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Old 05-05-2014, 11:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Old muscle car

I'm looking for an old muscle car project, and I came across this. While it's about 3 1/2 hours away from the house, it's the closest to what I want that I've found and can afford. I'm interested in the classic muscle cars. Mustangs, Chevelles, Impalas, Challengers, Chargers, and my personal favorite, 1970-1973 Plymouth Barracuda... Mmmm..... Anyway, here's what I've found.

1966 impala 2 dr hardtop

Thoughts on price, condition, whether or not the car is worth a crap? :P

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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She's rough, but if you have the means and will to repair it than it might not be too bad.

Parts to complete this project should be easy enough to find. Year One sells everything you should need if you choose to go that route.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The body seems solid but who knows what bondo is hidden behind them panels.

Basicly I would take a magnet with you so you do understand where the bondo lies.
You are going to want to replace any bondo areas with real patch panels. But if there solid and the motor trans is decent 1500 is not a bad price. The floor and trunk are easy fixes.
Mite even want to think if you are going to replace them anyways mite wanna run a tub in the truck area. Or even use thin aluminum Or sheet steal depending on what you want out of the car after its done. I personal would tub the trunk and sheet metal the interior. All in witch will be covered by a nice carpet pan or Rubber floor pan. Just my thoughts, Pm me if you want any further info I work for a shop where wee fix and restore cars all the time.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It'll definitely need a closer inspection.

Somebody's rattle-canned it with flat black, and all sorts of surprises could be hiding under that. Bondo, rust, fiberglass, chicken wire...

Very carefully check the quarters behind the wheelwells (front and rear) the bottom edges of the doors (you're in luck- you can see the inside! ) the lower edges of the windshield and back glass, and so on.

Rust is not irreparable, of course, but that car is already a heavy project. Add some extensive rust repair on top of what it already needs, and costs, time and effort all go through the roof.

Also, of course, check the engine, trans and suspension. Same game- if they're at least driveable, you can focus on the sheetmetal and paint. But if the motor smokes and the brakes are weak, again, there's just that much more work ahead.

Also check the electricals- does the alternator charge? How old's the battery? Any of the lights work? The horn? The speedo?

Of course, that's clearly not a concours-ready show rod, so naturally you shouldn't expect everything to be perfect and functional. But you'll need to tally up what does need to be fixed and decide for yourself if it's worth it. A dead alternator is an easy fix, and only slightly less so to upgrade to a more modern internal regulator. But if it has 4-wheel non-power drum brakes that barely work (or don't work at all) converting it to power front discs (highly recommended) can be a $1,000 to $2,500 mod, depending on how good a scrounger you are.

Floor and trunk pans are relatively inexpensive, but tricky to properly install- even trickier to do right, so it looks somewhat original. Though after that, you're still looking at bucoup bucks for door panels, a headliner, carpets and underlayment, new/used or reupholstered seats, and so on. I suspect the windows may even have been removed.

Bottom line, even to make that into a decent "rat rod" is going to take a significant investment in time and money. It wouldn't surprise me if you had to lump $5K into it just to make it a reasonably safe and reliable driver. (Depending on where you live, IM regs might require carpets, windows, seatbelts, brake and electrical repairs and an exhaust upgrade, just to get your tags.)

Why not go for something like this?

Doc.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unless you want to spend a ton of money building a car from scratch, it's usually just easier to buy a nicer one and fix it up.

