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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for an old cheap car/truck/SUV type of thing. Something that is fairly simple and easy to work on. I'm not looking for something that huge but kinda small. It has to be made 1973 or earlier. I want it to be somewhat unique, you know something you don't see everyday. Right now i'm thinking of an old surplus jeep or some small car like a triumph. Any ideas/suggestions on the possibilities? Thanks - Chad
 

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define "cheap"

Depending on what you mean by "cheap," I can think of a few that meet your other criteria.

Austin-Healey Mini - not many in the US but you can get them shipped from England reasonably "cheap" (total cost under $4000)
VW Beatle - not rare but a great car and easy to work on
VW Karman-Ghia - getting rarer by the day and another great car

I really can't think of any small American cars that would be worth the trouble to restore. The Valiant and Dart from the 60s are small and cheap, but practically worthless even in mint condition. The rest of the small ones are sports cars or collector items (Nash, etc.) and not what anyone would call "cheap."

I recently passed up a 1957 Austin-Healey Mini from London that has been fully restored and would have cost $4,200 shipped to Baltimore. Now my wife wants one of the new BMW Minis for $16,000. I'm such an idiot.
 

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I have to disagree on the Valiant/Dart comment. I`ve owned 5 of these vehicles at one time or another. I never paid more than $400 for any of them(Early-mid 80`s). 4 had the almost indestructable slant six,while the other had a 318. Seeing that you live in California you don`t have to worry about the rust problem that plagues them here in the rust belt either! Very easy to work on,and I really can`t think of anyone who would buy one of these for an "investment",so don`t worry about resale value. If you`d like to stick with the Ford family,the Maverick is a cheap and reliable alternative. The Grabber optioned model,with a 302,is also reasonably quick,and sporty looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
..yeah my friend has a dart with almost 200,000 miles on its slant six. Whether it will be worth a fare amount when he is done fixing it up remains to be seen, thanks for the suggestions guys, i'll consider them all! - Chad

Hey a plane just crashed in New York City *,*
~~
 

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I forgot about the Maverick!

I figured that Chad was looking for a project car that would be worth ($$$) restoring. I didn't intend to say the Dart and Valiant were bad cars. In fact, my parents had one of each (Mom's Valiant was the push button transmission!) in '63. They were great on gas and lasted forever. They just aren't worth ($$$) much today, restored or not.

The Maverick was indeed a smallish car that isn't seen much these days. They actually had some style, too.
 

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Chad, you'd better set a price. 'Cheap' to a restoration group can mean a lot of different things.

As for the Dart/Valiant there is a wide range of prices. A 1969 Dart 340 isn't cheap, nor is a 64 273 HiPo convertible. I had a 71 Demon 340, fun car, they are getting downright expensive now. A Valiant with a different roof is a 64/65 Baracuda. Even they aren't worth that much to a comparable Mustang.The slant 6 is a great engine, the cars they come in are cheap too. There are some factory hot rod mods for it.

The 302 Maverick is nice, along with the Comet GT (my preference). Get a 4 door LDO Mav/Comet (saddle int. w/ reclining seats, wood trim, vinyl top, etc) cheap. They have a following.

How about an old Corvair? Great Club support, same for the Falcon (lots of variations!)

Remember the old LUV truck from Chev (Izuzu?) or the Courier from Ford (Mazda), early 70s? They gotta be cheap!

Triumph? Which one? Herald? TR6 ($$$$$$)? Spitfire? Great designs, lousy workmanship, even worse electronics.

Set a price, we'll play the 'What If' Game on a budget scale! :)

Tim B
1969 XR7 428 CJR convertible
http://members.aol.com/timbrands/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll say something I can pick up for under $2500. Paint can look like hell and i'll just go for some dark primer on it or something. I prefer a decent interior. The car would just be a little something to have fun with but still get me around most of the time, so I can keep of my cougar's back a little. My friend got a dart for $900 and it was in about the same shape as my cougar was when I got it, only my cougar was $3000, so I know the cheap cars are out there. I would consider a Dart, but now that my friend has one He probably wouldn't like it too much if I bought one and copied him. I never thought about a maverick. ...An engine I'm familuar with, and it's sure to handle a lot better than a 71 Dart. - Chad
 

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Tim, I had forgotten all about the LUV (thank god). I remember a friend had one he had to park quite a ways away from his house because the sound of of it rusting would keep him awake at night!!!!. mm
 

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Remember the old LUV truck from Chev (Izuzu?) or the Courier from Ford (Mazda), early 70s? They gotta be cheap!
How I envy you California guys! All of those Luvs and Couriers rusted away to nothing within 10 years from new around here. I haven`t seen either one in at least 15 years!
 

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I wonder if they are rare...

or if their owners only take them out at night to avoid being seen in them...
 

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(smacks forehead) I COULDA HAD A V-8!

evilmess, i went to that site and they have a TON of Cougars! i checked just 71 to 73 and there are 32!

here's one for Chad:
1973 MERCURY COUGAR RX7 - not running, no rust, $850 or best offer, will trade or
part, 623-936-1445,

it's in pheonix. forgive the owner for the RX7 bit. hell, if you're going to restore something, why not a Cougar???
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A Cougar would be cool. I'm not really looking to restore the thing I get really. Just make it look ok and have it run. I'm going for something small. I like the Maverick or Comet idea. I don't know much about the Comet though. This one guy i know has a Maverick with the two little hood scoops - looks pretty nice, and is pretty fast. - Chad
 

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Mustang - Cougar
Maverick- Comet
Granada- Monarch
Pinto- Bobcat
Just the Ford to Mercury thing.

Basically what you need to know.mm
 

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the maverick...

what years did they make the maverick? i remember someone i knew having one of the early ones but i don't remember what year it was. i wonder what the highest value is on one today. would there be a $10,000 maverick out there? and did they make a convertible?

the maverick is really a forgotten model, isn't it?
 

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I don't know how really forgotten they are, but if they were forgotten it was for good reason. Most were unerpowered 6clys rust buckets. There were some nice 302 powered ones but I don't think there were that many. There were also some jazzed up option packages like the Grabber and Stallion but no convrts. I think they started around 70 and lasted till the later part of the 70's, but I'm just pulling this part out of fuzzy momory. I'm not knoking them, just the facts. In fact my son and I are keeping a eye out for one for him to have for his first fixer upper. Would really like to find a Stallion option car, they were pretty good looking in there black and silver paint.mm
 

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Maverick - Comet?

I thought it was Falcon - Comet. Did they continue making the Comet after they quit the Falcon? Hey, there's another car for you, Chad - the 1962 Falcon. There should be some of them about.
 

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