Does anybody know a thing or two about old cars? (60s to mid 80s)
Sep 9, 2009 at 7:59 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Gatto

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Now that I lost my beloved 1995 plymouth acclaim and I can either get a craptastic mid 90s-mid 00s car or something older that might need some love. I am thinking a classic car would be pretty awesome. Does anybody own/know about cars from back in the day? I spoke a bit to my dad about it and he said he would feel more comfortable if I get something that I can still buy parts for and that has front wheel drive. It also has to look pretty sweet....

just to give you guys an idea of what I like

1986 trans am

86TA355SR1986PontiacTransAm.jpg


1976 thunderbird

267385.jpg


1969 chevy nova

1969nova.png


1969 dodge charger

1969-dodge-charger.jpg
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 12:49 PM Post #2 of 19

darcyb62

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Why not look for a 2005+ Mustang? It's got a classic car look but is still modern.

Re: front wheel drive. I started driving when the only front wheel drive car available was the Olds Toronado. When the push for front wheel drive came in I hated it. I am back to rear wheel drive and to be quite honest I would never buy another front wheel drive car. If you want performance rwd is where it's at (or awd).

ps... I am biased on the Mustang having bought new twice in the last 5 years and was considering a 2010 Shelby on the weekend. Better sense (or my wife) had me reconsider.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 12:54 PM Post #3 of 19

catachresis

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The classic 60s and 70s muscle cars are great! Just remember though, they are usually money-holes. Things will go wrong, and parts will have to be sourced. Unless you and your dad are comfortable about doing basic car repair, you'll have to find a trustworthy, sympathetic mechanic.

I've owned a '55 Buick Special, a '78 Alfa Sport Sedan, and (for a day or two) a '76 Dodge Dart. Each has had its allures, and each broke down and sucked money in vast, angst-inducing inhalations.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 2:34 PM Post #5 of 19

Samgotit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatto /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Now that I lost my beloved 1995 plymouth acclaim...


Yes, that must have been difficult for you.

Quote:

...and I can either get a craptastic mid 90s-mid 00s car or something older that might need some love. I am thinking a classic car would be pretty awesome.


I wholeheartedly agree with you. My personal idea on this is, if you can lease it, it's "craptastic."

That's a nice list, but I'm scratching my head over the 1986 Trans Am. That thing is garish.

How much money you got? Take a look at some classic Cadillacs, too, if your Father owns a refinery.

64' or 65' GTO Hardtop for me.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 2:40 PM Post #6 of 19

krmathis

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+1 on a classical (60's) Ford Mustang!
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 3:34 PM Post #7 of 19

Uncle Erik

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They're very practical, assuming you can afford the gas and can turn a wrench. Or are willing to learn.

The parts are usually available at Pep Boys, Napa, and if you get one of the more popular models (various GM and Mustangs) you can often find multiple catalogs for companies that have tons of reproduction parts. You could build a Mustang or Corvette from reproduction parts if you wanted.

Also, shop manuals are easily found for the older models and you don't need to worry about computer diagnostics, etc., you can just troubleshoot and fix rather than hunt down electrical gremlins. They're much, much easier to work on than new cars. Further, the parts are dead cheap. A rebuilt Ford C4 transmission can be had for $600 or $700. My cousin picked up a Mercedes and a new transmission for it is around $11,000. Rebuilt engines are affordable, and you can get all the other parts locally for cheap, as well.

Don't worry so much about front/rear wheel drive. I prefer rear wheel drive because it's more fun drive, but either will work.

I keep around a 1971 Mercury Comet, which was my first car. It doesn't see to many miles these days, but it is dead cheap to work on. The last thing I replaced was the master cylinder. I think it was something like $53 at Pep Boys.

Also, insurance is dead cheap. I think it's around $350 for the year.

I don't know if you like them, but the C4 Corvettes are fully depreciated right now. I've seen them go for as little as $3,000-$4,000. The wonderful thing about those is that owners are obsessive and you can find online guides for fixing anything on them and there are multiple companies supplying each and every last little part for Corvettes. I mean everything. If you need a trim screw in a particular color for the sun visor, you can get it. There are discussion forums, too, so if it starts making a funny noise, you can get answers just like here.

