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    Thread: DDing a classic car...

    1. Member
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      02-24-2012 01:04 AM #1
      My most recent crackpot idea is a strong desire to make a '67-69 Mustang or Camaro my next daily driver. I don't know a lot about this era of car but my better sense says this is probably a horrible idea given (un)reliability, expensive parts and body, harder to find mechanics and low mpg, etc.

      I'd be looking in the 20-25k range for something in good running shape, can do basic mechanical stuff myself but not much beyond that. I also own a motorycle, so it wouldn't be my only mode of transport but at least decent reliability is a must. Is it possible...is it a dumb idea all the way around?

      Anyone with any experience out there?

    2. Member protzler's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 01:10 AM #2
      Mines not a classic by any means, but I do get the mpg, and it hurts. I do very little highway driving and am averaging 16.1mpg and 26mph. I'm dreading the coming gas prices, and am shopping for a DD so that the GTO can be parked.

      I'd recommend against it. I would be an advocate for buying a classic car though for weekends/evenings/etc.
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    3. Member Entwerfer des Audis's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 01:23 AM #3
      No experience whatsoever, but I can't stop thinking about driving an old Model A daily.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      I'm not even old, and sometimes I feel old.
      Interested in roads and road trips? Head on over to the Road Trip Forum.

      How about old, forgotten highways? Check out the old roads thread.

    4. 02-24-2012 01:24 AM #4
      If I were going to do it (and I have thought about it) I would swap the entire drivetrain for one out of a newer vehicle for reliability, cost, and performance sake. Also using it as a DD will generally kill the value...

    5. Member Broduski's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 01:33 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by NBDuke View Post
      harder to find mechanics
      Don't worry about that. Any body with the most basic understanding of mechanics can maintain a classic vehicle.

      People may say they're unreliable, but they're really not bad. Yes, they may need a smidgen more maintenance here and there. But the Cost of fixing one is much more favorable than a newer car IMO.

      fuel economy sucks. most older cars have 3 or 4 speed manuals and 3 speed autos. Which 99% of the time have a 1:1 ratio on the top gear. So highway driving can be bad depending on the rear end ratio. My truck cruises at ~2100 RPM at 60, which isn't terrible, but could be better.

      While I don't DD a 25k muscle car, It is a 35 year old F100, So most the mechanical and basic crap is the same. So if you have any questions, just ask.

      Quote Originally Posted by dtrain88 View Post
      If I were going to do it (and I have thought about it) I would swap the entire drivetrain for one out of a newer vehicle for reliability, cost, and performance sake. Also using it as a DD will generally kill the value...
      Swapping out the drivetrain for something more modern due to cost is the most absurd thing I've ever heard.
      77 F100, 83 244, 94 540i

    6. Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 01:46 AM #6
      Had a '68 AMC Rebel SST 2 door hardtop for a daily.

      As long as you don't mind fuel prices, GO for it!!!

      I sure miss that car :

      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
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    7. Member yurikaze's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 05:10 AM #7
      I have been in this situation.

      I used to daily this:
      Built 318 police motor, 3 speed auto, 120k miles.
      It got about 10mpg and was really starting to wear out, i.e. the suspension was getting really loose, the brakes were often losing fluid, just a lot of small things were creeping up on it.
      It was an awesome car, just not practical as a daily.


      I sold it and got this. 4000 miles on the rebuilt engine, fuel injection, 79k miles. It gets a lot better mileage, and has been one of the most reliable cars I've owned short of Miatas. It's a lot more reliable than my brand new Mitsubishi Evo VIII was. It really is a classic you can daily, and the parts availability is amazing. I imagine a Camaro would be along the same lines in terms of being able to fix it cheaply and quickly.


      You can totally daily a classic, it's just a matter of finding the right car to start with.

    8. 02-24-2012 05:26 AM #8
      I daily'd my '74 Celica for a little over a year, including a 900 mile round trip to San Francisco and back. It was the cheapest car to operate I've ever had. Needed nothing except a quart of oil every 1000 miles. 40+ MPG and all the style I could ask for.


