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

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    im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    The webers were awesome... a ROYAL PITA to set up though.

    Umm... TR7? OK, I'll agree that that belongs with the Allegro, Austin 3-Litre, Princess Wedges, Maestros..etc..

    Vauxhalls and Vitesses? They're highly collectible and desireable in the UK. And wasn't the Victor F-Typethe first production car with a MacPherson strut suspension or am I wrong? (I may well be) But, aside from tinworm (Like my 65 XKE OTS and 59 XK150 Roadster didnt have that problem at one point!) The Vauxhalls are known, especially the PAs for outstanding mechanical durability. The drivetrains are nearly bulletproof. Also, the Vauxhall PAs were quite advanced for their day and also quite successful in the marketplace both in the UK and abroad.
    Umm...and a 2000cc Vitesse does the 0-60 run in something like 9secs... not bad at all for back then.

    Also, market on a PA in the UK exceeds many more popular Sports cars.



    :)

    Now go see my Vauxhall page!

    Bill
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think some cars are best forgotten, but you know, maybe it's a cultural thing over there in the UK. Perhaps they can relate better to those cars then we do here in the USA.

    Of course, it is nice that there are old cars you can buy cheap and drive around in and have fun in. Not everyone can afford an XKE or a Healey or old Porsche or a GTO. And I have had my share of weird cars.

    Please don't take offense, I just don't think Vauxhalls or Vitesses are anything more than oddities, like two headed cats and things like that. If you really HAVE to have one, well, go for it! I once had a Bond Equipe-----top THAT for weird and useless!

    The cars you mentioneda are rare here because nobody wanted them in the first place, but in the UK they were more popular new, hence more popular old. That's the difference I suspect in the collectibility and value there versus here. Collectors need both a frame of reference and an object of collective desire; otherwise, you just end up with a curiosity, which is fine, but not quite as satisfying in my own humble opinion. Like taking in a stray dog, it's good for the compassion element--I sentiment I do support.
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    mwdreammwdream Member Posts: 91
    I thought I found the perfect Spitfire on Ebay, bidding started at $3000 and went up to almost $5000. Much too rich for me..... I think a concourse Spitfire is only around $6000 isn't it???

    Search is still on in the $2000 to $3000 range. However it could be years until one comes for sale within reasonable driving distance. I have real concerns buying a car sight unseen or driven, especially these old British rust jobbies.

    Maybe I should save my money and look into getting an MGA or Healey? Maybe a wiser "investment"

    Anyone have an opinions?
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    mwdreammwdream Member Posts: 91
    Hey Don, did you go to Allentown College in PA?
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    dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    No, Cornell in New York. Did you know another Don Graves who went there?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You'd be fortunate to get $6,000 for the best Spitfire in the world. It's really an astronomical sum for the car. $3,000 should be plenty to find a pretty decent one. I don't think you'll touch a decent solid good-looking MGA under $12K and a decent Healey under $20K, so Spits are atttractive as cheap top-down fun. But you have to realize you aren't getting much of a car there.
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    badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    Got himself a used TR8, was disappointed with the performance and promptly shoehorned an LT1 into it. Talk about quick....
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, that's a SERIOUS V8 engine. How does he stop and steer it, must be frightening to drive (scary is fun, I like scary).
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    badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    e worked where I did, and he was a really neat guy. But you could tell from his complexion that he was a heavy drinker and probably had heart trouble. Sure enough, he had a heart attack, then a stroke that left him unable to work on his car, and he sold it shortly afterward. Three or four months later, he was dead.

    It was really sad -- I went over to his house one day to help him with the stereo in his car, and he was just so frustrated -- he couldn't make sense of the wiring and couldn't remember anything. That's when I knew he was in real trouble.

    But the car -- what a screamer! It had an electric fuel pump that you had to turn on before you started the engine, and you could hear it buzz and whirr -- kind of a preamble to the insanity soon to come! He took it to the track once and turned high 12s. Not bad for an old, much maligned British door stop!

