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Might just splurge


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I'm sure you've built many chassis's in your life time.


Vette owners get the biggest hits, so i'm not even going to get started.

Nope, but have been on the driving end of many. Don't really understand the second comment so I think I'll just let this go back to the OT now, with apologies to all for going off topic.


KS, so many cars, so many choices, so little time. Everyone needs a toy now and then. Go for what does it for you.

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I'm far too along in life to be splurging on insane cars - I really want an AudiR8, preferably the only-available-in-Europe diesel version - gramma and I have a perfectly fine '95 Toyota Celica GT, but I did just splurge on tickets to see te Stones. This may be the last foolishly spent money of my life.

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This my friends, is a Corvette




If I had that ride I'd be "get'n my kicks on Route 66 for sure!! I'd like to ride that on the Harley too. If you can swing the Vette then you should. I had to lay off a year with my Harley's in 2011. Got out a lot more in 2012 & took a 2500 mile tour from IA thru the Smoky Mts. Nothing better than backpacking & biking for me anyway.


What year is the Sporty? Is it a 1200 or 883? I love my 1200R but had to change some things to get me a really nice ride. Really fun bike & my son rides with decked out with the touring gear on our trips. I have to take the Road King to handle the tent, 2 sleeping bags, (kitchen sink) & all the tools that I want on the trip. [biggrin]





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but I did just splurge on tickets to see te Stones. This may be the last foolishly spent money of my life.


Not foolish, this might be their last tour......


But hey, I said that in the 80's......



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Forget the 'Vette, ride the Harleymsp_thumbup.gif



An item very near the top of my bucket list is to ride the entire length of the Pacific Coast Highway, California Route 1. Originally I thought I would do so on a bike, probably a Harley. Now I can't imagine how uncomfortable this would be so now I think I'll do it in a nice convertible.

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I have owned several Corvettes and they were all great fun. But the late 70s early 80s were probably the weakest that Chevy ever made. ie the one pace car example shown above. 350 Cubic inch and only 220 horsepower. This of course explains why they are more affordable than other vintages. As to handling, brakes etc you want to go with at least a C5 (1998 or later). These are almost idiot proof to drive, can't over rev the motor, great breaks and handling, 50 - 50 weight balance etc. They are about 345 horse stock, a little intake and exhaust mod brings them up closer to 400 horse. Probably pick one up in decent shape for $10K or less depending on miles and condition.


A 78 to 83 type is going to cost you more in repairs and not be as fun to drive. The C5s are way more reliable. C6 (2005 and later) is even better as they re-designed the car from the frame up and the ride is better with stock around 400 HP - but they will be more $$. But best vintages are '58 - '68 then skip to '98 and newer.


Or you could liquidate that collection of Ovations and buy a brand new one [scared] [scared]

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[thumbup] Lotsa truth in Twang Gang's post! I've driven a '63 coupe, but didn't own it. Owned a C4 ('91) C5 (99) and C6 (06 Z06). They just keep getting better. They're using their racing experience and transferring it to the street car.
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  • 2 months later...

So an old friend is ready to sell her '57. She had bought it in the early 80s. It had a 327 with 3 deuces and a 4 speed. She sold that engine/transmission and had an original '57 283 with Powerglide installed. I verified the engine code today. Anyway, this was her pride and joy for years. She owned a hair salon in the middle of town and the '57 parked out front was a staple and landmark. In 1998 she closed her salon and concentrated on caring for her elderly mother. Her mother passed in 2003 but the '57 stayed in storage. She hadn't laid eyes on it in 10 years until today when we drove out to the quonset hut where it's stored.


The car had been stripped to the metal in 1986 and repainted and it's showing it's age now, a lot of speckle rust, some pinholes, and one blatant rust hole on the front fender. Understand here in Maine we have 2004 cars with rotten rocker panels so a '57 had better stay indoors in the winter.


I'm familiar with the car as she has cut my hair for 25+ years. I put the stereo and 6x9s in it for her in 1990. She left it with me for a couple days and I tooled around a little (not much).


So today we found it to be covered in dust as expected, some damage to the paint, the battery missing, one flat tire, a very smelly interior, etc. It basically needs to come out of the mothballs and be gone through. It's not pristine, it never was pristine, and will never be a show car. It will need a ton of airing out, some repair on the interior to even make it livable(headliner is messed up, steering wheel needs replaced, get rid of the stupid tach and junk). I can live with the rough paint for a couple years so i can set aside at least a couple grand for a paint job. I expect I'll get nice little surprises like brake lines that blow up and electrical crap that will be intermittent.... it's old.


She is giving me right of first refusal basically. "My" price was going to be $6,000. Once she saw it's condition from sitting, she then said "$5500 or $6000". If I decide to pursue it, I'm thinking $5000.


Rescue it?









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I say go for it.


