Muscle cars were incredibly powerful during their rise in popularity in the ’60s. However, like all older vehicles, muscle car performance has faded over the years. They need a lot more regular maintenance and care compared to the newest sports car on a lot.
Restoring your muscle car can vastly improve its output, but replacement parts can be expensive and hard to find. With a little time and dedication, however, you can make an old muscle car roar back to life. The following four muscle cars have replacement components that are more available — perfect for a restoration.
1. Pontiac GTO (1964-70)
While you can buy a newer Pontiac GTO from the 2000s, the ones from the ’60s are regarded as the best models, according to Parts Locator. These muscle cars had a V8 engine with an output of 325 hp. As the years went on, the GTO kept getting more desirable functions like power steering, limited-slip differential, metallic brakes, and a more responsive transmission.
The 1967 model also received improved safety features like four-way flashers, a shoulder belt, and an energy-absorbing steering wheel. When combined with the car’s aerodynamic design and high speeds, it was the perfect drag racing car.
There’s no shortage of replicated parts for the classic Pontiac GTO online. However, since it was produced in more limited numbers than other muscle cars, some of these parts may still be expensive. Some parts don’t have replicas, like full quarter-panels. You may have to search a little harder for those.
2. Chevrolet Camaro (1967-69)
Modern Camaros exist today, but they’re not as popular as the car’s first generation. These Chevrolet Camaros came with big-block V8 engines and could produce 295 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The 1969 model could reach a top speed of 135 miles per hour, which was exceptional for muscle cars at the time.
These Camaros also got a number of enhanced performance packages. The add-ons included chassis upgrades and power brakes for better maneuvering as well as backup lights and hidden headlights for safety.
Certain restoration parts for the Chevy Camaro are easy to find, like the engine and many interior components. You can repair many components of the car, even if they’re worn down. For certain limited models, like the Z/28 edition, the parts may be more expensive.
3. Ford Mustang (1965-70)
The old-school Ford Mustang was definitely one of the most iconic muscle cars ever made. The first generation has a unique body design never replicated in later years. It also had impressive engine options for the time. Models with the 7.0-liter Boss V8 engine could reach speeds of up to 175 miles per hour.
You won’t have to shell out too much for old Mustang parts, since most manufacturers sell brand-new restoration parts at reasonable prices. It’s even possible to repair many of the parts on the car itself.
4. Chevrolet Chevelle (1970-72)
Tragically, as muscle cars’ popularity faded in the ’70s, the Chevrolet Chevelle ceased production. The car was first introduced in 1964 but got an updated look for 1970. With a new body design, more engine options, and safety controls, the Chevelle was known as “America’s most popular mid-size car.”
When it comes to restoration, the Chevelle is one of the easiest cars to shop for, according to Super Chevy. The parts are affordable, many are interchangeable, and you can find replicas and OEM parts from replacement part companies.