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Most Reliable Classic Cars?


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Depends on what age range you are looking for. You should be concerned with ease of repair (i.e. simplicity of design and construction) and availability of parts. You can't get much more reliable than a Model T. It's simple, easy to work on and parts are available everywhere around the globe. Also there are always people on a tour who can fix what you can't if it fails to proceed. Of course, it's slow and not a car for everyone, but from a reliability and ease of repair standpoint it can't be beat. For something more modern, my vote would be a circa '41 Cadillac with a manual gearbox. Same deal for parts availability and the motor is pretty bulletproof. And it rides like modern iron. For something sporty I would select any Corvette from '56 through '67. You can take them apart with hand tools and everybody has parts. I would stay away from exotics and low-production vehicles if reliability is the main issue.

Edited by Bill Miller (see edit history)
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Chrysler product especially 1958 up would get my vote. Runner up, V8 Oldsmobile as long as it does not have the Slim Jim or Rotohydramatic transmission.

By the way the Fluid Drive trans used on Chrysler products from 1939 to 1953 is about the simplest, most rugged, reliable and easy to repair of the early efforts at an automatic drive. In terms of reliability I would take one over any Hydramatic, Dynaflow, Ultramatic, Powerglide or any other automatic made before the Torqueflite.

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An outsider would be a Packard Clipper up to 1954. They were a well made reliable car and were available with a manual shift 3 speed and without power steering and other power accessories. They have proven to be reliable and easy to keep in repair and on the road, and postwar Packards are not expensive.

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Maurice Hendry said for sheer grinding hard work he would take a Cadillac of the twenties or thirties, over a Packard or other luxury car.

The REO Royale and other REO models were known for being tough and reliable. They stopped making cars in the mid 30s and switched to making heavy trucks if that gives you the idea.

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Chrysler product especially 1958 up would get my vote. Runner up, V8 Oldsmobile as long as it does not have the Slim Jim or Rotohydramatic transmission.

By the way the Fluid Drive trans used on Chrysler products from 1939 to 1953 is about the simplest, most rugged, reliable and easy to repair of the early efforts at an automatic drive. In terms of reliability I would take one over any Hydramatic, Dynaflow, Ultramatic, Powerglide or any other automatic made before the Torqueflite.

While fluid drive is easy to repair, not too many people out there understand them or know how to work on them anymore.

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