Sam The Cat

Would you recommend buying a classic to anyone?

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Posted (edited)

I am in love with old Plymouth trucks. There is a '35 (typo: '39) for sale with a Chevy 235 6 cylinder in it. Real beauty, complete remodel.

What's the real life experience of owning a classic car, especially an old engine like the Chevy 235? Would someone like myself with zero mechanical know-how be able to own one and keep it running for years on end? Especially as a daily driver? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to maintain it right and it would turn into a money pit. I heard fixing a 235 is pricey. if it ever does become faulty.

Or perhaps owning such a rare and valuable car isn't meant to be a daily driver? Maybe I would worry over every little scratch. And any problem that does arise would costs an abnormally large amount. Better to own a classic and baby it?

Do those who own a classic car think adding modern luxuries are really worth the extra effort and money? Like, AC, radio, etc. Would you rip out the guts and add more modern body parts?

Edited by Sam The Cat (see edit history)
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A Chevy 235 is quite basic, relatively simple to maintain, excellent repair parts availability, with a great many technicians who know them well. Driven in a reasonable manner, a 235 can be depended upon for many years of service, and then can be rebuilt for additional years once again. They have a great reputation for thrift and dependable service, and are not especially especially costly to repair when required - just my experience and my 2 cents.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Sam The Cat said:

I am in love with old Plymouth trucks. There is a '35 for sale with a Chevy 235 6 cylinder in it. Real beauty, complete remodel.

What's the real life experience of owning a classic car, especially an old engine like the Chevy 235? Would someone like myself with zero mechanical know-how be able to own one and keep it running for years on end? Especially as a daily driver? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to maintain it right and it would turn into a money pit. I heard fixing a 235 is pricey. if it ever does become faulty.

Or perhaps owning such a rare and valuable car isn't meant to be a daily driver? Maybe I would worry over every little scratch. And any problem that does arise would costs an abnormally large amount. Better to own a classic and baby it?

Do those who own a classic car think adding modern luxuries are really worth the extra effort and money? Like, AC, radio, etc. Would you rip out the guts and add more modern body parts?

Just to inform....the very first Plymouth truck was 1937.

Here is a photo of one....

1937 Plymouth truck.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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A daily driver as in your main form of transportation would not work out if you have zero mechanical skills.  When something breaks you will be forced to find parts and a mechanic that is willing to work on it.  Most mechanic shops will not want your business especially if the vehicle is a blend, like a Plymouth with a Chevy engine.  They need fast turnaround for customers to stay in business.

 

Find a vehicle you like that is in good overall condition and something that getting parts for will not be a huge adventure if your looking to be part of the old car hobby.  

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I don't think you would have any problem getting most auto repair shops to do repair work on your chevy six cylinder engine... any auto parts store will have parts for it if needed... ..... you might check with the seller... because it could not really be a 1935 ... as Keiser13 says... they wren't made until '37....... My advice is go for it and drive it often... and enjoy, stepping back in time, to a slower pace of life....

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, sunnybaba said:

I don't think you would have any problem getting most auto repair shops to do repair work on your chevy six cylinder engine... any auto parts store will have parts for it if needed... ..... you might check with the seller... because it could not really be a 1935 ... as Keiser13 says... they wren't made until '37....... My advice is go for it and drive it often... and enjoy, stepping back in time, to a slower pace of life....

Don’t expect to find brakes, wheel cylinders, brake drums, gauges or other parts at your local auto parts store for a Plymouth of that vintage.  Most young mechanics are lost if the vehicle does not have an OBD2 port.  The last thing mechanics in business want is to spend time working on a mutt.  Get an old Camaro or Mustang if you want an everyday driver as parts are easy to find for them.

Edited by TerryB (see edit history)

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buy the truck, enjoy it and get a good AAA policy in case you need a tow.

 

as said, that is a very dependable motor. Like a timex watch.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2020 at 3:18 PM, Sam The Cat said:

I am in love with old Plymouth trucks. There is a '35 for sale with a Chevy 235 6 cylinder in it. Real beauty, complete remodel.

