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Is thebest car in the world Crown Victoria?

2

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, yes, 1957, with 289CID and Paxton supercharger, 275HP. Memory fading, how sad. I still have a picture of that car somewhere. Hadn't thought about it in years. Whupped my friend's '56 Chevy real bad, too. Blower finally gave out, very complex arrangement.

    Crown Vics should be rightly melted down to make lighter faster funn-er cars for us and our kids.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    that's what udaman, shifty -- your priorities are in all the right places! =O)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...you could take a Crown Vic and do to it what a Mopar rag did to a '65 or so Imperial years ago. Evidently, there was a GM rag that took a '71 or so Caddy DeVille and pulled everything off of it that they could ditch and still make the car run. Basically it was down to just a rolling chassis. They wanted to see how much losing all that weight would improve the car's performance. I forget what the numbers were, but there was an improvement.

    Well, this Chrysler rag tried it with the Imperial, one of the few cars ever to be banned from demolition derbies, and found it wasn't as easy to cut through '60's sheetmetal as it was '70's sheetmetal. See, even back then people were whining "they don't make 'em like they used to" ;-) They timed the car from 0-60 and the 1/4 mile, both with all its bulk and without. I wish I could find that article today. I don't remember what the times were, but I think a typical Mopar muscle car with the same engine was still faster. Considering a musclecar would most likely have a hotter version of the engine, as well as quicker gearing, I guess that isn't too much of a shock!
  • ballparkballpark Posts: 41
    Actualy the average age of a GT owner is early to mid 40's. The kids drive the 6-bangers. But your point is well made that a sportier car will be driven much harder. I am like Jekyll and Hide when I go from my humble Honda Accord to either of my Mustangs.

    And speaking of the Accord, or other popular imports of today, I believe that these cars will someday become "classic" or "collectables" or "value added". That is why I'm keeping mine. Our children and grandchildren (not us) will have a certain amount of nostalgia for these cars when the time is right. Soon our cherished muscle cars will be as irrelevant to them as those pre-50's cars are to us. The kids of today will look back on the era that they grew up in, and when they hit thier Forties they will rekindle thier youth with a bunch of rice rockets. (Or possibly a sled like the current Crown Vic.)

    Getting back to the topic though, I think the sheer numbers of Crown Vics works in thier favor for future restoration consideration. Plenty of cheap parts to be had. Also, if my predictions above are accurate, the "classic" cars of tommorow will be dominated by the small 4 bangers of today. And, just as today anything "different" stands out in a sea of 60's and 70's musclecars and 50's hot rods, these monsters may become the "cool" and "different" restomods on the show fields of tommorow.
    That they are the last of thier kind also works in thier favor. (Did I say that already?)
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    ballpark-

    "Soon our cherished muscle cars will be as irrelevant to them as those pre-50's cars are to us. The kids of today will look back on the era that they grew up in, and when they hit thier Forties they will rekindle thier youth with a bunch of rice rockets. (Or possibly a sled like the current Crown Vic.)"

    I think you may be right on this one. I would even say that nostalgic tastes sometimes lag a bit behind people's actual ages. For example, many of the adults who now like '40s and '50s hot rods aren't even old enough to remember those cars when they were new.

    Interestingly, my friends (all around 16-20 years old) think my brother's 1977 Toyota Celica is a really cool car, when most people who were teenagers in the '70s would probably hate it, from its vinyl interior to its energy absorbing bumpers. As an 18-year-old, I don't know if I will ever be nostalgically attracted to a 1990s car, but there are plenty of vehicles from the '70s and '80s that already seem cool to me. So I would imagine the people who are just being born now will be the ones who buy "vintage" 2000 models in 40 years.

    -Andrew L
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ordinary cars can't become "classics" because the special and exceptional cars of 2002 will take that label. You can't put a Viper and an Accord 4-door in the same category, there is no logic to it seems to me.

    As for "collectible", well, any car somebody collects is a collectible. The word doesn't mean very much really.

    "Classic" is a term that has to be earned. An owner can't label the car himself. Well, he can, but who would believe him?