More upfront for a solid car + a little work = Nice car
Less money up front for a crappy car + a lot of work and money = Nice car

You can get a nice car either way, but it's usually not any cheaper to put in all the time and work yourself. Let someone else do the hard, expensive work for you. Some people enjoy it though, so if you are one of those kinda guys, ignore me. A good friend of mine was going to buy a 65 mustang and restore it but held out for a much nicer 68 and stretched his dollar a lot farther. He actually daily drives it now, it's a great reliable car.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just to play Devil's Advocate, if you REALLY want a Cuda, should you buy an Impala? Will you be happy with it?
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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depends really on your skill level with restoration/repair work, how much money you want to dump into it: it will need a full interior, plus you won't know what kind of condition the driveline is in, plus the a fore mentioned rust repair/sheet metal work, PLUS who knows what else that it needs but isn't mentioned and won't know till you crack open the car to work on it-electrical, brakes, bushings, bondo, rear end, suspension, body mounts, basically everything. you are generally buying someone elses problem, which is generally why they didn't finish the car; and how much time you want to put into it. if this is something you want to do quick, cause you have the bug to do it now, then i'd skip it. if this is something you have no problems needing 6+ months of work, then go for it.

but, the biggest thing is, if this isn't your dream car, then i'd skip it. look for what you truly want. time can only mean more money saved, to go to what you really want.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
It'll definitely need a closer inspection.

Somebody's rattle-canned it with flat black, and all sorts of surprises could be hiding under that. Bondo, rust, fiberglass, chicken wire...

Very carefully check the quarters behind the wheelwells (front and rear) the bottom edges of the doors (you're in luck- you can see the inside! ) the lower edges of the windshield and back glass, and so on.

Rust is not irreparable, of course, but that car is already a heavy project. Add some extensive rust repair on top of what it already needs, and costs, time and effort all go through the roof.

Also, of course, check the engine, trans and suspension. Same game- if they're at least driveable, you can focus on the sheetmetal and paint. But if the motor smokes and the brakes are weak, again, there's just that much more work ahead.

Also check the electricals- does the alternator charge? How old's the battery? Any of the lights work? The horn? The speedo?

Of course, that's clearly not a concours-ready show rod, so naturally you shouldn't expect everything to be perfect and functional. But you'll need to tally up what does need to be fixed and decide for yourself if it's worth it. A dead alternator is an easy fix, and only slightly less so to upgrade to a more modern internal regulator. But if it has 4-wheel non-power drum brakes that barely work (or don't work at all) converting it to power front discs (highly recommended) can be a $1,000 to $2,500 mod, depending on how good a scrounger you are.

Floor and trunk pans are relatively inexpensive, but tricky to properly install- even trickier to do right, so it looks somewhat original. Though after that, you're still looking at bucoup bucks for door panels, a headliner, carpets and underlayment, new/used or reupholstered seats, and so on. I suspect the windows may even have been removed.

Bottom line, even to make that into a decent "rat rod" is going to take a significant investment in time and money. It wouldn't surprise me if you had to lump $5K into it just to make it a reasonably safe and reliable driver. (Depending on where you live, IM regs might require carpets, windows, seatbelts, brake and electrical repairs and an exhaust upgrade, just to get your tags.)

Why not go for something like this?

Doc.
A lot of good point in this. I'm not the best by any stretch of the means, but I'm a good tinkerer. I'm just looking for an old car to continue educating myself on the workings of engines, and something to keep me busy over the summer. I looked at that Chevelle, but I don't have quite that much money. Once I get this blasted Jeep of mine sold I'll have $2500-3000.

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Just to play Devil's Advocate, if you REALLY want a Cuda, should you buy an Impala? Will you be happy with it?
I would MUCH rather have a Cuda, but any old muscle car would certainly do. The problem with wanting a Cuda is you rarely come across them. And when you do, they're either rust buckets or they want way way way too much money for them. A few years ago when I was looking around, I saw some restored going for $80k-120k depending on what all was done to it. If I can ever find one that's decent and for a decent price, I'll be all over it.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wouldn't recommend getting into a deep scale resto project on that kind of budget, man. At that level, all it would take would be a bad tranny or unexpectedly heavy frame rust once you get the floor pans off to put it from a project to something that sits in your garage and mocks you for being unable to afford to fix it.

Much better idea to resist the impulse and shop around. If you look around, you can sometimes end up with something mechanically and structurally sound but minus paint/bodywork/interior work for a price.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How much work are you able to do yourself?
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