. You’ll get a better idea of what your car is worth and you might just find a buyer while you’re at it.

Take the Leap

You can go the fixed price route and advertise on Hemmings.com (hardcopy or online). Or you can go the auction route and hope for a bidding war on eBay Motors. Either way have a cost window set. What is a fair amount to charge? What is the lowest amount you’ll take?

The biggest thing is to be patient. If the market isn’t right, wait. People love American muscle cars. Bid your time and you’ll find someone who loves that beauty in your garage just as much as you do.

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Top 5 Muscle Cars to Restore

Pink flame hot rod restoration Muscle Cars This is not a list of rarities or cars that fetch the most at auction. This is a sensible list; a list of American classics that combine reasonable purchase price, availability of parts and resell priceprojects that any muscle car enthusiast can restore and drive with pride.

#5 – Pontiac GTO – 1971-’72

Early models can be pricey but ’71-’72 versions are still in range for the average enthusiast. The body design has that mean and beefy look and a lot of body and trim parts have been reproduced. The top engine available for this model was the 455 HO V-8 rated at 335 hp. Their are a ton of GTO fans out there so reselling at the end of your restoration shouldn’t be hard.

#4 – Chevrolet Corvette – 1978-’82

A lot of rebuilds start out as rust buckets on the back of a trailer. But, if your not looking to dig that deep this could be your ride. Many of these are available in drivable condition and there are a bunch of Corvette specialists selling reproduction parts and high-performance speed parts. If you want to bring in the big money you’ll have to be flawless in your restoration, but a ‘vette is a ‘vetteinterest will always be there.

#3 – Dodge Charger – 1968-’70

Charger is one of the most desired and respected names in the world of American muscle cars. Production numbers were high so these models aren’t difficult to find and every mechanical part is obtainable. Naturally the bigger the engine the higher the restoration price. But if you can afford to drop-in a 426 Street HEMI that kicks out 425 bph during chassis dyno testing, why wouldn’t you splurge? Plus, the Dukes of Hazzard drove one of these. The General Lee. We’re just saying.

#2 – Chevrolet Camaro – 1967 – ’69

They look great. They are easy to get parts for. They are fun to drive—and they can be built fast and mean thanks to a booming aftermarket for performance parts. What’s not to like? The first generation Camaros came with a lot of engine options the biggest factory offer being the L78 SS396 a 396 cubic inch V8 with 375 hp.

#1 – Ford Mustang – 1964 -’68

You didn’t think we would have a Top 5 list without a ‘Stang on it did you? Mustangs are perfect starter projects. They tend to be affordable and literally every part is available via catalogue or website. The support clubs are great and even forums can be helpful. Early model Mustangs are among the easiest restoration projects to resell. Do a good job on this one and maybe you’ll be able to dip into Shelby territory next round.

Click here for information on chassis dyno testing and other muscle car information.