Well...the key word is.....Street Rod. I know what you're saying. The whole point of a muscle car was to give you a head start, but that was if you had the budget. Getting an old pile of junk and hot rodding it to the point of absurdity was another thing you could do. This is why it would be good for the old cars from SR1 and SR2 to make a reappearance, as obviously a hot rodder might prefer them for their bigger engines, for less money than a cheap new car. The Plymouth Belvedere we were admiring yesterday would be a good example (see below).
I'm actually interested in building a Vega to see what kind of power-to-weight ratio would be possible. In addition, while the later Vegas are ugly, they would be out of the time period anyway. The early ones I like, even if a 4-cylinder Yenko "muscle car" is kind of funny. Actually, that could genuinely be part of the plot. Some of the characters could be nerds with Vegas and Pintos. This game is supposed to be a deliberately stereotypical American thing, right?
On one final note before I get to a related question, one thing that some early hot rodders did was choose obviously slow cars for the shock value. Think of the old T-buckets or the hot rod Willyses racing around, or the hot rod Model T and Model A delivery vans. Of course, the other option would be to bring back the Falcon, which might be more realistic. SR2 had it, and it was actually a pretty good car to start with. That's actually realistic, too. The original Mustang was just a rebodied one.
On a related note, yesterday I showered praise on a 3D modeller (I've forgotten his name, but I know he was here) who did the Belvedere, the Dodge Dart, and the Barracuda, along with some engine blocks. Why is it that I can't find the post now? Am I just too tired (I worked all night last night on REAL work)? I'd really like to see that stuff in the game too.
HA!!! I just found this on YouTube, and it's not the only one!!!