Xeon

"Best" daily driver?

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Let me start off by saying that this is my first post here, so I am sorry if this is the wrong section or something.

 

Alright, here I go.

 

I really just started looking at vintage cars a year or so ago and got hooked instantly. I'm young and am going to need a daily driver for college(soon) and just life.

 

My real question is: Will any vintage car, new engine/original engine/rebuilt engine ever be a great daily driver? I know insurance is going to be difficult, especially for someone under 27 but I haven't even really thought anout it.. I probably should..

 

Anyway, what kind of car makes a good daily driver? What out of the three engine conditions mentioned above should I look for? In terms of style, I love the old sporty(and some not) AMCs. And obviously the 1960s muscle cars. Mustang, Camaro, Charger, Barracuda etc. I also adore the C3 Corvettes but I hear they're a pain to insure. Really, I'm open to anything.

 

Right now, my brother has a somewhat restored 1975 Mercedes C230 115 and my sister is in the process of restoring a 1971 Super beetle for a daily driver.

 

 

We have access to a body shop for an extremely low price, and my father knows quite a bit about older engines and cars.

 

 

Mostly I'm looking for some speed, the more the better :rolleyes:, high reliability, cool factor and easier to insure. OH and 4-5 seats is better. Of course, a 2 seat sports car would be cooler, but practicailty has to factor in somewhere.

 

My other option is buying something like a 2005 civic and just be done with it. I really don't know..

 

 

I still probably have 2-3 years before I can really start anything, but it can't hurt to start early.

 

 

Thanks! I know this whole thing probably sounds stupid..

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Welcome to the forum, if you plan on getting a protect car there are many people here who will give you lots of advice. My honest opinion is that a few years ago I had a firefly convert able as a daily driver, it was cheap transportation for gas, parts and insurance as well as fun to drive. Finish college before you decide on a protect car, good luck

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Some of your wants are incompatible; easy to insure vs muscle/speed, for example.

But the two obvious "cool" 60s daily driver choices are a Mustang with a 289 or a Camaro with a 327.

Both are cars that are relatively easy to fix, find parts and insure.

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Welcome to the forum, if you plan on getting a protect car there are many people here who will give you lots of advice. My honest opinion is that a few years ago I had a firefly convert able as a daily driver, it was cheap transportation for gas, parts and insurance as well as fun to drive. Finish college before you decide on a protect car, good luck

 

Thanks for the welcome and info!

 

Some of your wants are incompatible; easy to insure vs muscle/speed, for example.

But the two obvious "cool" 60s daily driver choices are a Mustang with a 289 or a Camaro with a 327.

Both are cars that are relatively easy to fix, find parts and insure.

 

I understand that, but I was pretty sure there was a "Sweet spot" between the two.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

 

 

As for the engines, were the originals pretty reliable? Should I be looking for a rebuilt or..?

Pymouth Valiant or Dodge Dart with a slant six

 

Thanks for the suggestions! What are the reasons behind these two?

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Welcome.  Define "best".  Best reliability? Best gas mileage?  Best performance? Best price? Best parts availability?  Best looking? 

 

Asking a question like this on a forum like this will result in dozens of responses where each one lists their own personal favorite car.  You need to determine what is important to you, let us know, and then we can provide useful recommendations.

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OK it is best to be more specific than just "vintage" (which has a special meaning that I don't think is yours).

"Mostly I'm looking for some speed, the more the better :rolleyes:, high reliability, cool factor and easier to insure. OH and 4-5 seats is better. Of course, a 2 seat sports car would be cooler, but practicailty has to factor in somewhere."

Well for someone thinking about a Civc almost anything over 200 cid will work. If you don't mind almost a back seat then and of the pony (Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda, Javelin) will work and with proper maintenance, can be very reliable. These are all going to have carburetors and points ignition and are both reliable annd very simple.

You did not mention a prefereance for manual or automagic transmissions, just be aware that in the 60's autos were two or three speed with no lock ups & eninges turned over 3,000 rpm at 70.

And you want something nexpensive to insure. Personally I'd look for a 69 Firebird with OHC-6 and a four speed. For me it would need AC also but a 6 is usually cheaper to insure than an 8. Just a thought.

