If you could restore any classic car, which one would it be? Maybe you’ve had a certain vintage beauty in mind since you were a teenager. Or maybe you’re still dreaming of finding a dusty old frame rusting away in a barn somewhere, just waiting for you to bring it back to life.
Certain cars just seem to hold a never-ending lure for restoration enthusiasts. Let’s look at some of the classics that are among the easiest to find, restore, and get back on the road.
1-1967 Chevy Camaro
You’re probably not surprised to see the classic Chevy Camaro on this list. The Camaros from 1967 to 1969 are absolutely iconic and are some of the most beloved cars of all time. Slide into the driver’s seat and a classic Camaro sends a shiver of 60s muscle car spirit straight down your spine. There are companies that offer full restoration kits for these cars, complete with colorful interiors and customizable details. As you tackle your restoration, make sure you insure your classic Camaro with agreed-value insurance that respects its worth.
2-1965 to 1970 Ford Mustang
This is another classic muscle car that’s a high priority for restorers and collectors. Millions of people bought them when they originally hit the market in the mid to late 60s and they’ve never lost their luster. If you’re looking to restore one, take heart that there are still plenty of surviving Mustang parts out there in the world. You can also buy exact replicas of original factory-made parts, plus countless variations that allow you to tailor-make a dream Mustang. There are online forums that provide full support and video tutorials for people who are doing exactly what you’re doing: preserving a piece of history. Remember to cover it with Mustang insurance that respects its value.
3-1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
For Gen Xers, the mid-70s to mid-80s were the heydey of classic cars. Like Smokey and the Bandit, they want to hop into a Trans Am and race off to an adventure. That’s why it’s fortunate that these cars still have easy parts availability with an active online community of Trans Am enthusiasts. As long as you give your Trans Am insurance coverage that keeps it protected, you can fix it up rather affordably and enjoy a ride back into the 70s.
4-1964 Pontiac GTO
The 1964 Pontiac GTO is the be-all, end-all classic car for many people. It’s a drag racer with undeniably authentic 60s style. It can be a little more difficult than other cars on this list to recreate in restoration, but it’s well worth it. That’s because although there are lots of parts companies that make parts for the GTO, it was a higher-end vehicle than some of its competitors of the era. So parts prices remain high. While you’re purchasing everything you need for your GTO restoration, don’t forget GTO insurance that honors its true value.
5-1971 Chevrolet Chevelle
The late 60s and early 70s Chevelles have an iconic style that’s hard to find anywhere else in the car world. Parts remain pretty easy to find for Chevelles, so you can start and finish a rebuild fairly quickly and inexpensively. Plenty of people have taken the route of restoring a Chevelle to its original form. Lots of others have taken a different route, doing a totally unique build with custom pinstriping, interior, and more. Have fun with it!
6-1957 Fuel Injected Chevy and Chevy Bel Air
You have to go back to 1957 to find this gem of a classic car. Some just want any ‘57 Chevy, some focus on The Fuelie, and others prefer the upscale Bel Air Sport Coupe. The Fuelie has a famous fuel-injected system that was available in a very limited quantity. Today, there are tons of original and replica ‘57 Chevy parts out there, which puts a restoration within easy reach. This is a good project for someone with a knack for fixing up cars and a love for 50s-era classics.
7-1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS
There is nothing else like the El Camino, period. In an era where you had to get a station wagon or pickup truck to get any hauling capacity, the El Camino stepped in to fill the void with weird, wonderful style. If you restore one, you’re restoring a moment in the 1970s when everyone turned to look at the wild El Camino with a bed in the back. And you can do it easily with reproduction and aftermarket parts, so why not? Bring an El Camino back to life.
8-1970 Dodge Dart Swinger
Does the little Dart capture your heart when you see it darting along the streets? Then get one of your own and restore it, because you can probably do it pretty cheap. These little beauties were introduced in 1967 and were produced for almost a decade, and the 1970 Dodge Dart is a model year that truly represents the best of the line. It’s a great choice for a first restoration because parts are fairly common and not too expensive.
9-1983 to 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
This is the first car on our list that’s from the 1980s and it certainly takes an unusual place in automotive history. Some love the Monte Carlo and others can’t stand it. It was inspired by NASCAR vehicles and has developed a following among self-described rednecks, but not everyone sees it that way. If the Monte Carlo is your dream car, now’s the time to start restoring one. Its popularity has inspired new parts production that makes it easier than ever.
