"Non-Collectible" Old Cars

a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
edited March 2014 in Pontiac
This is going to be my version of a Car Talk "Rant and Rave" (those of you who don't know what I'm talking about need to spend some time at cartalk.com). The thrust of my rant is the nonchalant way in which people in this topic are always shooting others down for being interested in a "non-collectible" old car. I think anyone who thinks only about the monetary value and exquisiteness when looking for a "classic" car is missing the point. About a year and a half ago, when I made up my mind to purchase my first car (I'm now 18), I chose to buy a rusty, faded blue 1986 Pontiac Parisienne Safari with bad tires, bad brakes and a good-sized dent in the RF fender. Most people would have laughed and walked away when they found out the old geezer who was selling it wouldn't budge below a whopping $3,000. But I saw something in that car and I just had to buy it and fix it up. Over the past 1 1/2 years, I've added new tires, rear brakes, battery, oil, filters, headliner, floor mats, etc. etc. and a Maaco paint job in the original light met blue with dark blue pinstripes (as much as people like to make fun of Maaco, the paint still looks great after over a year). It looks and runs like it's nearly new (a few flaws, but it is a daily driver), and I keep it clean and well-maintained. It has 44,000 original miles and I even have the original window sticker listing it as $14,464 MSRP new in 1986. Talk about obsession, I even know my VIN# by heart (1G2BL35H6GX215808, thank you very much!). Now, by conventional definition, this car is neither classic nor collectible, but I didn't buy based on whether it was 25 model years old or had a certain blue-book value. I bought it because I saw it rusting away in the guy's yard and it was just the right car for me, and I don't regret that. And apparently I'm not the only one who loves it; I've had random people I've never met before tell me what a beautiful car I have. So my conclusion is that we shouldn't be so quick to tell people that a car is not worth renovating. If someone had told me that back in 3/00, I might have bought a nice, boring '92 Corolla with my $3,000, and the Parisienne would still be sitting in that old guy's yard rusting into the ground. And believe me, that would have been a mistake.
-Andrew L



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...Back in '93, this lady that went to my church had an '85 that was in pristine condition...well, except for a big gash in the passenger-side door where it looked like someone swiped it with their bumper in a parking lot. It only had 29,000 miles on it. Well, this lady gave it to her daughter to drive, but then one day, they came to church in a new Saturn. I asked 'em about the Parisienne, and they said they traded it. Only got something like $800.00 for it. D'OH!! Wish I'd known...I would've bought it from them for that!

    I've always liked big Pontiacs, so I've always thought the Parisienne was pretty cool. I liked the '77-81 Catalina/Bonneville better, because they just felt more like "true" Pontiacs, where you can see a lot more Caprice/Impala poking through with the Parisienne. Back in high school, my English teacher had a 1978 Catalina coupe with an Olds 403, done up in a two-tone burgundy/red. This was in '87. She wanted to sell it, and would've taken $500.00 for it. Unfortunately, my Mom refusted to let me buy it!

    I tend to like a lot of old cars that most people would thumb their noses at. I've always liked bigger cars, so where most people would prefer a compact or intermediate muscle car, I'd rather have a full-size car with a big engine! I know 4-doors tend to not be worth much, but I always thought the 4-door Hardtop was a beautiful design.
  • andre1969-
    Nice to see someone else who appreciates a wider range of vehicles than your typical Porsche/Ferrari/Corvette enthusiast. I too like big cars, though I try to be a practical person, which is why I picked a station wagon...it gets bad gas mileage, but at least it's a versatile, highly useful car.

    Another car I would love to own is a '76-77 Chevy Monte Carlo (with the double stacked headlights), but I just couldn't justify owning a 2-door car with miserable gas mileage, at least not as a daily driver. Maybe I'll look into that if I ever get the opportunity to buy a second car.

    At any rate, I plan to keep my Parisienne forever. It may truly be a rare (if not "collectible") car one day, as a disturbing number of the old full-size American wagons are being destroyed in demolition derbies every day. I'm told that the old '71-76 GM wagons are nearing extinction thanks to demo derbies. Who would have guessed 25 years ago that the then-ubiquitous station wagons would one day be rare cars?
    -Andrew L
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    I think it's great what you've done.Plus you know your own mind about what you like and hang the rest.I think you'll find that to be useful in ALL areas of your life.
    There are several that I'd love to have again, like the 84 Citation II 2 door notchback I once owned [and collected as much info as possible on as well],my 66 Mercury Comet 2dr. hardtop, parent's 66 Mercury Montclair 4door sedan[my first love],72 AMC Ambassador 4 door Brougham sedan and 71 Gremlin. I'd love to have a Pontiac Sunbird 2 door notchback with the 2.5 litre OHV Iron Duke as well as an early Cavalier from 82 or 83.
    To me the ones I had or ones my parents had were all friends, part of a personal history. Which probably explains why I've had my 63 Valiant for 20 years-noone gave a hang for them when I bought it for 600.00 in 1981, now everyone thinks it's the bomb! Just do what makes YOU feel good. Your car will always love you when noone else does!!!Congrats; Dave
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    I bought it from the junkyard for something like $250.00. Truthfully, I should've let it stay there, because it had its share of problems. Hey, it was in the junkyard for a reason, right? ;-) I think over the two years I owned it, I sunk about $2500 into it. But when you think about it, that only comes out to about $100 a month. What kind of new car could you get for $100 a month? Sometimes I regret getting rid of that car, and wish I could find another R-body in halfway decent shape...this time with a 360!
  • dweezil-
    Oh, you like the GM J-Cars too...I've always had a thing for them myself. My friend's dad has a mid-80s Cavalier TYPE-10 Liftback that just won't die, even after being sideswiped by a school bus. I always thought a Sunbird station wagon would be a cool little car to own. I agree with you about cars being part of a "personal history". It's entirely possible that one day I will end up buying a car my parents owned when I was a little kid. I can still vaguely remember the 1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon we had in the '80s. I wouldn't mind owning one of those...in fact, I still see them on the road sometimes, so they must be fairly well-made.