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Welcome.  Define "best".  Best reliability? Best gas mileage?  Best performance? Best price? Best parts availability?  Best looking? 

 

Asking a question like this on a forum like this will result in dozens of responses where each one lists their own personal favorite car.  You need to determine what is important to you, let us know, and then we can provide useful recommendations.

 

First of all, reliability. Really, I want it to perform good, have great reliability, be practical and be affordable, but I know that's asking to much.. I really don't know.. What I do know is reliability comes first. I want this to be able to be my daily driver for years to come.

 

OK it is best to be more specific than just "vintage" (which has a special meaning that I don't think is yours).

"Mostly I'm looking for some speed, the more the better :rolleyes:, high reliability, cool factor and easier to insure. OH and 4-5 seats is better. Of course, a 2 seat sports car would be cooler, but practicailty has to factor in somewhere."

Well for someone thinking about a Civc almost anything over 200 cid will work. If you don't mind almost a back seat then and of the pony (Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda, Javelin) will work and with proper maintenance, can be very reliable. These are all going to have carburetors and points ignition and are both reliable annd very simple.

You did not mention a prefereance for manual or automagic transmissions, just be aware that in the 60's autos were two or three speed with no lock ups & eninges turned over 3,000 rpm at 70.

And you want something nexpensive to insure. Personally I'd look for a 69 Firebird with OHC-6 and a four speed. For me it would need AC also but a 6 is usually cheaper to insure than an 8. Just a thought.

 

Old. 60's/70's/some 80's. I just want something that I like, and something that turns heads.

 

What I meant by that, is the reliability. Obviously I want something quicker than a civic. :)

 

With what? An original engine? That's my problem. Should I look for something rebuilt, all original or crate, reliability wise.

 

I barely drive as of now, and am really learning on a standard so probably standard. Mostly because of the higher reliability and availability.

 

Thanks, I'll definitely take a look at the old Firebirds!

 

 

 

Now, I know this probably sounds stupid, but I'm curious.

 

How fast do you think a 69 Firebird with an original OHC-6 would be? Like I said, I'm not looking for anything extremely fast, and I'd rather have a "quick" easy to insure car rather than a"fast" close to impossible car to insure.

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This is a tough question to answer. It's like asking what's the best flavor of ice cream?

 

I think you could do well with a V8 Mustang coupe or a Camaro with a small block or something like a Lemans with a 326, which looks like a GTO but costs 50% less. Or look at 1968-1972 Oldsmobile and Buick A-bodies (Cutlass and Skylark), they're cheap, reliable, and with small block V8s, reasonably quick. All those cars have back seats, V8 power, plentiful parts, and are inexpensive.

 

Figure out your budget, drive everything in your price range, buy the one that makes you smile the widest. If you find something that tickles your fancy, ask the guys here their opinions on it and whether it will live up to what you want it to be. For instance, finding a clean early Plymouth Barracuda would be a great choice; a used Citroen DS would be a horrible choice.

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I just suspect you would like a pony car more than an A-body (Cutlass/Skylark/etc.). With an OHC 6 Sprint (230 hp with H cam) (also available in the Tempest would be something unusual. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mrtrvfbvkw

 

Or for an A body I'd look for a 69 Olds Cutlass with a 350 V8, a much underrated engine IMNSHO. Even better in a 1970 Cutlass Rallye 350 if you can find one. A '70 Skylark GS 350 is not a bad choice either particularly with a Muncie 4 speed (or find one with a three speed and swap in a 5 speed).

 

Or back at the Pony cars either a Barracuda or Challenger with a 340 would be a good choice (340 is better than a 318). Were a few with 340 Six Packs that really look good under the hood.

