There are a few tricks to enjoying a 60’s muscle car to it’s full potential. That story on the front page from the reader who sold his father’s GTO made me realize the little things I do to my older cars to make them even more enjoyable to drive every day.
1. Pitman arm
For whatever reason almost all of that generation of car eats pitman arms. I’ve seen “fully restored” cars with new balljoints and tie rods but no one will want to pull the pitman arm. An 80’s Monte Carlo steering box (about $40) will make it even better with its quick ratio but at the bare minimum the pitman arm should be replaced to get rid of that “dump truck” feeling.
2. 17” wheels with decent radial tires.
Nothing fancy, just a light aftermarket 17” wheel and some decent 245/50R17 Michelin A/S3 tires will make a world of difference.
3. Proper alignment
Throw the stock alignment specs out the window, I have found that these work best on my GM A and G bodies. Other cars may differ slightly but the concept is the same: more caster, slight negative camber and a slight toe-in.
Caster: +2.5 deg
Camber -0.5 deg
4. BLEED YOUR BRAKES!
These cars sit for a long time with poor master cylinder covers and then people complain about brake fade. Well when your brake fluid is half water and boils immediately that’s whats going to happen. You can use a dot 4 if you see any track time.
This is the most expensive one but also the most important to live with the car everyday. Everyone wanted a drag car back in 1969 so they all had 3.73:1 or higher rear ends with no overdrive. Put in something like a 2.32:1 gear in. The gear is cheap and any transmission shop will put it in for a couple hours labor. Then you can drive it on the highway!
So you’re probably in for another $1500 on the car but in my opinion it’s well worth it to enjoy these old cars.
I have lots more tips to make these cars better if you guys are interested in spending a little more money,
Let me know!