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Should I get a 60's-70's car as daily driver?


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One of my dailys is 30+, and I plan on start using a 40+ one soon. For the most part the mid 60s on is relatively modern. Definitely look out for a smart buy, but $20-25 should give you lots of options. Anything in particular that you want? Being that it's California and you're going for a daily, looking for something pre '75 will be best to avoid emissions issues. Although it sounds like you're wanting something older anyway. The values generally aren't as high on early to mid 60s performance cars, so you could find one with some more modern upgrades.

I can't wait to find a decent affordable 60's car to drive and ditch my "tech" laden 2006 Chevy HHR.It's been a good car but all you do is aim it.I fear the day when electronic crap goes haywire.I live in a very small town so high speed traffic is not an issue.My "ideal" car would be a Chevy wagon from the 60's,small V-8,auto and I can add AC if I want.Ed Dade City,Fl

My dad has a '64 Impala 327 A/C P/B Powerglide project for sale.

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit
I know it's nit picky but why do you people insist on calling these used cars from the 60s and 70s Classics? They are used cars.

How do you define classic?

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I know it's nit picky but why do you people insist on calling these used cars from the 60s and 70s Classics? They are used cars.

Yeah that does seem to dimenish the "true" classics doesn't it....

I for one fought with that myself for years but I think the conclusion I came to is simple.

"They just don't make these old American made cars anymore, no matter what the era"

therefore, they are dubbed classic as a slang I suppose. I know I'm guilty of being lazy with the term but it's truely a preference thing. Some call Studabakers or Fraziers classics while others call Camaros or Mustangs classics, I personally don't care for any of those vehicles and consider them , well, I better not say here... but the point is, classics are in the eye of the beholder. We all love the hobby equally just the same, therefore we all have our own view of what "classic" is.

In my opinion American made is the definition of Classic and Muscle Car. You just can't get away from it. But that's not to say other manufacturers from across the Pond haven't done an equally impressive job..... and in some cases they simply blow us out of the water.

But if your talking pre 36 days and American made, then they are all Classics but in a different more appreciated way by ALL generations. Lets face it though, when they only make a limited number of any car that is desirable no matter what era or who the maker is, then that in itself constitutes a label of Classic just from a rarity and desired market value standpoint alone.

For what it's worth..

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit
I know it's nit picky but why do you people insist on calling these used cars from the 60s and 70s Classics? They are used cars.

How do you define "classic"? Beg to differ...my 2001 Deville was a used car.

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Deville ?? That's like a Caddy compared to some used cars I've had (bad humor).

I had a Chevy Chevette at one point.

Now that was neither a classic or a used car... that was how the crusher man cut his teeth and is several notches below a used car, kinda like a pinto...

Keiser,

is that a Coronet ? What year is that, thats a solid start for someone.

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I know it's nit picky but why do you people insist on calling these used cars from the 60s and 70s Classics? They are used cars.

I thought we defined cars twenty five years or older as antique vehicles. This is what my antique auto insurance says, what my state says, and I believe what AACA says. Calling a 57 Chevy a Classic IS bothering though.

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Wow, thanks for the heap of replies! Lots of good info in there.

The evolution of my thoughts on this idea:

Although I did consider the issue of theft I forgot about apartment regulations and work areas. In order of magnitude these are the (now deal-breaking) issues for me:

1. Apartment Vehicle Regulations & Suitable Work Area (biggest problem)

2. Driver and Passenger Collision Safety

3. Gas Prices

4. Vehicle Cost

5. Vehicle Insurance

6. Chances of Theft

7. Vehicle Size (Parking & Maneuvering)

8. Vehicle Maintenance Work + Costs (smallest problem)

Although the above is enough to make me reconsider the idea of having a classic car as a daily driver, I am going to end up owning one someday. I want to avoid having two cars until I decide to put down roots somewhere, one of the greatest perks of being young is MOBILITY and FLEXIBILITY which doesn't happen if I have TWO cars to shuttle around and worry about maintaining/fueling/getting stolen. If I have an anonymous economy car I can drive straight onto a ferry with all my possessions and set sail for Europe if I so desire (unlikely). :P I value the freedom of having few possessions. I don't like being tied down by anything, I don't own anything worth keeping that can't be put into my car.

