Jump to content

Dipping a Toe in the Water - sixties sedans


wondergrape
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, wondergrape said:

Okay, guys.  Tell me your thoughts on this one:

 

https://dayton.craigslist.org/cto/d/1963-fury-plymouth/6359578978.html

 I like it. I'm a fan of Chrysler products, of which the Plymouth is one. To me the 63 is the best looking of sixties Plymouths. This one seems to be outstanding in condition and  super low miles. The only thing I don't like is the price, but then I am a cheapskate. Buy that car and you won't go wrong. The 318, Torqueflite trans, powertrain and suspension are very strong and long lived. Maintain it by the book and a car like that is good for 200,000 miles or more without major work. And, the 318 is one of the more economical of small block V8s. Even so, don't expect more than 18MPG under normal circumstances.

 

The only thing that bothers me is your plan to drive the car as regular transportation. That one is so nice it seems like a shame to let it deteriorate which it surely will as a daily driver.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stick around the hobby. All my cars are currently junk but I love being around other folks and am active in my local region and a few other clubs. I've had awesome chances to drive and ride in some really great cars.

So here's what I would do. You said the timeline got pushed back because of the need for a second car. No worries. How about this, how about finding a few that maybe are drivable but not daily drivable, or just plain ugly? You'll find some cheap cars in the $3k and under and you can enjoy them a year or two and them sell them to someone else without really losing money, but without diving in to your "forever" car (which if you daily drive really won't be forever anyway). This way you can "test drive" different engines, brands, trim, etc. You'll start meeting people and enjoying the hobby sooner too!

Also go to car shows and just ask to sit in cars. Honestly you'll find some you simply don't like the feel of simply sitting behind the wheel of. I really can't say I've found a 60's American car I didn't like so far as driving and the ride goes. The lux cars are nicer for ride, and sometimes even cheaper than their performance imaged cheaper versions (Chrysler vs a Dodge, but maybe Plymouth is too cheap?) Check em out.

And frankly the way to find deals on craigslist I like is simply start with a year only and put a price cap. Put a min price to in order to weed out parts and junk ads. You'll find cars you never heard of probably, or forgot about. 

One last thing you can do for added consumer fun. If you find yourself drifting to a few brands start collecting sales brochures from the years around that period. Figure out what "new" features you maybe didn't think about but wouldn't want to live without and that might bump you up a year, but will prevent you from not thinking about something until after you buy something missing it. Plus you'll have a cool collection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

 

 

9 hours ago, wondergrape said:

By the way, guys, I am located in Ohio.

 Well then you know all about  the "salt" issue.

As do the folks in Ind., Ill. and Ia. and Penn.

So look for a car that has always resided in the south western states.

Of course THEY have UV issues on the paint, plastic and upholstery.

 

SO... pick your MOST FAVORITE CAR EVER, and take your time searching All the sources cited above, plus those to come, such as "Country Classic Cars" located in Staunton, Ill.

Find one in a state of disrepair you can handle. I cannot paint for the life of me, and I have tried, but the mechanical stuff I'm not afraid of.

Working on a car that you don't like is WORK

Working on a car that you LOVE is THERAPY.

And like "Wayne" on the TV show says, "it's the thrill of the hunt".

 

If you are into old electronics, you can darn sure turn that skill into $$$$ here.

This old crowd is desperate to find folks that can bring a 1938 car radio back to life.

 

Mike in Colorado

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

. It is a "classic car" site....

 

What's wrong with calling a place that sells used cars a "classic car" site ?    What do you expect they'd call em....  "old cars"....."used cars"...."collector cars"....?

 

Dont be so fussy.....it has wheels...dosnt it ?  Isnt that enough to make it a "classic" car ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonder,

If that is your favorite car, you could, with cash, probably dicker a bit on the price.

If $6500.00 is your limit, There is a '70 Cad convertible in MPLS that is a beautiful dark blue for sale.

You've got to tell us what your looking for first.

