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

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,707
    When do you think you will be able to get that under hood noise diagnosed? I’d be nervous driving it like that.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    Michaell said:

    fintail said:

    I think I'd have no choice but to repair it. Fortunately, the cars have appreciated to the point where a repair could probably be justified. It might be harder finding a shop to fix it than coming up with the money - even for regular service and maintenance, it's getting tough even in my metro area of several hundred thousand people, not to mention a major repair. A lot of shops don't want to touch something so old and unusual. If it is something that needs major attention, the car will probably be off the road for a while during the repair.

    In 1997, a piston ring broke, and I decided to fix it rather than walk away or do an engine swap. It was an expensive and time consuming repair, the car was eventually off the road for a couple months. I justified it by thinking what else could I get for the money, as the rest of the car was in good shape (at that time, I was a student and the car was my DD).

    Michaell said:

    @fintail - what happens if that noise is something major? At what point do you throw in the towel to keep it running?

    I'm not trying to be mean - anybody who has owned pets are often faced with the same decision.

    Would you consider shipping it to Seattle to get your former experts to do any major repairs, if that time ever comes?
    Hopefully it wouldn't come to that, but if it needed a bunch of stuff, it might be worth the effort. Coincidentally, the specialist where I used to take the car retired a few months after I moved - the shop is still in businesses, but the guy I dealt with isn't there. There are a couple other shops in Puget Sound metro that would probably take it. A mere 5+ hours from here B) I found one shop here that was willing to do work, but one of the guys who would work on older cars passed away, so it might be booked out by months. As it had a relatively recent oil change, under 1000 miles on it, I am just going to wait til spring.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    ab348 said:

    When do you think you will be able to get that under hood noise diagnosed? I’d be nervous driving it like that.

    Probably not til spring, but it won't be driven much til then. It's a rattle, not an engine knock or similar, power seems normal, no vibration, no smoke, no running hot, etc (it was idling when I snapped the pic), so am optimistic it is something relatively minor.

    I remember in the past it had a belt that would cause the weirdest loud chatter, I am thinking maybe there's something related to that.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,556

    Sometimes exhaust leaks can sound like a rattle too. May just be a manifold gasket.

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    I have a feeling that gasket might be hard to find, maybe unique to the fuel injected cars. Once I can get it in to the shop, it will get an inspection. About 4" of snow here this morning, so I was lucky indeed to go for a drive yesterday.

    Michael's question had me going down maybe a morbid line of thought - if something happened to the car, like stolen and vanished (pretty doubtful), hit by falling piano or something, what would replace it? I know Hagerty has a rep for quick claims, but then what? Maybe a malaise/radwood car? I don't know if I would go for another fintail - I would always be comparing it to the prior car.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 215,069
    fintail said:

    Michael's question had me going down maybe a morbid line of thought - if something happened to the car, like stolen and vanished (pretty doubtful), hit by falling piano or something, what would replace it? I know Hagerty has a rep for quick claims, but then what? Maybe a malaise/radwood car? I don't know if I would go for another fintail - I would always be comparing it to the prior car.

    I think all of us will have a mourning period should the fintail go away - we've lived through your ownership vicariously through many years.

    My opinion would be to go in the opposite direction - something that would complement a Radwood show, but off the beaten track. An old Mitsubishi Cordia or Tredia, perhaps.

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,341
    or something like a 2006 SLK AMG. Keep it in the family.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    I think the fintail would have to be pretty ruined for me to give up on it. Fortunately, it has been pretty reliable and seems to be going strong. 30 years of ownership is approaching soon.

    One issue I have is I don't want to or can't do a lot of intense mechanical work - I am also leery of carburetor cars. I think it is still possible to get 80s cars repaired (parts could be a problem for some), but older cars maybe not so much, which makes me leery of the some of the 50s-60s cars I like. I like a lot of 80s MBs, but they are kind of a hipster new money fad now, and can be expensive for good ones. However, I like lot of mainstream period/malaise material if in the right spec. I hope I won't be forced to make the decision.