    9. Member yurikaze's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 06:13 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by mojocoggo View Post
      I daily'd my '74 Celica for a little over a year, including a 900 mile round trip to San Francisco and back. It was the cheapest car to operate I've ever had. Needed nothing except a quart of oil every 1000 miles. 40+ MPG and all the style I could ask for.

      Just curious, how's the 850 treating you?

    10. Member stevegolf's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:11 AM #10
      The nice thing about classic cars is they are usually simpler to operate on and repair, and part costs are going to be low (depending on what you get). If you have backup transportation you'll be set.

      But dailying an older car really lets you get to know it intimately, and keeping it on the road can be a rewarding experience. If you are in the position in life where you are free to do it, I say go for it. You only live once.

    11. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:22 AM #11
      First car was a 1978, drove that everywhere for 1.5 years.

      I daily drove a 1975 Maverick in HS, and when I went to college my dad commuted in it for 3 years.

      Now daily driving the '84 GTV6 as the Miata is down...and it is less suited to it than either of the first two But that's because it was pressed into service quite abruptly with no prep.

      A mustang or something 1960s or newer....you'll be fine. No big deal. Unless you've only ever driven 2000s vehicles, in which case...yeah, you're gonna have to do more maintenance and be more aware of how the car is behaving than you are used to.
      Last edited by Roadkilled78; 02-24-2012 at 08:25 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    12. Member Smigelski's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:32 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Entwerfer des Audis View Post
      No experience whatsoever, but I can't stop thinking about driving an old Model A daily.
      This one, in particular:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2008/01/28/f...-ford-model-a/


    13. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:36 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by mojocoggo View Post
      I daily'd my '74 Celica for a little over a year, including a 900 mile round trip to San Francisco and back. It was the cheapest car to operate I've ever had. Needed nothing except a quart of oil every 1000 miles. 40+ MPG and all the style I could ask for.

      i love your car
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

    14. Member toucci's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:39 AM #14
      I wouldn't want to daily drive a "classic" car that's not unique or special in some way and if it were really special, I wouldn't DD it. Old cars lack creature comforts and are (relatively) unsafe.

    15. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:41 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by toucci View Post
      Old cars lack creature comforts and are (relatively) unsafe.
      Naturally. And?
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    16. Member toucci's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:52 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Roadkilled78 View Post
      Naturally. And?
      Not worth risking a face full of dash to drive around in a common mustang. That's not to say other cars wouldn't be worth it to me

    17. Member Süsser Tod's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 08:55 AM #17
      I've looked into dailyng an older bike, as well, UJMs are not common nowadays. But despite the fact that I like them, it just doesn't make sense.

      1. "Less safe". Suspensions, brakes and tires of yore are crappy by today standards. In the case of a car you've also got to think about how well it would fare in a crash.

      2. Parts availability. Tons of NLA parts means that you'll have to be hunting for used parts. Most of the "consumables" are easy to get ahold of, but some more "obscure" parts will take the vehicle out of comission for months.

      3. Insurance. How will the vehicle be valued? Just due to the part availability it can be totalled in a fender bender.

      4. Reliability. It's old. Even after tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch, the parts remain old, and newer vehicles are leaps and bounds ahead in reliability compared to cars from the 70s or 80s. Cars from the 60s? Puhlease. I really, REALLY doubt anyone considers "points" to be fun, specially when they decide to burn in the middle of nowhere at midnight. I had an old Datsun, my Grandmother's last car, and I always had a coil, condenser, points and distributor cap in the trunk, just in case.

      5. Who'll work on it? Being old it will require constant "attention", that's just how vehicles used to be. If you're good at DIY, you might have fun with it. But if you're going to pay for every repair... You'll hate the experience.


      Actually, I learnt most of that with my Grandma's car. It was a cute 70s Datsun (not a 510, it was a 610J) that I tried to keep running in the early 2000's, but it was just way too much trouble. I remember I couldn't get a gasket for the air filter housing, the gasket on the brake fluid deposit was gone and it seemed to be made out of unobtanium, etc. I could get the consumables for a tune up anywhere, but everything else involved at least half day hunting for parts.