Mike in Colorado

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, wondergrape said:

Mike, my friend, I honestly have no idea. I'm just spending my time drooling over car after car.  I'm like junior high kid who just discovered girls. 

What's my favorite? What am I looking for?

All of them.

 

Wondergrape, here's another EXCELLENT reference book.

The "Standard Catalog" series of books is highly respected

in the old-car hobby, and this particular book covers cars 1946-1975.

It has all sorts of information, including lists of all models,

quantities made, lists of engines available, body styles, dimensions,

production numbers.  It has a lot of pictures, too, and though

it doesn't picture every model every year, it will give you a

good idea of the cars made in the 1960's.

 

It's as large as a big-city phone book (but of better quality printing),

and it will give you plenty of enjoyment as you parse the pages.

"Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975":

https://www.amazon.com/Standard-Catalogue-American-Cars-1946-75/dp/0873410963

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that 1963 Plymouth Fury looks excellent, at least

from the pictures.  And you can probably obtain it for less

than the seller's $10,900 asking price.  The price guide I

previously mentioned shows $9700 in #1 condition and

$6790 in #2 condition.  The condition ratings, #1 through #6,

are widely recognized in the old-car hobby.

 

Here's a brief synopsis of the conditions, at least as I interpret them:

#1 is a car that is PERFECT in every way, and is capable of winning

an award at a national show.  There are very few #1 condition cars.

#2 is a car that is pretty close to perfect, and wins first prize at a local show.

#3 looks perfect from 20 feet away, but as you get closer you see

some imperfections, such as wear on the seat, or chrome that has pits

or small spots, etc.  Most cars at local shows are #3.

 

Unless that Plymouth has won a top award, I'd consider it #2.

(Some other forum members might have other thoughts.)

I wouldn't be surprised that, if you and the seller "hit it off" with

sincerity at a personal visit, you could obtain the car right now for $9000

or $9500.  And if the car is too optimistically priced, you should 

print out the ad and call him in March, and he'll likely be more flexible.

 

Meanwhile, the possibilities are vast!  Enjoy the search!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SaddleRider said:

 

What's wrong with calling a place that sells used cars a "classic car" site ?    What do you expect they'd call em....  "old cars"....."used cars"...."collector cars"....?

 

Dont be so fussy.....it has wheels...dosnt it ?  Isnt that enough to make it a "classic" car ?

I'm not objecting to the name. I'm objecting to the premium  price sellers want when they advertise on such sites. You find better buys on Craigslist and Kijiji. There is nothing wrong with buying from such a site, or from a dealer, as long as you are aware of what you are doing. I prefer to look for deals and since I am retired my time is worth nothing .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wondergrape said:

Dayton area.

So you are 5 1/2 hours from Country Classic Cars in Staunton, Ill.

Call us back when you have completed the trip.

Oh, and swing by Gateway Classics in St Louis on your way home.

See if they still have that '68 Camaro for 70 grand.

 

Mike in Colorado

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm an old Corvair owner and I like them. But, they are a weird car, not to everyone's taste. Many parts are unique to the Corvair but I hear they are well supported for parts. If that 63 is a 110HP Powerglide car expect it to be sluggish and not a lot of fun to drive. The 4 speed makes a big difference in performance, much more so than on bigger cars with big V8 engines.

 

You might want to look at something more mainstream, just starting out and all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A early 1960's car ?   Or even late 1950's...?  

 

For real comfortable long-distance cruising...the ultimate in snob appeal,  reliable accessories,  AND for showing off at stop-lights,  hard to beat a 1964 or later  Cad. or Olds.  That was the first year of the Turbo Hydro.....assuming the motor is in decent shape you can "light up" the back tires again and again without hurting that transmission.  The 1960-1963 Cads and Olds are also pretty fantastic drivers - once you've driven a properly set-up one you wont want to be bothered with some lower-priced car.

