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Post  batjac Tue Oct 31, 2023 2:49 am

I was at the car dealer a few days ago, and I again marveled at all the cars that I’d never buy.  Too expensive.  Too plain.  Too filled with proprietary electronics.  Now, I have two relatively new cars that I service religiously.  A 2018 Tucson and a 2017 Elantra.  I usually keep cars in the 20 year/200K mile range.  I also have my toy car.  So, theoretically, I’ll probably never have to buy another car in my life.

But, if I ever did need to buy another car, I’d buy an old car and fix it up instead of buying a new one.  So.  What to buy?  It needs space to haul/move daily transport items.  It only really needs two seats, one for me and one for the wife.  So truck or small van.  

Propulsion.  I want old. Ooooold.  Carbureted or primitive fuel injection.  Basic CDI with a points distributor backup.  I’m a GM guy, so I don’t know much about non-GM engines.  But I figure Small Block Chevy engines will be around forever.  Even with California trying to take the rest of the country down with it on the electric vehicle debacle, I figure there’ll always be cheap rebuild parts for SBC’s.  Even if they do succeed in making buying rebuild parts super expensive to discourage gas engines, there’ll always be a Craig’s List or Facebook Marketplace equivalent place to get parts.

But with gas prices always an issue, does a V8 make sense?  Maybe a Straight Six?  A six will pull most light trucks, but will it pull a van without struggling?  A truck would meet all my needs, but a van would be nice to take to contests and fly-ins.  Either would work for vehicle camping.  I suppose a small four cylinder would also work, but I don’t know.  I had a 4WD Nissan Hardbody with the 2.4L engine with throttle body injection for 220K miles before giving it to my brother-in-law.  But I don’t know much about rebuilding them.  I'd probably go for a small RWD truck instead of 4WD truck.  

Thoughts?


The Reduce/Reuse/Recycle Mark



edit: While I am willing to think about a four cylinder engine, NO Iron Duke!
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Post  KariFS Tue Oct 31, 2023 2:59 pm

Interesting topic. If you don’t mind having a back seat, even if it’s unnecessary, maybe take a look at station wagons? One of them veneer-sided Americans, Caprice or such might actually be quite nice.

Or maybe possibly an older (RWD) Volvo might suit your needs. A 740 is roomy, and you can’t really get a more primitive (in a good way) vehicle that is made in the ‘90s and available in the USA. They were available with a Turbo too, a very simple setup with a lot more power than the basic versions. 4 speed manual with an overdrive, or later models with a simple 5-speed.

My son has a 740 Estate Wagon and he loves it. Of course he has upgraded the turbo and the engine management system, and now rocks about 250hp, but that’s a different story Very Happy
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Post  rsv1cox Tue Oct 31, 2023 6:44 pm

Kari, I have recently been looking up old Volvos also.

In 1995 I bought a new Volvo top of the line 960 station wagon. I loved that cars luxury and comfort......until within three years and with just low mileage it began falling apart. Air conditioner, suspension, motor mounts, electrical. It began my love affair with Japanese cars. Nissans, Mazda's, Hondas, Toyota. All dependable and problem free.

My four - 2007 Honda CR-V (25+mpg), 2015 Honda Accord (34+mpg), 2007 Nissan 350Z (93 octane and we don't discuss mpg), and a 1984 Mazda RX-7GSL-SE. All by todays standard somewhat dated. I wouldn't trade in any for a new or newer car and would recomend any one of them to a potential buyer.
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Post  GallopingGhostler Wed Nov 01, 2023 12:52 am

My 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan GT is the ultimate all around vehicle. It allows for all rear seats to be stowed into the floor, so you have full cargo space. It can hold a sheet of 4'x8' plywood or sheet rock with the rear door closed. With all seats up, it can carry up to 7 people.

The other vans, Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Honda, etc. don't have this type cargo capability. You have to remove seats for a sheet of ply or figure a way to wedge it in. Middle seats can be stowed against the driver / passenger, but they take up room and are a bother to remove.

