A huge part of the success of the Fast and Furious franchise is its sleek, modern, and powerful cars. These are vehicles that can run for several miles an hour, take a lot of hits on the body, and continue to make itself look good in front of the camera.
Granted, the movie is basically fiction, and it is extremely rare to find cars as good as those featured. Nevertheless, some of these cars are designed to look, feel, and perform tougher than the rest.
These are called muscle cars.
What Are Muscle Cars?
The truth is there is no clear definition of the word. However, muscle cars are sometimes referred to as American cars since they are usually manufactured in the United States. But whether they are found in Britain or anywhere else, they share some common characteristics:
- Powerful engine – These are high-performance vehicles equipped with V6 to V8 engine
- Rear-wheel driving
- Good design
Because of the size of their engine, they are really fuel efficient or friendly to the environment, but they are definitely powerful, so much so they are incredibly popular in drag or motor races.
They became a huge hit during the 1960s to the 1970s when design and use had to be modified to comply with the safety standards. Besides, the traditional muscle cars became more expensive to users due to the increasing costs of insuring them.
Are There Muscle Cars Today?
A lot of people think that when we speak of muscle cars, we are only referring to vintage vehicles. That is not true. Manufacturers have never stopped creating these brawns, although their designs have changed significantly over the years. Some of the great examples of muscle cars include:
- SS Camaro – This car from Chevy packs more than 450 horsepower and runs for 25 miles in less than 15 seconds, which should already give you an idea how fast this is.
- Dodge RAM 3500 – A heavy-duty pickup truck, this is considered to be one of the best vehicles for towing and construction. Not only is it designed to accommodate a heavy payload, it also performs well in the toughest weather conditions like the frozen tundra.
- 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S – A luxury vehicle, it can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in no more than 5 seconds. At its top speed, it can run for almost 200 miles an hour. But unlike the muscle cars of yesteryears, this one is already fuel efficient.
Why Should You Buy a Muscle Car?
There are hundreds of car models available, so why should you pick these muscle cars? Here are a few good reasons:
- Bragging rights – Let’s face it, inasmuch as we want to be practical with our car choices, we also want a car we can be truly proud of to drive. In fact, pride is one of the driving forces behind the release of new or updated models every year!
- Performance – Muscle cars would not have lasted this long if they were not functional and useful. These vehicles have a powerful engine with excellent torque and speed. Because it has a rear-wheel drive, it provides a better handling capability.
Further, although old muscle cars are not fuel efficient, new ones are, and they are already equipped with all the nifty tools and features for you to want them more.
- Resale value – Muscle cars are in demand in the market, and if you have vintage vehicles, you are lucky. Collectors these days are willing to pay thousands to millions of dollars to own them!
Where to Find Muscle Cars
A long time ago, looking for muscle cars was difficult. Unless you have an extensive network or a real car enthusiast, you may spend months or years before you can find one. Today it is already as easy as going to search engines like Google.
Simply put, being connected tells you muscle cars are practically everywhere. But just because you can now get it from an online seller in less than an hour does not have to mean it’s the only option you have. In fact, some are better alternatives than the ones you know. Take, for example, car auctions.
Car auctions are no different from a regular auction, like the one you see on TV. In a typical auction, you have the auctioneer, the item for bidding, and the bidder, which is you. The auctioneer opens the item for bidding, and all bidders try to outdo each other on how much they’re willing to pay for the item. The one who bids the highest or basically uncontested by the other bidders gets it. He or she then pays the item with the final bid price, along with other possible fees.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the growth of popularity of such types of auctions. This is because they offer a wide range of benefits especially for people looking for muscle cars:
- Access to cheap cars – Although it doesn’t happen all the time, usually, cars sold at auctions are at least 30 percent to 70 percent below their book value. “How come they are so cheap?” you ask.
Muscle cars, especially vintage ones, can cost range from less than $10,000 to as much as $200,000, depending on the model, year, and condition. But when you participate in an auction, you’ll pay even less. Many factors can affect the bidding price of the cars. One of these is the source.
Cars sold at an auction usually come from lenders, government agencies, and the police. These are groups who are not naturally engaged in buying and selling. Lenders earn profits through interests and fees they charge while the police receive a regular salary. The government thrives through people’s taxes and other investments.
However, they can acquire assets like vehicles. Lenders may repossess cars declared as collateral by consumers who default. Government agencies, on the other hand, can create a surplus when they bring in new vehicles. The police can seize vehicles.
