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

191012141517

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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    "But it's true, you're always conscious of the fact that you're in a tiny little car with all the crash protection of an aluminum soda can, surrounded by oblivious people in SUVs the size of Idaho who may or may not even be able to see you."

    Which is why I drive a land yatch! Much less stressful than trying to watch out for every car, truck, and SUV on the road whose lugnuts are at you're eye level.
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    dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    You say less stressful, I say more fun. I like commuting in my little car (though it is admittedly no Mini). I stay focused on driving rather than letting my mind drift off into the music or whatever is coming out of the radio or what I did at work that day.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    small fast car = small fast target

    (think positively, that's my motto)
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    argentargent Member Posts: 176
    Well, the Mini was sometimes nerve-wracking because its evasive maneuverability -- which was very good -- was undermined by the persistent feeling that if you needed to evade something in a hurry, something important (e.g., the steering rack) might come off.
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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Uh...well...uh....
    There's really not much you have to evade when driving a '78 Mercury.

    Provided, of course, you remembered to pay your insurance that month! :D
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    ...that with smaller cars, because they're smaller, lighter, and more "tossable", they might make you feel like you're going fast, even when you're not. So you might think you're tearing up the asphalt even though that Travco motorhome is bearing down on you, locking up its brakes in an attempt to keep from smearing you into the asphalt.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    ...but does this sound like a good deal?

    http://www.best-buy-motors.com/domains/best-buy-motorscom/more_in- ventory.asp?ID=324

    Turns out this place is only about 2 hours away from me. I know the market for '65 Polara 'verts isn't exactly red-hot, but when you figure how much people sometimes want for total crap, this doesn't sound half bad!
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    carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    but I believe the one in the picture is a '66. The 65s had grilles that were similar, except the upper edge of the grille didn't go as far toward the middle of the catr before it dipped down again.
    I always wonder about these photo ads that state the incorrect year for the car for sale.
    Anyway, 65 or 66, seems like a lot of fun for the money.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    ...I think you're right, Carnut. I do remember that for some reason, I always liked the looks of the '66 Polara, but the '65 didn't do as much for me. I always liked the fender crease that ran from the top of the front wheel opening to the front of the car...kinda gave a hint of the old '57-58 DeSoto and Chrysler (and the '61-62). I don't think the '65 had that same crease, or at least it wasn't even with the top of the wheel opening.

    I've already had too many cars in that color, though! My '69 Dart was close to that color, and so is my '67 Catalina. Both of my '79 R-bodies were that color too, so I need a change!
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    dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    My '67 Sport Fury was the same color as that. Might be a good deal. I suspect an equivalent Ford or Chevy would cost you a lot more and if you are getting it as a cool, sunny Sunday afternoon cruising vehicle, it probably doesn't matter a hell of a lot whether it's Ford, Chevy or Mopar.
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I like the '66 Dodges better than the '65s too, mostly because of the taillight treatment. That car looks like a pretty good deal, certainly in comparison to most other convertibles of the era (a '65 Chevy in that shape would be twice as much, at least).

    I also like the relative rarity, you're not likely to see another one any time soon.

    A guy on the next block has a '68 Chrysler 300 convertible, in pretty good shape, fully loaded (power windows, vents, buckets, tilt/tele, air) he bought for around $3000. These Mopar convertibles represent pretty good value.

    I wonder how hard they are to 'keep on the road' (i.e., find parts, find someone to repair them, etc.).
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    aezeligaezelig Member Posts: 13
    Unfortunately, my bargain car from last summer was not supposed to have a roof, but I screwed that up and purchased something I probably didnt need or want.

    This time I will get a convertible, and it will cost under $10000 and it will be fun, different and it will have room for my small kids in the back seat.

    So help me out....corvair monza, porsche targa 911, camaro/firebird.

    I'd love some suggestions to ponder because this snow in the northeast is getting me down.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Pretty hard to get a decent ready to go 911 targa for under $10,000. A Corvair is okay but not a sports car. But a nice Corsa automatic convertible would be a fun ride for Sundays.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    So here is what I would do with a choice of five (not necessarily in this order). I imagine most of them were listed years ago in this thread.

    1) RX-7 (78-81)
    2) MGB GT
    3) 240Z
    4) Fiat Spider
    5) 911S (74-77)
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    stickguystickguy Member Posts: 51,022
    although the 911 is either going to be over budget or eat you alive, and the Fiats have all rusted away by now, haven't they? Old RX-7s are hard to find in nice shape, but I like them.

    Don't see a ton of B GTs either. And 240Zs fit the bill, although I really don't know what they go for now, and how easy it is to find a clean one (no rust and not screwed with).

