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Old 03-23-2005, 02:55 PM
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advice sought from the old school

hello all.

i am very new to the whole hot rod scene and i'm looking for some advice. i'm looking to get a car (a good place to start i know) that is going to be a learn as i go project. i've narrowed it down to either an 51 olds super 88 or a 51 ford custom. they are both priced the same so that is not really a factor. my questions are, which would be easier for a newbie like myself to work on, find parts for, etc? do either of these cars have notorious problems (ie the back end on the ford was bad out of the factory)? i don't want to build anything to race, just something to get me from a to b and look damn good doing it, so i'm more concerned with restoration as opposed to upgrade. i'm also wondering what sort of things i should look for, ask questions about before i put any money down. the sellers claim that they both run/drive well and are pretty low mileage for their age. the problem is that they are out of state and there is actually i will not get a chance to physically look at the car before i buy. are there any sort of guarantees i should ask for from the sellers? do lemon laws cover 55 year old cars?

and of course any other words of advice, or encouragement, or suggestions that you could offer would be appreciated.

thank you in advance.


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Old 03-23-2005, 03:15 PM
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Good luck. Either one will cause you headaches when restoring.Even a profeesional restorer will tell you that each car presents its own challenges.I would not buy a car to restore of that vintage if I was new to the game. Not trying to discourage you,but if you are looking for Point A to B transportation,that is not the way to go.Way to much money involved in restoring an older car to just use as transportation.If you are wanting to go that route,I would buy a 2nd gen Camaro or an older Ford Falco,something in that era,parts are going to be alot easier to find.I would not buy it sight unseen either.There are alot of things that come into play when you do that.Lemon Laws on a car that old.No way.Lemon Laws do not do a very good job of covering new cars,let alone one that is that age.Those were basically wrote to try and help protect consumers of the Buy Here/Pay Here lot that is an "As-Is No Warranty" car and the courts can not really do to much with those.Word on that is Buyer Beware.Go look at it to make sure that you will have the time.resources to do it.Also make sure you have plenty of room in the garage to do it.You will suck up every inch of floor space and beyond when you begin the teardown.
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:39 PM
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Newbie............As a veteran of many years of being involved with automobiles, I think that if I were you, I would start with something from the late 60's to early 70's for my 1st project. These cars are old enough to quality for antique status, most are cool to look at, parts are plentiful. Anything newer will get you into electronics and computer modules, etc. which is a pain. If you really want a '51 Ford or Olds, have at it. I don't remember anything terrible about either. The Ford is a flathead which served Ford very well from inception thru 1953 and nothing sounds better than a flattie V8 with duals and glass pack mufflers. Now that I think of it, '51 might have been the first year for Ford's automatic trans which was weak. '51 Olds Rocket had an OHV engine which was pretty hot, good trans, and a bullet proof rear (transplanted into many early rods). I suspect parts are less available for the Olds over the Ford and the Olds is a tank. Try not to buy sight unseen. Good luck which ever way you go. 421Bonneville.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:02 PM
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Unlike most of the above advice, I'd go with the "oldie"...either one of them.

And there is an alternative to buying sight unseen. For $100-$300 you can hire an appraisal/inspection company that will go and look the car over for you. They normally don't test drive the car but it you arrange it in advance, most of them will. You can do a google search to find an outfit that does it.

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