    18. 02-24-2012 08:56 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by 16v_43v3r View Post
      Swapping out the drivetrain for something more modern due to cost is the most absurd thing I've ever heard.
      I don't know about where you live but around here it's a hell of a lot cheaper to find complete engine out of late model vehicles that run and to get parts for them then to buy engine parts and origanal engines for late 60's mustangs and Cameron's, not to mention the cost and time of getting 40+ year old engine to run if it's been sitting up for a while.

      If your buying a classic car that already runs/has been somewhat restored, well that may be a different story

    19. 02-24-2012 09:49 AM #19
      On a safety aspect, wouldn't DD a classic increase your chance of dead substantially in a common accident?

    20. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:01 AM #20
      Common classic cars like Mustangs and Camaros are easy to find parts for, and I mean EVERY PART on the car. Down to the original stickers in the engine compartment. Even slightly less common ones liek falcons and Chevy II/Novas can be easy to find parts for, especially with the online merchants like Macs or Year One.

      Mechanically they are extremely simple, and extremely eay to work on. THere are no computers to deal with or funky electronics to go bad. Just basic wiring and engine managemnt (you have air, fuel and spark, and the basic ingredients to deliver them). You can easily upgrade parts to more modern bits for reliability (like electronic ignition instead of points, disc brakes instead of drums, etc) if you want to, and it can be done cheaply. Due to theri simpleness, they tend to be MORE reliable, not less, though you do have to be on top of oil changes and adjusting things like points (if you retain them) and carbs (though a proper carb shoudl stay in adjustment forever once adjusted to start with). Put modern tires on it.

      I've DD'd older stuff quite a bit. Even newer cars from the '70s can be just as simple, like my kid's '70s era Chevy pickup. Dead simple and reliable.

      You can insure them though Hagerty or the equivalent for agreed value, so that even minor stuff won't total the car out, and it's often cheaper than a regular car. But there are sometimes limitations as to use or the need to be garaged.

      Your primary problem with older cars is rust and worn rubber bits. Luckily those can be taken care of (in the case of the rubber parts, easily, in the case of rust, not so easily, but even then, replacement panels are available for most stuff)

      DD for 3 years:

      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    21. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:04 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      On a safety aspect, wouldn't DD a classic increase your chance of dead substantially in a common accident?
      Not as much as you might think. Only in a pretty bad one. So long as you still use seatbelts and the mounts aren't rusted out youre in good shape.

      Most "common" accidents can be avoided by simply paying atttention to things around you. 97% of peopel dont' get into an accident each year. it's pretty easy to be part of that 97% by simply paying attention and mitigating any bad situation. In 30 years of driving, I've never had more than a scratch on a rear bumper from an accident. My dad had had even fewer accidents in 50 years of driving, due to the same techniques.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    22. Member Egz's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:07 AM #22
      My first car was a 1966 Mustang back in 1996. Nothing wild with a 200ci I6 and 3-speed Cruiseomatic. Granted, Most of the time I was just going to HS, and then to my job, so I was only doing about 20-30 miles a day. But it served me well, and looked great doing it.

      So DDing a classic isn't too crazy of an idea.

    23. Member
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      02-24-2012 10:14 AM #23
      Your grandmother did it... why can't you?

      I DD a 66 Plymouth, then my 71 MGBGT in the late 90's. It's do-able if you're fairly good with cars, as they're pretty simple.

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      02-24-2012 10:23 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      On a safety aspect, wouldn't DD a classic increase your chance of dead substantially in a common accident?
      I got into a fairly bad accident in a classic car. Lady pulled out in front of me and I hit her at ~45-50 mph. I was knocked out for a moment (don't know how long, I was unconscious) but was otherwise able to walk away with only a bloody chin. She was in a 04 Explorer and was taken away in an ambulance. In short I wouldn't worry about safety in a classic car.

      I've daily driven a 63 Ford, a 68 Ford, and a 71 VW and while there are problems that crop up from time to time I would have no problem doing it again. A backup vehicle is a good idea but something as popular as a Camaro will have no shortage of quick, cheap, and easily found parts.

      If you do DD a classic car there are a few things you should do though.
      1. Tires - classic tires suck balls. And they suck em badly.
      2. Brakes - 4 wheel drums might be OK on an old Beetle, but a Camaro is a different story
      3. Electronics - there's nothing worse than having one of your headlights wig out on you due to some POs hack job.

