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prs519

Your opinion on the best (hardiest) makes and years?

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. It is amazing how these cars have survived in our wet weather and road conditions, because until lates 90's was very dificult to import spare parts to Brazil.

JRA

1928 Chevrolet National, touring

1929 Chrysler "75", roadster

1951 Plymouth Cranbrook, 4 dr sedan

1954 Willys-Overland Jeep, CJ3B

Can you explain the parts situation. I can't remember any problem with getting Brazilian VW parts to the U.S.

D.

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The hardiest car I ever owned was a '81 Chevrolet Malibu 2-dr. coupe, bought new it had the Chevy 229 V6. 343,000 miles on the original timing chain. The V-8 option for the Monza was the 262, the smallest Chevy V-8 back then. I understand Chevrolet had considered V-8 powered Vega, a prototype was built? Never went to production. The slant six was a good engine, an uncle of mine had one for years, but only four main bearings? Chevrolet 250 L6 has seven mains.

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Regarding the parts situation in Brazil, it the other way arround. Until late 50's most of the cars used in Brazil were from American auto makers, so the supply of parts from US to Brazil was very stable, in order to maintain the existing fleet. Late 50's was the moment the Brazilian government start to incentive the construction of cars in Brazil, so the main companies install factories in Brazil, as Willys, VW, DKV. And Ford and Chevrolet started to convert the assembly lines they had in Brazil since the 20's in full plants. The way used by the government to incentive that was dramactly restricting car imports, so american car parts supply became very scarce. Only in the 1990's became easier again to import such parts. Beacuse of that, I believe these old Fords and Chevrolets can be considered very resistent, once they have survived to a very long parts shortage and they are still here in Brazil running...

JRA

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Regarding the parts situation in Brazil, it the other way arround. Until late 50's most of the cars used in Brazil were from American auto makers, so the supply of parts from US to Brazil was very stable, in order to maintain the existing fleet. Late 50's was the moment the Brazilian government start to incentive the construction of cars in Brazil, so the main companies install factories in Brazil, as Willys, VW, DKV. And Ford and Chevrolet started to convert the assembly lines they had in Brazil since the 20's in full plants. The way used by the government to incentive that was dramactly restricting car imports, so american car parts supply became very scarce. Only in the 1990's became easier again to import such parts. Beacuse of that, I believe these old Fords and Chevrolets can be considered very resistent, once they have survived to a very long parts shortage and they are still here in Brazil running...

JRA

JRA, Thank you for explaining the situation, now I understand it was much easier to export than import.

Eu quero te dizer que eu acho que seu país é lindo, e você está países contribuição para vãos de música em todo o mundo. Eu não acho que há um dia que passa que eu não preciso da minha dose diária de Bossa Nova, Samba ou para me dar o meu senso de equanimidade.

Obrigado, Dom

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maybe i'll replace the clutch in my '75 monza that i bought for $100. the vega engine still runs. the hardiest make (without any repair) has got to be toyota.

Edited by mrspeedyt (see edit history)

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From Antarctica to the desert sands of North Africa and every climate in-between there is only one that survives that kind of odds. That one car whose total which is more than the official count at Twenty one million, five hundred twenty nine thousand, four hundred sixty four and built in more than twenty countries, sixty five years of production.

In short the VW Beetle is the longest running and most manufactured single design platform anywhere in the world period. I've got two, one I've owned since 1974, the other I've had since the twelfth grade and next year I apply for Social Security!

D.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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I always figured Desotos from the '50s must have been excellent cars considering their survival rate.

Good catch. DeSotos indeed were very well made, long lived cars. When cars were impossible to get during WW2 a New York taxi company kept their prewar DeSoto Skyview cabs in service for the duration. By the end of the war most of them had over 500,000 miles on them. DeSotos were a favorite of cab operators because they were the biggest car in their price range, or the cheapest car in their size class, depending how you look at it. They were also durable and simple to repair.

There do seem to be an awful lot of forties and fifties DeSotos around, for a car that did not sell in large numbers when new. A DeSoto was basically a Chrysler Windsor at a better price with simpler trim, instruments, and fittings. They seemed to appeal to a conservative customer base that took care of their cars and did not use them hard.

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VW beetle was an exceptional car and gave good service but not particularly long lived. Among imports in the fifties and sixties the record breaker is Volvo. The first car to add a seventh digit to the odometer because so many of them went over 100,000 miles.