What's the real life experience of owning a classic car, especially an old engine like the Chevy 235? Would someone like myself with zero mechanical know-how be able to own one and keep it running for years on end? Especially as a daily driver? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to maintain it right and it would turn into a money pit. I heard fixing a 235 is pricey. if it ever does become faulty.

Or perhaps owning such a rare and valuable car isn't meant to be a daily driver? Maybe I would worry over every little scratch. And any problem that does arise would costs an abnormally large amount. Better to own a classic and baby it?

Do those who own a classic car think adding modern luxuries are really worth the extra effort and money? Like, AC, radio, etc. Would you rip out the guts and add more modern body parts?

With all due respect and nothing personal, but based on what I'm reading here, NO, I wouldn't recommend buying an old "classic"(?) to you or anyone with similar approach or concerns. 

Too many ifs, buts, fears and financial worries etc on your mind to be an enthusiastic and serious custodian of one. 
 

IF or when, on the other hand, you're willing to throw all caution to the wind, fully commit your heart, mind and wallet to whatever may come with an old car,  then MAYBE ?

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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As a newcomer it's a mistake to buy a vehicle that's cobbled up. Buy a stock one so that it can be serviced. If you know nothing about old cars and trucks, buying one that is someone's idea of what it should be is a mistake. Should anything break, you'll spend far more time and effort trying to figure out how to fix it. All kinds of stuff will be home-built and it will be the source of endless frustration. I guarantee the wiring will e a nightmare, whatever hardware they used to adapt the Chevy to the Plymouth will be full of home-made brackets and hardware store fasteners and amateur suspension setup. Are the brakes stock or someone's "kit" that isn't really right. Modified vehicles, especially inexpensive ones, are sure to be chock full of headaches.

 

Old cars can be used as daily drivers and there are those here who do it, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone who isn't mechanically inclined and intimately familiar with the vehicle you're driving. Unless your commute is short, away from traffic, and not on the highway, an old car is going to be stressful, not fun. It won't be fast, it won't stop well, it won't handle well, and it doesn't have creature comforts like A/C. I can also guarantee it WILL break down when you need it most. My father tried for years to make an old car his daily driver, upgrading from one car to another to another. He finally sort-of made it work with a 1941 Buick, which is a fairly competent car, but he really didn't drive an old car to work until he bought a 1966 Cadillac in the '80s. Old cars are fun, but when you need to rely on it to get to work, it's a recipe for disaster.

 

If you want an old vehicle, buy a good one already finished that isn't modified like the one you describe. Or buy something like a Chevy SSR, which looks like an old truck but drives like a new truck. We have the attached flowchart as a poster in our showroom--work your way through it and see if you don't end up with a late-model instead.

 

1132087725_Carbuyingflowchart.thumb.jpg.904634be844084e31145320a9f42d308.jpg

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2 hours ago, Sam The Cat said:

I am in love with old Plymouth trucks. There is a '35 for sale with a Chevy 235 6 cylinder in it. Real beauty, complete remodel.

What's the real life experience of owning a classic car, especially an old engine like the Chevy 235? Would someone like myself with zero mechanical know-how be able to own one and keep it running for years on end? Especially as a daily driver? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to maintain it right and it would turn into a money pit. I heard fixing a 235 is pricey. if it ever does become faulty.

Or perhaps owning such a rare and valuable car isn't meant to be a daily driver? Maybe I would worry over every little scratch. And any problem that does arise would costs an abnormally large amount. Better to own a classic and baby it?

Do those who own a classic car think adding modern luxuries are really worth the extra effort and money? Like, AC, radio, etc. Would you rip out the guts and add more modern body parts?

 

Photos?

