Are muscle cars hard to drive?

No, but they do have unique characteristics that may make handling more sensitive such as direct power transfer with the throttle.

For instance, your car tires spin forever.

Cool to have if you want to be a fast and powerful car.

But you trade in some control.

And this is especially dangerous during wet roads.

Secondly, when you are in your muscle car, it may feel wide for you, depending on your model.

Newer muscle cars have custom options that have a sleek chassis but a lot of a wide body, like the Dodge Challengers

Still, you are the driver, and your perception matters.

Another thing that may make muscle cars hard to drive is that you may not feel the difference between 60mph and 100mph.

All you know that is you can keep on accelerating.

Wicked cool.

You also know that your gas tank levels also are depleting quickly as well.

But at the same time, all this power is very direct.

This means that if you try to accelerate past a slow driver, you will get an immediate response.

If you are not careful, you could end up dead in a ditch.

What about steering?

Older muscle cars, <1980s, are more likely to have bad steering compared to regular cars.

However, with that said, many modern muscle cars have better subframe connectors, good shocks/struts/springs, and some lower control arms.

But a muscle car will always be a muscle car.

You will never try to compare steering with a nimble car, comparing apples to oranges… so why bother?

It will always be inferior.

But in terms of steering for each muscle car, you may find some alarming differences.

This is one reason why there may be some disparities between older and modern muscle cars.

There are also some differences even between muscle car competitors.

Can you daily drive a muscle car?

Yes, it is possible to drive a muscle car daily but be prepared to spend money maintaining your hot ride.

Especially with muscle cars, maintenance cost, specific troublesome parts, annoying characteristics, etc. are just some of the few issues you will have to deal with when deciding to get your new muscle car.

This makes it harder to drive since your parts will have a tendency to break down more easily.

On the flip side, you have car enthusiasts that plan these things out – all of the potential drawbacks and costs…doubled…

With that cost, it should still be cheaper than most standard cars like a Corolla…

For instance, here are some example costs of a classic muscle car to expect.

Your experience may vary:

  • Oil change every 3000 miles
  • Change rest of fluids at 12,000 miles
  • Belt change once a year
  • Gradual inspect of entire car, ie wheel bearings and ball joint

And to be honest, all of these should be half the cost of basic maintenance of a modern car if you took it to a dealership.

To summarize, it is really a matter of how deep your wallets can go.

After you pass that initial hurdle, you also need to watch out for safety and maintenance at that point.

Why do muscle cars have bad handling?

American muscle cars are primarily built for straight-line speed. This is due to the straight axle in its rear. 

Another reason is that the American muscle car was designed to suit the market for the American people.

Most of the roads in America are long and straight.

People wanted to cruise in comfort.

This could be one reason why it was so appalling for car manufacturers to comply with how Americans wanted to drive and how America was designed.

Engine upgraded, not much else after

V8 engines were introduced to pony cars in the 1960s.

Exciting, since most cars have a more powerful engine.

But if your breaks and suspension are not upgraded to accommodate your new engine, what is really the point?

You get more speed and acceleration but you need to repair your car or worst, get a new car because it is impractical for daily driving.

But American muscle cars still rolled in production anyway.

You could make this analogy about classic American muscle cars:

  • Enough power for a car that weighed twice as much.
  • Enough brakes and steering capacity for a car that weighed half as much.
  • Suspension for a car that weighs half as much.

Compared to the European muscle cars, which needed to have careful braking and precision turning due to their geographical constraints.

This all changed drastically when American muscle cars need to race in tracks with more curves, tons of add-ons are used to increase control.

How to make a classic car handle better?

Upgrade your suspensions!

These are all the parts of your suspension system.

They all work together in order to help you drive smoothly with control.

Your model brand should come with different packages in terms of suspension parts.

So, it will be tough to even generalize specific parts other than what is shown in the image above.


No car is difficult to drive.

Just harder than others.

And for muscle cars, this is no exception.

You trade in some functionality and compactness for power and speed.

With more power and speed, however, parts are more expensive and the cost will also go up.

But it is one experience that you may never get again in any other car.

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