    Honestly, do you really think a 1980 Toyota Corolla or a Ford Fairmont deserve the term "classic", just because a few survived or Uncle Harry repainted his? Kind of makes a joke of the word IMO.
  • mminerbimminerbi Posts: 88
    Well, a Corolla, no, no, never, but a Ford Fairmont, on the other hand... I'm joking about the Fairmont, of course. However, not quite so fast; the Fairmont Futura Coupe, with it's uniquely styled B pillar and forward slanting back, coupled with relatively low production numbers, could make an interesting low budget collectible. The Mercury Zephyr counterpart to that Fairmont model (XR-?? maybe) is even more rare. Come on, Shiftright, you can come clean with us, don't you secretly want one of these, rattley dashboard and all?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Nah, I like cars that are exciting or really interesting. Just because a certain car has a funny kind of hood ornament, or pink sun visors or styling that is considered "goofy " or "weird" (which a young driver likes, I know), doesn't mean I'm going to kick in cold hard cash to preserve it. It's throwing away money and labor on a dubious project at best.

    Why aren't some very rare cars valuable? WELL, because nobody wanted to buy it when it was new! That's why it's rare, kind of like asparagus ice cream.

    Now one of my cars, for instance, is a very clean, exceptionally nice Mercedes 300D. I love that car because it takes me everywhere and doesn't break down and is comfortable and still good-looking, etc.

    Now when that car throws a rod or gets rear-ended, I"m certainly not going to fix it. I'll give it a pat on the butt and send it to the shredder.

    Cruel? Inhumane? Perhaps, but it's just an old used 4-door car, all used up. Goodbye and thanks from the bottom of my heart.
  • ballparkballpark Posts: 41
    I would say that "ordinary" cars can be classic. Look at the Model-A. They don't come any "ordinarier" than that. The 49 Mercs, 55-57 Bel Aires, 65 Mustangs, and 67-69 Camaros come to mind. There are others like the 56 F-100 and the 53 3100 pickups from Ford and Chevy respectively. Aside from the Mustangs and Camaros, the other vehicles I've mentioned didn't arouse any particular passion in thier owners when new. They were bought for utilitarian reasons and discarded for the most part by thier original owners after they had served thier purpose. I would call these cars "classics" today. They are widely restored and/or resto-modded and viewed as highly desirable by most of the general public. Eventualy these cars will become rare as more and more "cores" rust out of existance. when this happens thier dollar values will rise higher and higher. At some point they will reach the critical mass or "Shiftright" point where they qualify for the official designation of classic. I just see no reason to wait that long to declare them as such, nor to attempt to disqualify any car because it was "ordinary" when new.

    Under your qualifications they only American cars of today (or the recent past) that could possibly qualify for future classic status would be the Corvette, Viper, Prowler, and perhaps (but probably not)a few Lincoln and Cadillac products.

    Jeez I can't believe I forgot to mention the GTO and 'Cuda, early T-birds,....let's just say I forgot to mention a lot of cars.

    I agree that you cannot currently put the Viper and Accord in the same category, but 40 years from now there could be a lot of people who will want the Accord for what it represented in it's day, or what it personaly represented for them in it's day.

    I have a feeling you only view as classic, cars that are beyond the ordinary mans ability to obtain. I view such cars as irrelevant relics since I believe it is the ordinary man that determines what is or is not a classic. And he determines that by what he chooses to ressurect or preserve. And when he collectively chooses to do so en 'masse to a particular automobile, then that determines it's bona-fide inclusion into the world of "classic" automobiles.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...with a 302 and a console shift (I guess you could get 'em with floor-shift automatics, couldn't you?) Considering how light those things were, I'm sure they moved pretty quickly with even those de-tuned 302's they had back then. Just imagine transplanting a more modern Mustang GT powerplant in there!

    Speaking of which, I wonder if, as the Panther bodies age enough that they are exempt from emissions testing, if we might start seeing some crop up with high-performance transplants. I think it'd be kinda cool to see a '79 LTD Crown Vic coupe with a Mark VIII or Mustang GT drivetrain in it! Heck, I'm sure they're actually lighter than the Mark VIII, so it should be enough to move it!

