Classic Cars as daily drivers

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  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    That works on my 78 Mercury. On a computer?
    I heard a story, (I think it got honorable mention on the darwin awards, but I'm not sure), where a guy replaced a fuse with a .22 caliber bullet. The thing got a little warm and went off, lodging itself in his *ahem* Some people just do crazy things.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,523
    I'd always taken that to be an urban legend, partly because by the time I'd heard it, the truck was a Chevy S-10, which wouldn't have had those type of fuses. Now a .22 would work in my Dart, not that I'm going to try it! At least in the Dart though, the fuses are aimed at my knee cap, not my *ahem* !!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Of course, using any piece of metal in the fusebox is like installing a 100 amp fuse, so your wiring harness will take the place of the fuse, and burn up to protect your tin foil or your .22 from further damage!

    There is, however, a TRUE story about a man who ran over some .22 bullets left on his lawn by a squirrel. The squirrel was not arrested.
  • djg66djg66 Member Posts: 3
    hey, sorry about the caps, im lazy. and yes, woman, lady whatever is fine. you should never assume that the owner is male. happens all the time to me, men ask "is that your boyfriends car?", no, he cant even check the oil! no problem though, hard to know from screen name. there is nothing like the joy of driving a classic down the road. with technology we seem to have lost most of the feel and sound that is great about classics. the roar of the engine as you excellerate and the purr at idle. acutally the seats etc., in my 66 stang are more comfortable than the bench seat in my tacoma. switching between the two is always interesting, one excellerates great but doesnt stop, the other has no get up and go but will give you whiplash if you hit the brakes too hard. seems there has to be an affordable way to meet in the middle, but i havent found it yet. still trying to sell my car. havent done the big auto trader thing yet, only iternet things. hard to let go of my dream car. but its for the best. i gave it a good start at rebuilding it, now its some one elses turn to finish it. im not into the grease and grime, wish i was, sure would save me alot of money. i try to learn as much as possible to understand how it all works. i figure if i cant work on them, atleast i can have some idea as to whats wrong. we currently are having problems with the street racing here. someone was killed just the other day. young girl in a volvo, and those are about the safest cars. racer hit her head on. also have problems with them doing donuts, etc. can go on for 15-20 minutes straight, huge clouds of smoke. i have to say, i just dont understand what the thrill is. destroy your car, wear out your tires, make too much noise and go no where. strange.
  • koalabearkoalabear Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I live south of Sydney Australia and drive 50 miles each day to work in a 1968 Chevrolet Impala wagon. It has a 350 v-8 and 2 speed auto transmission. It is UNrestored, has heaps of miles on the clock and is INCREDIBLY reliable. I have modified it to run on LPG (which is much much cheaper (and cleaner) than petrol....worst point is it only gets 12-14 mpg (imperial gallons that is!). Still it only costs me around $4 US a day to do this mileage.

    There is an old guy who lives near me and he has a 1953 Chev with a blue flame six and manuel gear box. It is also TOTALLY unrestored (the dull black paint job is indicative of this fact). It is his daily driver too. Again, incredibly reliable (he tows a boat to go fishing with it too!!)

    I ofcourse KNOW that Chevs are NOT the only reliable old daily drivers - all I'm saying is that if you CAN find an old well looked after one you may well have found a great car. The same no doubt applies to many other brands too (old Chryslers seem to be in this category too from what I can see)
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    I remember reading an article in Road & Track X years ago about a place in New England somewhere that was in the business of totally stripping and restoring old BMW's and Volvo's to original factory spec.

    They were doing a lot of 2002's and P1800's at the time of the article. They essentially disassembled the car and went from there.

    The idea was that you could take your beloved there and they would make her good as new... for a pretty price...

    Wonder if they stayed in business?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I kind of doubt it, since neither of those cars is very valuable. Generally, folks who own and like those particular cars are not big spenders. So it doesn't sound like a very good business model. Maybe they should have picked a higher dollar collectible, because both a P1800 and a BMW 2002 aren't cheap to restore. So spending $20,000 to end up with a $5,000 car isn't all that appealing to the marketplace I would guess. I mean, would you do it?
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    that I turned down the chance to buy a 2002 when they were still new in order to buy the Alfa Spider.. They never quite appealed to me. I understand that they were fast and fun. I never went head to head with one, but I always suspected that I'd win a race with one or at least have a lot of fun getting beaten (up in the mountains, of course - who cares about freeway racing?). You could really slide that Spider around without scaring yourself too much.

