1 2 3 4 5 ... 23
stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
1/14/13 2:40 p.m.
Gasoline wrote: How about a Buick? I paid under $2,500 for this Grandma's Buick Skylark. (I think it was $2,100, $400 returned because the A/C did not work as claimed. I have a built 468 BBB, a Muncie 4 speed, and a 12 bolt rearend to swap in. I will come in under $5,000. Cheaper than a Chevelle, Malibu, Tempest/GTO. etc

You must be one heck of a horse trader to acquire a built big block, transmission and 12 bolt for $2500.

The car looks to be in really nice shape - it would be worth twice that in the northern US.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/14/13 3:34 p.m.

get something pre-'73, or you'll want to hang yourself with all the vacuum hoses that are part of the industry's early effort to control emissions.

Coldsnap
Coldsnap New Reader
1/14/13 3:41 p.m.

Hmm you guys say that the 4 door nova is expensive, but maybe at $4,000 its a great price. Its in good condition and seems like I'm not going to get a 2 door v8 anything for under $5000 that doesnt need some attention.

Gasoline
Gasoline Dork
1/14/13 3:55 p.m.

63 buick skylark - $1800 (Winder)

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/cto/3538837684.html

Gasoline
Gasoline Dork
1/14/13 3:57 p.m.

1970 Buick Skylark Custom - $3500 (Stone Mountai)

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/cto/3534904554.html

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/13 5:40 p.m.

Personally, I'd look at all options. Instead of searching for only a '67 Malibu or whatever, I'd just cruise the classifieds and check out anything cool, old and powered by a V8. I bet you'll find something. Heck, you might even stumble across something you never considered.

Good call on the Corvair, too. They are seriously killer deals right now.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
1/14/13 7:19 p.m.

We are a board full of cheapskates, but trust us on this, that 4-door is not worth anything close to what he wants out of it. Also, you will hit the "price ceiling" a lot sooner on a less desireable car like that. No matter what you do to it or how nice you fix it up, it will never be worth anything close to a comparable 2-door.

4-doors like that make sense if (like you) you want a cool, CHEAP cruiser. THEN you buy it for 1/2 what a comparable 2-door would cost (because some other guy didn't figure out that it wouldn't bring what he had in it) and drive for cheap.

I wouldn't give more than $2500 for that car, and that's assuming it's actually as clean as it looks like it is and runs well.

It might take a little while, but deals are out there. Living in the south, you won't have to deal with rust (at least not nearly so bad as those of us in salt country). Take your time, look around, but be ready with cash so when a good deal comes along you're ready to snap it up. ALSO, you're within a 6-hour drive of Mecca for good deals: Atlanta CL.

Raze
Raze SuperDork
1/14/13 7:26 p.m.

One thing you should realistically brace yourself for is learning how to clean and replace old electrical connectors, and more importantly, rust repair. No matter how simple the mechanicals, there will be other problems you will have to learn how to overcome, but as you've said, you can learn almost anything with a support group like this, and the rest of the internet...

mblommel
mblommel Reader
1/14/13 7:47 p.m.

Mustang coupes fall in your price range, at least around here. Fastbacks and convertibles are another story. Somebody else mentioned Cougars and that can be a good route to cheap muscle goodness too.

For something completely different, how about a Javelin?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/14/13 7:53 p.m.

I might be wrong, but I would guess that spares availability for Mustangs is a lot better than for Javelins. I don't think you want something with limited spares availability for your first classic.

Coldsnap
Coldsnap New Reader
1/14/13 8:00 p.m.

Just want to thank everyone for the information from today. I have learned a lot.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
1/14/13 8:06 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: I might be wrong, but I would guess that spares availability for Mustangs is a lot better than for Javelins. I don't think you want something with limited spares availability for your first classic.

Truth. Early Mustangs and most Chevelles/Novas can be basically built from scratch from a catalog. (So can '67-'69 Camaros, but I highly doubt you'll find one worht owning in your price range). Availability of stuff for Mopars and other Fords is decent, AMC's not so much.