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Reliability usually has more to do with the owner than the car itself. Any old car is going to need routine maintenance done to keep it running. Points adjust, valve adjust, brake adjust then of course fluid changes and chassis lubrication. Honestly I would say to go with the Civic for a few years until you are done with school. You need to concentrate on school and not repairs, upgrades and so on. Take this time to start saving up and researching what would be best for you. When you are done with school sell the Civic and buy the car of your dreams plus something like a 94 Civic to have as a backup. "Fast" can be misleading when talking about old cars. For instance a 65 Mustang with a 289 did 0-60 in about 9 seconds (probably less if you buy one with a high mileage engine). A 2005 Civic does 0-60 in about 8.5 seconds. Guys remember old cars being faster than they actually were. They were fast then but most minivans now will beat a 60s-70s stock muscle car (not the big block cars). To make them truly fast by modern standards they need some upgrading which means big bucks. Of course we all love the style, sound and culture of old cars but having one as a daily driver can be challenging. Say you wake up for school and the car won't start. You spend an hour troubleshooting it and find out the distributor cap is cracked. Chances are your local parts store won't have it so you will have to wait until the next day to fix it. Delivery to the store will be around noon the next day and by the time you actually get the car running again you have gone almost 2 days without a car.  

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This is a tough question to answer. It's like asking what's the best flavor of ice cream?

 

I think you could do well with a V8 Mustang coupe or a Camaro with a small block or something like a Lemans with a 326, which looks like a GTO but costs 50% less. Or look at 1968-1972 Oldsmobile and Buick A-bodies (Cutlass and Skylark), they're cheap, reliable, and with small block V8s, reasonably quick. All those cars have back seats, V8 power, plentiful parts, and are inexpensive.

 

Figure out your budget, drive everything in your price range, buy the one that makes you smile the widest. If you find something that tickles your fancy, ask the guys here their opinions on it and whether it will live up to what you want it to be. For instance, finding a clean early Plymouth Barracuda would be a great choice; a used Citroen DS would be a horrible choice.

 

Thanks! What I'm probably going to do is get my money up, and take a drive into the boonies a few hours north of here. My father was up there and he said there were some amazing cars for great deals. One he pointed out was an old Fury with a great interior, 61k original miles and working A/C for $2300!

 

I just suspect you would like a pony car more than an A-body (Cutlass/Skylark/etc.). With an OHC 6 Sprint (230 hp with H cam) (also available in the Tempest would be something unusual. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mrtrvfbvkw

 

Or for an A body I'd look for a 69 Olds Cutlass with a 350 V8, a much underrated engine IMNSHO. Even better in a 1970 Cutlass Rallye 350 if you can find one. A '70 Skylark GS 350 is not a bad choice either particularly with a Muncie 4 speed (or find one with a three speed and swap in a 5 speed).

 

Or back at the Pony cars either a Barracuda or Challenger with a 340 would be a good choice (340 is better than a 318). Were a few with 340 Six Packs that really look good under the hood.

 

Thanks for the vid and info!

 

Reliability usually has more to do with the owner than the car itself. Any old car is going to need routine maintenance done to keep it running. Points adjust, valve adjust, brake adjust then of course fluid changes and chassis lubrication. Honestly I would say to go with the Civic for a few years until you are done with school. You need to concentrate on school and not repairs, upgrades and so on. Take this time to start saving up and researching what would be best for you. When you are done with school sell the Civic and buy the car of your dreams plus something like a 94 Civic to have as a backup. "Fast" can be misleading when talking about old cars. For instance a 65 Mustang with a 289 did 0-60 in about 9 seconds (probably less if you buy one with a high mileage engine). A 2005 Civic does 0-60 in about 8.5 seconds. Guys remember old cars being faster than they actually were. They were fast then but most minivans now will beat a 60s-70s stock muscle car (not the big block cars). To make them truly fast by modern standards they need some upgrading which means big bucks. Of course we all love the style, sound and culture of old cars but having one as a daily driver can be challenging. Say you wake up for school and the car won't start. You spend an hour troubleshooting it and find out the distributor cap is cracked. Chances are your local parts store won't have it so you will have to wait until the next day to fix it. Delivery to the store will be around noon the next day and by the time you actually get the car running again you have gone almost 2 days without a car.  

 

I guess this is true.. I still have a year and a half before I start college, this is why I kinda wanted to start on something.. Although I do understand the need for a backup car..