    Unfortunately with emissions testing, it seems they're getting stricter and stricter, at least here in MD. I remember when I started driving, when the '88 models came out that fall, anything '73 and older was exempt. They moved it up a model year every year, but for some reason stalled out at 1976 years ago. Kinda makes me wonder though, if you get historic plates for, say, a '77 LTD (which you can now do in MD, and you don't have to take it through inspection), would you still have to go through the emissions test?
  • mminerbimminerbi Posts: 88
    To your point, Shiftrght, I agree that the 300D is a beautiful, timeless design. It's a well proportioned, space efficient, and durable car. The turbo diesel version may be even more desireable, but is there a tradeoff in terms durability with the turbo diesel?

    Short of it throwing a rod or being rear ended, what's the maximum you'd be prepared to spend to save your 300D from the shredder?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Oh, good question, MM. I have a formula that works for me, which is that on an old car that is not nor will ever be valuable, like a 300D or an Accord, about 1/4 of the retail value to fix it up per year. So for my car that's about $900.

    Yep, ballpark, that's about right. Very very few cars will ever be "classics", because very, very few cars deserve the name IMO. I equate "classic" with "champion" or something like that.

    Model A Fords are not classics and never will be. For one thing, there are still maybe 1/2 million on the road, at least that. Also they are pretty humble cars, noisy and crudely built. Surely they are among the most famous of all cars, but their fame is more the Ford legend, the Depresson, etc. They are a part of history but not necessarily just car history--rather all of American history.
    They are not "champions" among their contemporaries. Now a Cadillac 1931 V-16, that's a classic and a hundred times more car than a 1931 Ford Model A.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    One difference about pre-50's cars is they were heavy, underpowered (with exceptions), required constant tinkering and maintenance, and just not as fun to drive compared to 60's cars. I think 60's cars are the best combination of style, performance, simplicity, technology, and desireability that makes them attractive even to younger people today that earlier or later cars may not have.

    A 1990 Accord will be a nightmare to maintain electronically in 30 years. A 67 Galaxie will still be bone simple to fix in 2032.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's a good point. The 60s really are a one-time convergence of durability, roadability, performance and simplicity. Even if you are really good with your home computer, you are not going to be re-wiring your 2002 Lexus anytime soon.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    What is the big deal with the maintenance of auto electronics these days?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...that was bad about 60's cars also been negated by modern technology and advances? For example, I've heard people carry on about the "bad old days" when you had to rebuild your carb every year and replace your exhaust system every few years. Didn't most of that occur because of lower quality gasoline, not to mention the lead that used to be in it?

    And I've often heard that back then, you needed to do a tuneup every 12,000 miles. Now I'm not proud of this, but I did let my '68 Dart go about 40-45,000 miles once without changing the spark plugs, and when I did change 'em, I didn't notice a bit of difference in performance. In contrast, my '00 Intrepid needed new plugs at 51,000 miles, although Dodge and many others claim 100,000 mile tuneup intervals. So on paper, going from 12,000 mile tuneups to 100,000 mile tuneups looks really good. 8 times as good, in fact. But when the real-world difference comes down to 40K miles versus 50K, it's not so "paradigm-shifting" as they like to say here at NASA!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    Shiftright-

    "I have a formula that works for me, which is that on an old car that is not nor will ever be valuable, like a 300D or an Accord, about 1/4 of the retail value to fix it up per year."

    Not even from a collector-car standpoint, but just one of simple economics, how does this make sense? Barring a vehicle that has been totally crushed in a collision, or whose frame has rusted away, it's always cheaper to fix an existing car than to buy another one. Of course, you could buy a $1000 car, but chances are it will need major work soon, too.

    In the long run, unless the vehicle gets truly destroyed, I think it's always cheaper to keep making repairs. 95% of the time, choosing to replace a car is simply an issue of "I'm sick of this car, I want something new," not any rational advantage.

