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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 09-30-2012, 08:00 PM
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Since you were leaning towards the Falcons you may want to give this a look: The New Millennium.... Falcon! click on "restoration" and read about the upgrades that were done,hopefully it may inspire you.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2012, 12:00 PM
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I'll throw my hat in. What about a medium body longroof?
A friend of mine just got a 68 coronet (?) station wagon and is planning on doing it up as a specialty Road Runner. The car runs and drives with old, but still serviceable white enamel exterior (from the 80s) with steel rims and poverty caps. Motor is a 360.

If you do get a falcon, or its uppity brother the Mustang/Cougar, remember that if its an inline 6 car, it can be a LOT of time and expense to convert it to a V8. Same with the Mopars. Not a big deal if you can weld and want to install a front clip anyway.

65 novas can be problematic as there are some 1 yr only parts on those.

Don't overlook some of the '73-76 cars. While not in your wheelhouse, they have MUCH better suspension systems (especially the chevelles), and they're not completely ugly (a lot of them just have the rubber pads on the chromed bumpers for example. Easy fix. Also, you don't see a lot of them so people notice. But you don't see a lot of them, trim parts and the like may be a pain to source.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:18 PM
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64-69 Rambler Americans are about the same as Falcons and Chevy IIs. Only more interesting because there are fewer or them seen. They will take any drivetrain with minimal work, though of course AMC guys prefer to see AMC engines. Since you mentioned daily driver, you probably don't want a gas hog. The Jeep Cherokee 4.0L drops right in as it was based on the old Rambler six. Not hard to put the EFI in. Scarebird makes a disc brake kit for the front, several vendors make them for the rear. You might want to use a Ranger 8.8" axle, but the early Ranger 7.5" fits and is a lot lighter, and strong enough (thinking DD here!). A better engine and trans for a economical yet spunky DD would be a Ranger 2.5L EFI four, or a Mustang/T-bird 2.3L turbo motor. If you find one of those it will fit in the Falcon/Chavy II/American/Dart compacts as well.

Want something a bit more modern but still easy to drop almost anything under the hood? AMC Hornet/Gremlin or Concord/Spirit. Made for small blocks! I've seen a big block stuffed in one, but that's tight and a lot of work.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by benmoo View Post
Hi All,

I'm still relatively new to the car scene, having only bought my first car about six years ago. Since then I've rebuilt and modified four cars (three Integras and one BMW). I think I'm getting the hang of things, having learned a lot and acquired a good set of tools (and a place to put them).

Now that I'm looking for my next project and have more disposable income, I'm pretty set on getting a 1960's car to make my own.

Originally, I was set on a 65 Galaxie, loving the vertical headlights and boxy body style. However, I don't want something that large as I want this to be my daily driver.

Then, I got set on a 65 Comet since it shared a lot of design elements with the Galaxie, and I wanted to drop it on a Panther chassis (having the same width and wheelbase). Right now I don't have the space necessary to take on this project so I'm sidelining it for the moment.

After scouring Craigslist for years and getting a sense of what's out there, I'm less inclined to get a single-model-year car like the 65 Comet. I'm now looking to the cars that are most readily available, and therefore easier to find a nice example of and get (cheap) parts for.

This has led me to two cars which I see as being quite similar. The 64-65 Falcon, and the 62-65 Chevy II (Nova).

From the comparisons I've read thus far, people seem to give the Nova the nod in terms of ease of modding, price, etc., while the Falcon is the less common with more interesting styling.

I'm looking for anyone that has first hand experience with these two cars, or any other compact 1960's car that would be a good first classic car.

Thanks in advance!
Look here!!!!

Oldsmobile : Cutlass 442 2 Door Hardtop Coupe | eBay
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:33 AM
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Very clean.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:03 AM
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I'm very grateful that you guys turned me on to these slightly larger cars. I'm finding a lot of good examples on craigslist and I'll try to make some time this weekend to go look at one of them.

These are the two searches I'm currently pulling up each morning:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/c...k=&maxAsk=8000

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/sea...k=&maxAsk=8000

Last edited by benmoo; 10-03-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:09 AM
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Oh, and I just picked up a 60gal 230v IR compressor (11CFM@40psi) and a Hobart 210MVP.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2012, 03:11 PM
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Just curious, what are your opinions of the trucks of this era? I see quite a few of them out there and I have been thinking of getting a truck anyways.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:24 PM
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If you're looking for gas mileage and a truck, there's not much in the 60s -- 60-65 Falcon Ranchero is about it. The 60-63 has that funky early 60s look and is roomy enough. 66-67 is a good size too. The 68-71 is a bit bigger, Torino based, but still not too big, like the 72-79. 64-77 El Caminos are Chevelle based, the 78-87 Malibu based. All are a good size to work with and easy to hot-rod.

