Recommend me an old muscle car/car with balls

precisionkprecisionk Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So looking into buying perhaps an old muscle car and or a car that has alot of power underneath just for the sake of perhaps doing some restorative work and learning more about cars in general.

This is purely for fun with no real reason to have one but to have something that someone would consider a classic.

Anyone have any recommendations? Needs to be older then then say the 1980's and perhaps could use some work as I am only looking to spend say a few thousand on it as I hope to drive it for fun in the summers and work on it at the same time.

Any recommendations on models?

precisionk on
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Posts

  • W2W2 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I don't know how easily you'd be able to pick one up in the States but my muscle car of choice has always been the Ford Falcon XB.

    You know, the car from Mad Max. :)

    W2 on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
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  • TexiKenTexiKen Elite Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    There really weren't "real" muscle cars in the 80's, just the Mustangs and Camaros which were kind of neutered. If you can find a 5 liter mustang from the time, that would probably be the easiest to find. Buick Regals could kinda fit that role.

    Pontiac Tempest GTOs, those are the ticket.

    Or a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 painted yellow.

    TexiKen on
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I'm not sure about the year or anything, but I know a few mechanics who drool like mad if you just say the words 'Buick Grand National'

    but for toying around with, I'd say that might be a more complicated car.

    I knew a guy with a 79 mustang that was fairly easy to work on and was easy to find parts for. At least at the time it was.

    eternalbl on
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  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Shogun wrote: »
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    This, or a garbage truck with options. :P

    Mike Danger on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    I'm not sure about the year or anything, but I know a few mechanics who drool like mad if you just say the words 'Buick Grand National'

    but for toying around with, I'd say that might be a more complicated car.

    I knew a guy with a 79 mustang that was fairly easy to work on and was easy to find parts for. At least at the time it was.

    Make sure you look into the bolded before you make a purchase.

    Aside from that, yeah you've got plenty of options. Hit that wikipedia page, start looking at some options, and decide which ones make your dick hard. Then see if you can find one.

    My favs, at least ones that I've had a chance to spend some time with (though not own), were an old convertible Mercury Cougar (1970, IIRC) and a Ford Galaxie (60's, not sure what year).

    mcdermott on
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    1970 Plymouth Challenger
    Lime Green with a black strip

    3357131806_255b455461.jpg

    saint2e on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    I'm not sure about the year or anything, but I know a few mechanics who drool like mad if you just say the words 'Buick Grand National'

    but for toying around with, I'd say that might be a more complicated car.

    I knew a guy with a 79 mustang that was fairly easy to work on and was easy to find parts for. At least at the time it was.

    I came in here specifically to recommend a Grand National. They are seriously awesome cars. Relatively difficult to find though, most people who have one aren't looking to get rid of it.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • precisionkprecisionk Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Now with the suggestions here, is it possible to pick something up for a few grand that at least runs and drives somewhat? Talking some $3000 for an example.

    precisionk on
  • TexiKenTexiKen Elite Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Check eBay and Autotrader/Yahoo Autos just to see in your area. For three grand you could find a late 80's mustang or camaro no problem, just a lot of miles and the engine or transmission would be on the verge of crapping out.

    Some people have tried to keep these cars in good condition, others have let them fall apart and you would have to spend some time just to get it in drivable condition ala Home Improvement.

    TexiKen on
  • WarrnWarrn Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    A late 70s AMC Spirit AMX could probably be had for under 3k in running condition. 401 V8 goodness.

    Warrn on
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  • b0bd0db0bd0d Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    A 5.0 liter mustang can be lots of fun. The 5.0 liter had a lot of ford love until the 4.6 took its place. There's all types of tuning books and shit out there. Parts, knowledge, etc.

    Anything with a 350 from chevy is pretty much guaranteed to be able to be made fast. They made, what 90 million of that engine? It's one of the most popular engines of all time and a great engine to cut your teeth on. It was in just about everything and you can use a crazy amount of parts.

    You know, the turbo-charged 2.3 mustang that was around in the mid eights is supposed to be able to be made fast with decent mods and low cash. There's a good website out there at: http://www.turboford.net/index.shtml.


    The Buick grand national is a turbo charged car that's supposed to be fast and crazy. The car darth vader would drive.

    Or get an old civic and dump in a newer engine and powertrain. What, that old hatchback, crx(?), is supposed to be fun. Sure, you're making around 200 hp but your power to weight ratio is stupidly high. Add in a power adder(NO2, turbo, etc) and you'll be smoking corvettes.