    -Andrew L
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...that's probably what it boils down to, for the most part. For example, with my '68 Dart, I figure that if a tree fell on it tomorrow, and destroyed it, the thing will have cost me about 10 cents a mile (purchase price + repairs and maintenance). Not counting gasoline and insurance.

    So far, I figure my Intrepid's been running about 21-22 cents per mile. I the out-the-door price on this car was about $22,000, so figure I'd have to drive the car 220,000 miles, without putting a single penny into it, otherwise, to get to that 10 cents per mile. Even if nothing breaks, it's still going to need tuneups, tires, belts, hoses, tranny servicing, coolant flushes, etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Andrew--it often makes sense to fix a car, but not always. For instance, my Saab Turbo convertible was a money-eater, and it was costing me about $250-$275 a month to keep it repaired (with me doing some of the work!). All this on a steadily depreciating car. For that kind of money I could have been driving a new car (and not all that far from a Saab lease payment at the time). The problem with the Saab is that it wouldn't STAY FIXED. It just kept breaking one thing after another, and when I fixed everything, the stuff I fixed years before started to break again. It was like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Start and one end, go to the other, then start again.

    There is something to be said for warranties.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    Electronics is not a big deal if you have the time and patience, as well as the ability to get the parts, to fix. The fuse box in my 67 has 5 fuses, that is it. I think the total wiring in the car would stretch maybe to the end of my driveway, I could probably stretch it around the block on an average 1990 automobile.

    Electronics do not always age well. They get brittle, and can short out in many places. The issue of finding parts for a 35 year old Honda would be an issue as well. Many will be Honda specific, hard to find, and very expensive as well. An ignition switch is much more simple on a 67 than a 1990. Of course, I could hot-wire my Galaxie if I had to start it.

    Also, the only computer on my Galaxie is the one in my brain.

    The only pollution control on the Galaxie is "How rich do I want to set the carburator?"

    Good point on maintenance requirements. Much of that can be fixed by selectively upgrading items, such as ignition, plugs, etc. Relatively simple and cheap to do. Other than lubes and tune-ups, what other maintenance is required annually? It has the spin-on oil filter, no oil baths required.
  • ballparkballpark Posts: 41
    If, I repeat IF, the Honda Accord ever becomes widely popular as a resto/restomod platform ala the 57 Bel Aire or 65 Mustang, maintaining the electronics will be a piece of cake. Surely you are aware that it is currently possible to "restore" a 1965 Mustang out of thin air. Not figuratively, but literaly EVERY part you need to get the job done is available in the after market, right down to, and I kid you not, the screw set for the passenger side sun visor. With so many Accords in existance it becomes an ideal candidate for the aftermarket to support.
    Ditto for the Crown Vic and various other modern day "turds".
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...I think the Accord is going to have a hard time, mainly because it's FWD and complex. Cars like the '57 Bel Air and Mustang used engines that were in production for decades. You can easily swap just about every V-8 engine ever made (GM or otherwise) into a '57 Chevy, and customize them to your heart's content.

    The Crown Vic's only saving grace is that it's RWD and simpler in design than an Accord, and the basic platform has been in production since 1979. The thing that's going to hurt both the Accord and the Crown Vic though, is that the vast majority of them sold are 4-door sedans, which traditionally aren't as popular as coupes when they get old. Ford hasn't even made a 2-door Crown Vic since around 1987 or '88, and technically, I think it was a 2-door sedan. I'm splitting hairs here, but the difference is that a 2-door sedan shares the same windshield with a 4-door sedan, which is usually taller and more upright, and a 2-door coupe is usually more raked-back and has a bit lower profile. With some cars it's hard to tell though, especially since nowadays, even 4-door cars are much more rakish.

    One thing I'm wondering though, is how many computer systems and such can just be dismantled, as they age? For example, it's fairly common to disable the Lean Burn computers that Chrysler used back in the '70's, and emissions controls can fairly easily (but not necessarily legally) be taken off of those smogged engines of the era. But today, with computers controlling practically everything, once your HAL9000 decides it doesn't want to cooperate anymore, I wonder if there'd be a practical way to bypass it?

