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Bargain "Classics"--$12,000 or Less and 20 Years or Older



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    Well by all means strip the small bits off...


  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    looked like a '72 auto 4-4-2 in it. Gold with white convertable. Brings back memories. In '78 my friend bought that exact car from his friends parents for $1100. About 120k miles on it in S. Fl. We cruised around Lake Park until he got so many tickets he had to sell it. He wanted to show me what the 455 could do once, so we started at a stop sign. He floored it. rubber all through first, all through second, and at least 50 feet of third gear as we went through the third stop sign at somewhere over 70mph in a 25 zone. We blew through 2-3 more stop signs before he got it slowed down. I would have bought it from him if I could afford the gas or the car. I had a '70 Delta 88 with a Rocket 350 at the time. There was no comparison. I did manage 20mpg on a trip to NY in the Delta 88 with the radial tires that came on it and a 2.56 rear axle ratio.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    Any insights on the "lightning rod" transmission 200-4R (is it durable?). I seem to recall that someone had posted that certain GM transmissions were a bit more fragile than others.

    When that transmission first came out in 1981, it was troublesome. It was improved over the years, but I don't think it was until around 1984-85 that they really got it right, more or less. There was a beefed-up version of it that was used for the Grand National. I'd presume that it would've also been used in the Monte SS and the Hurst/442, but you never know, with GM!

    I had an '85 LeSabre 307 and '86 Monte Carlo 305 with the 200R4 tranny. The LeSabre had 157,000 miles on it when we finally got rid of it, and the Monte had 192,000 on it when I got t-boned while delivering pizzas, and neither ever had any tranny trouble.

    Now that I think about it, there was a guy at work who had one of those Hursts. AT least I think it was the Hurst and not the 442, as it had the lightning rod shifter and not the normal one. I forget how many miles he ultimately got out of it, but I know it was well over 200,000. I forget the year, but it was a grayish-silver, if that helps. It was pretty worn out when he finally got rid of it. I remember asking him if he'd ever be interested in selling it, and he told me that I wouldn't want the thing, as it was high-mileage and getting tired. Nevermind the fact I was driving a '68 Dart with over 300,000 miles on it at the time. :P

    The 200R4 transmission was also used in full-sized station wagons and in the big RWD C-body coupes and sedans in the 80's. Many of those easily topped 4,000 lb. I wonder what would stress out a transmission engine with a lot of torque, or a lot of weight to lug around?

    I've also heard that the beefed-up version of the transmission was used in Impala and Caprice copcars in the 1980's, even with the 350 V-8, but I think that was actually a truck transmission, like the 700R4 or something?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    Your post possessed me to do an eBay search for "1981 Buick", and I found this gem.

    Sounds like a great car, but the only thing I'm having trouble deciding, is whether there's only one too many zeroes to the left of the decimal point, or two! :blush:

    I'd really like to see a Riv Diesel get 41 mpg, and suuuuure, the thing has anti-lock brakes. :P

    I actually like these cars, but gimme an '84-85 model with the 307/4-speed automatic...none of this Diesel crap. And for some reason, I actually prefer the Toronado, although most people find it to be uglier.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    It might even be three too many zeroes.

    I noticed the "diesel" emblem is the same as used on the period Monte Carlo diesel.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    81 Buick -- looks like around $700 bucks to me, on a good day, if you can pawn it off on someone. They are hard enough to sell when they are in GOOD condition, much less this.....thing. Some people are mad, totally mad.....

    Book says $1200 bucks in "fair" condition....okay, I was a little off....


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    but I really like this old beast. Kinda makes me wish I had a spare $2695 laying around! :shades:

    I really love that shade of green. The bucket seats are cool, too, but I hate when they give a car bucket seats, but then stick in a column shift! What's the point in that?! My old '69 Dart GT was like that.

    Overall, it looks like it's in decent shape, just with the interior being a bit rattier than my '76. Has the rust spots in the same place as my '76, and even has a tear in the driver's seat, as does my '76!

