The Ultimate Guide to Owning and Enjoying Classic Muscle Cars

There are very few thrills that match that of owning and enjoying classic muscle car! It is the dream that floods the minds of many 8-year olds til this day -- and can we blame them? When you find the car you have always dreamed of, your commutes to work are suddenly something you look forward to. Going out on the weekend is amplified as you hear the throaty sound of your car at every stoplight. Most of us would agree there is no going back to a simple sedan or truck once you own one. It changes you, and some would say: it begins to define a part of you.

However, with such a large purchase or project, are there specific items that would be wise to be aware of to protect your investment and favorite pastime? We took a moment and asked an expert on cars and the laws on the road, personal injury attorney John M. O’Brien, to hear his thoughts. Here is what he shared with us:

Useful Tips for Muscle Car Owners

  • California isn’t a state that makes it easy on car owners. For example, if you’re driving a muscle car from the 70s, you would ideally want the vehicle to have all the emissions equipment it had when it rolled out of the factory, or it may not pass the smog regulations. Each state is different, and therefore before shipping a car to your state, it would be worth checking with your local DMV’s rules. You will notice that some states may not require a smog check, or perhaps there are different rules regarding the title itself, depending on the vehicle’s year.

  • If you decide to purchase a vintage muscle car as an investment, consider how much insurance you should buy to protect your vehicle before taking it out on the roads. You can do this gradually by informing your insurance company of the upgrades you are putting into it before taking it out on the road. This way, in case there is an accident, you have taken the needed steps to ensure you will be fairly compensated for what you may have lost due to someone else’s negligence. I have seen incidents where the insurance company gave a cash offer to a client based solely on Kelley Blue Book value, and the client had to come up with the proof needed to show their vehicle was worth more than what was “on paper.” So, keep copies of everything you spend.

  • Lastly, take steps to ensure your protection when driving classic muscle cars on the road. For the most part, many of the old vehicles originally came with only lap belts for safety. Nowadays, we are all aware that lap/shoulder belts offer drivers and passengers more protection. You can often reach out to manufacturers to upgrade your seat belts to the safer option. This may take some time, and you may lose some of the car’s authenticity -- but you can drive with peace of mind.

These tips really are small steps to protect your investment and allow you to enjoy your cherished car with peace of mind. The right vehicle can genuinely become a family heirloom. One that will not just make memories on the road but that can be handed down to the next generation. We hope you consider these tips that were shared with us, and we pass them on to you. In the meantime, the weekend is just around the corner -- and for most of us here, we are already thinking about where we will be driving to. Enjoy!