What is the transmission? (Plymouth will not bolt to a Cheby

 

Chrysler - Mopar Australia had a range of early 30's utes/pick ups

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupé_utility


 

Quote

 

Chrysler

From 1935 - various Dodge, Plymouth and Fargo chassis were available fitted with coupe utility bodywork

 

 

 

https://www.smh.com.au/national/1935-plymouth-coupe-utility-20050921-gdm3rm.html

 

https://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?17471-1933-Plymouth-Pickup-truck/page2

 

 

 

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Sam the cat: You can see that there are several different perspectives here. One reason for that is that some of us LIKE to work on older vehicles, and enjoy puttering around with them almost as much as we do driving them. We expect these older vehicles to have a misstep now and again, and don't get terribly upset if we must spend time under the hood to keep them going. If you don't have those skills, and tools, garage space, and equipment...you might find yourself at a disadvantage. 

 

In MY opinion, having an older vehicle like this is a great idea. And driving one all over the place, every chance you get, is also a great idea. But if you are a total novice, depending on a vehicle like this for important daily transportation might leave you disappointed (and your boss at work might not be pleased either, if you show up late too often). 

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I agree with not buying a car that's been altered drastically from it's original form, as in having an engine from a completely different make retrofitted into the vehicle, at least as a first vehicle. There will be many related questions dealing with: Transmission, radiator, steering clearance, suspension, etc.

 

Most important things to check for are a valid title (IN THE CURRENT OWNER'S NAME!!!!) and making sure there's no rust through in structurally critical areas, like the frame. Some states are less stringent than others on the title and paperwork, but don't presume anything til you check with your DMV.

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If you can afford to pay and maintain and enjoy the ride as well as carve away hours and hours of your precious life in solitary confinement knowing that when you die your relatives  as your coffin is in the ground place a "For Sale" sign in front of your precious "rolling art" then yes

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Posted (edited)

That’s quite a flow chart. Pretty accurate.
 

I don’t own 1 vintage vehicle. I own two. Neither are daily drivers. Nor would I want them to be. I fall into the category of “Enjoying wrenching on them as much or more as driving, or looking at them”. I have amassed quite a tool collection and it keeps growing every year. I have not paid a mechanic to troubleshoot or repair my cars. I keep ‘em running. On a pretty tight budget too. 
 

An old daily driver can come with many challenges. Today’s car culture is sure a lot different than back when our  vintage cars were new. Today people get in a car and can probably drive it 65,000 miles and do nothing except oil changes. The thought of  regular minor and major brake adjustments escapes many. Regular valve settings? 50-ish grease points every 1000 miles. A Valve grind? Setting points. Fuel setting adjustments for winter and summer temps? You have to be up on your brakes regularly. Brake systems tend to leak as today’s replacement parts sure ain’t your Grand-daddy’s parts. Do you know what a single reservoir master cylinder is? You’d better, you life depends on it.  No second chances. There’s no guarantee you won’t snap a Mopar driveshaft off if you  yank on your park brake in an emergency. 
 

Safety is a big one. Sure I drive my old cars. However only a fraction of the total time I’m on the roads. So I am not exposed to high-danger collision very often. Old cars  crumple. Bodies fly. Sure you can install seat belts, their actual effectiveness in a vintage car is minimal. 
 

What was an average hi-way speed in 1952? 55 mph? 1942, 45 mph? Today what, 70 mph? These old cars were not designed to drive or stop at those speeds.

 

Sure all these issues can be addressed. Add seat belts. An overdrive on the tranny. Modern brakes with a dual reservoir master cylinder. Breaker-less solid state ignition. Covert to 12V for modern gadgets. It’s only money right? Big money if you don’t the work yourself. Many before you have indeed done it. 

 

You asked for advice and opinions... I’d say no. I Would not recommend a vintage car as a daily driver for you. It can be done yes. But a newbie with no experience or tools?  Not favorable. A big fat wallet helps but you’ll get no satisfaction once the novelty wears off. 
 

I won’t even recommend a vintage car to someone if they don’t plan to do most all repairs and maintenance themselves. Best case scenario they have a shop, and a good tool inventory. At least a little mechanical understanding. Plus a desire to dig in and learn. A big plus is they have a different car as a daily driver.  
 

