Chef Voyardee

1966 Ford Galaxie 500 vs 1969 Buick Skylark

1966 Ford Galaxie 500 vs 1969 Buick Skylark  

7 members have voted

  1. 1. Which vehicle is overall a better buy, all things considered?

    • 1966 Ford Galaxie 500
      2
    • 1969 Buick Skylark
      5


Recommended Posts

Hello fellow car lovers!

 

I am having a personal crisis deciding which way to go. I love the styling and features of both of these vehicles. That being said, they stand apart night and day in regards to pros and cons. I really like them both. The responses I have received regarding a potential switch to Buick after being a long-time Ford guy have been nothing short of encouraging and diverse. The community really reached out to this newbie and I am loving the forum. I am just trying to review the information in front of me to make an informed decision. So here's the match up:

 

  • 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 Covertible
  • 1970 351W Engine (Non-Original Engine-Original a FE390)
  • Straight body, no rust issues
  • Bench Seats (good or bad I guess), minor interiors issues (armrest pads and minor dash imperfections)
  • Good: Air Conditioning (needs a recharge), power top works, interior is good, convertible top is fairly new, no water getting inside (it was storming that day!)
  • Bad: Compressor or water pump occasionally making noise (couldn't pinpoint), column shifter is loose, needs to pull up to start vehicle, clock is busted, only power steering (manual windows and brakes), all-way drums, needs new exhaust
  • $12,500 (not a lot of wiggle room)

 

 

IMG_4901.JPGIMG_4894.JPGIMG_4896.JPGIMG_4890.JPGIMG_4893.JPGIMG_4895.JPGIMG_4900.JPG

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

  • 1969 Buick Skylark Custom Convertible
  • 350 2 barrel (numbers matching)
  • Body is very straight, minus a dent in the driver fender, no rust in floor pans, fender well, rocker panels or trunk
  • Bucket Seats, original white interior minus a tear in the rear seat
  • Good: Engine rebuilt less than 2 years ago, new exhaust, front end rebuilt, power top works, front disc brakes, power everything
  • Bad: Convertible top stitching is coming loose on one side, Air compressor is in the trunk (owner says it should still work), dent in driver fender, radio doesn't work, passenger rear windows switch does not work
  • $9000 and room to negotiate (but how much???)

 

IMG_4960.JPGIMG_4933.JPGIMG_4943.JPG00X0X_faUWCb07nN0_600x450.jpg00l0l_jRB94hhOdHa_600x450.jpgIMG_4950.JPGIMG_4954.JPG

 

 

So...opinions?

Edited by Chef Voyardee
extra photo removed (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Buick is a good buy if it is as rust free as you say, I have a friend with a 1968 and 1969 Skylark and they are dependable and serviceable.  On this one the buckets and console are a plus and the paint and interior look presentable.  It appears to have been much less messed with than the Ford, and best of all for you the convertible top is an issue……

 

Convertible top problems scare people and can be used as a great negotiating tool.  Just say “…oh no, a bad top…..that will be a nightmare to deal with.  You can’t just stitch it up, it will have to be replaced to be right and will probably be over $1000.  And who knows about Buick parts.…” 

 

But first Google www.hydroe.com and input the 1969 Skylark—you can get everything you need easily.  Note a top, glass window and pads are only $346.  The hydro-electric motor and everything else are standard GM and available with a phone call.  You should have a local pro do the installation and fix everything unless you are an advanced amateur, but it is all no problem to deal with.  It likely WILL cost over $1000 for a complete installation and repair but you can use that to negotiate and still be way ahead of the Ford IMO.  I like a nice Galaxie convertible but the Skylark seems the better buy here, good luck, Todd C

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS--when I mentioned top "repairs" note that installing the new top requires removing the rear window too so that is why the top, window and pads all come included in a kit.  The top well liner has to come out too so if it is damaged or sun faded replace it too, price may not be much.  Note that removing an old top you also remove years of cigarette smoke so that helps freshen the interior . 

