Go to any car show or driving event and you’ll be amazed at how diverse the cars are that show up. On one side you’ll have the budget-built ride where the owner scraped up every dime from under the couch cushions to afford the build. On the other end of the spectrum you’ll have a car where money wasn’t an object. Hell, in some cases the one car’s wheels and tires cost more than the other car’s entire drivetrain. And while we like to drool over the big-buck car, a lot of respect needs to be given to “the little guy.” You see, the hot rodder on a tight budget is the heart and soul of our hobby. And to be honest, while the budget guy will most likely get beat in a race against the big-buck car, so what? Both extremes are fun to drive and you could argue that the budget guy got a lot more bang for their buck in terms of fun.
Comparing such divergent builds is inevitably going to happen, but it’s important to keep all the factors in mind when doing so. That’s why when we do our annual Super Chevy Muscle Car Challenge we use a baseline car for comparison. After all, comparing a track-focused car like last year’s Rampage Camaro from Roadster Shop or this year’s psychedelic Camaro from Speedway to a car with simple bolt-on suspension parts wouldn’t be of any help to those trying to figure out what direction to go with their own projects. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that hundreds of thousands of dollars and bleeding-edge tech will produce a faster end product compared to a realistic budget and bolt-on parts. However, showing you that the high-dollar build beats a modern muscle car by a lot while a budget build will still hang near that same baseline car helps to show that no matter what your budget you can still have a lot of fun—and get a lot of performance—out of your Chevy thanks to the aftermarket. And when you think about it, having fun is the whole point.