    As for the Volvo.... well....
    The P1800 always kind of struck me as dressing a nun in running shoes or something....

    I never really understood the attraction.

    However, both the 2002 and the P1800 seem to obsess certain folks sort so I thought it might be possible that there were enough surviving faithful to keep a business like that alive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think the appeal was that their build quality was good, compared to what else was on the market at the time. Both the 2002 and P1800 are solid, well-built cars. On the other hand, that build quality meant WEIGHT, and both of these cars, in stock form, feel heavy and rather top/lop sided. Like running on your toes. The BMW 2002, especially in Tii form, would murder either a P1800 or an Alfa Spider, so perhaps a Tii would be worth restoring these days....you'd still lose your shirt, but someday perhaps you will see $20,000 BMW 2002Tiis....I doubt a P1800 would ever reach this level. BMW has credibility these days as a sport sedan, but Volvo still doesn't.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    tiis are surprising me... they seem to be creeeping up and up...

    I seen a few that have sold for $10K+ish (Really nice ones, of course the exception). One of which I regularly see in Orlando, andother that I know of in Jersey.

    Both are gorgeous '73s (Chrome bumpers) tho.

    Never should have sold mine.. grr... What a fun car!

    Kugelfischer Parts are tough to get and pricey from my recollections tho..

    Bill
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, if you bought a Tii with defective injection, that could be costly and time consuming. Also, like all German cars of the 60s, rust is a thing to watch out for. But a good running Tii with the proper modifications to make it handle and brake better is a very nice car to drive, period-wise, that is. And you're right, the chrome bumper cars are much more attractive.

    The P1800s can be made into a nicer car than they are...suppliers like IPD provide performance parts for the lazy engine, and you can control body roll with better sway bars. But the car is still very nose heavy and noisy, and the seating position is the pits...literally...you feel like you are sitting in a pit...your shoulder barely reaches the bottom of the door's window.

    Best of the 1800s are the ES sport wagons---they are practical at least. Worst part of the car might be the British overdrive they use. OD is great but when this unit fouls up, it's an expensive fix and not a do-it-yourself job for the average guy.
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Member Posts: 207
    English overdrive? Did they use that Laycock DeNormanville monstrosity?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh, yes. I've been inside one...it's not pretty...solenoid operated hydraulic unit....it's nice when it works, much better than old cable drives, but I think it's a bit fragile.
  • bhill2bhill2 Member Posts: 2,229
    Ironically enough, I had a '72 Volvo 164E (probably the most powerful car that they ever imported to that point) with a Laycock De Normanville overdrive behind its four-speed. Drove it for 65,000 miles with no problems. I agree with Shifty that it was nice when it worked, and it always did for me. I must live right.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah, if you're not a gorilla driver that OD isn't so bad at all. But given that both your OD and the entire 164 (not Volvo's best effort...ahem) worked okay, you MUST live right!
  • gulfguygulfguy Member Posts: 30
    Much as I like the 60s cars (I grew up with them) I don't think of them as "Classic" but that's semantics. From the standpoint of a daily driver, the mid-sized 60s and early 70s cars GM-FoMoCo-Mopar all have a ready supply of replacement parts, aftermarket parts to update and improve them. Assuming they are put into good condition and maintained equally, there is no reason they can't be as reliable as a late model. Besides, if you lusted after (but can't afford) A 340 6-Pack Duster or a GTO or Skylark Gran Sport.....you can clone one with a mid size body and current aftermarket hot rod parts. It will be faster, handle as well or better and get better gas mileage. Plus you don't stress about wearing out hard to find (expensive) OEM replacement parts to keep it authentic and correct.
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    but what the heck, no big deal to build one. With modern decal cutting shops, you could even build your own logo patterned after the T/A Challenger one.

