Classic Car Watch
New Direction For Classic Car Searching

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

May 1, 2010
By Scott Lewis

Last month I only showed one car... and told you something caused a change for this column. That change was that my wife and I separated. This means I now control my own money. I traded in the BMW 335i we had for a Mini Cooper S with a much lower car payment. Now I hopefully can save for a classic car. However, I have nothing to start with.

I am hoping to get a classic car within about two years. I plan to save all my extra paychecks (26 paychecks a year with only 2 per month in my budget means 2 extra checks a year), and bonuses to use toward a classic car.

As for this column... I want it to accurately reflect what I am looking for. I will still display varying cars to cover a wide variety from the 60's, 70's and even 80's. What will change is that every month I will list at least one car that is something I would actively pursue if I had the money. Once I have the money I will actually investigate the car (or cars).

Initially these cars will be the lowest priced cars I would be willing to look at. My skill level in restoring a car is limited, and I don't want to get in over my head. So I will not look at cars that are cheap because they need a total restoration. I still want a car that can be driven on a regular basis.

I am also going to maintain a short list of cars I really want. I will look at almost anything for this column, as it is hard to pin down the few cars that would do it for me. I may come across a 61 Biscayne that I really like. In general I am going to try to build a manageable list of cars I really want for my next classic. Here are the makes and models that I am serious about buying as of now:

  • 1970-1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. This is the "anti" Mini Cooper. A huge personal luxury coupe to offset a tiny ass daily driver.
  • 1965-1968 Ford Mustang. My youngest son has started getting into cars. He really likes the Mustang. I would get a Mustang to have a father & son project car. Ideally we could share driving it... until he goes away to college in which case the car stays.
  • 1965-1969 Chevrolet Corvair. The poor man's Porsche. The updated suspension for 65 actually makes this a very nice driving car. Ultimately I would wonder how fast I could make one, but even as a slow cruiser this is my favorite "dare to be different" car.
  • 1967-1973 Chevrolet Camaro. I am first am foremost a Camaro fan. However, a quick look at AutoTrader Classic will show you that Camaros cost more than the three cars above. Since I will probably loose patience before I could afford a nice Camaro I will most likely end up not getting a Camaro.
  • 1968-1981 Chevrolet Corvette. I am a huge Corvette fan. My favorite years are the 68-72 "Mako Shark" style with the chrome bumpers. My youngest son also likes these "Stingrays." However, he likes all the Vettes with this body style. He is not the snob I am and thinks the 73-81 cars are just as nice as the chrome bumper cars, maybe better. So I would be willing to look at any vintage of the Make Shark except the Cross Fire Injection of 1982.

Obviously this is a Chevy Heavy list. Sorry! You can think of the Corvair as not a Chevy, because none of its components will interchange with any of the other Chevys on this short list.

For this month I needed to clean house... again. I had a huge list of cars i found over the first three months of 2010 in Texas. Some of those are below. I also wanted to list at least two cars each from the list above, to give an idea what I will be ready to buy in a couple of years.

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Survivor - $10,900

Description: You are viewing a 59k original mile 1972 Monte Carlo survivor. This car has original paint, original 350 and transmission, original interior. It has a 350 engine, factory working AC, power disc brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, vinyl top, original spare tire and jack, Rallye wheels and more. It is rock solid with excellent panel fit and a very clean underside. Everything works and it drives like a new car.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 1/31/2010

Comments: An affordable Monte Carlo in Texas. Perfect! This shade of green interior has been growing on my over the years. I like the original paint and interior. You can only be original once.

1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $9,995

Description: Excellent body and paint. Mild built 350 ci engine. Power disc brakes, power steering, no known rust. Chrome and stainless in good condition. Great driving car.

Source: Premium Motors

Found: 2/16/2010

Comments: This one is not in Texas. But this is about perfect. A big Monte Carlo to offset my tiny Mini Cooper. Asking price is just below $10K and the color is blue. Excellent!