 

When the top is removed you probably will need new tacking strips and the new replacements are worth it and better than originals.  The original weatherstrips have to be removed and some may be damaged in removal, they are available but can cost a bit.  Any new parts make the installation easier so the shop should allow a little labor savings.  Before removing the top check the hydraulics for leaks or damage and replace accordingly but they are usually OK.  Good luck, Todd C 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a Ford guy.  I'd pick the Buick.

 

The floor shifter will be a little more fun, and I'd bet some extra-oomph is only an Edelbrock carb & intake away.  Fix the air, fix the top, and you are cruising.  Oh, and white interior?  Wow!  Really pops with the blue.  This Ford looks just a little tired.

 

I have a '66 Mercury Cyclone that had 4-wheel drums.  Others will feel differently, but in my mind discs and a double-bowl master cylinder were mandatory improvements.  I'm not sure about a 351w pulling the Galaxie around, and the non-originality won't help either.  One thing to go from a less-desirable 352 to a powerhouse 460 or something, but this seems like a budget driven swap... which makes me wonder if the rest of the car was under-maintained too.

 

Good luck!

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best buy for one you can drive and enjoy is the Buick. It is less expensive, less molested, turn-key and will be instant fun.

 

However, I think for long term return-on-investment (and I don't really look at collector cars as investments) over time the Ford will be worth more. Full size drop-tops are going up in value and the Ford styling is more popular than the Buick. Buicks of that vintage have never been as popular as the 70-71 style and the price is reflected in this one. 

 

Making the Ford into an equal car to what the Buick currently is will cost some money and sweat equity but over the long haul I think it will be the more popular car/worth more. Disclaimer:  possibly biased opinion of a Ford guy who also owned a '65 Skylark convertible and liked it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having grown up on a used car lot I look at these things as used cars first; collectibles second. If you're going to be taking the family out make sure the back seat has belts and get the Buick, better brakes and cost less to maintain. If you're looking for best investment, stick the Ford in a big plastic bag, start collecting the parts to restore it to factory and sit on it till it hatches.

 

A couple days of practice with a slap file and spoon you should be able to fix the bent fender. If the top isn't rotting the split seem can be hand sown with the right needle and thread, while it's on the car. It won't be perfect, but it will be serviceable, it's an all day job and a good one for the kids to help with.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both cars need money spent on them before they'll be turn-key and totally ready to go. I like the Buick better mostly because it's cheaper and hasn't been "messed with." An engine swap on the Ford (and a downgrade in displacement) suggests something bad happened and the guy who fixed it didn't have the money to do it correctly. What else did that guy botch? And I guarantee that the A/C doesn't "just need a charge" to be functional. If it was that easy, it would be working. And flames on the hood? Ugh.

 

The Buick color change concerns me a bit, not because it's a color change, but because that paint looks like a bargain job and the guys who applied it are probably pretty good at making Bondo look like sheetmetal. The Buick motors make good torque, even in 2-barrel form, and I like how they drive compared to the Fords, which do feel a little cheap in comparison. The dent makes me worry, too, because it's deep enough and close to a crease that it won't be easy to just bump it out, it'll take paint and work to look right. Or you can live with it, that's something only you can decide. I have also discovered that Skylark bumpers like those are tough to find, so the flaking chrome and pitting might be an issue unless you have it re-plated yourself

 

Put me down for the Buick, as it seems like more car for the money, but with either car, the purchase will only be the first of several good-sized checks you will be writing. Good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy the Ford. Please send me the contact information for the person selling the Buick. Thank you.

Bernie

 

That's a joke.... humor guys, humor.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! The overwhelming vote for the Buick speaks for itself. I really appreciate the candid observations. It gives me a lot to chew and give me information to discuss better pricing. BAsed on an asking price of $9000, with all things considered, what's a fair price to start at???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no fair price for a 47 year old car. It's just the entry fee. Take out a yellow pad and write, 500 times "I an going to spend about 10 grand on a 50 year old car but I don't want to do anything dumb." Stack the 100 $100 bills on the table or put them in your pocket while you write; 20's are even better.

