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

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    jeffdjeffd Member Posts: 8
    between an 87 with new interior, service records, 81,000 for $6,100 and '85 with 49,000 with new tires, top interior, breaks at $6600 would the 85 be the pick on basis of mileage?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'd pick the '85 for mileage but at $6,600 this had better be a very, very sharp car with ZERO excuses....my favorites are the Graduate model because it doesn't have power windows and A/C, both of which add weight and don't work all that well on these cars.
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    bmp500racingbmp500racing Member Posts: 2
    I logged on and read your comments to previous posters re. the alfa. I have a friend with a shop full of 70's and 80's alfas and parts. Also has a large inventory of MGBs as well. Know anyone with interest? By the way, I know how you feel about your '67 Goat. I had a '68 (low number) Roadrunner equipt with a 426 Hemi,Borg-Warner transmission/Hurst 4 speed w/rear lock-out and quick change rear end. That beast would jump lanes of traffic shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear and would rattle the door locks of every car I smoked by!!! That car had serious character, I sure wish I had it now. Oh well c'est la vie.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Does your buddy have any of those old Alfa 4-door sedans...the Berlina...from the late 60s early 70s? Ugly but fun!
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    bmp500racingbmp500racing Member Posts: 2
    No his stock is 100% rag tops. The b stuff is quite extensive.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Any B overdrive transmissions?
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    exflyguyexflyguy Member Posts: 1
    Does $4000 for a 1970 Mercedes Benz 280SE sound about right? It has 97k, silver with black leather interior. Some rust around bottom door sills/rockers and drivers seat pretty ragged. Wood and dash in great shape. Has AC (with a leak). Single family owned.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds too high....rust on a Benz is nearly always fatal and the car has no resale value, at least not where I come from...tell them to get more realistic with the price, and maybe you can use it just to get around. But you'll never come out right moneywise on a rusty 4-door sedan. Sounds like a $1,500 car, if you want to be safe. You should be able to buy a very nice one of those for $5,500.
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    zampyzampy Member Posts: 1
    I have a 65 mustang with a 302, it is not as fast as I would like, what are some good suggestions for reliable speed increase on a basically stock engine that do not cost too much?

    Also I am looking for a 69 camaro ss, STANDARD. Anyone know where to find one?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Hi Zampy,

    I think you'd get good info by looking into the Sportscar conference and checking the Mustang topics. The people who hang out there know a lot about Mustang mods. And since your engine is not an original, modding the car probably wouldn't hurt the value.

    Best place to find a Camaro SS is Hemmings Motor News. Be sure you have LOTS of good books and ID charts, because many, many SS cars are fake.
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    19691969 Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for any information on this model truck that you could provide.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Here's a site you may find helpful.

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/


    Unfortunately, the vast Shiftright Library is a little light on truck info at the moment!

    best,

    shifty
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    cil4kidscil4kids Member Posts: 5
    My husband has his fathers vehicle as above, it is running pretty well mileage is 105K, but it had a recall at 25,000 so actual mileage on this engine is 78K. It has had the transmission rebuilt, it always leaks oil but runs great on the highway. Red leather interior, factory fitted options, everything cb/8track/electric aerial etc etc. Will this sedan(does any) ever become a classic it is only three years or so off being eligible. Any view please. Thanks
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No, never, sell it would be my advice. The longer you wait, the less it will be worth. It was a problematic vehicle and is generally shunned by collectors; however, this is not to say completely worthless--but any cash offer at $1,000 or above should be gratefully accepted in my opinion.
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    sfishsfish Member Posts: 27
    I am looking at an early 1970's mustang convert. Only place that has rust is one of the floor pans. seller says about $500 labor to get new pan put in. He has the part. Is this a deal killer? What should I pay for an otherwise good car? Thanks
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, this is the type of car that needs very close examination. It's possible that the rust can be confined to the floorpans, but are we sure about that? If the rust has progressed to where the floorpan attaches to the side panels or rockers, then watch out--you may never be done with it.