 

With this qualification - before 1964, big GM cars had the old style "Hydra Matic"  that is certainly durable,  but dosnt provide the drag-racing "bite" of the Turbo.  Stay away from an Olds with the "Jet-Away"....that thing was causing reliability complaints when brand-new.  For those who  are interested,  GM's original Hydra-Matic... which had "bands".....is not what I am referring to - I was referring to the "sprag-clutch" version, which came into use in '56.

 

Another thing to consider - luxury GM cars starting in 1964 had "automatic temp.control" air conditioning controls.   VERY complex system - a nightmare to get going correctly IF you can get the correct electronics....not likely any more.   1963 and earlier were strictly manual control cabin environment systems...much easier to diagnois.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wondergrape,

 

Most of our AACA Southern Ohio Chapter Members are from Dayton. I am the current VP and will probably be President next year. We have tours April through October and dinner or lunch meetings November through March skipping January. PM me or e-mail me if you are interested in getting our newsletter The Gauge e-mailed. It is also on the AACA website if you dig a bit. The AACA national magazine editor West Peterson is a member and lives in Dayton. We can be a resource and even have some guys that would probably love to go with you to look at cars when the time comes or know of ones for sale. You can still come to our events in a modern car. I kid a couple of our members who rarely drive their old ones.

Tom Muth

tomcarnut@yahoo.com 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

as a wannabe old car buyer, i think you are making a good decision as to the 4 door approach. my personal favorite is the 4 door hardtop from that era. still a few around, and priced right. this forum was also a great choice, nearly all the info i've read here is spot on, and everyone seems to want newbies to succeed, best of luck.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody have additional thoughts on the Corvair linked above on this page?  I know it is a bit outside the scope of this thread, but I showed it to my wife and she took a bit of a shine.  My personal preference is the fury, but I think she likes the look - and the price - of the corvair.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two or three thoughts:

 

1. Don't plan to make this car your primary car.  If you depend on it for everyday transportation and it poops out, it's be a real bummer.

 

2. Be sure you have a place to store and work on the car.   Don't leave it outside or it will deteriorate quickly.  You'll gradually discover that you can perform simple tasks on it yourself, and save paying a mechanic, and when that happens you don't want to work on it in the driving rain.

 

3. Join your local AACA region for a year, so you can rub shoulders with fellow hobbyists, ask plenty of questions, and find out firsthand what it's like to own an old car.  (Maybe it'll change your mind and you'll go back to those vacuum tubes and diamond styluses!)  Also, you can discover a great variety of cars that you maybe hadn't ever ever heard of, and find out their comparative advantages  / disadvantages from the very people who own them.  You may even get an inside tip on a car for sale (maybe from an estate, or a collector who's thinning his herd) that isn't even being advertised, and on which you can get the "inside story" from one of your fellow AACA members.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wondergrape said:

Anybody have additional thoughts on the Corvair linked above on this page?  

 

I'm not a Corvair expert myself, but here in Pennsylvania,

there are quite a few Corvair owners and even a chapter

of CORSA, the Corvair Society of America. ( https://www.corvair.org/)

That model of Chevrolet has very good

support if you should ever need anything, so I think a Corvair

would be a good choice.  Its back seat probably isn't comfortable

for adults, but your children should love to go out with you for ice cream!

 

That Corvair looks good, insofar as can tell.  I understand that

Corvairs can be rust-prone, so that example merits a further look.

There are 4-door Corvairs, but since other body styles are more

popular, one doesn't see 4-door versions very often.  Here, however, is

an excellent low-mileage example owned by a local AACA member.

It's not for sale, but I show it for an example:

 

Car Club 2016 Farmers Fair (27).JPG

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm bias, but if you want cheap reliable 60s then this might not be a bad starting point:

https://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/d/amc-rambler/6365382837.html

If you would consider something from the late 50's, this seems solid:

https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/d/1957-amc-nash-rambler-custom/6317573388.html

AMC/Rambler products generally are cheaper than their counterparts. Fans are loyal and very helpful.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems like a good time to chime in. Personally would avoid Chevrolet automatics because most before 67 and many after (think the last one was in a '70 Nova) were the two speed Powerglide which are not quick. At all costs avoid the Turboglide (has a "GR" instead of "L") and the Pontiac Rotohydramatic (early 60s). In fact many juniior GM cars of the period had two speeds (e.g. Dynaflow).

