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Car Buying, Classic Cars, Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
#106 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [hpmctorque]
Jul 05, 2011 (9:32 pm)
Thanks for the advice. I put about 8k miles a year on my car, so that would probably keep maintenance costs on the lower side. And the cars that were narrowed down on this list were chosen more for daily driver status than cool status (trying to find a happy medium, I guess). But trying to look more toward some classics, what do we think of these?
AMC Rambler American ('58-'60)
Hudson Jet ('53-'54)
Nash Rambler ('53-'55)
Studebaker Lark ('59-'61)
Also, in terms of finding people who want to work on non recent-model cars. Is it that mechanics want cars that are as similar to modern cars as possible, or that they want the simplest cars possible (hence, probably older cars)? Or some other reasoning that I'm missing?
#107 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [astphard]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 06, 2011 (7:45 pm)
I'd probably go with the Lark. The Nashes are primitive (flathead engines), the Hudson Jet parts are tough, so the Lark wins by default.
#108 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 07, 2011 (4:10 pm)
So if the Lark wins by default in the 50s cars that might stand a chance, how would it compare to some of the later cars that have been discussed (2002, W123 MBs, and heck, let's throw in E30 BMWs or Saab 900s)? Would a Lark be a recommended DD, or was it simply better than more mediocre choices?
Also, when dealing with the repair end of things, do mechanics want cars that are as similar to modern cars as possible, or that they want the simplest cars possible (hence, older cars)? Or some other reasoning that I'm missing? (Reposted from my last post.)
#109 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [astphard]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 07, 2011 (6:20 pm)
Well a BMW 2002 might be a nice alternative.....I think old Benzes, Saabs and BMWs are just too maintenance intensive and will drain your wallet.
2002s have a great aftermarket and aren't too complicated to repair--also fun to drive, are compact in size, and can get out of their own way. Probably the best "investment", too.
As for mechanics, simple is good and you can't get much simpler than a Lark--it's pretty old tech and a good car for a DIY owner.
#110 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [astphard]
Jul 19, 2011 (12:29 pm)
Most shops won't work on old cars. They fear the availibility of parts and they don't want a valuable parking space or shop bay tied up.
Also, the guys who used to work on cars like Larks are, for the most part either dead or retired by now.
Our busy Honda dealership was down to **ONE** technician who knew how to rebuild a carburator!
#111 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [isellhondas]
Jul 19, 2011 (1:03 pm)
I don't know about your dealership, but it seems to me that many are merging into large organizations. As a consequence, they seem to be dumping the older mechanics, for cheaper young help. Problem is they don't often know all that much and screw up, like forgetting to put the oil cap back on. I used to pretty much service at the dealer. Now, as soon as its out of warranty I bolt for an independent with a good rep and usually save money as well. No service mgr on commision pushing all kinds of unnecessary nonsense either.
#112 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [berri]
Jul 19, 2011 (2:17 pm)
It has nothing to do with paying the help. Most mechanics/technicians work on commission.
It's not often you see older guys working on cars. The work is hard on the body and often unrewarding. To see a mechanic over 50 is very unusual.
I know a guy who is about to retire from a busy domestic store. At age 66, he is still a heavy line mechanic. In all of my years in and around shops I think I can count the guys over 60 on one hand.
The older guys try their best to talk the young guys into finding a different profession. In addition to having to buy upwards of 40,000 in tools, it is harder and harder to make a decent living.
There are a lot of good independants out there but they face the same mechanic shortage as the dealers do. As far as saving money, that is debatable. Labor rates may be 10.00/hr. less but the independants often spend a lot of time that you pay for searching for a problem that the dealer has seen many times before.
And, the managers ARE often on commision too, not that that is a bad thing.
Try to get an independant to find an elusive rattle or water leak and see where they end up sending you.
Of course, when cars are no longer in warranty, it's funny how some people stop caring about the small pesky stuff that can be near impossible to track down.
#113 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [isellhondas]
Jul 19, 2011 (2:21 pm)
Highline cars might be the only ones where an older model can be repaired at a dealer - but the costs are insane. Luckily these cars tend to have good independent support. My indy mechanic doesn't bat an eye at my nearly 50 year old fintail (it's there now, in fact), his oldest worker is only middle aged, but the car is no problem there. Taking it to Barrier would probably be like taking on a mortgage.
For old normal cars,better know a good old time mechanic - the ranks of which are thinning out.
#114 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [isellhondas]
Jul 19, 2011 (2:33 pm)
I wonder how far back a dealership, on average, will service its cars? I remember in the early 1990's, seeing a local Chrysler-Plymouth dealership that had a '46-48 DeSoto Suburban up on a lift in one of the service bays!
With Honda, I imagine that the carbureted models are old enough and rare enough that, when the carb needs a rebuild, it's easier to just send the carb out to a shop that specializes in rebuilding them? When was the last carbureted Honda, anyway? For some reason, I'm thinking there might have been some bargain-basement version of the Civic that still had one as recently as '89 or '90?
#115 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [andre1969]
Jul 19, 2011 (2:53 pm)
I bet some malaise era computer controlled carbs and all of the plumbing that comes with can be terrible to work on and might get refused.