Older Cars and Show Cars

ggalvJanuary 22, 2008

I am very interested in older muscle cars and trucks. When people buy older cars what is the main thing they should look for? When it is meant by matching numbers?

What are the certain conditions that can make a car a show car or NOT a show car?

I think I hear someone mention about registering their mustang with some club? Is there a ford and chevrolet club that the top show cars are registered with?

Appreciate your clarificiation


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Check out Speed Vision,Car crazy, And barretts auto actions
A show car is what you want it to be and now much money you
have. there is no way in hell you will learn this in one
lesson. Prime example. 32 ford,big bucks,33 ford forget it.
34 ford big bucks. Old Dodges, don't even waste you time looking at them. Chevys ? maybe. I have over 50 years in the car trade and a car is only worth what the other guy will pay for it. I've payed $500.00 for a car and put $2000.00 into it but the car is still only worth $1500.00.
This is something that will not happen over night. If you
didn't know that a Pontiac had a 421 C.I.D. engine at one time or a ford had a 230 V8 or the Ford 429 and 460 are the same blocks and are called the 385 block you might have a problem. Registration means nothing. matching
numbers it what it means. an engine could have 10 serial
numbers on it and they all have to be the same. If you need
more help give me a shout. I'll do what i can for you.
Make sure you have LOTS of money.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Depending on what car or truck you are looking at it really pays to get as much information as possible. Most muscle cars have clubs that can provide you with vin number information so you do not end up with an incorrect engine or transmission.

If you are interested in having an old car just to drive you can buy whatever you want. If you are looking to buy a car to have for a few years and sell at a profit the ones to go for are Chevy Impalas and Camaros. In Dodge its either Chargers from 1968-70 or Challengers from 1970-73. In Fords it will be Mustangs and not much else.

In Pickups any Chevrolet from 1947 to 57 will be an easy to fix good looking truck that in a worst case scenario with all repair costs thrown in will be worth what you have into it. Dodge pickups have almost no following so while they are easy to repair they are not so easy to resell. Ford trucks from 1953 to 56 have an incredible following and are well represented by several large companies with parts enough to build a whole truck.

Speaking of which there is a company that makes entire new cabs for 47 to 53 chevy trucks with the popular five window design. That is the cab with the windows in the corners of the cab in addition to the main rear window, they run $8,000.00.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 12:40AM
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Numbers matching means the major components, the engine, tranny, differential, are the exact same ones that were in it when it rolled off the assembly line. That's important to those who's hobby is to have it exactly the same as when it was brand new. They are judged on how accurate the restoration is.

There are all kinds of car shows and clubs. You can find shows you can participate in with anything that's interesting, even if it's just interesting to you.

When looking for a car to buy, I'd say the main thing to watch out for is rust. That can be a budget killer. Many older cars have rust that's just been painted or bondo'd over. Looks good for a while, but the rust will be back.

Been thinking about doing the car show thing myself. I'd want a car I can drive rather than a spendy factory correct perfect perfect car that belongs in a museum. Guys with the real nice cars spend their time dusting and polishing it from top to bottom, over and under. Not my idea of fun.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Go to a good bookstore tha tsells magazines. Get a copy of HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS. This is considered the bible of the antique car trade. Take a good look at all the cars that are for sale. This way you can get a "feel" of what's out there and what they're worth.

It really all depends on what you want an old car for. Do you want a "Trailer Queen" that only for show? Or do you want something you can drive?
There are lots of great cars for sale in Hemmings. You can possibly get a Bentley for about the same price as a good used car locally. But you'll have a Bentley. That'll turn more heads than any 57 Chevy. And you can drive it all day long.

I was at a car show in PA a few years ago and the "featured" car was the Nash Metropolitan. A little 2 seater made in the mid 50s. (Do a Google.) To see 50 of these things driving in a convoy through the entrance was a hoot! One was painted to resemble a police car. Many had giant keys on the trunk. Will these cars bring big bucks at an auction? No. But I witnessed a car cult in action.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:59AM
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I am intersted in a 1968 camaro SS or RS. Do you guys know what is the difference between the 68 SS and RS, and which one is more desirable.

I am also intersted in a 1970 Chevrolet C-20 Truck.

I am intersted in getting a car that I can use and feel comfortable putting money into it. I guess by that I mean that I do not want to put money in a car and then people telling that they do not want to buy it (if I do decide to sell it in the future) because the frame is not straight or some other undesirable reason.

Is rust a big problem? Can rust be eliminated from a car? Shouldn't people expect that most older cars should have some kind of rust?