10-1968 Mercury Cougar
The early Mercury Cougars are easier and cheaper to restore than some of their competitors of the era, like Mustangs. Cougars were originally marketed as family cars, but when you drive one, you can feel the muscle car spirit pumping through its veins. So if you’d love to get an old Cat purring again, it’s good to know that you can do it relatively easily and inexpensively.
11-1970 Dodge Challenger/Plymouth Barracuda
The ‘Cuda has a mixed history that’s a little hard to understand for anyone but true car nuts. The Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger merged to become one car mechanically, including its famous Hemi-powered engine, but each of them got slightly different body styles. If you want to restore a 100% original Hemi ‘Cuda, it will be expensive and difficult to find parts. But if you’re okay with aftermarket solutions, you can restore one much more easily.
12-1968 to 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass
One of the all-time best-selling cars in the U.S., the Oldsmobile Cutlass has a classic style that’s somewhere between a vintage family car and the ultimate luxury vehicle. They were produced with an enormous range of body variations, colors, interiors, and comfort options. So if you want to restore one now, you can either drill down and focus on original specs or do something completely new and completely you.
13-1987 Buick Grand National/GNX
The Buick Grand National is one of the treasures of Detroit. The GNX trim version was a gem among Buicks, only produced for one year in 1987. Based on the Regal, it has a body style known as the G-body, which was also the basis of the Oldsmobile Cutlass, the Chevy Monte Carlo, and others. There’s a thriving aftermarket for these vehicles and their parts, so restoring one is definitely within reach.
14-1964 Ford Falcon Sprint
Did you know that the first Mustang owes its life to the Ford Falcon? That’s right – when Ford decided to design a muscle car with impressive horsepower, the company looked at the Falcon for inspiration. Although you don’t see these vehicles out on the road too much, they’re fun to drive and it’s still possible to find one in mediocre condition for a viable restoration project. In fact, this can be a great second project for someone who’s already restored a Mustang and wants to go back to its roots and restore a Falcon.
15-1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2
The 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 is a full-size coupe with full-on speed. It has a powerful engine and is considered one of the best early examples of a performance car. It’s one of the company’s rarer cars and is less often collected than something like the Firebird. This means parts can be a bit more difficult to find, but there are also fewer people looking for them. Restoring one of these is a rare pleasure.
16-1970 Dodge Super Bee
The Bee of the 1970s has an almost cartoonish quality that gives it a special place in the hearts of certain car collectors. Restoring one means honoring its classic “bumblebee” body and making sure its interior is just as on-point as its exterior. It’s worth noting that most Super Bee parts today are remanufactured, meaning it’s very difficult to do a true original restoration. But if you’re okay with that, you’ll have fun getting a Super Bee buzzing again.
17-1965 to 1970 Chevrolet Impala SS
The Impala is a well-known classic that became the best-selling car of its day. Its popular convertible model provides a fun, comfortable ride that takes you back to decades ago. Restoring a classic Impala is easier than you might expect because it has a simpler engine design than many others of its day. Parts are also easy to find, so your restoration can get off to a quick start.
18-1970 Chevrolet Nova
The Chevy Nova isn’t the sexiest car, but it has a spunky spirit that’s fun to bring back to life. And its down-to-earth roots are still shining through because parts are widely available and it’s one of the easier cars to restore. Plus, it’s a compact car, so it somehow feels more modern than many of the larger, more lumbering classics.
19-1968 Dodge Charger
One of the most recognizable muscle cars ever sold, the Dodge Charger is commonly associated with the TV show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.” There are Charger skeletons laying around all over the place, but many of them have been ridden hard or neglected for decades. If you decide to restore one, it will be a fun project – and the good news is that almost every part is easily available.
20-1967 Pontiac Firebird
Let’s wrap up the list with the Pontiac Firebird, one of America’s most-loved cars of all time. Although the Camaro often gets more attention, the humble Firebird is more fun to restore. It has a huge amount of aftermarket availability, plus an active online community of fans and restoration experts. Restore one of these, and you’ll discover you actually have something that’s slightly rarer than a Camaro of the same era.
Legacy of Classic Auto Insurance
Classic Automobile Insurance Agency is a family business built on a love of classic cars. We take every opportunity to bring you unique learning opportunities like our hugely successful Project C10, powered by American Modern. Having owned a variety of collectible vehicles ourselves, we understand the special protections your iconic ride requires. Whether you bought it at an auction, drove it off the lot, or restored it to perfection in your garage. We will build you a customized auto insurance program that is designed specifically for owners of collectible cars while providing the top-notch customer support you expect. Visit our website at www.classicins.com to get an instant quote online or call 888-901-1338 and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.