    It does amaze me how long something like a 307 Nova keeps on the road. Really pretty practical if getting 30mpg is not super important, and seeing as how they're essentially extended wheelbase Camaros, all sorts of aftermarket stuff is available.
  • smokin_olds442smokin_olds442 Member Posts: 41
    My '68 Olds 4-4-2 W30 is driven daily and never gives me any real problems, it only gets MAYBE 17mpg/highway but has [email protected] and [email protected] The gas is a killer, having to run premium on a 11.5:1 comp. ratio, but it's never broken down on me and it's faaaaaaaast. Of course, you won't find a car sellin like that cheap.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    I know this isn't exactly a classic but my 81 Chevy pickup is a daily driver with 339,000 on it, I have had to replace the tranny and a couple choke pull offs (the tranny had 330,000 on it so I can't complain) my maintenance costs since I have owned it have been about .04 per mile.
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    simplicity, parts availabilty, and a minimum of electrical assists......
    That was the theory behind my purchase of Mothra, my 63 Valiant 20 years ago.{Theory,hell;it only seemed logical: when you're just out of college and at the bottom of the income curve it's simply a survival instinct!}
    Since I didn't trust my ability to wrangle with the sharks out here in Hell-A, I asked my parents to find something in Yuma for me, for which I would send the money.
    I don't know, I think I made the right choice.It WAS part of the plan to keep it as simple as possible: no power steering, brakes, windows,automatic,V-8s.
    They came across a 65 AMC Ambassador station wagon w/232 6cyl.,manual trans with a throw out bearing going and a cracked windshield or the Valiant that had been painted and taken across the border to Mexico for a quick upholstery job:225 6cyl.3 speed manual on the column[as god intended!],no power steering or brakes and a throw out bearing that sounded as if it needed replacement [and finally got it 8 years later].
    I think my Mother was in Mothra's corner ["It's so cute. It has little "V"s on the hubcaps"]but I still wonder what that Rambler would have been like and would it have lasted as long.
    I DO know one thing: I see 63s [and 64s,65s, etc.]on a weekly basis,it's been years since I've seen a 65 Ambassador of any kind [and I LOVE AMC cars, it's too bad].
    The Nova sounds good. Problem is so many of them have been tormented by people cutting their teeth building a hot rod.I'd love to find a Chevy II 4 cyl.though!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    Way back in the dark ages, when I was a foot-loose-fancy-free college student I did the occasional odd job for local mechanic/body/tire shops. I remember driving about 50 miles one way to pick up a part at a bus station for a BMW 2002 Tii (I'm almost sure that was the model). I had a $100 bill and that wouldn't cover it (COD), so I had to dip into my own pocket until I got back to the shop. Couldn't wait to see what prize I had picked up--turned out to be a front fender signal/marker light! The guy working on them said (and this was in 1974-1975 era) that the BMWs were, without question, the most expensive cars he'd ever seen--moreso even than the Jags of that day, which I thought was right next to Rolls Royce for expensive!

    Regarding safety, that issue has come up several times since I put my teenage sons in a 1973 Jensen Healey and a 1982 Fiat Spider, respectively. Has anyone seen Brock Yates recent column on cars and accident stats? Do 2 door Explorers actually roll over easier than 4 doors or is it a factor of the driver? Interesting stuff, but I digress. I've driven little foreign cars all my life and have never felt at risk in one. I've been sideswiped in an MG, rear ended in a Opel, and run off the road in a Fiat. Each time I think the size of my car contributed to my survival.....to each their own....pluses and minuses on either side.

    Hal
  • aongchaongch Member Posts: 6
    Suggestions on which manual trans models are more in demand nowadays. Looking for CA smog-exempt yrs; is it '73 and older? Both late '60s dual headlight and early '70s single are attractive enough. Just don't want a guzzling big block for daily use. Any common problems with certain models?
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    my uncle daily drives a 67 el camino in california, his is a ss 396 though so milege isn't to great
  • 56nomad5656nomad56 Member Posts: 16
    I've been storing a friend's 56 Chevy Nomad in our third garage for about two years now, and we are about to replace our SUV with something else. Most daily drivers mentioned in these posts have been 60/70s cars, but my wife and I are considering buying the Nomad and putting some money into making it my daily driver. It's in very original condition, but could use safety updates and a nice paint job.

    It has a 265 with Powerglide, recent rebuild on the tranny, but no power steering or brakes. I feel unsafe driving it as is, with all of the Civics and their too-eager drivers.