Second: if they run on regular (most Corvairs won't) figure `12-18 mpg. Under 10 in the city is common. Premium gas engines just cost more to run but were common (premium was 2c/gal more than regular then, seems to be 50c more today)

Third: Most drum brakes in the rain can be throwing the dice. After a puddle they may be on holiday. After a hard stop from 60 they may be on holiday. I've faded disks before but is harder. A few had aluminum drums (Pontiac 8-lugs) that were better.

 

If I were to pick a car from the early 60's for a novice it would be a pre-facelift (63 & back) Plymouth Valiant with a slant 6 (avoid the Lancer, they left the fake spare tire off and looks strange) and torqueflite (have always liked the typewriter) . It also a lot closer to the size of modern cars and lacks the "mystique" of the larger cars ($$$).

 

At the other end is the Caddys, a perfect example of the GALB (Great American Land Barge) but well suited for eating up Interstates. Also if get in an accident, it is not going on where you are, it is off in the next county somewhere.

 

Why bother with the middle ?

 

ps plenty of rust-free cars in the souf, just stay away from the coast.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/30/2017 at 3:45 PM, wondergrape said:

I love it and have a ‘63 but it’s a turbo convertible and a project. My father and grandfather were big into Corvairs. Many people don’t like them due to the since proven unfounded info in a book Nader wrote. Anyway, I’d suggest test driving one to see what you think. 

 

Clarks Corvair Parts and several other suppliers makes it easy to get what you need. Owners groups are strong and very loyal to the brand and helpful to others new in the hobby. Check out the Corvair Owners Group if you are on Facebook. There are Facebook groups for many makes and models, so that is a great place to see pictures and learn about various cars also. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

Personally would avoid Chevrolet automatics because most before 67 and many after (think the last one was in a '70 Nova) were the two speed Powerglide which are not quick.

I have a Powerglide out of a 6 cyl 72 Chevelle, I know that was factory then. I think '73 was the last year they used em. Besides the point though. I never really thought they were an issue. Frankly the Rambler Transmission was a three speed, but you wouldn't know it because it started in 2nd gear unless you forced it down to 1st. That's a BW design, so the same basic design and operation of a Ford-o-matic. So these functioned as two speeds with a drop down gear if you really needed it. I think concerns are more limited to sales brochures than contemporary comparison as I have never got in one and felt it was lacking myself. OP didn't seem too focused on stop light to stop light driving. I don't have real world Powerglide experience other than in a hopped up Chevelle with a SBC 350, but I had a '66 Rambler Rebel with the 232 straight six and generally got 22-24 MPG highway. If you get a '65 Marlin, they had factory front disk brakes standard! Deep puddles are a real concern for the unfamiliar with drum brakes, but otherwise I haven't had issue with 4 wheel drum including a few panic stops. I think driven reasonably and most folks are fine with the go and stop of any of these setups, including in modern traffic. But they aren't modern cars with 4 wheel disk with independent antilock and stability control systems, that's for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drum brakes are fine, light left foot pressure on the brake pedal through deep puddles or stream crossings. Properly adjusted they are as drama free as disc brakes. Downshift going down steep mountain grades just like the truckers have to do (Vermont has some pretty steep hills - never had a problem with fade. )

 

Point is no matter what older vehicle you are driving you have to adapt to the car - it will not adapt to you......  you actually have to think a bit and pay attention to what is going on, which isn't all bad..

 

Just my two cents.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been driving for 50 years, most of the time in drum brake cars and NEVER remember losing braking power due to wet brakes. Only once or twice in that time have I run through puddles deep enough to think about soaking the brakes. I don't know where you guys drive, and I don't know how your ignition doesn't drown out and stall the engine, running through water a foot deep or more.

