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

1568101117

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yeah, most four-door hardtops look okay...at least not quite so ordinary as a 4-door sedan. Once again, the nicest looking 4-door hardtop I ever saw was the Corvair in 1965. Corvair drum brakes were outstanding and still feel really good. With a short shifter, improved carburation, some good radials, good shocks, a swaybar, and quicker steering rod, a '65 on up Corvair can actually be one of the few American cars of the time that could keep up with a European car on the twisties and walk away from most of them on the straights.
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    gulfguygulfguy Member Posts: 30
    the 914s are cheap, easy to work on hot rod VWs. Parts are plentiful and affordable. They're fun to drive, hold their value (assuming you write off maintenance/repair/replacement as a cost of driving an old car) and if they are in good sharp condition...catch way more attention than say a new Miata. Mine is mostly a weekend warrior but it has made some 700 mile trips and was enjoyable in the process.
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    gulfguygulfguy Member Posts: 30
    The 65 is a great year, good looking new body style, independent versus swing arm rear suspension..... it actually outcornered the 65 Vette in the tight twisties. The slickest carb setup I saw was a single 4 barrel conversion. Don't remember who made it but a friend had one and it would run very close to the turbos. Another friend had his featured on the 10/63 Hot Rod cover..... He developed the first (only?) conversion kit to put a Vette engine in the rear engine compartment instead of mid mounted in the back seat. It ran a 3 speed Corvair transaxle (beefier than the 4 speed) and would surprize a lot of hot cars at a stoplight. The only real give-away was in front on either side of the trunk lock where the sheet metal and decorative chrome were removed to make two rectangular openings for the radiator.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds scary!

    914s are okay, pretty good little car...I wouldn't exactly call them a "hot rod VW", since it's a stock VW engine in there (suitcase 411 engine if I remember correctly) but in 2.0 liter form it's not too bad a performer. My only real complaint about the car (I owned two of them) is that they are very tough to work on--accessibility I mean. Also I hate the 901 Lemans 5-speed with that silly low gear position.
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    egkelly1egkelly1 Member Posts: 30
    I would like to modify this thread a bit-and ask if there are any cars out there , which because of misperception and ignorance, are actually good values. Take the Dodge Darts-these are driven by little old ladies, but if you gan find a good one, are fantastic values-the slant six engines will run forever with minimal maintainence. So the question-do you know of any cars which have a undeservedly bad reputation, but are actually great values? I can think of one-the late AUDI 5000-the foolishness about the (false rumor of self-acceleration)were enough to drive this car's value into the grounfd. A friend of mine bought one for cheap $, and it was one of the best cars he ever had. How is the MITSUBIHI "DIAMANTE" for value?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, I think it's great your friend had good luck, and you're right, the big flap with the Audi 5000 was nonsense (unintended accleration) but there is plenty of documented evidence that the Audi 5000 deserves a bad reputation---how about the trans fluid leaking into the engine and destroying it? --so it's not a "good value", but it is a lot of car for not a lot of money---if you can keep it running. Parts and labor are very expensive, too. Basically I look at them as money pits for most people and I certainly would never recommend one.....well, "never" is a strong word, but it would have to be a) in magnificent shape, and b) less than $2,500. That way, if I got a year out of it I'd be happy. And it will never be collectible either, at least not for the next few hundred years..

    Hey, nothing wrong with an old Dodge Dart except you'd have to live with 1960s/70s steering and brakes. Sturdy old cars though. Also kinda large for city driving. But I bet you'd get a lot of miles out of it for your money.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Agree on the 5000. My oldest brother (14 years my elder, I was 6 of 7 kids)had a 5000, and it was a money pit with the automatic tranny that went out, as well as having to do a complete steering rack replacement. Believe it was a five cylinder. I never thought it was as cool as the Maserati Bi-Turbo he had, the car which caused the only Maserati dealer in town to close up. Wicked fast when it ran, but always in the dealer.

    This is the same guy who had a really cool 69 Chevelle SS, a 78 Z-28, and an 82 Corvette before these two turkey's.

