In Episode 18 of Road Muscle Radio, Catfish & Brett share where to get a backrub and a burnout, bad good news or good bad news about the new muscle car market, a shortlist of arguably worthless muscle cars from the 70’s, and a new accessory set to improve your saggy, swervy C2 or C3 Corvette. In segment 2, they talk with the president of Kansas-City based Los Punk Rods car club, Shawn Spiwak, about the upcoming totally-awesome two-day Labor Day weekend event called GREASERAMA!
Here’s a win-win for a married getaway: resort with a spa…and muscle cars. You know- a back and butt massage from 1968 GTO? Hallelujah honey, bring on the shiatsu.
In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is now renting out vintage cars for spa-goers to drive while in town. The resort partnered with American Classic Rental, and for the low starting price of 299 bucks for four hours- and of course, up from there, you could drive a:
1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
1980 Chevrolet Corvette
1965 Shelby Cobra Tribute
1968 Pontiac GTO convertible
1972 Oldsmobile 442 convertible
1965 Ford Mustang convertible
A bunch of other convertibles, and even a 1974 Firebird.
Makes me wonder- how much would we charge to rent out a classic we own? Would you? Especially to someone who smells like patchouli and coconut oil?
A little bad news/good news for muscle car sales. In the second quarter of 2020, muscle car sales numbers in the U.S. were terrible.
Q1 sucked. Majorly. Unfortunately, the highly attractive offers that FCA, General Motors and Ford Motor Company announced didn’t really help.
At the same time, with plants being closed for most of the quarter, vehicle supply was also likely affected.
So what’s the good news? All three automakers report stronger-than-expected sales at the end of May and into June. They expected super suck, but only got the suck. Yay?
Chevrolet Camaro sales once again came in fourth place, with sales coming in just above half of what they were last year during the same time period. But it was the Dodge Charger that got hit the hardest, percentage-wise. Sales plummeted a full 53 percent in Q2, despite FCA’s full court press with Dodge Power Dollars and then 0 percent interest for 84 months thanks to the Drive Forward sales initiative. That said, the Charger still comfortably outsold its two-door stablemate, the Challenger. Finally, the Ford Mustang outsold the Camaro and Challenger, but sales still sank 27.3 percent, and that’s the least worst drop of the quarter.
A recovery could be around the corner, but with COVID-19 cases once again on the rise, this fragile expectation is in danger of shattering.
This article for hotcars.com is titled “Everyone Wanted These Muscle Cars In The ’70’s…Now They’re Worthless.”
They listed 10. We’ll do 5. And whether everyone wanted one in the 70’s…methinks that’s some editorial liberty with history. But like modern society, let’s not let the facts get in the way of fun.
10 Ford Mustang Cobra II
The second-generation Ford Mustang, known as the Ford Mustang II, was manufactured from 1973 to 1978 by Ford. At release, reactions to the Mustang II was encouraging with production soaring north of one million units for the 1974-1978 models- so 200,000 per year. This front-engine, rear-wheel-drive was named Car of the Year by Motor Trend, in 1974.
For our modern horsepower palette…it’s a wiener. We’re talking a 2.3 liter I-4 or a 2.8L v6, pumping out 88 horsepower or 105 horsepower, respectively. For comparison, a 1974 Pinto had a 2liter 4-banger that put out 86 horsepower.
What I will give the Cobra II- I’ve grown to not hate the looks of it.
8 Ford Ranchero
The Ford Ranchero is a Pickup /coupe utility produced by Ford from the ’50s through the ’70s. By the ’70s the Ranchero had a complete restyle with a shallow-pointed grille and front end with smooth, curvaceous lines. Basically, it was Gran Torino with a truck bed for a trunk. Over its lifespan, it sold enough to spawn competition from General Motors in form of the Chevrolet El Camino. But a spike in sales didn’t hold forever. The Ranchero was a muscle car people wanted in the ’70s. But not today, times have changed. Today, people give it out pretty cheap.
NADAguides.com put the 1974 Rancher at average retail of 18K, high end about 31,000 dollars.
7 Pontiac Firebird Formula
The Pontiac Firebird debuted in 1967 but the second-generation was delayed until the ’70s due to tooling and engineering problems. Subsequent models like the 1974 model featured a redesigned “shovel-nose” front end and new wide “slotted” taillights. Firebirds were used in the Trans-Am series in the 1960s and 1970s. And Pontiac offered two base engines for the ’74 models: a 100 hp inline-6 and a 155 hp V8. Decent specs for a muscle of that era, but the Firebird Formula has since faded. Not worth much since then.
I’ll grant’em this one. According to Hagerty.com, a good condition 74 Firebird comes in at 8700 bucks. Fair condition for 5600. Aaand lose 20% for automatic transmission, minus 30% for the 6 cylinder.