 

Disc brakes are great but for normal driving, in a normal car (not a hot rod or sports car) drum brakes are as good as discs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Disc brakes are great but for normal driving, in a normal car (not a hot rod or sports car) drum brakes are as good as discs.

 

The problem isn't "normal driving". The problem is the one-in-a-million emergency situation.  And yes, I HAVE driven through water deep enough to soak the brakes - in a normal 1968 station wagon at less than 30 mph. It did not cause the car to stall.  I also recognized it and immediately started pressing the pedal to dry the the brakes.  The first press did nothing.  Good thing there wasn't a deer or a child running out in front of me at that moment. And it isn't the "soaking" that's the problem, it's the film of incompressible water that gets between the shoes and the drum.  Centrifugal force holds the water in place inside the drums. The same centrifugal force slings the water off of rotors. THAT is the difference.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In all honesty, I would avoid the Corvair for a first time old car purchase. I think there would be a little too much tinkering involved for the new enthusiast, and quite honestly, no one around here (I live in South Dayton area) besides my dad, knows how to work on them for a reasonable amount. A model I like, based on your input would be the Impala's.

1965 would be the most affordable, in my opinion, followed by the 66. The 67 and 68's are too hard to get sheet metal for, so they would have to have super nice bodies, and the 69 and 70's are just slightly better for aftermarket support. I'm a professional restorer in the area, so if you do get it nailed down to one car, let me know, and I can give you some input on local service and parts providers. Sorry for the run on sentences, I was trying to type a reply before I had to run, lol!

Regards,

Jim   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am puzzled...what some of you guys are thinking of...what could possibly be your priorities....this guy asked a legit question about what early-to-mid 1960's cars would give him the most pleasure.   

 

And some of you guys are recommending "poor man's" ordinary cars like Fords, Plymoths...Chevies... ?  Is it possible those are the only cars some of you guys have ridden in...? Is it possible you have no clue how much nicer,  faster, more comfortable a Olds 98 or Cad. would be ?

 

I just don't "get it"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/29/2017 at 5:18 PM, wondergrape said:

I woukd love to purchase a Fairlane, Catalina or Biscayne from this era, but I am weary.  This is way more to contemplate than a $500 turntable.

 

Since I am not mechanically inclined, I obviously don't want a project...but there are all kinds of options on Craigslist from $8000 to $30,000. I want to drive this car regularly.

 

So my question is: what is the least amount I can expect to spend for a restored early-sixties sedan that will not require a ton of updating?  What is the best source?  Dealer? Ads?

This was the original question. What is the least amount I can expect to spend for a restored early sixties sedan that will not require a ton of updating? And he is thinking of middle market family transportation like Ford Fairlane, Pontiac Catalina or Chevrolet Biscayne.

 

He got some sensible answers that addressed his concerns.

 

A big expensive gas hog filled with electrical accessories and power options that can easily go wrong,  might be more than he wants tackle, just starting out and all.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you look around as mentioned,  an early 60's (not 59 or 60) Cadillac sedan that has been well kept is probably on par price wise or cheaper than a Powerglide Chevy 6.  The Olds or better yet a Buick Electra 225 or like are also Cheaper than or on par with Chevies.  Not all are loaded up with every gizmo of the era.  Remember it was the era when you could buy a car the way you wanted.  Power 6 way seat with manual steering and brakes with a bronze interior in a green car.  They gave you what you wanted.  Not one of 4 packages available that forced you to buy the extra crap you didn't want.  I would go for the one you like best.  Nothing better than walking out to the parking lot and admiring your ride every time you walk up to it.   That's the way I want my cars to be.  If they don't excite you,  you will be bored of them quickly.  Chances are if they don't excite you as well,  they probably won't excite a buyer much when you have decided to buy something that does. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

 

A big expensive gas hog filled with electrical accessories and power options that can easily go wrong,  might be more than he wants tackle, just starting out and all.