    Shit, I'd go to a book store and look at the automotive section. Look at the books that deal with moding cars, find a book about a car you like, and then go buy it. Follow the book!

    ...are you just trying to find some old big block beast with a carburetor and wrench on it? Start looking in auto traders or craigslist. They'll be sure to mention the displacement in the ad. Hope you got some money, time, good tools, and more money and time. Get the service manual if you can. Save a lot of trouble.

    I had a 351C '72 mustang that was a lot of fun. Fast, big, and noisy with some glasspacks...Shit, now I wanna start saving my pennies to get one.

    b0bd0d on
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    250px-Plymouth_Roadrunner.jpg

    The Roadrunner. An attempt by Chrysler to return to the days of the cheap and powerful muscle cars. They were produced in quantity with a number of engine options. Including the 426 Hemi.

    250px-Dodge.383.magnum-black.front.view-sstvwf.JPG

    The Dodge Charger. An iconic car from the 60's and 70's. Featured in Bullitt. The General Lee. And the choice of Miami based spies.

    Thomamelas on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Get something from 1973 or older so you don't have to deal with smog.

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  • downerdowner Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm partial to the first generation Monte Carlo's ('70 - '72). A lot of the interior parts are interchangeable with the Chevelle's from the same era.

    Driver_small.jpg

    downer on
  • winter_combat_knightwinter_combat_knight Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    EDIT: Sorry, just read you wanted something before the 80s.

    mabe an old Holden Torana HQ model. its cheap but cool. come in 4 door and 2 door (rare)

    holden-gts.jpg

    Holden_Kingswood_(1971-1974_HQ_series)_01.jpg

    Go for one of the Pontiac Trans Am Firebirds
    Im going to get one one day. Totally badass. If you can, get the knight rider conversion too!

    800px-83firebird.jpg

    If that doesnt interest you, go with the DeLorean as Mike 'Danger' Powers suggested

    winter_combat_knight on
  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited April 2009
    precisionk wrote: »
    Now with the suggestions here, is it possible to pick something up for a few grand that at least runs and drives somewhat? Talking some $3000 for an example.

    3 grand is a tough price point for anything "classic". It's probably possible but the cars in that price range have likely been beaten to hell and/or have at least two major flaws (rust, bad paint, major electrical or mechanical problems, bad interior, salvage title, and so on).

    The most important thing to consider is that you don't want to bite off more than you can chew on your first fixer-upper. Getting a car that rolls but not much more into a condition that a normal person would consider "driveable" is difficult and expensive for people with the mechanical knowhow to do most or all of the work in their garage with tools they already own. It would be nigh impossible for a first-timer. I know I certainly fell into that trap when I picked up my old '75 Porsche 914, and that thing was in fine shape when I got it. Just maintaining it and replacing some hoses and stuff was a huge challenge.

    My suggestion is to save up until you can afford something around ten grand. At that price your options open up considerably. You'll be able to get something that doesn't need any major work, something you can jump into and drive right away while you ease yourself into the process of maintaining and improving a project car. Of course, if you're willing to stomach something from the malaise era (1980-1990) you can probably get into something for three grand- but there's a good reason those cars aren't collectibles. Most of them aren't very good.

    As for specific suggestions, you can't do much better than a late 60s / early 70s Ford Mustang. They made a ton of them, parts are cheap, they're easy to work on, and they're neat-looking.

    Another budget option that I just thought of is an old VW Beetle. Hell, they only just stopped making them- the old-school Beetles were produced in Mexico as recently as 2003. If you're into that, try to find one newer than 1967. They're dirt cheap (a lot closer to 3 grand than 10), dead simple to work on, they sound great (who doesn't <3 the sound of an air-cooled engine?), and fun to drive.

    Hmm. I've kind of talked myself into one now.

    zilo on
  • SideAffectsSideAffects Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I just wanted to throw this out there: ever consider doing the same on a motorcycle? Cheap, fast, fun, great for the summer to ride around, and you really can't beat how easy it is to access the nuts and bolts of a bike.

    +1 for the VW Beetle. One of my mechanic buddies taught himself all the basics about motors by taking apart and rebuilding an old VW beetle engine on his dining room table more times than he could count. Every time the car broke down he said he and his dad could lift the engine out, take it completely apart, and put it back together...voila! running car.