    Oh yeah, I saw a '92 Crown Vic for sale the other night at a gas station. It had 94,000 miles, and they wanted something like $3950. Looked like it was still in good shape. I almost think that if you took someone from the past, and showed them a pic of a '92 Crown Vic and an '02 Crown Vic, most people would think the '92 looked more futuristic!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You might see some modern Japanese "supercars" being restored in the future. I could see the collectors of tomorrow wanting Supra Turbos and 3rd Gen RX-7s and maybe even Type Rs (maybe) but certainly not a Crown Vic or an Accord. There is simply no logic to the idea IMO, of a cult built around a sedate and rather dull sedan. The aftermarket is built not on numbers available, but on the frenzy to restore the ones that are left. There are probably more Corollas than any other car ever made, but you can't get aftermarket parts for 80s models, certainly not body and trim and upholstery parts out of a catalog. Try restoring a 1978 Honda Civic someday. No, wait, don't! The Crown Vic or Accord and those "types" will fare the same, it will be forgotten in the mob of old cars. Nothing wrong with that, they did their job well, just not collectibles. But hey, you want to restore one, great hobby.

    For the past 100 years anyway, the only cars that people have really craved and desired had at least ONE of these three things: Power (lots of it), Performance (best in its class and type, a standout) and Prestige throughout all economic classes (self-explanatory).

    The Crown Vic and Accord have none of those, so the outlook isn't good.
  • The Crown Vic must be pretty good, or the police and cab companies wouldn't be flocking to Ford to buy them. You don't see too many Chevy Impalas as police cars. I think GM made a big mistake when they got rid of the big Chevy with the V8 and rear wheel drive. (What was the name of it?) I'm considering buying or leasing one when the lease is up on the Ford Taurus that I have now.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    I think GM knew exactly what they were doing when they got out of the V-8 RWD full-size market. The police and taxi companies might be good, steady business you can rely on, but the profit margins aren't very high. By ditching this market, and using the extra capacity to build higher-margin SUV's, GM ended up making a lot more money.

    Also, while GM's B-bodies got excellent economy for their size (Even the 260 hp Caprice 350 was EPA rated at 17/26), they still dragged the company's CAFE numbers down. OTOH the Tahoe, which essentially replaced the Caprice on the assembly lines is rated at something like 15/19 in 2wd form. Worse for the environment yes, but better for GM's CAFE numbers, because trucks are figured differently from cars. Also much, much better for their bank account! Leave it to the government to try forcing us out of one type of vehicle, but leave us wide open for something that costs more, burns more gas, and makes us more dependent on foreign oil. Oh well, as Archie Bunker once said "What's good for GM is good for America!"

    There's no denying that the Crown Vic is a good car, but I think the main problem is that it's viewed for the most part as a workhorse. Put them into police and taxi service and run them into the ground. They even make the interiors of them more police-car or taxi-like nowadays, with a cheaper grade of carpet, and plain vinyl door panels. When the current style came out for '92, the "civvy" models had cloth door panels and a ritzier grade of carpet. I guess it was cheaper to just build them all the same way though, to make the transition to police or taxi duty simpler.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    "But today, with computers controlling practically everything, once your HAL9000 decides it doesn't want to cooperate anymore, I wonder if there'd be a practical way to bypass it?"

    Certainly. Remove the 4.6 and 4R70W, and replace with a carbureted 460 and C-6. It'll fit. As far as external dimensions go, the 4.6 is a very big motor.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    But you won't be allowed to do that in the future. It's not realistic to present a scenario of the future in which emission laws will be rolled back to 1960. I suppose it could happen, but it's really not likely and so not a practical solution.

