10 Muscle Car Ownership Problems Every Gearhead Should Know About [Boss Insurance]

1966 Ford Fairlane R-Code Featured Image Cropped

The American automotive landscape has changed dramatically since the 1960s. Several notable cars have disappeared. Nameplates that were once made for the drag strip have become family-oriented vehicles. For a while it was even rumored that the American muscle car was dead and buried. The fact that vehicles from Japan and Europe became America’s favorites didn’t help at all.

RELATED: 10 Reasons The Toyota Camry Is Still America’s Best-Selling Sedan

Even though cars such as the Honda Accord and BMW 3 Series are more prevalent than local vehicles, muscle cars are some of the greatest sports cars ever made. Some of the best muscle cars of all time are still seen as the holy grail by domestic piston heads. That said, muscle cars aren’t necessarily the most practical and economical vehicles. Owning a muscle car can be a real headache for several reasons.



ten Beware of new drivers

via covertford.com

There comes a time in life when kids get old enough to drive. Dads know this can be one of the most stressful and worrisome stages. A new driver’s lack of skills and awareness can lead to disastrous situations. The best example is the teenager who was killed after the car slammed into a parked UPS truck in Queens, New York.

The best economy cars for first-time buyers tend to be Camrys and Civics. Not muscle cars. In the age of social media and the endless quest for influence, parents may be tempted to give in and buy Junior a Challenger R/T Scat Pack. Giving 485 hp to a 16-year-old rider is just silly. Powerful muscle cars should only be driven by experienced drivers.

9 Improper handling

Muscle Car Poor Handling
Via marketwatch.com

The drag strip is where the muscle heads go head to head. Massive burnouts, wheelies and noisy pipes are the name of the game. Getting into the 9 and 8 on the quarter mile is every gearhead’s dream. That said, there’s a reason the strip is a straight line. Muscle cars, unlike Japanese and European cars, are not meant to be driven aggressively on a twisty road.

Whether it’s a classic or modern muscle car, the handling is generally abysmal compared to sports cars. If there’s anything American automakers have had trouble with, it’s the handling capabilities of their muscle cars. These exceptional muscle cars look like they were designed to be wrapped around a lamp post.

8 They can be unpleasant

1970 Ford Mustang Restomod Cropped (1)
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Muscle cars are at the top of the food chain in the domestic auto industry. There is nothing more attractive than a car equipped with a supercharged V8 that develops more than 600 hp. The whine of the supercharger is a haunting sound that would encourage most drivers to apply more pressure on the throttle. That said, a compressor is expensive. If there’s one thing muscle car enthusiasts tend to replace right away, it’s the exhaust system.

Brands such as Borla, Flowmasters and MagnaFlow are well known to muscle car fans. They produce some of the best aftermarket exhaust systems for American vehicles. While they may provide more power and give a given muscle car a more bass sound, they don’t appeal to people looking for peace and quiet. As a result, muscle cars and their owners may be frowned upon in some communities.

7 Insurance will skyrocket

Silver 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby Gt350 Driving Around Town

Living has become increasingly expensive since the 2008 recession. Wages have remained stagnant while rent, utilities and just about everything else have skyrocketed. It has become harder for people across the country to make ends meet. The situation has gotten so bad that people have taken on third or fourth jobs to feed themselves or afford a way of life now inaccessible to most people.

RELATED: 10 Reasons The Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Is America’s Greatest Supercar Ever

Cars such as the Corvette ZR1 are among GM’s greatest muscle cars to date. Every car enthusiast would love to go to a car meet with a clean, top-of-the-line Corvette. Heartbreaking car payments are one thing. Insurance is another. Even with a clean driving record, insurance companies will charge an arm and a leg to insure a muscle car. Looking at the countless abused and trashed muscle car videos on YouTube, it’s easy to see why.

6 Not good daily drivers

1970 Dodge Charger Rt Cropped (1)
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Most people have 9-to-5 jobs. In states like California where having a car is essential, spending 40 minutes to an hour in traffic is not uncommon. Routine stops and starts can have a detrimental effect on someone’s psyche, but also on a car. Commuter cars like the Camry are designed to get to and from work. Sportier cars can become an everyday nightmare.