    My question is, if I can get the car for $16K, how much will I have to put into it to make it a safe, reliable driver? Late model engine, trans, power steering and brakes, electronics, etc. would be considerations. Would it be worth it? I live in Southern California, and inclement weather is rarely an issue. Car is rust free.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you may offer.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    Here's what I would do to make it safe to drive in modern traffic assuming it is a nice car to start with:

    1) The mother of all services, just to make sure it aint gonna break anyways:

    Brake inspection (Thorough)
    Hoses
    Belts
    Check tires carefuly (Ideally a new set of radials)
    All filters
    Flush all fluids
    Check parking brake cable, lubricate
    CAREFULLY Check over wheel bearings, suspension...etc.. for play and wear.
    Ignition system check-over. Consider going to electronic.
    Check fuel pump carefully as well.
    Check carb carefully, consider having it rebuilt.

    For that? $1,500 or so seems reasonable. More if the car already has problems.

    BTW, losing the original powertrain hurts the value of the car. Also, a 265/pg in good tune will easily keep up with modern traffic, if not fly down the road like an Impala SS.

    2) New Shocks unless ones in the car are real tight.

    $250-300 at WORST

    3) Aftermarket, under-dash A/C (Id hate to think how hot a nomad can get in southern California heat)

    $1,500 maybe..

    4) Radial Tires (See #1) In everyday driving, they do grip the road better. And not some cheapos either. Spring for Dunlops or Michelins or something.

    Shouldnt be more than $450 or so for a set of the best.

    5) Consider a front disc brake conversion.

    Probably $400 at the worst.

    6) Power steering? I'm sure that someone makes a cheap kit for these guys.. Probably $400 or so. Less than that I bet to powerise the drum brakes, but in LA traffic I'd go discs up front.

    Oh,and I'd throw a radio in it myself :)

    There you go. Done!

    As things wear, consider upgrades... I.E. Maybe polyurethane suspensionbushings..etc..

    Bill
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    Oh yeah, it got crushed by a girder.....

    Sorry!
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    It was Jill's car he got crushed by the girder!
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,144
    He was driving the Red Mustang at the time. I believe they "fixed" the Nomad though.

    could you imagine a 50's nomad as a wintertime daily driver in Michigan these days?

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • 56nomad5656nomad56 Member Posts: 16
    Your response was very thorough. We decided to hold off and put the money instead into a new Honda Odyssey (blech, a minivan!) to replace the Explorer my wife won't even get into any more.

    Thanks again, it's definitely worth considering.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    Ahh.. Chicken! ;-)

    Seriously... understandable. BVut even if you have the Nomad, hang onto it. Values for them are on the strong upswing..

    Bill
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Ever notice how late-model iron always seems to win out?

    Am I the only guy committed enough to use a curved dash Olds as his daily driver?
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Member Posts: 207
    Oh, wait, the curved dash Olds doesn't have doors.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No, but they used to sell nice lap blankets for them.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,523
    ....couldn't a Stanley Steamer blow its own doors off?

    I've always wondered, how safe were those old steam-powered cars? I guess I just keep making a mental connection to steam-powered railroad locomotives and boiler explosions. I have an old book somewhere called "Train Wrecks", that I got when I was a little kid, and from reading it you'd think that boiler explosions were a regular occurence. Well, at least Stanley Steamer wouldn't make quite as big of a mess as a 4-8-8-4 locomotive!
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I don't know that I'd want something as old as a curved dash Olds, but once I get my Mercury fixed, I'll definately have an old car for a daily driver. Yesterday, I saw a 4-bolt mail 460 racing block that the advertisement said could be bored & stroked to 600 CID. You all know what I was thinking! (Yeah, yeah, I know, expensive, too powerful to be streetable, but I can dream!) I think having a car from the 50's (or the 60's, if its a convertable), would make for a great daily driver. Even bone stock, you could drive it ever day, and slowly upgrade the engine, suspension, ect, as money allowed. The only thing I'd add before using it as a daily driver would be seatbelts. I have only been in one wreck at any speed, (I was going 65), and even though it was relatively minor, I was tossed around enough with my seatbelt on. I'd hate to know what the ride would have been like without it!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    A '63--'65 T-Bird converted to discs all the way around, new suspension components, some nice big radials, a/c and cruise would be a great driver (except for gas mileage).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Steamers could be dangerous. Stanleys aren't the most ruggedly built things anyway, but steam engines generate a LOT of power. I've seen some old steam cars propelled to 50 mph and more by an engine no bigger than a two loaves of white bread end to end. In theory there are safety valves, but they don't always work. You remember that recent disaster in Ohio?.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    It was a factory 289 four barrel (A-code) with an automatic.