One thing I'm sure of is that I'll have money in the future (say 10 years from now) to set up a personal garage and get a classic car. I'm a bit bummed because I wanted something I could "grow up with" and work on throughout these years, you know, develop a bond with a car, but I think it's wiser to put that aside for now. Along with packing light I also value anonymity and a Geo Prizm provides that in spades. I don't see any point in going halfway, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person. Better to focus on career and get the money faster so I can drive that MoPar sooner, less distractions that way, more freedom on the other side. ;)

Perhaps I'll fix up the Prizm, for the heck of it. :confused:

I'm glad you have seen reality. Look at it this way, I have two cars from high school and another two cars not far from that too. Emotionally attached? You bet! Do they become a problem because of that? Sometimes. I've owned the two from H/S for forty five years, one of which I bought new. If I had to do it over I might have done it different...then again.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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Yep, their are several definitions of classic car vs "Classic Car" that have been discussed on this forum ad nuseum. Those that interested can do a simple search on this. I think it is great to inform a new member about "commonly accepted nomenclature" but that said, I think it is really obnoxious to call any non-classic (as defined by the CCCA) simply a "used car". Let's be honest, what you are basically saying, "well if it is not on MY list, it must be junk". Full Classics are incredible cars, but not for everyone. BTW I could rattle off literally dozens of non classics that exceed most Full Classics in terms of market value. Not that market value should drive one's interest but it is a reflection of trends and popularity of various collector cars.

Sorry, but that mindset serves only to deter newcomers from AACA or CCCA membership and perpetuate the negative impressions of CCCA that many members of this forum have voiced in the past.

BTW, having been a CCCA member, I firmly believe that while a great organization, their classification process is less than perfect. It is a great organization that covers a very special group of cars, but not the be it all end all of the hobby. :)

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
clarification (see edit history)
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I have been using my 73 nova a DD for about 12 years and havent had a problem.

Its starts up fine and had to consider the braking distance also ( still have drums all around, will be changing it to disc soon ) .

Besides that, it sets you apart from the rest in having a car that was built and a car of modern era made of composite metals ( such as plastics, styrofoam, etc... ) .

I get alot of thumbs up and small conversations at intersections asking what year, size engine, at where I can get one, etc ...

I have enjoyed every moments in the past that I have had it and will be enjoying in the coming years....

And with Classics, I would say the it started before the Muscle car era with the big curves in the fenders, chromed out front ends, and a certain uniqueness with all the interiors. I would say the up to the mid and late 50s....

But this is just MO with my 2 cents and regarding the subject ...

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit
"...I think it is really obnoxious to call any non-classic (as defined by the CCCA) simply a "used car". Let's be honest, what you are basically saying, "well if it is not on MY list, it must be junk". Full Classics are incredible cars, but not for everyone. BTW I could rattle off literally dozens of non classics that exceed most Full Classics in terms of market value. Not that market value should drive one's interest but it is a reflection of trends and popularity of various collector cars.

Sorry, but that mindset serves only to deter newcomers from AACA or CCCA membership and perpetuate the negative impressions of CCCA that many members of this forum have voiced in the past.

BTW, having been a CCCA member, I firmly believe that while a great organization, their classification process is less than perfect. It is a great organization that covers a very special group of cars, but not the be it all end all of the hobby. :)

Agreed! To each their own. While I might not want to put my money into "X" car/line of cars, certain cars have cult followings (makes me remember the huge Toyota Corolla clubs of the early 80's...again, not my thing, but a huge movement at the time). Then there are the Chrysler C-Bodies which are going like hotcakes in Germany and the Netherlands. These Chryslers are not what one may deem a collector's car here in the US (bar the Hurst version of course), such that they are often abused and then discarded from use as derby cars, so I have to say that I am GLAD to see that someone loves them and are actively collecting and restoring them, even if those collectors happen to be overseas. At least it keeps them from extinction.

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit
I get alot of thumbs up and small conversations at intersections asking what year, size engine, at where I can get one, etc ...

Don't ya love that! We have met more people, and heard MORE about an individual's good times/family stories when they have chance to see a car from their childhood. One woman waxed poetic about her courting days in a car just like ours, ending with a smile remembering her dearly departed spouse. All sorts of conversations ensue, and its just a chance to break from the daily grind, and grumpy rush people are always in living and commuting in the northeast, to just unwind and reminisce for a spell. Feel good vibes!