    As the song goes "rust never sleeps". If it were possible, I'd either pay dirt cheap for the car or shop for one that isn't rusty. These aren't so rare or expensive that you have to settle for a rusty car.

    I don't know the labor rates in your part of the country, but here in California I doubt you could have the floorpans done that cheaply, due to the prep work, disassembly etc...I suppose if you stripped the car down (a welder will not weld near upholstery, fuel lines, etc.) and treated the rust then maybe you could have it done for that...the safest way to treat a rusty car is to dip the entire frame and strip it of corrosion, but of course that is a momentous task.

    I'd say at the minimum you need to lift the car, and also pop off all the door panels and kick panels to see what's really going on in there.

    Be careful with this one.

    shifty
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    sfishsfish Member Posts: 27
    Thanks for the help.
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    fclspatfclspat Member Posts: 61
    I've owned a 63 Meteor 4dr for 9 years thats in really excellent shape (except for the front seat which is in tatters). Looking for orignial cloth to cover the front seat (as the back seat is pristine and would like it to match). Also need leaf springs as one is cracked (ever since I bought it).

    While this car will never be worth a fortune (as its a 4dr). Wondering what you think about its prospects.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, it would be a fun car to drive around and maybe take to local shows if you fix it up nicely, but as far as its future value, I would say it will remain as stagnant as it has been in the past. As you imply, this is due to the fact that it is a 4-door, but also because it is not a "flashy" or powerful car. So between body style, lack of options and being a Mercury (Ford's poor brother), there's not a lot going for it as a collectible of any substantial value monetarily speaking.
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    fclspatfclspat Member Posts: 61
    Any ideas on where to find leaf springs and interior cloth?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yeah, here's what you should do. Get a copy of Hemmings Motor News (www.hemmings.com), go the Mercury cars section, and then to the "M" parts & service section just after the Mercury cars section....you'll see a lot of listings marked "comet" and I can see parts and upholstery vendors listed there. This should give you a good start!