    Corvairs look relatively affordible today. I will check out the late 50's Bel Airs & 210's as well. I've been thinking of waiting a while as I would guess a recession would drive the prices of collector cars down as people have to sell to buy food after they are laid off. Obviously exaggerating, but the theory of supply and demand sounds logical.

    What cars from the 70's under $10,000 would be a good candidate for collector status? Most of them don't seem that appealing to me due to pollution control, fuel economy requirements, poor build quality, bad styling, and lack of power.
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    ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    I guess you mean mid '70s and up (strictly speaking, '71 LS6 Corvettes are '70s cars). In California, there's a lot to be said for 1973 and prior cars (currently no smog checks, I'll bet that doesn't last forever though). Geez, what would I like to have in a later '70s car? Something that really says *'70s*. That leaves out 911SC's and turbos.

    How about a 75-79 Chevy Nova police car? Not bad looking in a four door, 350 + handling package is actually a pretty decent running and cheap to deal with situation.

    For hotrods, I've actually always sort of liked Chevy Monzas (aka the Vega in drag). Once saw a Hotrod magazine featured car at a show in Pleasanton with a 454 (with tri-power!) and a Nash 5-speed that was very well done. Oops, not a collectors item.

    Panteras are more than 10k, so I'll skip that.

    Are Renault Alpines available throughout the '70s?

    Cosworth Vega?

    Volkswagen Thing? (actually, those seem to have done pretty well price-wise).

    A really nice later, small, Bronco?

    Dart w/360?

    BMW 3.0 CS maybe? (assuming the iron oxide gods haven't taken it home yet).

    ... and ...with a bullet....

    One of those bitchin' LM Capri's with the black and gold paint jobs.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Late 70s is not great pickins' for collectibles in the under $10K range. It was certainly a grim time for American cars...the Brits were just about out of the picture, and the Euro cars were in transition with some not so great models either.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,752
    I could go on forever about them. I've owned two of 'em, a '69 GT 225 and a '68 270 318 (a confusing array of numbers ;-) Both hardtops.

    The '69 was IMHO the best car I've ever owned. I bought it with about 49,000 miles on it in 1989 (typical little-old-lady car), and it got totaled with about 77,000 on it. I paid $1100 for it. The only real problems I had with it was the brakes...I needed a new master cylinder and wheel cylinders. And a water pump. Mileage was pretty decent, about 15-18 mpg around town, and 20-22 or so on the highway, even cruising at 70-75 mph, with the A/C on, and a few passengers on board. 0-60 times weren't so hot, but I guess it held its own. It would blow the doors off of the cars most of my other friends had, like an '80 Accord, '85 Cavalier, '86 T-bird (V-6), 4-cyl Mustangs, etc.

    My '68 is a different story, though. I bought it about a week after I totaled the '69. It had about 253,000 miles on it, but the 318 had just been rebuilt at around 242K, and the tranny/rear end had just been replaced. I paid $1700 for it, and it passed inspection needing very little work. It now has about 338,000 on it, and I've never had any engine, tranny, or rear end trouble. Plenty of suspension problems, though, and it eats brakes about every 10-20K miles. The front ones go faster. The starter went twice, the alternator once, and the radiator popped the seal at the top of the tank 4 times. Had the exhaust system replaced back in '93. It also tends to eat engine mounts...I've gone through the one on the passenger side twice now, but the driver's side only once. This thing has had a rough life, though. It was hit a couple times before I had it repainted in '93, and then hit about 5 times since then. And I put about 30,000 of its miles on delivering pizzas. Still, I drove it from Maryland to Oklahoma City with no problems, and also from MD to Ohio. I never had any fears about driving this car long distances, because it just had a safe, sturdy feeling about it that it would get you there no matter what! Fuel economy on this one was not a strong point though...about 13 mpg city, and 16-17 on the highway. My best was 17.8, on my trip to Oklahoma. I hit an isolated spot in the middle of Arkansas, running on empty, and limped the car for about 50 miles until I finally found a gas station! The idiot that had the car before me (I feel I have the right to call him this, after all, he bragged how it would hold first gear up to about 52 mph...no wonder he needed the tranny replaced!) had hopped up the engine a bit, but stuck the same 2bbl carb on it, which probably cancelled whatever he'd done to the engine. Still, it felt like it had a lot more power than a 318 should.