    I put in a entirely new engine(stored the original), a 302 4 barrel. This engine was highly modified, which meant constant maintenance. I was willing to pay that price. I put in a four core radiator and an electric fan. Mustangs have very small radiators and are hard to keep cool if you are putting out a decent amount of HP, 330+. I also had a trans cooler.

    I put disc brakes on the front, totally rebuilt the suspension new ball joints, lower control arms, tie-rod ends, and eurothane bushings. I also installed KYB gas shocks. This helped the handling quite a bit.

    Totally restored the interior and got a new paint job.

    This made the car very fun and decent to drive on a daily basis. Could of used A/C though. It could be a handful when getting on the throttle. (the guy that bought it from me de-tuned it)

    It was a lot of fun, but, keep in mind, if you are going to drive an old car every day, you are going to be a mechanic every weekend. It is fun working on cars, but not when you HAVE to.

    As far as safety goes, there is none. The Mustang is a frail car. The front fenders even have to be adjusted every now and then, they tend to move in and touch to hood. Come on guys, get real, heavy metal has NOTHING to do with safety. I knew I was driving a dangerous car, and you should know it too. If you are driving a '60s car, you just don't have the safety of a modern car. Make an informed decision, don't fool yourself instead.

    Sorry, this one got pretty long.
    Remember. They don't make 'em like they used to...........thank God!
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    When you get into a head on collision; they just sponge you off of the dashbaord and sell it to someone else.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,523
    ...they do a lot better in low-speed impacts. Once I rear-ended a '55 DeSoto Coronado with my '57 Firedome. Knocked him about 30 feet. Didn't do a thing to my car, and just gave him a matching set of dings on his bumper guards, which were already dinged up. I didn't feel a thing, althugh the adrenaline rush had me shaking for awhile. I had a friend in the car who tensed up when he saw we were going to hit, and he was sore for about 2 days. And my friend in the '55, his neck was a bit stiff for a few days.

    About 3 years before that, I rear-ended an '82-83 Cavalier with my 1980 Malibu. Probably about the same speed. Busted up my header panel, crimped the fender just a bit above the wheel arch, and pushed it into the door so that it rubbed every time I opened the door. Also interfered with opening the hood...you had to pull the release, but then slam the door to get it to open! The Cavalier's rear bumper was pushed in and skewed, and one of the taillights broken. Thankfully, I nosedived under their bumper, otherwise, I'm sure the damage would've been much worse to their car.

    My stepdad rear-ended someone with his '99 Altima. Barely touched the car in front, but the airbags deployed. It was such a gentle hit though that he didn't get pitched forward, so the airbag didn't even touch him. Did about $3,000 worth of damage to the Altima.

    There are a lot of things that are unsafe about older cars, but that doesn't automatically make them death traps. I drove Darts for years. The first was a '69 GT. I got run off the road and hit a traffic light pole sideways. A lesser car would've wrapped around the pole, but mine tore the pole off its base. It did total the car, but it was still driveable. All I got was shook up. Then I got a '68. It's been hit so many times I lost count. It crumpled up a newer Ram like a tin can once when I got sideswiped, and a few months later, a Tacoma literally bounced off of it and back into its own lane when its driver tried a sudden lane change without looking.

    I'll admit though...a late 60's Dart is a lot safer in some respects than lots of earlier cars: collapsible steering column, shoulder harnesses, padded dash and steering wheel, etc. Plus they're unitized, and crumple in a somewhat controlled fashion. I've sene a few in the local junkyard that had been hit head-on, and they crumple very similar to a new car, with the front-end taking the shock and not the passenger compartment.
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    Just to respond to...
    ....
    It was a lot of fun, but, keep in mind, if you are going to drive an old car every day, you are going to be a mechanic every weekend. It is fun working on cars, but not when you HAVE to.
    ....