    I'm partial to cheapo import cars with newer engines so long as you keep the vehicle tasteful (not Fast and the Furious style). Remember that even if you buy an older car there are plenty of places that can build you a custom powerful engine for it in the future. You can do plenty to engines to make them faster, so I would focus on finding something from that time with the best suspension. Having a custom suspension built just to handle the engine would suck.

    PS: My grandpa bought his T-Bird (his childhood dream car) from an estate sale after one of his friends passed away. Sometimes rich people collect these things and when they die their family just wants to get rid of them.

    SideAffects on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    What the fuck guys, a Beetle? That's probably not what he had in mind when he pictured "drag racing."

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  • SideAffectsSideAffects Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Why did you put "drag racing" in quotes? When I search this thread, YOU are the first person to mention "drag racing".

    The OP actually says "perhaps a lot of power". i.e. not necessary
    The OP wants to learn more about cars in general.

    SideAffects on
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Why did you put "drag racing" in quotes? When I search this thread, YOU are the first person to mention "drag racing".

    The OP actually says "perhaps a lot of power". i.e. not necessary
    The OP wants to learn more about cars in general.

    Actually he said "So looking into buying perhaps an old muscle car and or a car that has alot of power underneath" and a Bug falls into neither of those two categories. It's never been a muscle car or one with a lot of power.

    Thomamelas on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Why did you put "drag racing" in quotes? When I search this thread, YOU are the first person to mention "drag racing".

    The OP actually says "perhaps a lot of power". i.e. not necessary
    The OP wants to learn more about cars in general.

    Because I'm making a gay joke at the expense of the Beetle, which ranks with the Mini Cooper and the Mazda Miata.

    And besides, what else do you do with old muscle cars? Other than show them off for being awesome. :P

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  • a penguina penguin Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I did something similar to this. I picked up an '87 RX-7 for a few hundered dollars. I dinked around with that for about a year and a half, got it running and all that. Eventually I got tired of it and sold it, but it was a neat experience. Even though the engine is totally different, I still learned alot about cars and am able to apply that knowledge to fixing my goddamned VW's.

    A Beetle is an excellent place to learn, if you feel like going that route. The bonus is they are still making parts/ panels for them, so you can pick them up easily enough. I'm going to do one when my boys are old enough, so I can teach them how to fix things themselves.


    Besides that, I am also looking at doing some sort of old muscle car. I'm thinking a Challenger, but what I really want to do is one of those old 'Family Trucksters', wood paneling and all. It'll be deliciously tacky <3

    Also, it would be nice to work on something with some space under the hood for once.

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  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    You can buy my 1977 Firebird Espirt w/ T-tops. You are nowhere near me though.

    You can find a sweet 77-79 Trans Am for $3000 or less. I'm really partial to Firebirds.

    EskimoDave on
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    A 1960s AMC Rambler would be a pretty unique muscle car to have. The best was the 69 iirc, but you can find from 63 to 67 or so all over the US under the 3k range. Parts might be more expensive though. I haven't been into that scene in years. You could even have a sleeper with a rambler wagon.

    stigweard on
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    It really depends on what you're looking for and what you consider "old". For relative inexpensiveness, ease of finding one, and ease of getting parts, you really can't beat an 80 or early 90's 5.0L Mustang. The late 80's ones were respectable (especially given the other cars at the time) stock and can be made pretty ridiculously fast with relative ease. The '83 to '85 5.0L ones are also nice. Not as powerful as the later ones, but in '83 they started puting 4 barrel carbs in, which helped a lot stock, and those can also be made ridiculous. I can't tell you how much I miss my '83 5.0L Mercury Capri.

    I'm not much help if you want older, though. I love the older cars, but I've never owned one or been in a position to even think about owning one, so I keep my mind off of them other than drooling.

    Jimmy King on
  • KidDynamiteKidDynamite Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Man, they are soo expensive now. I think that everyone that grew up wanting a muscle car can actually get one, and even rolling chassis can be high.

    Having said that,


    Chevelles are bad. 66-68 are my faves.
    Monte Carlos
    Mustangs
    Man, it goes on and on.

    If I had unlimited funds,

    67 chevelle, with a blower sticking out of the hood.

    Or, a 240sx - LS1 conversion.