    Old RWD Chryslers include some interesting models. I especially like the Mirada and Cordoba, though I've heard from some that they're not reliable. I also like the look of the late-70s midsize Chrysler station wagons (I believe they were Aspens and Volares).

    I always like hearing from people who have bought and renovated unusual old cars that most enthusiasts don't care about. I recently saw a website for a guy who saved a 1979 Subaru DL 4WD Wagon from the crusher and restored it to near-new condition. Who would have thought?
    -Andrew L
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982

    I am in the same situation as you, and everybody tells me I'm stupid. I have a 1978 Grand Marquis that my grandmother gave me when I turned 16. It's the last brand new car she ever bought. Everything else she's had has been bought used. Anyway, this is the first car I ever rode in in my entire life, not to mention, my first car. It's got a 400M engine (a dog), and a 3-speed automatic. It's light green, 4-doors, vinyl top, in other words, the typical old folks car, and everybody tells me after I sink 10 grand into her, she'll be worth 2 or 3 grand at the most. But I really don't care what she'll be worth, as I never plan on selling the thing. I want to fix the car up because of what she means to me. I'll be the only person on the planet that she's not just another old 70's land barge, but I'm gonna fix her up. My motto for life also applies to this car: "The most important things are done for love, not money." Never gonna see a dime of what I put into Adalida (yes, I named her!), but I'll get my moneys worth out of the enjoyment I get from both fixing, and driving that car. I plan on making her reliable enough to be my daily driver. I doubt I'll ever afford to fix her up to show car quality, but I have a list that starts with what she needs to be safely drivable, then gets her looking good outside, and then fixes up the interior. Of course, other things will break along the way. Some things will be changed and modernized along the way, and originality won't be a big deal (Some people went ballistic when I put a newer style plunger for the door locks on the car cause the old ones weren't available! It's a 1978 4-door Mercury for crying out loud! Not a 1969 Jag E-Type!), and she'll end up with a new engine and transmission as the first things to replace, but I plan to always keep her around.
    And when it comes to paint, I'm not going to Maaco route. I'm pulling off everything I don't want painted, investing in an air compressor and spray gun, and, after a practice run on a junkyard relic, I'm painting her myself! I plan on doing 90% of the work myself on this car. Of course, I have a 95 T-bird for those times when she won't start, or I need a more fuel effiecent car for highway trips, but my goal is to make my Mercury the daily drivier like she was in high school and my first year of college.
  • rea98d-
    Sounds like you have an interesting project on your hands. I'd love to see a photo of the Marquis after it's been painted and refurbished. I'm not an expert on big Fords...is the '78 the old (long, wheel skirted) style or the newer (boxy) style? Both are pretty cool looking full size sedans, I'm just curious which it is.

    By the way, since it seems that we're discussing mainly big American cars, I'd like to point out that I have some interest in little old foreign cars too. In fact, my younger brother recently bought a 1977 Toyota Celica ST. It's the rare Hardtop version (as opposed to the more common Liftback). He's having a tough time finding parts for the thing, but I'm confident he'll eventually get it running and looking near new. Right now he's working on repairing rust and taking care of some old accident damage (from a previous owner)on the left front that was never properly repaired. Eventually he'll get it painted in the original reddish-brown color once the body work's done...it should look pretty cool. Keep up the good work, all you protectors of underappreciated cars.
    -Andrew L
  • The pics I keep trying to post of the Parisienne are not linking properly. If anyone wants to see them, go to my website:


    Those pics were taken a little over a year ago, just after I got the car repainted. Fortunately, there have been no significant changes in its appearance since then, aside from a few bumper stickers in the back window (taped up from inside, so I can change them from time to time without making a mess of the paint/chrome) and a bent LR wheel lip molding thanks to a stupid mail truck driver who hit the car while parked...I'm currently looking for a replacement part to fix that problem.

    -Andrew L

  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    What would you guys have thought of my wife's '87 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, loaded, red over black leather, 52k original miles? Or would it have been too new?

