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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.

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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)
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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?

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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.

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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 

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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

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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. 

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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

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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......

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19 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

. 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

 

WOW! I never thought about it until posted it, but YOU ARE RIGHT! I never could put my finger on it but now it all makes sense to me about "those" owners

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Since supper is still cooking I'll add an opinion. Although I have had interest in Mercedes cars, I feel uneasy to buy one. I have bought British cars with bad reputations and passed up the M-B's; not so hot on Japanese cars either. Maybe I just like cars from the side that won.

A 10 year old CLK would interest me. A 20 year old 450, and it's derivatives, is at an age where major work could be quite disheartening. A clean early 2000's CLK  might be worth the risk.

Bernie

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Well that raises an easy question: Being in the souf, is Air Conditioning important ? Very rare before 1963 and uncommon except in luxury cars until the 80's.

 

Am strange, have had A & F bodies with 4 speeds and AC I usually had to order since 1967 however can often find in B (big) and C (stretched big) GM cars even then.

(Had a '67 Fleetwood 60 Special Brougham (C) when moved here. Had to find a house with a garage long enough for it. Rear doors were larger than the fronts and it has footrests and picnic tables in the back. also had ATC and a dial type cruise control that never worked when new.

 

Even when living in Indiana/Michigan I always looked for AC cars: everything was heavy duty and the heaters were better. Fortunately with a lot of class A buyers around even Vegas had AC.

 

ps all my cars from the last century are GM, from this, MOPAR (well the Crossie is a rebadged R170 made from left over parts & tooling and the Jeep has the same chassis as a ML350).

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I would very much recommend getting a good price guide.

You can look at www.nada.com or www.hagerty.com, or get

a book such as this one, which you will have a lot of fun perusing:

 

http://www.amazon.com/2017-Collector-Car-Price-Guide/dp/1440246750

 

Price guides aren't the last word, but since asking prices are all over the map,

even sometimes double what a car is worth, a good guide will save you money.

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On 5/10/2016 at 10:46 AM, GetOffMyLawn said:

Here's a quick list of the looks that I like, not sure if that helps at all.  I got this from google-image searching is all.

1955 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe

1957 Cadillac Series 62

1957 Ford (fairlane?)

1966 Lincoln Continental

1966 Cadillac Deville

 

With a budget of $12,000 to $15,000, your possibilities are great!

A 4-door sedan is the least expensive body style--sometimes half the

price of a 2-door hardtop and one-third the price of a convertible--

so your money will carry you far.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to get the 1950's or 1960's cars on your list.  You would want

to search for an excellent one if you plan to drive it once in a while to work.

(That's true of an older car from ANY era, even the 1970's.)

If you buy from an honest and sincere hobbyist, he can tell you

all about a car he may have owned for 20 years.

When you get an old car--you should join a specialized club that focuses on your car's make;

or consider joining now, and knowledgeable people in the club may help you find one.

 

All of the cars on your list had good reputations.

Mechanical parts shouldn't be problematic for those, and your local auto parts store

might even have access to a few of them.  

 

Collectors tend to restore the fancy, top-of-the-line models, and 2-door hardtops

and convertibles, so 4-door versions of 1950's and 1960's cars--very plentiful in their day--

are a bit harder to find in excellent condition.  But take your time and you'll find something you like.

Start now, be patient, and you'll have a lot of fun looking!

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I would suggest that you get in touch with the Hornets Nest Region of AACA. Join them and get some exposure to the hobby on a local level. You will have a chance to meet people with all different kinds of antique cars. You will learn more about antique cars and you may find something that you really like. Local AACA members can also help you evaluate a potential purchase and help you avoid problems. There is also a good chance that some of the local AACA folks will know of potential vehicles that are available that will never be advertised. A lot of antique cars are sold through word of mouth within the hobby.

 

Hornets Nest Region
President - Brice Page
12341 Jim Sossoman Rd
Midland, NC 28107

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10 hours ago, The Continental said:

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

As said before comment # 30 Yes it can be disabled and runs as a normal V-8. Most 368's out there have had this done to them long ago. The 368 has the same architecture as the 425, 500 and the first one the 472. The first thing I would do with any GM  /  Ford engine from mid 60's to at least 82 would be to replace the nylon coated aluminum Camshaft gear and replace it with a double roller chain, and in the middle of that operation if revealed that the nylon coating had started breaking up, then the oil pan must come down to get those plastic parts from getting into the oil pump and beyond. 

