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Classic Car Watch
Ready To Drive

February 1, 2005
By Scott Lewis

This month I want to take a slightly different approach. What I want to do is pick cars that are "ready to drive." If you read the comments of the cars I list in this column you know that I almost always want to do something to a car. But how much of that is necessary. How many cars that I normally look at are ready to go, right out of the box.

In a nutshell I want to list cars this month that shouldn't need anything. I want to pick cars that I would be willing to drive "as is" on a regular basis. This eliminates many of the project cars I like to list. I am changing my criteria ever so much this month. To get on this list a car must have all, or almost all, of my usual requirements... already working on the car. This includes air conditioning. I realize that air conditioning is not that common with cars from the mid sixties to the early seventies, so I will allow cars on the list that do not have air conditioning, but they must have an asking price of $13,500 or less. That leaves $1,500 for this one modification. Cars with working air conditioning will have an asking price of $15,000 or less. This is different from my usual pricing in that I am not going to take into account negotiating.

What I am really after here is a list of cars that I actually would be willing to drop the cash to buy... and drive almost daily. No performance modifications, no suspension upgrades, no interior color changes, etc. A car I can buy and drive as is.

Normally I collect ads with their pictures and save them in a folder on my hard drive. I decided to go through that folder and put every single car that met this minimum criteria ($13.5K without A/C, $15K with A/C) on the list. Then I started eliminated cars for various reasons. If the price was out of line (required negotiating) it was stricken from the list. If it needed power steering, it was eliminated. If the interior was ugly it got the boot.

However, this time I am going to list the cars that don't make it. That will be a big change from my normal operation. I will list the cars in three categories. I will have not just one, but 5 Preferred Cars. Next will be the usual Runner Ups. The runner ups this month will all be cars that could make the preferred car if it wasn't for the other cars, and may make the preferred car in future columns. Finally, the new category -- for this month only -- I will list the cars that I rejected, even though they met the basic requirements. In other words cars that Failed the test. Of course, I will tell you why they didn't make the grade.

Since most of these cars should be compared to CPI's excellent condition I am going to eliminate my usual calculations for value and just post the excellent rating from CPI.

Let's see the cars:


1968 Ford Mustang GT/CS - $14,950

68_mustang_gt_cs_light_blue_2.jpg (49654 bytes)Description: 2dr Hardtop outstanding one owner original! Matching numbers! V8 automatic p/s/, p/b, cold a/c stock wheels, recent paint, bucket seats & console. Drive anywhere! Sharp!

CPI's Value: $18,400

Source: Brockers Beautys

Comments: I love the California Special Mustangs. I love them because of the Thunderbird sequential taillights. This one has all the right options, nice color combination and a real clean interior. What's not to like.

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what car would be in the number one position. I would prefer a car that left me a little bit of money, but I was swayed by a couple of factors to put this Mustang first. 1) I really like the sequential taillights. Most people don't even know that they are sequential. 2) Value. The green 70 Chevelle was very close to being first, but ultimately this car is under its CPI value while the Chevelle is over. So we actually have some investment potential here. That does not mean I look at this car as an investment. It means that if the worst were to happen and I had to sell it down the road I could do so without worrying about losing money.

I really didn't want to put a sold car at the top of the list, but I was tracking this car for about two months. If this car was for sale when I had cash in had I would be calling to make a deal. This car defines a ready to drive classic car. It looks good, has some value left in it, and has everything we need to enjoy driving almost every day.


1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu - $12,500

70_chevelle_24K_green_1.jpg (359564 bytes)Description: 24,000 original miles, 350 V-8, automatic trans, air conditioning. Original Rallye wheels & tires plus aftermarket wheels and tires. No disappointments. This Is The Real Deal.

CPI's Value: $11,175

Source: Collector Car Trader

Comments: I love it. If this really is a mint $24K mile car I am there. The color is typical from the time, though not my favorite. Oh well, I would just love driving this car as is for a while. Plus I have the added bonus of having some money left over if I was to tinker with it down the road.

I really had a hard time taking this car out of first place. I actually like Chevelles better than Mustang coupes... most of the time. The California Special above really is... well... special. Had it been any other Mustang it would not have made it. To believe that take a look at the number of Mustangs that are below that didn't make it.


1969 Mercury Cougar - $10,995

69_cougar_white_on_red_1.jpg (154706 bytes)Description: 351 2bbl V8, automatic (FMX), power steering, power disc brakes, correct AM radio, buckets w/floorshift, white w/red interior, 9 inch rear w/2.75 gears, new Torque Thrust wheels & tires, working headlights & sequential taillights, unrestored beauty, always garaged & well maintained, 2 owner car, last owner owned for 20 years, only 54,000 actual miles, great driving car! A very original classic car!

CPI's Value: $6,275

Source: Fast Lane Classic Cars

Comments: You would think this car would have failed to make it on price, but NADA goes up to $12K for this car at high retail. The pictures are excellent and the interior actually looks good (the first time I think I have said that about a red interior). I really like the overall look of this car. The wheels and tires are almost perfect. Plus, I love sequential taillights. All we have to do is add air conditioning and this Gentleman's Pony car is ready to drive. The price is right, and we could even put in some upgrade down the road. I would be interested in seeing how well this car could pass as a "luxury" Pony car today. Cool!