    Add late 60s/early 70s (Shifty knows the right years) Alfa spiders to the list.

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    great list but you struck out on the Porsches. Those years are the dreaded 2.7 engine and should be avoided at all costs unless you have a receipt in hand for a full engine rebuild with all defects corrected (remachined engine cases, modified exploding air box, modified timing chain tensioners, modified catalytic exhaust systems). You will not that the 75-77 models especially are always more attractively priced than Porsches before or after----and there's a good reason for this. Run away, run away!
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    I knew the poor 911S would be attacked, but I don't think there was a 911 that would fit the requirements. In real life, I would pony up another $5K for a decent SC.

    I decided to add the Fiat instead of the Alfa. It is a tossup between the two for me.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yeah, you're probably right about the 911s under $10K, although you might find a very early one from the 60s, which are not as desirable as later models (pre 69 I mean). These would be 2.2 liters. Or you could substitute the 914, which is a fun car, especially in the 2.0 liter.
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    bobbymcgee1980bobbymcgee1980 Member Posts: 11
    For my $10,000, I'd probably be looking at something from the 1950's, like a '57 Bel Air or a '55 Fairlane. I could get a '55 Fairlan 4-door with an inline six for half that, and spend the other half putting disk brakes and a better suspension under the car so I could actually drive it :)
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I do think you could get a pretty decent '55 Fairlane for $10k; a '57 Bel Air? Not anything other than a four-door sedan, if you want one in decent condition. Most in that range are 'fixers', needing body work, at least.
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    swedishiron1swedishiron1 Member Posts: 16
    Volvo P1800 is nice, safe for its time, handles well, and is very beautiful. Also easy to work on.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well MOST of it is easy to work on...unless the overdrive quits or the gauges all go dead---two things you can count on to happen.

    I like the later "sport wagon" versions. They have more power and don't seem as truck-like as the earlier coupes....also have fuel injection and the larger B20E engines, which are good units.

    Another thing to keep in mind with P1800s is that some of the chrome trim pieces are very very expensive to replace.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Andre, just got around to rereading your masterful and hilarious (msg.#480) "what ifs" regarding the Corvair. Man, you nailed it! And Speedshift's comment that you must work for GM's design department was spot on, too, as was you buddy's rejoinder that you forgot the Corvair diesel. I'd add that there probably would've been an attempt at a 6-4-2 engine around '80 or '81, don't you think?
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    Oh wow, I forgot all about that post! I had to go back and re-read it. And yeah, I could see a 6-4-2 attempt, and I'm sure they would've tried putting in a Diesel, like out of an Isuzu or something.

    A FWD Corvair would be pretty sick, wouldn't it, considering that the engine's in the rear! :P
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well you could do it like the '63 Tempest, with the engine on one end, then a rope drive to the transmission on the other...I forgot where the clutch was but let us hope on the engine end :P
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    would there be any conceivable advantage to making a rear-engined, FWD car? Seems to me that the end result would be something akin to trying to drive an empty pickup truck backwards. I imagine with very little weight on the drive wheels, it would spin out at the drop of a pin.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If it's ever been tried, it was probably in France.
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    british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    LOL

    :shades:

    That made me laugh right at my desk and now people are looking at me funny.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,091
    would there be any conceivable advantage to making a rear-engined, FWD car?

    I certainly can't think of one. That's pretty much the worst of both worlds.

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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    That old "rope drive" driveshaft made the BEST prybar ever!

    Nothing would make it break or bend! I'll bet there are still a few of those in use.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    yeah I remember hearing about that. I'm glad someone found a use for a '63 Tempest.

    Now you know why so few automakers dare to make a 4 cylinder engine over 2.5 liters
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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Oh, it got worse, they even installed some 326 V-8's in some of those Tempests! I think the "ropes" were a little beefier on those. Just STRANGE cars!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I heard the 4 cylinders with manual trans were pretty quick off the line---lotsa torque. That four was bigger than a lot of sixes and of course torque comes from displacement per cylinder, not number of cylinders.
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    jrosasmcjrosasmc Member Posts: 1,711
    Then why did Porsche make a large 3.0-liter twin-cam 4-cylinder in the 944 S2 and 968? They must've known it would have vibrated like crazy!
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    I heard the 4 cylinders with manual trans were pretty quick off the line---lotsa torque. That four was bigger than a lot of sixes and of course torque comes from displacement per cylinder, not number of cylinders.

