Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 22, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Classic car insurance covers the agreed value of the vehicle 
  • Restored muscle cars don’t always need special insurance 
  • There are specialty insurance providers that offer classic car insurance 

So, you want to insure your restored muscle car but don’t know where to start? These vehicles are pieces of art that have inspired a community of car lovers. However, you still need car insurance

Restored muscle cars don’t necessarily need classic car insurance. This guide will compare car insurance for restored muscle cars to insurance for classic cars. If you use your cool old muscle car as a daily driver, you may want to research full or comprehensive coverage for your car. 

Use our free tool if you are ready to start comparing quotes for car insurance on restored muscle cars. Enter your ZIP code to speak with a local provider. 

Who sells classic car insurance for a restored muscle car?

Cool old muscle cars are loved by everyone. Some towns even dedicate a day or weekend to cruising the street with old classic muscle cars. 

Some nationwide providers have special programs, and then there are agencies that only offer classic car insurance. Depending on how you use your car, you may want to opt for a standard policy. 

Agencies that offer specific coverage for collector or classic cars are generally tailored to customers that restore classic cars for shows. While some provide benefits for daily-commuter policies, drivers will often be limited to 3,000 or fewer miles with insurance on a restored muscle car. Here are a few:

  • American Collectors. This company offers coverage with an “agreed value” policy. In the event of a total loss, this coverage means that the company will pay you the agreed-upon value without any depreciation deduction. 
  • American Modern. This company offers coverage for a variety of collector vehicles. American Modern also offers agreed value settlements. 
  • Leland-West. Agreed value insurance is the highlight of this company’s coverage. It is designed to cover American or foreign classic cars, sports cars, one-of-a-kind vehicles, muscle cars, and other collectibles and is one of the few companies that offer unlimited or flexible mileage programs.

If you are building the car to drive it, you may want to check with standard providers. Some may offer riders or special programs with additional coverage if you’re going to show or restore an old car. 

Regular car insurance providers with classic car programs: 

  • GEICO 
  • USAA 
  • Allstate 
  • Nationwide 

Read on to learn more about how to get specialized car insurance for your restored muscle car. 

What vehicles qualify for classic car insurance?

Classic car insurance is a particular class of car insurance that caters to the unique crowd of antique collectors and restoration hobbyists. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a car becomes classic when it meets some or all of these criteria: 

  • Antique or older cars, usually at least 25 to 30 years old
  • Hotrods and modified vehicles
  • Exotic and luxury autos
  • Muscle cars

The appearance of a restored muscle car doesn’t mean it qualifies for special insurance. Other factors include how often you drive the vehicle and if you intend to take it to shows and events. 

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What to Know About Classic Car Policies

The price of your muscle car is going to have an impact on your insurance policy if you want to cover the value of the vehicle. 

Liability coverages are available to classic car enthusiasts that cover bodily harm or property damage if something happens. However, restorers usually want to show off their hard work and keep it safe. Your entire investment is at risk if you do not insure your restoration build. 

Another unexpected cost from insurance could be repairs and specialists. Once you’ve restored your muscle car, you’re not in the clear. If you’re not willing to keep up with regular maintenance or update aging parts, you could break down on the side of the road, and muscle car repairs can cost up to three times the standard rate at the mechanic’s shop. 

What do I need to restore a muscle car?

A smart restorer sets a budget for how much they can spend on the project. That budget should guide the rest of the process, from vehicle selection to any modifications. The age of the muscle car you plan to restore, its make, and its overall condition could also impact your budget. The availability (or lack) of parts could drive up the cost and drag out the timeline.

The restoration of a muscle car breaks down into three major stages: engine, paint, and interior. Each stage will need to be evaluated on its own merits. Is the restoration something you can do yourself or do you need help? Remember that professional assistance will add to the final expense of your build. First-time restorers might want to pick an easy project to start. Keep reading for a list of affordable muscle cars to restore.

What are the best old school cars to restore?

While bringing any cool car back to life is a worthy project, some are easier than others. Notice that most of the recommended vehicles that are domestically built. 

According to online hobbyists, the following makes and model years are the easiest to restore. 

  • 1967-1969 Chevy Camaro
  • 1964-1972 Chevy Chevelle/Malibu
  • 1964.5-1973 Ford Mustang
  • 1932 Fords
  • 1955-1957 Tri-Five Chevy
  • 1970-1974 Plymouth ‘Cuda/Dodge Challenger
  • 1964-1972 Pontiac GTO
  • 1968-1972 Chevy Corvette

No restoration is easy, but the measure of the difficulty of your restoration will depend on the availability of parts and your determination. 

The Tools You Need 

Once you have an idea of the scope of your muscle car project, it is time to gather your tools. 

  • Auto body kits — A good auto body kit is vital since you’ll be doing bodywork during your muscle car restoration. A kit will help you work on fenders and other body parts. 
  • Engine hoist — The easiest way to work on your engine is to have it out of the car, but that’s a heavy load. Hoists are very expensive, but they can offer a great return on your investment, especially if you plan to do more restorations or you have friends that do restorations.
  • Paint booth — Painting your vehicle yourself will save you money. A paint booth is not hard to build, but painting cars is a skill that takes years of practice. 
  • Electrical testers — Old cars can have many problems with their electrical systems. Electrical testers allow you to check vital systems and get the car on the road faster.

Other tools that come in handy:

  • Safety glasses
  • Jack stands
  • Floor jack
  • Socket sets
  • Ratchets
  • Socket wrench extensions
  • Screwdrivers
  • Engine puller/ Engine stand
  • Transmission output shaft cover
  • Pickle forks
  • Spring compressor
  • Transmission jack
  • Code scanners

Your tools are another major cost, and you may want to look into insurance options that cover them. Home insurance, renter’s insurance, and liability coverage are options for people who want to protect themselves against theft and accidents inside the garage. 

The Bottom Line: Restored Muscle Cars 

Restored muscle cars are cool. There is no doubt about that. You can work all summer to on an old-school classic that can be used as daily commuter or a special weekend car. In this guide, we learned which cars are best to restore, how to insure them, and what tools you will need. These vehicles are versatile, and your car insurance should be, too. 

Classic car insurance policies are an option for restoration hobbyists looking to save the value of their car project, but drivers can also buy a standard car insurance policy to cover their muscle car, though it may cost a little more. 

If you’re ready to start getting car insurance quotes for your restored muscle car, use our free tool. Enter your ZIP code to speak with local experts on how much car insurance you need for a classic car.