 

I guess it really is the sound they make that makes me think they're fast. That's really all I'm looking for. If it can pass people, I'm happy with it.

 

 

 

 

Now, out of curiosity, what kind of upgrades would be beneficial for something like a 60's muscle car?

 

My father said, back in the day it was:

 

A new high performance cam.

 

Headers.

 

Exhaust.

 

Is anything different now? This is just a question, I'm not thinking about any of this yet. ;)

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Reliability usually has more to do with the owner than the car itself. Any old car is going to need routine maintenance done to keep it running. Points adjust, valve adjust, brake adjust then of course fluid changes and chassis lubrication. Honestly I would say to go with the Civic for a few years until you are done with school. You need to concentrate on school and not repairs, upgrades and so on. Take this time to start saving up and researching what would be best for you. When you are done with school sell the Civic and buy the car of your dreams plus something like a 94 Civic to have as a backup. "Fast" can be misleading when talking about old cars. For instance a 65 Mustang with a 289 did 0-60 in about 9 seconds (probably less if you buy one with a high mileage engine). A 2005 Civic does 0-60 in about 8.5 seconds. Guys remember old cars being faster than they actually were. They were fast then but most minivans now will beat a 60s-70s stock muscle car (not the big block cars). To make them truly fast by modern standards they need some upgrading which means big bucks. Of course we all love the style, sound and culture of old cars but having one as a daily driver can be challenging. Say you wake up for school and the car won't start. You spend an hour troubleshooting it and find out the distributor cap is cracked. Chances are your local parts store won't have it so you will have to wait until the next day to fix it. Delivery to the store will be around noon the next day and by the time you actually get the car running again you have gone almost 2 days without a car.  

 

I would say that uh6077 nailed it, and I would echo his advice.

 

  If you absolutely must get a 'collector' car, don't go with the "unusual" or "rare", because parts are much more difficult to obtain for "unusual" or "rare" cars.  Of course this is general advice and there are exceptions to this rule.  For example, I have a 1981 El Camino, which, while considered "unusual", has not quite achieved "rare" status.  This particular body style shares parts with many popular Chevrolet models; consequently, parts are plentiful and relatively inexpensive.

 

Good luck,

Grog

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Two things:

Back in the day, a 0-60 under 10 seconds was considered good becase tires were so bad ( a 3.8 second 0-60 by a '65 Pontiac 2+2 stood for a very long time but few noticed it had experimental cantilevered race tires...and Jan's magic stop watch)

 

Then in the '70s tires got better and with a manual trans everything else started breaking. Also why armored bellhousings became mandatory. On the strip everything came to a halt while the crews picked up the oil and all the pieces of an aluminum case Muncie. Automatics all became 3 speed and TC & became popular.

 

And this story:

"Mozart was once approached by a young man who was interested in Mozart's advice on how to compose a symphony. Since he was still very young, Mozart recommended that he start by composing ballads. Surprised, the young man responded, "But you wrote symphonies when you were only ten years old." "But I didn't have to ask how," countered Mozart."

 

Kids also threw on the biggest carb they could find (gozinta is as important as gozouta) then disabled the spring on the air valve secondary and could not figure out the horrible bog off the line.

 

Being weird, in the early '70s I was running a SBC with a "fixed" Rochester FI that could flow 900 CFM and a Delcotronic ignition. ZL-1 flares with 10.45 front and 12.65 rear Blue Streaks. CAI, Duntov "off road" cam, and headers with side pipes. It would pull big blocks down the straights. B/Ps were not supposed to do that.

 

Now all of my cars except the '70 have electronic ignitions and FI & the Crossie is the fastest of all despite the horrible gearing. Even the Jeep with a 6 can turn an 8 second 0-60 (well it is the lightest GC made).

 

But what makes it all possible is tires that do not go up in smoke when serious torque is applied.

 

BTW there is nothing wrong with "unusual" or "rare" provided it is something you can get parts for. All of my cars use powertrains that sold in the millions (well maybe not the Crossie but it is just Merc 320 under the hood & if goes wonkey will get a Pentastar). Only real difference is tuning requires a computer (you have one or would not be reading this) and an OBD-II dongle ($12).

