This review is limited to a few of the more commonly found cars that could still be well within reach of anyone with a passion for owning a muscle car. Any of the cars listed can be found readily, now, in 2015, in driving condition, for under $20,000. Many can be found for half that and even less, with a more thorough search. Having an adequate supply of cash is important when you refurbish a vehicle, but you can save a lot of money if you are flexible when you decide to begin searching for the right unit to restore. You may have a preference among the big three companies, want a specific model, certain year, or power option; all can be found at a price; if you have the time and resources. There are almost unlimited number of makes and models that could be very tempting projects, but for many of those, even if the purchase price is jaw dropping low, the bottom line could be out of reach for many muscle car fans.
Two of the most important features when finding a good project car:
✔ The car should be as rust free as possible
✔ The frame should not have any serious damage
Both of these things can be easily checked on a likely prospect vehicle in a few well spent minutes. Look very closely throughout the cabin and trunk in all the corners, under the carpet or matting plus under the hood. Also in, around and under-side (inside wheel wells) of the exterior of the car with some diligence. The Muscle Car Fan Network has written this book to help a novice become a modestly informed buyer. The intention is to find a car that can give you many years of pleasure and is within the reach of most budgets. Finding a suitable unit to restore can be a time consuming task for anyone. This list that MCF has compiled for you, will help you make the finding of the right car at the right price a chore.
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American Motors Corporation
Automobiles manufactured by AMC seem to offer more in the way of safety and all other progressive technology with a lower sticker price to boot than any of its competitors. Whether it was creature comfort or mechanical advancements, this little company was often a year or more ahead of the other, larger, big three American manufacturers. The Javelin AMX is a two seated GT style muscle car manufactured from 1966 until 1970. Any year is very collectible, but the 1968 and `69 models are the most sought after. The long list of fan clubs and aftermarket parts suppliers just keeps growing. Many original looking reproduction parts are being made by a few aftermarket manufacturers. AMC used many diverse components, that could have originally be purchased by the companies like Ford, GM or even Chrysler. This can make finding the correct parts needed to restore the drive chain, window and door mechanisms a reasonably priced off the shelf item or a recycled one may also be around if you look in the right place.
© Swtrekker | Dreamstime.com – Javelin/AMX Cars At The Woodward Dream Cruise Photo
The first generation Javelin is a top choice AMC muscle car to collect, but the next generation models from 1971 until ’74, with the added rear seating, are a good option, with a lower cash outlay for the vehicle initially. The 390 cu in V8 engine with the `Go Pack` is the most coveted, but any power option, including the entry level 290 cu in (4.75 L) V8 is desirable. The car is heavier than G1 versions, at 3,244 lbs (1,471 kg) curb weight and sitting on a one inch longer wheel base, now at 110 “(2,794 mm). The ad campaigns in ’71 touted the G2 Javelin as a futuristic 80’s car available now and had some features to back up the claim. In 1972 AMC introduced an unheard of “Buyer Protection Program” which gives their customers unlimited protection for one year or 12,000 miles (19,312 km) on everything but tires. The guarantee came with a toll free telephone number direct to AMC customer service, a free tow and a complementary loaner vehicle if the problem could not be remedied quickly.
© Mauriehill | Dreamstime.com – Motorsport 1973 AMC Javelin AMX Photo
For G2 the AMX versions offer the most powerful options for the Javelin. The horse power ratings are now the more accurate SAE rating system for ’71 and list the “gross” hp that year, but ’72 and newer, list the “net” figure. The actual hp remains the same, although the numbers may appear to contradict each other. A 1971 Javelin AMX, assembly line equipped with the 401 cu in (6.6 Liter) V8 coupled to the four speed can turn in 14 second times consistently on a quarter mile track using unleaded, low octane gasoline. There were two six cylinder engines and four V8’s available, which could be bolted to either one of two standard transmissions or the base three speed automatic, but the “Torque Command” high performance automatic was also on the table. The four speed high performance standard transmission is the T-10, crafted by Borg-Warner. The Javelin is not difficult to restore, but a well done unit will fetch premium price when completed, which is an added bonus. Correct and original restoration is a holy grail to a large segment of avid collectors. The EPA mandated pollution control equipment that people were discarding in the 70’s, such as catalytic converters are now sought, when accessories enthusiasts need a project car to look and perform as it did when it left the assembly plant.
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