    I know I'd be better served taking that $2695 and putting it into the LeMans I already have...especially since it quit running. :sick: Or one of my other cars. But still, I feel the siren song of Nebraska calling out to me....

    Oh well, it'll pass, I'm sure.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Nice color, although I really don't care for the pinstripes or the side moldings. Are those stock? :confuse:
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    Andre, Sheriff Buford T Justice would be proud of you!

    Thanks for the follow up on my transmission question. I wouldn't mind getting serious over a hurst olds, but I would definitely have to thin out the herd a bit.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    I think the side molding might be stock...probably an option. My '76 has that molding too, and I hate it. I think the problem is that on the LeMans, the fenders bulge out a bit, both front and rear, compared to the doors, giving the car a somewhat wasp-waisted stance. As a result, that side molding has sort of a wavy look, depending on the angle you view it from.

    As for the pinstripes, I believe they were an option, but I think the stock ones would be narrower than what's on this car. Personally I don't mind them...but the thing that bugs me is the mirrors on the car. They should be body color and not white. But I guess that's not too hard of a fix.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    Andre, Sheriff Buford T Justice would be proud of you!

    Funny you'd mention that, because "Smokey and the Bandit" is what turned me on to the '76-77 LeMans, in the first place! I know most normal kids lusted after the Trans Am. Or Sally Field :shades:

    I always liked the 442/Hurst. I wonder why they weren't better sellers, compared to the Monte SS and Grand National? Did Olds just not market them?
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    Well, the Hurst was a limited run (3001 and 3500 units in 1983-84), it wasn't as fast as the Monte Carlo SS or the Buick Grand National (or the Camaro Z-28 for that matter), all of which could probably be purchased for similar money (more or less). I suspect it was marketed to those Olds guys who lamented a lost opportunity to own a Hurst back in the day and wanted a modern one.

    It's funny, my brother's 5 year old minivan could probably out accelerate :shades: it, out brake it and out fuel economy it, but I don't find myself lusting so much after it LOL
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    I finally posted some pics of the 240Z on my space. My favorite is a close up of the rear license plate. It has 37 years of registration stickers on the plate, it is literally 3/8" thick LOL
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    I always liked that color for a 240Z. There's a similar Porsche color which I think is called "Colorado Orange"


  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    I really like the orange too, because it is such a "period" color (like the bike I got from Santa (in 72) which was orange too...) LOL

    I took my 3 year old out for a drive in it over the weekend. He was excited because he got to ride in the front seat (in his car seat) with Daddy...
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    3/8" stickers won't happen up here in WA. You have to buy a new plate every seven years. (trailers included)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    If your car is old enough, you can get year of manufacture plates - no new stickers and no new plates. Yay.

    I had year of manufacture plates put on my car in 1996. I found them at a yard sale for a quarter.

    Do you have those on your Mustang? If you don't, you should seek out a set...they look cool on an old car.
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    The mustang has recent personalized plates on it now. The car was originally from NY. I am not sure if CA DMV has released the Black Plates from the 60's yet. My 442 had the black plates, but those were original to the car. I don't think I would get the black plates for the mustang, as that might be a little misleading. Of course my wife will never sell the car, so I guess no one is really going to be mislead thinking they purchased a car that spent its whole life in sunny CA.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    The most recent issue of Corvette Magazine (the title is actually Magazine Corvette) features an article on Corvettes that can be bought for $12,000. They include low mileage, well maintained C3s, many C4s, some C5s, and even a few high mileage C6s. Apparently, some collectors and enthusiasts are really into C3s. As one might expect, C4s are plentiful and popular, and Chevy made incremental improvements to the C4 from the '84-'96 model years. C5s are somewhat less plentiful at the $12,000 price point, but popular. If you don't mind a 100,000+ car, you can score a C6.

    The previous issue had a similar article, using a $9,000 price point, and the next issue will feature Corvettes that can be bought for $15,000.
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