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Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"

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Comments

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 37,652
    I started watching the new season of CCR (chop cut rebuild), the offcial show of this topic. One of their projects is a mid '60s Chevelle wagon, a 2-door I believe. Pretty much a rat, but neat to see them take it completely apart.

    Also points out how simple an old car really is. Couldn't imagine doing that kind of tear down on a new model.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Old cars are basically agricultural compared to nowadays, that's true.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    off of some of my older cars, such as rear-ends, radiators, upper control arms, bumpers, fenders, hoods, etc, that I would probably be extremely leery of trying to swap on a newer car!

    Don't some things tend to be more modular nowadays though? Where instead of replacing some little part, you just pull out and chuck the whole assembly?

    And one thing I will say for newer cars...whomever thought up the idea on disc brakes to make the rotor a separate piece from the hub was a genius! It makes changing your rotors about as difficult as changing a tire!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,301

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 37,652
    Looks sound enough to salvage, if you want to put time and money into something that will be effectively worthless even if you make it perfect.

    Just MHO of course.

    Does look like it is in better shape than that Charger from last week!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Looks like it could be saved, but I don't think it would be worth it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    that old Ford might not be too bad. Sure, it looks rusty from the pics, but most of that could just be what I call "scale", where it's just minor surface rust that showed up where the paint got thin, as opposed to rusting from the inside out. Usually "scale" can be sanded off without too much trouble, and takes much longer to penetrate completely through metal than the more damaging rust that comes from the inside out. Once you see that rust appear on the outside, it's already too late!

    Of course, once you start poking through some of that scale, you might discover that it has gone all the way through...
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,301
    Of course, once you start poking through some of that scale, you might discover that it has gone all the way through...

    The amount of obvious rust (scale) precludes this car from being worth anything like $2650 due to just that possibility. It's a $500 car at best.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I'd make the owner this offer: I'll pay you a little over salvage value; say, as much as $500, and determine within 48 hours if the rust is scale or serious. If it's the former, I'll pay you $2,000 (total) for the car, but if it's the latter I'll scrap the car and absorb the modest loss.

    There's a good chance that the seller would tell me to get lost, but the way I look at it my offer would be fair to him and to me, because if the car is rusted through, it's worth whatever scrap value is nowadays ($30-$60?, or zero if it has to be towed t the crusher). If it's not rusted through, this car would be an entertaining project car, even though it would never appreciate much.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    When I saw the term "surface rust" I about spit coffee all over the room. Look at the front hood above the grille.

    "It's not the rust you see, it's the rust you don't see".

    This is a $300 parts car, or a $15,000 restoration to a #3 standard that will be worth $5,000 when you are done, maybe, if you find five drunks on eBay.

    Best thing for cars like this (as I've said before) is to use them to restore 2door and drop tops, or paint 'em with a brush, powerwash the interior (with upholstery still in it) and then drive it around until it blows up.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "...paint 'em with a brush, powerwash the interior (with upholstery still in it) and then drive it around until it blows up." Hmmm, the Y-block might just outlast the pot marked body with Mobil 1 in the crankcase.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...provided the body isn't perforated by the rust it can be restored but you'd never get your money back. Somebody would really have to love 1955-56 Fords and have an obcene amount of disposable income to tackle this one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You hit that car with a grinder and I'll bet you you'll go right through it. Rust starts from the inside, not the outside, so what you see is not what you get in many cases.

    Hmmm...I never thought the Y-block was a particularly great engine, and it only lasted 8 years before being phased out. I do recall they bent push rods very easily and I think there was an issue with cracks in the crankcase webbing. It certainly wasn't the weapon of choice in the 50s.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    rust usually does start from the outside, but it also usually starts from the bottom up, from the places that tend to collect water, like at the bottoms of doors, rocker panels, the bottoms of quarter panels, around the windshield and rear window, and on the fenders around the headlights.

    But rust rarely comes right through the roof or hood of a car, or some of the other spots it appears to be doing on that Ford. Usually that kind of rust comes from the paint getting too worn down. That's the kind of rust you get on a shovel when you leave it out in the rain a couple nights, or when your uncle got up on the roof of your house 4 years ago to do some patching and forgot and left his hammer up there, only for you to discover it while you're up there one hot summer day spraying for wasps...

