Rick Miller blogs about four great high-performance and classic choices for modifying for high-performance enthusiasts.
For many performance car enthusiasts, there is nothing more appealing than a vintage car powered by modified engine. But a hot-rod restoration isn’t for the faint of heart. They may take months, even years, but these projects can appease your inner gear-head and turn a profit should you decide to sell. Whether you’re revving up a sporty Mustang or adding muscle to a Studebaker, choosing the right car is one of the most important decisions in the restoration process. Parts availability, purchase price and overall appeal can make or break your restoration adventure. These classics are some of the best candidates for Resto-Mod transformations.

 Few cars have made a more lasting impression on the enthusiast scene than the Chevy Camaro. The ‘69 Camaro was a diamond of engineering and styling that propelled Chevrolet for decades. Old Camaros remain on the road today, so auto enthusiasts will have no trouble finding mint-condition parts for their restoration projects. Kelley Blue Book, recently praised the new Camaro in its 2013 Resale Value Awards. has new Camaros for sale, but restoration junkies can find vintage Camaros on  and other used-car outlets.
Creative Commons image by Global Jet

Mid-1960s Buick Rivieras feature wide engine bays that provide plenty of room for mechanics to add custom engine components. A jewel of the post-war American auto industry, the Riviera is a beloved model that hot-rod enthusiasts will really enjoy on the road or track. Check out for extensive 1963-’76 Riviera restoration parts. The combination of convenience and appeal makes this classic Buick an obvious choice for a hot-rod restoration.
Creative Commons image by Cadberry

An aptly named 1950s coupe known for its distinct body, the Studebaker Golden Hawk is the perfect car for a restorer who appreciates a true classic. The Golden Hawk, with its wings that flared off the trunk, soared down American roads between 1956 and 1958. If you get a chance to restore a Golden Hawk, take it. It may not be as easy to find parts as some of the more well known brands of its day, but plenty of auto enthusiasts resell old Studebaker parts. Visit  one of many independent outlets that sell Studebaker Golden Hawk cylinders, hoses and fuel sending units, among other parts.
Creative Commons image by Rex Gray

It’s still around today, but the Dodge Charger made its mark in the late-1960s with its powerful engines and imposing styling. MSN Autos, declared the ‘69 Dodge Charger one of the “ten greatest muscle cars of all time.” Outfit this classic piece of American muscle with a hot-rodded engine and you’ll be hard pressed to find a faster vehicle on the road or track. Parts, and old models are still widely available through auctions and dealerships specializing in vintage and collectible automobiles.
Creative Commons image by DVS1mn

Rick Miller has been restoring old cars since he first learned how to turn a wrench. His pride and joy is a highly modified ‘66 Mustang.