      Other than that they're dead simple and if you're looking to spend that much coin on one I doubt you'll have any problems.

    25. Member Eightysixturbo's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:30 AM #25
      20-25k can you get you a good restored mach 1. It's not gonna have a 400 but it will look pretty and drive quickly. Again the problems with these old cars have to due with mechanicals, highway revs, and most importantly rust.

      Check this car out.


      http://www.flemingsultimategarage.co...-1--c-1439.htm
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    26. Member Smigelski's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:32 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by GahannaKid View Post
      I got into a fairly bad accident in a classic car. Lady pulled out in front of me and I hit her at ~45-50 mph. I was knocked out for a moment (don't know how long, I was unconscious) but was otherwise able to walk away with only a bloody chin. She was in a 04 Explorer and was taken away in an ambulance. In short I wouldn't worry about safety in a classic car.
      Anecdotes are not data. While I don't discount the story, the data that's out there says that statistically you will be much safer in a modern car.

    27. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:33 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by mojocoggo View Post
      I daily'd my '74 Celica for a little over a year, including a 900 mile round trip to San Francisco and back. It was the cheapest car to operate I've ever had. Needed nothing except a quart of oil every 1000 miles. 40+ MPG and all the style I could ask for.

      I only posted in this thread so it I can see more of this

      That is DAMN beautiful!
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    28. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:36 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Smigelski View Post
      Anecdotes are not data. While I don't discount the story, the data that's out there says that statistically you will be much safer in a modern car.
      Statistically there are vastly more modern cars getting into accidents than classic cars.

      You can spin statistics however you want, The fact is, it's not really that dangerous to DD a classic vs a normal car. As I said, statistically 97% of drivers don't get into accidents at all. Just be part of that 97%.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    29. Member Ace_VR6's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 10:42 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by dtrain88 View Post
      I don't know about where you live but around here it's a hell of a lot cheaper to find complete engine out of late model vehicles that run and to get parts for them then to buy engine parts and origanal engines for late 60's mustangs and Cameron's, not to mention the cost and time of getting 40+ year old engine to run if it's been sitting up for a while.

      If your buying a classic car that already runs/has been somewhat restored, well that may be a different story
      sbf sbc sbm are all motors that have been in production for close to 40 years respectively as well as their transmissions and even rears. Jegs/summit have literally every part you need to fix them. Points can be easily replaced with a pertronics style electronic ignition conversion. There is plentyy of aftermarket support for any of the big 3 cars including the whole driveline. I myself enjoy the older cars and love driving them and you shouldnt be scared to daily one!
      Quote Originally Posted by 04_GLI_ View Post
      Yeah still drove it home bout 60 miles. Didn't know it was a broken timming belt, drove fine just made a lil noise.
      Coils Are For Poor People

    30. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 11:18 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by kerridwen View Post
      2. Parts availability. Tons of NLA parts means that you'll have to be hunting for used parts. Most of the "consumables" are easy to get ahold of, but some more "obscure" parts will take the vehicle out of comission for months.
      That's entirely according to the car.


      Quote Originally Posted by kerridwen View Post
      3. Insurance. How will the vehicle be valued? Just due to the part availability it can be totalled in a fender bender.
      Also according to the car and your insurer. I have an agreed upon value of my Beetle at $6,000. It's not a lot of money to them, but I sure as hell don't want to eat that if someone crunches her. No, I can't get extra if someone ruins the original paint, but otherwise, no problem.

      Quote Originally Posted by kerridwen View Post
      4. Reliability. It's old. Even after tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch, the parts remain old, and newer vehicles are leaps and bounds ahead in reliability compared to cars from the 70s or 80s. Cars from the 60s? Puhlease. I really, REALLY doubt anyone considers "points" to be fun, specially when they decide to burn in the middle of nowhere at midnight. I had an old Datsun, my Grandmother's last car, and I always had a coil, condenser, points and distributor cap in the trunk, just in case.
      Points can easily be replaced with a myriad of electronic ignition types. The only reason I don't have one in my Beetle, is that it's a 6 volt car and Barry informed me that on the Pertronix, if the voltage drops too far (such as during starting in colder weather) it can't function and the car won't start. He pulled it off of his Porsche for that very reason. There are other 6 volt systems, but they involve an external module and don't fit the character of the car at all.

