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Muscle cars and why I will never own one


#1

If I only knew back then, what I know now………
That seems to be the thought most commonly associated with romantic relationships. For me it is a most common thought associated with muscle cars. Call me weird, but yes muscle cars……or better yet why I don’t have one. Back in my high school days, the parking lot of my high school was full of muscle cars. All my friends had one, except me. My dad would not let me have one for fear of me wrapping the car and me around a pole. Adding insult to injury, I could not have long hair either. Having said this, my friend Walter had a 65 Impala SS with a 327, Randy had a 1968 Mustang with a 302, Louie had a GTO with a 400, Johnny was top dog……a 69 Mustang fastback 390 with a stick. I had a 62 Comet with a six, while not a muscle car it served me well at the drive-in with cheerleaders. So I go through high school without a muscle car, graduation sends me and my friends on our merry way to begin life after high school. Randy and Robert go to Junior college then SWT State, Walter goes to UTSA, Louie gets a full time job. A year later I end up at junior college also. Finally in 1975 I am able to buy my first muscle car….a 1969 442, 400 CID, with the factory Hurst shifter for $900. At last I had one and a new hot gal pal. Life is good. Good, until my cousin comes into town driving a brand new 1977 “Good Times” van. He parks at my dad’s house, opens the side doors and 3 hot bikini clad gals exit……I had to have one. So what do I do----I sell the olds and buy a van. I had it for three years. Fast forward to 1980 the van craze goes way, and I want a muscle car again. Reading the local classified ads, I read….1970 Boss 302 Mustang, 4 speed, 42,000 miles, $3000. I call and come to find out a gal has been awarded this car in a divorce. She is anxious to sell. I meet up with her and she comes driving up in a dream car. This was the baddest of the bad when it comes to muscle cars. A test drive confirms my excitement. I offer her $2800. She declines and we part ways. I had the money in my pocket to buy. Realizing I messed up, I stop at a phone booth on the way home—yes a phone booth, call her and she had already sold it. I should have given her the asking price, but I did not know what it would be worth down the road. In the 80’s I get into European cars. I used to love the Mercedes Benz 280C and 280CE series. I bought and sold several of them. I also had a Jaguar, BMW 635 CSI and others but I always had the muscle car virus. So in 1995 once again, the classified ads “1970 Olds 442 convertible, dual gate shifter, 455, $7000” wow I am all over this one. A young high school guy is selling the car. I test drive it and he has run the car to the ground. The big block engine had no power but the car was in super condition. Who cares I can overhaul and have myself a very nice, rare muscle car. I leave him a deposit, go and get a cashier’s check. Returning, his father answers the door tells me the car is not for sale anymore….gives me my deposit back and closes the door. Resuming my search, the prices skyrocket way out of my income bracket. The 69 Olds I had in 1975 is now worth $45,000. The Boss is over 100k and the 442 ragtop tops out at $70k. A winning lottery ticket guarantees me a muscle car. With my tail between my legs I have had to settle for what is known as modern muscle cars. I wanted and finally bought a 2001 Firehawk for a great price. A Pontiac Firehawk….355 horses of solid muscle, 88k on the miles, adding headers, a K&N cold air intake, couple this with an 88 mm throttle body, I am up to 370 horses. I found exactly what I wanted in a Firehawk, LS1, t-tops, Hurst 6 speed, cloth interior in triple black so I am sort of okay with it. I swore to my wife I will never sell it….she laughs at me. Who would have known back in the days, muscle cars would be worth the kind of money they are commanding. I know I did not. So today I have made contact with Randy and some of the other guys. Randy traded his Mustang for a truck. Who knows what happened to Johnny and his Mustang. So I guess I don’t feel too bad. They did not know the prices would go up. My wife tells me heaven has a special place for fools and unsuccessful muscle car owners.


#2

I envy you and your Firehawk. That is one of my favorite modern collector cars. My wife doesn’t see past their looks so it’ll take a lot of convincing to make that one a reality (same thing with the 04-06 GTO I’d like, but the G8 is looking promising). I do hear you on the ludicrous prices muscle cars go for. Even some of the lesser thought about ones like the 70-72 Carlo SS, 69-72 Grand Prix SJ and hot Mercury Cougars are starting to creep into the realm of being unaffordable to someone on a tight budget. I managed to snag a 69 Grand Prix with a 400/350hp a few years back on a deal, but a 428 equipped one would be nice (and completely out of my meager budget).


#3

Well I sold the Firehawk and bought me a 89 Firebird Formula and a 1981 Firebird.So these are good affordable cars. Hope you find the 428 Prix.