    As for Darts in general, I think the years to have are '67-69. The ones before that feel like they're better built, but I think they're less "cool" and "tough" looking. The '70-72 are also kinda cool, but I never liked the sloped-off rear end as much as the squared-off '67-69. Because of the design of the trunk and fuel tank, the spare tire is stowed in a compartment under the trunk floor, much like a modern FWD car. As a result, these things had trunks that rivaled some intermediate cars in their day (and some full-size today!) Also, as the years went on, emissions controls took their toll. My grandparents had a '75 Swinger, and to this day swear it's the worst car they ever owned!

    As for handling, Shifty's right, that they've got 60's technology in the steering and brakes. A V-8 will at least get you 10" drums, versus the standard 9". And front disk brakes started becoming more common in the 70's. Supposedly, it's not hard to swap disks onto an older Dart, although you do need to change one of the control arms (can't remember if it's the upper or lower, though). Putting modern radial tires on them improves the handling immensely, though. I ran 205/70-14's on the '69, and the '68 has those on the front, and 225/70-14's on the rear. Most of 'em had power steering but manual brakes. When I bought my '68, the power steering pump was broken, and it felt like it actually handled better than when I got the steering fixed! It was a tricep-builder, though!

    As for daily driving, they're actually easy to maneuver. At around 69-70" wide, they're narrower than a lot of modern compacts. They're about 196" long (the ones with the federally-mandated bumper-blocks were about 204"), so imagine a car the length of a Taurus and the width of an Accord, but where you can see exactly where all four corners of the car end. They're very light-weight, too. Probably any Dart ever built (well, except for the big '60-62, some of the big blocks, and some of the more option-laden models of the mid-70's) would be lighter than a modern Accord or Camry.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    is the 383.

    Nose heavy and has small exhaust manifolds so the big block fits, but I was always intrigued by the idea. The 340 is a better performance engine but the 383 has lots more torque.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,752
    I'd just throw in a Mopar Performance crate 360, since everything would bolt up easier. However, I agree that the idea of a big-block is intriguing! If you want to go truly brutal, the 426 Hemi was optional in 1968! Supposedly the Hemi Dart still holds some kind of speed record to this day.

    Did they beef up the suspension any more to accommodate the 383 and other big-blocks? I know that the suspension under a 318 is no sturdier than the suspension under a slant six, but would hope that they'd do something, considering that I think a big block weighed about 100 lb more than a smallblock (if not more)
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yeah the hemi Dart was for Ronnie Sox and his friends. I think that was still Super Stock in those days, not Pro Stock but I'm not sure.

    I replaced a 318 in a Challenger with a built 360 and then read you can't do that because one of the motor mounts is in a different location. If that's true then my favorite motto, "If it doesn't fit get a bigger hammer" got me through yet another project. I used the 318 exhaust manifolds so I didn't have to redo the exhaust but I don't recommend this, especially with a performance cam.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    I have been running across a few "clone" cars out and about. It seems since the car needed restored, they went ahead and restored it to a copy of their more desirable bretheren. This seems more commmon on GTO's and some Mopars, as on some the only differences were trim and drivetrain. Many times other systems were upgraded as well, such as brakes, ignition, shocks, etc. It seems to me a way to get the higher performance at a substantially lower price, and some of these are professionally well done, only improving the car's original weaknesses, whether it was brakes, carberator/intake, etc. and not necessarily to trick anyone, as they are being sold as such.

    While I realize one will never be worth what an original is, does the price of a clone move in line with the original? If an original GTO increases in value 5% a year, will a clone car increase in value 5% of it's previous year's value as well?