      Quote Originally Posted by kerridwen View Post
      Actually, I learnt most of that with my Grandma's car. It was a cute 70s Datsun (not a 510, it was a 610J) that I tried to keep running in the early 2000's, but it was just way too much trouble. I remember I couldn't get a gasket for the air filter housing, the gasket on the brake fluid deposit was gone and it seemed to be made out of unobtanium, etc. I could get the consumables for a tune up anywhere, but everything else involved at least half day hunting for parts.
      A HA! I think I see the problem.
      Last edited by Air and water do mix; 02-24-2012 at 11:24 AM.
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    31. Member Smigelski's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 11:39 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Statistically there are vastly more modern cars getting into accidents than classic cars.

      You can spin statistics however you want, The fact is, it's not really that dangerous to DD a classic vs a normal car. As I said, statistically 97% of drivers don't get into accidents at all. Just be part of that 97%.
      What I was referring to was the fact that older cars perform worse in crash tests than modern cars do (see the video of the '59 Impala crashing into the '09 Malibu, and others). Just because one anecdote says that the classic car driver walked away with scratches while the model car driver was taken to the hospital doesn't mean that classic cars are inherently safer than modern cars.

      As far as the bolded part goes, very few people get to choose and and if they are in an automobile accident.

      I'm not saying that driving the classic car isn't worth the additional risk. I drive an older, less safe car all the time and I don't think twice about it. The same thing applies to all those riding motorcycles. Just don't think that classic cars and motorcycles are just as safe as modern cars.

    32. 02-24-2012 11:41 AM #32
      I DD a '49 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup slammed with 400sb and powerglide for a few years not too long ago. It's not all that bad if you're fine giving up some of the luxuries of modern car. My truck was super easy to work on, as I assume since you're looking at Mustangs and Camaro yours would be too. Parts are readily available and not very expensive either. I think now days you can pretty much build some classics cars right out of a catalog if you wanted. Gas for me horribile, with the powerglide, a small gas tank, I got 8 mpg or so, and could only go about 100-120 miles on a tank of gas, so I spent quite a bit of time filling it up. That didn't matter much to me though cause A) I bought the truck cheap, so no car payment and B)insurance was like $30/mo or so. I didn't get it appraised, I just carried liability on it. My truck was a bare bones kind of truck, no heat, no AC, windows rattled like crazy, seating was not very comfortable, and the GF hated riding in it. I don't think I'd ever DD a classic again unless I was able to spend the $$$ to add a lot of modern luxuries to it. I'd like to get another classic though, this time I want a 67-72 Chevy shortbed though.

    33. Member Spdmini's Avatar
      Join Date
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      02-24-2012 11:45 AM #33
      I used the Mini in the U-Haul as a DD through HS and College.

    34. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 8th, 2000
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      1973 Porsche 911T, 1993 VW Corrado VR6, 2010 VW Jetta TDI Cup
      02-24-2012 11:46 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Eightysixturbo View Post
      20-25k can you get you a good restored mach 1. It's not gonna have a 400 but it will look pretty and drive quickly. Again the problems with these old cars have to due with mechanicals, highway revs, and most importantly rust.

      Check this car out.


      http://www.flemingsultimategarage.co...-1--c-1439.htm
      I have this EXACT car in 1/18 scale by Autoart. I would be all over that like white on rice.

    35. 02-24-2012 11:51 AM #35
      I DD'd a 79 El Camino

      + Somewhat Reliable
      + ez to work on

      - Floats
      - Sh*t MPG
      - Not fast enough for MPG
      - Terrible Handling
      - Terrible brakes
      - Bad steering feel
      - Bad seats
      - Weather=GG
      - 20 year old bolts are annoying


      i also DD'd a ?82? scirocco. The list is extremely different if we were talking about that
      Last edited by c0mmon; 02-24-2012 at 02:07 PM.

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