    "Underappreciated" is probably not a strong enough word to describe the cars you guys like, but more power to you. I would never have thought that anyone could bond with a car built after 1970 but obviously I was wrong. The funny thing is that when I saw the pics of the Parisienne I understood the attraction.

    Well, I used to bring home my share of orphans and cast-offs. Now I know how my father felt when he saw the Studebaker in his driveway ;-).
  • speedshift-
    I'm not a huge fan of the newer Thunderbirds myself, but that is not my central point. I don't think everyone should love station wagons either...I simply think that we should all understand that, if a person does see something special in a car, that's reason enough to fix it up and maintain it, no matter whether other people perceive it as undesireable. While an '87 Thunderbird is not at the top of my list of cars to own, I certainly would not discourage someone from reconditioning one if they were inspired to do it.
    -Andrew L
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...I think the '87-88 T-bird is my favorite of the Fox-bodied models. Just something about the proportions of them were right those two years. I thought the Cougar was kinda overstyled those two years though. The '83-86 T-birds were just too "bathtub" looking for my tastes, although in retrospect, I appreciate the style more now than I did when it was new.

    My first car was a 1980 Malibu coupe with a 229 V-6. My mother bought it brand new in February 1980, and when I was old enough to drive, she used that as an excuse to get an '86 Monte Carlo at the end of the model year, and give me the Malibu when I got my license. It really wasn't anything spectacular, but it was almost a muscle car compared to what my friends were driving at the time! I guess that shows how sad the automotive scene was in the late 80's ;-) That Malibu could really blow off the 4-cyl Fairmonts and Mustangs, Cavaliers, rusted out Accords, Pintos, Sunbirds, etc of the time. I drove it for about 3 years, until I saw a 1969 Dart GT at a Nissan/Saab/Oldsmobile that was just screaming out my name. I would've liked to keep the Malibu, but back then I couldn't afford insurance on two cars. Also, by that time, the Malibu had about 100,000 miles on it, and had been banged up a bit. The final kicker came when it wouldn't pass the emissions test. I sold it in late 1990 for $500.00, and saw it on the road about a year later. Talked to the people driving it, and they said they loved it. It had about 115K on it by then, and that was the last time I ever saw it. That's one car I miss, too. I guess it's common though, to be attached to your first car.

    I remember back then, I wanted to put a big V-8 in that car sooo bad. My grandfather, who had worked for years as a mechanic, said I was a fool and kept talking me out of it. Ironically today, the '78-81 Malibu coupe is a pretty common car to use for big-block conversions. I guess back when I was driving it, everybody wanted the '68-72 generation Malibu or a '68-74 Nova to hotrod, as my generation of Malibu was just too new. Then, the '75-79 Nova seemed to become the hotrod of choice. I guess the '73-77 Malibu was just too big and heavy to see much popularity among the hotrod crowd. I guess the Monte Carlo through '88 will be the last of the line, though. I just don't think that it'd be feasible to try cramming a big V-8 into a Celebrity or Lumina. I guess it could be done...anything's possible.
  • "Andre-
    Old RWD Chryslers include some interesting models. I especially like the Mirada and Cordoba, though I've heard from some that they're not reliable. I also like the look of the late-70s midsize Chrysler station wagons (I believe they were Aspens and Volares).

    My first car was an 81 /6 mirada. I bought it off some drunk redneck for $600 when I was 17. It was in pretty good shape but the paint was destroyed. The drunk redneck said the people he got it off of had had it painted and right after word took it through a car wash and the brushes scratched and gouged the paint on the hood, roof, and trunk. It looked like somebody had taken rough cinderblocks and draged them back and forth on the top of the car :). It had 190k miles on it but other than the a/c not working and a reoccuring problem with the wipers it served me well for the year and a half I had it. I ended up rearending a truck and smashing the nose peice on the car. None of the junkyards anywhere near me had one so I ended up selling it for $300 to another redneck :) that ended up jerry rigging the frontend with plywood and filling the interior with trash. I haven't seen it in around 7 years or so. Its probably in a junkyard by now. I miss that car.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    The Mercury's one of the older, long models with the fender skirts over the wheels. '78 was the last year for that body style, and mine is one of the last 78's. The 79's were considerably smaller.

    Nice website for the Parisienne! Love the captions for the pictures. I hope someday I'll get my Mercury's interior looking that nice, but the first thing to fix is the mechanicals, so that she runs good, then I've got to repair the battle damage left from a fight with a bob-wire fence, so it's going to be a long time before she's anything to look at. (Or make pictures of!)

