Go Retro, Buy Used Muscle

2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE

The modern-day retro muscle-car craze may be on the downward side of its spiral of popularity. The Mustang will evolve into a sleek sports car within a couple model years, which surely means the Camaro will follow suit shortly thereafter (because, honestly, the Camaro is always a step behind the ‘Stang, right?)

For 2013, though, Chevrolet will offer the Camaro SS 1LE, which is a tarted-up track version made with bits from the Camaro ZL1. The ZL1, in convertible form, starts at just over $60,000, while the SS 1LE will begin at just under $40,000. Yes, the prices have gotten outrageous, which is why it might be best to buy a real retro muscle car and have some fun customizing it yourself.

The retro look on new cars, in my humble opinion, is getting old. When old-school design on new cars starts to look aged, there’s a problem. And the SS 1LE is not going to age well. With it’s matte black hood and silly wheels, it’s even more of a cartoon-like spoof of itself than the base Camaro. In ten years, people will laugh.

I think we’re at the point of asking, if you want to buy a retro car, why not search the CarGurus used listings for a 1960s-’80s muscle car? It’ll cost less and provide the opportunity to customize and modify the car to your liking. You may not keep up with a 2012 Mustang Boss 302 or that SS 1LE on loops around the Laguna Seca, but at least you’ll have the pride of knowing your car is an original.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

I was all for the retro Mustang when I heard in 2004 that it would come as a 2005 model. After almost a decade of the look, and similar throwback designs from Camaro and Challenger, it’s time to move on and let the past stay in the past.

Unless you want to go retro and buy a true classic!

Has the retro muscle-car trend overstayed its welcome?


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Used Ford Mustang
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  1. Is that second picture an old ZL1? Yeah, I’d take that over a new one any day! Even though it’s not as fast by today’s standards, I’d rather drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

  2. Just keep your eyes open and don’t buy now because you’ll see the prices of muscle car classics collapse over the next few years as the greybeards push closer to 70 and tens of thousands of very expensively restored cars are dumped on the market at the same time. Is the iPhone crowd interested? Probably not, so watch prices fall off a cliff.

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