 

If you looked at two cars, mulled over the purchase, and wrote into an online forum for advice I'd say you haven't found your car. There is a car out there that will drop you in your tracks. You will be afraid to leave it because it might be gone when you get back. If it costs more than you have you will search for every way to get the extra. You will tremble until it is safely home. Then you'll know it is the one you want and NO ONE will be able to talk any sense into you. That's the car! I'm excited just thinking about the next one I find.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

There is no fair price for a 47 year old car. It's just the entry fee. Take out a yellow pad and write, 500 times "I an going to spend about 10 grand on a 50 year old car but I don't want to do anything dumb." Stack the 100 $100 bills on the table or put them in your pocket while you write; 20's are even better.

 

If you looked at two cars, mulled over the purchase, and wrote into an online forum for advice I'd say you haven't found your car. There is a car out there that will drop you in your tracks. You will be afraid to leave it because it might be gone when you get back. If it costs more than you have you will search for every way to get the extra. You will tremble until it is safely home. Then you'll know it is the one you want and NO ONE will be able to talk any sense into you. That's the car! I'm excited just thinking about the next one I find.

 

 

 

 

That's why I am appealing to the forum. I don't want to fall in love so damn hard and make a punch-drunk decision. Done that before. Talk about doing everything wrong. My first car was a '66 Mustang that I bought in the dark without even test driving it or even looking under the hood. At $1100 in 1999, the price alone should have gave it away. But, boy did the bug bite me hard!

Missy 1 Edited.jpg

Edited by Chef Voyardee
Wrong photo (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree " There is no fair price for a 47 year old car. It's just the entry fee. "

Another thing to consider is that in the spring classic cars and convertibles are worth more than they're worth, come fall they're worth less. You are looking at buying a classic convertible in the spring and if you want it today you can expect to pay close to the asking price, about mid November and depending on which part of the country you live, a third less in cold hard cash could make it yours.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you can't go wrong with a 'vert and the Buick may have it's original engine which I would consider a plus. Factory AC means a lot of other things (radiator, alternator) are heavy duty) though I thought the compressor mounted where the alternator is now.

 

Just off the top of my head I see $3k-$4k* to make the Buick nice but the accessorization I see would concern me about the Ford. OTOH GM A body parts for the 68-72 series are everywhere.

 

* Top and AC, $1k each. Body work & paint $1k-$2k

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have purchased collector cars for good, solid, logical reasons. I don't have any at the moment. I sold them.

 

I could easily spend $3k-$4k on my best car.

I could easily spend $3k-$4k on my worst car.

 

All the cars I own were purchased within two days of locating them. And I was in a panic to get the money out of  the bank or empty the tin cans I had hidden.

Bernie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One point is missing: where Chef is. the value of a rust free 'vert is different in the souf than in the frozen North. Way down here were are coming to the end of convertible weather and the start of AC & sunblock weather.

 

If you define "winter" as that period when your utility bills go up, weather is likely to be interesting, and you don't go outside unless you have to, for us that is the 100 days of summer.

 

The only place in the CONUS I know with perfect weather (need neither heat nor AC) is Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey and too many people are there already.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE:

So, I decided to go with the Buick. Spoke to the owner and discussed priced. After mentioning all the issues with the vehicle and the likely cost, I was able to work the price down to $7000. Sounds like a win right? Not so fast...

 

So I discuss the process I am going through. I am getting some financing from my credit union, so there is obviously an approval process. He then mentions that the title is not in his name, but the person he bought it from (his landlord). He never transferred the title because he had intended to sell it, but held onto it for a while, not wanting to incur transfer costs. The car is also currently registered in his landlord's name as well. I'm not exactly sure what the arrangement is, but my gut is not at ease at all. WTH??? I'd like to think that all this guy is being above board and means every word. The altruist in me would love to think that everyone more often in not had good intention and that all this has a really logical explanation, but this has fishy written all over it and I need to look at it objectively.