    Speedshift, I'm a big fan of Thunderbirds (I drive one). The '87 sounds cool. My dad has an 86 T-Bird with the 302 engine, and it's a real nice car. I can't say that the 2.3 Turbo engine is my favorite, but at least it's not a 3.8 :-)! Still, it's a great car. Hang onto it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...VERY NICE!! I like the color, too. That's about the same shade of blue my Malibu was, except that it had a dark blue interior. I think blue's a nice color for an interior, a nice change from the grays and beiges that are so prevalent today. Judging from the way the interior looks, the guy before you must've been gentle on it...even if he did throw housepaint on the rust spots outside!

    rea98d, didn't you have a pic of your Grand Marquis on line at one time? Isn't it kind of a light bluish-green? I could've sworn I've seen it before! A friend of mine in college had an '86 T-bird. It was a loaded model...an Elan, I think, but it only had a 3.8 V-6. Before that, he had a POS 1980 Accord that was falling apart and on its second engine and tranny. When tranny #2 went, his dad got him the Bird. It was a nice car (except for that dog of an engine), but I never let him know that ;-)
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    The Mercury was light green. Might have appeared bluish in the picture. It was online at one time, but I'm not sure if it still is. I know I have it saved somewhere, so I'll try and re-post. It's an old picture though, and the car looks much worse today. I'll also see if I can't dig up a picture of my T-Bird and get it online.

    BTW, did your friend's Bird ever blow out a head gasket?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...I think it got totaled in early 1991. I don't know how many miles it had on it by then, but as far as I know, he never had any head gasket problems. I knew a guy with an '89 or '90 T-bird with a 3.8 that blew a head gasket around the 90K mark, though. My grandparents on my Dad's side had two 3.8's...an '85 LTD and an '89 Taurus LX. They never had any head gasket problems either, but then both of those cars got traded fairly soon and with low miles.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Well, we just watched the T-Bird go to the junkyard. Tough decision but the car was in a fender bender and the repair cost was more than it was worth. The insurance company gave us $3900 for it, extremely generous. And to be honest, the 2.3 engine pretty much ruined the car--the 5.0 was much much better.

    I'm hoping someone will see it at the yard, buy it for $500 and put it back on the road like I used to do. It really doesn't need that much, just more than we were prepared to give it. A few years ago we had new tires put on and I overheard two young mechanics--probably about the age of most of the posters here--oohing and aahing over it, so I have hopes that someone young and ambitious will see it as a project car.

    I hate to say it but sometimes you just have to let go. For years we kept my grandparents' '67 Skylark around, putting good money into a $500 car. Finally my parents sold it and the new owner seems to really appreciate the car. Plus my parents have the new car they need at their stage of life, so it worked out.
  • I thought the idea of buying what you like and not worrying about what others like was dead. But you folks have proved that spirit still lives and I salute you. Your passion for your cars is the same passion I have for my '70 Cuda,we are not different,just the vehicles we choose to covet.
    I almost bought a Mirada CMX this past spring,I always loved those cars. I would love a '72 Newport convertible.
    My cousin is in the process of trying to transplant a 5.0 liter into his '88 Thunderbird Turbocoupe. I see the passion in him also.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    didn't Chrysler quit building big convertibles after 70? I don't think they made a Newport convertible after '69 (remember the 68 in the Brady Bunch pilot episode?). Just quibbling, I know.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    I guess I'm too practical.

    I also love some of the oddball cars that would of little value to the masses. Some of these cars can rekindle childhood memories etc.

    To each his own, I know...BUT...putting a ton of money into a rusted Pontiac station wagon, to me, anyway makes no sense at all. Ditto for the 1978 Mercury.

    But...that's me.

    Just think of this...suppose, just suppose, after investing thousands of dollars into a 300.00 car, someone runs a red light and totals it?

    Everything is lost.

    HOWEVER...if these cars really make a person happy and are a source of pleasure...why not?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...that the last year for C-body Mopar 'verts was either 1970 (most likely) or '71. 1970 was definitely the last year for B-bodied 'verts, as they went to a new style for '71. Last year for A-body 'verts was '69.

    The E-body 'vert's final year was 1971. However, they did put a '72 Barracuda front-end clip on a '71 convertible body for the '71-72 season of the Brady Bunch. They also used a blue '72 Impala that year, and then went Chevy after that. However, Mrs. Brady always had a Mopar station wagon!

    Sometimes, throwing a lot of money into an old car doesn't make sense, but it can still work out to be cheaper than owning a new car. For example, I'd say that I've spent over $10,000 so far on my '00 Intrepid, for everything except gas and insurance. I've never sunk 10-grand into any other car though...ever! Well, if I added it all up, I've probably put about $9,000 into my '68 Dart over the course of about 10 years and 85,000 miles. Not counting gas/insurance, the Dart has come out to about 10-11 cents per mile, while the Intrepid's been running about 20-22 cents per mile. I figure the Intrepid would have to run to about 207,000 miles without needing ANYTHING, just to get to an 11 cent per mile average.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    I stand corrected it was a '70 Newport,I was off two years on my guess as I drove by it,so shoot me.

    The Brady bunch cars were: a blue '68 Polara convertible,'69 Fury,'70 Fury convertible,'71 Barracuda convertible,'72 Barracuda convertible(converted from the '71),'72 Impala convertible,'73 Caprice, And a brown Plymouth station wagon for the mother every year.

