Are Muscle Cars Hard to Drive? Know this before buying


Muscle cars are among the most potent cars around when it comes to vehicles that deliver outstanding performance! These cars began appearing in the 1960s and are still manufactured today. However, you might be wondering how difficult it is to drive a muscle car. 

Overall, muscle cars are hard to drive. In terms of classic muscle cars, these vehicles are not only difficult to handle but also lack many modern safety features and are not fuel-efficient. Modern muscle cars are also difficult to maneuver due to their sheer power and level of responsiveness.

To understand how difficult a muscle car is to drive, it’s essential to consider the evolution of muscle cars. After all, driving a vintage muscle car will be a very different experience from driving a modern alternative. Keep reading as we explain how difficult it is to drive a muscle car!

How Difficult is a Muscle Car to Drive?

For many drivers across the world, there are few things more exciting than a powerful car. When it comes down to powerful vehicles, few do it better than muscle cars. However, muscle cars aren’t just great for their speedy acceleration!

Muscle cars typically feature larger designs than many sports cars. With additional space in the muscle car’s interior cabin, passengers can be seated more comfortably. Furthermore, there will be more than enough cargo space available for all the passengers.

While there are many benefits of driving a muscle car, you might be wondering how difficult the actual driving will be. Ultimately, this depends on the type of muscle car you’re driving. Let’s take a look at the two main types of muscle cars.

Muscle Car Types

Firstly, there are the classic, old-school muscle cars. There are many different options in this sense. After all, there have been many fantastic muscle cars that have been manufactured over the years. From the Chevrolet Camaro to the Ford Mustang, there are plenty of beloved classic cars.

However, there are also modern muscle cars, many of which utilize modern V8 engines. For example, while it may be possible to track down a 1964 Ford Mustang, it’s also possible to opt for the 2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-500. While these cars mentioned above are considered muscle cars, you’ll have very different experiences driving them!

Driving the 1964 Ford Mustang in this day and age, you might find the 120-horsepower grating frustrating. Not to mention the lack of modern safety features! Driving the 760-horsepower V8-powered 2021 Ford Mustang, on the other hand, will offer a powerful drive and modern safety features.

For this reason, when discussing the difficulty of driving muscle cars, it’s important to distinguish between classic muscle cars and modern muscle cars. Let’s take a look!

Is Driving an Old Classic Muscle Car Hard?

American muscle car on street

Many classic muscle cars were revolutionary in their day. When it comes down to these iconic muscle cars, there’s an important aspect to keep in mind: they were designed then. Earlier, we mentioned the fact that many classic muscle cars lack modern safety features. However, it goes further than that!

When these classic muscle cars were once new, fuel was still relatively cheap! That means that owners of these muscle cars could afford the aggressive fuel consumption of these vehicles. However, with the fuel prices of today, these classic cars are expensive to drive!

Regardless of the price of driving these classic muscle cars, you might be wondering about their handling. At the end of the day, this can vary between different cars. What can be said, however, is that these cars are harder to drive than modern cars.

Not only is the handling of vintage muscle cars harder than that of modern vehicles, but they’re prone to certain issues. Leaks, for one, are a very common issue with vintage cars. Furthermore, the chances of your classic muscle car breaking down unexpectedly are higher.

People often forget just how much vehicles have improved in the last few decades. Of course, owning a classic muscle car for that occasional drive is one thing. Using a vintage muscle car on a daily basis, however, is a different story. Ultimately, a classic muscle car is an impractical choice for a vehicle you plan on driving on a daily basis – unless you’ve got more money.

A common practice today is to take a vintage muscle car and scrap the vehicle’s chassis. Once this has been done, a modern chassis can be installed. When this is done, the car will perform and drive like a modern car! However, finding a vintage muscle car will already come with a hefty price tag.

When you then consider the costs of updating the vehicle to modern standards to provide smooth handling, the costs add up. However, if you don’t update the vintage car to modern standards, you’re looking at a fuel-heavy vehicle that’s difficult to handle. However, could a modern muscle car be the solution to this?

Is Driving a Modern Muscle Car Hard?

Muscle car

In the previous section, we considered the overall difficulty of driving classic muscle cars. Of course, for those drivers who want to drive a muscle car, there’s always the option of purchasing a modern muscle car. You may be questioning the difficulty of driving a modern muscle car.

When compared to their vintage counterparts, modern muscle cars are a lot easier to drive! Over the years, muscle cars have retained their overall simplicity. However, the overall components and technology have received major upgrades over time, creating a better modern ride.

However, even though modern muscle cars drive better today than vintage muscle cars, how hard are they to drive? Ultimately, the handling of modern muscle cars can still be difficult, especially for daily driving. Think about it like taming a beast!

On a straight road, you probably won’t have any issues handling a modern muscle car. However, performing a simple action like overtaking another driver in traffic could be much harder. Too much acceleration and you could cause an accident. Muscle cars are highly responsive, which can make driving them substantially harder.

However, adapting to driving a modern muscle car will still be a lot easier than adapting to a vintage alternative. Regardless, these cars aren’t the easiest vehicles to drive. Actual handling aside, there are other issues with driving a modern muscle car.

Fuel consumption will still be higher than other vehicles when driving a modern muscle car. Even your tires will cost more! Furthermore, your car insurance premiums will be quite steep with one of these modern beasts. When you consider all of these factors, it can be said that modern muscle cars are not only harder to drive but they’re more expensive to drive. 

Due to this, muscle cars are not the most practical choice for a car that will be driven daily. Ultimately, there may be better sports car alternatives that will still provide you the power you need, minus some of the muscle!

Conclusion

Muscle cars started appearing in the 1960s. Since then, many powerful muscle cars have been released. However, muscle cars are particularly difficult to drive – regardless of whether you decide to go vintage or modern.

Ultimately, this comes down to the high level of power and responsiveness these vehicles possess. Muscle cars are also heavy on fuel consumption. All things considered, muscle cars are an impractical choice to drive daily due to the increased difficulty in handling.

Before buying any vehicle, it’s always worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against a database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, and Vin cloning.

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John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty-five years, and I've worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Landrover, and Jaguar dealerships. My passion is cars. I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of car ownership, including buying advice, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

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