Last post on Jan 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM
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Car Buying, Classic Cars, Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
#118 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [berri]
Jul 19, 2011 (5:45 pm)
It's the same for my cars, especially the modern. Oil changes and such things aren't much cheaper at the indy, but major work can be a massive savings, the hourly rate difference can really add up along with less drawn out and questionable diagnostic work, and I suspect the indy can source parts cheaper too. If the car isn't under warranty and isn't some kind of insane specialty object, I'd have a hard time taking it to the dealer. I also like to patronize a local small business.
#119 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [fintail]
Jul 20, 2011 (9:04 am)
Oh, Barrier would have a blast with your Mercedes!
#120 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [isellhondas]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 20, 2011 (9:11 am)
Well some younger mechanics might have to come up to speed on things like carburetors, but they are generally much better trained and educated than "old timers" and I don't see why they couldn't learn how to rebuild a carburetor in a day's learning---or, in the case of a Lark, there are apparently plenty of NOS stuff around. These old cars are mechanical, not electronic, so you can see, and figure out, everything you are looking at. A 1950s car is not that much more complicated than a Roman chariot. (some exceptions, of course).
it's not the technical end of an old car that discourages shops from working on them, it's the parts supply. Shop space is $$$, and nobody wants it loaded up with dead old cars waiting on parts.
I remember a friend and I were handed the busted up differential from a 1919 Chevrolet, and we had that figured out in a short afternoon.
A 1959 Studebaker and a 2009 Chevrolet run by the same exact principles. One's just way smarter than the other.
#121 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [isellhondas]
Jul 20, 2011 (9:27 am)
I bet the work it is getting now (radiator purged/reconditioned, parking brake fix, general service) would be heading for a couple grand there. At the indy, I will be surprised if it is much more than $600. Every time I drive by the dealer and see an older car in the service lot, I have to wonder.
#122 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [fintail]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 20, 2011 (9:29 am)
My friend who owns an indy Porsche/Audi shop says he starts to see the 'new" cars just as they come out of warranty, so he tries to keep up with the technical stuff within a 3 year gap.
#123 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 20, 2011 (9:59 am)
It used to be, not much changed from year to year but today's cars require constant training to stay on top.
The old time mechanics usually learned on the job. They didn't have the Vo Tech schools that they have now.
Still, it's a tough way to make a living and the veterans are quick to tell the new people that.
#124 of 178 Re: A new batch to consider [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 20, 2011 (11:07 am)
Sounds right. Warranty claims can go to the dealer as you're more likely to get a loaner etc there too...but afterwards, not so attractive. So much today is modular and based on what a computer tells you to do, as well.
#125 of 178 Re: Pls help me decide on which classic car to get [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 05, 2011 (1:29 pm)
I checked into this forum because I have been considering a late 80's SL purchase. I had Ghia as my only driver. Since it is essentially a bug with nicer skin you should understand that it's not the best handling or safest car out there. In the price range you are looking you will probably see many that have been well cared for and probably babied with some modern updates. I can tell you from personal experiance you should avoid a fixer, the bodies are difficult to work on and the electrical systems can be tricky if it has not been updated. As a daily driver cars like this are not as charming as when they are sitting still so an SL will be much more comfortable. Although, the Ghia will have more of a soul. If you are realistic about it, and can give up some comforts I'd go with the Ghia. It's been twenty years since I sold mine and it's the only car I regret selling. You should also check out some of it's British counterparts, less reliable probably but more fun to drive.
#126 of 178 Still thinking about a daily driver
Dec 20, 2012 (7:29 am)
OP here. Still haven't given up on the idea of finding a "classic" as a daily driver. A few months back I was transferred to a site even closer to my house, so I'm unlikely to even put 5,000 miles a year on the car (mostly city driving). But I live in the humid south and have a driveway, but no garage. At the moment I'm purely a checkbook mechanic, though I'd be interested in learning more.
-A backseat big enough for a large dog or small kids
-A trunk big enough to fit 2 carry-on suitcases
-A vehicle less than 200" in length (the shorter, the better)
-Air conditioning (which I'm willing to add on)
-The best gas mileage I can get (though I know it won't be like new cars...I'd prefer 20mpg or better, but I'm learning I'll have to be flexible here)
-Needs no more than $1-2k/year in maintenance costs
-Can do 0-60 in less than 15 seconds (the faster the better)
From what I understand, domestic makes might be more reliable and economical to run. So I've thought up these models:
Dodge Lancer '60-'62
Ford Mustang Fastback '64-'66
Plymouth Valiant '60-'65
Plymouth Barracuda '64-65
Studebaker Lark '59-'63
Of course, I'm still partial to the imports, but acknowledge part availability and costs of maintenance may be higher. The BMW 2002 is still on the list, and other suggestions are welcomed.
I guess the most basic part of my query is, should I still consider an older car or just give up the dream?
#127 of 178 Re: Still thinking about a daily driver [astphard]
Dec 20, 2012 (9:52 am)
I used to have a car that pretty much fit that description...a 1969 Dodge Dart GT hardtop with a 225 slant six, and air conditioning.
It was tight in the back seat, but I could fit, and I'm 6'3" A dog or kids should be fine, I'd think. Trunk was something like 17.1 cubic feet, which is bigger than most cars today. However, it was a shallow trunk, so you couldn't up anything tall that had to sit upright in it.
Overall length was 196". Fuel economy was around 15-18 mpg in local driving and 22-23 on the highway. 0-60 came up in about 14 seconds, per Consumer Reports' test of a 1968 Dart with the same engine/drivetrain. They also tested a 1967 Valiant, which was about 100 pounds lighter and had a 2.94:1 axle rather than the 2.76 they started using in 1968, and got 13 seconds.