1965 Ford Mustang - $9,000

Description: New paint, runs and drives good, original A/C, but needs some work, not sure of millage (shows 33K), new tires and wheels, extra weather strip parts.

Source: Autotrader Classic

Found: 4/23/2010

Comments: This is a 6 cylinder car and those wheels are similar to the ones on my Mini Cooper. The price is right. New paint can be hiding almost anything so look carefully. I like the black emblems. This car could be a nice looker of a daily driver. As a project we could always swap in a V-8. Will need to get that A/C working for driving in Texas.

1970 Ford Mustang Coupe - $11,900

Description: Lifelong Rust-Free West Coast Car. "M" Code 351C 4v, Automatic Transmission, Power Steering, Power Front Disc Brakes, Factory Air Conditioning, Tilt Steering Column, Deluxe Interior With Center Shift Console, 15" Magnum 500 Wheels With TA Radials, Full Dual Exhaust System With Chrome Tips. Beautifully Restored To Stock Specifications Inside And Out. Correct Medium Lime Metallic Exterior With New Black Vinyl Top And All New Dark Green Interior. Runs Great And Sounds Awesome. Ready To Enjoy.

Source: Memory Lane Motors

Found: 4/23/2010

Comments: I know, it is not a 65-68. But I really like it and I could see getting it. This is one of the reasons i have a tough time pinning down a list to specific cars. And we have that green that is growing on me.

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible - $13,900

Description: You are viewing a 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible. This car has a great running 289, automatic transmission, power steering, bucket seats, manual convertible top and more. This is a great driver convertible mustang that wont break the bank and will make a great cruiser this summer. The paint is driver quality and is very presentable. The interior is in excellent condition needing very little. This is a great buy on a 289 convertible mustang so don't wait

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 1/31/2010

Comments: I don't think I will get a convertible but this one is in Texas and is under $15K. If i had that much money to spend I would take a close look.

1969 Ford Mustang Fastback - $13,900

Description: You are viewing a 1969 Ford mustang fastback. This car has a strong running 351c, automatic transmission, bucket seats, 4 wheel disc brakes, new custom 18 inch wheels with tires, mini tubs, full custom frame, coil overs and more. The body is solid with nice driver paint. Interior shows well and the car has a great look. This is a great fastback that wont break the bank so don't hesitate as it wont last long.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 1/31/2010

Comments: With some patience you can find an affordable Fastback Mustang.

1967 Chevrolet Corvair - $6,500

Description: 67 Monza Corsa 140 hp, 4 carb w/Crane elec.ign. Orig. Spider Leg air Cleaner, 4 Spd, Corsa Dash 140mph speedo & factory tach. Opts. Cold factory. Air,3:55 Posi Rear, Astro buckets, bumper guards, new clutch & universals. Eng pan powder coated. Perfect first car, very clean interior, runs & drives great, quartz clock.

Source: Autotrader Classic

Found: 4/23/2010

Comments: I love finding these oddballs with air conditioning. This is the lowest price car this month. That means if I had around $6K saved I would be calling about this one.

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Turbo - $15,000

Description: Rare Model! Wood Wheel, Telescopic Wheel, Tach and Gauges, Close Ratio Steering, Rally Wheels, Bucket Seats, AM Radio, Custom Audio System, L/H Remote Mirror, Tinted Glass, Matching Numbers.

Source: Berry Motor Cars, LLC

Found: 2/5/2010

Comments: This is the pinnacle of Corvair. The turbo charged edition. I would love to take this car out for a test drive. If I had $15k laying around I would be calling in a heartbeat.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro - $17,500