    Host
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    cali_guy19cali_guy19 Member Posts: 2
    Recently someone offered me a 1963 Olds Dynamic 88 Holiday w/ a 394, in great condition for $500. Though I haven't seen it everyone I know who has seen it says it is in great condition, what I want to know, is if anyone out there has any info on this car, ie. design, performance, and so forth, any info would be helpfull.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Let's see...maybe I can at least get you started. This car is either a model 3439 or 3447 (hardtop sedan or hardtop coupe), weights about 4,020 lbs, cost around $3,100 new in 1963. Around 50,000 of the hardtop sedan were produced, and around 32,000 of the coupe. The 394 engine in the 88 series should be putting out about 280HP (up to 345 in the Starfire), so it's got a lot of work to do to push 4,000 lbs around--but still performance should be quite decent even in modern times.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    The automatic in those cars is the weirdest and worst I've ever come across. It feels like it's slipping off the line, then bogs the engine going into second. The gap between first and second is as big as the Grand Canyon. I had it in a '63 Starfire and a '62 Grand Prix, and it's something else. Once you're in second, though, you should have good performance--that engine puts out plenty torque. And for 500 bucks it's a cheap history lesson.
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    cali_guy19cali_guy19 Member Posts: 2
    Well yesterday I researched the Olds on every possible sight I could find, I found many '63 Olds Dynamic 88 four doors, but not one that was the Holiday edition, never the less, while researching it I found out that the '63 Dynamic 88 was the model used as the LA county police departments intercepter car.
    After reading this I decided to go and check out the car personally. The car was in much better condition than I had thought, the only problem with it was a small dent in the front drivers side fender, and faded paint. It stills has the original trim, and rims, nothing was missing from it and is all original. The engine was also in better shape than I had expected. The 394 roared with confidence! I took a test drive along with the owner, and it had substantial power considering it has had no after market alterations, it ate hills like they were nothing. After my ride I started thinking of all I could do with this car, and decided that is was well worth the $500 investment, and with the owner being a friend of the family, I can make payments if I like, and with no set date I have to pay them, so it seemed stupid not to buy the car. But since it is a bit large for daily driving, I'll keep my '86 Camaro for a daily driver.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yeah, the gas consumption is going to be high, so you may want to keep it for Sundays only or for highway use.
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    aongchaongch Member Posts: 6
    Are the values of '70 thru '72 240Z close enough in the eyes of a collector today? Yes, only the '70 has obtained the "classic" status. The '72 has the highest volume, but has many improvements over the '70. I realized the '73 is too smog-laden to be desirable. Your feedbacks. Thanks
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'm not entirely convinced collectors are differentiating that much between different years of the 240Z...the car is still struggling for respectability among collectors, and the prices haven't moved upwards very much. You can still find very very nice cars for $7500 and near show quality for $10K. Even MGBs are bound to pass them in value. Still, I think they are a good buy. You get a lot of car for the money and they can be driven just like a modern car in any weather. But I don't yet believe they are a very good investment or that they will appreciate a lot in value in the near future.
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    aongchaongch Member Posts: 6
    Thanks, Mr Shiftright, on you observation about the 240Z. I still get big grins just driving this car -- the handling, engine torque and sound, modern design, etc. -- just wondering if and when the new Z comes out, will the 240Z appreciate just a little bit? If not, then what do you think will kick-start the Japanese classics boom?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Good question...perhaps nothing will happen for a long time with Japanese cars because of the numbers produced...that's probably a big issue...the supply still exceeds the demand. But the 240Z will creep up with inflation, so that's good. Many old cars just keep getting cheaper and cheaper. Also, there really aren't that many interesting Japanese cars made...Datsun 1600 and 2000 roadsters, Honda 600 & 800 series, Datsun 240Z, Toyota 2000GT, Mazda RX-7 twin turbo, Acura NSX...that's about it, the rest are just ordinary cars made in very large numbers and they'll be long gone I bet before they're worth anything.

    No, I don't think the new Z will affect the price of the old one.
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    zzoom1zzoom1 Member Posts: 31
    any preference on model year, or would it be wise to focus on acquiring a tii regardless of year? any major problem areas which you know of?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    2002s are fun cars.....I like the earlier models, prior to the big fat ugly bumpers of I believe 75-76...they rather spoil the car's lines I think. The styling is typical German Atomic Toaster design of the 60s, but it's better than some of the concoctions they came out with during that period (the Borgward takes a lot of effort to like, and the BMW 4-doors of that time are dumpy).

    The 2002Tii is desirable and worth almost double any of the other 2002s, except for the convertible made by Baur. On the downside, you have an obsolete fuel injection system there, and parts are difficult to find and expensive. So you need to watch out for that.

    The 2002s have some weak spots....the ones I recall are the heater fans, which are an incredible pain to replace, but which must be replaced if you want heat. Also on some models the splines wear on the output shaft of the transmission. Bottom ends are strong,

    They are sturdy cars....oh, yeah, watch out for RUST. They are typical 60s German rustbuckets. (We've come a long way in rust prevention both in the US and Europe since then!)
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    toplessinsftoplessinsf Member Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    I have always loved VW convertibles (beetles) and want to buy one in the SF area. What should I be looking for, best years, telltale signs of bad care? I'm not much of a mechanic, but can a novice learn to work on one? What is the general price range of one in good shape? I am assuming they are considered classics and this would be a weekend car for fun. Thanks everyone for any help! Red!! Oooh, my favorite color!!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, old VWs are pretty accessible to the amateur mechanic, except for a few esoteric things like rebuilding the transmission. You remember those famous "Idiot" books for VW. They will get you through most repairs and maintenance.

    As for preferable years, I think the earlier cars are more "pure" and more valuable than the SuperBeetles, but really either will do.