    'Course, this was in lower Michigan, so curvy roads were few and far between. Steering it under full throttle could get squirrely though!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, on the older cars you run into serious chassis limitations when you add gobs of HP. The first AC Cobras were freaky to drive.
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    amoralesamorales Member Posts: 196
    Trying to remember, it was in 1962, 63, neighbor has this green Sunbeam with dual pipes and a deep throaty rumble of an exhaust. Like the ole FALCON Sprint V8. Sure enough it was
    a TIGER. It was sweet. He was an aerospace engineer working on ICBM design. He never let me drive it, but gave me a ride, most euphoric. Other small Sports cars i enjoyed seeing,
    MG Midget, and the Healy Sprite with the protruding headlight.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    tigers are now out of the $10,000 range, more like $20K for a nice, straight stock car. The problem you'll find with Tigers is the same you find with Panteras...they are often subject to lots of modification and it is hard to find an unmolested car that hasn't been substantially altered. they are fun to drive, and you can throttle steer them pretty well, but if the original engine has been beefed up a lot, they can also be scary to drive. And very hot in the cockpit. There are also fake Tigers around, made from Sunbeam Alpines ("Algers"), but if you are sharp you can spot the fakes. Not from the VIN unfortunately, but from differences between the Tiger and Alpine that are very hard to cover up.

    Now an Alpine is a little British two seater you can still pick up cheap.
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    im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    I went to a "British Breakfast" today here in Orlando.First sunday of the month.. 9am Breakfast with British cars.

    My first time and glad I found out about it!... anyways.. Guy who told me about it has a stunning Dark Blue Tiger 260, stock except for Minilite Wheels, and there was a second one there.. also in flawless stock condition.

    Gorgeous cars, and rare to see 2 nice stock ones too.

    Bill
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    amoralesamorales Member Posts: 196
    Thanks Joe,

    Awesome input and data. Watching out for the fakes is difficult unless you have a person along that is really savvy.

    I would prefer British racing green color with wire wheels.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, fake Tigers are hard to spot. If I remember correctly (I have it all written down SOMEWHERE), there is a battary box on the Alpine that the Tiger doesn't use (uses the space for a fuel pump), so that box has to be cut off, and the hole in the floor welded....usually you can spot that. I think there are a few other subtle things to look for, I just can't remember, but if someone here needs to know, I will dig it out for you!

    BAD Karma to do that to someone!

    Wire Wheels---some cars just don't look good in wires...this is especially true on a small tire. I don't think they work on Tigers, I think they just tart up the car. Mercedes look really awful in wires. Jags seem to look very good. Hard to know why, has to do with the lines I think of the car, and how the tire sits under the body, also tire size and the bulk of the body. You need a very very graceful car to use wire wheels.
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    amoralesamorales Member Posts: 196
    Remember seeing a '74 MGB with ugly rubber bumber and mag wheels, also ugly. Wire wheels looked
    great on MGB's...at least the 60's units. The ones with knock offs anyway....not silver, the chrome ones...
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I don't like chrome wires myself because it takes away the "lightness look" of a wire wheel....actually silver often looks just right to me, sometimes black is nice. I think putting chrome on the wires is missing the point...the idea is to have the car 'float" above the wires, for the viewer to see through the wires, to see "air" if you will...the chrome focuses right on the "shine", and you don't look through the wheel....it might as well be solid. Or as they say, "gilding the lily"....putting glitz on something that doesn't need it. Why make your MGB look like you shop at Kragen Auto Parts for your wheels? Chrome knock off would be enough if you want a little "snizzle" to your wires.
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    beanboybeanboy Member Posts: 442
    I was awed driving to dinner yesterday by a middle-aged woman with a straw hat driving (what I think) was a Pontiac GTO convertible. What a car! Makes me think that spending 25K on a new car is silly, when I could keep my FWD car for tha winter and get a classic V8 American vehicle for the summer.

    Are there any stand-out websites that have information on classic cars geared towads a first-time buyer?

    -Beanboy
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Best thing to do is buy books on the car or cars you like and talk to people/clubs who own them. That way you learn the best and worst about them. Amazon often has a good selection as does www.books4cars.com

    Mostly you have to watch out for screwed up cars (rust, bondo), cars with wrong engines or other parts installed, and cars that are overpriced because they don't have the right features but the owners think they are worth the same as the cars with the right features.

    For instance, a GTO with a bench seat and automatic and wrong engine is definitely not the same as one with buckets and a 4-speed and matching numbers--even though they look identical to the casual observer. So a good price guide also helps, like the one published online by mannheim auctions (you can look them up through www.google.com search engine).