    Isellhondas...There are almost no cars that you can buy for little to nothing and restore to make money. My Barracuda Gran Coupe could be fully restored and be worth around $15,000-$20,000. Sounds good until you realize it would take three times that amount or more to restore it. At that cost even a Hemicuda would not return a profit,especially when you realize a real Hemicuda shell with no engine or tranny just the right vin,would go for substantially more than the $2000 I paid for my Cuda. So unless you can afford to buy a nearly restored vehicle and just put on the finishing touches you will never become a millionaire from this hobby. It needs to be a labor of love,and I salute any who show that kind of commitment and passion in their vehicle,even if I don't understand what has caught their eye.
    To be honest I think Honda's are just a waste of material that could be used on good radios and other electronic equipment,but I realize that is only my opinion,and therefore can still respect your devotion to the breed.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    There isn't much about this hobby that makes sense, at least in terms of dollars and cents.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    To total my Mercury :-) Seriously, though, that is a good point, but after sinking all the money into that car, if it were to get totaled, I'd shed more tears from loosing such a treasured car than from loosing the money I put into it. Then I'd take the insurance check, find a clapped out old Jag sedan, and start the whole thing over again! With something like a car, there's always a certain risk. People run the risk of getting killed just running the Toyota econobox down to Winn Dixie. You've got to take a little bit of chance with anything. If we took out all the chance takers in history, we'd all be living in caves chasing our lunch with sticks in our hands (a risky proposition in itself.) If the car gets totaled, I'll sit down, have a nice long cry, and then get on with life.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    had a 74 Caprice convertible, Marcia learned to drive in it; I think the 68 was a Newport (or maybe even a 300!) in the pilot episode, check the taillights. Remember Tiger escaping via electric windows? Either way, it's sickening that any of us know this trivia crap.

    Regarding fixing up old cars for daily drivers, I figure it's almost always cheaper to drive old cars. I've been buying $2000 cars every year or two forever and selling them for usually at least half what I pay for them. Since my insurance is now $34 a month, there's no way I could do much better, even with repairs. At least this is the case with my smaller cars, I can't see saving nearly as much on an older 'tank', not with gas what it costs in Chicago ($1.759 plus, even now).

    That said, I would like a new car someday, but spending $4-600 a month including insurance just seems insane to me. Not to mention impossible, rents here are also outrageous.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...I'm pretty sure that car was a '68 Dodge, like a Monaco or Polara. Want some even more sickening trivia? Well, Nick-at-Nite used to have a tv commercial where they'd show that scene where Tiger rolls down the car's window, and you can see a power window switch and a crank. The voice-over said something to the effect of "couldn't Mr. Brady make up his mind?" about power vs crank windows. I emailed them awhile back, mentioning that's how some cars were back then...you could have power windows, but then a little crank for the vent window. Never got a reply from 'em, but I never saw that commercial again ;-)

    As for my car expenses, well, I live out in the 'burbs, and have a good driving record, not to mention a multiple policy discount, so my insurance isn't too bad, even for full-coverage on a new car. My Intrepid runs something like $560 a year, my '68 Dart and '85 LeSabre (Grandma's car, but when she lost her license, we put the car in my name and keep it as a spare) are $252 a year each (liability only), and my '89 Gran Fury is about $244 a year. It gets an $8.00 discount because it has an airbag. I guess that shows how much the insurance industry really values air bags. Eight dollars.

    As for fuel savings, when I bought my Intrepid, gas was still fairly cheap. I figured it cost around $.06 a mile to drive in gasoline, versus around $.10-$.11 for the older, V-8 cars. Back then I drove around 30,000 miles a year easily, so I figured the Intrepid was saving me about $1200-1500 a year in fuel costs. That comes out to about $100-125 a month or so, which sounds nice, but then the car payment alone is about $350 a month. So an older car could break down to the tune of about $225-250 a month, and I'd still come out about even. And I've never had a car break down that much! Worst was probably my '79 Newport which, when averaged, came out to about $100 a month over the 2 years I had it. And that was buying a car with 230,000 miles on it!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    you absolutely positively need a reliable car every day, whether it's your car or a loaner...you don't have time to fix a car...or you think cars have gotten too complicated to work on...you don't like the idea of installing a replacement part that costs more than the car is worth...and your work requires that you show up in something bright and shiny so you look fairly prosperous.

    I'm a perfect example of how well this works. My new car has been in the shop since Wednesday because Lincoln-Mercury uses JIT (Just In Time) to keep inventory costs down. This means that your part arrives just in time to keep you from hitting the service writer.

    But that's okay, because I still look good in the loaner L-M gave me, a red Geo Metro. I could have had a white Cavalier but, as they said, "somebody pissed in it".
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    I guess I'm having trouble understanding why my post caused you to leave a nasty response regarding Hondas.

    I wasn't talking about Hondas and could care less what you happen to think of them.

    This is a "classics" forum or so I thought.

    And you are correct about the financial aspects of fixing up old cars. A person is far better off buying a car that has already been done.

    It has to be a labor of love.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Sometimes banging on an old car late at night in the garage is really good therapy.....which, if you factor in the $100/hour most therapists charge....well, maybe it IS cost effective!
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    good eye, I noticed the power and manual window thing, too. I do wonder if the car actually had power windows, I know you could get them, but of course I doubt Tiger could be trained to use them. I think you might be right about the Dodge (instead of Chrysler). When someone mentioned 'Polara', I thought of the 67 with the unmistakable cat eye taillights, which I know it didn't have, instead of the 68 with the ribbed strip. Um, do I have too much time on my hands?