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4 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

 

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

Orphans like Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Packard, Mercury, Desoto, Plymouth??  Speaking for Pontiac, there is more parts out there in the last 20 years than ever before. Plus exact reproduction blocks from two companies, heads from three companies, cranks, cams etc.. You can't get that in Buick , Where can you get a NEW 455 Buick, or 401 Nailhead?  you can't, and Buick is not a orphan.

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'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! '

 

I look at Kijiji for fun and often find attractive deals. I'm sure I could find a few every week, and if I followed them up, could buy a good car for reasonable money every 2 or 3 weeks. For this reason I have to hold myself back from reading Kijiji or I would have a hundred cars.

 

Where I live Kijiji is popular. I don't even look at Craigslist. Haven't looked at print ads in years although I know people who do, and come up with some astonishing deals. I know one guy who looks for the auction sale ads in the paper and attends farm auctions regularly, he finds a gem of an old car or pickup truck once or twice a year. He doesn't go for the cars, he is more of an antique furniture guy.

 

There are some cool cars on Ebay but they always seem to be either overpriced or too far away. I try to avoid Ebay because of bad experiences in the past, if I want something for $20 I can be a little chancy, for thousands of $$$$ bucks I want to go see the item in person, pay for it and take it home at once.

 

You will have to try different things and see what works in your area. If you are near a city get the weekend paper and check out the car ads.  See what you find. Check out Kijiji, Craigslist etc. From what I hear Craigslist ads can be kind of sketchy. So can some Kijiji ads. You have to learn to read between the lines, and talk to the seller on the phone. Get an idea what kind of person they are and how bad they want to sell. If I get a snaky vibe I don't even bother to go see the car.

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I like the oddball and orphan cars but suggest you stick with the most popular cars like Chevrolet or Ford at first to make things easy on yourself. Some Chrysler products have a lot to offer, and can often be bought cheaper than corresponding Chev or Ford but are a little harder to get parts especially body and trim parts. Mechanical parts are available.

 

Buick, Olds, Cadillac, Mercury and Lincoln can be harder to get parts and repairs for than Ford, Chev or Dodge. Likewise AMC and Jeep Wagoneer.

 

Generally speaking, from 1965 to 1985 or so there was not much change in engines, transmissions, steering and suspension on most rear wheel drive American cars. They are probably the easiest to get parts and repairs for. Go back before the early sixties and you are into a different generation .

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Nice thing about CL is that it is about a 100 mile radius. Just looked quickly and found this. Big pre-bumper Electric 225 with a lot of wiggle room to make nice.  Also a 71 Caddy that should be nearer. Looks like a lot of B-bodies near you.

 

Another thing to be aware of is the incredible diversity of models back then. Take Caddys. You had the Calais (low line), 62 (deVille), 60 (Fleetwood). Then there were three different deVilles, coupe, sedan, and 'vert. And this does not include Eldos or Professional cars. All GM cars were like that (e.g. Olds 88, 98 , and Royale), Buick LeSabre, Centurian, Electra. From the outside these were often hard to tell apart. And these are just the "full sized" cars.

 

Of course always remember Sturgeon's law. 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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13 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

 

 

Generally speaking, from 1965 to 1985 or so there was not much change in engines, transmissions, steering and suspension on most rear wheel drive American cars. They are probably the easiest to get parts and repairs for. Go back before the early sixties and you are into a different generation .

Actually there was a huge change from mid sixties to mid 80's. A horsepower and engine displacement race to emission controlled vehicles that had drivability problems to added hardened engine valve seats, EGR, Catalytic converters, EFI, Body size reductions-weight reductions plus fuel economy standards/ crash standards and air bags,  and then into the 80's with further engine and body changes.

 A big difference between a large Big Three car of 1965 and 1985 would be opening the hood. In a 1965 car you can actually see the ground while looking in the engine compartment!

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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5 minutes ago, helfen said:

Actually there was a huge change from mid sixties to mid 80's. A horsepower and engine displacement race to emission controlled vehicles that had drivability problems to added hardened engine valve seats, EGR, Catalytic converters, EFI, Body size reductions-weight reductions plus fuel economy standards/ crash standards and air bags,  and then into the 80's with further engine and body changes.

