Like it or not, you probably have a drive (no pun intended) to try out vintage cars. In fact, for many men, there is a mysterious and intriguing force that compels them into not only appreciating vintage vehicles, but also to go out of their way to own them.
Whether we’re talking about the earliest Ferrari models or a , the average Joe and Jane just couldn’t begin to understand why such cars would appeal to a man’s sense of beauty and nostalgia. But it’s not all that intriguing if you really think about it.
For starters, unlike much of pop culture, cars are and will always be timeless machines. No matter the brand, engine and what not, cars have become an indelible part of the history of our transportation culture. Mankind has been mesmerized ever since the introduction of the first diesel cars and the innovations that followed.
Take for example, . When it first arrived on the market, it became a staple in every American household. Due to its affordability and simplicity, it also became a symbol of American inventiveness during a time when the world was reeling from the Great War. The Model T defined the 20s, and is still talked about on regular basis today.
As you may already know, cars are not emotionally one-dimensional. They not only serve a means of getting you from point A to point B, but also bridge the gap between the present and the past, providing everyone a glimpse into the lifestyles of the people living in previous eras. Believe it or not, but they are generally also a reflection of a person’s personality.
With that said, it’s worth appreciating history through the rearview mirror by looking at the things it has left behind. Cars are basically artifacts of a bygone era and can be most fully appreciated by looking at classic cars with a curiosity aimed at the peculiar epoch in which they thrived.
If you’re interested in owning classic cars, it is essential to know what is involved in maintaining them and using them on the road. Take note of the following:
- Care and Caution: Like the most fragile antiques, vintage cars are delicate and require hands that are capable of, well, handling them. Vintage car owners should always exercise extreme caution when modifying their rides or giving them a custom paint job because just about change can greatly affect their value for the worse.
- Join Communities: The appreciation for vintage cars is growing, and people have banded together to share their experiences and opinions on everything deemed vintage. It’s important for car collectors to take advantage of this by joining events and organizing groups that discuss classic cars, how to take care of them, and how to make the most out of them.
The story behind every car is worth appreciating, and that’s even more true with classic cars. If you’re lucky enough to own a vintage car, make sure to take proper care of it to maintain its appeal and value. Be careful in fixing what ain’t broke.
12 Second-Tier Classic Muscle Cars To Consider For Your Collection, Part 2
These American classics made a name for themselves in a field dominated by Mustangs and Corvettes.
In Part One of our article on second-tier muscle cars, we looked at six of 12 models that are certainly considered genuine muscle cars but failed to make the waves that some of their bigger-engined brothers did. Here are the remaining six lesser known gems of the muscle car era.
1967 Dodge Coronet R/T
The R/T was a special model produced to make a statement. While a more domestic version with a 440 CID engine was available, buyers had the option of a monster.
Yes, according to , the Dodge Coronet could be optioned with the 426-cid Hemi. Drivetrain options were Mopar’s excellent heavy-duty three-speed TorqueFlite automatic or a four-speed manual.
1964 Mercury Marauder
The debuted in the middle of 1963 to take part in the horsepower wars. It was available with the 390, 406, and 427 cubic-inch engines, which could be paired with a 3-speed or 4-speed manual, or a 3-speed automatic.
1968 Chevrolet Biscayne 427
The all-new 1965 Biscayne was available with just one engine, a 250 cu in inline-six. That all changed in 1966 when the in-line six became the entry level engine, replaced by the Big-Block 427 cu in V-8 as the top engine.
The high-powered, high-revving 425 hp V8 version with solid lifters proved to be what the doctor ordered.
1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 Sport Coupe
Introduced in 1964, the Pontiac Catalina was 2+2, a full size coupe based on General Motors’ iconic B-body chassis. It sourced its power from a 421 cu in powertrain with dual exhaust, heavy duty front springs, a 3-speed synchromesh manual transmission (a 4-speed with a Hurst shifter came as an option), and a 3.42:1 performance axle ratio.
1970 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400
Built by Pontiac from 1967 to 2002 — yes, it was around for that long — the Firebird was a very capable machine. Two Ram Air 400 cu in engines were available for the 1970 model year: The first was the L74 Ram Air III model (335 HP) and the second was a 345 hp LS1 Ram Air IV (370 HP) that were carried over from 1969.
The was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.4 seconds.
1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
The Fairlane Thunderbolt introduced in 1964 as a limited production, factory experimental model. A total of 100 units were produced — forty-nine featuring a 4-speed and fifty-one making due with an automatic — which was enough to secure Ford the 1964 NHRA Super Stock title.