    I'm actually familiar with this type of rust, as I've had a few cars do it. My grandma's '85 LeSabre was starting to do it, as was my Mom's '86 Monte Carlo. The paint was just getting thin and spider-webbed, allowing the primer and metal to be exposed, and start to rust. This type of rust usually takes a long time to take effect though, because it doesn't stay constantly wet. It'll get rained on, splashed, or whatever, but then dries out fairly quickly, unlike when water pools up along with dirt and gunk in your rocker sills, rear quarter panels, or gets thrown up under the front of the fenders because you don't have an adequate wheel well lining. Sure, exposure to the air will make any bare metal rust, but it's the air and water combined that really get it started.

    I wonder if somebody tried to start a restoration on that car and sanded it down, but then never got around to painting it?

    Now of course, like I said before, once you start poking around on that car you might go all the way through the metal in some places, but if all you have is a little "shovel rust" / "scale", a great deal of that would probably just sand right off. I think this just might be a case of a car looking worse than it really is. In contrast, you could have a car with a nice, shiny Earl Sheib paint job that's hiding all sorts of bondo and rust-through.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Rust like that gets into seams. You'd have to do more than sand it. You can't even sand blast it, because you will peen over the little "rust cavities" and it will come back on you. You'd have to chemically dip that entire body I think, then treat it with a bodacious sealant. The rust on it is EVERYWHERE, and I'm sure it will appear under the chassis and sandwiched in all the two-part panels. That car is a disaster to my eyes.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    And to think that some proud dude probably beamed with pride and joy as he drove this shiny chariot home from the dealership, anxious to show it off to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Such is life on earth. I'm sure Howard Stern was once a pretty little baby.

    I have to say though that probably there wasn't quite the pride of ownership in a stripper 4-door as there would have been in a deluxe convertible. Generally, back in those days, the 4-doors were the utilitarian side of a company's line of cars, especially in the Ford/Chev/Plymouth bracker. Of course, I'm sure the man who bought it was glad to have a new car. That was only a couple years after the Korean War and a lot of materials shortages in the US.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    was probably really proud of his "$56 a month for a '56 Ford" deal that he struck with the dealer!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,808
    I've looked at old cars that way since I was a kid...when I see an old beater or a car sitting in a field, etc, I have to think it was once someone's pride and joy, it was a nice new car. For many cars it is hard to imagine it was ever a new car, esp for cars made before the time frame I can personally remember. Like I can imagine a 126 being new, as I remember when they were new...but when I drive the fintail, I sometimes find it hard to believe it was a new car
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,097
    Here's another "easy completion":

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=16124&item=4536148084&rd- =1

    He claims a body off restoration, but it looks like all old parts on the body and the engine is filthy. Another case where you have to wonder, if it's such a slam dunk to finish it, why is he walking away now.

    I think that this seller may be guilty of hyperbole, but this car may not be horrible if the price stays at $4k
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    This car really looks like a butcher job from the photos but I guess to do it justice one should have it looked at. Personally I wouldn't touch it at any price given what I'm reading and seeing.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    ...there was a '72 Skylark GS parked at a repair shop near my house. It only had a 350-4bbl, but it ran strong. I could've gotten it for like 400 bucks, and it looked like it was in better shape than that GS on eBay! Of course, this was also about 14-15 years ago! :-) And I didn't have a job :-(
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 37,652
    Send Driftee out to look at it. It's nearby to him I think.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,097
    How about I have it painted black by Maaco and throw some Cragers on it for. For about $5,ooo I'd have a decent beater that would get me cred in the partking lot of any high school.

    I think that sellers throw around terms like "body off" and "rotiserie" without really knowing what they mean. Why would you do a frame off resto and throw put on old body parts? I mean, look at that back bumper!

    A car can be a decent driver with going body off frame and there's nothing wrong with just being a decent driver, just price it accordingly.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 37,652
    that always bothered me when they say "frame off". it should be "body off", since you take the body off the frame, not vice versa!

    maybe he meant they took the engine out?

