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Old 04-09-2010, 03:20 PM
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What are some of the best CHEAP cars to build up?

I did a search on this and didnt really come up with anthing. I thought this could come in handy for some of us younger (poor) guys who are looking for a car. Personally I'm looking for a well built car thats a good foundation for 'hot rodding'. Something that I can find in decent shape and spend my money on making faster. Here's some of the things that have crossed my mind...

Third gen F-body - have one and have mixed feelings about it...want to sell it because I dont think they're built well...might change my mind...

5.0 Mustang - my friend has one, and although I personally hate these cars, i have to admit its probably a good starting point...

G-body - A friend of mine has a '79 Cutlass that we're going to work on this summer. I used to have an '84 Regal and feel stupid for practically giving it away... I think these are reasonably well built and cheap cars...

69-70 Grand Prix - Still priced cheap...very well built...very strong frame, trans, rear ends, etc... 400 pontiac is the base engine... all gto drivetrain/running gear so parts can be bought...biggest down fall is that they weigh around 3900 lbs...about 1000 more than the mustang for instance.... pontiac v8's are torque monsters though...

I'd love to hear any opinions on these cars and others that I didnt mention...

Thanks
Rex

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Old 04-09-2010, 04:00 PM
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I'm building a third gen ('88 Formula) I also know quite a few other people building them. Consequently there plenty of parts available and hey, if you already have one! I'm putting a 454 bbc in mine, it's not a light car though. That would be just as cheap as any that is if cheap is the right word for any build.

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Old 04-09-2010, 04:49 PM
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Want something different.....Find a Fox body Ford Fairmont, Merc Zephyr, T bird......All the Fox Mustang go fast stuff bolts right in....

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Old 04-09-2010, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Want something different.....Find a Fox body Ford Fairmont, Merc Zephyr, T bird......All the Fox Mustang go fast stuff bolts right in....

Right on Poncho I just seen a BAD-A Fairmont yesterday and all these are great choices IMHO.

Cole
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Want something different.....Find a Fox body Ford Fairmont, Merc Zephyr, T bird......All the Fox Mustang go fast stuff bolts right in....

Very cool.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:15 PM
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+1 on the Fairmont/Zephyr.
I would strongly recommend looking at an S10 build too. I've only got about $2200 in mine so far (incl. purchase price) and I think another 500-800 will have it ready for the strip - will find out soon enough.
G bodies will alway be on my wish list but I haven't had much luck finding a decent one when I was looking.
Could have a spin off thread, cars you kick yourself for selling. Mine = 74 grand prix, 84 cutlass supreme, 87 IROC 350
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:19 PM
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I'd build the 3rd. gen Camaro. I have a G-wagon, not everyone's mug o' beer, but it works for some of us.

G- and F-body cars like these will fit anything, engine-wise, are still available for not too much money (especially the 3rd. gen F-cars).

There was a magazine car a while ago (CC?) that was a Fairmont w/a turbo'ed SBC that ran stupid fast- I think the car was built for that "Pinks" deal on TV...

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Old 04-09-2010, 08:54 PM
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Depends on what you want, but the 1977-1990 B-body GMs have a lot of potential. Plus, you'll save one from becoming a donk.

These cars are virtually the same size and weight as the 73-77 A-body cars. Any GM V6 or V8 can be bolted in (and was from the factory, well, with the exception of the BBC). The chassis is identical with that of the 91-96 Caprice, so suspension and brake upgrades are available. The earlier ones are now over 25 years old, making them emissions exempt in most states. Drivable versions start at a couple hundred bucks. Rare ones (like the 1977 Olds Indy Pace Car replica) will cost more.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:22 PM
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Although I've never owned one, many of my buddies have....early to mid 70's Dart/Duster/Demon. 360 is sweet in there, plenty of room for headers, 400 cubic inch rotating assembly readily available, 727 Torqueflite is bulletproof, as is the 8 3/4" rear. It's a leaf spring car, so it's easy to tune and hook up. Here's a photo of a '72 Dart Swinger, for instance....
http://cvcc1.homestead.com/Bissonett..._Swinger_2.jpg
Edelbrock casts up a nice head for 'em...
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EDL-61779/
Every Friday nite at Firebird, I see these 360 powered cars going high 11's. Saw an F/SA go 11.76 last night. STOCK.

