Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Seek and Ye Shall Find

For a lot of folks, especially those on the East coast, finding a suitable project car seems like a daunting task. If your like me, your bank account looks like the Sahara Desert - dry and empty. When you do happen to save up enough money to buy that project car, you want to get the most for your money. The beast in the East pretty much destroyed all the older classics out there, many of them succumbing to rust and rot, so classic cars back east usually command a premium price. For us folks on the left coast, older iron is easier to come by. Although the herd is thinning, deals can still be found. With a little bit of due diligence and preservation, you can find a deal. Here are some recent, real life examples:

1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 2 door hardtop
Rebuilt 350 motor and trans, PST suspension, Mondello headers, Edelbrock intake and cam. Options included: Power steering, power disc brakes, power seat, tilt column, and power windows. Car was still wearing it's original paint but did have some damage on one quarter panel. Interior was original, complete, and in good condition. Owner was asking $5000 or best offer!


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass S 2 door hardtop
400 engine with bolt-on performance goodies, factory Saginaw 4-speed, body was in primer but looked straight. Interior had bucket seats and was complete but worn. Owner was asking $4000 or best offer!


1975 Pontiac Lemans Sport 2 door hardtop w/68k original miles
400 engine and trans, 12 bolt limited slip rear end, front and rear sway bars, factory dual exhaust. Options included: Power steering, power disc brakes, A/C (working), floor shifter w/center console, and factory guage cluster w/tach. Interior had bucket seats, was original, complete, and in very good condition. Owner was asking $2500 or best offer!!


1968 Chevy II Nova 2 door coupe
307 engine mostly original, factory Saginaw 3-speed on the floor, body looked good and paint job was recent. Interior was complete but thrashed. Power steering was the only option. Car had manual drum brakes and was still wearing it's original hub caps. Owner was asking $4500 or best offer!


1979 Chevy Camaro Z/28

Rebuilt 350 engine w/aftermarket cam, intake, and carb. Body was in excellent condition, as was the paint. Interior original, complete, and in decent shape. New rims and tires. Would not pass CA smog in current condition. Owner was asking $3500 or best offer!


1974 Buick Apollo 2 door

350 engine and trans, needs minor work to get running. New exhaust, rims and tires. Paint and interior original but both need some work, as well as the body. Car appeared to be an aborted teenage project. Owner was asking $3000.


1965 Chevy El Camino

283 engine mostly original, factory 4-speed, 12 bolt posi rearend. New exhaust and some engine dress up items. Interior was original but needed to be redone. Factory bucket seats and console. Aftermarket wheels and tires. Needed paint and body work, minimal rust. Owner was asking $4300 firm. What a deal!


1967 Ford Ranchero

289 w/factory Autolite 4bbl, C-4 automatic, heavy duty rearend, dual exhaust, tow hitch. Options included: Power steering, power disc brakes, and factory A/C (not working). Interior was original, complete, and in decent shape. Body was in excellent condition, paint looked to be original and complete, and all chrome was in decent shape. Owner was asking $3500 or best offer!!



Most of these I actually looked at, so I know they were the real deal. The bottom line is that deals are out there, you just have to really look. With the exception of the '74 Buick, I probably would buy every one of these cars if I could afford it. If you manage to find a sweet deal, let me know. Best of luck with your next classic car purchase and remember: Seek and ye shall find!

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