THANKS your guidance

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 1:19AM
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Here's a cut and paste for you. Looks right to me. Appears to be listed from top to bottom, least valuable to most valuable.
Base - standard suspension, lower performance engine options.

SS - Super Sport: upgraded suspension, higher-performance engines.

RS - Rally Sport: an appearance package that included hideaway headlights and special trim items. Available in combination with any of the other packages.

SS/RS - A combination of the SS performance package and the RS appearance package.

Z-28 - A special factory road-racer version of the Camaro. When the Z-28 was first offered in mid-1967, it was created to compete with the Mustang in the Trans-Am road-racing series. (Unlike fourth-generation Z28s, the first-generation Z-28 package could not be combined with the SS package.) The Z-28 was also not available in the convertible body style, although one '68 Z-28 Convertible was built on special order for a GM executive; it still exists today, and is worth its weight in gold.

Z-28/RS - A combination of the Z-28 special high performance package with the RS appearance package.
Yes, rust is a problem on old cars and trucks. Common problem areas are pretty much the lower 3rd of the car, around the windshield and back window, floor pan, and trunk pan. Virtually all of these cars had water leaks even when brand new. When rust is bad enough that there are large holes in the metal, it can best be repaired by cutting it out and welding in new metal. Properly shaped pieces of metal that fit the common problem areas are available for popular models like you're talking about.

You have a better chance of getting a rust free car if you can find one that's spent most of it's life in the SW United States. The main concern is to not pay a bunch of money for a nice looking car that you THINK is something special like a numbers matching SS, RS, or Z28, then find out later it's really a rusted out bondo'd over base model that someone cloned into a more desirable model. Those can be ok too, but there can be tens of thousands of dollars difference in value.

If you're going to spend good money on something, it would be a good idea to have it professionally inspected and appraised. Not so important if you're just looking for something fun tor drive around on weekends that looks good for $10-$15k, and realizing it may have some issues so you won't get to bent out of shape about it if it does.

I've always liked the '69 camaro RS myself. My wife likes the '34 ford coupe and '58 - '61 corvettes. Don't know what we'll get if anything. The wife would get something now, but I don't want to until we have a better place to keep it than crammed in the garage between our driver and my work bench.

Happy car shopping.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Thanks for the information, it has been very helpful too me. I guess my ideal camaro, would be one that might be around 12k or so, it does not have to be nice looking, it would be great if it could be as original as possible, never crashed (i.e, straight frame) and no rust. Is finding a car like that reasonable for that price, or only available if you happen to be a lucky person?

Also, somehow based on looking at different camaros - I liked the look of the 1968 camaro. I know is based on preference, but do you know which year is typically more desirable and why?

THANKS for your guidance.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 1:13AM
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Go to www.hemmings.com and take a good look. You can now peruse the classifieds online. There are currently 333 Camaros listed. There are 58 1968 Camaros listed ranging in price from $8,000 to over $50,000. By looking at the ads you can get a feel for what condition the car is in for the price.

I was never a Chevy fan but when the '70 Z28 hit the showrooms I kinda liked it. Especially the split front bumpers.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 7:07AM
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For $12k I don't think you can get anything special that wouldn't be a basket case. You can get a decent looking base model driver, or a not so decent looking work in progress. There are also a lot of SS 'clones' around...base models that someones purchased and installed some of the SS badging and paint work along the way. Too many variables to say whats worth what. The thing you really want to watch out for is rust. Bondo-ing and painting will make it look good, but it won't last. Rust repair and paint jobs ain't cheep. Educate yourself as to where and how to look for rust on this car, or find someone who can before you buy. jmo

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 1:31PM
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When buying parts for old cars what kind of parts should you buy if you want to keep your car as original as possible? I have heard of OEM, there is "reproduction" parts in ebay, etc. Can someone please explain the difference between these and if there are other types of parts out there. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 2:07AM
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OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer. Those would be original parts that you would order from GM for your camaro. Probably not going to find many for a car this age. I went to GM schools a few times back in the 70's. At that time they told me they aimed for parts to be available for 10 years after manufacture. This estimate also included parts available from salvage yards from wrecks.

Good news is there are reproduction parts available for many popular cars like the camaro you're talking about. These parts are copies of the originals made buy some other manufacturer. Depending on what they are, they may be exact fit, or something may require a little tweaking to make an exact fit. But they will look good as new regardless. There are differences in quality though. In most cases, you get what you pay for.