Description: Driver quality Garnet Red w/ White Z Stripes bc/cc paint. This car is very solid. original Steel cowl Hood, Rear spoiler, Nice chrome front and rear Bumpers, nice stainless and chrome, The grill is painted to match the car in red with a black inset and blue Chevrolet emblem. The trunk is solid, The doors hood and trunk open and close easily. The windows roll up and down easily and align properly as well. 15" Crager wheels, Newer raised white letter tires. It Looks Very nice. Nice Red Bucket Seat Interior nice headrest. The interior is detailed to factory specs and Looks Clean!! 3 spoke wood steering Wheel. Nice kick panels. Muncie 4 speed shifter with a GM Console. Newer weather-strip on the roof rails, doors and trunk. NOM 350 small block motor, Edelbrock aluminum intake, late model bolt through heads, 4 speed manual transmission, good radiator. Starts easy and runs great!! 10 Bolt Rear End, 4 leaf rear springs, sweet sounding Dual Exhaust with a low rumble.

Source: Red Line Muscle Cars

Found: 2/16/2010

Comments: This is the only first generation Camaro I saw worth looking at for under $20K. And that is why I don't expect a Camaro to be my next classic. But I won't give up looking. You never know. 

1970 Chevrolet Camaro - $12,900

Description: Harwell Motors is proud to offer a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro. This car has a very solid body with spots needing repair in both quarters. The floors and trunk are in excellent condition. The paint is driver condition. Interior shows well and looks like the pictures. The car has a great running 350, turbo 350 transmission, new 18 inch custom wheels, cowl hood, power steering and power brakes and more.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 2/21/2010

Comments: If you can't afford a 1st Gen Camaro an early 2nd Gen is the next best thing. This one happens to be in Texas.

1977 Chevrolet Corvette - $9,299

Description: 95,500 miles, AM/FM cassette, cruise, leather interior, PB, PS, PW, Tilt.

Source: Autotrader Classic

Found: 4/23/2010

Comments: This was the lowest priced C3 Corvette I liked. Under $10K, not bad.

1973 Chevrolet Corvette - $13,900

Description: You are viewing a 1973 Chevrolet Corvette. This car has a great running 350, automatic transmission, power windows, AC, power disc brakes, tilt wheel, leather seats, Rallye wheels, and more. The frame is solid as is the birdcage. The body is in good shape with nice driver paint. Interior shows well and looks to have new carpet.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 1/31/2010

Comments: Here we have a nice looking Texas Corvette at an affordable price. The 73 is the orphan year... it has the chrome rear bumper, but the new plastic front bumper. In 74 the rear bumper went plastic as well. So the 73 will usually save you a few thousand dollars from a 72 with chrome at both ends.

72 Corvette Stingray - $21,900

Description: 1972 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, # matching 350, at, ice cold AC, ps, power 4 wheel disc, tilt, buckets/console, excellent condition throughout.

Source: Just Muscle Cars

Found: 2/16/2010

Comments: This is here to show you the goal. A chrome bumper 68-72 Corvette in blue. I don't think I could wait until I could afford this.

1961 Chevrolet Biscayne - $7,900

Description: You are viewing a 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne. This car runs and drives great. The interior will need some TLC, worn door panels and wear on the seat covers. The body has driver paint with some rust in the lower quarters and some in the floors. This is a great car to cruise while you restore. The 17 inch TT wheels and tires are new.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 2/16/2010

Comments: Like I said... you never know what might catch my eye. This car is cheap, and reminds me of a very nice resto-mod I saw a while back. I could see cleaning up the interior on this car and then slamming it with a air bag suspension.

1968 Mercury Cougar - $9,995

Description: 87,000 Actual Miles. 289 V8 With 4bbl And Dual Exhaust. Automatic Transmission, Power Steering, Power Front Disc Brakes, Factory Air Conditioning, AM-FM-Cassette. Excellent Original Bucket Seat/Console Interior. Wimbledon White Exterior With Black Vinyl Top. Style Steel Wheels With TA Radials. Hideaway Headlights And Sequential Turn Signals Work Great. Straight, Solid West Coast Car That's Ready To Drive Anywhere.

Source: Memory Lane Motors

Found: 2/16/2010

Comments: This is not a Mustang, but it is close. It would take some convincing to get my son to accept this in place of a Mustang.