GetOffMyLawn

Where to Start? / Easiest to own?

Recommended Posts

8 minutes ago, edselsouth1 said:

  Stay away from the 4-6-8 engined Cadillac cars.

 

i think they are long gone to that junkyard in the sky, as well as the GM diesels 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest you scan your local used car ads regularly for cars from the 60s 70s and 80s looking for 3 things: price, condition and does it grab you?

 

Maybe I should have put them in the reverse order. First does it grab you? Can you see yourself owning and enjoying the car? Even working on it and spending money on it and feeling it is worth while? It's no use buying a car you don't like no matter how good a bargain and especially don't buy a car because you think you can sell it for a profit. You can't. We've all tried it and we've all lost money.

 

Next condition. Of the kind of cars we are talking about, there are still quite a few to pick from. But, repairs can be difficult and costly for things like upholstery, plastic trim and paint jobs. And old shabby car can be very expensive to put right, it is much better and cheaper to buy a well preserved original car even if it costs a bit more. New paint jobs are very expensive these days.

 

On the subject of condition under 100,000 miles would be considered reasonable but if I could find a car with 50,000 miles or less I would be much more interested. As far as mechanical things go those cars are pretty tough and reliable and practically all parts are still available at your local auto parts store. You may have to wait overnight for some things but they can get them and they are not expensive, in most cases cheaper than for newer cars.

 

Now let's talk price. You have to find something that fits your budget and I recommend you keep a few thousand in reserve for repairs. In most cases you will need to buy things like a battery, new brakes, tires, tuneup, belts, hoses, oil change, etc etc in short order. The good news is, if you pick a good car, there will be a lot of small things that do not cost too much themselves but add up especially if you have to hire someone to do the work but once you have the car squared away, it should only cost a few hundred a year to keep it up. You will have to face spending at least a couple thousand a year on license, insurance, gas and repairs. If that is too daunting better not get involved.

 

Keep watching the ads and you will find a nice old car for not too much money, that has been well taken care of and may even be in the hands of the original owner or their family.

 

Once you find a good car come back and we will tell you how to maintain it so it stays in reliable showroom condition at minimal cost.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that 3D printing is going to make a lot of those plastic pieces available again. GM plastics of the 70s have mostly turned pink and crumbled away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
6 minutes ago, padgett said:

I suspect that 3D printing is going to make a lot of those plastic pieces available again. GM plastics of the 70s have mostly turned pink and crumbled away.

A way to save the plastic is to take the part ( like a interior a-b-c pillar ) to a paint store buy some latex primer, buy some high gloss latex paint and have it color matched to your part. Clean the part with degreaser you will find in a auto paint supply and then paint. Paint both the finished and backsides to encapsulate the plastic and let dry and install. If you don't completely primer the part the plastic will continue to deteriorate. It must be entirely encapsulated.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
1 hour ago, John348 said:

 

i think they are long gone to that junkyard in the sky, as well as the GM diesels 

John, there is nothing wrong with the 472, 500, 425 and 368 Cadillac engine family architecture . the 368 with it's V-8 6 4 valve train can be easily disabled and most out there have already been done to run as a normal V-8.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, helfen said:

John, there is nothing wrong with the 472, 500, 425 and 368 Cadillac engine family architecture . the 368 with it's V-8 6 4 valve train can be easily disabled and most out there have already been done to run as a normal V-8.

 

You are absolutely correct.  The 368 being the less desirable of the engines listed, but, even with the multiple displacement working properly can still be a great engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, John348 said:

 That's the way to do it [...]

What part of the country do you live? 

I live in the rural area just south of Charlotte, NC.

 

16 hours ago, poci1957 said:

I concur in thinking that 1970s full size cars are probably your best value possibility.  I would say you should be able to find a selection of decent 1970s full size sedans for under $10,000.  Consider maybe a 1971-76 GM full size car and I would say:

 

PRO

--universal use of the Turbo 350 or Turbo 400 automatic transmission which is easily serviced

--all have dual master cylinders and front disc brakes so no aftermarket upgrades needed

--big and comfortable for the family, a nostalgic type of car that used to be everywhere and now is rarely seen

--clean examples can still be found and much cheaper than 1950s or 1960s models  

 

CON

--trim parts can be hard to find, especially interior plastic or unique exterior moldings

--some mechanicals unique to Buick/Olds/Pontiac/Cadillac V8s are getting harder to find but it can still be done

 

Just do not buy a rusty car, if it needs any rust repair wait for the next one.  Good luck and keep us posted, Todd C

Thanks Todd! Just to make sure I understand correctly, if there's any rust on the body, wait for the next one - correct?  I've never done any work on eliminating rust, so I have almost  no idea of how much of an undertaking it is.