    A decent paint job and an engine bay detail would help this dog immensely. Also might be nice to install the new interior.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    when they'd say "frame off" restoration in relation to something that's unitized. Call me anal, but that's just WRONG! :-)

    Sometimes people just do stupid things though, when they restore cars. For example, the guy that had my Dart before be put several thousand $ into the engine around the 242,000 mile mark, because he wanted more kick out of it. But then guess what? He put the same old 2-bbl carb back on it!! In a similar vein, somewhere along the line before I got it, somebody rebuilt the 400 in my '67 Catalina, blueprinting it and putting a 4-bbl carb on it. But then they left it with the same economy-minded 2.56:1 rear end! Oh well, if nothing else, it'll hold first gear till about 55 mph and chirp the tires going into second, while getting halfway decent mileage on the highway if you keep your foot out of it.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    you and me both about "frame off"s when it is unibody. I've seen a few Jag Mk II's with "frame off" restorations. Must be hell to cut out the entire bottom of the car with a torch I'd guess!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    What most people mean these days by "frame off" is really a "front clip restoration", where they remove the hood fenders inner and outer, engine, trans and grille and clean/restore the car up to the firewall.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,097
    How to interpret lingo in online ads:

    "Frame off restoration" = Sat on cinder blocks in my yard for at least a year
    "Show winner" = Get's plenty of looks in the high school partking lot
    "Numbers match" = I never checked and neither will you
    "Easy Completion" = This car is a basket case and I'm cutting my losses
    "$--,000 Invested" = I can't keep track anymore but I'm taking a bath on this thing
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Good ones, Mike! I think the 'easy completion' also often means 'I'm flat broke', 'my mom/wife wants this heap out of the driveway pronto' or 'I owe the body shop/machine shop exactly what this thing's worth, so I have to bail out now', or some combination.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,097
    With a 6 banger, it's value is limited, but this Stang has some attactive traits:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6236&item=4538781119&rd=- 1

    I like that it doesn't have carpets so that you can see that the floors look decent. These cars are notorious for rusting floors and frames. Also, four original hubcaps is a nice feature.

    Of course, you've got to see it in person, but I think for $1,500 (even let's call it $2,5oo) this could be worth saving.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    I want this car...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1,1&item=4539532356

    Bidding on it is currently up to around $1500. Any idea what a "fair" price would be to pay for it? It looks like it's in great shape, with only fairly minor problems, like a missing center cap on one of the wheels, loose rearview mirror, tear in the seat, non-working a/c, 2 of the 4 HVAC fan speeds not working, and non-working FM band on the radio. It's also been repainted, but looks like a nice job. Also, the "top end" of the engine has been rebuilt, which I guess means it had a head-job? I guess the main thing that bothers me is the high mileage, around 170,000. I've had cars with much higher mileage than that, and have gotten much more life out of them, but at the same time, a lot can go wrong in 170,000 miles!

    Anyways, any opinions?
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,097
    The car looks decent. Ask yourself this, if this car was around the block from you and after an inspection you thought that it was solid, how much would you go????? $5,ooo? The idea behind ebay is to get a deal. Work backwards from that price and allow for shipping expense and the risk that you're taking in case the pics are hiding stuff.

    Good luck bidding and let us know how it goes.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,301
    '70s cars were mostly junk, especially the ones from the middle 70s when they were fitted with smog-pumps and the like. Buy something older (pre '74) or newer ('83 on) but avoid
    '74-'82 like the plague.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    I know that under most circumstances, people should probably avoid those years, but I've also already been "plagued" with cars from that era...2 '79 Chryslers, an '80 Malibu, and an '82 Cutlass, and except for the Cutlass crapping its tranny and then its little Buick V-6 :lemon: , I liked them all. I dunno, maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, or sado-masochistic or something! :shades:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    I just got a rough estimate, and it looks like shipping would be about $500 from Cincinnati to Baltimore, and then I'd just have to ride up to Baltimore to pick it up. I was considering driving out with a friend to get it, and have them drive my car back. But it's 500 miles one way. I figure that the fuel bill would run close to $100 for my Intrepid, round trip, and I'm sure even with just a 350-2bbl, this beast would run close to $100 in fuel just getting it home. Not to mention that I don't know if I'd feel comfortable driving a 29 year old car that I'm not familiar with for 500 miles right off the bat!