I was referring to basic design. For example in 1965 Oldsmobile and  Buick brought out brand new V8 engines and GM introduced the Turbo Hydramatic transmission. These engines and transmissions were used in various forms for years and are still easy to get parts and repairs for. Previous engines and transmissions will NOT interchange and are more difficult and expensive to work on.

 

Chrysler changed the design of their engine/trans interface in 1962 then went from pushbutton shifters to conventional lever shifters in 1965. They also changed rear axle and brake design in 1965. Making 65 and newer models much easier to fix and to get parts for.

 

They also redesigned their 318 engine from the A type Polysphere to the LA wedge head engine in 1964/65.

 

For some reason there were a lot of changes to engines, trans, chassis etc about that time then they stuck with the same basic design for years, making parts interchange and parts availability much easier for post 1965 cars. That is all i was driving at.

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Getoffmylawn for laughs I did a search for Craigslist  Charlotte NC. I made a search with criteria of Thumb (not Gallery) Price $1000 - $15000, Year 1950 - 1990 and got 1630 possible ads. In the first page of 100 ads I picked 6 possibles. Of those 6 here is my favorite, and the one that looks like the best deal.

https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5539501371.html

 

This garage kept 1966 Chrysler New Yorker has 40,000 miles, in showroom condition. It has power windows, power door locks, power brakes, power steering, AC. It has new radiator, new brakes, dual exhaust, new fuel pump and filter, Edelbrock carburetor and rebuilt transmission. The interior is in excellent condition no holes or rips in interior. The engine is a 440 CI with 4 bbl and automatic transmission. Asking $5,995.00 OBO. Call Ambrosia at 910-824-1212, serious inquiries only.

  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited service

Something tells me if I lived in NC I would be buying a few more cars lol.

 

Others that caught my eye,https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5539550677.html

 

This is a garage kept 1966 Chrysler Imperial with 24,000 miles. It has power windows, 440 CI, power door locks, power brakes, power steering, AC, cruise control and beautiful burgundy leather seats, new brakes, dual exhaust, new water pump, new fuel pump, new filter, rebuilt transmission. Ac blows cold and everything works as expected. I'm asking for $8,995 OBO. Call Ambrosia at 910-824-1212 serious inquiries only.

 

From the same seller. The only thing that put me off was the goofy Dub wheels.

 

How about a 71 Cadillac Sedan de Ville for $3500https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5567042776.html

 

The mileage on this one is high at 98000.

 

Check out the neighborhoods. Cross off the sketchy ones and go for the middle class suburban ones. The above ads gave me a bit of a snaky vibe but you would know your area better than I would.

 

I am NOT recommending you buy any of these cars. Just pointing out the kind of ads I look for. If I find a car like that, for a real good price, in a nice neighborhood, and the owner seems like a nice person on the phone, not out to gouge or chisel,  or demand the big bucks, then I am interested.

 

Remember these are all from the FIRST page of the FIRST search I did.

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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It is easy to get caught in a generalities trap. While a lot of things stayed the same (the Small Block Chevvy engine spanned almost 50 years), there were many many iterations. You mentioned the Turbo-Hydramatic in 65 (64 Caddy). The THM-400 was followed by the 350 (smaller engines), 375 (big FWD), 250 (smaller)...

Meanwhile big GM changes occured in 68 (first emissions), 71 (lowered compression, 73 (EGR and 5 mph bumpers), 74 (High Energy Ignition), & 75 (catalytic converters) and these are just the global changes. So while generalities are possible, there were many, many subtle changes going on each year  such as a '67 Chevvy 350 crank won't fit a 68). And while THM-400s were common they came in long and short tailshaft versions and had bellhousings to fit many different engines (including Rolls Royce).

 

So they all (well almost all) had four wheels but every model year brought subtle changes and the only commonality was round headlights (until 1976)

 

And this probably belongs in its own thread but is why I measure my FSMs and P&As in feet and just added another 40 lbs for my 93 GP.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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OK Padgett let me ask you this. Given a choice between doing major work on the engine and trans of a 1963 Buick or Olds full size car, or a 1966 Buick or Olds full size car, which would be easier and cheaper? Which do you think had the better power train?

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Depends, I never liked the Dynaflow 2 speed (or the Powerglide for that matter but the Turboglide was worse) however for Olds and Pontiac, 63 was the last year for the four speed Hydramatic which was very reliable. The 64 Roto-hydramatic now the less said the better.