 

16 hours ago, padgett said:

[...]Might also mention that station wagons of the period are much more versatile than a sedan and with the right equipment can also be a toy hauler when needed. Also there were some that were quite interesting (e.g. Vista-Cruisers) & available with most muscle car equipment.

I didn't even think of station wagons; that would be great, thanks Padgett!

 

9 hours ago, edselsouth1 said:

Mercury Grand Marquis, '73-'77  would also be a good choice. Driven properly, fuel consumption isn't too bad. Same w/ Full size Cadillac, '77-'78. A variety of engine displacements were available in both the  Mercury and Cadillac.  Stay away from the 4-6-8 engined Cadillac cars.

Good to note! Thanks for the heads-up on the 4-6-8 - I had no idea they even tried that sort of variable timing back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

I suggest you scan your local used car ads regularly for cars from the 60s 70s and 80s looking for 3 things: price, condition and does it grab you?

 

Maybe I should have put them in the reverse order. First does it grab you? Can you see yourself owning and enjoying the car? Even working on it and spending money on it and feeling it is worth while? It's no use buying a car you don't like no matter how good a bargain and especially don't buy a car because you think you can sell it for a profit. You can't. We've all tried it and we've all lost money.

 

Next condition. Of the kind of cars we are talking about, there are still quite a few to pick from. But, repairs can be difficult and costly for things like upholstery, plastic trim and paint jobs. And old shabby car can be very expensive to put right, it is much better and cheaper to buy a well preserved original car even if it costs a bit more. New paint jobs are very expensive these days.

 

On the subject of condition under 100,000 miles would be considered reasonable but if I could find a car with 50,000 miles or less I would be much more interested. As far as mechanical things go those cars are pretty tough and reliable and practically all parts are still available at your local auto parts store. You may have to wait overnight for some things but they can get them and they are not expensive, in most cases cheaper than for newer cars.

 

Now let's talk price. You have to find something that fits your budget and I recommend you keep a few thousand in reserve for repairs. In most cases you will need to buy things like a battery, new brakes, tires, tuneup, belts, hoses, oil change, etc etc in short order. The good news is, if you pick a good car, there will be a lot of small things that do not cost too much themselves but add up especially if you have to hire someone to do the work but once you have the car squared away, it should only cost a few hundred a year to keep it up. You will have to face spending at least a couple thousand a year on license, insurance, gas and repairs. If that is too daunting better not get involved.

 

Keep watching the ads and you will find a nice old car for not too much money, that has been well taken care of and may even be in the hands of the original owner or their family.

 

Once you find a good car come back and we will tell you how to maintain it so it stays in reliable showroom condition at minimal cost.

Thanks Rusty! This was really great advice - pretty much exactly what I needed to hear.  

 

Generally speaking, when folks talk about local car ads, my mind goes straight to craigslist.  But i'd imagine the folks that are selling these cars probably are thinking 'newspaper' moreso.  Is there a 'best' place to regularly check for ads for this kind of car?  Thanks again!

 

EDIT: content.

Edited by GetOffMyLawn (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want something different, ultra comfortable with a better than great ride that's probably under budget..........................

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMC-Matador-Runs-Drives-Body-Inter-VGood-360V8-3-sd-auto-/391449911252?forcerrptr=true&hash=item5b243b9fd4:g:gRQAAOSw~oFXK~GQ&item=391449911252

 

I owned one from 1978 to 1983

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What part of the country are you located in?  That will make a big difference as to what may be available.  One of us might even know of a car for you.  What you are looking for would be easier bought local than tagging 2500 onto it for shipping being you seem open to various suggestions.  I know of a few random cars in my area that are very very nice and fall into your price range.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

What part of the country are you located in?  That will make a big difference as to what may be available.  One of us might even know of a car for you.  What you are looking for would be easier bought local than tagging 2500 onto it for shipping being you seem open to various suggestions.  I know of a few random cars in my area that are very very nice and fall into your price range.