 

He owns a mechanic shop down the street from where the car is currently stored. He noted that he did the engine rebuild himself, so in other words, I really have no way of knowing if the engine was indeed rebuilt except by his words. Unless I'm missing something logical here, sounds like this one's too risky. I sometimes wonder if going with a dealership is just safer, albeit way more money and a little out of my range.

 

I wonder if I should just sit on my hands and just hope the right car and deal comes along. It always seems like a great deal will slip away if I don't act timely enough. Could be impatience perhaps, but this ache to tool and cruise in a classic is getting harder to ignore. I think my wife is getting annoyed with my whole process, lol. I know she is looking forward to a convertible too, not the work it takes to get the right car. I get the disappointed look when I mention a coupe now.

 

Please let me know what you think. I think I just need some encouragement and wisdom right about now. I think I will repost this as a separate post...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First part is easy: meet at the credit union and only agree to the cash if they provide a title the credit union considers valid. CU may be able to handle the paperwork for you, mine can.

 

Second part is more subjective but require a test drive. Frankly I'd prefer a good original engine even with 120,000 miles. The funny air cleaner is more of a concern but the 2bbl is good, can't wind it that high, will stop making power around 4K (unless that is one of the funny big block 2bbls and even so...). Now there was an interesting 4bbl version but that 350 is an undersquare ( long stroke/small bore) design, great for torque, not so for high revs. Would have someone knowledgeable go with you and check the car out.

 

Finally the Buick is three years newer, 300 lbs lighter, and 10" shorter. In the 60's, every year the cars got better.

 

Personally still like the 70 Skylark better, was considerably redesigned but this '69 is now $5.5k less expensive than the Ford. Can do a lot for that.

 

Whatever car you decide on take possession immediately on paying even if you need to have it towed to a storage facility. Once it is yours things can happen.

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice from Padgett above--that Galaxie is not worth $5500 more than the Buick and you can address the issues.  I especially  like his suggestion about taking the seller and his title to the credit union with you for their approval closing the deal.

 

Regarding the mechanicals, I would want a thorough test drive and a compression test would be reassuring if possible.  

 

On another note the fact that the Buick has factory disc brakes with a dual master cylinder is another big plus IMO.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The title issue is very common in the old car world--he simply didn't feel like paying his taxes and is asking you to help him evade paying taxes by taking the old title and pretending he never owned the car. I'd say a good 40% of old cars are titled this way, and it doesn't necessarily mean problems for you, but if the title gets kicked by the DMV, who do you see for a replacement? The guy has your money and the landlord from whom he bought it has no incentive to help you, so you'll be boned.

 

The engine rebuild isn't such a big deal. If it's running right and doesn't make noises or smoke, then it's probably OK. They're relatively simple machines and if someone screws up an engine rebuild, it usually reveals itself in short order rather than over a long period of time.

 

Finally, if you have any misgivings at all, walk away. There are plenty of other cars out there that will tempt you and make you happy. This is a hobby, starting off with a whole bunch of misgivings isn't right. Those misgivings won't go away after you've bought the car, you'll simply start trying to rationalize them away to make yourself feel better about a purchase your gut told you was wrong. You'll never be totally happy with the car if you start off wondering if there are problems and every time it makes a weird noise, that'll be a concern that won't go away. You'll never feel confident.

 

There are other cars out there, as Bernie said, wait for the one that makes you terrified that you'll miss your chance to own it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only say that for reasons that now don't make a lick of sense I waited 12 years to transfer the title of my 52 Plymouth from the person on the title, who was not the seller(although I did have a bill of sale).  Our local Sec. of State office went out of their way to help me and make sure I got a good title.  Although if I ever buy another car like that I will transfer ASAP. I was a little nervous when I went to the office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

The title issue is very common in the old car world--he simply didn't feel like paying his taxes and is asking you to help him evade paying taxes by taking the old title and pretending he never owned the car. I'd say a good 40% of old cars are titled this way, and it doesn't necessarily mean problems for you, but if the title gets kicked by the DMV, who do you see for a replacement? The guy has your money and the landlord from whom he bought it has no incentive to help you, so you'll be boned.