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The last time I drove in LA traffic it was not moving all that fast - we were tempted to get out and walk.... :D

Being an old Farm Boy, and having no traffic jams around the farm other than a few cows in the road that got out durring the night on occasion, There is nothing I hate more than wasting my life in a traffic jam. Anyone that wants ol Dandy Dave to fix anything in a place like LA better have a Helicopter to get me to work and back. Of course, my Hourly fee will also tripple in such a place as well and the clock will start running from the time I leave home base. ;) Dandy Dave!

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How do you define "classic"? Beg to differ...my 2001 Deville was a used car.

I know this has been discussed upside down and sideways but I do think young and new members should at least be exposed to the accepted definitions.

I go with CCCA definition.

Classic Car Club of America ? What is Classic Car?

Older than 25 = Antique

My use of "used car" was in honor of my grandfather who used the term liberally when he started collecting cars in the 1920s though the 1970s.

Edited by imported_PWN (see edit history)
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...I had a Chevy Chevette at one point.

Now that was neither a classic or a used car... that was how the crusher man cut his teeth and is several notches below a used car, kinda like a pinto...

Aw sh*t! Another slam on my beloved (Certified Original HPOF!) Pinto!

post-34222-143141743587_thumb.jpg

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit
I know this has been discussed upside down and sideways but I do think young and new members should at least be exposed to the accepted definitions.

I go with CCCA definition.

Classic Car Club of America ? What is Classic Car?

Older than 25 = Antique

My use of "used car" was in honor of my grandfather who used the term liberally when he started collecting cars in the 1920s though the 1970s.

CCCA's year spread comes off to me as a very narrow POV/club adopted standard. It is obvious that Antique, classic and classic muscle car definitions differ widely between clubs, and individuals...with Muscle cars being the hardest to define. I personally take CCCA's year spread as constituting "Antiques", while I define "Classics" as those cars which are 1) collectible AND 2) over 25 years of age. Signed, An Older Person. LOL

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit

Lets see...I grew up with a Dad who had a 1946 Mercury Coupe (302 bored 60 over/chromed out, electric fuel pump, etc.), and a 1968 Mercury Cougar, chopped top to add in factory sun roof, 5 speed pistol grip, 427 Cobra Jet with a six pack...pulling over 525 horses.)

Questions:

Would that 1968 Mercury Cougar be considered a pony, luxury or a muscle car?

Would that 1946 Mercury be considered a classic or an antique or simply a modified car?

Opinions vary.

Bigger question...how did I end up liking Mopars with all those Ford products of my childhood???? LOL

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Questions:

Would that 1968 Mercury Cougar be considered a pony, luxury or a muscle car?

Would that 1946 Mercury be considered a classic or an antique or simply a modified car?

Bigger question...how did I end up liking Mopars with all those Ford products of my childhood???? LOL

A.) Muscle Car

B.) Modified Classic

C.) Looking at your screename my guess would be it began with your first ride that had a grabber hood.

I know I'll never forget the first time I layed into my brothers GTX and that hood popped up and sucked all that air in .... thats Mopar all the way! The sound was one thing but the vibration that beast created was another. After that, not many Fords or Mercs tend to topple that experience.

Oh, and Steve.... sorry about the slam on the Pinto but like I said, I drove a Vette (at least that's what I told strangers when asked). We all know the mystique behind the Ford Pinto and it's heated history and trust me, I've seen a Pinto blow up (at a bon fire in 78) so that's nothing to be ashamed of, Pintos put on one heck of show. Almost Classic ;)

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BACK TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION:

I agree with the others that driving an old car daily in Los Angeles traffic has many disadvantages and concerns. But if once you move and settle in if you would like to try it I might suggest keep a eye out for a 1968-72 Dodge Dart 2dr with disc brakes. The advantages:

FACTORY INSTALLED Seat and shoulder belts, Dual Master Cylinder and (I think) optional disc brakes, all not used on older versions. Electronic ignition may have been used on 1971-72 models if I recall.

Darts (and their twin, Plymouth Valiants) had legendarily good reliability with the slant six or 318 engines and Torqueflite automatic transmission. Styling was sort of a compact musclecar that you might like and they were roomy enough to be comfortable and have a usable back seat and trunk. Mechanical parts availability should be no problem. These cars biggest weakness is rust, so they are no longer as common in the east and midwest, but you might find something in California. And unlike the Mopar musclecars they are not an overpriced collectors item. Could be a low cost old car you could enjoy, good luck, Todd C

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I must echo poci1957 on that one. My grandmother had a 1969 Valiant 2 door sedan that she left to me and it was a going machine. She lived in L.A. and drove that car EVERYWHERE and a lot of times, to San Diego and back...never broke down. When she left it to me, I did the same thing with it for another 5 or 6 years worry free. I'm pretty sure the guy I sold it to is still using it.