But i'd check the chassis, if its rusting then its a no go. Not that it would be scrap, but that be a pro job.


Power glide to eh? Those were tough as bricks.



Also you don't have to paint it, you could always wrap it with the million colors 3M now has.



I'd change the whole electrical wiring, but only because i don't trust any electrical wiring every since i met Lucas Electronics.

Also since the car isn't original, i'm sure you could find a disc brake kit for this car, that could assure you some safety at least.

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They can be, at the same time they are easier to work on.


I 'd take a car like this over a 20 year old car which too could be a money pit.


On this particular car you have to be careful because it is a 4-door and they are not as sought after as a 2-door despite of the fact that the body line remains the same.

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Ok - so did your mid life crisis of wanting a converible Corvette turn into wanting to restore a 4 door '57??


Pass on this old beast. If it still had the 327 and 4 speed, and you were an expert at restoring vintage cars, and had about $20 to $30,000 to spend then maybe. But it is still not a convertible, and even after you have spent a ton of dough on it, it's still a 4 door sedan, won't be very fast, will handle like a 2 ton beast.


Forget it. [thumbdn] [thumbdn] [thumbdn]

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Looks to me like a 4-d hardtop. I had a couple versions of that in the same general era. Great "touring cars," in terms of drive train and passenger comfort. The weakness is that I don't think any of 'em really were that strong in the frame regardless how they engineered 'em. Always a little twisty. That could have some effect on the drive train and suspension that's not quite so obvious.


The '50s 4-d hardtops were pretty much premium cars under a "brand" because they did require more messing with at the factory level, and a bit of thought to the geometry will explain why. Again, I think they were marvelous "touring cars" in the sense of the original meaning of "touring car." Far better for that than a regular 4-d or a 2-d hardtop.


OTOH, they never were thought of really as "hot rod" material and the weight was one factor and the "six passenger" concept pretty well made "hot rod six-passenger car" sound silly.


Dad always said he worried about swaps of engine and drive train on grounds that it never seemed to exactly hit the proper geometry, even if a factory duplicate. He figured that would add stresses not found on a non-lemon factory vehicle - and that the reason a lotta factory lemons were lemons is because the manufacturing setup allowed a bad day not to hit the engineering specs.


But... I ain't sayin', "Don't buy it."


You're not a kid. You know the strengths and weaknesses of the vehicle and an "old" car at that. I'd say if it trips your trigger, and you ain't driving it into "survival country," why the heck not?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Getting so very close to pulling the trigger. Not many Vettes available locally but I did look at an '88 convertible for $6500 OBO. Low mileage but it was wrecked and straightened. It's owned by a guy who's had 4 or 5 so he seems well versed. He admitted a bunch of little stuff was messed up, the A/C (who cares? It's a ragtop!), the wipers don't park unless you swing a dead cat over your head at midnight. Plus the previous owner put some weird Testarosa(?) door skins and a dumb looking hood scoop on it. It scared me. Too many little complicated things. If it quit on the road I would be lost and I doubt I could afford to have it fixed if it DID quit.


A 1995 coupe showed up at a local dealer for $7500. White with tan leather, little scuffs and such. Massive amps behind the seat, two 200 watters and a 600 watter. Makes me wonder who owned it, if it was some overpriveleged little snot who never changed the oil. I dunno, gut feeling I guess.


I did spend some more time with the 57 today. One tire was flat so I took a tank with me. It wouldn't inflate until I took it off the car and laid it down. I crawled underneath and looked and peered and poked... it's quite solid. The doors open and shut like a new one. Minor point I know. The inside smells like a cellar. The paint is shot and that means $2K at some point but I can wait a couple years and just feed the piggy bank.


Oddly enough I think it's easier to get parts for the 57 than it is for a newer Vette.


Getting closer. The price has been agreed at $5000. I have $8000 set aside for a 'toy' car plus I'm selling my old Kay upright bass this month for $2000 so I can buy the 57 and still have a nice little stash.

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If it were me I'd buy it. That is the first car I distinctly remember my dad owning. Dad's car was, in fact a four door and that exact color. If there are teeth marks in the center on the back of the front seat... it was Dad's car. The teeth marks? They're mine. I must have been 3 or 4 years old at the time. At some point I got moved to the left side of the back seat, so I chewed on the door. Seriously, I found it fascinating that you could bite it, the vinyl would pinch up, then slowly settle down and flatten out like it had never been pinched, unless I bit through the vinyl... then it was permanent. Turned out it was medical. It's called pica due an iron deficiency. The doc put me on iron tonic drops once a day for about 5 years.


Traded it for a '65 Impala. Dad never has owned a new car, preferring to not take the 'bumper-clears-the curb' depreciation. So, I suspect he got it in '60 or '61, then traded it for the Impala in about '67 or '68.


Are those Cragars or Keystones?


Are those 'Mansfields' original or replacements?

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