Muscle cars like the ’70s Dodge Charger R/T have the best classic American car engines of all time. These engines are capricious and far from economical. While a classic, high-end muscle car will turn heads in regular morning traffic, it can end up costing its owners a lot of money in maintenance and repair. Looking cool is good, being broke is not.

5 They have a drinking problem

Chevrolet Camaro Z28 2 2015 Cropped
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America’s best-selling cars aren’t what most people outside of America would assume. With life being more expensive, Americans tend to opt for more economical options. While it’s true that no one would ever break their necks for a Prius, most people don’t necessarily want to spend what’s left of their salary on gas.

With a gallon of gas hovering around $5, it becomes extremely difficult to fill the tank of most muscle cars. To put it simply, a Dodge Challenger Hellcat gets 13 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The latest Camaro Z28 comes with a massive 7.0-liter LS7 V8 that blasts gas like nothing else. By comparison, a six-cylinder Toyota Camry of the same year gets 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

4 Not the best value

Cropped 2022 Dodge Charger Hellcat
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The global automotive industry has undergone a major transformation over the past two decades. In the mid-2000s, BMW released a V10-powered M5. Audi offered the V8-powered R8. Domestically, things were just as crazy. Dodge had a V10-powered truck that was just as fast as some of the most revered sports cars available at the time. Today, 500 horsepower seems to be the minimum for a muscle car here.

RELATED: 10 Best Dodge Charger Maintenance Tips For Longevity

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody is the fastest sedan in the world. On top of that, the average sedan has an MSRP of around $85,000. While it’s fair to admit that you can’t get 797 horsepower for less than $100,000, the Hellcat Redeye Widebody is no high-end BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lamborghini. Most muscle cars of any kind don’t have the notoriety to be widely accepted at the next Cars & Coffee.

3 They can drive you crazy

1967 Shelby Gt500 Super Snake Short (1)
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The very first muscle car was the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Since then, National Car fans have had the chance to see myriad muscle cars hitting the streets. Today, several classic muscle cars are worth as much as the high-end muscle cars currently available on the market. A handful of them are worth millions of dollars, the price of a nice California beach house.

Speaking of California, some of the worst drivers in the union come from there. While it must be pure bliss to zip down the Pacific Coast Highway in a 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake, an underinsured knucklehead in a bucket of rust can easily crush this precious and rare collectible. As if it weren’t already a major problem, finding genuine parts to repair or restore such a vehicle can be a daunting task.

2 Tree lovers will hate you

Dodge Challenger Hellcat Burnout Cropped-1
Via the Xtreme Xperience YouTube channel

The automotive landscape has changed over the past few decades. Following the EPA regulations that rocked the industry in the mid-1970s and the wars centered on controlling the supply of oil, people logically began to jump on the green bandwagon. Hybrid cars took off in the mid-2000s with the Prius. Around the same time, Tesla began offering electric cars that were both fast and attractive. Personalities like Greta Thunberg have gone on a crusade against sports cars powered by polluting engines.

States like California have had strict policies in place for decades. As a result, several muscle cars with interesting engines were unavailable in the Golden State. As if that weren’t enough, the gas tax is undermining the proliferation of muscle cars nationwide. To top it off, muscle car owners are likely to come across a Karen who just plain hates muscle cars.

1 The cops will chase you

Cropped Traffic Stop
On brodenmickelsen.com

Street racing is as old as time. In the 60s and 70s, street racing was already in the blockbusters. It was just as much a part of folklore as it is today. Although these films are fiction, it is no secret that the fiction is based on real life. What happens most often is that law enforcement does everything possible to shut down illegal activity.

RELATED: 9 Ways To Spot Unmarked Police Cars

It’s fair to assume that a muscle car with tinted windows is more likely to be pulled over by highway patrol than a Lexus GS350 with tinted windows. When there is a high concentration of muscle cars in an area, those present at the scene should even expect to see the famous ghetto bird. Even if a given muscle car owner is not looking to engage in illegal activities, they will want to test drive the car and will become prime material for a ticket or even a license suspension.