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Wading into the scary world of vintage cars

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The TH400 descended from the ST400 in name only.  The Turbo Hydro 400 was called the Super Turbine 400 by Buick because the public had become familiar with Buick's reputation for their "Turbine Drive" transmissions.  Physically they're the same, different in name only.

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The scariest part of the old car hobby is buying an old car  and wondering if you are being taken by a scammer. I work

on cars for a living and I have been taken before on old car purchases. I bought a 69 GTO Judge hardtop that ran perfect

back in  the 80's and drove it 60 miles on the highway to get it back to my place and by the time I got home it had thrown

out most of the oil in the engine, there was oil all over the fenderwells. When I tore the engine down it had 5 cracked pistons from overrevving the motor while drag racing. They had filled up the oil and washed all the engine compartment down to cover up the problem.

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3 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

I bought a 69 GTO Judge hardtop that ran perfect

back in  the 80's and drove it 60 miles on the highway to get it back to my place and by the time I got home it had thrown

out most of the oil in the engine, there was oil all over the fenderwells. 

Holy crap. That's my worst nightmare right there.

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Welcome to the Forum,

 I think you would discover that all of us here own our Rivieras as a passion regardless of generation. Its not the $$. We have them because we love them and when all is done always end up with what we really prefer. There are pro arguments for all of them.  Having owned several Gens all my life, with several Boatails , they were always the ones that gave me a real spark and I always turned to. My point is try to stick with what you prefer. I know I'm biased but you will probably always look at a 72 and wish it was yours. No matter, buy a good Car to begin with that might need a few things. You will be better off in the long run. Otherwise you'll be in over 25-30K in a time consuming restoration. Talking years!

All Rivieras are represented here on the forum with  less visibility as the years go up. There are plenty of Boatail resources out there with "Boatloads" of following and info. Good Luck,

Edited by Tder1 (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, Tder1 said:

I know I'm biased but you will probably always look at a 72 and wish it was yours.

That's me.  Love those 72's (71's as well).  It would be a dream come true to drive, much less own, one of those. Hopefully I'll be able to find a good one that won't totally break the bank.  We'll see.  Thanks for the great advice.  

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A little experience from a first time classic (63 riv) owner.  I bought my 63 4 years ago and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I too always wanted a classic but had no automotive experience and I didn't want the usual mustang or camaro.  I wanted a 63 partially mostly because I love the sliders under the dash and the look of the interior better than the 64 and 65.  I really love the 65's but am disappointed with the black dash every time I see them.  Just my opinion.  

I wanted to have the experience of restoring the car so I bought one with original paint, good motor and trans, and started recruiting friends with experience to help.  

I have learned that if you are not a mechanic, there may be a lot of times where your car is sitting, partially disassembled, while waiting for parts and or help to get back together.

The other option being to pay a shop to do it for you.  That is the "hate" part of my classic car experience.  Driving my tundra on a beautiful day is annoying now when the riv is down.

I have factory a/c in mine but it doesn't function yet.  This is a really complicated system (to me anyway) with old, expensive, and difficult to find parts.  I live in Dallas, so I don't want to drive a car with black leather and no a/c when it's 105 degrees outside.

Pretty much everything on my car needed restoration, so I still have a long road ahead. I am super proud of myself for the progress I have made, but also very overwhelmed sometimes when I get into a project and realize I don't have proper tools or ability to finish it.  That's when it sits for weeks while I peck away at it a little at a time while waiting on the next part I ordered to come in, or a friend with experience to help out.   

That being said, I absolutely love driving my riv and learning (the hard way) about it. Such a fantastic car.  BUT,  if I had to do it all over again, I would have waited and spent a little more for one that needed less work..  I have way more time than money, so I can't just take it to a shop and throw cash at it to restore it.  

Just my experience.  Hope it helps.

-Adrian-

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