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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a post to talk about "done cars" vrs. "project cars" or "basket cases".

I will start this post with a quote from Greg Cook who I think has a great take on this subject!


Buying a "done" car is kind of a crap shoot. It's only as good as the guy who did it. If you have a good eye and can see what's what, then a "done" car is always the cheaper way to go.

One of the problems is the travel expenses to look at "good" cars that aren't. I've found that many people are less than honest and even more people are just plain stupid. They bought a bill of goods, now they want to sell it, and they just repeat what their snake oil salesman told them. Now you're supposed to fall for it. Nottttttt!!!!!!

If you have the skill, the time, and the facility to build a "ground up" car that's where your gonna end up with the best result.

However, it's gonna cost more if you want it right.

No matter how well you restore a rust bucket, it's still a repaired rust bucket. A body is only original once. They're your best bet.

Powertrains, suspension, and paint are easy. Patched is patched.

Labor and parts are very expensive today,you could really tie alot up in a car that just is not worth it?

Every car has a different way to take to get the best outcome in quality and price.Ive gone the project route many times in the past to bring the car up exactly the way I wanted them to be.My 65 Falcon "project" has become a real expensive car to build up,its way over time and way way over moneywise what I though I would have in it at this point.

In closing,its going to be your choice to -do your own car the way you want to.

_________________

65 Falcon Sprint Super-Stock-White Lightning
66 Galaxie 428 4-speed 7-Litre
91 Mustang GT 5.0 5-speed
95 F-350 XLT Super-Cab DRW 460- Tow Vehical

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DynoTom on 3/4/02 12:29am ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DynoTom on 3/4/02 2:49am ]</font>
 

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To go along with the "Snake Oil Salesman" concept.

When I bought my 73 Mach1 I bought it from a guy that had owned it since 1975 (since nearly new.)

This Mach was clearly "worn out" in every way ... This guy though was very willing to tell me every part that was "NEW" ... and there were a lot of them.

What I soon discoverd once the restoration process had begun, was that he must have figured any part he had put on the car since 1975 was "NEW" at least to him.

Point is ... my car looked "bad" when I bought it ... but if you take a car that looks "good" and then listen to everything a seller tells you ... it could get very disappointing.

Both of my "done" cars, I bought assuming I would have to fix, rebuild, replace or otherwise correct ... every single part on the car. I spent three to four times what I could have bought the Mach1 for, restoring it ... but I know "for sure" every single thing about the car.

I have spent two and a half times what I could have bought my 67 Camaro for restoring it ... but same goes there.

I have a 55 F100 I'm doing now ... hopefully the end value will be a little higher on it and the odds will be closer.

If you buy a "done" car thinking it is truely a "done" car ... You need to really know the car and the seller ... In my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I'd better clarify before I get flamed for saying "project cars" are not worth it.


I think the doing the work on the cars is the best part!

But! There is a certain point where that $500 "diamond in the rough" is really just a money pit that will more than likey never get done?

It depends on how rare or valuable the car you're thinking about is?

Are parts available for it?

Do you have a place to work on it?

I know for some car guys the only way to do a car is to buy a project and do a little at a time,thats fine in fact thats what I'm doing with the 65 Falcon I have!


I think in some cases buying a more complete car or one that needs very little to be real nice is a better move money and time wise?

But,you have to look into car very close,make sure that its going to be worth the extra price for the extra work that was done.
 

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I agree totally on the "crap shoot" idea of buying a "done" car. I think that the cars that my family and I have spent the most time on are cars that were "done". At least with a project car you go in knowing you probably wont be able to drive it for a while.
 

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My take as being an old time gear head is... "there's no such thing as a done car". Every time I buy a car I assume it's going to need work to make it "mine". I hate driving something anyone else can drive, therefor I must personalize everything. My street daily driver is a hopped up steroid black SVO. Race car is a '66 Coupe. Even my pick-up has oddball wheels. Half the fun is doing it yourself & making sure everyone knows YOU did it!
 