    Wow, your insurance is cheap. I'm 32 and my liability only on my 90 Saab is $402 a year, which I though was great. I live in Chicago though, the insurance is prolly higher in big cities.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    on the Brady cars was from an article in Mopar Collector's Guide magazine's May 2000 issue,other than what they said I really have no idea what the Brady's drove.

    Isellhondas...My response to you was in response to what I perceived was your attitude that the cars that those fellows were so proud of were nothing but junk,and not worthy of their attention. I surmised from your handle that you were a Honda man,and responded with my true feelings of Honda's. I did not expect you to care what I thought which I was hoping would show you the perspective of others who devote their efforts to the vehicles that you see as sub par. I apologize if I misinterpreted your initial response. I firmly believe to each his own.

    On the insurance side of this,if you total your old car you may get little or nothing for the car,if you total a new car you may get enough to pay it off,but more likely your lender will get everything your insurance company pays,and you will get a bill for the rest. Generally,unless you put a very large downpayment on a new car you had better not wreck it for a couple of years because the finance charges will put you upside down on it's value to payoff.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    Sitting in our garage is a 1982 Dodge Rampage. For those who may not know, these are very small pickups that Dodge built and sold for just three years. They kinda look like a small El Camino.

    This belonged to my best friends 85 year old parents. They bought it new and decided to go to only one car. I happened to be there the day the old man drove it home.

    It has only 29,000 original miles and is a So. California rust and dent free truck. It runs like a new car and the factory A/C will freeze you out.

    2.2 liter 4 cyl four speed stick.

    I just replaced the original tires and tuned it up.

    Now...the original silver paint is as dull as the sidewalk in front of our house. It is in dire need of a paint job, especially the hood.

    I was given a quote by a quality body shop...are you ready? 3800.00 !!!!

    This includes stripping everything off the truck and doing a first class job.

    So, I had MAACO give me a quote...500.00 for their "upscale" job.

    Here is a truck that I currently have 2000.00 invested in. It isn't worth much more than that.

    The 3800.00 job is out of the question but I would sure hate to see MAACO butcher the car.

    I've seen MAACO jobs that were so-so and I've also seen them to horrible jobs.

    I think I've made up my mind...I'm not that attached to the thing and I'll probably sell it to someone who will have to make the decision.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...I switched insurance companies about 2 years ago, to a company called Erie Insurance Group. I don't know how national they are, but I was shocked, too, when they started quoting these low rates. Before them, I was with Allstate, and the Intrepid was about $900 a year. I forget what Grandma's LeSabre and the Gran Fury were though...I'd guess a bit over $300 a year each. The only one that was cheaper with Allstate was the Dart, which ran about $150 a year because they put it on some kind of special low-use policy.

    For more useless Brady Bunch trivia, well, now that I think about it, I could be wrong about the car used in the pilot episode. I know it was a '67-68 generation full-size Dodge, and could've sworn it had side marker lights indicative of a '68. I do know that once upon a time, power windows were "hot" wired like a cigarette lighter, always having power, so you could roll them up and down even with the key out of the ignition. I'm not sure when they changed that, though. I know by '69 you had to put the key in the ignition. At least in my '69 Bonneville.

    Supposedly, Tiger the dog was very intelligent, but I doubt they could've trained him to put down a power window...for one thing, I'd think the switch would be hard for a dog to push! Watching that episode, it looks like somebody just held Tiger's paw up to the switch, and then they cut to another scene of the window dropping, and Tiger jumping out. I saw this episode a week or 2 ago, so it's still fresh in my memory ;-) Sadly, Tiger got run over by a flower truck at the studio, abruptly ending his acting career, not to mention life :-( The producers got another dog from the pound that looked just like Tiger, but that dog couldn't act, was untrainable, and pee'd on the furniture. So that's why Tiger was quietly omitted from the story line.

    Speaking of too much time on our hands, have you ever noticed how every once in awhile, they'd show Mr. Brady coming home in one of the Fury's, but then on the set, he'd pull up in front of the garage in one of the Barracudas or, worse, the '72 Impala? I guess they only filmed a few exterior shots of the cars pulling up to that house, and had to keep re-using them as stock footage. I've also seen a few episodes where Mrs. Brady's wagon, a '68 or '69 Satellite wagon, I believe, was parked out front, but then in the same episode they'd show the newer one, a '71 (I think) The one they took to the Grand Canyon. Gawd, I DO have too much time on my hands. Too bad "Leave it to Beaver" isn't on, so I could watch the '59 DeSoto drive by ;-)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    I'm kind of in the same situation with my '89 Gran Fury. Its silver paint is very faded, and is just starting to show signs of rust. It was repainted just before I bought it, but wasn't the greatest job in the world. And, well, you know how silver tends to hold up, right from the factory. Well, it's worse when it's a re-paint!