Thanks! I live in the rural area south of Charlotte, NC.  How do you hear about the random cars in your area? Craigslist?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to clarify my mention of avoiding rust, note that there are two basic types of rust affecting a given car, surface rust and rust perforation (luckily the amount of rust in your area is much less than mine in Illinois). 

 

Rust perforation with actual rusted holes in the body and floors is generally too much trouble to fix on a car that you are not completely disassembling and restoring, which I think is to be avoided in your case.  Look at lower front and rear fenders, lower doors, trunk floor and if that all looks good crawl underneath and inspect the floors with a flashlight.  If it is all solid that car may be the one.    

 

Rust in the form of a few paint chips on door edges or the like should be OK as it would not really detract from your enjoyment of the car or require an expensive repaint, just a little touch up. 

 

Surface rust in the form of thin paint on a panel requiring a repaint could go either way depending, I think your goal should be a car requiring no or minimal repainting.  If the whole car requires a repaint that is when I meant I would wait for the next one.  As others have said it is worth spending a little more on a better quality car--rust is the most expensive enemy.

 

Regarding local ads, Craigslist is popular but regular newspaper classifieds are still good, look for listings in estate auctions, and your area probably has a little "Auto Trader" classified magazine free at many diners, grocery stores, etc.  Enjoy the hunt, Todd C     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also re rust - low down (fenders, wheel wells, floors) is common in the "rust belt" but where you are sea air rust may be an issue. That is usually high (hood, trunk lid, window moldings, under vinyl tops) even inside. You need to check for both. Also check inside the trunk and under the hood. If you see a rough surface on the alternator that is a sign to look deeper. Also a "bondo detector" (strong magnet wrapped in cellophane tape) is handy for detecting poor repairs hidden by paint.

 

Best of all, when you look at a car (and the local Craigslist is a good source), take a knowledgeable friend to help show you what to look for.

 

Life is too short to deal with rust.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getoffmylawn, I'd try to stay below 50,000 miles, and certainly 75,000.

 

Here's a lot of yellow for a little green:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-Continental-Base-Hardtop-4-Door-/201577186342?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2eeeefc426:g:KvcAAOSwud1W~qb4&item=201577186342

 

With a low mile car, wear & tear should be minimal.  It will still have lots of 40 year old parts that need freshened up if you want to be sure of leaving the office on Friday afternoons, but at least you'll be putting parts on a fairly pristine car as opposed to a 100,000 mile car.

 

I second the motion on the big Mercury Marquis.  I have one and it's an amazingly capable cruiser... but Lincolns only cost a little more and are likely much easier to sell down the road and more likely to appreciate a little in the meantime.

 

But, buy what grabs you!  That's great advice!  Keep some money aside for repairs/improvements... a modern stereo with Bluetooth (gasp!) is a great step forward if you're using the car... and enjoy whatever you find.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The full size Ford, Chrysler and GM are nice but many to me look like just used cars. Take a look at AMCs and the smaller Mopars and Fords for something that stands out a bit more. The pre-smog 6 cyl. cars are a breeze to work on and are reliable with no problems getting parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, helfen said:

John, there is nothing wrong with the 472, 500, 425 and 368 Cadillac engine family architecture . the 368 with it's V-8 6 4 valve train can be easily disabled and most out there have already been done to run as a normal V-8.

 

Heflin, Just a clarification to my comment, I was not questioning the quality of the engine, or if the system could be bypassed (which I did not know) my comment was geared more towards I have not seen any of those Cadillac's in many years. We all have to admit they had a real bad rep when they were fairly new cars, and the resale value was poor, so what ever was running was pretty much ran into the ground. It was more meant to be as 'you just don't see them anymore', Sorry for the confusion

 

1 hour ago, padgett said:

Also re rust - low down (fenders, wheel wells, floors) is common in the "rust belt" but where you are sea air rust may be an issue. .

 

Mr P's Grandson,

I think you might have it mixed up with Charlestown, because Charlotte is about 4 hours away from the ocean, so I don't think sea air is really a problem, and "rock salt" is two four letter words not spoken in the same sentence in that part of the country.. It is rather humid in the piedmont area, but salt air is far from any concern.