    According to Mapquest, it's about 8 hours or so, each way, so maybe 17-18 hours, total. That's a day trip. Well, a very LONG day trip! Not quite in the same league as going from Atlanta to Texarkanna and back in 28 hours to pick up a truck load of Coors, but still quite a road trip!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Probably $2,500 maximum is about fair book value. It's a dreaded 1976 model (worst year in American history) and it's been repainted and it has a hell of a lot of miles on it.

    Were it an "old lady car", with under 100K and cherry as can be, you'd be looking at maximum value of perhaps $4,500, so go figure, there's not a lot of slack in here for you.

    I'd say bid to $2,000 and that's it, then bail. For $2K you can certainly flip it if you don't like it.

    For someone who spent $800 in tuning, having a car that stumbles when cold is not an encouraging statement, but probaby fixable at not too great a cost. These are pretty easy cars to work on, which, being a '76, you will have a chance to do more often than on a 1972 car.

    So not a bad ride if you can keep your budget in place on it. Gotta buy what you like, that's the bottom line. :shades:
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Nice color combination, pretty loaded, has a 350. Even with 170k, if something craps out, this is a car and engine/trans combo that you can't really get in too much trouble with financially. The main downsides to the '70s A-bodies are those long, heavy doors, window leaks, generally bad size-to-space ratio (back seats, anyway, but the fronts go waaaay back). My uncle had a '75 Grand LeMans, another had a '76 GP, grandma had a '77 Cutlass coupe, all had 350s, the Cutlass was a rustbucket from the factory, but all were reliable.....you could do worse.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    I just checked this morning, and bidding's up to $2247. So I have a feeling I may end up bailing. I might hold out hope to around $2500 or so. And sure, I'll probably have bit of non-buyer's remorse for awhile, but then I'll end up spotting some nice Mirada or a St. Regis copcar, or maybe a baby blue Buick LeSabre convertible with a 455, and forget all about this LeMans!

    Ghulet, my Mom had a '75 LeMans coupe with the 350, in kind of a cinnamon/bronze color that's actually somewhat close to this eBay LeMans. I was only 5 when she bought it, so I don't remember it that well now, except that, even with some of the gaudy colors around in the 70's, it stuck out like a sore thumb in parking lots! Part of it was the color, but I think another part was that over-exaggerated swoopy rear end! It was an okay car until 1977, when my Dad wrecked it. It never ran right after that, and started getting really bad gas mileage right up until the point that Mom traded it for a new 1980 Malibu.

    And you're absolutely right about the space efficiency! About 4 years ago, I found a '76 LeMans coupe for sale right around the corner from me, and thought my dreams had come true. Until I started it up. It fired right up, no trouble at all, but then I remember thinking damn, that sounds funny for a V-8. Popped the hood, and sure enough, it was a Chevy 250 6-cyl! Also had no a/c, basic steel wheels with those stock Pontiac hubcaps that had the little holes in them (like what the LeManses in Smokey and the Bandit had, IIRC). Also had rust around the rear window, the side windows, the window sill in the door, and when I opened the trunk I could see parking lot through the floor. I sat in it, and up front it was a very comfortable car. Heck, even nowadays they don't make very many cars with front seats this roomy! But the back seat was smaller than my Dart's, and the trunk was positively tiny. And when I opened the big, heavy door, it gave me a flashback to Mom's old LeMans!

    When GM downsized these cars for 1978, the space efficiency improvements they saw were nothing short of miraculous! I was 9 when my Mom traded our '75 in, so I really didn't remember how small it was inside, but I had the Malibu until I was 20, so I can remember it pretty well. The LeMans had more shoulder room, both front and rear, but had a lot more inward curve of the side windows. And the tranny/driveshaft hump of the Malibu was also bigger. But there was a huge difference in back seat and trunk room.

