5 Classic Muscle Cars

muscle car restorationWhether you don’t know what defines a muscle car or if you can wax poetic about chassis dyno testing, we’re certain you can appreciate the sight of a classic muscle car restoration. They’re beasty and loud yet at the same time beautiful and graceful—a classic muscle car gets us all going at least a little bit.
Here are just a few of the greats:

1. Pontiac Firebird

Just the name reminds many of Burt Reynolds’ baby in Smokey and the Bandit and evokes images of those painted-hood icons of the ‘80s. A close relative of the Chevy Camaro, the Firebird actually dates way back to the ‘60s and is considered one of the best muscle cars on the market.

2. 1970 Boss 302 Mustang

This serious vehicle features the high-rev Boss 302 V8 engine, which was perfect for a little racing action with its ability to reach zero-to-60-mph sprint in less than seven seconds.

3. 1970 Hemi Barracuda

We had to include this hemi in this list—even those who haven’t a clue what chassis dyno testing is probably have heard of the infamous hemi. This car was completely redesigned in 1970 with five high-powered V8 engines that generated an unrivaled 425 horsepower.

4. 1970 Chevelle 454 SS

Ah, the Chevelle—one of the most classic of the bunch. This baby packs the engine—with about 7.4 liters to be exact—giving it tremendous power that was difficult to compete with. Still highest-output production car to date, this car and its engine was a force to be reckoned with when it came to power wars.  

5. 1969 Dodge Charger

Everyone remembers the General Lee from the iconic television show, The Dukes of Hazzard—it was the baddest of the early Dodge Chargers. While its standard engine brought 375 horsepower, the 426 Hemi gave it a full 425.
Whether you’re a newbie to the muscle car world or are an expert in chassis dyno testing, we know you’ll take notice whenever one of these classics flies by.  Click here for information on our classic muscle car 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.

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5 Tips & Tricks for Muscle Car Performance

hot rod restorationWhether you’re a muscle car fanatic or don’t yet know the meaning of chassis dyno tuning, if you’re in the market for a muscle car or recently bought your dream vehicle, the tips below will help maximize performance of your favorite muscle car .

Be Prepared

This goes for any car owner—there should be a fire extinguisher in all garages or hot rod restoration shops and it should be easily accessible. You don’t want to lose your entire investment because of a fire.

Avoid Short Circuits

Dead battery too soon? If so, you may have a short circuit. Test it out by disconnecting one of the battery cables and connecting the clip from the test light. Then touch the test end to the battery terminal. The test light will illuminate if there is current flow. Disconnect main circuits until the light goes out to find the faulty circuit.

Tee Up

An excellent way to block dangerous disconnected fuel lines is with a wooden golf tee. Press it into the end of the line and you’re solid. The tee’s wedged end will do the job for an array of hose diameters.

Be Matchy-Matchy

Ensure that your oil pump pick up tube and screen match your oil pan. Ideally, it should be approximately three-eighths of an inch above the pan’s bottom.

Get the Right Lube

It’s important to properly lubricate threads, especially since they are essential for determining friction. While many use standard motor oil for lubricating threads, when specially formulated, low-friction lubricants are used for specific tasks, the required torque can be decreased up to 30 percent. Note that if the recommended tightening specifications are based on the use of a special lubricant, that type should be used. While engine oil can be good for hydraulic-bearing, it is not a good lubricant for extreme pressure. Be sure to use a specialized thread lubricant when necessary.

Click here to look into chassis dyno tuning or learn more about our favorite muscle car restoration.

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.


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.


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 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!