Coldsnap
Coldsnap New Reader
1/14/13 8:11 p.m.

psteav what is the availability like on your Plymouth duster? I'm planning on test driving that one earlier.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/14/13 8:49 p.m.

Not exactly the most exciting but you can get an early A body in that range too.

My personal favorite is the cutlass. Parts are pretty available. Mechanicals are upgradeable to some serious power. You can build a nice 442 clone if you want.

The biggest thing is rust rust rust. It sucks and sucks bad. It gets expensive to fix because most people can not do the work themselves. That can drain your pockets quick so look all over and address it early if it's there.

psteav
psteav HalfDork
1/14/13 8:59 p.m.
Coldsnap wrote: psteav what is the availability like on your Plymouth duster? I'm planning on test driving that one earlier.

Been a while since I looked at Resto parts, but most sheetmetal is available. The later cars (73-76) have a little less availability because they're a little less valuable when restored (and honestly, not quite as good looking). Look for Year One, Hardin's Muscle Car World, etc. Interior stuff is pretty easy to come by, and the fact that they built eleven bajillion Mopar A-bodies means that junkyard stuff is actually fairly easy to get.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/14/13 9:06 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: I might be wrong, but I would guess that spares availability for Mustangs is a lot better than for Javelins. I don't think you want something with limited spares availability for your first classic.

You would be very surprised. It's no 69 Camaro, but nearly every single part of my car is available through the aftermarket. It has better support than a Torino or Monte Carlo. Patch panels, interior kits, new trim and emblems, body parts, everything suspension and brakes, complete drivetrain support, it's all there.

Not true for the Hornet, Gremlin, etc, but the Javelin is a solid choice.

The OP likes Nova's though, so I'd stick with finding a good 2-door Apollo, Ventura, or Omega (since they are Nova's with different trim).

Coldsnap
Coldsnap New Reader
1/15/13 8:33 a.m.

I like the idea as suggested to get a wrenching car. Someone mentioned get a wrenching car that is close to what you would ideally want. So pretty much i would want a poor mans Nova, something around $2,500-$3,500. I could use this car to learn the ropes and in a year or two if I still want a Nova I can get one. The question is though what car best fits this criteria. Would it matter if I went with an engine other than a chevy? Maybe getting a chevy v8 in my price range would be good, so I at least know the engine a bit before I get a Nova... the question is does a decent condition v8 car for my price range exists.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
1/15/13 8:57 a.m.
Javelin wrote: The OP likes Nova's though, so I'd stick with finding a good 2-door Apollo, Ventura, or Omega (since they are Nova's with different trim).

This is good advice. The Buick Apollo (which will have a Buick 350), Olds Omega (also Buick motor) and Pontiac Venture (I think that had a Pontiac 350) will all be available for much much cheaper then a Nova but are basically the same car (slightly different styling). You can probably get those in the $2500 to $3500 range in running shape for a 2 door.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
1/15/13 8:58 a.m.

I was thinking of this thread last night as I was scanning around looking for cars I don't need. Here's a few candidates:

Apollo-- if you are man enough! http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/3523161371.html

A little newer (it isn't a 72), but cool and rare: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/3524978367.html

Chevy II 4-door http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/3532492845.html

This wouldn't be a good starting car, but cool nonetheless: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/3541668512.html

psteav
psteav HalfDork
1/15/13 9:02 a.m.

You will save money buying a six-cylinder car, whatever it is. They will not be fast in stock form, and it will make sense to swap in a V8 over modifying the six cylinder.

The good news is that a V8 swap in ANY car you're likely to find is well-documented online, relatively cheap with junkyard hunting/careful shopping, and is a pretty good "intermediate difficulty" project for someone who wants to learn. Quick question, though: What kind of space/time/tools do you have for working on this mythical beast? If you have a garage, time, and some tools (and a harbor freight nearby), swapping a V8 into a six-banger car is a fun project. Be aware you may have to upgrade springs/brakes/rearend/etc. to handle the extra weight and power.