Since they are not meant to keep vehicles, they then have to sell them. To dispose of these assets quickly, they go for auctions.
- Access to a wide range of muscle cars – It’s normal to see hundreds of cars in an auction. Big events, in fact, may have thousands! This is the kind of accessibility you don’t easily get when you visit a used car dealer.
- Assistance – If you think you’re basically on your own when you join an auction, that’s not true. A lot of the auctions these days are well organized. From start to finish, you can look forward to the right assistance or support. For example, while auctioneers don’t provide transport for your car, they can partner with these companies so you can acquire their service as soon as the bidding process is over.
The Technique You Need to Start Joining These Auto Auctions
When you want to join an auction but you don’t have any idea where, there’s a chance you’ll go to Google and search. That’s the easiest way, but it’s not the most practical: hundreds of auctions are actually not advertised!
I repeat: hundreds of them do not pay for ads. Rather, they rely on their own network or organizations to do the promotions for them. If they have a loyal following, they don’t need to spend money on marketing anymore.
If you want access to the most number of auctions, then this is the technique you’ll ever going to need: subscribe to an auction listing.
What is an auction listing? It acts like a directory for various auto auctions around the country. It reminds you of the early days of Yahoo or DMOZ if you’re into tech. It doesn’t organize or partner with any seller to auction vehicles, but they tell you where to find the auctions.
Websites such as Gov-auctions.org allow you to sign up for a small fee, which then gives you unlimited access to the database. This list is updated regularly. In each of the entries, you’ll see all essential information about the auction. These include location, date, and time of the auction. If it has a website, the list may also add that. Most importantly, the listing can include photos of the vehicles that are up for auction.
The database is searchable. You can narrow your parameters to certain factors like location, status of the auction, and even the types of cars you’re planning to buy. This is helpful if you don’t want to travel out of state or you’re eyeing specific cars to buy. You can also start setting your budget.
How to Bid on the Muscle Cars
Joining an auction is half the process of owning a muscle car. The other is the actual bidding process. To help you, here’s a short guide:
- Don’t miss the inspection day.
The inspection day is the time allotted for all bidders to take a closer look of the vehicle. This is normally scheduled a few hours to a day before the auction. You cannot inspect all the vehicles on the lot. That’s why at least a day before, you should have already made your choices with the help of your auction listing.
Bring along an auto mechanic as many auctions don’t have one, and you really can’t rely on the seller to give you an independent expert. Since you want to buy a muscle car, the mechanic should also be knowledgeable of these types of vehicles. Some of the parts the mechanic can check include the quality of the body (e.g., if there are any dents or scratches), type of engine and its condition, look and feel of the interiors, etc.
Very important: Never forget to ask for the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) whether you’re buying a new or old muscle car (especially the former). A lot of cars these days can look like they’re in mint condition with a new coat of paint, but the VIN can reveal its entire history, including who owns it before and how it’s being used. You will also know if it’s met an accident and what type.
- Test drive!
In most auto auctions, you’re allowed to test drive the vehicle for a few minutes just to give you a general feel of how it works and if it’s a car you’re comfortable driving in. This is also a good way to measure its performance and power.
- Know its resale value.
Tools such as the Kelly Blue Book, NADA, and even Edmunds can be helpful in determining the vehicle’s resale value in the market (or how much it’s worth when sold outside the auctions or through dealers). This makes it easier for you to set a good range for your bid price. A rule of thumb is to never pay beyond indicated resale value. As much as possible, keep it at least 30 percent less since you have to pay for other fees.
I’ve mentioned about range. A range provides you the flexibility you need during bidding. As long as your bid price falls within it, you’re good.
- Plan ahead.
One of the biggest mistakes bidders makes when joining auctions is not creating a plan after a win. What will you do with the vehicle? You cannot immediately drive it to the highway, so you have to transport it to your home. How about the fees? The final bid price isn’t the only amount you pay. If you’re planning to loan the rest of the amount, your documents should already be ready or be pre-approved for a loan.
There’s a certain kind of privilege that comes with owning a muscle car, especially an old one. It’s more than getting a powerful vehicle. You’re acquiring a piece of history, which explains its high value in the market.
By joining auto auctions, you now have a chance to own one or even start building your collection without breaking the bank. Subscribe to a car auction listing today, find out the many options available for you, plan, and win.