Unbeknownst to them in 1953, the engineers at GM were about to hit gold in the form of an iconic American sports car known as the Corvette! Beloved for almost five decades, the 1953 Corvette is a rare and coveted prize for any car rebuilt enthusiast!
Originally, the Corvette was only intended to be a concept show car, but that changed when GM decided to put it into full production in June of 1953. Because of this late start, there were only 300 manufactured for the entire year!
Since ’53, the Corvette has been lauded for it’s apparent beauty- be if from the general public or in the many varied muscle car restoration circles across the globe. The flagship year itself was no exception. Although the color options were limited to say the least (it was only available in white), most will agree that the Corvette is a masterpiece of design. It was offered with only the two-seat convertible option, and the top had to be manually operated. In the place of windows it had clip on curtains. Another fascinating feature was that the cars didn’t come with outside door handles so you had to reach into the inside of the car to get in. Apparently theft deterrence wasn’t a major concern in 1953!
As for the engine performance, sadly GM didn’t nail it in the Corvette’s flagship year. The car came standard with a “Blue Flame” six cylinder that got a somewhat depressing 105 horse power during chassis dyno testing.
With the very limited production run it’s highly unlikely that you’ll stumble across a ’53 Corvette at your local junk yard (it’s nice to dream though). Additionally, if you’re looking to purchase one, you better have a hefty wallet. We’ve seen them easily go for $300K!
If your looking to do a muscle car restoration on a ride with some serious balls, then you came to the right place. Look no further than the 1968 Plymouth GTX!
In ’68, just one year after the GTX’s flagship release, Plymouth shocked everyone and completely revamped the entire body design. A new, sleeker ‘hourglass’ shape replaced the boxier B-class design from ’67, resulting in a more luxurious looking auto that lived up to it’s nickname, ‘the gentleman’s sports car’. Indeed, these are great looking rides. The ones we’ve seen have been the pride of their auto restoration shops and we can’t blame them!
Another great change for the GTX in ’68 occured under the hood. Plymouth now offered a 440 cubic inch Super Commando V8 that delivered 375 horsepower as the standard engine option for both the hardtop and convertible models. Additionally, for a little over $500 customers could upgrade to a 426 Hemi that kicked out an impressive 425 horsepower on the chassis dyno tester! Nowadays, these are rare finds in junk yards across Los Angeles county, and the rest of California for that matter, though. This is because only 450 total GTX’s left the factory with these engines installed. If you find one, you should definitely hop on it! (or tell us about it)
The base price of the 1968 was $3,300. Today, we’ve seen fully restored ones get up to $40,000 at auction!
Hello muscle car restoration enthusiasts! This week we’re going to be taking a look at the specs on the 1970 Ford Thunderbird!
Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen, the new CEO of Ford was largely responsible for the T-Bird’s makeover in 1970. While remaining relatively consistent with the ’68/’69 models, the one major difference was with the addition of a new “beak” shaped fascia on the front hood. The effect made the front grille pointy and angular while also exposing the headlamps. This was a popular move with car buyers of the day and remains so with auto restoration buffs today. Sadly, Bunkie wasn’t quite as popular with Henry Ford II as he was fired in September of 1969.
In 1970, Ford also instituted stricter testing procedures for all of its models. They eliminated their famous 12 mile road test and replaced it with mechanized testing right in the factory. In addition, they added a water seal test, an air conditioning test, and even ran it on seven different chassis dyno tuners!
The stock engine, a 429 cubic inch V8 scored well on these tests, delivering an impressive 360 horsepower. It was fast too, delivering 0-60 in 6.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 14.7!
All in all, 1970 T-Birds are very common in Los Angeles and Southern California, so they make an ideal auto restoration choice. You can find junkers for right around $1500 and we’ve seen fully restored ones sell for around $15K-$20K at auction.
Whether you’re into looks or power, the 1974 Chevrolet Camaro is a great choice for your muscle car restoral!
In ’74 the Camaro grew seven inches in length due to the new front and rear aluminum bumpers. These bumpers were actually required by a new federal safety regulation implemented by the government. In addition, the tail lights also featured a new wrap-around design instead of the traditional rounded look. These new ad-ons came together to give the Camaro a more stylish appeal while increasing overall driving safety standards as well, making it one of the more prudent auto restoration choices available today.
The ’74 Camaro didn’t have many changes under the hood though. The biggest being that they decided to scrap the 307 CID base V8 and opt for a 350 cubic inch one instead. In chassis dyno runs, this new base engine kicked out 245 horsepower. In road tests, this engine did 0-60 in 9.7 seconds when put in the Z28 model Camaro.
Overall, the ’74 Camaro is a great choice if you’re looking to put your auto restoration services to use. In 1974 the price tag was right around $3K, which is about what you can find a workable junker sold for today.
All fixed up and fully restored, we’ve seen them go for up to $35K on the internet!