All the US trucks were big full sized jobs. You could lightly hop up a six in one ad might get as high as 20-22 mpg on the highway, keep it under 65 mph though. Anything over and aerodynamic drag jumps way up and kills mileage. I was getting 21-22 mpg under 65 with a Jeep J-10 with a six and 4 speed, but when I took a trip in a hurry and cruised at 74 mileage dropped to 10-11 mpg!! The hopped-up six would do it without struggle or complaint though.

Speaking of Jeep... the 47-65 Willys/Kaiser Jeep pickup is small and economical. About the size of the early Courier/Toyota pickups, but definitely 50s styling. They used a small four or six. I've seen them with small blocks, but it's a tight fit. A modern big four or mid size V-6 would motivate it well. 2.5L Jeep Cherokee/Dodge Dakota EFI four or the 2.5L Ranger EFI four would be great in one of those -- good power and decent gas mileage.

If you want Ford/Chevy you'll have to go late 40s/early 50s to get a small to medium sized truck. My brother's 52 Ford F-1 is a good medium size, as are other 48-56 Fords. 47-55 Chevys are a bit bigger looking, may not be much bigger or heavier.

Another great overlooked 60s truck is the 60-64 Studebaker Lark based "Champ" pickup. Basically it's a 60-64 Lark body (the Stude compact car... which would be a great hot-rod itself!) that's been cut off a bit behind the front doors and used as the cab for a pickup. Older Studebaker trucks are interesting too -- similar in size to the 40s and 50s Fords.

You could always hot-rod an early 70s Courier, Toyota, or Datsun truck. One of those with a mild small block or even a V-6 (especially a 4.3L Chevy or 4.0L Ford) would be a fun ride and do some hauling too. Look to the high teens/mid twenties for gas mileage.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2012, 04:32 PM
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I think I'm leaning towards an El Camino. It has a lot of the styling and structural goodness of the Chevelle, and looks like it has a fairly practical bed size. Plus, there's a LOT of them on craigslist!
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:34 PM
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OK guys, I've got a live one! Need some opinions if you got 'em.

1967 PONTIAC LEMANS

Dude is asking $6500, but he's willing to negotiate. I'm aiming for $4000. It's all original, rust free, originally an Ohio car. He restores/flips cars for a living and says that he hasn't had to do anything to this car and that it runs/drives perfectly.

I know that the 4 door hardtops aren't ideal but I figure a roll cage would solve any rigidity issues.
Or, is this car too nice/original to be modified by yours truly?
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:03 PM
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You might want to do your homework/research. Look all over the internet and get some sort of average asking price. I have a 1966 Lemans 2DR with a 1967 GTO 400 in it. Lots of parts out there. Most can be found at Original Parts Group.

That sure looks to be a nice 4DR HDT!

Good luck!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:18 PM
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You're going to have to spend $400-500 on the rear bumper. If you're swapping out engines, there should be some sort of market for the low image OCH six. The interior looks good. Check the lower rear section of the quarter panel back behind the wheels. You may find rust or evidence of repair. Be sure and look at the floor pans in the trunk. A three speed set up would attract me if I was thinking four speed.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:23 PM
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For a nice cruiser/driver as you you stated you wanted, I'd leave the six in there. There are a few parts for it, but might be hard to find. The block is essentially a Chevy 230 six block (66-67, 260 for 68-69), but there were some changes to the casting in the front. IIRC it only uses the crank and rods from a Chevy six (and associated parts like bearings). I'm not sure about the pistons, probably specific to the OHC configuration. Find a 4V intake if you want to pep it up a little. Standard was rated 165 hp, the "Sprint" 4V version was rated 207 hp. There is a forum specifically for these engines (Pontiac Overhead Cam SIX Forum Forums)!! Yeah, I'd say it's a darn nice car, and would be a shame to do a lot of mods that can't be returned back to stock if desired later. The four door hardtop is a cool style. You could shave the outside door handles on the rear doors to really trick people! Okay, shaving the door handles is a bit more than "easily returned to stock" since welding is involved, but door handle holes can be drilled back easy enough... You just wouldn't be able to get in the back seats from outside, use electric door poppers on the inside.

I wouldn't go with a roll bar. Those cars have a full frame. This site has a good photo of the frame with a tubular brace in the center (scroll down): Frame strengthening needed? - Chevelle Tech

Most sites say do nothing to the frame unless you're running over 500 hp. Same frame was used whether the car got a Pontiac 400 (389 in 67?) or OHC six. No extra bracing is needed.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2012, 07:37 AM
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My Aunt had a Tempest Sprint with the 4bbl OHC 6er. Several people in my family have said that car with a wide ratio manual trans (deep 1st gear) would run with just about any street car from stoplight to stoplight. Here in the Northeast; the OHC 6 was banned from competing against the Chevy 6's and flathead 8's in the dirt short track days. Mickey Thompson loved that motor as well. Incidentally Ive seen a few show up at cruise-nights. If the engine is detailed nicely, it usually draws a crowd, compared to a similar GTO or Firebird with a stock looking V8.
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