    Have to say, went to a Mopar Auto Show over the weekend, the size of some of these cars rules pretty much any 50' & 60's full size (and many standard size) out, will not fit in the garage. so I'm moving down in size right now.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think clones stand alone--the nicer they are, the better the price you get for one, but I don't think they are pegged to the "real thing" because "real thing" buyers and clone buyers are two separate animals.

    Still, nothing at all wrong with a "clone" as long as you are up front about what you have.
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    ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    are those that never existed... check this thing out for instance...


    http://communities.msn.com/HPMUSCLECARINVESTMENTS/forsalecustombuiltboss429conv.msnw


    I really love the concept of a 1970 T/A Challenger or AAR cuda convertible (as an example). No argument over authenticity, with a cool result.


    Another (cheaper) example might be a 1967/68 notchback Shelby (I've seen pictures of a prototype, but lets call it non-existent for the sake of the argument).


    You're bound to get bugged by know-it-alls informing you of lack of originality, but unless you've got a national show winning car, believe me, it'll happen with the real thing anyways.

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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    I would like to have some of the items on the upgraded anyways, like electronic ignition and front disc brakes, neither would be original on most in the 60's.

    I would be buying the car for the enjoyment of owning it, so whether it would be considered a show car would strictly be secondary. If it's restored, by definition it is not really completely authentic anyways.

    It's also amazing how much money some of these restorations cost.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I wouldn't advise trying to "show" a clone. You get so much crap from people it isn't worth it. Best to restore a car and drive it and use it up...then restore it again!

    Yes, the idea of "cars that never existed" in a way makes more sense than building a clone of a car that does exist. At least there's more of a point to the exercise.

    I think there are too many "experts" in the old car hobby and way too much pedantry. Arguing for hours about "matching numbers" on mass-produced Chevrolets seems totally out of control to me. Many Ferrari and Jaguar and Rolls collectors do not care about matching numbers, as long as the engine is correct for the type.

    Whoever thought of matching engine and VIN numbers when building a mass produced car? Bad idea and now we see the result. Better to spend all that creative energy on a good restoration and on driving the damn car and not at pointing at numbers in a book.
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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Reminds me of something I read in a Jag Lovers e-mail list. One guy said the trunk on his XJ-6 wasn't lined up right, and asked how the fit could be improved. Another guy said that none of the SIII XJ-6's had well fitted trunklids, and to leave it as-is so it would be authentic! I'm sorry, but not correcting factory screw ups is taking authenticity way too far! I personally see nothing wrong with shoehorning in an engine that was never put into a car by the factory, and doing any other customizations the owner wants. Some people like concours restorations, some like slammed lowriders with hydraulics. So long as its what te guy who owns the car wants, and the work is good quality, who cares if it left the factory that way or not? I agree with Shifty-cars are meant to be driven, not trailered from one grassy park to another. That $60,000 Dodge Charger Daytona wants to go 200 miles an hour!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'd advocate doing whatever you want to an old car provided it is not so extremely rare (and I'm talking "rare" as in counting the number of cars on your fingers and toes). If the car is very very rare well then perhaps for history's sake we need to remember exactly what it looked like and how it was powered, painted, upholstered etc. But really, a car that was produced in massive numbers? Do what you like, but do it NICE is my opinion. Butchery is never excusable.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Any hints on where to find info on Canadian General Motor's products? It seems some 60's Canadian Pontiacs are actually built on Chevy chassis and drivetrains, but have Pontiac bodies. Some have trickled down to the states, and most price guides do not include them.
    Some kind of hybrid for whatever reason.

    While mechanical parts should be easy to find, what about body parts if restoration/repair becomes necessary?
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, that's the rub...trim pieces are usually different and you'd have to scour the Canadian wrecking yards for those pieces. I do recall seeing books on Canadian GM products but they are so rare here that I never bought the books. As for pricing, they'd always be less than what you see for domestic GM products.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Opinion on these Galaxies? Seems to be tons around, going for pretty low prices, and parts and restoration expenses should be extremely cheap. I've always liked their styling.

    Found several XL's with the 429 rated around 360 horsepower. Any major changes needed to bring up to the Mustang Boss power ratings?