    For a mid 2000s era car, probably not for a long time - not MBs finest hour, and still in the "too old to be new, too new to be old" phase, and no nostalgia or retro design yet.
    Michaell said:

    fintail said:

    Michael's question had me going down maybe a morbid line of thought - if something happened to the car, like stolen and vanished (pretty doubtful), hit by falling piano or something, what would replace it? I know Hagerty has a rep for quick claims, but then what? Maybe a malaise/radwood car? I don't know if I would go for another fintail - I would always be comparing it to the prior car.

    I think all of us will have a mourning period should the fintail go away - we've lived through your ownership vicariously through many years.

    My opinion would be to go in the opposite direction - something that would complement a Radwood show, but off the beaten track. An old Mitsubishi Cordia or Tredia, perhaps.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,341
    another option, upgrade it if the motor goes (can't do much if it gets wrecked!)

    LS swap that sucker. or stick a later 3.5l MB V6 in it. modern updated suspension/brakes/electronics. But keep the body and interior close to stock. Put it on some period correct look MB wheels with modern tires.

    then you have the same vintage car, but one you can use and enjoy a lot more. Pop over the mountain? sure, no problem! Needs service? anybody can work on the engine.

    and it will only cost money! I bet there are kits out there already too. This is actually one of my dreams, doing a Volvo wagon V8 swap.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    edited November 2022
    V6? No way!


    ps - both @stickguy 's and my checks are 'in the mail'...
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,707
    fintail said:


    One issue I have is I don't want to or can't do a lot of intense mechanical work - I am also leery of carburetor cars. I think it is still possible to get 80s cars repaired (parts could be a problem for some), but older cars maybe not so much, which makes me leery of the some of the 50s-60s cars I like. I like a lot of 80s MBs, but they are kind of a hipster new money fad now, and can be expensive for good ones. However, I like lot of mainstream period/malaise material if in the right spec. I hope I won't be forced to make the decision.

    I think mid/late '60s/early '70s cars might be your best bet if the worst were to ever happen, sort of like Adam from Rare Classic Cars fame on YouTube. Carburetors are easy once you understand them although they can be a bit fiddly with lots of tiny parts, clips, rods, etc. Once you get into emissions-era cars from later in the'70s through the '80s you get lots of vacuum lines and crudely-designed emissions controls which are best to steer clear of. Mechanical parts for more mainstream stuff are generally not a problem (body/trim is something else entirely), but obscure models would be a headache.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,341
    well, even the LS is probably pushing it. the problem with any swap if you add too much power it overwhelms the rest of the car. Good chance the stock rear end could handle a nice mellow V6. It will also move quite well in a light car. I doubt Fin really needs a drag racing beast.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    That's from a MB 450.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    stickguy said:

    another option, upgrade it if the motor goes (can't do much if it gets wrecked!)

    LS swap that sucker. or stick a later 3.5l MB V6 in it. modern updated suspension/brakes/electronics. But keep the body and interior close to stock. Put it on some period correct look MB wheels with modern tires.

    then you have the same vintage car, but one you can use and enjoy a lot more. Pop over the mountain? sure, no problem! Needs service? anybody can work on the engine.

    and it will only cost money! I bet there are kits out there already too. This is actually one of my dreams, doing a Volvo wagon V8 swap.

    Fintails are light, ~3000 lbs. Even a modern diesel unit would make it quick. A TT V6 like in the wagon would make it a rocket. I like the fintail's engine though, a revvy little I6, I suspect when all bills were tabulated, it would be cheaper to fix any existing engine malady than to swap, assuming it would also need a swap of transmission and cooling system, maybe electrical issues, etc.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    ab348 said:

    fintail said:


    One issue I have is I don't want to or can't do a lot of intense mechanical work - I am also leery of carburetor cars. I think it is still possible to get 80s cars repaired (parts could be a problem for some), but older cars maybe not so much, which makes me leery of the some of the 50s-60s cars I like. I like a lot of 80s MBs, but they are kind of a hipster new money fad now, and can be expensive for good ones. However, I like lot of mainstream period/malaise material if in the right spec. I hope I won't be forced to make the decision.