    Do your homework before you spend $25K on an old car. There's a lot of junk out there for sale.

    shiftright the host
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    mwdreammwdream Member Posts: 91
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    iinsiciinsic Member Posts: 9
    I'm sorry this relates to an over $10K car, but you mentioned earlier that you might be able to list the differences between the Tiger and the Alpine. I am looking at a Tiger, rebuilt 289 Hi-po motor (not original), new front end, electronic ignition, any rust was cut out and replaced with sheet metal (photos prove it), good paint, new interior, needs dash and chrome restoration, needs new wheels and tires. The guy is asking $15K. The VIN# is in the Tiger range, and a local mechanic is quite certain it is not an Alpine. I just am wanting to know if there is a simple way for me to verify that it is a Tiger. As you stated above, the car is fun to drive, and actually handles pretty well.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, there is a way to verify but unfortunately I'm on vacation right now and don't have access to my notes about this. It concerns the difference between Alpine and Tiger as relating to the battery box. On one model, the battery is not longer there so as to make room for the fuel pump--but I'm having trouble remembering which is which. I believe the Tiger has no battery box, so if you examine the rear floorboards and see a place where the battery box lid has been welded and the box cut out (hard to cover this up), then you have an Alger...sorry I can't state for certain, but.....

    Also, price seems too high for the amount of work. $18-20K should buy you a very very nice, completely done car that is not modified. Not a show car for that money, of course, but what you have is a modified car needed expensive cosmetic work and with prior rust history. I'd certainly bargain on this one.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Mr_Shiftright,

    While I know you are particular to smaller imports, wanted to get your opinion on what currently interests me, not necessarily as a classic, but something that will at least hold it's value.

    I have always found the lines of the 57-59 Plymouth Fury to be quite attractive. They seem cleaner than the bigger finned cars of the era, and they can be found with the 383 Hemi and 3 speed auto. My question, what are the major differences between the Fury, Belvidere, and the Dodge Coronet? It seems the Fury is by far the favorite. Do you have any other suggestions of similar vehicles, and how do these types of cars rate in general? The Chevy's don't really interest me, but am I overlooking a Ford or GM I should consider?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    What do you mean exactly by differences? You mean in options, things like that, or size and weight, or ???

    As for my preferences, I think GM products were much superior at this time (late 50s) than Ford or Chrysler. Chrysler build quality was pretty awful right around 57-59....of course, after all this time, I suppose most of these old Chrysler products have either rusted away, fallen apart, or been restored much better than the factory ever made them. So you might not have to deal with the quality control issues as the first owners did.

    I rather like the Fury, too...the 383 and Torqueflight 8 transmission is a sturdy, sturdy driveline.

    But still, GM cars of this era generally bring the most bucks and get the most attention. I always liked the 1960 Impala coupes and the Pontiac convertibles, 1959 on up. I don't care for Buicks or Cadillacs of this era at all, and most 1958 cars of any american make are rather ugly in my opinion. I'd say the Golden Age for american makes started in 1960, on up to the late 60s. And, of course, 1955-57 Chevies.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I'll jump in with a quick comment on engines. Plymouth may have had the best big blocks and automatics of the "low-priced three" in those days, but the 383 was a wedgehead and it wasn't available in Plymouths in those years.

    Top engine in '57 was the 318/290 dual quad polysphere. It was also available in '58 along with a 350 (yes 350) CID version of the big block wedge with 2x4s. In '59 they cut back on the performance a bit with a single four barrel 361, although it was torquier than the 350.

    I like those cars too, even the '59 that most people laugh at. My father had a '59 Belvedere 2-door wagon back in the early '60s. The hardtops are nice but even the coupes have a very graceful roofline, much more flowing than anything from Ford or Chevy.

    But Chevy was certainly more performance oriented, especially in '59. Available 4 speed, fuel injected small block with 290 horses and a variety of big blocks, some with solid lifters and three deuces. Any of these--in fact, just about any Chevy hardtop--will be expensive compared to other cars from that era.

    Ford really didn't offer much in '58-59, either in performance or styling, except for the retractables. A real low point.

    I will say that if you drive a '58-60 of any make you'll get lots of attention. Aside from the Plymouth and maybe a few others, cars of that era run the gamut from just plain unfortunate to mondo bizarre. There's a guy around here who drives a '58 Buick Special four door hardtop, white over yellow, and God help me but I enjoy seeing the car. He does stand out. I think small planes use him as a landmark.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, you could always wear a rubber nose and fake glasses and moustache when you drive one around.

