There’s Something About Muscle Cars

classic muscle car restorationThere’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.

Muscle Cars Are Always in Demand

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.

Vintage Cars Command High Prices

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.

Click through to learn more about our classic muscle car restoration shop.

image credit: pixabay.com

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.

Click here to learn more about the classic cars we work on at our hot rod restoration shop.

 

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.

Visit this link to learn about our muscle car restoration services.

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.

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.

Visit this link for information about the best auto restoration shop in Los Angeles.

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.

Visit this link to learn more about working with an auto restoration shop.

4 Awesome Chase Scenes on the Silver Screen

Muscle CarIf you’re into hot rod or auto restoration, you probably enjoy good car chase scenes in movies, especially when cool muscle cars are featured. While computer-generated imagery has changed the modern day chase scene—and some will say not for the better—there are plenty of amazing scenes throughout film history that will satisfy even the most discerning lover of fast cars.  
 

1. Bullitt (1968). This film is unrivalled when it comes to movie chase scenes. Steve McQueen’s 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback GT raised the bar for all muscle car collectors back in the day—and still inspires every hot rod or auto restoration fanatic. It’s a rush just watching McQueen racing through the steep hills of San Francisco.

2, Gone in 60 Seconds (1974). The original version of this film is a low-budget, cult classic that culminates in a 40-minute chase scene that leaves 93 wrecks in its wake.

3. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974). Peter Fonda robs grocery stores and races stock cars in this movie filled with hot pursuit. Vic Morrow stars as the sheriff on Fonda’s tail.

4. The Blues Brothers (1980). Brothers Jake and Elwood rock wayfarers, sing the blues, blast rock ‘n roll and outrun the police all while going 120 miles per hour in a 1974 Dodge Monaco.

5. The French Connection (1971). Gene Hackman received the best actor Oscar for his incredible portrayal of New York City detective, Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle. The car chases through Manhattan are absolutely unforgettable—and probably contributed to the other Oscars bestowed on this film: best director, best screenplay and best film editing.

6. Two Lane Blacktop (1971). Starring James Taylor and the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, this movie is packed with quintessential muscle car chase scenes involving a custom 1955 Chevy hot rod and a 1970 Pontiac GTO racing across country.

Visit this link to learn more about hot rod or auto restoration. 

Legend of The Little Hot Rod Red Wagon

It’s 1965 and you’re in the grandstands at the Grand American race in Long Beach. Heat is kicking off the asphalt and sun is burning into your retinas. You hold a newspaper over your eyes to block the glare. What the hell is that coming up to the starting line? It looks like a midget delivery truck, red and covered with decals. Is it here to collect debris?

You can’t believe what you’re seeing. This little red wagon wants to race! The lights go green and the driver stomps on the accelerator. BOOM! The little red wagon blasts off the starting line with its nose in the air, full wheely. That wheely sure as hell isn’t slowing it down. It rips through the quarter mile in 11 seconds at 120 mph. You’re on your feet. You’re roaring. You can’t wait to see the little red wagon line’em up again.

You weren’t the only one to get jacked-up about the little guy that day. The Little Red Wagon gave birth to the wheelstanding era. It said (bleep) you to I think I can, I think I can and became an instant hot rod classic.

Why and how?

The 60’s were a time of extreme experimentation for drag racing. Chrysler wanted to sell more pick-ups and saw a chance for symbiosis. Using the A100 model as a jumping off point Jim Schaffer and John Collier made the adjustments needed to fit a 426 HEMI in the bed just behind the cabin.

They wanted a fast truck. The fact that they ended up with a wheely popping red devil was just a happy accident. One they didn’t discover until legendary driver Bill “Maverick” Golden got behind the wheel to film a commercial. The Little Red Wagon gave him a two-wheel thrill ride. Maverick fabricated a brake system that let him steer while the wheels were high. He hit the the road starting in Long Beach.

Remember?

To Kit or Not to Kit?

kitcarIn a perfect muscle car restoration world, there would be no kit cars. Everything would be all original and every enthusiast would drive their dream with pride; elbow jutting out the window and sunglasses blocking the glare of a sun drenched open road.
Unfortunately for car lovers, not everyone has the cash to pull that off, and not every auto restoration projects are bound for Barrett-Jackson big bucks. When the question to kit or not to kit comes up, you simply have to do the math and determine what is realistic in your financial world and what other resources are available to you. If all original isn’t affordable or tracking down the parts is downright impossible—kit it. We won’t tell.
Here are a few of the most popular models for kit rebuilds:
1969 Chevy Camaro
Kits for this legendary vehicle are readily available in a variety of stages, all the way from bits and pieces to fully assembled. Please don’t shell out the cash for a fully assembled kit, you will break our muscle car lov’n hearts—it’s truly not necessary.
1968 Ford “Eleanor” Mustang
If you don’t like it, blame Nicolas Cage. The fact of the matter is this kit is popular all across the globe. If you have the engine and the frame, the body essentials will only run you about 8k. If you want the whole shebang, expect to spend upwards from 40k.
Early Sixties Corvettes
The early Corvettes are undeniably gorgeous and extremely popular. Deep down, we hope you don’t do this, but if you want to be a miser, kits that fit onto the frame of a Fiero or Miata are available. But come on, you’ll always know that you’re sitting on an itty bitty Mazda. Realistic kits cost 20k plus, but with them comes pride.


Click through
to learn more about our muscle car restoration services. 

Image: tang-aholics.com