    I know they may be boats, but so was a Mustang by 71.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,752
    That's one generation of big Ford I hardly ever see any more. Occasionally I'll see the '65-67 generation, and there are plenty of the '72-78 (or is it '73-78...I don't know my big Ford history that well ;-) models still around.

    I always thought they were a cool style, but then I like the Pontiacs from that era as well, and they share a common theme!
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    They are still pretty common in the midwest, not as daily drivers, but everyone's grandfather seems to have one stuck away.

    They have not really appreciated much, nor will they probably. However, if you could keep them from rusting, they were durable as hell.

    The redesign was for 73, and those were tough durable cars too, just slow.

    In 72, the engines were detuned, so not really as interested in that year. My parents had a 72 429 with the 2v carb.; they tried a new carb to get better mileage, thing never ran the same again. Rust killed it, but the interior was still beautiful even after having 7 hell raisers for children. Dad would always speed in that car, smoking cigars and listening to the Reds games, while us sons beat each other senseless in the back seat.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,752
    I saw one today, as I left the office for home. Out there in the parking lot was an old Country Squire wagon! Not sure of the exact year, but it had the grille with the "poke through" center section. Actually, I've known about this car for awhile; I guess it just slipped my mind. The guy that owns it also has a 1969 Pontiac Catalina 4-door that's the same shade of goldish-green that my '69 Bonneville was.

    I guess that styling similarity up front must've appealed to this guy, too!
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I should look this up but I'm 99% sure the Boss 429 had different heads and manifolds and that this hardware would cost more to acquire than several Galaxies.

    Interesting idea though. It reminds me of a '63 Galaxie I read about with a SOHC 427.
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    mwdreammwdream Member Posts: 91
    anyone have any recommendations as to finding a small lightweight classic car that I could drop an insane engine into?

    Looking to terrify myself and all others on the highways with this beast.

    thanks.
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    jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Test drove the Galaxie, needless to say, it was disappointing. Nearly every major system needed work, and the car felt none too solid driving it. Car shook over bumps, the steering was very loose, and there was a gap between the door windows and the top with them all the way up. Maybe for the right owner, but I am not Mr. Mechanic (yet), and Galaxies don't seem like money well spent on restoration.

    Now the Canadian car felt terrific, newly rebuilt engine (Canadian Pontiacs were Chevy chassis and engines for the most part) and Hurst shifter 4 speed, brand new dual exhaust with 2 inch pipes, interior in great shape, everything works, etc. It ran extremely strong, and had that nice Chevy big block sound to it. Had all interior and exterior trim pieces, all in good condition.

    Only problem is some paint work is needed. Based upon only building 4,800 convertibles in 1966, I'm thinking if I buy it, putting up big money to strip it to the metal and starting over would be money well spent over looking for body panels down the road.

    Seems like sellers are not getting what they want right now, maybe the economy is starting to drive prices down again. The seller was willing to settle for $2,500 less than what he paid, not the mention the money he has put into it the last two years, pending a collector coming out to look at it at a price way over what I was willing to go.
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    aongchaongch Member Posts: 6
    What are the market analysis, predictions on the '70 thru '72 Datsun Sports? They seem to be creeping up on sales ads, especially the nice, stock, examples.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Prognosis is stagnant, very stagnant. The realized prices for very nice 240Zs hasn't changed in years, and is not likely to. Best to buy them, enjoy them, use them up, because you aren't going to make any money on one.