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I wont buy a done car. I bought my Fairlane for 140. Canadian off a 16 year old kid. He kicked the crap out of it cuz it wouldnt run, and had no papers. It was very rough. Bought a battery, put it in and it fired up. Bought a donor car and used those parts for mine, spent close to 2000. on suspension and brakes, rebuilt the tranny, freshened the motor, bought new 1/4's, got 3.55 gears for the rear, blah, blah, blah. I KNOW my car, cuz I built it. I know everything about it and I know it will last. I'm not saying its mint by any means, I drive it all year long, even in the 3 feet of snow we got. So it's taking awhile to get it done, but I know it. It runs really good, and can fix things as I drive it. A done car always has something wrong in my view, something either doesnt work or look right. I know of a guy that will only buy done cars (not a mechanic) and is always trading them in for something else cuz it broke, losing money.
I joined a car club last year and 90% of the old guys looked at the car when it was for sale and didnt buy it cuz it needed alot of work. They want to buy it now cuz it's almost done and runs real good. They will pay for the body work now that it runs.
I went and looked at a 69 with a 351W in it last year and the guy wanted 4500. and it needed interior, I think I'm ahead with my 140. project, and I drive it everyday and it get looks. I have all my parts cleaned and painted ready to transfer when the warm weather comes, new doors, fenders, hood, weather stripping, even getting a new motor built, and will be in primer till summer. And I still will drive it all the time, even winter. You spend so much money on a car then it sits in a garage on shitty days, NOTTT, I build mine to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, I think the term "done car" may have been not the right one I wanted to use?

I guess I'm really meaning a "nicer" bodywise or some car that has a good deal of work done to it already?

I agree, I love doing stuff to cars,I dont't think I'd ever find a car that was done just the way I'd like it?

I think I should restate the topic,lets compare "rough and cheap project cars" to "rust free originals" that cost probably less than what the "rough car" would cost to make nice?

PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE! This is not a flame post to cut on anyone! I'm just trying to outway the advantages of the two old car buying choices.


We can talk this out and get some good input,its a good topic!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I changed the topic post title of this post,I felt like my original title may have offended some guys,that was never my intention sorry if I offended any guys here.


Lets go with the new mood of this post,"cheap cheap project cars" vrs. "nice original or redone cars".

I hope you guys understand my intent with this?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Greg Cook, I know what you're saying I just did'nt want to sound like guys who are doing project cars are "not doing the right move"?

I just wanted to say that if it is a option you should by the nicest bodywise car you can afford,those cars that need every body panel replaced from rust can add up to more than a nice car would have been to buy?


Major rust repair can really add up fast,and it seems like its never really the same once its been all patched together?
 

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Dyno I don't think anyone will be offended. My experience, I was looking for a rust free 67 Fairlane. Found one in Tampa with a 427, owner described it as a rust free exshow car that he used to advertise his body shop business. I was stuck, didn't know anyone in Florida to look at car and the fact it had a 427 made the value inflated. I had the owner send me a ton of pics and talked to him several times. Finally bought the car and made arrangements to get car home to Iowa. I found out my definition of "restored" was very much different then his. Car also had been hit in front and hit in rear with miserable body work, on top of that suspension was completely shot, and in spite of being from Florida it had rust in wierd places. People can be very creative when taking pics of a car they are selling, and I would advise going to look at it yourself. Or pay someone like Greg Cook to look at it for you. On top of everything else the 427 was an industrial version with a mismatch of 427 and 428 parts, and was wore out. When I took the valve covers off one retainer was cracked all the way across and had less then 1/8 inch to go before breaking in half. I guess I'm more honest because I sold the 427 to a guy in Denver and told him everything that I knew about the motor and all the casting numbers I could find. I can't say which way would be the best way to go because I'm a tinkerer and even if the car was complete I would find something to change or tweak. My problem is when I started I hadn't built something like this in 20 years and I under estimated the prices.
 

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Yeap I agree ... no way to Offend on this one ...

As far as the term "Done" car ...

I feel that there is a point in the restoration prcess where most all of your initial goals have been met and you can use the term "Done" as a conceptual designation,

Knowing that we in the Hobby/Business understand (without saying) that a restoration (especially a restomod)is never really DONE.

That is why I use the quotation marks anytime I refer to a "Done" car.
 

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Not offended one bit. I enjoy workng on cars. Heck I'm a machinist so I like things mechanical. My take on this subject is this. I see people buy a rusty old thing and stars in their eyes. A few years later its still in the same shape and they have spent a considerable amount of money for nothing. They get all bent out of shape and wind up selling it just to get rid of it.
I on the other hand would rather look for something with a clean body that needs all the mechanicals worked over. Then off to the paint shop to finish the project. I have seen very few completed cars that satisfy me. Theres always something to change or replace. I would like to have a certain 63 Galaxie though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
On 2002-03-03 18:32, 85Mike wrote: My take on this subject is this. I see people buy a rusty old thing and stars in their eyes. A few years later its still in the same shape and they have spent a considerable amount of money for nothing. They get all bent out of shape and wind up selling it just to get rid of it.
85 Mike hits exactly what I was going for on the head with this response!
 