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A few thoughts to share, hope they help.

 

First off when buying a used car that old, condition and mileage count for as much as, or more than, make model and year. You might be better off buying a less desirable car that is in great, original condition than a really cool car that has been beat to death and badly repaired. I, ah, had to learn this the hard way and so did a lot of other people.

 

My preference is for Chrysler products like Barracuda, Dart, Coronet etc. They came with very reliable slant six or V8 engines, transmissions, torsion bar suspension, and are generally durable, long lived, and easier on gas than the competition.

 

There are certain cars that are VERY desirable, and come with VERY high price tags. Cars like Olds 4-4-2, Camaro,  GTO, most of the muscle cars of the sixties and seventies. Avoid them. You don't need to pay double or triple when you can buy a Cutlass, Nova, Tempest, or similar car and have practically the same thing for a fraction of the price. You will save money on insurance too. Muscle cars are a red flag to insurance companies.

 

Watch your local ads on Kijiji, Craigslist etc looking for a car that catches your eye, is in good condition, and has a small V8. I judge from your questions that you will not be satisfied without a V8, while the big block jobs will eat you out of house and home with gas expense, insurance expense, repairs, etc. Anything 360 cu in or smaller is considered a small V8.

 

If you know a good mechanic have him look it over before you commit to buying if possible.

 

You can have a very cool car by buying a 2 door hardtop car from the sixties or seventies, give it a nice set of wheels, polish and wax the paint job and then keep it clean and well maintained. Don't get carried away with the engine until you are sure the brakes, steering, shock absorbers, and front end alignment are perfect. A stock engine with a sharp tuneup will give you all the power you need.

 

Another thing, lots of old engines will run for years if you baby them but blow sky high in a month if you hop them up. So if you are thinking of hopping up the engine better plan on rebuilding the engine, trans, and universal joints first.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Another thing to keep in mind, most older American cars were reliable in their day but the ones we are talking about passed their Best Before date when Jimmy Carter was president. So, you will have to deal with things like rusty brake cylinders, bad rad hoses, corroded wiring etc. Little things that don't cost a lot if you can do them yourself but must be seen to. If you can stand to do the work, an old car can be practically as reliable as a new one, within its limitations. In other words if you have to commute 100 miles to work each day buy a new car. If you don't have to use the car every day you can use an old car.

 

The 1970s were a bad period for American cars because of the smog and safety regulations. It took until the mid 80s for the car makers to learn to make decent cars that met government standards. But, most of the bad seventies cars are off the road now and there are workarounds for the dumber features they had.

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Like the seatbelt interlock (1974). OTOH the first catlytic converters had a screw plug (3/4") and when drained of beads made a good muffler.

OK have been presented with a lot of choices so time to make a list of your MUSTs and WANTs in a car. For me if I see three things I don't like in a car, I walk away. Simple rule when you have choices & time.

Good news is that Alabama is a great place to find a rust-free car and should have a good choice of interesting ones. Being in the souf one of my MUSTs is either AC or a convertible or both. Three reasons for AC: 1) can be cool when hot out. 2)keeps the windshield from fogging up in the rain. 3) Back in the day an AC car also had a better heater, heavy duty radiator/fan/shroud, and heavy duty alternator/battery. All good to have.

But best to have a beater first then can take your time finding something better. GM in the early '90s had a bunch of minivans often with a 3800 and better trans (don't want the three speed) that are cheap, reliable, and handy when you want to pick up a set of wheels or even an engine.

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I believe that everyone's best will be different. My "best" and only daily driver for the last 56 years has been a 1930 Pontiac. In the 400,000 plus miles I have put on it I have been in every state west of the Mississippi and most everywhere in Canada west of Thunder Bay. I have overhauled the engine twice and the differential three times. All the repairs except for rebabbitting bearings and machining I have done myself. Total cost for repairs has been less than $7,000.00. Many guys here would not consider driving my car on the interstates or main highways, mostly because they wouldn't drive a vehicle like this at 55 mph all day.

A slant six Chrysler product sounds like a good all around choice but if you don't have mechanical skills the Civic is

the way to go.