Something else to consider, since you are on a budget. It seems to me that mechanical parts for GM stuff tend to be a little cheaper than parts for Ford, Mopar, and AMC. (Not that any of them are expensive, especially compared to modern imports). Also, small-block Chevy speed parts are everywhere and cheap used, with Ford not far behind and Mopar stuff a little thinner on the ground than either one. You can probably put together a relatively hot 350 Chevy for low dollars if you shop used. You'll spend a little more for a Ford and a little more than that for a Chrysler product. Just something to think about.

Coldsnap
Coldsnap New Reader
1/15/13 9:06 a.m.

That Apollo is pretty funny. Guy would be excited to hear I plan on driving this thing to my powerlifting gym, whatever I get.

Thanks for the suggestion on the Nova like cars. I think I am going to go that route. Starting to get a better idea of what I want.. Now to find the right car at the right place.

what does everyone think of:

http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/3523161371.html

Coldsnap
Coldsnap New Reader
1/15/13 9:06 a.m.

I don't have a garage, so I will be a "shadetree mechanic" as they say. Girlfriend is going to be thrilled the first time i rebuilt something in my living room.

Klayfish
Klayfish Dork
1/15/13 9:11 a.m.

I know my opinion is a bit different, but I'm still going back to your original post. You talked about learning oil changes, plug changes, etc... Is that what your relatively short term goal is? It's a great place to start, one step at a time.

That said, I still say finding any cadaver car is a good way to go. Changing oil is changing oil. Same with plug changes, pretty straightforward. I'm still very much a novice mechanic myself, but I'd say that other simple things are also very similar on most cars. Changing pads/rotors (drum brakes are another beast...they suck), dizzy cap/rotor, etc.. So if that's your goal, then I don't think it matters much which car you get. Get something dirt cheap and go nuts. You'll be able to apply those skills on pretty much any car down the road. You can even do things such as belts, hoses, alternator on most old cars. Those are all things I'm doing with my $400 Tracker, which has tons of room to work in.

If you really have to have a car from the "muscle" era, there are tons out there really cheap. Like I said before, I sold my '65 Olds for $2000, I actually only paid $1200 when I bought it. It ran/drove quite well, the original owner had it from '65 until '08 so it was literally an old mans car. There was so much room in the engine bay that I could have stood in there.

One other thought...try to find someone local you could hang out with, learn from. I met someone through this form and joined his LeMons racing team. I've learned more in the past 12 months by crawling around our team race cars than I would have ever learned on my own.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
1/15/13 9:17 a.m.
Coldsnap wrote: That Apollo is pretty funny. Guy would be excited to hear I plan on driving this thing to my powerlifting gym, whatever I get. Thanks for the suggestion on the Nova like cars. I think I am going to go that route. Starting to get a better idea of what I want.. Now to find the right car at the right place. what does everyone think of: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/3523161371.html

That is in my neck of the woods. Also I am betting it has a Chevy 350 versus the Buick 350 since it say it has a crate engine. The Buick 350 has plenty of parts availability but it is limited compared to the Chevy 350. Honestly if I had the money, I would be seriously considering that car.

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/15/13 9:17 a.m.
Coldsnap wrote: I don't have a garage, so I will be a "shadetree mechanic" as they say. Girlfriend is going to be thrilled the first time i rebuilt something in my living room.

My carb rebuild was in the bathroom sink inside my wife's pasta strainer so I didn't lose parts down the drain. That was almost 20 years ago and I still have the scars.

1 2 3 4 5 ... 23
Our Preferred Partners
ZpOVP7MIidtWswFsA3Lvk9Oxc7X1yFphWih6puc1mW1wn3OetIgSVvoOa1KlqNbk