    I think mid/late '60s/early '70s cars might be your best bet if the worst were to ever happen, sort of like Adam from Rare Classic Cars fame on YouTube. Carburetors are easy once you understand them although they can be a bit fiddly with lots of tiny parts, clips, rods, etc. Once you get into emissions-era cars from later in the'70s through the '80s you get lots of vacuum lines and crudely-designed emissions controls which are best to steer clear of. Mechanical parts for more mainstream stuff are generally not a problem (body/trim is something else entirely), but obscure models would be a headache.
    Not sure if I am into a 74 Marquis or Matador for my fun car, although the right bustleback might be cool (I know, later, and I'd need to drive one to be sure I 'd want it). If I was going for mid 60s domestics, I'd probably look backward just a little more and try for a 60 Ford, but unless it was a twin to my dad's car (or the same car), not sure if I would be into it, and that car had a lot more quirks than the fintail. I am thinking I would probably go for something with personal nostalgia - when I bought the house, I was even thinking it would be easy to add a third bay to the garage, but the expense is just too much, one hobby car is enough.

    A malaise or radwood style MB might be an answer - I know enough about them, diesels will run forever, usually just the mid 70s gassers are the finicky ones, as they are thirsty and can have emissions issues. Biggest issue is cost, hard to find something really nice for 10K anymore. I like a number of Japanese cars from the era, but I know they are like spaghetti under the hood, cosmetics seem to decay faster than domestics or Euros, and there are few original survivors. Something like a rotary Mazda or Peugeot would probably end up more of a headache. Maybe better hope it never comes to replacement.



  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,556

    @fintail
    You do like those 70s T-Birds… maybe one in a light blue :p

    I see you in a W126 with period wheels in a light color.

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    tjc78 said:

    @fintail

    You do like those 70s T-Birds… maybe one in a light blue :p

    I see you in a W126 with period wheels in a light color.

    A properly equipped and colored 77-79 Bird (must have T-tops) would be pretty cool. Those cars have a bit of style to me, probably my favorite domestic disco cruiser. Probably would bring fair money in the right condition now, as would say a properly spec'd 80 Seville Elegante.

    This is a beauty

    Or newer in a couple ways, and the price

    But really, I need to assume the fintail will have an infinite life - it made it this far! Likely nothing is going to happen to it, and any needed repairs will be light to moderate at worst. I'm not willing to spend what would probably be 20K on a garage addition and 20 more K on a car when I probably don't drive the oldie I have enough.



  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    I'd spend the money to keep the fintail as-is. I'm a big fan of early German fuel injected straight 6 engines, I came close to buying a used E12 528i, too bad it had zero care for a number of years.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,341
    Old cars end up with the same question. What do you want to do with it? A few miles on a nice Sunday around the neighborhood? Take it on some road trips?

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,556

    @fintail said:
    A properly equipped and colored 77-79 Bird (must have T-tops) would be pretty cool. Those cars have a bit of style to me, probably my favorite domestic disco cruiser. Probably would bring fair money in the right condition now, as would say a properly spec'd 80 Seville Elegante.

    This is a beauty

    Or newer in a couple ways, and the price

    But really, I need to assume the fintail will have an infinite life - it made it this far! Likely nothing is going to happen to it, and any needed repairs will be light to moderate at worst. I'm not willing to spend what would probably be 20K on a garage addition and 20 more K on a car when I probably don't drive the oldie I have enough.

    They are nice, but seen much more often than a car like yours.

    It isn’t going anywhere. I’m sure whatever the noise is can be sorted with some time and money.