    I don't think new models will pull them up either. Remember the restored ones the factory sold out of showrooms for $25K. They are also heavily depreciated now.
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    seem to be readily available and really cheap. I know they don't have the 'allure' of a muscle car, but they are far less often abused and way cheaper. The main problems are fuel consumption (though who cares, it's not like an old GTO is gonna do well there either) and the electic things (no fun riding in a car with broken a/c and broken power windows). Examples, easy and cheap to fix, parts aplenty:

    67-70 Olds 98, Buick Electra, Cadillac de Villes
    60s-early 70s Chevy sedans (coupes are pricey)
    60s-early 70s almost any Ford or Mercury (Mercs are rare and sometimes interesting, think Marauder or the older ones with the breezeway window)
    late 60s Pontiacs are stylish and fast, if you're not obsessed with a GP or convertible, they're cheap
    I don't know much about Chryslers, they are kind of rare but are inexpensive.
    Also, station wagons are making a real comeback, they're kind of nostalgic/kewl and comparitively rare (I saw a 55000 mile *perfect* 68 Impala wagon the other day for $6k on autotrader.com, wish I coulda bought it).
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    garnesgarnes Member Posts: 950
    I really like the old Monte Carlo's from the 70 to 77. The 73 thru 77's were big and stylish with the longest hoods ever, but with NO power. I restored my grandma's 77 in 1990 and still have the darn thing. Factory dark blue metallic with a white interior - no puke 70's colors. It's really a pretty car with some "crager" type wheels. It is show worthy, but certainly not a winner in anybody's dream. It gets looks every time it is out. Parts are rare for the 73-77's. I don't think these cars are worth a whole lot, but maybe I'm wrong. If you can find one that just needs paint and minor body work (no new doors) and you can get a good deal on the work, you could have a really good looking (but slow) car.

    The same could be said for the grand prix, cutlass, and regal from the same era. Good looking cars with a nice ride.
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    rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Drop in a 454, and you can really wake that old Monte Carlo up. Oh, yeah, buy stock in Exxon while you're at it ;-)
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    garnesgarnes Member Posts: 950
    considered the 454, but just not willing to spend the money and carve up the car. I'll settle for looking good going slow.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,752
    ...do you know what rear end ratio the car has? For the most part, cars in the 70's went to really tall ratios in the interest of fuel economy. Unfortunately though, this kept the engine revs down from where they'd make better use of horsepower.

    You might get a bit more out of it if you changed the rear-end ratio. Also, what engine is your Monte currently running? If it's just a 305, you could get a 350 in there without butchering too much up. It wouldn't give you the performance of a 454, but would be a much simpler swap, as well. If you already have a 350 well, nevermind ;-)
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    garnesgarnes Member Posts: 950
    It's the 305. No rear end will save this car. I really can beat it on foot for the first 50 feet of a race. I've thought about a strong performance 350 as well - and yes it would be easier, but I'm not bothering. I've seen these for sale through the dealer right out of a box. The stock 350's mostly had a 2bbl and only had about 15 more HP - about 160. Still slow. 4000 lbs and 160 HP is just terrible.
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    speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I'd keep whatever gears are in the car, probably 2.73s or something like that. The best feature of a Monte Carlo is that it's a relaxed cruiser, and putting in even a 3.55 would give you more engine noise and vibration.

    The 305 isn't a great engine but what's killing it is a smog cam, exhaust gas recirculation, lean carburetion, retarded ignition and all the other band-aid fixes they were using to reduce smog in those days. Give it a low-tech rebuild with an Edelbrock Performer intake and cam and recurved advance and I think you'll enjoy the car more. You won't be racing anyone for pink slips but at least you'll have some throttle response.
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    div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    had the 145 horse 350. I woke it up with a Performer, recalibrated Q-Jet, a mild Crane cam, recurved distributor, MSD 5A, Blackjack headers, and a 2.2" dual exhaust with CBQ mufflers. I went to 3.42 gears and a B&M Transpak at the "Street Performance" setting. For durability I ran a 15,000 lb. trans cooler in series with the stock one. This frankenstein would chirp the tires on both the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts.
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    jrosasmcjrosasmc Member Posts: 1,711
    Say, would these old but good American vehicles qualify as bargain classics?

    1. '68 Mustang hardtop, 200 I-6, 3-speed manual
    2. '72 Duster, 225 slant-six, TorqueFlite
    3. '76 Eldorado convertible, 500 V-8 4-barrel
    4. '77 Cutlass Supreme coupe, 260 V-8 2-barrel
    5. '77 Camaro Z28, 350 4-barrel, 3-speed auto

    I'm just curious to know if these cars are worth buying and restoring because all five of them were owned by both my parents at one point or another.
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I'd say maybe, no, maybe, no, maybe, respectively.