    I had to have some body work done on my Intrepid about a year ago, when someone broke into the passenger-side door, prying the handle and denting the sheet metal. I only had to pay the $250 deductible, but I think the whole job was about $400-450. They straightened out the door panel, replaced the D-O-D-G-E lettering on the door, instead of masking it off and painting around the letters, replaced the handle, and repainted the door. I'd hate to think how much they would've charged to repaint a whole car, but will admit that the door actually looks better than the rest of the car now, if you look at it at the right angle!

    I'll probably just end up sanding the rust spots on the Gran Fury and touching them up. I'd love to get the thing repainted, but at the same time can think of better things to do with my money. BTW, my great-uncle had two cars repainted by Maaco back in the early 80's...a white '74 Impala and a blue '72 Malibu. In both cases, they were just starting to rust. After the re-paint, they looked good for about a year, but then started to rust with a vengeance.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    You HAVE to remove the trim, lights, etc. A mask job just isn't going to cut it. If I were to get my 1989 Cadillac Brougham repainted, I wouldn't even blink at that $3,800 figure an earlier poster was quoted for the Dodge Rampage truck. In fact, I'd want an even BETTER finish than the one GM gave it. I saw an article some years ago in Motor Trend about the company that makes Cadillac hearses. Even they don't accept the GM finish and sand the car down to the metal and repaint it to their standards. Their hearses aparently are very exquisitiely made vehicles.

    Andre, remember the episode where Greg bought a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible for only $100? I bet Greg could kick himself in the butt today for giving it up for what one would be worth today! A 1955-1957 Chevrolet is also an excellent car on which to attemp a restoration since they are fairly uncomplication and lots of aftermarket parts are available.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    ...my '69 Dart, and then my '68 Dart. The guy that used to live behind my grandmother restored old cars, and he helped me paint 'em. Only cost me the materials, which were about $120-150. It was a lot of work, though. On the '69, I removed as much of the trim as I could, taillights, etc. That one came out beautiful. The '68 though, had too much body work on it, so more of the flaws ended up showing up. I went further with that one though, taking off the bumpers as well. It also didn't come out quite as well, because our neighbor let me do most of the painting!

    One lesson I learned, from painting the first Dart, is to cover as much of your body as possible! I was wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt, and the mist from the creme-colored paint got all over me, coating the hair on my legs and arms. I looked blonde for awhile, until I could finally scrub it all off.

    One thing I always thought was funny when Greg bought that '56 Bel Air, I remember him saying he could fix it up and get $1000 (or some ridiculously low figure by today's standards) easily for it! It's amazing how cheap some cars used to be. My Dad bought a '62 Corvette for something like $1000 back in the real early 70's. He hit a taxi with it, shattering the fiberglass on the pass. side fender and door. Sold it around 1973 for something like $400.00.

    This may be kinda morbid, but I always thought it would be cool to own an old hearse or ambulance. A 1961-62 Cadillac or 1961 Pontiac would be my favorite. I guess it would be in poor taste though, if that was my only car, to have to drive it in a funeral procession! Or using it to deliver pizzas. Heck, people used to freak when they'd see me pull up in the Gran Fury, thinking it was the cops. Wonder how they'd react to a hearse!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Mostly they'd worry about the "topping" I think.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I can't remember re the Brady Bunch. They did seem to have one overhead shot of the 69 Fury coming home, regardless of the year of the show or what they were driving. Same for the wagon, they'd show the 68 Coronet or whatever, then the closeup would be the 71 Satellite. Exactly right about the other Brady Bunch trivia, we're of like sick, bored minds.

    I think cars were hotwired with power windows til they got steering wheel locks (most in 69). My uncles 68 Sedan de Ville had windows you could use when the car was off (I ran down his battery frequently as a kid) but my 71 Electra 225 did not.

    My insurance is something I try not to think about. Chicago is 'spensive for insurance and I *might* be able to save a couple nickels by shopping around, but my current (ghetto Eagle Insurance) company is REALLY close to home, so if I forget to mail payments, I can drive over there, pay and be instantly reinstated.
    Plus they have these really awful commercials that I love, so I want them to stay in business.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I'd be a little concerned about "sub-standard" carriers. Back when I graduated and moved from the suburbs to a bad part of the big city, my insurance with Allstate went up to something like $1000/year.

    This was 1976 and I was making $7200 a year, so I could either find cheaper insurance or skip meals. I went with a succession of companies I'd never heard of, companies willing to insure single males in their twenties with moving violations. I always had three tickets, never more, never less.

    I'm not so sure now that those companies would have been there if I needed them. Not like USAA was for me recently, anyway--what a great company.

    But I know not everyone has that choice. One of the perks of middle age is that insurance companies think you're golden.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    What about any Japanese cars from the '70s (and I mean anything)? Wouldn't you like to have one of the first Honda Civics or the hard-to-find Toyota Carinas or Mark IIs from the early '70s? I sure would want to find a good-looking '78 Toyota Celica GT Liftback just like the one my father owned.
    Mr. Shiftright, whatever happened to the old Toyota, Datsun, and Mazda pickup trucks from the mid- to late-'70s? Didn't they rust much faster than the regular cars themselves?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I think that being mostly used for commercial purposes, they just got used up and junked.