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My Galaxie is my first project car. Till I got it I was just a wannabe car guy. I had a budget of about $1k. I don't know much about engines, and always wanted to learn how to do bodywork, so I figured as long as I found a car with a good running motor, I would be OK. I thought It would be smart to buy something with a bad body and good motor. I wanted something that I could cruise in as I rebuild it. The car had some rust, no paint, some rot and holes in the quater panels and floorboards but was very mechanically sound. Perfect! ...so I thought. Don't get me wrong, I love my car but next time I will do things differantly. Next time I will buy something with NO rust or rot. Even if it has no engine, I just don't want to deal with rust again. In fact next week I am hopefully getting a vinyl top put on just to cover up the damage done by the factory vinyl top, and I freakin HATE vinyl tops. But what are ya gonna do?

On the other hand, including the price of the car, I've got probably $3500 in it. With that money I could have bought something in alot better condition to start with. Again, like 85 MIke said I looked at that rustbucket with stars in my eyes. Oh well, I've had so much fun with this thing, who cares if it's got rust. I love it and it's mine. I still take it to car shows and love to cruise around in it.

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63 1/2 Galaxie 500 - Black with C code 289, 2 speed trans


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 63fstbk on 3/4/02 7:46am ]</font>
 

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It sounds like I am where 63fstbk was before he started. I am trying hard ot keep the stars out of my eyes. I am willing to deal wiht any problem but rust, but there is rust on everything I go to look at here in the midwest. I am taking a more experienced friend to look at a 68 Torino with me on Tuesday. I put up a post about it last week.

So my answer (as wannabe) to the original question is that it is worth it to pay more to avoid rust, but I have no desire to buy someone else's work.

Considering this issue while I shop keeps making me think later model. I would love to have a 66-67 Fairlane, but for $2000 to $2500 I can buy an 89 to 93 T-bird with a 5 liter that is in far better shape than a 'Lane for twice the price. That thought tempts me often. Then I think how much cooler the Fairlane is and how I expensive EFI and computer controlled stuff for the T-bird is and I keep looking my Fairlane.
 

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I say buy a straight rust free car. Do what you want to it and drive it. Buying a done car, may be the way to go if are not going too far from stock, like DT is doing with his new car. But, if you are going to make something radical, then buy a project and make it your own. Because there is nothing like driving it for the first time after it has been down for a while.

Besides you can make your own parts to give it your own special touch. Or, you can use the project as an excuse to build that flowbench you always wanted like 393 Celvor is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I'm glad to see that you guys understand what I was saying in this topic.

I figure it could end up helping some guys make a more educated on their next car.

I have no doubt that a solid rust free car or a very solid car will be cheaper to make nice than a cheap rusty car would.

There are tons of rust free cars still out there for sale and most of them are not really that expensive.

You will not regret starting with a real clean car in the end you will be happy that you did.


_________________

65 Falcon Sprint Super-Stock-White Lightning
66 Galaxie 428 4-speed 7-Litre
91 Mustang GT 5.0 5-speed
95 F-350 XLT Super-Cab DRW 460- Tow Vehical

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DynoTom on 3/4/02 9:19am ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter #19
On 2002-03-03 20:38, Greg Cook wrote:


Now, about buying the "cheap car" vs the "almost done" more expensive car.......

You buy the cheap car and spend say $8000.00 over a 4 year period. Probably half that time the car didn't run or it just looked like hell. Or both. Not much fun.

Now, go down to the bank, take a loan for that same $8000.00, do some very serious homework/shopping, find a nice car like Dyno Tom did, and start enjoying it NOW!!!

Either way you have spent $8000.00. Yeah, there's some interest, but if you're doing your "Cheap" car on your VISA, there's interest there too, except at a higher rate.

More than likely, you won't get sick and tired of a car that you can drive and enjoy vs. a car that doesn't run or looks like crap the first 3 years you own it.

I have seen cars for sale at places like Carlisle for some pretty decent prices. There was a 68/69 Torino GT Fastback 351W Stick, Absolutely Rust Free Southern car, Very Good original interior, lots of new mechanicals, new BFG Radial T/A tires, new dual exhaust, GT wheels, just a real nice looking ready to roll driver. Asking $6500.00.

Even if you picked up a rat for say $1000.00 you couldn't make it what this car was for another $5500.00.

So whatever, there's the easy way and there's the hard way. I've done it both ways and have had some great experiences both ways.
Da Man man is dead on target with this,could not agree more!
 

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Your right Greg, I have really learned alot from building this car. Alot more that I would have learned from a car that was finished and didn't need any work at all. So, maybe this was actually a good choice for my first "cool" car.

Tim, don't get distressed. I know it's tough, but keep searching. You'll find the right car. I'm sure it's tempting, but don't get a newer car. Stick with a 60's Fairlane or Falcon. Unless you want a car like everyone elses.
 
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