 

The engine rebuild isn't such a big deal. If it's running right and doesn't make noises or smoke, then it's probably OK. They're relatively simple machines and if someone screws up an engine rebuild, it usually reveals itself in short order rather than over a long period of time.

 

Finally, if you have any misgivings at all, walk away. There are plenty of other cars out there that will tempt you and make you happy. This is a hobby, starting off with a whole bunch of misgivings isn't right. Those misgivings won't go away after you've bought the car, you'll simply start trying to rationalize them away to make yourself feel better about a purchase your gut told you was wrong. You'll never be totally happy with the car if you start off wondering if there are problems and every time it makes a weird noise, that'll be a concern that won't go away. You'll never feel confident.

 

There are other cars out there, as Bernie said, wait for the one that makes you terrified that you'll miss your chance to own it.

 

It seems like the case with this Buick. I'm not comfortable walking away from it. $7000 seems like a steal and part of me is excited to learn about an all new platform. My wife gets the convertible she wants and I get some reliable classic goodness. The only thing I have seen that made my heart race was a posting for a 67 Mustang Coupe S-Code 390 for about 15K and a 72 Cougar XR-7 for 7K. Of course both are coupes and I know my wife would be sad, and she is more important to me than any car (though the car is a close 2nd). I have a little soul searching to do!

 

Thanks for the great wisdom. I was on your site last night browsing through those beautiful cars and I saw that 71 Skylark convertible.

 

http://www.harwoodmotors.com/vehicles/inventory_details.php?id=477

 

Now that made my mouth water. The 70-71 body style is just beautiful, though they are a little out of my range it seems. I do like the 68-69 body style though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one thing to sit on a title for years when you buy an old car that you're not going to drive anytime soon, jumping a title is a whole different story. People jump titles for all sorts of reasons and usually it's not a problem, but when it is, it can become a big one.

 

When you have your heart set on a rag top from the 60's it's hard to think about something from the 80's or 90's, but there are a couple to look at that will sit two adults and two kids comfortably with the potential to maintain and maybe even increase in value while you own and drive. My favorite 4 seat rag tops of this era are the mid 80's Buick Riv and the 90's Chrysler LeBaron. The Riv hit bottom value about a dozen years ago and has increased some in value, the Lebaron finished depreciating a couple years ago and I think it will do the same thing.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last five cars I have purchased were licensed in my name immediately (with the exception of one I sold in 3 days). Two were real basket cases. I always do something to add value so before I spend money on them I make sure it is legally mine. I have seen the 10, 15, 20, and, really, 30 year ownership histories with multiple casual sales. Most are OK. An old engineer told me the odds are always 50/50. It's either good or it ain't.

 

This is as good topic. Even the old guys whom have owned 100+ cars get a learning moment now and then. Back when sight-unseen cars became more common with the internet, I established three personal guidelines:

1. No car can be a total loss.

2. Cars I bought and didn't like usually made me a profit. (prophet?)

3. I can lose $3,000 on a risk annually without affecting the flow of groceries.

 

With those concepts and the flare for detail of a barroom pool player I've done pretty good.

Bernie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are other Buick 'verts  from '90 that go for less than the Skylark and run on 87 PON.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you buy a car with a jumped title you also buy the everything the car has done from the date the title was signed and if the fender got bent in a hit and run you could become the proud new owner of someone else's accident.

 

An old Realtor that everyone in town called Uncle Billy gave me some sage advice way back when and I think I'll pass it on.

Always keep cash on hand, you can't buy anything with an empty pocket.

If you need to borrow money to buy something you don't need, you can't afford it.

When opportunity knocks on your door it's always carrying some baggage, before invite it into your home, look in the suitcase for bed bugs and roaches.

A good deal is always a good deal, a bad deal is always a bad deal and numbers can make a bad deal look good, before you sign on the dotted line take the numbers out and look at the deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now