    These cars will never be "classics" because, like the Model A Ford, there are too many of them. So you needn't worry about "saving" them. Just buy one, fix it up and drive it. Replacement parts are (for the most part) cheap. You can replace and paint a fender on a VW cheaper than you can have it straightened.

    The only really expesive part of a VW is the soft-top, which is padded and rather complex, and therefore can be very very expensive to replace. So if you find a VW convert needing a top, don't listen to these cheap estimates of "a few hundred dollars"...figure at least $1,000 and perhaps more.

    Last of all, keep in mind that these are pretty primitive cars.....noisy, ill handling, marginal brakes, heat and defrostig, etc. So if you are not familiar with them, take a long drive in one before you buy to make sure you can live with it on modern roads. For around town, no problem, they are fun.
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    toplessinsftoplessinsf Member Posts: 3
    Hi Mr. Shiftright,

    Thanks so much for your info. This will get me started. Do you know where I might find more info on the different models, years, etc. on the internet? I know that there are different engine types - I saw an ad for a '78 SB with a 2800cc engine, nu top for $4995. I'd like to read up on the cars. If you say that the tops are about $1000, does this sound like a good buy to you? The prices are so varied. Thanks again for your help - you're a great host!! I appreciate your quick response!!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Hi, and thanks!

    the prices vary with condition, and the condition of old VWs varies a lot. It's hard to tell what a car is worth unless you look at it. You know, the value is in the details, where the car just looks "sharp".

    There's a great book out that I think you can order from Amazon.com....called the VW Buyer's Guide...it's about $17 and tells you all you need to know I think.

    The weak point on a VW is the engine itself. They are only good for 60,000 miles, so I'd look for a car that had had a PROFESSIONALLY rebuilt (let's see those receipts!) engine within the last year or two.

    A 2800cc engine! Nah, couldn't be. Maybe 1800 cc, right?

    I'd stay away from Big-Bore engine kits, and choose a stock engine car. Some of those kits use flat-top pistons and raise compression too high...the results.....KABOOM!

    but $4,900 for a very sharp, stock SB convertible sounds okay to me.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    What about a Karmann Ghia convertible from the same period? I put a few miles on a nearly-new one around 1971 and it was a very nice runabout--although at the time my basis of comparison was a '66 Impala and a '60 Corvair. Do they sell at much of a premium compared to the bug?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, Karmann Ghias seem to bring more money....probably because they are rarer and more attractive. Basically it is just a VW underneath, though, and a pretty expensive car to restore. Body parts are very expensive as well.
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    one68stangone68stang Member Posts: 4
    I found a 74 Lotus Espire that my sister's friends brother owns. It has been sitting for about 6-8 yr now without being started. The brakes are locked up and so is the clutch petal. They are looking to get rid of it and asked me to give them a price for it! I don't know what it is worth? Is there a web site that I may go to to find the cost of it as it sits and if in good condition. I would like to purchase it soon. Please Help!!
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    dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I don't think there is such a thing as a Lotus Espire. There is, of course, the Esprit but not in '74.
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    toplessinsftoplessinsf Member Posts: 3
    Hi Mr. Shiftright,

    Thanks again for the info. Boy, after reading all that good stuff on Mazda Miatas, maybe I should look in that direction. Yes, the newspaper ad read a 2800cc engine, though I didn't call the seller to look at it. I saw a 78 VW convertible and test drove it. Boy, no kidding - it drove like a bucket of bolts! It was noisy and the accelerator/clutch made the car buck like a bronco horse! The brakes also needed "adjusting" but I was almost afraid that we wouldn't stop at the intersection. Do they all run that rough? It was the first time I had ever driven one. I hope it was just specific to that one. Whew!! Anyway, yes - I also love Karmann Ghias - in fact, it is a toss up as to which I like more. But, maybe a newer model car, like a Miata, would be better and have fewer problems in the long run. You've really got me thinking.
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    one68stangone68stang Member Posts: 4
    I'll check again but I'm positive that they said it was a 74 Lotus Esprit. I'll get back with that one!