    The Mustang is a dog with the 6, and isn't that valuable restored. Dusters have virtually no collector value (except the 340). 76 Eldo convertibles are cool, but fairly cheap even in great shape (you can probably get a great one for $7k), so probably not a wise choice to buy a crummy one and spend a bunch of money to fix it up. The Cutlass, no way. 77 isn't the best year for any car, including Z28s, but they're probably better than most other American cars made then.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,752
    That's not to say I don't LIKE the cars he said "no" to, just that I agree they're not going to be collectible anytime soon. The Duster was just about the most common car Chrysler put out in the '70's. And except for typical rust issues of the era, they'd run practically forever, and were dirt simple to work on, so there are still a lot of them around. Most of 'em were just cheap, basic cars, except for the 340 and, later, 360 high performance models. If it's any consolation though, a 360 Duster in '75-76 could whoop a Corvette, and was the fastest domestic car produced those two years. They were good cars, but if you get one, do it for sentimental reasons, and don't expect to make any money on it.

    As for the Cutlass, well, I remember an old Consumer Reports road test of a '77 with a 260. It did 0-60 in something like 20-21 seconds! Remember, these cars were pushing 4000 lb by then, and the 260 only had about 100-110 hp. That was another car they made tons of. In fact, it was 1977's 2nd most popular car, right behind the Chevy Impala/Caprice (which they usually lumped into one total). The vast majority of 'em had Olds 350's, and that majority was so vast that it depleted the Olds 350 supply, and forced them to put Chevy 350's in some of their other cars. But that's another scandal...er, I mean, story. I'm sure a few of 'em had 403's that year, the biggest engine available now that the 455 had been retired.
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    My grandparents had one, the base Cutlass S. Not a great car in general (rust, and typical GM quality issues of the day), but quite fast with the 350, IIRC.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think they are all bargains right now but none of them are, or will ever be, "classics". They are too ordinary and numerous. But each one represents a pretty nice old used car for cheap. Of course, if you are looking for performance or fuel economy, these cars have neither.
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    benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,345
    One of the cars I most admired as a kid was the MG two door roaster convertible, especially those from the 50s and early 60s. They had old fashioned fenders, running boards (I think), and just looked like they would gove more smiles per mile with the top down than almost any other car. I used to see them a good deal, but now they've almost vanished. What happened to MG? And how much does one of those cars cost in good condition today, and are they as much fun to drive as they look?
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2024 Subaru Outback (wife's), 2018 Honda CR-V EX (offspring)
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    benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,345
    Of course I meant "roadster" not "roaster," but I don't actually know the name of the car...
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2024 Subaru Outback (wife's), 2018 Honda CR-V EX (offspring)
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Probably an MG TC or TD opr TF. They look similar but the TC has larger wheels and is quite a bit more handsome because of that.

    The TC is the most valuable, followed by the TF. So the best buy would be the TD model, made from '50-53. You can buy a basically sound one in the range of $9,000-12,000.

    Parts are plentiful and many clubs exist.

    Are they fun? Yeah, they really are. But you have to be a reasonably compact person to fit in one.
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    blh7068blh7068 Member Posts: 375
    Those who recognize my username have probably figured out i'm partial to these cars :)

    70-73 camaro/firebird excluding Z-28/Formula/
    Trans am. Low mileage/good condition ones can be had for well under 10k.
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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    .....but it's difficult, from what I can tell, to find one that isn't either heavily modified or one that hasn't been abused (those got into the hands of rowdy teens in the late '70s as used cars, and many didn't survive).

    Last night I saw a *very* nice '62 Cadillac coupe. That was probably about a ten thousand dollar car, too.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,062
    Well, benjaminh asked what happened to MG. The answer is the same for a lot of great manufacturers out there, they left the U.S. But they are still making cars. I had found their homepage at one point in time, but through a quick search, this is the best I can give you right now.

    '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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