 

1 hour ago, padgett said:

 

Life is too short to deal with rust.

 

Yes,

Mr P's Grandson, you are 100% correct, considering the vehicles he is in search of for, has to be a good selection of adult owned/driven full size sedans to select from. In an earlier post you put up a photo of a 74 Pontiac, Our neighbor in NY had bought one new of that body style, that same year my Father had bought a new Buick Century, both four door sedans and both shared the same GM platform. I never had seen anything like this, but the top of the rear quarters on both sides of both cars, the horizontal part rotted out, on both sides of each car. The sections were abut 18" long and 4-5" inches. True it was in NY,  but cars were garage kept. His commuter car at the time was a 49 Chevy, that never spent a day out of the weather and it's entire existence in the greater New York Area only had a few miner rust holes. We did live near the ocean, but for those cars to blow up like that in 3 years was amazing. It forced me to notice of everyone of those cars I had seen back then and they all seemed to suffer the same problem.

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, edselsouth1 said:

Mercury Grand Marquis, '73-'77  would also be a good choice. Driven properly, fuel consumption isn't too bad. Same w/ Full size Cadillac, '77-'78. A variety of engine displacements were available in both the  Mercury and Cadillac.  Stay away from the 4-6-8 engined Cadillac cars.

Can't the 4-6-8 part be turned off and then basically you just have a smaller version of 500 motor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoo boy, I seem to have angered someone.

 

Agree Charlotte (spent some time in Rock Hill) is rust free but 40 yar on it is hard to tell where/how a car started out in life & the coast is only an hour away. Have seen cars driven once on the beach at Daytona have the axle visible when you open the trunk just a few years later. Just saying be very careful and assume nothing.

 

ps Window molding rust is often minor but a rotted out A pillar is not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your budget and acceptance of 4 door should give you a very nice selection of cars. I like the 1980 Seville and 79-81 New Yorker especially with stainless roof. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, padgett said:

Hoo boy, I seem to have angered someone.

 

Agree Charlotte (spent some time in Rock Hill) is rust free 

 

No anger here,,,,were cool,,,, I too spent a few years in the Charlotte area in search of a higher education 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getoff,

Just to jump in here, and representing the "Prewar" group, the question is what do you want the car for ?

If you buy a prewar driver, there are car shows every week end you would be a hit in.

 

Given your budget, you need to determine your VERY MOST FAVORITE car, and then find one in a state of disrepair that you can handle.

The "buy / sell" forums here is one place to look. Another is www.carsonline.com and others like it.

 

So do a LOT of research and take your time, as the "purchase" is only the first step in a long journey.

 

Just for grins, here is my "baby".

 

Mike in Colorado

100_1790.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, nick8086 said:

Henry J or kaiser. I think this car sold for 3k..

wwww.JPG

 

 

Horrible choice. Parts are impossible to get, vacuum wipers no real conversions on market, single stage drums no real conversions available. 

 

Ive had one they are great cars good mileage and ok to drive. 

 

I agree with the 65+ Big three sedans. Parts are pretty easy to get and they made a mass quantity of these vehicles. The willys aeros were run in the 5000-12000 unit numbers. 

 

Buicks are are good cars with low values. I had a rust free 69 Lesabre factory ac and was turn key I sold it for 2500$ simply because it was a Buick. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick with advice from actual owners of cars if you can. I had an '81 Cadillac Fleetwood D' Elegance. The car was fine mechanically, but prone to rust under the trim cladding. I'd buy another if a nice one came along.

 

The Willys above was a POS before the acronym was invented. I had a '56 Bermuda 6 hardtop in 1966. It was better than the one pictured. Mine had a Conitnental 6 and Hydramatic. I wouldn't buy another. I think they came off the assembly line five or six at a time; in litters.

 

B and C body GM cars are your best buy. Stay away from orphans and oddball stuff. Honestly, there is something about owning an orphan or odd car that will make the owner weird as well. And by the time you notice it will be too late. Stick with GM.

Bernie

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To throw a wrench into the equation, a Mercedes 450 sl is down right cheap, a convertible and has some flair and that would be my choice over all of the boats. Easy to get parts and has decent looks.

 

Everyone has a different opinion-heres mine......

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