The American muscle car is a true classic and as such, should be cared for properly. And while owners of a muscle car will often spend a great deal of time and money doing restoration, maintenance, upgrades, and modifications, this doesn’t mean that all changes are good or practical. There are some changes and maintenance activities that most muscle car enthusiasts agree on regarding the care of a classic.

How NOT to Maintain a Muscle Car

Classic2Re-design the dashboard to be a completely digital design –

The originals usually had nothing more than a standard radio, and perhaps a tape deck. If you want to upgrade, consider keeping it simple and sticking to only a CD player or USB plug. Completely revamping the dash for “infotainment” will take away from the overall aesthetic.

Wraps and paint jobs –

A paint job that enhances or replicates the original factory look is great. But one that modernizes the car, or is a color that would have never been used on a particular classic can get laughs, rather than “thumbs up”. As to wraps, these can cause damage to the body of the car.

Cut the car to be a different look –

If you want a convertible, just purchase a convertible, don’t cut the top off! Modifications such as this not only lower the value but can affect the vehicle’s stability and performance.

Excessive modifications that add little value –

A few simple modifications are okay, but mods like lifting, donking, excessive body kits, etc. are just unnecessary.’ However, a performance kit that improves the suspension, traction, handling, and acceleration is not a bad upgrade!

Treat as a showpiece –

A vehicle needs to be driven not stored in a garage. Not driving your muscle car will result in seals drying out or leaking, gas getting stale, corroded batteries, and tires getting flat spots- to name just a few problems. Also, depending on where and how it is stored, you risk the car becoming a home to mice and rats.

Failing to maintain fluids –

Your classic car needs the right level of oil, water, enhancers, etc.  Visit LifeTime Oil to get AMSOIL products directly from a dealer. These products are designed to protect and maintain your muscle car.

Use the right tools –

This doesn’t apply to just the wrenches or sockets used, but the items used in washing and polishing. Only use soft towels or sponges along with products specially designed to protect the paint and upholstery.

Changing out the engine –

Swapping out the engine on a classic can be risky.  Sure, you may think an EV engine would be nice, but it can also be more hassle than help. However, if you truly want an EV engine, some good candidates are the Dodge Charger, the Chevy Corvair, and the Mustang. However, if you plan on showing the car in a competition, the EV will keep you from getting a full 100 points.

Be it the paint job, type of oil, or storage, there are many things to consider when you own a classic. So, do your part to keep these pieces of American car history looking great and running smoothly. Use the quality parts and spend some time on the road- after all, the muscle car is so much more than a showpiece!