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Two things:

Back in the day, a 0-60 under 10 seconds was considered good becase tires were so bad ( a 3.8 second 0-60 by a '65 Pontiac 2+2 stood for a very long time but few noticed it had experimental cantilevered race tires...and Jan's magic stop watch)

 

Then in the '70s tires got better and with a manual trans everything else started breaking. Also why armored bellhousings became mandatory. On the strip everything came to a halt while the crews picked up the oil and all the pieces of an aluminum case Muncie. Automatics all became 3 speed and TC & became popular.

 

And this story:

"Mozart was once approached by a young man who was interested in Mozart's advice on how to compose a symphony. Since he was still very young, Mozart recommended that he start by composing ballads. Surprised, the young man responded, "But you wrote symphonies when you were only ten years old." "But I didn't have to ask how," countered Mozart."

 

Kids also threw on the biggest carb they could find (gozinta is as important as gozouta) then disabled the spring on the air valve secondary and could not figure out the horrible bog off the line.

 

Being weird, in the early '70s I was running a SBC with a "fixed" Rochester FI that could flow 900 CFM and a Delcotronic ignition. ZL-1 flares with 10.45 front and 12.65 rear Blue Streaks. CAI, Duntov "off road" cam, and headers with side pipes. It would pull big blocks down the straights. B/Ps were not supposed to do that.

 

Now all of my cars except the '70 have electronic ignitions and FI & the Crossie is the fastest of all despite the horrible gearing. Even the Jeep with a 6 can turn an 8 second 0-60 (well it is the lightest GC made).

 

But what makes it all possible is tires that do not go up in smoke when serious torque is applied.

 

BTW there is nothing wrong with "unusual" or "rare" provided it is something you can get parts for. All of my cars use powertrains that sold in the millions (well maybe not the Crossie but it is just Merc 320 under the hood & if goes wonkey will get a Pentastar). Only real difference is tuning requires a computer (you have one or would not be reading this) and an OBD-II dongle ($12).

 

Man.. Thanks for all the time and info!!

 

A few thoughts to share, hope they help.

 

First off when buying a used car that old, condition and mileage count for as much as, or more than, make model and year. You might be better off buying a less desirable car that is in great, original condition than a really cool car that has been beat to death and badly repaired. I, ah, had to learn this the hard way and so did a lot of other people.

 

My preference is for Chrysler products like Barracuda, Dart, Coronet etc. They came with very reliable slant six or V8 engines, transmissions, torsion bar suspension, and are generally durable, long lived, and easier on gas than the competition.

 

There are certain cars that are VERY desirable, and come with VERY high price tags. Cars like Olds 4-4-2, Camaro,  GTO, most of the muscle cars of the sixties and seventies. Avoid them. You don't need to pay double or triple when you can buy a Cutlass, Nova, Tempest, or similar car and have practically the same thing for a fraction of the price. You will save money on insurance too. Muscle cars are a red flag to insurance companies.

 

Watch your local ads on Kijiji, Craigslist etc looking for a car that catches your eye, is in good condition, and has a small V8. I judge from your questions that you will not be satisfied without a V8, while the big block jobs will eat you out of house and home with gas expense, insurance expense, repairs, etc. Anything 360 cu in or smaller is considered a small V8.

 

If you know a good mechanic have him look it over before you commit to buying if possible.

 

You can have a very cool car by buying a 2 door hardtop car from the sixties or seventies, give it a nice set of wheels, polish and wax the paint job and then keep it clean and well maintained. Don't get carried away with the engine until you are sure the brakes, steering, shock absorbers, and front end alignment are perfect. A stock engine with a sharp tuneup will give you all the power you need.

 

Another thing, lots of old engines will run for years if you baby them but blow sky high in a month if you hop them up. So if you are thinking of hopping up the engine better plan on rebuilding the engine, trans, and universal joints first.

 

Sounds great!!!! I'm looking for anything cool with available parts, but one thing I'm really looking for is a 68' Plymouth Barracuda. I know they're not a cheap car, but my father had one 82' and I'd really love to get one and fix it up.. He threw a 440ci engine in it, put $7000 in engine and body work, and ended up selling it before even trying it out.. All I ever saw was pictures.. :( Of course I'd be keeping the stock engine. He actually said it was a pretty amazing car before he did anything to it!

