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The easy way to find your classic muscle car

A modified 454 rests under the hood of this 1956 Chevrolet.
A modified 454 rests under the hood of this 1956 Chevrolet.
Rick Wonders

Home Improvement super stores have amusingly been referred to as toy stores for grown men. That may be true, but we have found what truly amounts to a grown man's specialty toy store. Brown's Performance Center on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie may not stock tens-of-thousands of big boy toys, but what they have should appeal to the kid in any man. We are talking about wall-to-wall Detroit Muscle. Cue Tim Allen's signature grunt.

Brown's Performance Center is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the Baltimore area. A surprising number of people who live in Glen Burnie are not aware of its existence. We therefore feel it safe to assume that most people in and around the Baltimore metro area have never heard of Brown's Performance Center. Over two dozen classic muscle cars are not just on display here, they are here for your buying pleasure.

Obviously, this is not your ordinary pre-owned vehicle store. Like we said, it is a candy store for grown men. Hardened, veteran car collectors are looking at a number of details when searching for a car. They enjoy the endless search for the right car that fits into their collection, and the miles of travel it takes just to accomplish their goal. But for those who just want a muscle car to tool around in on the weekends, and to tinker with during the week, Brown's Performance Center is here for you. They cater to the little boy that has been lurking just under the surface in most of us throughout our adult lives.

Having said that, if you think Brown's Performance Center is an oasis for men going through a mid-life crisis, you would be wrong. We spent about an hour-and-a-half inside the showroom. With the exception of one person, every man we saw had passed middle age a while ago. Manager Steve Kopchinski confirmed that the majority of their customers are either approaching, or have reached retirement age. Is there a better way to enter retirement than cruising around in a classic muscle car?

Price is another obstacle that scares many from looking for a classic muscle car. If you spend any time watching the Mecum auto auctions on Velocity, you probably believe that owning a classic muscle car is a rich man's indulgence. While that is true of some cars packing Brown's Performance Center's showroom, more than half appear to be priced under $40,000. There are even a few classic muscle cars you can pick up for under $30K, including a 72 Challenger, a 71 Corvette, and a 56 Chevy pick-up.

Brown's Performance Center can set you up with financing, or you can obtain your own. Insurance for classic cars is available through a number of specialty carriers, and mainstream insurance companies. Many a baby boomer has dreamed about owning a classic muscle car from his past. The kids are grown, and you've worked hard over the years. Go for it. Just take a drive down to 7154 Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie and check out Brown's Performance Center.

Then, you can spend the weekend cruising and hanging out.