    To be fair, cars in general are darn reliable (especially considering all the monkey motion going on). Get rid of modern stuff like power accessories, ABS, A/C, catalytic converters, etc. and you do have less to fail (jeez, imagine dealing with a worn out V12 BMW or something, I expect the long block lasts quite a while, but all the goofy subsystems are just asking for bad sensors and interconnects).

    I finished up 5+ years of '69 Z/28 daily driving (admittedly, I only drive 5k or so miles per year) and only had a couple of repairs...

    lower radiator hose replacement.
    10 or so tune ups (plugs/points/condensor)
    a couple of air filters
    1 set of wires
    a smidge of carb work
    setting the valves a few times

    ...that's it. YMMV of course, but I think old cars get a bad rap because they're OLD (thus the name "Old Cars") and a generally worn out. Start with something fairly fresh and the maintenance load is not too bad.

    I am, however, amazed at how many miles (and especially, piston miles) cars like modern Hondas get. While all those muscle cars were getting rebuilds (or crate engines under warranty) at 60k miles or so, an Acura Type-R seems good for 200k. I expect it's mostly metallurgy (in addition to better lubrication), but it's still pretty cool.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    My old 66 Mustang, which was in excellent shape, took a LOT more maintanence than any of my newer cars.

    86 BMW 325ES. I had it for 5 years - muffler, driveshaft center bearing, timing belt.

    1991 Nissan Primera (Infinity G20) (I was living in New Zealand). I had it for three years. No repairs.

    1999 Infinity QX4. One year now. No repairs.

    I am not counting any good sensible maintenance like oil changes, brake pads, etc.

    The Mustang. Had it for over 9 years- New engine at around 100,000 miles. Rebuilt the front suspension - twice. Countless number of water pumps, three starters, several voltage regulators, an alternator or two, new under hood wiring harness, mufflers, shifter bushings, new window regulator, new distributor, always fixing minor electrical, heater core (EXPLODED at 120mph - I know, my stupidity, I was younger then), endless rattle chasing, driver seat frame repair.

    Maybe unfair to mention due to the modified engine - valve adjustments, retorqueing of heads, intake manifold, headers, timing adjustments, carb adjustments, thermostats, U-joints.

    I loved driving this car, but sure did keep me busy mechanically. Older cars are fun, and easy to work on. But, you will have to work on them.
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    How does my point make your point? Sounds like we're talking at cross-purposes. I think a *fresh* older Mustang (not rode hard and put away wet by a zillion high school kids) will have very few mechanical problems, in large part due to the lack of systems to fail.

    Obviously, throw in a modern ignition system (Pertronix stuff costs, what, $100 or so?), and stay away from solid lifter cars, and you are basically down to regular lubrication as the primary 'work' to be done on the car.

    Throw the usage wear seen on the average, cheap, 1965 Mustang at a modern car and you get something not worth fixing at all (like a PC or modern appliance). As cars evolve to the complexity of simple living organisms and as you see designs oriented towards manufacturing cost and 'lifetime' (ie. no) maintenance intervals, the replaceable parts will increase in size and scope. I really don't see anything wrong with this sort of thing (replacing whole door assemblies rather than fixing them, replacing long blocks rather than *ever* opening one up) but it does imply the death of both shadetree mechanics and meaningful modifications of any type.

    What I see in the future for cars is already being played out in the computer hobbyist business. While there's scads of magazines and zillions of people keeping track of the latest in PC's, the layman's knowledge really only extends to the outermost, marketing driven layer of the technology. They know there's such a thing as a 'processor', a 'motherboard', a 'processor', etc (on through the dozen or so major components), but have no *idea* how this stuff really works or how to modify it in an innovative fashion. I'm reminded of the black monument in 2001 surrounded by proto-humans. In general, everybody would be better served by *using* the PC in areas it excels at (audio or video editing for example) and worry less about the technology itself.

    By the same token, cars of the future, should and will be used rather than studied and modified. The state of the art long having passed by the non-professional.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,523
    ...the thermostat housing on my 2000 Intrepid was leaking. Sucker cost about $209.00 to have replaced. The part alone was about $84.00.

    Years ago, after replacing the thermostat on a '69 Dart GT, in my young innocence I tightened the bolts down too much, and broke its thermostat housing. Found another one in the junkyard for 5 bucks, and threw it on in a matter of minutes. That's progress for ya!
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    is the costs of parts on various new cars....