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8 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Getoffmylawn for laughs I did a search for Craigslist  Charlotte NC. I made a search with criteria of Thumb (not Gallery) Price $1000 - $15000, Year 1950 - 1990 and got 1630 possible ads. In the first page of 100 ads I picked 6 possibles. Of those 6 here is my favorite, and the one that looks like the best deal.

https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5539501371.html

 

This garage kept 1966 Chrysler New Yorker has 40,000 miles, in showroom condition. It has power windows, power door locks, power brakes, power steering, AC. It has new radiator, new brakes, dual exhaust, new fuel pump and filter, Edelbrock carburetor and rebuilt transmission. The interior is in excellent condition no holes or rips in interior. The engine is a 440 CI with 4 bbl and automatic transmission. Asking $5,995.00 OBO. Call Ambrosia at 910-824-1212, serious inquiries only.

  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited service

Something tells me if I lived in NC I would be buying a few more cars lol.

 

Others that caught my eye,https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5539550677.html

 

This is a garage kept 1966 Chrysler Imperial with 24,000 miles. It has power windows, 440 CI, power door locks, power brakes, power steering, AC, cruise control and beautiful burgundy leather seats, new brakes, dual exhaust, new water pump, new fuel pump, new filter, rebuilt transmission. Ac blows cold and everything works as expected. I'm asking for $8,995 OBO. Call Ambrosia at 910-824-1212 serious inquiries only.

 

From the same seller. The only thing that put me off was the goofy Dub wheels.

 

How about a 71 Cadillac Sedan de Ville for $3500https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5567042776.html

 

The mileage on this one is high at 98000.

 

Check out the neighborhoods. Cross off the sketchy ones and go for the middle class suburban ones. The above ads gave me a bit of a snaky vibe but you would know your area better than I would.

 

I am NOT recommending you buy any of these cars. Just pointing out the kind of ads I look for. If I find a car like that, for a real good price, in a nice neighborhood, and the owner seems like a nice person on the phone, not out to gouge or chisel,  or demand the big bucks, then I am interested.

 

Remember these are all from the FIRST page of the FIRST search I did.

 

 

Thanks Rusty! Craigslist was the first place I went to, but was quickly overloaded with all the possibilities.  This gives me a bit of a better idea on what to look for in the cars.  Things can definitely be snaky down here, so I appreciate the word to stay in the 'burbs.

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9 hours ago, MCHinson said:

I would suggest that you get in touch with the Hornets Nest Region of AACA. Join them and get some exposure to the hobby on a local level. You will have a chance to meet people with all different kinds of antique cars. You will learn more about antique cars and you may find something that you really like. Local AACA members can also help you evaluate a potential purchase and help you avoid problems. There is also a good chance that some of the local AACA folks will know of potential vehicles that are available that will never be advertised. A lot of antique cars are sold through word of mouth within the hobby.

 

Hornets Nest Region
President - Brice Page
12341 Jim Sossoman Rd
Midland, NC 28107

 

Thanks MCHinson.  I took a look at the website for the Hornets Nest AACA region, but it looks like under 'Activities' it just says 2016 Activities coming soon.  Other than the AutoFair (which looks to be a very, very large event) do you know if there are smaller shows or events for the Hornets Nest region of AACA?  Thanks!

 

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15 minutes ago, GetOffMyLawn said:

Thanks Rusty! Craigslist was the first place I went to, but was quickly overloaded with all the possibilities.  This gives me a bit of a better idea on what to look for in the cars.  Things can definitely be snaky down here, so I appreciate the word to stay in the 'burbs.

 

Hemmings Motor News (the monthly magazine), and even more so these days,

its accompanying website www.hemmings.com, remain the largest marketplace

for antique cars and collector cars.  In addition, they are car enthusiasts themselves

and are very supportive of the hobby.  There are currently 24,000 collector cars

for sale on their website.

 

The more you look and the more you read, the more you will learn about different

models, and you'll see some that appeal to you.

So get yourself a good price guide, and enjoy looking! 

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7 minutes ago, GetOffMyLawn said:

 

Thanks MCHinson.  I took a look at the website for the Hornets Nest AACA region, but it looks like under 'Activities' it just says 2016 Activities coming soon.  Other than the AutoFair (which looks to be a very, very large event) do you know if there are smaller shows or events for the Hornets Nest region of AACA?  Thanks!