My step-grandmother had a 1968 Dart hardtop with the 318. Same thing. That car is still on the road.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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I just like "older" cars because I don't much like where modern cars are headed. When I'm 40, $100,000 is going to get me something with a computer that drives itself, and a built-in foot massage machine and soda dispenser. Perhaps it's just me but I prefer driving when I'm in a car, but I know LOTS of people who said that given a choice, they'd choose personal teleportation over owning a car, hands down. I'd still choose a car. It's just such an expression of personality. I'm trying to explain to them how in 100 years this will be the coolest thing ever. Just like how in the early 1900's frontier days, the sidearm you chose was also an area of self expression, but that's completely phased out by now, along with horses and pocket watches. But I'm not one to get stuck in the past, I guess when the era of personal motor vehicles come to an end I won't go kicking and screaming, but nonetheless while I live in a society where a car is both a necessary expense and a work of art, I'll spend a bit extra on something with character.

Edited by RedVac (see edit history)
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Oh, and Steve.... sorry about the slam on the Pinto but like I said, I drove a Vette (at least that's what I told strangers when asked). We all know the mystique behind the Ford Pinto and it's heated history and trust me, I've seen a Pinto blow up (at a bon fire in 78) so that's nothing to be ashamed of, Pintos put on one heck of show. Almost Classic ;)

Thank goodness someone around here "knows everything," and can express it w/o sarcasm.

Sheesh.

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit
A.) Muscle Car

B.) Modified Classic

C.) Looking at your screename my guess would be it began with your first ride that had a grabber hood.

I know I'll never forget the first time I layed into my brothers GTX and that hood popped up and sucked all that air in .... thats Mopar all the way! The sound was one thing but the vibration that beast created was another. After that, not many Fords or Mercs tend to topple that experience.

Oh, and Steve.... sorry about the slam on the Pinto but like I said, I drove a Vette (at least that's what I told strangers when asked). We all know the mystique behind the Ford Pinto and it's heated history and trust me, I've seen a Pinto blow up (at a bon fire in 78) so that's nothing to be ashamed of, Pintos put on one heck of show. Almost Classic ;)

My screen name is actually the formal name of my dearly departed red(orange) doberman, "Bullit" (minus the possessive of my last name which would appear to the front).

Grabber Orange is for the Mopar paint color (since it reminded me of the orange markings on the face and chest of a red dobie), and Bullit for the famed Steve McQueen movie chase scene (since the dog liked to run like a demon).

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Regarding the definition of "Antique" or "Classic", that is a highly-variable situation. Each club/organization can either concur with other similar groups or they can be "by themselves' . . . whatever might best fit their fancy--period.

There are TWO definining entities which really matters, to me. One is the one which is recognized by the particular state of residence where the vehicle might be registered, titled, and licensed. Most started with an "antique" or "exhibition vehicle" being any vehicle 25 model years old, or older. This is the one definition of "antique" (for anything!) which I've always heard. Some states, for various reasons, started using "antique" to be 35 model years old, or older. The other one is the one which is recognized by the insurance company which writes the coverage on the vehicle. With all due respect to which vehicles are recognized by which clubs/groups/organizations, what really matters is what the particular state definition is and what the insurance company's definition is -- period.

We also need to understand that our own unique experience with driving older cars in daily use in our own areas can be highly different compared to rush hour on LA freeways. Heck, much less Dallas or Houston! All it takes is ONE car hiccuping at the wrong time to really ball up traffic for everybody . . . even worse if the older car might be termed "clunker" by those driving by. If its a newer car (with some warranty coverage) you can highly suspect a tow truck is coming to take the car to a repair facility (where the workers KNOW what they're looking at when they see it) for repairs . . . but if it's an older car, they'll probably cuss you and suspect the car will be taken to a salvage facility. In looking at the vast majority of cars in morning commutes in Dallas, most are later model cars that CAN be very fuel efficient when driven properly.

One reason I got my Y2K Impala was that I wanted to be able to take it "anywhere" to get repaired, rather than a specialized shop a distance away (where appointments are usually needed!). With my '77 Camaro, I wouldn't have quite the same degree of peace of mind. The Impala's new enough to have roller valve lifters, so no concerns about getting a proper oil during an oil change, either! And, of course, 30+mpg on the highway with the a/c blowing cold running "with traffic". AND, it was "value priced" so I could pay "cash" for it and have NO car payments!

