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Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Yeah, I didn't catch it in the ad title, but then he listed the same amount in the body of the ad as well (even included the comma in the right place), and then I just started laughing. If he really wants that price, he'll be keeping the old girl for quite some time to come. :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    For the most part, I never really cared for those big '73-78 LTDs. I think part of the problem was that they dropped the true hardtops after just a couple years, and just went with that "pillared hardtop" look on the sedans. But then, as a kid, I was sort of taught to hate Fords, because my Dad hated them, and so did my Granddad (on my Mom's other Granddad cherished the things!). So, I might have been biased, just a bit. :P

    I always liked the Marquis/Grand Marquis equivalents, though. I appreciated the fact that the coupe kept the hardtop look all the way up through the end, although I'm sure at some point they started charging you extra for roll down windows in back, and towards the end they might have made them all stationary.

    It's been ages since I've seen either, outside of a car show, but it seemed like the big Mercurys hung around longer than the big Fords did. Maybe they were bought by people with a bit more money, who took better care of them? Seems like dove gray or silver was a common color for the Marquis.

    There's a '76 or so LTD that shows up regularly at one of the car shows I attend, in Magungie PA. It's red, and quite luxurious looking.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,744
    The full-size Fords of the mid-70s were not as bad for rusting as the '71-'73 models, which rusted almost instantly. I don't know what changes they made later on to protect them, but the later ones were better in that respect.

    The big Fords were just that - big. To me they seemed bigger than the Chevys of the era, though that may not be factually accurate. Being Fords of that time, though, they came with Novocaine steering and a super-soft suspension too, so they were not the easiest things to drive. But I liked them anyway because of their interiors and the styling.

    The Comet dashboard was exactly like the one in our '74 Maverick right down to the color. I always hated the "cane" parking brake on those - it seemed so primitive. The only difference for '75 is that the spokes of the steering wheel dipped downward at either end, whereas the '74 had 2 spokes that ran straight across. I'm sure the Comet was just as unsatisfying to drive as our Maverick was. I do remember the salesman at the Lincoln-Mercury dealer telling us when we were in buying mode that the Comet used a heavier gauge of steel than the Maverick in the body. That's gotta be sales talk, right?

    There WAS a difference that I detected once we bought our Meverick. Right behind the front bumper, the front fenders stopped at about bumper height and there was a small metal panel that filled the rest of the space downward. On the Maverick that flexed quite easily with mild pressure, but the Comets on the lot didn't do that. Of course, given our Maverick began rusting out the minute we took it home, maybe it was already weakened by corrosion.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    The big Fords were just that - big. To me they seemed bigger than the Chevys of the era, though that may not be factually accurate.

    IIRC, the Fords rode a 121" wb and the Chevies a 121.5", so they were close enough there. Overall length probably varied a bit from year to year with bumpers and such, but I think the '76 Chevy topped out at around 221". I have an old Consumer Guide used car book that covers 1977-85 (except for cars that were in their last year in '77), and it lists the LTD at "only" 219 inches. That doesn't seem right to me, though.

    The Fords had more of a straight-edged, linear look to them, and seemed a bit lower overall. So maybe that made them look longer?

    Something about the rear of the Chevies seemed a bit shorter too, at least from 1974-76. Instead of taking on a 5 mph bumper that added about 5 or 6 inches to the overall length, it looks like they shortened the rear deck a bit, and then stuck on the 5 mph bumper, but still maintained roughly the same overall length.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    edited February 2013
    My Dad had a 1972 Ford LTD Country Squire and it was a dog! That car more than anything made me disdain most anything with the blue oval. When my Grand Marquis acts up, memories of that LTD come flooding back.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    The only story I can relate to those big Fords was a '73 LTD hardtop coupe that the mother of one of my friends had when he was a little kid. It refused to start on a fairly regular basis, and tended to stall out. He and his brothers called it "Mommy's Hunk O'Junk"

    It got replaced by a Volare wagon, a 1977 I think, which was actually a pretty good car but it got hit and totaled by a delivery truck.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    edited February 2013
    I only have vague memories of my mother's gargantuan T-Bird, but I do remember it in the driveway with the hood up. It would have been under 10 years old, apparently developed starting and cold running issues from an early age. - emissions junk related, IIRC. And if I hint at it, I can get the story of when the cruise control stuck. It was sold to a friend of my dad's, and I know it was off the road by 1985.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 894
    I had a mid-70's Comet for a short period of time. My Brother-in law overheated it and blew out a freeze plug on the straight six block, I fixed it and sold it for a decent profit. I remember the cheesy cane parking brake handle, and the panel under the rear bumper, the side welds rusted, and it would just hang, they all seemed to do that.
  • When I was a kid my Dad had a '76 Grand Marquis 4-door, in the most awful shade of powder-blue. I don't think he kept it that long. It was a tank.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    Well, if you want to re-live your childhood, here's a Powder Blue '78 for sale.

    Y'know, for $1900, this one looks pretty nice. Unless it's hiding something.

    I actually like those pale blues and greens from the 70's, but sometimes it seems like just the slightest variance in hue can make a world of difference. For instance, there's a powder blue that GM used in '75, that seemed extra common on Buicks, that I really love. But on that '78 Grand Marquis, I just don't like its hue quite as much.

    On a Grand Marquis, I think a deeper, metallic blue would probably work better with its ritzy, upscale style.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,744
    There's been a powder blue 2-door '78 (I think) Marquis for sale up here for at least a couple of years. I think the price is something ridiculous, like $8K or thereabouts.The 2-door version is kind of odd-looking. The relatively small greenhouse compared to the huge body makes it look like a really overweight house cat.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    I can buy a '53 GMC 3/4 ton pickup for $500. It is 100% all there, and it hasn't run in 30 years. It's dirty, it's dented, there are parts piled in the bed. No broken glass however. It's really a mess.

    Before you say "you're crazy", these early 50s Pickups are doing some serious escalation in value the last two years.

    Upside: Classic styling, big GMC 260 (??) engine, 4-speed.

    Downside: 3/4 ton, needs everything done to it. May or may not run. Big question mark.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Not a speck of rust anywhere! But some of the fenders have decent dents.


  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    What would you do to it? Full resto or just do enough to get it running/driving and flip for a small profit.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    edited February 2013
    Sounds like a great project, if that's your kind of thing. Friend restored a '40, let me drive it, scared me half to death until I figured out the steering only had an incidental impact on the truck's direction, and that the springs were strictly decorative!

    Just getting cleaned up and running would net you quite a bit, I'd think. No body work or interior work, just the mechanicals. ("Just" being wildly inappropriate, I know).

    Edit - looks like tic and I have the same idea!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    I wouldn't say you are crazy. Its $500 for 50s metal. Have you every watched Counting Cars? He pays crazy money for vehicles in worse shape, IMHO.

    I'd buy it. I've been wanting a pickup rat rod for a while now. ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    Probably worth that in scrap. Worst case scenario, it becomes too much of a project, and you part it out for a profit.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I took that gamble back in 1997 on a truck that had sat for 23 years (paid $500). It has paid off in spades for me! The big difference is that the interior was spotless (under that 1/2" of dust), so everything I needed to do was either exterior or mechanical, and it turned out that it needed very little of either.

    S-C-O-R-E for me, but still a gamble.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    I'd just get it safe and running tcj, and use it for hauling stuff to the dump, or garden work, etc. Of course, "safe and running" could be a big deal in itself!

    But I've found that once an old heap actually runs, and can be driven around the block, however badly, that this greatly improves its value to a "dreamer".

    50s pickups, to their credit, are generally much easier to restore than equivalent era cars.


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