    The 318 was also a good engine...let's see....was it 318 distributor in front, 383 distributor in back, or vice-versa....I'm confused!

    You can buy old 4-door Chryslers from this era for very cheap these days....like buying carpeting,, you pay by the square yard! LOL......

    Normally I HATE tail fins, but those little Fury "batwings" are kind of cute in a Jetsons sort of way.
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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    After all, tail fins are our friend.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No, I really do hate them...it was sort of the dismal low point of American styling and engineering...and THIS from the greatest country in the world, conquerors of all Europe and the Pacific, explorers to the Moon....and we come up with a '59 Cadillac?....it's sad, really. No wonder the Euros and Japanese creamed us in the 1970s and 80s. We were fat, slow and dumb at the time.

    But I LOVE the new T-Bird design! Does that redeem me in your eyes, at least a bit?
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    You are correct on the engines available in 57-59. It seems the 56 Fury is not desirable due to the 301 engine being weaker, and the 59-60 have the odd tire on the trunk and overdone tail fins. It seems the best may be the 57-58 overall. Just like today, Dodge had to muscle in on the Plymouth turf and turn out a weaker copy of the Fury, and are less desirable. (As an aside, I think Chrysler may have killed the wrong car division, Dodge has picked up almost no sales from Plymouth; Dodge should stick to trucks)

    Chevy's from that time seem to command more money, but their styling is not as good. (Though the Impala wings were different, at least) However, around 63, things started to get interesting again.

    I can defend American cars from that era only because they seem to so well reflect the times. We were full of confidence, wealthy, and we just finished a huge interstate system that begged for big cruisers to take a trip across America on. I love the chrome and intricate front end styling of the grills and bumpers.

    Beats the Fairmonts, Reliants, and Malibu's of the 70's & 80's.

    I'll check out the Pontiac's as well.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Hmmm...I don't think these cars really reflected reality, or the "times" at all...I think they were very much out of step with the times, especially out of step with modern technology, and out of step with the world. They were dinosaur throw-backs to the early 1950s. The Europeans beat us to every technological advance in cars except for air bags. There was no excuse for it in my mind anyway. On the plus side, they were pretty reliable cars in spite of everything.
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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I suppose I'll forgive you, just for your love of the T-Bird. But look at it like this, when comparing a 59 El Dorado to a mid-80's anything, at least the guys who designed the Caddie's styling had the guts to try something even if you think they did get it wrong, which cannot honestly be said about the shoebox-on-wheels approach to car design of the 1980's.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, that's true in a perverted kind of way. Whoever designed the '59 Eldo was saying to the world "I don't know the first thing about design or engineering, but hey, it's big and flamboyant and people buy it, so who cares? These are prosperous times. Anything sells."

    Fair enough.

    In the 1980s, they said "times are hard...let's not take any chances...let's make the cars as unoffensive and bland as possible, so that we don't take a wrong turn right now."

    In the 1990s, they said "If we don't design better and more interesting cars, the Japanese and Europeans are going to eat us for breakfast."

    So I see three different environments at work.....the laziness that comes from prosperity, the poverty mentality from hard times, and the creativity that comes from the need to actually survive.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    I'm trying to get an idea of what different "collector" cars are going for currently. Does anyone know of any Internet sources that show general guidelines for the value of older cars?

    I am probably looking at the #2-3 grade cars, something I can still drive and not feel like I am desecrating it. One other problem, garages on newer houses (like mine) will not fit many older cars, so getting a convertible version of my first car, a 60's Pontiac Catalina, may not fit.

    I have a 92 Miata, but I don't think a copy of an English roadster will ever really be collectible, and I want something in which I can take my friends with me. Maybe an old Hearse?
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Depends on where you want to take your friends, I guess. To the Great Beyond?

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a '57 something. There seems to be a lot of money chasing Chevies but that makes them a better long-term investment. I like the '57 Buick and Olds--I had a '57 Special--because they're fairly clean but still have that '50s pizzazz, you won't pay an arm and a leg for one and they're smooth powerful performers. '57 Pontiacs are strong performers too but they look like a Chevy trying too hard to be a Buick.