I know this discussion is going to go on for quite a while . . .

Y'all ENJOY!

NTX5467

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Guest GrabberOrangeBullit

CORRECTION...pops tells me his engine was a 428 not a 427 for the Cougar. Had a Ridiculous amount of money under the hood. Guess not much of a difference there, but nonetheless, VERY smooth and VERY powerful.

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I just like "older" cars because I don't much like where modern cars are headed. When I'm 40, $100,000 is going to get me something with a computer that drives itself, and a built-in foot massage machine and soda dispenser. Perhaps it's just me but I prefer driving when I'm in a car, but I know LOTS of people who said that given a choice, they'd choose personal teleportation over owning a car, hands down. I'd still choose a car. It's just such an expression of personality. I'm trying to explain to them how in 100 years this will be the coolest thing ever. Just like how in the early 1900's frontier days, the sidearm you chose was also an area of self expression, but that's completely phased out by now, along with horses and pocket watches. But I'm not one to get stuck in the past, I guess when the era of personal motor vehicles come to an end I won't go kicking and screaming, but nonetheless while I live in a society where a car is both a necessary expense and a work of art, I'll spend a bit extra on something with character.

Yup. Not main stream yet, but I think you will see many cars driven with a joy stick in the not to far off future. Now this is a lot more interesting than debating the term "classic." The old horse has died a thousand deaths with the subject around here. I wish someone would just bury the poor old nag.

Speaking of 100 year old cars, My 15 Buick will be one in around a year and a half. Rolled off the production line in October of 1914. A lot of people really think that it is cool at almost 100. :cool: Not a daily driver, but I still drive it, and tour with it on occasion.

No more pocket watches??? But I still like a pocket watch over a wrist watch. Less apt to get caught in spinning machinery. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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...Speaking of 100 year old cars, My 15 Buick will be one in around a year and a half. Rolled off the production line in October of 1914. A lot of people really think that it is cool at almost 100. :cool: Not a daily driver, but I still drive it, and tour with it on occasion.

No more pocket watches??? But I still like a pocket watch over a wrist watch. Less apt to get caught in spinning machinery. Dandy Dave!...

That's pretty cool, Dandy Dave, about your, ahem, Buick "Century"!

I stopped using a wrist watch years ago when I realized that the cell phone in my pocket keeps excellent time...

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That's pretty cool, Dandy Dave, about your, ahem, Buick "Century"!

I stopped using a wrist watch years ago when I realized that the cell phone in my pocket keeps excellent time...

I'll have you know it is a Century Custom. And yes, it is a grocery getter, and not driven everyday, but is the main car in use when I need a car. Mid 1990's Buick's, Built for fat old guys that don't need a lot of power, but can still handle it if we want it. ;) My 82 Ragtop Riv even turns a few heads. :cool:Dandy Dave!

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Haven't found my mid 60's wagon yet but always looking.Wifes 2006 HHR in the shop a week now and still cannot isolate the problems with the brakes.These guys are the best in town but have tried nearly everything (new MC,checked all brakes lines,etc,etc).Now the thinking is the ABS pump whatever the hell that does.In the meantime I'm driving my 1960 original un-restored Corvair.Beautiful simplicity.Morale of the story, no more new cars ever!!! I read among the posts how great they are,how safe,how efficient until you have to fix them.In truth it,s really the government that "builds" the cars. Ed in sunny and warm Florida.

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...Mid 1990's Buick's, Built for fat old guys that don't need a lot of power, but can still handle it if we want it...

Hey, I resemble that remark! Ouch!

I am in the process of adding a 2003 LeSabre with just a tad over 20k original miles to the fleet.

Can you guess how excited I am?! Wait, don't answer that!

It was formerly my dad's, and has some "battle scars" from doing battle with parking lot barriers, incurred back when he was starting to tip to the side of being "unsafe at any speed" as a driver. Maybe I'll try getting them pounded out some time, but for now, just dealing with the mountain of paperwork (DMV forms up the wazoo, etc.) involved with trying to get proper legal ownership, so that I can (eventually) register it...

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...I read among the posts how great they are,how safe,how efficient until you have to fix them.In truth it,s really the government that "builds" the cars...

Very well put, marlin65--I agree.

Be careful with that Corvair, by the way. Best not to try taking any corners with it!

(I have the same "issues" with my swing-axle VWs!)

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