 

 

Paint isn't really a problem, nor is some body work. I'm in the midst of learning, and both my neighbor can supply the paint for cheap cheap and my father and I(Mostly my father. ;) ) can paint it.

 

Another thing to keep in mind, most older American cars were reliable in their day but the ones we are talking about passed their Best Before date when Jimmy Carter was president. So, you will have to deal with things like rusty brake cylinders, bad rad hoses, corroded wiring etc. Little things that don't cost a lot if you can do them yourself but must be seen to. If you can stand to do the work, an old car can be practically as reliable as a new one, within its limitations. In other words if you have to commute 100 miles to work each day buy a new car. If you don't have to use the car every day you can use an old car.

 

The 1970s were a bad period for American cars because of the smog and safety regulations. It took until the mid 80s for the car makers to learn to make decent cars that met government standards. But, most of the bad seventies cars are off the road now and there are workarounds for the dumber features they had.

 

Thanks!

 

Like the seatbelt interlock (1974). OTOH the first catlytic converters had a screw plug (3/4") and when drained of beads made a good muffler.

OK have been presented with a lot of choices so time to make a list of your MUSTs and WANTs in a car. For me if I see three things I don't like in a car, I walk away. Simple rule when you have choices & time.

Good news is that Alabama is a great place to find a rust-free car and should have a good choice of interesting ones. Being in the souf one of my MUSTs is either AC or a convertible or both. Three reasons for AC: 1) can be cool when hot out. 2)keeps the windshield from fogging up in the rain. 3) Back in the day an AC car also had a better heater, heavy duty radiator/fan/shroud, and heavy duty alternator/battery. All good to have.

But best to have a beater first then can take your time finding something better. GM in the early '90s had a bunch of minivans often with a 3800 and better trans (don't want the three speed) that are cheap, reliable, and handy when you want to pick up a set of wheels or even an engine.

 

Yeah, like I said earlier, supposedly there are some amazing "rust-free" cars up north into Jasper/Carbon Hill.

 

A/C Will definitely be a must for me. When it's only cooler than 90 for a few months, I couldn't live without it!

 

I believe that everyone's best will be different. My "best" and only daily driver for the last 56 years has been a 1930 Pontiac. In the 400,000 plus miles I have put on it I have been in every state west of the Mississippi and most everywhere in Canada west of Thunder Bay. I have overhauled the engine twice and the differential three times. All the repairs except for rebabbitting bearings and machining I have done myself. Total cost for repairs has been less than $7,000.00. Many guys here would not consider driving my car on the interstates or main highways, mostly because they wouldn't drive a vehicle like this at 55 mph all day.

A slant six Chrysler product sounds like a good all around choice but if you don't have mechanical skills the Civic is

the way to go.

 

Well, as of now, I don't have the skills needed. But I'm always learning from my father, and it seems like he can do almost everything from the pre 80s!

 

 

400,000 miles!?  Man that's alot! That and only $7,000 in repairs for that long!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks everyone for all the info! I know where I'll be coming back to if I have any more questions!

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OK, 68 Barracuda. 340 cid was available option. Had a choice between fastback and notchback which is a matter of choice. The Dodge Dart in that period was very similar.

OTOH a 318/torqueflite would be the most likely to be an unmolested survivor. Paul did not like the 318 but is nothing really wrong with it.

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I know they aren't 68s, and I don't have the money yet/they aren't close but just from looking at the pictures these two look nice.

 

No work/Already mostly restored: https://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/5261837313.html

 

Looks like awesome condition but could use some love(New interior/Paint): https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/5226577406.html

 

Are they steals, or do Barracudas not run so high? I was looking at some 1960s Camaros and it was hard to find a whole car for $6000, not to mention running and in alright condition!

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Pymouth Valiant or Dodge Dart with a slant six

 

 

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

 

 

As for the engines, were the originals pretty reliable? Should I be looking for a rebuilt or..?