 

 

The Hornets Nest Region is a large and very active region. They should have quite a few events for their Region members. I am in Wilmington, so I don't really know that much about the Hornets Nest Region but I know a few of their members. You can click on the President's name to send him an email. I am sure that he will be happy to help you get involved. They are hosting the Sentimental Tour in the near future. While it is too late to sign up for that tour, I am sure that if you are interested and have the time, you could ride along with someone for some of that tour. I will be there with my 1937 Buick Century and would be happy to have another passenger if you are interested in tagging along for a day.

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The advice to get involved in an AACA region is really good.  You seem open to a lot of possibilities, and while most of the cars discussed are big American sedans, like Mercer, I will throw in a different choice here.   A sorted 60s/early 70s MB sedan ready to go would easily fit your budget.  These cars have been trending up - I think every bit as solid as the US made counterparts from a return perspective.  Buying what pleases you is important BUT a good choice of make/model as well as condition will help you recoup your investment should you decide to move up or out of the hobby at some point in the future.  

 

For your stated needs and preferences (as nice as the SL cars are, a perfect compromise between luxury and sport) , I might consider a Mercedes sedan from 1960 - 1973 or so, stick with a gas model, 6 or 8 and you will find a very well built, unique option at your buy in figure. MB has one if not the strongest factory support for their "classic" models.  These cars regularly show up in great cosmetic condition - they were well built - overbuilt in some cases, and have a strong following.  It is common for a buyer to refresh the rubber components (engine mounts, suspension, etc.) and address fuel injection issues (two things to look out for) as well as general sorting typical of any old car - and then drive them extensively.  I am amazed at the number of these with original paint that looks like it is two years old.  I think they are in fact more rugged mechanically than most cars of the same era regardless of maker.   The 280 SE is the one I would go for, definitely the "tall grille" variants from a styling perspective.  When I think about "taking the long way home on a Friday afternoon" I suspect it might be a little more fun to drive than some of the other options but just a different opinion for you to consider.  Capable of highway speeds, nice handling, leather or MB Tex (some say that is better, and again, not unusual for a 45 year old interior to clean up like new with the tex - it is rugged stuff), genuine wood trim, overbuilt door hinges, etc. for example.  Sunroof and AC would be musts for me in your climate.  You would have something a little unusual but well supported by both the MB Classic Center and a lot of independent specialists who love working on these cars.

 

To Bernie's point, these cars are a little easier to maintain then the reputation - especially the earlier ones.  Cheaper to buy a very good one in the long run, and your budget would seem to allow for that. 

 

Good luck with your search!

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
clarity and info added (see edit history)
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There are 4 Cadillac's in this issue of Antique Automobile that land in the price range and desires of the OP. There are also some other GM sedans that fit the description. Also the 61 Belair four door Hard-top for $6K is a rather nice original unrestored car that I had seen myself a few times, I am tempted myself to buy it. That just has a tranny leak, cast iron powerglides are a little bit of a bear to take out on my back anymore. My point is they are out there, and when you buy internally from a club member there is a degree of honesty and trust that you will not find in random ad's. I have even ran wanted ad's and was VERY, VERY happy with the results

I would recommend joining the National AACA first best magazine in the hobby, for the $40 bucks it is a great starting point. You need to be a member to be part of a region anyway. I am in many clubs (one of which I don't even own a car of that make! I just like the magazine) but the AACA is by far the best national club out there. Once you join and participate you will be hooked. The internet forums serve a purpose but for the most part you really don't know who you are dealing with, you need to keep that in perspective at all times You could be getting advice from a guy in an institution, 

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And since good antique cars of your choosing aren't

likely available in your home town, you should be willing

to travel a bit--to see a car first before buying it.

Not only will you be able to talk to the individual owner

and assess his knowledge and his character, but 

you'll be able to see the car.  Don't rely on pictures from

a distance.

 

It would not be unreasonable to go 2 or 3 states away--

to Virginia, to Pennsylvania, to Florida.  I have bought a

car from 3000 miles away.   And there are

reputable companies that do nothing but transport

antique cars in enclosed trailers, to get them home to you.

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36 minutes ago, John348 said:

My point is they are out there, and when you buy internally from a club member there is a degree of honesty and trust that you will not find in random ad's. I have even ran wanted ad's and was VERY, VERY happy with the results

 

I would recommend joining the National AACA first best magazine in the hobby, for the $40 bucks it is a great starting point. You need to be a member to be part of a region anyway. I am in many clubs.....the AACA is by far the best national club out there.