    But the argument is specious, as no one is going to take the trouble to fix a Crown Victoria in 20 years, anymore than nobody does ground-up restorations on 20-year old 4-door sedans today. People will use 'em, love 'em and junk 'em.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    A lot of emissions laws exempt classic/antique/old/whatever the heck we're going to call them cars over a certain age from emissions standards. California has the 30-year rolling exemption, and in Texas what parts of the state you are required to take an emissions test (only in high-smog areas), then cars registered as a classic or antique (Cars 25 years old or older) are also exempt. So, if those loopholes are still around in 25-30 years, then it would be legal to dump a 460 into a newer Crown Victoria. Besides, I don't forsee places like Horseshoe Creek, Wyoming ever giving a rat's fuzzy behind about emissions laws, so there will always be somewhere it's legal. But like Shifty said, it being legal, and someone being dumb/crazy/naieve enough to do it are two different things. Of course, there is always the converse, which is emissions friendly. Taking, say a 2000 model car in 2025 or 2030, and dropping in a 2025 or 2030 year model engine, transmission, and computer under the hood. I.E., modernizing the old car. But that will probably only get harder as engines get more complicated.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    In 30 years...

    You'll be able to find a Mint, low-mile, original Crown Vic or Accord.

    There's gonna stillbe some out there if only because they made SO damn many of em!

    Bill
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    badtoy here....

    re your comment that "The aftermarket is built not on numbers available, but on the frenzy to restore the ones that are left. There are probably more Corollas than any other car ever made, but you can't get aftermarket parts for 80s models"....

    I agree with your premise, but not your example.

    19802 Corollas are the most popular Corollas ever made, and for good reason: they were rear wheel drive, light weight platforms with engines that pulled strong from 2000 rpm and redlined at 7500 rpm. They are, by far and away, the most desirable Corollas ever made, and they are a cult car in Japan and here in SoCal as well. A trashed 85 GTS will sell for $2500, and a clean one will sell for upwards of $4500 -- well above the original purchase price.

    I have an 85 GTS sitting in my driveway, and it is my heroin. I also have a turbocharged 2000 LE, as you know, and it is infinitely faster than my 85, but I would ten times rather drive my 85. To give it its due, it will scratch any stock Integra, MP3, Civic or whatever out there (been there, done that). And in the mountains above my home, the 85 is a pure delight to drive.

    As for aftermarket parts, TRD makes all kinds of parts for it -- suspension, brakes, engine, whatever -- and you can easily install a Japanese motor with turbo, 20V or whatever, for a few hundred dollars. The 4AGE Corolla is the Chevy small block of Japanese cars. If you want really insane power, an MR2 turbo is the way to go. You can build it to over 450 hp and you can tune the suspension to lay all that power to the ground.

    Okay, I'm done....!!! =O)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, all true of course, but you have a "valued-added" car. Your skill, resources and checkbook turned a basically worthless car into a desirable one. But nobody is going to take a stock 1980 Corolla that's beat to crap and do a frame-off restoration on it. You know that, BT, c'mon!

    Also, you can't order a new dashboard for it, or find the chrome trim pieces, or new seats. Nobody is going to tool up to repo '80 Corolla interior and trim parts!

    So the only way '80 Corollas will survive is a) time capsules that are originals and b) nuts like you who make them into something interesting.

    Same with your GTS. A few will survive at the hands of a devoted small following, but they will disappear in time because no one will endure the substantial cost of restoration on a $4,500 car full retail. You probably wouldn't even fix it yourself if (god forbid) it were totalled. You'd find a new toy (maybe another GTS).
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    can't speak for everyone, but Toysport collects every GTS they can get their hands on (they usually have at least 5-6 on hand at any given time, and they are usually pretty tired looking, although straight). The hatcbacks are the most popular because of the styling but the coupes (like mine) are preferred for their lightness and extra stiffness. They are used for drifting, and for that reason (and the 4AGE engine), they are now and will probably always be a collectible to Toyota enthusiasts.

    As for "value added", I guess that's true in the sense that it's hard to resist going to TRD for every single suspension piece and engine upgrade they have for the car, but my car is bascially stock, except for a TRD suspension, Weapon-R filter and TRD exhaust. Yet it will smoke a stock Civic, MP3 or Integra, and in terms of handling and driving enjoyment, there is simply no comparison. It is a mechanical wolverine -- a screaming, crazy little monster that will take all the abuse you can give it and come back for more. It is to me now what my Alfas were to me in the 60s and 70s.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    check out Club 4AGE's website. It's a window into another world for an MG enthusiast!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    But you know that cars are restored with checkbooks, and nobody is going to put a pile of cash into a 1985 Japanese car that I can see. This has nothing to do with the car's merit or how much people love them. Whether a car becomes collectible or not depends on whether people will spend large sums of money on them when they are deplorable wrecks---not when they are running and together "bargain fun cars" like they are now, for a few in the "cult".