Mine is next to the last year these were available, I believe. They say the Chrysler Pacifica can do the same, but at the time, they were considerably more expensive. I bought mine 2 years old with 40K miles from Carmax for $16,100.00 plus tax, title, registration and license (actually $16,200 because I paid $100.00 to have it shipped from Houston to Lubbock).

I was glad I got it when I did, because 2 years later, they had reset to close to $30,000 and with 10k or 20k more miles on them and 2 years older then. My GT comes with navigation, remote start, heated seats and steering wheel, and all electric doors, HVAC has auto-control. Just set interior temperature to that preferred, and it takes care of the rest.

But, I hear you regarding the new stuff. And, of all things, saw a restored 1966 or 1967 Dodge Charger fastback on the highway today in front of me on the highway, talk about deja vu.
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Post  KariFS Wed Nov 01, 2023 3:59 am

rsv1cox wrote:Kari, I have recently been looking up old Volvos also.

In 1995 I bought a new Volvo top of the line 960 station wagon.  I loved that cars luxury and comfort......until within three years and with just low mileage it began falling apart.  Air conditioner, suspension, motor mounts, electrical.  It began my love affair with Japanese cars.  Nissans, Mazda's, Hondas, Toyota.  All dependable and problem free.  

My four - 2007 Honda CR-V (25+mpg), 2015 Honda Accord (34+mpg), 2007 Nissan 350Z (93 octane and we don't discuss mpg), and a 1984 Mazda RX-7GSL-SE.  All by todays standard somewhat dated.  I wouldn't trade in any for a new or newer car and would recomend any one of them to a potential buyer.  

Yes, the 960 is more complicated and not very common around here. It was quite expensive at the time, I think 6 cylinders, and independent rear suspension. Plus all those electrical gimmicks. I suppose it was Volvo’s attempt to enter Mercedes and BMW territory, and to gain a bigger share on the US market.

The 740 (and the 240-series), on the other hand, is about as simple and bullet proof as an anvil Very Happy A bit agricultural with the solid rear axle and the B-series 4-banger, but generally a very well built car. Oh, the AC on my son’s car is removed, but the electric sunroof makes up for that in our climate at least Smile

We have a 2007 V70, with the 2.4 litre naturally aspirated 5-cylinder, automatic and leather. All wrapped in one of the many shades of exciting and vibrant Volvo beige lol! A bit of a barge, but with the roof rack, trailer hitch, and a gage for the dogs in the cargo bay, in addition to the daily commuter duties it doubles as a truck and general utility vehicle. If I need to haul something that won’t fit inside, I’ll borrow a utility trailer from my dad, or from the lumber yard. The fuel economy is ok considering the comfort and overall ease and performance.

The car itself is nothing to get excited about, but quite a robust and well-built vehicle to get around in. It does need a new timing belt every 4-5 years, the water pump and serpentine get replaced at the same time. The auto tranny gets a fluid change and a flush every 50k miles, other than that, it’s pretty much just annual oil changes, brake pads and discs every few years etc. Had it for about 5 years now, just had the timing belt done the second time. Has about 160k miles on it and still running strong. I was lucky to find a well-maintained, low-mileage (just a tad over 110k at the time of purchase) one for a very reasonable price.
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Post  crankbndr Wed Nov 01, 2023 12:52 pm

I been saying for a long time I need a 62 Chevy. The downside, they plow throught a turn like a boat, you're lucky to go 70K miles on the engine even with regular service, AC and seatbelts are an issue. The newer cars handle better and engines go farther. The newest car I have is 8 years old and my truck is 10 and will use them like a Cuban. Maybe a restro mod older car is the answer, with todays prices it would probably be cheaper. 100K for a truck ain't gona happen, not even close. The last new truck I got was a 2010 stickered 37K and I paid 27K plus tax. I this clown world were in now a similar truck is stickered 65K+ with a 5, 6, 7K+ dealer fee. Forget about financing in clown world, cash or nothing. Two Cents
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