Tips for Owning a Classic Muscle Car
Oftentimes, people look for the most low-maintenance cars on the market. While some cars are easier to maintain than others, you probably aren’t ready to own a classic car if this is what you prefer. For some, it is their pride and joy, and they know that it will be expensive, time-consuming, and above all, rewarding.
If you do end up buying a classic car (and we’re not saying you shouldn’t), here are our tips for maintaining your pure American muscle:
1. Be Prepared to Spend Money
At BJ Motors, we know it’s important to understand the cost of owning a classic car. Just like a new car, it will require regular services and parts replacements to keep it running in top condition. You should budget for expenses such as oil changes, tune-ups, brake pad replacements, and more.
While this may seem like common sense for regular cars as well, you have to account for the added costs of repairs and replacements. For example, you’ll be looking at a lot more than $20 and 30 minutes of work to change the oil and filter on a classic muscle car. Owners say that it’s best to do routine maintenance every 3 months or 3,000 miles for classic cars because parts become brittle with time and may fail without warning (like belts, hoses, and seals) depending on how old it is.
Likewise, it will certainly cost more to replace the parts on a classic car. This is because older cars aren’t produced anymore and your parts will have to be special-ordered instead of being immediately available at a local auto parts store. Depending on your situation, though, this may be more desirable than dealing with the endless advertisements and sales pitches from pushy parts salesmen.
2. Keep an Inventory of Replacement Parts
In case you do need to replace a part on your classic car, it’s important to have an inventory of replacement parts on hand. This can be a challenge, as many parts suppliers only carry parts for cars that are currently in production.
The best way to ensure you have the parts you need is to find a good classic car restoration shop that has been in business for a while and has an extensive inventory of both new and used parts. You should be able to call or visit their shop to order the parts you need.
3. Use the Right Fluids for Your Car
As with today’s vehicles, your classic muscle car requires the appropriate fluids to keep it running smoothly and in good condition – oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, etc. You’ll want to use products that are compatible with your car’s specifications or consult your owner’s manual for recommendations. You could also consult a professional motor shop like BJ Motors.
4. Find a Good Mechanic
For major repairs, you’ll want to find a good mechanic that is experienced with classic cars. A good mechanic will know which parts are compatible with your car and can tell if you need to replace other parts on your vehicle because of wear or damage.
Unless you happen to be an experienced mechanic yourself, it’s best to let our professionals handle the heavy repairs. This will help keep your car in good condition and avoid any costly mistakes.
5. Drive Your Car!
One of the best ways to keep your classic car running well is to drive it! This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget that cars need to be used in order to stay in good condition.
If you have a car that is well-cared-for, driven regularly, and you didn’t buy it solely for investment purposes, there’s no reason why you can’t drive your classic car on weekends. Don’t be afraid to take it out once in a while – the worst thing that could happen is that you’ll need an oil change or a new set of tires.
Keep in mind that your classic car won’t drive the same as a regular car (nor should it). It will require a bit more muscle to get it up to speed, so take it easy when you’re first starting out.
6. Invest in a Good Car Cover
If you’re not going to be driving your car regularly, you’ll want to invest in a good car cover. Even if you park it inside, this will help protect your car from the elements and keep it in good condition.
A good car cover will also help keep your car looking new and prevent it from fading or rusting. Store your car in a dry place when you’re not using it to prolong its life.
7. Drive with Caution
Just like any other car on the road, you’ll want to drive with caution when driving your classic muscle car. Since the vehicle may require more muscle to get up to speed, you’ll want to be particularly careful when starting off.
Likewise, it may take some time to get used to operating your vintage vehicle (such as the location of the turn signals or brake pedal). Take extra care and always pay attention – don’t let yourself become complacent just because the car is old!
8. Expect Regular Maintenance
Most of all, expect that you will have to do much more than just take your classic car in for an oil change every 6 months. Maintaining a classic car may mean things like oiling parts of a fan to keep them from seizing, replacing filters, or changing fluids more frequently.
Since your car is a vintage vehicle and wasn’t designed to last forever, you’ll want to plan on regular maintenance beyond what a traditional car requires. Patience will go a long way in preventing rust and other major problems – if you know what to expect going into it, you can take the necessary precautions to keep your car running like it’s brand new.
Owning a classic muscle car can be a lot of fun, but it also requires some extra work to keep it in good condition. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your car stays on the road and looks great for years to come!
If you’re thinking about buying a classic car, be sure to do your research and understand the cost of ownership. If you’re in the market for one, check out our extensive inventory at BJ Motors here.