    They are no different that early RX-7s I think, or early CRXs or 240Zs. People buy 'em, love 'em, fix them up "to a degree", but nobody's restoring them (well Nissan restored some of them and took a beating, too!). I would have noticed in my biz, I think, if old Japanese cars were being restored. They ARE, however, sometimes modified or street-rodded, because they are so incredibly dull to begin with (back then I mean).

    When I start seeing $25K-$30K restorations on Toyotas at collectible car auctions, I will absolutely declare myself a believer, because that's the only proof I could accept that the cars will survive.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    I didn't mean to imply that anyone wants to restore an AE86 to stock condition -- they buy them to modify and race them. But even stock, they are marvelous cars, and I love the styling. Very crisp and nicely proportioned.

    As for dull, you are absolutely wrong about the 4AGE Corollas. Road and Track included them and their Supra cousin as best in class, and a hoot to drive. If you say they are dull, you will have a tough time convincing me you've ever driven one -- especially as a fellow Alfisto. They have a great gearbox, an engine that will happily pull full throttle from 2000 rpm in any gear all the way to a 7500 rpm redline -- and with decent tires, they corner like a scared rabbit. You really need to drive one and see what I'm talking about. There are plenty of Toyota nuts up there in SF, I'll hook you up if you're interested. We have a major show up there every year.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    We're about as off-topic as we can be. Does anyone have anything to offer about the Crown Vic??? =O)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think whenever you have cars that have a following, but not necessarily are subjects for big-buck restorations, you call them "special interest" vehicles. It's a tidy term that allows for a certain amount of devotion and might even possibly point to some future collectibility down the road.

    The Crown Vic, in my opinion, is neither classic, collectible or special interest. It's just an old used car to most people. That's okay, the world needs old used cars, too.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Plus, it makes it easier for mental cases like me who would restore a Grand Marquis (that, by Shifty's criteria, should be junked), obtain cheap used parts to fix my baby up.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    We can't keep all the old cars in the world. Common sense dictates we must thin the herd to make room for the new. Some have got to go. So if you want Mercury Marquis parts, stock up now. This is exactly what I'm doing with my Mercedes 300D, because I know these cars are not going to survive or be saved. I've already got three crates of parts, mostly really hard to find, expensive stuff like lenses, chrome grill, fog lights, door handles, climate control modules, etc. I think Mercedes (and even Ford) will make basic mechanical parts for a long time yet., like shocks, brakes, pistons, belts, hoses, etc.

    Same with a Crown Vic. Ford will make mechanical parts for a long while, but not trim, lenses, glass, etc. That could get hard to find as the Vics go to the crusher.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I've considered doing just that, especially with easily damaged parts like taillights, front turn signal lights, and those oh-so-delicate Mercury hood ornaments. I'm already wonder where I'm going to find original chrome & dark green trim for the doors and fenders to replacew those pieces that were casualties in my fight with a bobwire fence. Before I start packratting parts, however, I'm going to spend all my available car $$$ on getting the thing back into "nice old car" shape, and maybe coaxing more power out of the 400M smog motor.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, don't wait too long. You'd be surprised how cars "dry up" these days. I've noticed a marked scarcity in 300D parts just this past year. Ebay sellers are getting uppitty.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    is scrappage laws.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    No, no, no BT. That's putting the cart before the horse. The cars are scrapped because they aren't worth anything. People "cash in" on the scrappage laws because the government or private company offering a price for "junk cars" is offering more than anyone would pay the poor slob who has this wreck in his back yard.

    These cars are lost because nobody cares about them. If they did, they'd pay the man more than the government for this "precious car".

