nate

Been looking for a fun, cheap project car

178 posts in this topic

First up is this 1970 Saab 99 with a MT.  $2200.  I went by and saw it and I like it, no major issues at all.

 

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Anyone have any experience with them?  Dude wants 2200, I checked it over and no major rust anywhere, exhaust is good, carb was recently rebuilt, I would take it to a mechanic to check compression before buying it but it seems solid.

 

Been looking at Porsche 944s but they all seem to have engine issues or rust and parts are very expensive.

 

I love Datsun 240z but they are collectors cars now so they got expensive.

 

Don't really mind something that needs mechanical work, just don't want anything that is rusted out.  Any suggestions of something to look for?

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My next door neighbor has an orange 240z in his back yard. It was his first car he bought himself and will one day rebuild it. He just recently sold a car he bought for himself, first time he had ever done that. He has a 36 ford, 65 Mustang (totally rebuilt and beautiful), a 67 or 69 Firebird (beautifully rebuilt), and one other that I can't remember right now.

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This is awesome, and I'm glad you brought it up.  I've always wanted to build a project car.  My Dad used to rebuild cars all the time.  He dropped a transmission on his face when he was younger, and he's had a shock come free and gouge the shit out of his hand.  He's still working, but we're pushing him to pick up other hobbies.  I think it would be fun to rebuild a car together in his garage, not sure what a good starter would be

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Nate, how do you feel about older Volkswagens? 

 

The guys who restore VW's are a tight-knit bunch.  There's a somewhat formal "Aircooled Interstate Rescue Squad" -- sort of like AAA -- with guys who will come and help when you break down. 

 

This documentary trailer is both entertaining and mentions the Rescue Squad:

 

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I had a 73 super beetle and loved it.  I would totally get another, and really would love an old bus but out here they all seem to be rusted out or too expensive.

 

Glad you mentioned it though, I will be looking out for them.

 

My wife is a big fan of the bus, especially the old 21/23 window deluxe but those are insanely expensive (like $50k+ expensive)

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I restored a 1977 Datsun 280z (straight - 6) 2nd year of the fuel injection system those are fun!

 

I put 4.5K into it cost was 1.5k. Sold it for 15K. I did all the prep work for paint and stripped it down on the inside for new interior.

 

She was fast and hugged the road. Sometimes, I think about doing another one. But, no time! And most of my contacts who worked for the Nissan Race Team at the time are gone. (They did the diagnostics on the engine and tuned her right).

Edited by SlappyUtilityGuy

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Isn't the 280 a straight six?  Love all of the old Z cars.  My very first car was a 1984 300zx.

 

I can do mechanical work but body/metal work is more than I really want to do.  Plus I am not artistic and would probably be an awful metal worker.

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Isn't the 280 a straight six?  Love all of the old Z cars.  My very first car was a 1984 300zx.

 

I can do mechanical work but body/metal work is more than I really want to do.  Plus I am not artistic and would probably be an awful metal worker.

 

You are correct Nate. Ma Bad~

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Isn't the 280 a straight six?  Love all of the old Z cars.  My very first car was a 1984 300zx.

 

I can do mechanical work but body/metal work is more than I really want to do.  Plus I am not artistic and would probably be an awful metal worker.

 

I was the opposite I did the body work and prep and then farmed out the mechanical to my buddies.

Edited by SlappyUtilityGuy

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I can do mechanical work but body/metal work is more than I really want to do.  Plus I am not artistic and would probably be an awful metal worker.

 

 

I was the opposite I did the body work and prep and then farmed out the mechanical to my buddies.

Great!  You guys work on my $1000 beater car while I supervise and drink beer and look cool in my sunglasses.  Fast N Loud!  WHOOOO!

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I had a 65 13 window deluxe VW bus. It had some rust issues that' were fixable and typical. I sold it to bu my wife's engagement ring and pay off a credit card before I got married.

I love my wife and was smart to start our marriage cc debt free, but damn I miss that bus.

I have a pretty heavily modified current model jeep that keeps my pocket book and garage time busy.

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Unless you have a boatload of money, touching a '68 Camaro is going to hurt since they are now in collector car circus of overvalued production cars. A lot of cars have been jacked up in price recently and entry level has become what used to be finished cost on some of the models.

 

Nate, I can't tell you much about your Saab choice, it has always been a fringe car in the US so most of your parts are going to be mail order from Sweden. Except for the engine which is actually a Triumph inline 4. So you may have a local British car shop that can help you with the engine and carb tuning. 

 

Any car you choose is going to be an archaeological lesson in automotive assembly and how a car can change crazily from one serial number series to the next. I have a '69 Triumph Spitfire that is currently in paint and it has the distinction of being the last twin carb Spitfire produced and it is a mid production model that was sold in Canada with a left hand instrument cluster instead of the center dash that was the norm for the rest of their production line.

 

So for me the wiring harness is different than the standard '69 which makes it difficult simply because the wiring diagram you get in repair manuals is for the center dash that used different color codes and wiring sequence, like the silliness of running the fuel, temp, oil and gas gauge in series with the emergency flasher. So if one goes bad the entire cluster dies. The emergency flasher always goes bad.

 

Your '70 Saab had upgrades in lots of areas from the 1969 model. Simple stuff like adding ashtrays and interior lights to engine mounts. So your fun will be sorting out what piece is the same for all years and which change. If you are able to, cross reference items like electrical to the manufacturer and see if you can by the same part cheaper by buying the same part for a different car. A friend of mine saved about $120 buying a Triumph TR3 license plate light for his 1958 Alfa Giulietta. Same part, different part supplier.

 

Good luck.

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I did the VW thing for a while back in the late 80s when the 60s bugs, buses and ghias were getting really ppopular. Had a 64 bug that was a show piece get stolen and it took me out of it for quite a while. I wrenched every nut and bolt on that car.

Had a 4 buses over the years, 3 bugs, and 3 Karmann Ghias. I liked those Ghias the best. Sold my son's 64 bus for $4K a couple of years ago to make room in the back driveway. 67 Mustang is next to go. Will miss that one, but no time anymore.

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