For almost a century now muscle car restoration has been a popular and ever-expanding industry. These challenging projects of restoring old automobiles are often undertaken by highly skilled workers. The mechanics are often specifically trained in for certain aspect like body detailing, drive train repair, axle and wheel maintenance and so on.
Some of the earliest automotive modifications came from rum runners and bootleggers that operated during Prohibition. However the first restorations done purely for racing came in the latter half of the 1930s. The earliest racing venues were in Southern California, in dry lake beds just outside LA. Following World War II, the sport’s popularity expanded tremendously. Since a large percentage of the young veterans had received extensive technical training, they were quite competent mechanics, and often their ingenuity was honed by the tough conditions of combat. Theirs was the first generation to appreciate and widely use older automobiles for restoration and racing, including early Fords, Comets and Porters.
Among the most common changes to these cars were the removal any ‘unnecessary parts’ that added unwanted weight, such as bumpers, hoods, fenders and even windshields. The engines were either upgraded or completely taken out and replaced with more powerful, faster and lighter equipment. The wheels were replaced by superior models that were easier to steer and advances in rubber manufacturing provided greater traction from newer tires.
During 1950 and 60s, customized car racing became a truly national phenomenon. Every teenager wanted a muscle car of their own and in many places there were regular cruising nights where people would drive around to show off their latest upgrades and paint jobs. This culture was later featured in the popular movie ‘American Grafitti’. Even the federal government, perhaps surprisingly today, got involved and opened venues across the country for the emerging sport. Racers invited to use the military’s abandoned obsolete airstrips for gatherings, shows and competitions. The generally straight layout of runways helped to advance the sport of drag racing too.
When talking about the contemporary muscle car restoration scene, people can be divided into two separate categories, the hot rodders and the street rodders. Members of the first group are dedicated to using original, vintage equipment. These purists will often scour junk yards and similar locations for parts to salvage from abandoned vehicles. When the piece they need isn’t found there, they buy what is called new old stock, which is made to mimic with the specifications of the original equipment. In contrast, the street rodders are happy to use modern equipment to get the most out of their favorite vehicles.
The modern community of muscle cars is no longer limited the the USA. You can find muscle car restoration teams from many countries around the globe, however the heart of it all is still considered to be Southern California. Now all muscle cars are restored to be not only powerful and fast, but visually appealing as well. After more than eighty years, muscle car restoration continues to rise as both a legitimate career and as a fascinating hobby for many enthusiasts.
If you’re living near Los Angeles and are searching for classic auto restoration garage in the Lomita area visit www.BraunsAutomotive.com for quality auto resotration work. Their team of technicians has over thirty years of experience refurbishing many types of autos such as Mustangs, Chevelles, and other types of vintage cars and trucks. Contact them today for more information.