 

Good point - you are so right.....that is why I recommend an Olds 98 or Cad....a low mileage well-maintained GM car of that era would be as reliable and as low-maintainence as any auto ever placed on Planet Earth.   So yes..of course I recommend he stay away from Ford or Chrysler Corp products of that era.    One look at a CONSUMER REPORTS magazine of that era says it all !  (I.e...how right we BOTH are....!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SaddleRider said:

I am puzzled...what some of you guys are thinking of...what could possibly be your priorities....this guy asked a legit question about what early-to-mid 1960's cars would give him the most pleasure.   

 

And some of you guys are recommending "poor man's" ordinary cars like Fords, Plymoths...Chevies... ?  Is it possible those are the only cars some of you guys have ridden in...? Is it possible you have no clue how much nicer,  faster, more comfortable a Olds 98 or Cad. would be ?

 

I just don't "get it"


I too pointed out a better value can be a lux car, but take a look at the sort of car that he's shown the most interest in based on what he has posted as options. Additionally the nice cars didn't come with inline 6 motors often, and if he's driving extensively then I think that's rather sensible to go with a cheaper car. A Rambler Ambassador would be a possible compromise with my bias as they had a six option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

The Olds or better yet a Buick Electra 225 or like are also Cheaper than or on par with Chevies.  Not all are loaded up with every gizmo of the era.  Remember it was the era when you could buy a car the way you wanted. 

Quite true, and easy to overlook. I owned a 1968 Buick Electra 225 2 door hardtop in the mid 70s when it was just another used car. The original owner ordered the biggest car Buick made, with NO accessories other than a radio and the biggest honking V8 engine they made. A 425 cu in 365HP monster with 10:1 compression. You couldn't buy gas it would run on, unless you mixed leaded regular and unleaded hi test and even then you had to back off the ignition timing. It was quite a ride.

 

I loved the styling and power. The cheap seat upholstery and carpet, hand crank windows, manual seat, and no air were what we were used to back then and no one complained.

 

You used to run into these big cars, usually sedans, ordered with no extras except the big V8. My theory was, they were bought by old guys who wanted a big powerful car to tow a trailer and wanted the lowest price they could get.

 

The 65 Mercury hardtop with 390 and 4 speed I linked to earlier may fall into this camp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as a point, one of my first cars, a 1959, had a 6 and 4 wheel disks. Agree, once you know to ride drums after a deep puddle (or not so deep in some of the frog stranglers we get here - 55" annually) there is not a problem. Once you know... Also had a 61 Caddy 'vert that completely faded the brakes out in one cfast but modulated stop from 70 - with some cars you were better of just locking em up and letting it slide - never fade that way.

 

Around here you knew who owned a large GM car with small V8, automatic, power steering, manual brakes, AC, and a radio: Avis. Back then rent car companies sold their cars to local dealers. I remember one in Miami advertising a bunch of used GT-350Hs. $1995 as I recall. Were automatics so of little interest.

 

So best recommendation: study the cars and decide exactly what you want. Then look. Don't think it has ever taken me more than a few months to find exactly what I wanted but the central Florida is a target-rich environment.

 

ps Corvairs: have had a gaggle from a 140 Corsa to 110 powerslide Monza 'vert to a Fitch Sprint with a turbo. 60-63 are not what you want to be in during a violent maneuver. These are the ones Nader wrote about and, like a Fiero, it is easy to get a rear wheel in the air. 64 added a camber compensator which helped a lot but the 65 redesign was not only  lots better and had a real IRS like the Corvette. Later ones are much easier to handle and Clark's has every part imaginable. I suspect you could build a whole car from their catalog. Is kind of a cult car, seats four, and a Corsa 140 is as near ideal as you can get, won a lot of autocrosses with a 'vert. Rust particularly in the rockers can be a real problem.

Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...