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Old 04-10-2010, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Depends on what you want, but the 1977-1990 B-body GMs have a lot of potential. Plus, you'll save one from becoming a donk.

These cars are virtually the same size and weight as the 73-77 A-body cars. Any GM V6 or V8 can be bolted in (and was from the factory, well, with the exception of the BBC). The chassis is identical with that of the 91-96 Caprice, so suspension and brake upgrades are available. The earlier ones are now over 25 years old, making them emissions exempt in most states. Drivable versions start at a couple hundred bucks. Rare ones (like the 1977 Olds Indy Pace Car replica) will cost more.
Always a good decision.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
Although I've never owned one, many of my buddies have....early to mid 70's Dart/Duster/Demon. 360 is sweet in there, plenty of room for headers, 400 cubic inch rotating assembly readily available, 727 Torqueflite is bulletproof, as is the 8 3/4" rear. It's a leaf spring car, so it's easy to tune and hook up. Here's a photo of a '72 Dart Swinger, for instance....
http://cvcc1.homestead.com/Bissonett..._Swinger_2.jpg
Edelbrock casts up a nice head for 'em...
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EDL-61779/
Every Friday nite at Firebird, I see these 360 powered cars going high 11's. Saw an F/SA go 11.76 last night. STOCK.
I agree to that , plus fairly light in weight, and you could get a pretty decent size wheel stuffed under them also. My dart lite when im done i hope to be less than 2500 pounds.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:36 PM
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Mavericks

When I was looking for a project that's a little out of the ordinary I found a '72 Maverick. They came with a 302 so it's easy to put one in a orig 6 cyl car and all the Windsor go-fast stuff works. Drive train, suspension, and steering is common with other Fords. Not a lot of them left 'cause they were the Rodney Dangerfield of Ford but they're around. Ford didn't offer 4 barrals, dual exhaust, or limited slip diff -- probably to avoid competition with Mustang -- but easy to add. They're light, about 3000 lbs. Down side is few repro parts unless they're common with other Fords. Cheap to buy but they also don't bring the big bucks when you sell. Best to plan on keeping it if you build up a Mav. Check out mmb.maverick.to. Thousands of Maverick/Comet enthusiasts there to share knowledge and parts. Check it out.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsarnold
When I was looking for a project that's a little out of the ordinary I found a '72 Maverick.
I'm a big fan of out-of-the-ordinary, PARTICULARLY if it does not use a belly-button SBC. Just keep in mind that cheap to acquire is not necessarily cheap to build. The Mavericks are not that well supported in the resto aftermarket with respect to body and interior parts. Chasing down an obscure part can result in a large expenditure. If you do decide on a non-mainstream car (and I encourage that), just be sure to buy as complete a car as you can find.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
I'm a big fan of out-of-the-ordinary, PARTICULARLY if it does not use a belly-button SBC. Just keep in mind that cheap to acquire is not necessarily cheap to build. The Mavericks are not that well supported in the resto aftermarket with respect to body and interior parts. Chasing down an obscure part can result in a large expenditure. If you do decide on a non-mainstream car (and I encourage that), just be sure to buy as complete a car as you can find.
Like I said, few repro parts unless they're common with other Fords. But, I'm finding just about everything I need thru the Maverick/Comet Forum. Head liners and carpet are readily available at prices comparable to other cars. Seat upholstery is the only thing I'll have to have custom made. If you want cheap repro stuff, buy a Mustang or Beetle.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for all the responses, hopefully this will help give others guys some good ideas. Personally...I'm a big GM fan and not to fond of Ford, so I still like my first ideas the best, minus the mustang,lol. The duster/demon idea is interesting though...
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