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VW beetle was an exceptional car and gave good service but not particularly long lived. Among imports in the fifties and sixties the record breaker is Volvo. The first car to add a seventh digit to the odometer because so many of them went over 100,000 miles.

Take a Volvo where beetle's have been ( if anyone actually can ) and see how long lived they really are. Did a single model Volvo break over twenty one million sold? My 64 113's got 168,000 on it's engine before I rebuilt it and all the crank needed was to be micro polished and standard bearings back in. My 65 111 went 120,000 miles before I opened it up. My thinking was with that many miles something must be worn out....wrong, polished the crank, new bearings, pistons & liners and away I go--that was in 1973 and it's still in there getting 38mpg.

Long lived?? Match sixty five years production on one platform.... now that's long lived.

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Not to interfere with wise mens arguments, but I have been amazed at the LACK of VW beetles on today's roads, given so many were made!

I sure do not often see one in my section of the world! Mountain west.

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In 1928 Chevrolet outsold Ford, 1,193,212 to 607,592, probably in part because Ford was a brand new car and had new car wrinkles to iron out. In 1929 Ford outsold Chevy 1,507,123 to 1,328,605 and Chevy had the new 6-cylinder engine competing against a 4-cylinder. In 1930 Ford again outsold Chevy, this time 1,140,710 to 640,980. In 1931 Chevrolet outsold Ford by about 4,000 cars, 619,554 for Chevy, 615,455 for Ford. This gives Chevrolet a total of 3,782,351 cars during the 4 years of the Model A run and Ford totalled 3,870,889 for the four years which gives Ford an edge of 88,538 cars for the 4 years. Edsel was #12 in sales in 1958 and has a reputation of having numerous quality problems but you see them at shows and never see a Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Mercury, Plymouth, Dodge and very few Fords from that year. Ford was the number 1 car in 1957 but for every '57 Ford you see you'll probably see a dozen or more Chevies and not a single Pontiac, Olds or Plymouth. Corvairs didn't sell well but you see one or two at every show you go to. I think some cars like '57 and '58 Packards stayed around simply because they were so butt ugly that they were different. I'm sure '49 to '52 Plymouths, Dodges, DeSotos, Chryslers, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, and Mercurys were good cars and sold well but where are they today? Maybe someone should start a new thread about cars that were attactive and dependable and sold well years ago but have disappeared today.

Actually, there were 4,849,340 Model A Fords sold.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_A_(1927%E2%80%931931)

Part of the survival rate of the Model A Ford is based upon the fact that they were all steel - when you find a Model A sitting out in a farmer's field, it is pretty likely that you can drag it home and restore it; most old Chevys (body by Fisher) had wood subframes which once the car was worn out and abandoned in a field somewhere the wood rotted and the sheet metal fell in and collapsed around itself. That's why when you go to most car shows there are plenty of old Fords (T's and A's) and an "old Chevy" is a '55 or '57.

"Always remember you are unique, just like everyone else." :o

Edited by Texas Old Car Guy (see edit history)

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Hands down model "A" Ford..........look at the survival rate..........it beats some cars of the last few years!

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I read once that 44% of all Model A cars ever built were still around. I wish I could remember the source, because it strikes me as such a phenomenal number. Any of you ever hear or read anything similar? As for VW bugs, I certainly respect their simple ruggedness. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I've always hated the miserable whistle-like sound of them, though.

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I read once that 44% of all Model A cars ever built were still around. I wish I could remember the source, because it strikes me as such a phenomenal number. Any of you ever hear or read anything similar? As for VW bugs, I certainly respect their simple ruggedness. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I've always hated the miserable whistle-like sound of them, though.

Really? I wouldn't think so. That would mean that over 2 MILLION remain. I would have thought that being an all-steel body they would have been scrapped at high rates during the steel drives of WWII.

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Really? I wouldn't think so. That would mean that over 2 MILLION remain. I would have thought that being an all-steel body they would have been scrapped at high rates during the steel drives of WWII.

Honestly, Barry, I'm skeptical myself, but that's my recollection. I hope somone who knows better will weigh in on the matter. If the Depression hadn't hit so many, so hard, the model A might have met the same fate as so many other cars did in the war scrap drives. I think, rather, that a large percentage of them were still somebodies daily transportation. I hope to hear from others more knowledgeable than me about Model A survival rates.

