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How to Sell a Muscle Car

hood of muscle car

If you are a performance car owner, chances are that you love the feel of raw power that your car gives you while driving. Eventually, though, you might find that you have to sell your beloved vehicle, whether due to financial reasons, family demands, or changing interests. When it comes time to sell your muscle car, you have a few things to keep in mind, including getting the car ready for sale, advertising it, and getting the best price possible.

Part 1 of 5: Preparing the muscle car

Materials Needed

The first thing you need to do when selling your muscle car is prepare it. This involves washing the car yourself or having it detailed by a professional. You should also have a trusted mechanic look at the vehicle to see if it has any issues or needs anything fixed before putting it up for sale.

Step 1: Clean the interior of the muscle car: Make sure the inside of the vehicle sparkles.

Start with the windows and work your way down, wiping all surfaces with a clean rag.

You can also use cleaners appropriate to the surface you are cleaning, including fabric cleaner for fabric surfaces, leather cleaner for leather, and vinyl cleaner when cleaning vinyl.

Vacuum the seat and carpeting, making sure to remove the floor mats and clean them too. If needed, use a shampoo on cloth seats and flooring or a leather conditioner on leather seats.

  • Tip: Test any cleaner, shampoo, or conditioner on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it won't damage the material. Apply it to the area and let it sit for two to three minutes before blotting with a towel or cloth to see if there is any color change.

Step 2: Clean the exterior of the muscle car: Wash, dry, and wax the exterior of the vehicle.

Starting at the roof of the vehicle, wash the exterior using car shampoo. Make sure to get into all areas, including the front grille.

Pay special attention to the tires, as they tend to get extra dirty from driving.

Another important area on a muscle car is the engine. Clean the engine area thoroughly, and shine up any chrome parts you have installed. When cleaning the engine compartment, look for cleaners that cut through grease, such as a degunker, such as Gunk FEB1 Foamy Engine Brite Engine Degreaser. To polish chrome surfaces, look for a metal polish, such as BlueMagic 200 Liquid Metal Polish.

Finish up by waxing the exterior to lock in the shine and protect the paint.

Step 3: Have a mechanic check out the muscle car: Have one of our trusted mechanics check out your muscle car.

Some of the more common issues to look for include problems with the:

You can then have the problems fixed if minor.

Another option is to adjust the price of the car accordingly and let any potential buyers know about the problem.

Part 2 of 5: Research the value of the muscle car

Once you are aware of any problems that might affect the value of the car, look up its fair market value online.

  • Tip: When selling your muscle car, consider avoiding a dealership altogether. You are more than likely to make more money selling your vehicle to a fellow car enthusiast or private party as opposed to a dealership.

Step 1: Look online: Research the value of your car at various online site, including: page

Step 2: Enter your muscle car information: Fill in the search fields by clicking on your muscle car make, model, and year in the dropdown menus.

Some other information you need to enter includes your zip code, the vehicle's odometer reading, and the paint color of the car. mustang page

Step 3: Check out the muscle car value: After entering the specific details of your muscle car and pressing enter, the value of your car should come up.

The various sites usually give you values based on the condition of the vehicle and whether you want to sell it to a dealer or sell it on your own.

  • Tip: Some car sites, such as, offer the option of selling your vehicle right on their site. Check out all of the options available to you when trying to sell your muscle car.

Part 3 of 5: Advertise the sale of your muscle car

Now that you know the value of your muscle car, you can take out ads to sell it. You have a few options when trying to sell your vehicle, including in the local paper or online sites.

Image: Kelley Blue Book

Step 1: Take out an ad: Write an ad online or in your local paper.

For online ads, consider using Craigslist or eBay Motors.

two fords side by side

Step 2: Take good, clear photographs: Taking photos of various angles of your vehicle can pique the interest of potential buyers.

Show all sides of the muscle car, including any damage.

Take photos of the engine, the interior of the vehicle, and the tires.

Step 3: Contact information: Always give a good phone number or email address.

Communicate promptly and answer any questions from potential buyers.

Part 4 of 5: Gather the paperwork for your muscle car

Before you can finalize the sale of your muscle car, you need to make sure all of the paperwork is in order. This includes the title, registration, and any certification, such as for inspections. Because the forms you need to sell your car vary from state to state, it is best if you check with your local DMV before proceeding.

Step 1: Fill out the vehicle title: Make sure the muscle car title has been filled out correctly.

You should also make sure that the title is clear and free of problems. If not, you need to clear up any issues before the sale is final.

Step 2: The vehicle registration: Bring the vehicle registration up to date.

Registering your vehicle varies by state. Usually this is through a state-run office, such as your local DMV or county clerk's office. has a handy list of where you can register according to state.

Most states will not issue a license plate for a vehicle that is not up to date with its registration.

safety inspection

Step 3: Vehicle certifications: In addition to the title and registration, any inspections also need to be up to date.

States that require a vehicle safety inspection usually issue a sticker that is applied to the windshield of the vehicle.

  • Tip: Some states, such as California, require vehicles to undergo smog testing to make sure vehicles fall within environmental standards. Vehicles that fail have to get the issue fixed before taking the test again. To learn more about your state's requirements, check out

Part 5 of 5: Negotiate the price of your muscle car

The last thing you need to do, other than sign the paperwork, is negotiate the price of your muscle car with any potential buyers. When negotiating, keep in mind your asking price and how low you are willing to go.

Step 1: Let the buyer make an offer: Allow the buyer to make an offer first.

This gives you an idea of where they stand with your asking price and whether you should consider their offer.

Know beforehand the lowest amount you are willing to accept.

Step 2: Make a counteroffer: After the buyer has made their offer, give it some time, and then follow with a counteroffer.

This amount should be below the original asking price but above what the buyer offered.

Step 3: Stick to your guns: Make sure to give yourself some padding when listing a price.

This allows you to still get the price you want, even if you have to come down a bit.

Be prepared to say no to the buyer's offer if it is below what you want.

Finding a good price for your muscle car can sometimes prove difficult, especially for older-model cars. By seeking to sell to other automotive enthusiasts, though, you increase your likelihood of getting what you want for the vehicle. Remember, when selling your vehicle, have it checked out by an expert mechanic to find out if it has any problems that could affect the final sale price.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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