    I also like the '57 Ford especially with the 312/245. Y-blocks don't get much respect these days but the '57 was quicker than the '58-60, and one of the better handling cars of that era. Plus it still has that lean aggressive '50s Ford styling.

    If you're concerned about garage space check out a '61 or '62 Buick/Olds/Pontiac. These cars are about the size of a late-'60s intermediate but they've still got that "interesting period styling" that makes you stand out in any crowd--as Shiftright points out, the automotive equivilent of a rubber nose. Hey, on some of us it's a good look.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You can't really desecrate any mass-produced car. These cars were built for utility (and some style) and still exist in large numbers (by collector car standards). Unless you are talking about a car that there are only 7 surviving or something, just buy what you like and drive the hell out of it. People are racing million dollar cars all the time now, because they realize that a garage queen is useless really. When I see a "please don't touch" sign on a Mustang I have to chuckle (to myself of course). PLEASE TOUCH! PLEASE DRIVE ME! is what the car is saying to the crowd I think!

    VALUES: There are many resources on the Net, most of them inaccurate, but hell you have to start somewhere. Sadly, the really accurate price guides do not give away collector car info (you get what you pay for, right?).

    My favorite guides, and the most accurate, in my opinion are:

    FOREIGN CARS--Sports Car Market Magazine/Price Guide or CPI (Cars of Particular Interest)
    Also, EcarCentral.com, on the net.

    AMERICAN CARS---N.A.D.A. price guide / PMs Muscle Car Price Guide (may be on the net)

    The silliest prices come from Old Car Price Guide---highly inflated.

    Kelley Blue Book Early Car Edition is being revised and is getting better all the time...it covers 1950-1979 cars only, and I've worked on it so I know it's good and getting better. This is NOT on the net, however.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Popular Mechanics has a muscle car price guide available on the Internet. Their grading system seems to be geared towards show cars; i.e., a C grade car (On a A-E grading system) would be the typical non-winner at a show, and would appear well restored to the casual observer. Let's just say the A grade cars are mightily expensive, and I assume, never driven.

    It appears there are tons late 60's muscle cars still around, seemingly well restored (and for sale). The late 50/early 60 models seem harder to come by, but 2 door full size restored Chryslers with the Hemi seem reasonable (except for 300 series), as well as some early 60's Fords. 57 Fury's are surprisingly expensive.

    Just getting started, too bad I didn't sell my tech stocks about 18 months ago.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Just be sure that if a hemi is important to you that the car actually has a hemi. That sounds obvious but not every '50s Chrysler product with a V8 with big valve covers is a hemi.

    Plymouth never had hemis, Imperial always did (from 1951-58) and the makes in between sometimes did, sometimes didn't. I guess a good rule of thumb would be that the closer to 1951 the year is and the more senior the car, the more likely it came with a hemi. By '57 Chrysler was using the cheaper polysphere on a lot of its models. As I recall, it's a hemi if the sparkplugs go through the center of the valve cover.

    Part of the Fury's appeal is that it was a low-production luxury model with its own trim. I'd guess that the Dodge D-500, which was available on any Dodge line, has less recognition and brings less money. D-500s came with Dodge or Chrysler hemis, big brakes and stiffer suspension.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Of course, these "hemis" are not the same as the 426 Hemis from the 60s. Don't get the two mixed up....whole different ball game for value.

    The Popular Mechanics Muscle Car Guide is pretty good I think---of course show cars are priced very high...real show cars really shouldn't even be in price guides, as each show car needs to be judged individually on the quality of the restoration....Guides are for #2 (90 point) cars on down are more accurately pegged in Price Guides..
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Also considering an early model Riviera, prior to them going front wheel drive (63-66, I think?)

    They seem fully optioned, even for today's standards. Not looking for an investment, but is it past the point of worrying about it going down to $0 value? What is your opinion in general?
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I haven't kept up with values since my last old car maybe 15 years ago, but back then the '63-65 Riviera was relatively cheap, even a GS with dual quads and every option.

    I owned four and they are great drivers. Solid, decent handling, quick, not too big, fun and even sporty unless your other car is an MGB. Beautiful styling, maybe the best to come out of GM since WWII.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh, I think the early Rivieras will remain valuable, but mostly 63-64....like most American cars of the time, they got progressively heavier and uglier as time went on.