    Supply and demand, plain and simple.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    sounds good, on its face -- but most people don't even sell their own cars when buying a new car, just due to the inconvenience. Beyond the fact that most people don't like to dicker over price, they also don't like weirdos showing up (or worse yet, NOT showing up) at their house to abuse their machinery and then tell them they're not interested.

    Also, parting a car out will almost always yield a higher profit than the whole car, and who's ready or able to do that?

    I clipped something about scrappage laws in Scandanavia that I'll have to dig up. This is not just an American problem -- it's all over.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    I don't feel like typing the whole in, and I don't have a scanner here, so I'll include excerpts.

    This comes from Jim Conrady, president, SIMCA Car Club of America:

    "Sometimes we don't know how good we have it compared with other places in the world. France, for instance, had an incredible country-wide bounty on turning in old junkers, and it has permanently destroyed many of the mainstream locations of old classic French cars -- some worth literally tens (and restored, hundreds) of thousands of dollars each in today's market.

    Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss, Tractions (Citroen) and other obscure, yet highly prized, cars were systematically destroyed.

    The purge has been gnerally done away with over time, but the effects created a permanent deep scar on the rebuilders' market in Europe. My friends from there have mentioned it repeatedly and just shake their heads in dismay.

    We don't want any ownership or collection of any kind to be crippled by this loss of freedom. It would be a travesty and take away a right that would be greatly missed. I would like my 6-year-old son to enjoy the hobby as I have over the years -- freely, and without restrictions of any kind."

    amen.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...of somebody who doesn't sell his old cars when he gets a new one. Well, probably an extreme example too, since I now have 7 cars registered in my name. Mine are at least all running, though. For the most part ;-)
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    not a redneck. In order for that epithet to be applied to you, at least 5-1/2 of them must not be running -- preferably up on blocks! =O)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, it's a shame when worthy cars are destroyed, like Delayhe or Delage, but really there was no need to save every two-bit Citroen or even some of the uglier and more common Hotchkiss. These were everyday cars, and the only reason the few that are left ARE "somewhat" valuable is because there aren't huge numbers to choose from. If all the Tractions had been saved, they'd be worth very little today. As it is, they are only minor "collectibles" anyway, and Simca never made a car worth saving that I can recall (I'll keep thinking).

    I do agree, though, that crushing these old sedans will result in a loss of parts for the more desirable collectibles, but here again, I also think this works itself out. No American cars that are worthy of restoration today seem to be "starving" for parts that I can see. The aftermarket is vital and takes up the slack.

    As for the argument of "affordable" old cars to fix up as a hobby, the reality is that it costs just as much to restore a 4-door sedan as a 2-door convertible, so that doesn't really fly.

    What is lost by scrappage campaigns, though, is cheap old running cars to enjoy. That is undeniably true, that sometimes perfectly good old cars are destroyed.

    I think we need to look at the Big Picture here and see that scarcity improves value.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...is my '68 Dart. It ran fine when I parked it a few months ago, but then I had to move it because my uncle wanted to take a tree down. It'd crank, but wouldn't start. If I pour a little gas down in the carb, it'll run till it burns that gas off, then die. I'm guessing it's the fuel pump, or just a broken hose or clogged filter somewhere.

    I ended up chaining it to my NYer and pulling it to another spot in the yard. I guess that's kinda rednecky, turning what was Chrysler's flagship way back in 1979 into a tow truck!
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    (or at least I think I do) -- but unless I'm mistaken, you're approaching this from a serious collector's standpoint. Fact is, many of us are perfrectly content with a clean old car that helps us recall the days of our reckless youth -- even if they aren't classics in the purest sense of the word.

    Let's face it -- I'd love to have another 56 Pontiac (even though they weren't particularly attractive cars) if for no other reason than that's the car I first made out with my girlfriend in. And I'd love another 69 Road Runner because it recalls those long summer days in Michigan when I had nothing to do but hook up with my buds and go street racing.

    I'd also love another 57 DeSoto convertible just because the damn things were so outrageous looking!
This discussion has been closed.