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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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16,460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday a nephew of mine called me and asked my advice on a car he wanted to buy. And it sounded to good to be true. A 1978 El Camino for $1800 had to be a pile o crap. But when I went to look at it, the darn car was in pretty good shape! It is unmolested never any mods or hack work from what I can see. It has a cheapie paint job on it but never any rust or anything. Even the rear window which is notorious in these cars for being rusted out as it left the factory, it appears to have never been removed and looking rust free.

My brother went with me to look at it for him and that was a big help. He worked on these cars when new at the dealer so he knew a lot about what we looking at and found the reason why a couple of things where bad on it like the speedometer not working. Bad cruise control unit up on the inner fender.

So anyway, the old guy who owned it was a super gentlemen and asked if I wanted to take it home a few days to check it out. I thought he was joking but he insisted that I should take it home and give it the once over. He took my phone number and address and wrote a quick "contract" with my name and his name and we both signed it and off I went. It was pretty refreshing to do business like in the old days with pretty much just a handshake.

Anyway, after looking at it and seeing that it needed a radiator the guy gave it to him for $1600!

It doesn't look as good in person as it does in the photos but it still looks pretty darn good! I told him I was about to go back and buy it out from under him, what a nice car!

Anyway, this young man is 18 and it's his first car. He saved up every dime working for it and he was so proud of himself and his "new" car he couldn't see straight.

And I was damn proud of him too. His dad left them when he was about three. His mom has done such a great job with him and his sister. This kid is one of the best.

He found the car parked in a yard while out jogging. If this thing had been on Craigslist, I am pretty certain it would have gone for maybe even $3000.

Brian


 

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one full turn after it squeeks
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1,173 Posts
You have the "coolest stories" Brian - - - the best part about this one is the fact that a younger person is helping to keep an older ride on the road and that is just danged cool in my book :thumbup:

question: is the car older than he is?
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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16,460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The thing is, I never thought he would go looking for a car like this. I figured he would be after a simple little 90ish four door sedan or something.

He's only 18, less than half the age of the car!

You know the funny part, when I bought my 1948 Chevy truck (that I still own) it was only 27 years old, this car is 31!

Brian
 

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10,722 Posts
Damn what a find! I wouldn`t have been able to get the cash out of my pocket fast enough. I love the old Elky`s, especially the ones with the Malibu front ends like this one. I used to have a 79 Malibu Classic 2 door, It was my first real car, although it was never in my name but it was mine so to speak. I still miss that car, I`d give anything to have it back. What`s cool about these cars is what you can do to them. I would lower it 2 inches front and rear, install new sway bar bushings and end links, KYB shocks, low profile 9 inch wide front and 10 inch wide rear BF Goodrich rubber on 15 inch Weld Pro Star chrome wheels. Same mods I did to my 86 cutlass, the result is it rides like a dream and handles like a Vette.
 

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Great find!!! One of my favorites. I as well like that particular squared body style. Thats great that it has never been cut up. He's going to be polishing the paint off that thing for awhile. My favorite find was my second car. I was driving a school bus as a part time gig out of school and the first day on my route I found a '66 Valiant powder blue with 66,000 miles on it. Slant 6, three on the tree, and not a spot of rust. $600.00!!!

Good luck to the boy!
 

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I had one like that about 15 years ago. I put a Caddy air suspension on it with the sensor & air compressor. It worked like a charm. When I put something in the back it would level itself. Also put a Monte Carlo console & buckets in it. Sold it to a Navy guy. I used to see it every now & then. I gues he got deployed to another base.
 

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Car? Truck? Who Cares
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2,485 Posts
Been thinking of getting one of those myself.
The Ranger rides too rough
No weatherstripping in the ol' Dodge---makes for a noisy commute.
The Windstar has too many doors & windows.

And since I already have a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd gen Elky, all I need now are the 4th and 5th. :D

Pretty sure she will make me get rid of the Ranger first
 

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my first car is what im still drivin now. 1983 chevy silverado. haha. saved up every penny i had for it. i got a lot of pride for that thing. ive fixed that thing up for years now. i guess i got her when i was 15 so ive had it almost 4 years...
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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16,460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
moontanker said:
Happens to be a clone of one I had a couple years ago.I sold it cause I was moving.Is it a 305 0r what? :cool:
Yep, a 305 with A/C, power brakes and steering and tilt wheel. Other than that it has nothing "power". The tranny is a TH350, it's a super car maintainance wise.

Yep, I took him to the Giant's game today and we had a ball, he's a good kid and I am happy to be able to be a part of this milestone of his.

Brian
 

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Hotrodders.com Moderator
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2,859 Posts
A future collectible, they're not making them anymore, and with G.M. at the helm, probably never will make them again. Tell him to take good care of it, it won't lose value. Nice find, i would buy that in a minute. Dan
 

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Steel Dreams
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323 Posts
Quote" If this thing had been on Craigslist, I am pretty certain it would have gone for maybe even $3000. "
Martin if it had been here on the gulf coast in the condition it is in it would have gone for much more. There is not many of of the car /truck species of any make here, and the ones that are here are rust buckets.
Exceptional find, glad to see a young man acquire something that he can be proud of and preserve a part of our automotive past.

Kenny
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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16,460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, it's funny, I have tried to help my inlaws for years with cars, they just don't want it. When I first met my wife, about 20 years ago probably within the first few months one of her brothers wanted a car and a friend of mine had a nice 64 Oldsmobile for a few hundred bucks. It was a solid old car that was all in primer and looked like hell, but to get him around town it was plenty. He had NO money to speak of, just a few hundred bucks.
He owned it a few months and took off to LA in it for a Star Trek Convention :rolleyes: .....got about half way there and something "blew" on it. Never did find out what, but I guess I was the ars hole who "sold" it to him.

Then about 15 years ago, one of her sisters needed a car and found a SUPER nice 72 Plymouth "Swinger" coupe for her with a slant six in it. This car was SUPER NICE, man I wish I had it still. Anyway, I heard thru the grapevine that her mother was upset because I was charging her so much for this car ($800 including the new rad hoses and coolent which was EXACTLY what I paid for it, no profit, no labor, NOTHING more). You see, the car was two years older than the car she was driving and they just couldn't understand why someone would buy an "older" car than they had. To they had no clue that when you have no money, you don't go "looking" for the car you WANT, you grab the car that falls in your lap because of it's good condition bedamned what color or model....or year it is.

I got this thru the grapevine and I called her up and told her if she felt uncomfortable with the car I would give her the money she had given me and no hard feelings. That is what she chose and that was the last time anyone in that family ever asked me.

Now mind you, I never, EVER, said anything to them harsh "I know what to look for, you don't" or anything like that. Just as I said, I explained that this was a fine car and I wasn't making any money and I would like it myself if I needed a car. But if you don't feel comfortable, that is fine.

After that they all owned some "cars" that sort of worked out for them and that is fine, some not so good, some ok.

So when my nephew called me I was surprised. And talking to him about this truck and what he wants to do and how he was thrilled that I said he could do them at my house with my tools made me feel pretty good, I think he "gets it". He "gets" that Brian isn't so dumb and that Brian will bend over backwards to help him.

Brian
 
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