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    texases said:

    I'd spend the money to keep the fintail as-is. I'm a big fan of early German fuel injected straight 6 engines, I came close to buying a used E12 528i, too bad it had zero care for a number of years.

    It really is kind of a charming engine. Surprisingly revvy, very smooth, and at the right times even a little raspy. Those engines were used in competition for several years, they must have some merit.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    tjc78 said:

    @fintail said:

    A properly equipped and colored 77-79 Bird (must have T-tops) would be pretty cool. Those cars have a bit of style to me, probably my favorite domestic disco cruiser. Probably would bring fair money in the right condition now, as would say a properly spec'd 80 Seville Elegante.

    This is a beauty

    Or newer in a couple ways, and the price

    But really, I need to assume the fintail will have an infinite life - it made it this far! Likely nothing is going to happen to it, and any needed repairs will be light to moderate at worst. I'm not willing to spend what would probably be 20K on a garage addition and 20 more K on a car when I probably don't drive the oldie I have enough.

    They are nice, but seen much more often than a car like yours.

    It isn’t going anywhere. I’m sure whatever the noise is can be sorted with some time and money.


    And expensive. If the time ever came, a 30K+ hobby car just isn't in the books.

    The car has been pretty good to me over the years, I am optimistic the noise isn't catastrophic.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,556
    edited November 2022

    Lol Fin. That song would be fitting while driving the Caddy. Man that Eldo in those colors could be the most “pimp”’car ever made. Everyone knows I love my land yachts but those later Eldorados are too much even for me.

    Topaz is a cool survivor. Pretty loaded for a GS.

    I kinda like the Bronco II. Not the same color but immediately reminded me of the Breakfast Club.

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    edited November 2022
    That '37 Ford - wow. The turbos look like they're six feet from the engine, with a blow-through carb. Recipe for major turbo lag and vapor lock. Would have been better if all that money was spent on the engine, or not at all.

    Oh, and the air filters are exposed, UNDERNEATH the car!?!?
  • qbrozenqbrozen incurable addictMember Posts: 31,795
    that build confuses the hell outta me.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 18,046
    Topaz - power seat controls on the front of the seat? Never saw anything like that before.
    Camper van has an A/C unit sticking out the right side.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    texases said:

    That '37 Ford - wow. The turbos look like they're six feet from the engine, with a blow-through carb. Recipe for major turbo lag and vapor lock. Would have been better if all that money was spent on the engine, or not at all.

    Oh, and the air filters are exposed, UNDERNEATH the car!?!?

    All that for a mere seventy six thousand five hundred dollars.

    I like early V8 Fords, I would 110% rather have it stock or a light non-detectable restomod at most, both of which could have been done for a fortune less no doubt.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769

    Topaz - power seat controls on the front of the seat? Never saw anything like that before.
    Camper van has an A/C unit sticking out the right side.

    I think our 85 Tempo with power seat had the same control (as in the same switch in the same location) - the steering wheel in that car is in the same as our late build 85, and I am pretty sure the shifter is the same too. Ford made a lot of money from those cars, not expensive nor fancy, but they must have cost nothing to build.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    edited November 2022
    tjc78 said:

    Lol Fin. That song would be fitting while driving the Caddy. Man that Eldo in those colors could be the most “pimp”’car ever made. Everyone knows I love my land yachts but those later Eldorados are too much even for me.

    Topaz is a cool survivor. Pretty loaded for a GS.

    I kinda like the Bronco II. Not the same color but immediately reminded me of the Breakfast Club.

    I've seen numerous 93-94 Tempaz with PW and probably power seat. Much rarer in early cars. I forget the trim levels of Topaz.

    Bronco II makes me think Breakfast Club or Uncle Buck (facelift model).
  • qbrozenqbrozen incurable addictMember Posts: 31,795
    missed the Barchetta by a lousy $150.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,707
    Dodged a bullet!