Best of all, once Corvettes hit bottom, they start to appreciate over the next 5-10 years. So if you get one in decent shape and drive it for five years, you can often sell it for more than you paid.

While it might not be the most practical car, few others have the parts availability and almost guaranteed appreciation.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 5:47 PM Post #8 of 19

frozenice

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That's a late sixties Thunderbird and my guess is you would be looking at single digit fuel economy for a car like that unless you drove 50 mph on the highway. Big old cars are very hard to park and navigate in big cities and takes a little life reorganization to make them work in that environment. Because they were made before rust corrosion was a big thing you would probably want to limit driving them too much in the winter and also because of rear wheel drive you'll definitely want winter tires.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 8:59 PM Post #9 of 19

Gatto

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Samgotit /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yes, that must have been difficult for you.



I wholeheartedly agree with you. My personal idea on this is, if you can lease it, it's "craptastic."

That's a nice list, but I'm scratching my head over the 1986 Trans Am. That thing is garish.

How much money you got? Take a look at some classic Cadillacs, too, if your Father owns a refinery.

64' or 65' GTO Hardtop for me.



lol that was a fun car, it was my first one so I was pretty attached to it. I don't know about the trans am, I just like it for some reason *shrug*. I probably won't be able to spend too much money, odds are the car will be some combination of a birthday present/money my parents will loan me/money I actually have. I'd say no more then 10 grand, preferably under 5.

Quote:

Originally Posted by catachresis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The classic 60s and 70s muscle cars are great! Just remember though, they are usually money-holes. Things will go wrong, and parts will have to be sourced. Unless you and your dad are comfortable about doing basic car repair, you'll have to find a trustworthy, sympathetic mechanic.

I've owned a '55 Buick Special, a '78 Alfa Sport Sedan, and (for a day or two) a '76 Dodge Dart. Each has had its allures, and each broke down and sucked money in vast, angst-inducing inhalations.



Luckily my dad put a new transmission and well as a slew of other parts into my old acclaim, I never helped but I always wanted to learn at least a thing or two about old cars. This would be a great excuse for him to teach me. He's also owned most of the cars I listed so odds are he knows a thing or two about them specifically.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They're very practical, assuming you can afford the gas and can turn a wrench. Or are willing to learn.

The parts are usually available at Pep Boys, Napa, and if you get one of the more popular models (various GM and Mustangs) you can often find multiple catalogs for companies that have tons of reproduction parts. You could build a Mustang or Corvette from reproduction parts if you wanted.

Also, shop manuals are easily found for the older models and you don't need to worry about computer diagnostics, etc., you can just troubleshoot and fix rather than hunt down electrical gremlins. They're much, much easier to work on than new cars. Further, the parts are dead cheap. A rebuilt Ford C4 transmission can be had for $600 or $700. My cousin picked up a Mercedes and a new transmission for it is around $11,000. Rebuilt engines are affordable, and you can get all the other parts locally for cheap, as well.

Don't worry so much about front/rear wheel drive. I prefer rear wheel drive because it's more fun drive, but either will work.

I keep around a 1971 Mercury Comet, which was my first car. It doesn't see to many miles these days, but it is dead cheap to work on. The last thing I replaced was the master cylinder. I think it was something like $53 at Pep Boys.

Also, insurance is dead cheap. I think it's around $350 for the year.

I don't know if you like them, but the C4 Corvettes are fully depreciated right now. I've seen them go for as little as $3,000-$4,000. The wonderful thing about those is that owners are obsessive and you can find online guides for fixing anything on them and there are multiple companies supplying each and every last little part for Corvettes. I mean everything. If you need a trim screw in a particular color for the sun visor, you can get it. There are discussion forums, too, so if it starts making a funny noise, you can get answers just like here.

Best of all, once Corvettes hit bottom, they start to appreciate over the next 5-10 years. So if you get one in decent shape and drive it for five years, you can often sell it for more than you paid.

