Today in the First Place Auto Parts studio we take a look at the easiest muscle cars to restore and perhaps more importantly, explain why a particular car is easier to restore than other examples. Parts availability is key to restoring any muscle car. Sheet metal rusts, suspension and drive trains wear out and interiors fade. One of best supported American Muscle cars is the first generation of the Chevrolet Camaro.
Made between the years of 1967-1969, the Camaro was Chevrolets opening salvo into what was known as the Pony Car Wars. Almost 700,000 Camaros were produced in the 3 years that made up the first-generation Camaro and you can still find unrestored versions hiding in garages and barns. The first generation of Camaro has an unparalleled level of parts available to restore or modify a chosen vehicle and can even be built using a completely new body that is available now. The 67-69 Camaro’s are highly visible and desirable which keeps restored cars re-sale value high and when combined with incredible support of the restoration parts that are available, makes the 1967-69 Camaro a can’t miss for this list.
Also, on the list of the easiest cars to restore is the car that started the Pony Car Wars and that is the 1964.5 – 1970 Ford Mustang.
Selling at a rate of a million Mustangs in its first 18 months of production, the first generation of Mustangs is loved both by enthusiast and the restoration market. Similar to the Camaro, every part for the early Mustangs, including new complete bodies, is available and easy to get.
The 1968-72 A-Body Chevelle was the full frame “everyman’s” car offered by Chevrolet in the late 60’s and could be had as a 2 Door Coupe, 4-Door and Station Wagon body styles. From drag strip to grocery store, it could do it all.
Almost 2.5 million Chevelle’s were produced between 1968-1972 making it arguably one of the most prolific muscle cars made. Relatively easy to source and due to its robust “on frame construction”, the Chevrolet Chevelle is a capable platform from which to build everything from a high horsepower quarter mile ground pounder to a canyon carving g-machine.
A restored 1968-72 Chevrolet Chevelle is a very desirable and strikingly good-looking muscle car. With a platform that is strong enough to take mild to wild builds and the fact that you can get every part needed to build or restore one of these car gives the car builder an easier path to project completion that other versions of the GM A-body platform.
For restorers that need versatility from their restoration project as well as performance, the 1968-72 Chevrolet El Camino may just be the dual threat vehicle that fits the bill.
The A-Body based El Camino is the kissing cousin of the Chevelle making parts availability for the 1968-72 plentiful, affordable and easy to get. With an engine compartment big enough to house a small block or big block engine, the El Camino can haul or haul ass depending on your dream. Built on a ruggedly strong full frame and with the bed integrated into the body of the truck the El Camino handles and rides like a car but has the capability and usefulness of a truck. Roughly 234,000 El Camino’s were produced between 1968-72 making production a small percentage of it’s cousin the Chevelle and typically these small production numbers would hurt parts availability but it’s close relationship to the Chevelle means that this truck is well supported for the restorer wanting something different but still on the easy side of vehicles to restore.
The list of easiest muscle cars to restore would not be complete without the 1968-70 Chevrolet Nova.
The 3rd generation 1968-70 Nova was Chevrolets compact X-body car that had many personalities and could powered by everything from a straight 6-cylinder, a 350cu inch small block or a 396 cu in big block.
Smaller and lighter than the Chevelle, the Nova makes an excellent go-fast machine and makes this list not only due to it desirability but because there are so many performance and restoration parts available for it.
The unit-body construction makes the Nova a simple car to work on due to its removable front sub-frame. Desirable, affordable and easy to restore, the Chevy Nova makes the list as one of the easier American muscle cars to build and restore.
To find the largest selection of classic car restoration and performance car parts for your American Muscle Car go to First Place Auto Parts. The web site is easy to navigate, has thousands of name brand parts at competitive pricing and is powered by car enthusiasts just like you!