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,707
    The Bronco defines the word “optimistic”.

    I never gave it much thought but I didn’t realize that the exterior treatment was done with decals. I suppose these days you could replicate something similar using wrap material. The seat upholstery would be another matter though.

    The Corvette seems mighty cheap. Too bad it’s not a convertible.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 18,046
    Cheap block suspension lift on that Toyota truck. Love that driveshaft angle, no wonder it's leaking like crazy.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    edited November 2022
    That Voltswagon - think they're off by a decimal point. 8 X 12V batteries good for, what, 50 miles range, maybe? Plus it's likely slow, needs all new batteries, and who knows if it actually works. Useless as is, hard to convert back.

    Here's an option - buy it cheap, rip out all that stuff, and put in a modern EV system. Cost? Oh, $10,000-$20,000 for the conversion...
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 21,120
    “Seems like they’re still depreciating”

    I guess so. My ‘84 vette with 136k and a trashed interior sold for that price in 2013. That one must be very needy.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,556

    @oldfarmer50 said:
    “Seems like they’re still depreciating”

    I guess so. My ‘84 vette with 136k and a trashed interior sold for that price in 2013. That one must be very needy.

    Must have electrical issues. There is some sort of added switch on the dash.

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    That's a heck of a big payout for provenance!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    xwesx said:

    That's a heck of a big payout for provenance!

    I have to think it will go for the lower end of that - a very niche provenance list indeed, but who knows. Looks pretty well done anyway, the high stance and mudflaps amuse me.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    fintail said:

    xwesx said:

    That's a heck of a big payout for provenance!

    I have to think it will go for the lower end of that - a very niche provenance list indeed, but who knows. Looks pretty well done anyway, the high stance and mudflaps amuse me.
    Agreed! I like the look of it, but I just don't "appreciate" the old MB heritage enough to dole out that much green for an old machine that's been dogged like it surely has. Whether the mechanicals are completely redone or not, you can just see the stress that chassis has gone through! :#
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,769
    xwesx said:

    fintail said:

    xwesx said:

    That's a heck of a big payout for provenance!

    I have to think it will go for the lower end of that - a very niche provenance list indeed, but who knows. Looks pretty well done anyway, the high stance and mudflaps amuse me.
    Agreed! I like the look of it, but I just don't "appreciate" the old MB heritage enough to dole out that much green for an old machine that's been dogged like it surely has. Whether the mechanicals are completely redone or not, you can just see the stress that chassis has gone through! :#
    Definitely warrants inspection, I suspect Finland is not a low-rust area. I'd want to know who did the work, too - ~100K USD for a fintail is getting up there. It won a famous rally, but famous only among those who care, which isn't a huge fanbase.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 13,386
    S4 went Stage 1 with APR. Awesome Stage 1 tune; way better than Revo's that I had in the past with the prior S4.

    Word on the street is APR isn't the best since they've abandoned the 3.0 Supercharged platform from further updates, but if you are not going past Stage 1, it's probably the very best you can get.

    Early Christmas present to myself. Now the redline redsport Infinities with a measly 400 HP have to watch out for me at the street light grand prix.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,341
    I actually like that Rabbit convertible. I would take one.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 21,120
    I always wanted one of those Cutlass convertibles just because of the futuristic looks. That’s pretty cheap compared to what I’ve seen. Maybe the fad has passed

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,556

    I like the Olds convertible but that 3.4 was never very reliable.

    I have always hated that color on the 90/91 Grand Marquis and CV. Yes they had 5 digit odometers and you can’t trust any of them at this point. They all have gears that disintegrate.

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,707
    Even at $1200, the Blunderbird seems overpriced.

    Those Cutlass convertibles have issues aside from the troublesome 3.4 engine, as they eat weatherstripping on the convertible top, and those have not been available for many years.

    I wonder about the '69 Electra, if no major issues, it could be nice.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

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