    You get to see this sort of thing in some road tests. Maybe a small list of parts prices for major components...

    Nothing funnier than seeing, say, alternator prices for a new 911 (or 9xx, whatever in the heck number they're up to now). I find it hard to believe that whatever goofy Bosch part is being used is worth 20 or so times as much as a Delco alternator found in an Impala or something.

    Ludicrous......

    This strikes me as a great thread....

    "Most absurd parts price"
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I have a winner.

    Distributor cap for a Mercedes 300SL roadster (the convertible version of the Gullwing) is $1,200. And yes, it's just one of those Bosch brown plastic thingies. But it runs two coils, so has twin nipples for the coil wires. It's for a fairly rare and expensive car, but STILL....

    Ferrari 7mm drive belts are about $100 apiece.

    And how would you like to break the timing belt on an interference-fit 32 valve modern V8 engine? Let's start with the price of 32 sodium filled valves!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    That's one reason I'll never own a car out of warranty again.

    For the big items you almost have to take out a home equity loan. No car I could afford initially is worth that kind of investment, especially one with 80 or 90k on it. The days of keeping a car on the road with junkyard parts and indifferent mechanical ability are over.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,628
    There's nothing worse than having two years left in the payment book and -0- warranty (and being upside down on top of that). My brother is currently in this high-and-dry predicament on a 96 Blazer with ~82k miles. He owes around $9k, trade is probably $5k.

    I'm definitely of the 'buy it new or pay cash for a clunker' mentality.
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    Why hell man...just throw a 350 in it!!!!

    A variant on eye opening prices is for the 'M' series of BMW's (which of course have plenty of that BMW thing ).

    Just flip through a catalog from one of the BMW parts houses, and the car has a part used on 'M' editions of whatever ilk, multiply by 2 or 3.

    A friend of mine did an overhaul on an M5 a year or two ago, and I was blown away by the prices on ring sets, etc....incredible.

    Modern cars remind me a bit of life threatening illnesses. Breakdowns don't happen very often, but the downside risk can be really high. I'll bet you could publish an entire book of sob stories from owners of out-of-warranty V12 BMW owners. Makes that docile older car (maybe a '68 SS-350 Nova or something) look pretty good.
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    I've got a 1973 Jensen Healey, dohc Lotus 2.0 liter breathing through twin strombergs with original style points and condenser in place. In 5 years of ownership and 2 of those a daily driver for a teenage boy, I've replaced 1 master cylinder, 2 sets of plugs, 1 distributor cap and wires, both rear wheel cylinders and had 1 radiator hole repaired. When the points burn out I'll put an electronic ignitor in, but most of the brake work was done at the same time so that was 1 all enclusive project, also 1 set of plugs, cap and wires was one project. It's a very un-typical British car! On the other hand my other son is now driving daily to high school a 1982 Fiat Spider. No problems. We've had it a year now and other than some questionable brake lines being replaced and a recharge on the a/c it's about as solid as they come.

    In my previous life (before children) I drove a 1969 MGC for 9 years on a daily basis. Never left me stranded but once. Worse trouble I had was finding all the parts to put the hardtop back on it in the fall! Somewhere in there I drove a 1974 MG Midget on about a 30 mile commute each day. It wasn't as pleasant as the C, but always reliable. In that in-between life (after kids, but before they get driving age) I drove a 1972 Mustang convertible (351C-4V) on a daily basis. The only problem I ever had with that car was the crappy Autolite carb and once I replaced it with a Holley, it was as reliable as my wife's Accord--it just drank twice as much gas every day as the Honda did in a week!

    I think the key is to find an older car that is "properly sorted" as my British friends are fond of saying. With few exceptions, I've bought cars from previous owners that took care of them. I paid a little more intially for them that some "project" cars buddies have bought, but my sons and I have been able to drive them while the buddies have been working on theirs. But when you begin to look at an old (pre 1970) Ford, Chevy, or even an MG, you're looking at probably the simpliest form of auto engineering--cast iron push rod engines with simple electronics (none!) and simple carb/induction systems. Suspension and braking components are pretty simple too--and enough "heritage" aftermarket parts that are probably made with higher quality materials than the original equipment stuff.

    Just my $.02 worth....

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

    Hal
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