 

Thanks for the suggestions! What are the reasons behind these two?

Extremely reliable and easy to work on. 

Parts are readily available

These cars can be purchased for reasonable prices 

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Look OK & like the undercarriage pictures but the 64-66 Barracuda was really a Valiant with a different rear glass and deck lid. It was Chrysler rushing "something" to market to compete with the Mustang. The 67 was a redesign and IMNSHO a much better car.

For more room I've always thought the 66-67 (pre Bullitt/DoH) Dodge Charger was a neat car with a comfortable rear seat. No idea what one of the first generation goes for.

Really for cars the 60's started out kinda dull but ended with a lot of interesting cars. And disk brakes became common.

ps for 10 grand you have a really wide choice of interesting cars, into this century even. After 1980 it helps to be able to talk to computers though. If not a problem could consider a 1995-1999 Pontiac GP or Buick Riviera (ducktail only). Want speed ? Look for L67. Or a Cad et cetera with Northstar. All interesting cars but bring a laptop or smart phone.

I know this is later/bigger than you mentioned (but the ETC is about the same size and can find a nice one under $5k). Two things: right now the cars from 1980-2000 are near the bottom of the price curve but are technologically far advanced from anything of the 60s and performance was back (the fastest Trans Am was an 89 and it had a 6). Second the electronics were still pretty much gen 1 and discrete: easy to work on. Third: are pleanty of parts in yards. Try finding rear glass for a 64-65 'cuda. Fourth: Cals like the Riv and ETC were generally cared for and well maintained. For a modern engine 100,000 miles is just broken in.

 

Just a counterpoint.

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Extremely reliable and easy to work on. 

Parts are readily available

These cars can be purchased for reasonable prices 

 

Thanks man!

 

Look OK & like the undercarriage pictures but the 64-66 Barracuda was really a Valiant with a different rear glass and deck lid. It was Chrysler rushing "something" to market to compete with the Mustang. The 67 was a redesign and IMNSHO a much better car.

For more room I've always thought the 66-67 (pre Bullitt/DoH) Dodge Charger was a neat car with a comfortable rear seat. No idea what one of the first generation goes for.

Really for cars the 60's started out kinda dull but ended with a lot of interesting cars. And disk brakes became common.

ps for 10 grand you have a really wide choice of interesting cars, into this century even. After 1980 it helps to be able to talk to computers though. If not a problem could consider a 1995-1999 Pontiac GP or Buick Riviera (ducktail only). Want speed ? Look for L67. Or a Cad et cetera with Northstar. All interesting cars but bring a laptop or smart phone.

I know this is later/bigger than you mentioned (but the ETC is about the same size and can find a nice one under $5k). Two things: right now the cars from 1980-2000 are near the bottom of the price curve but are technologically far advanced from anything of the 60s and performance was back (the fastest Trans Am was an 89 and it had a 6). Second the electronics were still pretty much gen 1 and discrete: easy to work on. Third: are pleanty of parts in yards. Try finding rear glass for a 64-65 'cuda. Fourth: Cals like the Riv and ETC were generally cared for and well maintained. For a modern engine 100,000 miles is just broken in.

 

Just a counterpoint.

 

Man, thanks for all the info again!

 

As for something newer, no doubt about it, I'd give up speed for an older car. I really can't get into anything between the late 80s and early 2000s. I mean I really can't. Every once in awhile, but the majority of the cars from that time just looked outright stupid to me. I know I probably sound stupid, but it's how I feel.

 

 

Although..I guess looking for something from the early to mid eighties might not be a bad idea.. I do like the 80/81 trans am, but I heard due to emissions restrictions that they were a really sluggish car. Just saw one on CL. 1979, no rust, primed and ready for paint, interior was fair, for $3900. I of course don't have the money, but I also noticed it only had 175HP. For a close to 4000lb car, I don't think that's very much? Although I did hear that the 403s were as reliable as anything..

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I bought a Chrysler Le Barron convertible at a tag sale for $500.and drove it for 14 months. When it died i junked it, best car deal I've ever had. Put gas and oil in it that was it. Saw a mate to it on the show field at Hershey last week. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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