    They are very attractive for a big car, and reasonably clean lines, too. I had one and liked it very much. I don't think the early ones will ever go down in value anymore, but the later 60s Buicks might continue to plunge.

    You know, after a while, these old cars bottom out and can't go lower. Any old car that looks clean and runs decently has got to be worth the price of a decent used car....$1,500-2,000. I cant' imagine them going below this price....well, maybe a Rambler will, but....
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yeah there's a huge difference between the '65 and later Rivis. Like night and day.

    The early ones had a close-coupled feel that was a big part of their appeal. It wasn't entirely an illusion--they're narrow cars. But I think a big part of the driving experience is looking down that long sloping hood between two sharply-peaked fenders--that imparts a tremendous sensation of speed.

    The sensation of forward movement is so great that the first time I drove one I almost felt like I was being pulled out of the seat and along the hood. (Or maybe it was just a flashback.) I never had that sensation again, and I've never heard anyone mention it (or admit to it) but it must have still been there in the background.

    The '66+ is nothing special, just another big car although a very pretty one.
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    div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    I bought a 1967 Riv back in 1979 for $5 and drove it all summer(long story...). I think they are actually the prettiest of all the classic Rivieras. Ugliest are the 1968-1970 models.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The collector market seems to like them up to 1967 and then the prices start dropping fast.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Seems to be tons of 63 Riviera's available on the Internet. Maybe like the Gran National of the 80's, a lot of 63's were put away hoping for collector status. They don't seem that expensive either, ones in decent shape under $7,000, the completely restored ones a little more. NADA Guide lists them $3,600 to $10,400 average of $7,125.

    Any experience with a company called Automobile Inspections Inc? For $350 they will inspect an older car and issue a 6 page report on condition and opinion of car.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think that's $350 + photos + travel outside a 25 mile limit, so that could get expensive. So on your Riv or whatever, it's $349 + $30 photos + .70 mile if its 25 miles away from their nearest "field office". They are based out of Hartford, CT, and I haven't heard anything about them por or con.

    An inspection is only as good as the inspector, but unless he's blind, he'd probably spot a real turkey of a car. But somtimes it takes a sharp eye to see hidden problems.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    As I do more research, it is apparent as stated before that many 4 door American sedans from the 60's are pretty cheap, regardless of condition or powertrain. If you look around, I've found many have excellent bodies and interiors, but are being sold due to the owners either having passed on, or no longer driving. Funny, their kid's don't want them either.

    I remember my friend's Grandfather had a 67-68 Chrysler Imperial with the cool 6 lense tail lights, and the round gas access panel. The seem pretty plentiful now for the limited number sold. With 4,800 lbs of road hugging weight, 227 inches in length, and the 440 v-8 and 727 auto transmission, these pre-pollution control models should run a long time, especially since they were probably gently driven (they are not handling machines, eh?).

    Same for Caddy's and Lincolns, though some of the convertibles are pricey. The early 60's Lincolns are interesting due to their 4 door convertible option, however.

    It seems that anything from the late 50's is either restored (and expensive), junk, or a 4 door that seems the same price as a mid 60's 4 door.

    To which, since I want to find something that can be used as a "daily driver", except for the winter, is the power options and air conditioning from a 50's & 60's cars expensive to maintain?

    The Riviera's still seem like a nice compromise for getting my feet wet.
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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    That's precisely why I think 50's 4-doors would make the best cars for someone wanting a classic on a budget. I dare say 99% of the population won't be able to tell a 1957 Chevy 210 sedan from a Bel Air (Aire?), and you can pick one up for a song, build a pretty cheap 350 and drop between the fenders, and have all the looks that make the Bel Airs so popular, at a fraction of the price!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Certainly it makes more sense to buy a 4-door Chevy, as the parts supply and repo parts are so good. They are decent drivers, too, as long as you don't take turns too fast and remember that you don't have 4-wheel power disc brakes!

    If you want a 60s car with outstanding brakes and great looks, try a 1965 on up Corvair.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    my Corvair book says '67-69 Camaro/Chevelle discs might be adaptable.

    I think most of us fantasize about, and throw our perfectly good money away on, old cars that were cool when we were young. The problem with four doors is that they weren't cool until about 1988.

    Maybe an old four door hardtop is cool--I just saw a '56 Chevy with three teenagers inside looking like they were having a great time and if that's not a ringing endorsement of a car I don't know what is.
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