That’s just me and what suits my lifestyle.  I love my old cars. I love getting in there and getting greasy. I enjoy the solitude in my stress free, social media free, drama free garage. Hours and hours of my time out there has been very rewarding and educational.  If when I pass my family sends my cars to an auction I don’t care. In my lifetime they brought me much joy and memories. What happens to my old cars when I’m gone is irrelevant. 
 

 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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And just for a loint of paw, the 235 "Blue Flame" 6 did not exist until '41 (trucks) and '50 (passenger cars & hydraulic lifters.

 

What you are describing would be today called a "resto-mod" and who knows where the tranny and rear end came from and would need to know which 235 you are talking about..

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I would absolutely recommend you NOT buy a vintage vehicle of any kind. They are a big waste of time and money.

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4 hours ago, TTR said:

With all due respect and nothing personal, but based on what I'm reading here, NO, I wouldn't recommend buying an old "classic" to you or anyone with similar approach or concerns. 

 

Yes, you can buy and enjoy an old car or truck.

I agree with most people here.  I have several,

but don't claim to be a mechanic.  Everyone has

different training and talents, and, living in the

heart of antique-car country, I take my cars

to local independent mechanics who are fully

capable of working on old cars.

 

I would NOT recommend using this vehicle as your

regular car:  You'll enjoy the experience much more

if you keep it as a hobby.  If driven daily, your car will

deteriorate and depreciate, which is counter to what

old-car fans want!  I would also recommend what others

did:  Take your time, find just the right example, and

make sure it's not modified.  And keep it stock--don't

start adding things to try to make it into a modern car.

 

Check with local mechanics to see whether they can

work on older cars.  I think vehicles from the 1950's and up

should be fine with today's more experienced independent

mechanics.  Welcome to the hobby.  You and your family

can have many happy memories ahead.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2020 at 6:18 PM, Sam The Cat said:

...Maybe I would worry over every little scratch. And any problem that does arise would cost an abnormally large amount. Better to own a classic and baby it?

 

Sam, where do you live?  Is it a congested urban

area, or a small town-and-country area with plenty

of back roads to choose?  Are the roads paved?

 

Big cities aren't conducive to enjoying older, slower cars,

but small towns and countryside can be excellent!

You don't want a stressful experience--you want

a happy, relaxed experience with your older car.

 

Old cars don't necessarily cost more to repair a

specific fault, but they require more maintenance;

and being older, they will need a bit more repair.

You won't be seeing 100,000 problem-free miles as on

a modern Toyota.

 

I figure that any new purchase may need a few repairs,

so be sure your budget has some flexibility.  Choose a 

good example, ideally from a conscientious old-car hobbyist.

If you drive your old car 200 to 2000 miles a year, for instance,

your repairs should be minimal if you chose a good example.

"Better to buy a classic and baby it," as you say.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Our is an exceedingly silly hobby, if you think about it.  We spend lots of money and lots of time to do dangerously and unreliably what we would otherwise do safely and reliably, needing a huge space to store it and good weather and open roads to enjoy it.  It doesn't make a lot of sense.  But I guess there's no cure for crazy, which we all are.

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What I always liked was : if you can't afford it, you are considered odd. If you can then eccentric.

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surprised at all of the negativity.

 

no wonder everyone is running away from this "hobby"....

 

far safer to collect postage stamps.  Maybe the misses can buy me a magnifier for Christmas!

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11 hours ago, keiser31 said:

Just to inform....the very first Plymouth truck was 1937.

Here is a photo of one....

1937 Plymouth truck.jpg


There seems to be some controversy about whether or not there were Plymouth trucks in earlier years.  I have a clear memory of 2 '34 LOOKING pickups, one rigged as a civil defense vehicle by neighbor named Robinson during the WWII years, and another in the early post war years, owned by a man named Denekas who was later murdered with a bomb.  They were just old trucks and weren't hybrids with swapped-around parts. The actual year of manufacture isn't known, but they clearly had the '34 Plymouth lines.   So cool, they are still burned into my noggin.

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