While it might not be the most practical car, few others have the parts availability and almost guaranteed appreciation.



wow I had no idea it was so easy to get parts, that pretty much solidifies it, I want an old car. I didn't even look into corvettes because I assumed they would be sooo expensive, I'll have to check them out! ^^
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 9:08 PM Post #10 of 19

ricksome

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Stay away from that body style of Camaro / Trans Am. I had a T/A. Biggest P.O.S. I've ever owned. Worse than Bose, Skullcandy, etc. How is that for comparing Apples & Oranges?
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM Post #12 of 19

MaZa

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Quote:

Stay away from that body style of Camaro / Trans Am. I had a T/A. Biggest P.O.S. I've ever owned. Worse than Bose, Skullcandy, etc. How is that for comparing Apples & Oranges?



If you want a hobby car that also works as secondary daily driver, whats wrong with 3rd Gen F-body cars? They have quite good handling (atleast the one I drove had, with WS6 suspension) for '80s american car, quite roomy on drivers seat, some horsepower (though still less than engine is capable of, it still suffers from the effects of Energy and HP-Tax Crisis) and strong torque if you get the one with TPI fuel injection, and parts should be relatively easy to come by. Especially in engine you can fit in Corvette parts for healthy power increase. Gas mileage is also acceptable in TPI engine versions.

My first choice would be Dodge Charger, or any 60-70s Mopar, but they are EXPENSIVE. Also old Muscle Cars are something you need to work on. Though technology is quite simple so its not too hard to repair if you know your way around cars, and aftermarket replacement and tuning parts should be easy to come buy. (just by any muscle car magazine, in this case Mopar Muscle and 60% of the content are comercials for parts to Mopar muscle cars
biggrin.gif
) But still they are mainly hobby cars nowadays, and mileage is... well... large. But they also deliver fun that is unequaled, sense of raw power and noise. Especially if you manage to get one with either very tightly tuned small block or big crushing big block engine.


My second choice is Firebird/Trans Am and a car I WILL be getting in a year or two to be my hobby car. Mostly because they are very cheap, and some reasons I mentioned above already. Plus they are BEAUTIFUL on the outside. Almost perfection in my eyes, better looking than any car produced after that IMHO. Interior is ugly though.

If you decide to get Firebird/Trans Am, be sure to get one with Tuned Port Injection, shortly TPI, as its fuel injection mechanism or you will be gravely dissapointed. TBI engines suck. They are weak, powerless and lazy. Prime example of Energy Crisis aftermath engine. Drinks fuel like mad like they used to in 60-70s, but still only delivers 145 to 165 horsepower (UNLIKE in the 60-70s). All this on 5.0/5.7 liter V8, What!? You step on pedal and only thing that rises are noise and fuel consumption, but car still accelerates about as fast as with pressing gas pedal lightly. Very sporty indeed, old Datsuns with their puny engines are much faster than those POS's.
biggrin.gif


With TPI you get atleast around 200 horsepower (215 on 350cid/5.7l with stock cast-iron cylinder heads, 240Hp with C4 Corvettes aluminum heads) and a hefty torque boost which truly matters, and noticeable drop in fuel consumption.
 
Sep 10, 2009 at 5:46 PM Post #13 of 19

MaZa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wuwhere /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Big block V8s are rated in GPM not MPG.




LMAO! Best quote I have seen for a while.
biggrin.gif
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 12:49 AM Post #14 of 19

Benaiir

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I'm not much of a car enthusiast, but I do know that you're best off going on Craigslist or an auction (If you know a good, reliable mechanic). My neighbor got a 1969 mustang for 1.5K somehow, if I get the chance, I'll ask. Also, 1985-1989 were when cars were peaking in quality, then they started getting crappier. This is probably common knowlage, so I'm likely stating the obvious... Sorry :x

Here's some listings in a decent price range. I'm not sure how long the older engines last, I'd suppose they'd pass 150k and still roll to 200k, but I wouldn't get my hopes high.

Here's the NNJ CL, filtered and all.

classifieds - craigslist
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 1:48 AM Post #15 of 19

Planar_head

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The definite good thing about old cars is the aftermarket support, especially the 'Stangs and the 'Vettes. The othey nice thing is they use simple technology (carburetors and distributors) so not much in the way of ECU's and harnesses and stuff.

@ Uncle Erik,

Not that I know about insurance, but are older cars driven by young people that inexpensive to insure?
 

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