5 1974-1976 Ford Torino
Named after the city of Turin, considered ‘the Italian Detroit’, the Ford Torino was a conventional muscle car. The Torino was redesigned in the ’70s using many features from the previous generation. Like the Ranchero, the Torino had shallow-pointed grille and front end with smooth, curvaceous lines influenced by coke bottle styling. As a competitor in the intermediate market segment, the Torino sold and received decent praise in the ’70s. What’s surprising is the aftermath. The Torino dropped off the radar faster than it came. Today, it’s hardly worth much.
Well…yeah. They’re right. According to grantorinosport.org, we’re talking good condition Torinos at 3000 dollars. That’s for a 2-door hardtop with a 351. With the 460, same car is 4000. Pump it up to 5K if you add factory air and a 4-speed manual.
And here’s their #1 pick, which I’m calling bullhockey on.
1 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
The Daytona is one very popular car. This muscle car was designed with race in mind. It came with aerodynamic aids to dominate NASCAR and could top at 200 miles per hour. But with its massive front beak extending the car to almost 19 feet long, it’s easy to see why it flopped. It was ugly back then, it’s still ugly now. As a performance milestone, it serves as collectibles today, and maybe the look is a part reason. If you want one, don’t spend too much on this muscle… it isn’t worth much.
Really? According to conceptcarz.com, median sales for the model with the 440 are 160,000 dollars, with the 426 version going for around 110,000. Isn’t worth much? Nope, you blew it on this one.
StreetGrip suspension for C2, C3 Corvettes offered by Ridetech
Bolt-on kits ‘transform’ ride and handling
“Corvettes from the ’60s and ’70s are notorious for ‘sagging’ suspensions, rough riding and difficult-to-manage handling,” says Indiana-based suspension specialist Ridetech as it releases its latest Ridetech StreetGrip Suspension System, this one designed for C2 and C3 Chevrolet sports cars produced between 1963 and 1982.
The complete kits are $2,040, with separate parts numbers for the C2 and C3 generations of Corvette.
The kits are bolt-on and “totally transform the ride and handling of these beautiful vintage rides,” the company promises.
The kits include Ridetech adjustable, aluminum, mono-tube shocks with Fox technology tuned to the specific vehicle generation. Also included are Hyperco dual-rate front springs that provide a soft ride at slower speeds but stiffen under higher dynamic conditions.
Included as well are front Delrin bushings for the control arms and a stronger front sway bar and Hyperco rear composite leaf springs that reduce weight by more than 30 points, as well as spacers to adjust ride height.
The new front springs lower ride height from the factory setup, but spring spacers are offered if you want to keep the car at factory height.
For more information, visit ridetech.com.
We’re back with Road Muscle Radio. Find us on the web at Roadmuscleradio.com, on twitter at RoadMuscleRadio, and on facebook. Plus- I’m finding more events, and posting them on the events page at roadmuscleradio.com.
Speaking of events, about 10 years ago I caught wind of a 2-day car show that took place at a drive-in movie. I thought, double cool- drive in, and cars! It was so much more than I expected. It was an art show of vehicles re-imagined through the lens of blow-torches and punkabilly music, of hot-rods with classic flare, of classics well kept but not snobby. Great music, cool vendors, kick-ass cars, and that whole pin-up party atmosphere.
It was called Greaserama, and I fell in love. Now, Greaserama is putting on it’s 20th annual show Labor Day weekend at the sprawling Platte City Fairgrounds, and joining us is Shawn Spiwak, president of the the Los Punk Rods car club, the group of men and women who work their butts off to put on this killer show. Shawn, welcome to Road Muscle Radio.
1. Tell us what Greaserama is all about- the curated cars, the hand-picked entertainment, the special flavor that makes Greaserama a truly unique car culture event.
2 How did Greaserama get started?
3. This is both a family-friendly, and adult event. What are some of the fun things we can do to cover both ends of that stick?
4. Tell us about the different classes of vehicles in the car show. What are you looking for, and then what are you not looking for.
5. What are some of the coolest vehicles you remember seeing at Greaserama?
6. What was the craziest build you ever saw there?
Be sure to visit greaserama.com, or Greaserama on facebook, to get the feel for what Greaserama is about. I’ve paid my 10 bunks many times to just walk, talk, and take pictures, plus I’ve been a vendor before, schillin’ the killin’ in my company’s horror anthologies- including Route 666: Four on the Floor, which came about in large part through motivation to be part of Greaserama. I applied to sell- and you guys said “that’s nice, but do you have any books about cars?” I did a year later.
Shawn- love what Los Punk Rods does for car culture here in the KC area, and love Greaserama. Congratulations on hitting that 20 year milestone, and thank you so much for being on Road Muscle radio.