    Didn't the slant four come in several different states of tune? IIRC, the early ones only had around 110 hp, but I think some of the later ones in hotter setups put out around 160.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    thanks to technology they bought from Mitsubishi (counter balance shaft technology) they got rid of most of it (but not all of it). But it took a great deal of effort.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Shifty, do you think the parameters of this discussion should be revised to something like $12,000 (still below the price of of a decently equipped new sub-compact)or 20 years old or older? This might revive interest while staying within the spirit, if not the letter, of "classic."
    Also, the "or" could be changed to "and." Just a thought to jump start this discussion.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sure....or what do you think about just retiring this topic to archives and starting a new one with $20,000 or less and 25 years or older? That would open the field but still eliminate 1990s Kias and Chevy Citations and stuff we really don't want in there.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "...or what do you think about..."

    Thank you for considering a change in the rules for this discussion, Shifty.

    I think that changing the parameter(s) without archiving this topic would be preferable to starting over, because readers would be able to see the earlier messages. I think that could be useful for future messages. You could just explain the changes in message #592 that will affect future messages, so we have the before and after rules documented. Or you could establish a date, such as 2/1/07, as the starting point for the new parameter(s).

    As for what change(s) would work best, I don't see that Kia and Citation type cars present a problem. I personally think that $20,000 violates the notion of "not too expensive", since you can buy a new Camry CE with manual for around that price. I understand that fewer than 25 years violates the definition of "classic", which bothers me also, but while 20 years isn't strictly classic, I would argue that it is old in most peoples' minds, and could qualify as being within the spirit, albeit not the letter, of classic.

    My 2 cents, but I'll be okay with whatever changes you (Shifty)make, or don't make.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay, to liven things up from now on we're going to expand this topic to include cars that are worth up to $12,000, instead of $10,000...and that are 20 years or older, rather than 25.

    The topic title has already been changed, but newcomers might wonder why the older posts don't reflect the new parameters....so now you know.

    enjoy!

    Mrshiftright
    Host
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    stickguystickguy Member Posts: 51,022
    since some of the ones that I will post are ones that I looked at new, when I could have bought them!

    let's see, my interest is currently held by the 1st gen GTI (83-84). I' seriously tempted to start looking, but I have a feeling I will mostly find a collection of beaters and highly modified scare boxes. Not going to be easy to find a clean, stock, nicely maintained survivor!

    There are a few other oddballs, although they might not make the age cut:

    - Toyota FX-16 (the hyper sport model)
    - Gen 1 RX-7

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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,091
    1st gen RX7 dates back to '78, so it easily makes the age cut, even under the old rules.

    i had to look up that toyota. It apparently dates back to '84, so you are OK with that one under the new rules.

    ;)

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    british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    The FX-16 was a cool thing. Even had a badass name. Sounds like a experimental aircraft or something.
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 243,072
    I think the reality of it was a little less exciting than the name..

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    british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Well it was from the 80's not many exciting cars came out of the 1980s.

    Buick GNX is one of the few really.
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 243,072
    You could get the same motor in the Corolla GTS.. and it was RWD... or, the original MR2..

    I was speaking of it in Toyota terms... I mean.. much better than the stock FX, but there were better applications for that sort of engine.

    Or, maybe it was because of that one girlfriend with the FX... :(

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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    opens up a whole lot of generic RWD Detroit iron (or was it tin by that time? :P ) from the 80's that I like, but from a "classic" standpoint most of it's not going to miss the mark somewhat...
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    lilengineerboylilengineerboy Member Posts: 4,116
    You mean like a 80s Camaro with 120 hp V8? Or a Monte Carlo with the same 120hp V8? Actually in the 80s you could get a Camaro with the Iron Duke, IIRC. I think its the difference between "classic" and "old," and I think its in the eye of the beholder (or title holder, or something like that).
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,763
    Or a Monte Carlo with the same 120hp V8?

    I had an '86 Monte with the 305-4bbl, and it was up to 150 hp by then. It put out 165 in trucks and fullsize cars, but I guess in the midsized cars, it was choked back a bit. It wasn't a bad performer. I wouldn't mind having something like that again, or a comparable Grand Prix, Regal, or Cutlass Supreme.

    But yeah, some of those little undersized 260/265/267 V-8's could be pretty bad. And I had an '82 Cutlass Supreme with the 110 hp 231-2bbl V-6. It was a dog, although if you punched it at around 45-50 it was quicker than I expected it to be. And it was a surprisingly good highway cruiser.

    Back when I was in high school, I thought the 3rd-gen Camaro/Firebird were pretty cool, although something like a Monte SS or Grand National was really more my style.

    I think its the difference between "classic" and "old," and I think its in the eye of the beholder (or title holder, or something like that).

    Judging by what some people think is "classic", maybe it's more of the beer-holder! :P
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A "classic" has to be in the eyes of the BEHOLDERS...that is, way more than one person; otherwise, we could also call it a "delusion".
This discussion has been closed.