    thanks!
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    dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    My source says the Esprit didn't come out until '76. In '74 there was the Elite, Elan, Eclat and Europa.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Stang, we'd need to know the exact year, make and mode, and ESPECIALLY the overall condition of body, mechanicals, etc. to give you a ballpark. If it's not running and a bit rusty, that can cut the value 75%. Basically, the only Lotuses worth anything are ones that are tip-top or very rare, and it sounds like this car is neither. But let's get more facts.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    yes, by all means drive other VWs. It sounds like the one you drove was particularly bad. While they are noisy, they should shift fairly smoothly and a '78 model should stop with decent brake pedal pressure. Just don't do any sportscar "tricks" in a VW cabriolet...they are not very good handling cars and they can get you in trouble if you do anything extreme.

    No, the 2800cc is either a misprint or it is an engine transplant. You can't beef up a VW engine to 2800 cc....that's almost a 3.0 liter 4-cylinder engine!
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    one68stangone68stang Member Posts: 4
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A 1974 Lotus is probably a Europa or an Elan or an Elite...the Elite is the least valuable by far, with Elan or Europa about equal (depending on model). A so-so Elite is a $2,500 car at best.

    None of these models is very valuable, but a very clean Elan or Europa can bring in the $8,000-$10,00 area (VERY clean) and a Elan S4 Sprint roadster would bring $15K+ if it were extremely nice.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,015
    Well, I see this topic is on and off over the years, but I think its interesting.

    I'm going to suggest a late 60s Mustang coupe. A better than average 66 coupe with the straight 6 can be had for about $6K [wow. 4 6es](I just saw a recently completed full-restoration in the classifieds for $8K). Parts are abundant when you take into consideration the fact that the same drivetrain was used for a VERY long time in many different cars (for instance, I sold my '66 project car last year with an identical engine and tranny I swapped in from a '79 Mercury Zephyr).

    And, although you don't like it, Mr. Host, I'm going to come right out and point to the 70s Alfa Spider (although my '86 doesn't count, I did only pay $2K for it a year ago). You could go with a 70s and convert to the dual Webers. Although I'm not one for changing from original, I think this is an exceptional case (don't want that Spica).

    That's all I have at the moment. I'm sure more will come to me.

    Oh, yeah. And another thing. I noticed that short thread a while back that warned against the XKE 2+2. Frankly, I think the idea of collecting a car should count more on whether you like it or not, not whether or not a car is economically worthy of restoration. If you find it desirable, then go for it. Who cares what others think? Especially with that car. Personally, I prefer the 2+2 above all myself. If I went for an XKE, that would be the one.

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    What makes you think I don't like Alfas...I own two of them!

    The only reason I warn people about the XKE 2+2 is not to discourage them from buying it, but only to remind them that the car is cheap for a reason---that most people find them unattractive....so if you buy one, that's great, just don't expect to get any money for it if you try to sell it. So I'm cautioning them to buy them cheap and not to put their life savings into them, in the hope that they will somehow come out okay. They won't.
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    im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    Or...

    Pick up a solid S3 XKE 2+2 for about $10-12K and chop the top for another $12K...

    Save a good $10K over a real ragtop... :)

    Seriously, I think one oughta look at someof the old British "oddballs" like my Vauxhall Velox. Or what about a Mini? or a Minor? While common in Britain, they're scarce over here and are real head-turners for cheap. But a lot of British "Orphans" come to mind. Triumph Heralds are cheap and fun, and a Convertible can fit a small family. While a Herald is a bit gutless, the rarer Sports Six (aka Vitesse) is quite peppy,especially a 2.0. And it shares the running gear from more common models.

    Or a Hillman Minx convertible? There's a solid one for sale right now on eBay for $795! Throw Paint, interior and some minor mechanicals at it and for under $3,500 or so you have a nice driver. Or what about some obsure BMC product? Maybe an Austin, MG Magnette, etc...

    Bill

    Bill
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