    KidDynamite on
  • flatlinegraphicsflatlinegraphics Registered User
    edited April 2009
    What the fuck guys, a Beetle? That's probably not what he had in mind when he pictured "drag racing."

    porche aircooled (and some water cooled) engines of the same vintage are drop in replacements.
    spoiler for a hilarious beetle vrs mustang video.

    seriously. huge community, readily available parts. vw's are kinda like tinker toys for older models. as in you could pretty much drop any engine or most parts into almost any other vw. and there is nothing funnier than burning out and pwning people with a super beetle.

    flatlinegraphics on
  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I have always wanted a 1986 Porsche 928 S. Faster production car in the US that year. You can find ones that run for 3-4K. And your options are to strip it out and get a racing license or restore it to its original touring condition. Either way beautiful car.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_928

    meeker on
  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    a penguin wrote: »
    I did something similar to this. I picked up an '87 RX-7 for a few hundered dollars. I dinked around with that for about a year and a half, got it running and all that. Eventually I got tired of it and sold it, but it was a neat experience. Even though the engine is totally different, I still learned alot about cars and am able to apply that knowledge to fixing my goddamned VW's.

    A Beetle is an excellent place to learn, if you feel like going that route. The bonus is they are still making parts/ panels for them, so you can pick them up easily enough. I'm going to do one when my boys are old enough, so I can teach them how to fix things themselves.

    I really have to suggest both of these. 80's RX-7s are quite cheap and a nice example of a first generation one can be had for $3,000. Look for a GSL or GSL-SE model in those. Parts are pretty cheap and they're quite easy to keep running.

    Aircooled VWs are great starter projects too. Parts are abundant and cheap. they're really easy to work on and there is quite a few of places on the web to learn about them. unfortunately a non rusty example will probably be a bit more expensive than 3 grand.

    wmelon on
  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Really guys, no Chevy Nova love here?

    Before it was this:
    1987_chev_nova.jpg

    It was this:
    sucp_0709_16_z+1969_chevy_nova_z28+front_view.jpg

    Late 60's/early 70's models are your best bet, ones for $3k will need pretty extensive work to make look nice, but you should be able to find one that at least runs.

    matt has a problem on
    nibXTE7.png
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm partial to the early 70s Chevelle Malibu's, but then I drove a four door monstrosity of one in high school, and always wished I had the two door SS version.

    Edit:, Something like this:
    scotts1972chevelless.jpg

    Corvus on
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  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited April 2009
    meeker wrote: »
    I have always wanted a 1986 Porsche 928 S. Faster production car in the US that year. You can find ones that run for 3-4K. And your options are to strip it out and get a racing license or restore it to its original touring condition. Either way beautiful car.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_928

    Hey, I know a guy who used to have one of these. He sold it when he found out how much little stuff like headlight replacements and dash pieces was costing him.

    That's the bad thing about working on old Porsches. It's horribly, horribly expensive.

    zilo on
  • wallakawallaka Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Mid 60's Ford/Mercury stuff is usually pretty cheap, sans Mustang. A V8 Falcon/Comet would be fairly cheap, fast and look good. Especially the '65 and earlier Comet. The same chassis as the Mustang, but looks like a muscle car. A Galaxie can be pretty nice too.

    wallaka on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    wallaka wrote: »
    Mid 60's Ford/Mercury stuff is usually pretty cheap, sans Mustang. A V8 Falcon/Comet would be fairly cheap, fast and look good. Especially the '65 and earlier Comet. The same chassis as the Mustang, but looks like a muscle car. A Galaxie can be pretty nice too.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one showing the Galaxie love.
    sucp_0709_16_z+1969_chevy_nova_z28+front_view.jpg

    Remember what I said about choose something that makes your dick hard?

    Oh, I'm there.



    Damn you and your muscle car thread. I'm starting a new job soon, and looking to replace my POS truck, and I was going to get a nice little econobox with high gas mileage but now you've got me wondering if I should find a nice chunk of old American steel instead. Bastard.



    EDIT: Is 30 too early for a mid-life crisis car?

    mcdermott on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    No, but it's the perfect age for an "I'm still young and reckless" car.

    Also, further engorging material within spoiler
    5obaj7.jpg

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  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Not sure if it had been mentioned yet but with Pontiac going out of business and them producing the first muscle car I would imagine this would drive their price up in the future. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_GTO

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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Fucking sex.
    1969_GTO_Judge.jpg

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  • wallakawallaka Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »

    EDIT: Is 30 too early for a mid-life crisis car?

    Nope. That's why I just bought a 2005 M3 to join the '65 Comet. Though my Comet isn't as clean as this:
    mufp_0702_02z+1965_mercury_comet_cyclone+front_view.jpg

    wallaka on
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