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I haven't read the entire thread but as for hardy or sturdy... I can say that the old Chevrolet and Rambler six cylinder engines were virtually indestructible. As for sturdy, I can attest that Chrysler Imperial from late 1950s to 1966 were basically banned from demolition derbies because they were also virtually indestructible mostly due to their overbuilt heavy frames. I owned a 1963 Le Baron.

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Any Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth product from the early to mid 60's with the slant six would be a good bet. They were nothing that exciting but those cars were well built, tough and would keep running with little effort. I had one and it couldn't be killed until someone got to it and stripped it for everything it was worth. For all I know the engine and transmission are probably still running in some crook's jalopy.

The same thing is probably true about the cars that were powered by the flathead six that was replaced by the slant six.

This is what I was going to say!! My thoughts exactly!!

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I read once that 44% of all Model A cars ever built were still around. I wish I could remember the source, because it strikes me as such a phenomenal number. Any of you ever hear or read anything similar? As for VW bugs, I certainly respect their simple ruggedness. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I've always hated the miserable whistle-like sound of them, though.

Was it in a book published in 1951? Model A's kept their popularity as everyday transportation for an astonishingly long time. Good ones were in demand as late as the early fifties when they were 20 years old or more. In those days a car was old hat after 2 years and typically worn out before it was ten. In other words it would be much more unusual to see a 20 year old car on the road than today. I could believe almost half of them were still on the road at that time.

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Was it in a book published in 1951? Model A's kept their popularity as everyday transportation for an astonishingly long time. Good ones were in demand as late as the early fifties when they were 20 years old or more. In those days a car was old hat after 2 years and typically worn out before it was ten. In other words it would be much more unusual to see a 20 year old car on the road than today. I could believe almost half of them were still on the road at that time.

I found a wide range of estimates for the number of Model A Fords still around running from 200,000 to 1,000,000 with none of them showing where they got the number. Seems like it would be possible for someone to research the vehicle registrations to get an accurate number. I'm a little surprised that the main Model A clubs don't seem to have that on their web sites, at least I didn't find it there.

I got my '33 Plymouth in '73 and I don't recall seeing other 40 year old cars in use for every day transportation when I got it. Perhaps they don't exist in the salt belt, but around here I do see an occasional '60s car that is obviously just an every day. 20 year old cars in every day use are pretty common around here.

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I found a wide range of estimates for the number of Model A Fords still around running from 200,000 to 1,000,000 with none of them showing where they got the number. Seems like it would be possible for someone to research the vehicle registrations to get an accurate number. I'm a little surprised that the main Model A clubs don't seem to have that on their web sites, at least I didn't find it there.

I got my '33 Plymouth in '73 and I don't recall seeing other 40 year old cars in use for every day transportation when I got it. Perhaps they don't exist in the salt belt, but around here I do see an occasional '60s car that is obviously just an every day. 20 year old cars in every day use are pretty common around here.

20 year old cars are common now but they weren't in the fifties. We are really spoiled and don't realize how lucky we are. Late model cars will go for an astonishingly long time with minimal upkeep compared to the Model A era.

At the end of WW2 all cars were at least 3 years old and cars 10 years old or more were common. But as soon as new cars were available the old ones got junked. The interest in old cars was practically nil. Just today an old friend, who is not into antique cars, told me how they used buy cars from the junk yards for a few dollars, thirties cars that were being scrapped because they had a dented fender or bald tires, most of them were driven to the junkyard by their owners or by used car lots who just wanted rid of them. Including coupes , roadsters and touring cars that would be worth a fortune today. He said there were lots of Packards but nobody cared about them. Fords, Chevs, Dodges and the like they considered the best buys. You could keep them going with odds and ends picked up in the junk yard and if something expensive broke, scrap it and pick up another one. They would do this every few weeks.

Among those guys Model As were popular for obvious reasons. I can believe that up to the early 50s, nearly half of all Model As built were still on the road. The herd rapidly got thinned out in the fifties and sixties, then in the seventies they became valuable collector's items and few got junked after that. But I seriously doubt 44% of all the ones produced survive to the present day.

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Rusty, I traded my car on some real estate in the early '70's and needed a car in a hurry. Bought a '68 Chevrolet Impala conv. with a 307 engine. It also had valve stem seal problems. A mechanic replaced them but told me it was a common problem on that engine and not to expect them to last. I did not keep it long and traded it off.

The Chevrolet 307 replaced the 283 in '68. 283- '57-'67.

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