    So is it pretty common on eBay for people to really go crazy and start over-bidding on a car?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah, people get pretty stupid on eBay but usually only rookies who are bidding on non-descript or common cars. The really interesting and significant machinery usually attracts a much more knowledegable bidder and rarely overbids.

    But you never know. If you have two bidders with money and both are blinded by emotion, things can get pretty silly and one of them is going to be stuck with a car that they are in wayyy too deep.

    Also on eBay you really never know what's real or not. Best thing is to set a limit for yourself and stick to it no matter what.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,301
    ...or maybe a baby blue Buick LeSabre convertible with a 455

    Now you're talking about a real car ;)

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    you might not like the kind of baby blue LeSabre convertible I'm talking about, Andy. This...

    image

    is what I'm thinking about! :-)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    and I did find this, down in Georgia, about 600 miles away...

    http://adcache.collectorcartraderonline.com/10/6/9/78503069.htm

    The other LeMans in Ohio is about 500 miles. BTW, what does "RTS" stand for? Is that just "Radial Tuned Suspension", which was something that Pontiac tended to make a big deal out of in the early 70's?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,301
    you might not like the kind of baby blue LeSabre convertible I'm talking about, Andy. This...

    I'm not crazy about the Baby Blue part and I'd still want to avoid the middle 70s but the pictured car is as desireable as anything Detroit put out at the time.

    I've had a thing for big Buick convertibles since I borrowed a '62 Electra/401 back in the day. I'd 100 times rather have one than that Grand LeMans or any contemporary Buick. :D

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 37,652
    sounds familiar, which is scary.

    And it's always a good feeling when the car you are buying comes with it's own organ donor (parts car).

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    that even the '77-81 Catalina and Bonneville had a badge on the dashboard that said "Radial Tuned Suspension" or something along those lines. Were radial tires such a big deal by the late 70s? They weren't still putting bias-ply tires on them by then, were they?

    When it comes to the old cars I've had, I've actually missed most of the 70's, having had a '69 Dart and a '69 Bonneville, and two '79 Chryslers. The Bonneville may have originally had bias ply, but by the time I bought it it was riding on 225/75/R15 radials. The Dart had bias ply tires, which I immediately replaced with 205/70/R14 radials.

    Sometimes I actually feel better when I have an "organ donor" lying about. I held onto my '69 Dart for about 2 1/2 years after it got wrecked, and it provided a lot of support for my '68. And when my '89 Gran Fury quit running, I started cannibalizing parts for my '79 New Yorker. Different platform (R versus M) but a lot of stuff was still a direct swap, like power window motors, wheels, brakes, etc. But now getting an organ donor from Georgia to Maryland might be a bit of a chore...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    when it comes to these cars, but check this out. Someone actually loved these things enough that they found a '76 LeMans police car in the junkyard, bought it, but then restored it to 1977 specs (not much difference, really, probably just the grille inserts), and made it look like Sheriff Buford T. Justice's '77 LeMans in Smokey and the Bandit!

    http://www.abodysite.com/buford28.jpg
  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,808
    LOL that's a good one...about the most useful thing you could do with one of those sedans
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    ended up stalling out at $2325 yesterday, and never made the reserve as it ended late last nite. I actually tried to stay up for it, and was still considering putting in a bid as high as $2500, but then I started getting drowsy. I asked my roommate to wake me up around 12:30 so I could check on it, and he said he would, but then he fell asleep too!

    So, either that was God's way of telling me I wasn't destined to have it, or just a missed opportunity for me. Anyway, I did send an email to the seller asking him if he was re-listing it. I wish I could get the danged thing out of my mind, but I can't! :cry:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,878
    this old beast: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4540427674 has the Rally II wheels that I've been wanting to get for my '67 Catalina! And the color would even match! I priced these suckers through Coker Tire, and I could probably get them cheaper just buying this car, taking the wheels off, and scrapping it. Only thing is, knowing me I'd feel sorry for the old beast and try to hang onto it... :P
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