 

I agree with John on that--I have also observed that national club members in general and AACA members in particular seem to often have better prices and honest descriptions when selling in club publications.  I have seen this in the AACA classifieds for years, I think in some cases long time old car people bought and took care of the cars and are willing to sell them to a good home and not just try to squeeze out the last nickel.  And I do not mean that to deride, I mean lots of times club regulars are more in line on prices than the general public with inflated ideas, plus they often seem to have better cars and are not trying to pass off poor repairs to an inexperienced buyer.  Something to be said here, Todd C     

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On Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 1:49 PM, The Continental said:

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

Yes it can be - there is simply one wire to clip.  Essentially turns the engine into an EFI V8.  Or put a switch on that wire - V-8-6-4 when you want it.

 

The 8-6-4 system worked well, it was just annoying.  It was a 1 year only system in 1981 only to be replaced by the HT4100 (hook and tow as I like to call it).  Avoid the HT4100 like the plague!

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14 hours ago, padgett said:

It is easy to get caught in a generalities trap. While a lot of things stayed the same (the Small Block Chevvy engine spanned almost 50 years), there were many many iterations. You mentioned the Turbo-Hydramatic in 65 (64 Caddy). The THM-400 was followed by the 350 (smaller engines), 375 (big FWD), 250 (smaller)...

Meanwhile big GM changes occured in 68 (first emissions), 71 (lowered compression, 73 (EGR and 5 mph bumpers), 74 (High Energy Ignition), & 75 (catalytic converters) and these are just the global changes. So while generalities are possible, there were many, many subtle changes going on each year  such as a '67 Chevvy 350 crank won't fit a 68). And while THM-400s were common they came in long and short tailshaft versions and had bellhousings to fit many different engines (including Rolls Royce).

 

So they all (well almost all) had four wheels but every model year brought subtle changes and the only commonality was round headlights (until 1976)

 

And this probably belongs in its own thread but is why I measure my FSMs and P&As in feet and just added another 40 lbs for my 93 GP.

Actually some Cadillac's and Buicks got the ST400 in 64. Some Cadillac's of 64 got P315 HydraMatic ( four speed controlled coupling) While Small Buick got a New ST300 which it shared with small Old's and Pontiac ( Pontiac didn't get switch pitch like Olds and Buick).  Big Pontiac continued in 64 with Super HydraMatic ( 4 speed Controlled Coupling HydraMatic) and Roto HydraMatic ( four range three speed HydraMatic). Big Olds for 64 continued with Roto HydraMatic ( four range three speed HydraMatic). In 1965 they all had T400 HydraMatic in all the big cars.

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21 hours ago, padgett said:

It is easy to get caught in a generalities trap. While a lot of things stayed the same (the Small Block Chevvy engine spanned almost 50 years), there were many many iterations. You mentioned the Turbo-Hydramatic in 65 (64 Caddy). The THM-400 was followed by the 350 (smaller engines), 375 (big FWD), 250 (smaller)...

Meanwhile big GM changes occured in 68 (first emissions), 71 (lowered compression, 73 (EGR and 5 mph bumpers), 74 (High Energy Ignition), & 75 (catalytic converters) and these are just the global changes. So while generalities are possible, there were many, many subtle changes going on each year  such as a '67 Chevvy 350 crank won't fit a 68). And while THM-400s were common they came in long and short tailshaft versions and had bellhousings to fit many different engines (including Rolls Royce).

 

So they all (well almost all) had four wheels but every model year brought subtle changes and the only commonality was round headlights (until 1976)

 

And this probably belongs in its own thread but is why I measure my FSMs and P&As in feet and just added another 40 lbs for my 93 GP.

First emissions regulation started in 1961 in California. In 1962  for Federal cars or 49 state cars. It was called a Crankcase emissions devise.

1966 is the first year for what every car today has which is called Exhaust emissions. Exhaust emissions are what come out the tailpipe. The first form of exhaust emission in 1966 came on California cars and the devise we most recognize is the air pump, 1967 will follow on Federal cars or 49 state cars. Some cars like Pontiac in 1968 changed their combustion chambers and went to a Controlled Combustion System ( CCS) to control exhaust emissions and eliminated the air pump until 1975 when catalytic converters were first used as they needed them again to create more O2 for the converter to complete the combustion process.

  1970 is the first year for what we call evaporative emissions.

 1973-4 is the first year a NOX devise was used called the EGR System

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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