    This happens to American trucks, too. The survival rate among commercial vehicles in the collectible car market is much lower than for passenger cars.

    It would be normal for the trucks to perish before the cars did.
  • jrosasmc-

    Funny you should mention it...my brother recently bought an all-original 1977 Toyota Celica ST. We are working on restoring it for his daily-driver use. It's not going to be a mint show car, but it should look pretty nice when finished, and we plan on keeping it original (it seems like the only old Celicas that remain have been lowered and painted funny colors). His is the rare hardtop model, rather than the more common liftback.

    It did have some old accident damage; apparently a previous owner hit something and replaced a fender, but left the damaged unibody underneath. We have disassembled the front of the car, restored both front fenders and all other front-end trim, and got a replacement hood from a junkyard to replace the hopelessly crunched one. He had a body shop straighten the unibody, so when I go home from college in a few days we will be installing a new radiator and hoses to replace the leaking unit, and will then reinstall the fenders, hood, etc. We have sanded the fenders and hood down to the metal, filled some small rust holes, and sprayed the parts with rust convertor before priming, so hopefully they will not rust again. The car needs some additional body work on the doors and rear quarters, a transmission service, new brakes, and a paint job (original brown-orange color), and at that point it should be road ready. So yes, 1970s Japanese cars are definitely cool.

    -Andrew L
  • I saw one today (mint condition)-wonder if collectors will ever take an interest in this car. It had a distinctive look-was it a good car mechanically? What do Reattas go for these days?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    There's not much interest, but there is some. The range seems to be from around $4,000 for a decent driver to $7,500 for a restored car.
  • I know that the early/mid 1970s Cadillac Eldorado and the Lincoln Mark IV/V have loyal followings, but what about the Chrysler Cordoba? Do you think that car will ever be a desirable collectible?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Not until the sun burns out and the universe collapses. After that, maybe.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,915
    I'm fond of the older stuff... love that Parisienne wagon! I'd like to get a nice Olds Custom Cruiser of that vintage for use as a hauler. Same basic chassis as my recently-sold '78 Olds Delta 88 and current '79 Buick Park Avenue. Great chassis. Watch out for rust in the door window frame weatherstrip channels, above the wagon rear window and in the cowl around the fresh air intake for the A/C (also a common source of water leaks).

    I had the Olds for 4 1/2 years, put a little money into it to keep it presentable, and sold it for what I paid for it. Hard to beat. It never let me down, never failed to start, and was a great car. The Buick is a creampuff, only 48,000 miles. Has the 403 Olds V-8 and is loaded. Might have that one a loooooong time.

    A buddy of mine just picked up a '71 Chrysler New Yorker 4-door hardtop for a little over $1k. It has about 70K miles, and has a perfect green interior in a nice grass-green shade. :) The body is pretty good, only a few trouble spots, and the thing runs like an express train. I love it!

    In the local paper right now is a '64 Dodge Polara 4-door sedan from the praries, showing 44,000 miles. Asking price: $500. I happened to see this car this week in a parking lot and it looks great, considering the age. Didn't see any evidence of rust at all. I like big Mopars from the late 60s, and this one is a little bit early for me, but it still is a steal. My favorites are the fuselage Mopars of '69-'73, particularly the '70 and '71 models.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    believe it or not, the Cordoba does have a bit of a following. Not enough to push it into prime collector status or anything, and you'd probably have to hang around the Mopar-only chatrooms before you found much nice to be said about 'em! The car I really liked from that generation was the '78-79 Magnum XE!

    About a month ago, I was in the local junkyard looking for some 15x7 rims for a '79 New Yorker I'd recently bought (another generally unloved Mopar...the R-body) They had an '81 or so Cordoba that had just come in, and hadn't been dismantled yet. It looked to be in pretty good shape, no rust, and the interior still looked good. I sat behind the wheel, and was almost tempted to ask how much they'd take for the whole car! But then I learned my lesson about buying a car from the junkyard a few years ago, when I bought a '79 Newport from them for $250. Truthfully for the price, it wasn't a bad car, but well, let's just say it ended up costing me a lot more than that by the time I was done with it!
  • A gym teacher at the high school I graduated from last year drives a seafoam green 1975-79 Chrysler Cordoba. It's not pristine, but looks decent for its age. So at least one of those is still on the road.

    If anyone's interested in seeing some pics and info about my brother's 1977 Celica that we're working on right now, I just added a page about the Celica to my Pontiac Parisienne site. The main site is (www.geocities.com/DriveAParisienne). The Celica page can be found at (www.geocities.com/DriveAParisienne/celica.html). I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has experience with old Toyotas, or anyone else who has anything to say about the car. Of course, if anyone hasn't already seen the info about my 1986 Parisienne on the main page, take a look at that, too :-)

    -Andrew L
  • I got this book on 70's cars and I just can't see why you would like 70s' japanese cars, those interiors are so hideous and the cars overall my gosh, what specific things do you like about these cars? I can't figure it out. Not meant to be a flame, I'm just curious.
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