These days there are also many upgraded parts available. I like 60's muscle cars, but lets face it, compared to today, they didn't steer or stop that great. They make stronger more efficient engines, transmissions, differentials, steering and suspension, and braking systems now than what came out in the original cars. Even tires today are many times better than what was available back in the 60's. Back in the day, I didn't mind replacing plugs and points once a year. Now I think I'd prefer an electronic ignition system no matter what. You can build yourself a car these days that will have nearly the same outward appearance of the original, but have the speed, comfort and handling characteristics of a modern sports car. All it takes is time and money : ) The sky's the limit.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 2:49PM
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I like 60's muscle cars, but lets face it, compared to today, they didn't steer or stop that great.
THe muscle cars of the 60's were really meant to go in one direction, so steering wasn't a priority. And there was a good amount of distance after you got through the traps to slow sown, so brakes weren't an issue either.
Let's face it. These cars were really meant to go straight and fast. One quarter mile at a time. That's why I loved my Lotus Cortina. It was a 1965 English Ford import with Lotus engineering. It went straight, turned corners GREAT and stopped because of disc brakes. And at $2,300 it was the same price as a new Mustang. Of all the cars and trucks I've owned, that's the one I miss the most. Even more than my 1600 BMW.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 7:33AM
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From the 1968 camaro and the 1969 camaro do you guys mind explaining which one are people typically after and why?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 1:48AM
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It's really all a matter of taste. Some like the 68 style and others like the 69. They're basically the same car.

It's like the 63 and 64 Corvette coupe. The 63 is worth a lot more simply because of the split rear window as opposed to the one piece window in the 64.

But if you're looking to make money on this car, you MUST do your homework as far as repairs go. You can put a lot of money into the car but if you use the wrong parts, or do a hatchet job, you will not get your money back.

What to you know about body work? Can you weld? What about mechanical knowledge? Can you rebuild an engine? If you're looking at a daily driver, that's one thing, and you won't get your money back. But if you're looking to restore a car and make a profit, take some classes. Or get a part time job in a body shop.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 7:25AM
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When you speak of Camaros, the 69 is usually the one folks really go for. One reason is there were more 69's made than any other year. They were in production for a year and a half while GM tooled up for the 70 and the huge body style change from 69 to 70. The 1970 is technically the 70.5 but most no one ever refers to it as such any more. There is also the mild difference in taste mentioned in the above post. The 69 is a little longer, flatter looking, than the 67 and 68 was. Someone mentioned trying to find a car from the SW as well to keep the rust issue down. That is great advice also. My 67 came from Georgia and I have a pretty decent body on mine, the body was my biggest concern. If you are looking for a driver and not a numbers matching car, then you can always pick up a crate engine and drop in. All F Bodies (Camaros and Firebirds) have some common rust areas that are more susceptiable to rust. Look carefully at the area around the back glass, lower front quarter pannels and lower portion of the rear quarter pannels. You will most likely find some metal repair, bondo or rust in those places. As for handling and stopping, many are converting Corvette disc brake systems now to put on their 1st generation F Body cars. There are also a ton of suspension upgrades you can do to make the car drive and handle much more like a modern car. On my 67 Camaro, I'm most likely going to do a brake upgrade in the future, but I personally like the raw, performance feel of the original type of suspension and handling. I can go on for hours on this subject, they others are giving good advice on this as well. Bottom line, do your home work, and make sure to fatten up your bank account because this isn't a cheap hobby by any means. It does help to find a club as well. You can get lots of advice, some education on repairs and the cars as well. Plus having a couple of buddys help with the heavy work involved is something invaluable! I'm President of a NC/SC car club that is GM only. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. I'm always glad to help a fellow car enthusist who is looking to learn!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 7:33PM
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Thanks for the information you guys have provided. I had a few more questions, hope you guys can help me and give me some advice.

What does a 'clone' car mean?

I am also looking at the chevelle, 68 through 72. From these years which one is typically the one that is more popular? Are all chevelle 68 through 72 SS or are there some that are not super sport? I seen some chevelle malibu or malibu - is a malibu another car or is it a specific type of chevelle? THANKS

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 3:30AM
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'Clone' was already defined in previous post.

Chevelle's came in three trim/performance versions. 300 was the base model, next the malibu, then the SS. I believe the '68 and '69 models are identical except for the tail lights and front grill. The 300 and malibu's could be ordered with a 6 cylinder or small block v-8, and with 4 doors. The SS came with a 396 big block and were all 2 door. I believe 1970...maybe '71, was the biggest horse power year for this car with a 450 hp 454 engine available. After that they went down hill due to government/insurance company regulations. You could still get the big engine but they had to lower the compression and other wise detune them to the point were they and everything else became dogs compared to previous muscle cars.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 1:47PM
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