The Thunderbolt’s combination of Ford’s light weight, intermediate-sized body with a “high rise” 427 cu in V8 powertrain and dual Holley four-barrel carburetors proved to be a force to be reckoned with in NASCAR.
12 Second-Tier Classic Muscle Cars To Consider For Your Collection, Part 1
They lurked and even prospered in the shadows of the Mustangs and Corvettes of the world.
During the automotive halcyon days of the late 1960s, there were all sorts of muscle cars being optioned with powerful big-block engines and performance accessories. Not all cars coming out of Detroit were quite so outrageous, though.
There were many smaller-engined cars — typically with small-block V-8s — that were sold by the thousands. Today, they make for great collector cars and you can get one for a fraction of what the big boys go for.
Ford Torino GT
Produced between 1968 and 1976, the Ford Torino was most popular as a 4-door and 2-door hardtop. The high-performance version was made with the enthusiast crowd in mind and could be ordered with engines such as the 428 CID and 429 cu “Cobra-Jet.” The GT was also available as a 2-door “SportsRoof” and convertible.
The Demon was introduced in two versions. The first was an econo-car with a 198 CID slant-six and the second was a performance version packing a 340 cubic inch V8. In addition to having more power, the V8 Demon featured special paints and cartoon devil and trident decals.
According to , the one everyone wanted was the 340. It was equipped with a synchronized floor-shifted 3-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drum brakes, a Sure-Grip differential and dual exhaust. This particular Demon is still highly sought-after model today.
In 1964, Ford released a performance version of the Comet called the Mercury Comet Cyclone. That name was used until 1967, when the “Comet” part of the name was dropped and wildly-popular options such as GT, Spoiler and Cobra Jet were added. In 1971, the Cyclone lost its unique identity when it was integrated into the Montego line
The full-size Buick Wildcat was produced from 1962 to 1970 and took its name from a fiberglass-bodied 1953 concept car. It had a high-performance 325 hp version of the 401 cu in Nailhead V-8 motor — the “Wildcat 445”, as it was known — and produced 445 lb-ft of torque.
Chrysler 300 Hurst
In 1970, Chrysler built the “300 Hurst” with input from the uber-popular aftermarket parts manufacturer Hurst Performance. Only 501 units are believed to have been built. Today, genuine 300 Hurst models are worth in the low six-figures.
AMC Rebel Machine
In 1957, American Motors Corporation (AMC) introduced a beefy version of the Rambler called the “Rebel.” Powered by a big V-8, the was the first factory-produced lightweight muscle car. The Rebel name was eventually used on all performance versions of AMC car, and in 1967, the company’s entire intermediate line took the Rebel name.
Mopar Unveils ‘Hellephant’ 1,000-HP 426 Crate HEMI Engine
The mighty engine was showcased in a incredible 1968 Dodge Charger restomod at SEMA.
For those that find the 840 horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon inadequate on the power front, Mopar just might have what you need. Chrysler’s performance division has unveiled a new crate engine that pumps out a massive 1,000 horsepower and 950 lb-ft. of torque.
The aptly-named “Hellephant” 426 HEMI engine is able to achieve those lofty figures thanks to a bulked-up displacement with 4.0 inches of stroke and bore specs at 4.125 inches and an improved supercharger with a high-efficiency rotor that is mounted on the all-aluminum block.
The all-aluminum block was borrowed from the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race vehicles.
As for the name “Hellephant”, it draws inspiration from the 1964 426 HEMI engine that was nicknamed the “elephant” engine for its power and size, as well as the 707-horsepower Mopar “Hellcrate” Engine Kit.
Mopar says the Hellephant engine is very easy to install. It is available as a kit that includes a powertrain control module, an engine wiring harness, a chassis harness, an accelerator pedal, oxygen sensors, a am bus interface device, and a number of other parts needed to set it up.
A Front End Accessory Drive Kit is also available and includes an alternator, a power-steering pump, belts and pulleys, among other components.
Mopar calls the “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI Engine Kit an “almost turnkey” solution for enthusiasts seeking power.
At the 2018 SEMA show, Mopar’s gear heads dropped the engine into a heavily-modified 1968 Dodge Charger (pictured) named Super Charger to demonstrate its potential.
The car is further distinguished by a revised front end with a sinister-looking full-width grille that conceals a set of headlights from the Challenger Hellcat, a full body kit that adds a front splitter and a spoiler on the trunk lid, fender flares, a lowered suspension, and dual exhaust tips borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
You will be able to get your “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI Engine engine starting in the first quarter of 2019.