Notice that this is the first car on the list that is not already sold, and it fits that. If I were calling down this list and this car was the first still available I would be very happy with the choice.


1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $11,990

72_mc_blue_1.jpg (58172 bytes)Description: Mulsanne Blue/Blue Cloth, Black vinyl top, 350 4bbl/TH350, PS, PDB, cold 134a AC, P-O-P, original window sticker, all #s match. excellent paint, mechanicals and chrome.

CPI's Value: $8,250

Source: Ventura Classics

Comments: Wow, a Monte Carlo that looks great, has all the right equipment and is priced right. I simply love the look of this car. If this car had buckets and a console it might have gone all the way to number one. At the price was can add that... later. But this is a list of cars that I like enough as-is to drive without changes. This car qualifies for that, even with bench seat.


1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $9,250

70_mc_original_green_on_green_2.jpg (39109 bytes)Description: Original 350 V-8 engine, TH350 automatic transmission, power steering, power front disc brakes, AM/FM cassette player and 63,944 original miles! An all original, unmolested, three owner Texas car!

CPI's Value: $8,250

Source: Automania

Comments: The only problem here is the bench seat. I just can't see dinging a car for not having buckets. It needs air conditioning, which is not a problem at this price and is allowed this month. This is a really clean and ready to drive Monte Carlo. If this one and the blue one above were parked next to each other I would have to decide if the blue one was really worth an extra $2,700. Yes, the blue one has A/C, but this car looks more original and unmolested. This is a really touch call, but ultimately the look of a car does count and the blue car beat this one out.


1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 - $12,900

73_camaro_z28_auto_white_1.jpg (89133 bytes)Description: 350 V8, console automatic, power steering, power disc brakes, LT Deluxe black interior, in-dash tach and gauges, factory front and rear spoilers, correct 5 spoke Z/28 wheels. White with black stripes. Excellent driving real Z/28.

CPI's Value: $14,150

Source: Memory Lane Motors

Comments: You will see three second generation Camaros that are all split bumper RS models. I really like the split bumper look. So why did this car make the list while those didn't. Price. This car is not priced out of line, and it is a real Z/28. I can live with it. All we need to do is add air conditioning and enjoy driving a classic Z/28. I couldn't pass it up.


1966 Ford Mustang GT - $13,900

66_mustang_gt_vinyl_1.jpg (69399 bytes)Description: GT hardtop A-code Mustang! 289 4-speed transmission and power steering, under dash air conditioning. 4 barrel and rare simulated convertible vinyl top.

CPI's Value: $14,975

Source: Lost N the 50s

Comments: We don't seem to have power brakes, but I can live with that if it drives well. What we do have is a real GT with a 4 speed and a Pony interior. Nice combination overall. I like it.


1966 Ford Mustang - $12,995

66_mustang_coupe_red_vinyl_roof_1.jpg (40975 bytes)Description: 85,153 original miles, completely rebuilt w/Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold, 4 barrel carb, Flowmaster exhaust and chrome fender braces, restored in 2001, black plate California car, Pony interior w/bucket seats and factory center console, new paint, upholstery, suspension (front to back) drivetrain (engine/transmission, cooling system, rear end) exhaust and GT tires.

CPI's Value: $10,850

Source: Play Toys

Comments: This is a little more affordable than some of the Mustangs below, yet it still has all the goodies. The seats look like they are form a late model car, but I don't mind if they are installed right. This car even has the Trumpet exhaust and GT wheels that I like so much.


1966 Ford Mustang - $13,900

66_mustang_coupe_red_on_black_ac_1.jpg (120822 bytes)Description: Southern California "black plate" car. 2 owners with 71,000 original miles. Original "a" code 289 v8 with 225 hp. Automatic transmission. Rangoon red with black vinyl top and black interior. High optioned car with air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, pony interior, original radio with CD system hidden in glove box. Custom wheels. Perfect California body with show quality paint and interior. This car is ready to drive or show.

CPI's Value: $10,850

Source: West Coast Car Connection

Comments: This is a little pricey for a regular Mustang, but it has everything I want with the bonus of a very clean Pony interior and a really nice color combination. The wheels would not be my choice, but I could live with them.


1969 Plymouth Barracuda - $12,500

69_barracuda_plain_full_power_1.jpg (7452 bytes)Description: Original collector! 318 c.i. V8 engine, automatic transmission, factory air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, bucket seats, center console, factory am-fm radio, rear window defogger, sport wheel covers, original window sticker, bill of sale and build sheet, loads of original records and receipts, light jade metallic with black stripes.

CPI's Value: $7,625

Source: Berry Motor Cars

Comments: This car almost got cut. It is expensive, but if I look to NADA they say this car is worth as much as $15,000. So I decided it could stay. It has all the power accessories I want and even has a console and buckets. I really like the notchback body style of the 67-69 Barracudas, especially with a black vinyl roof. This picture was the only one on their web site. If the picture was better and they had more of them this car very well could have made it to the preferred list this month. That just shows you how important it is to make the car look its best to sell it. The final plus for this car is that it is located in Texas making it an easy car to see, inspect, buy and take home.


1971 AMC Javelin SST - $12,995

71_javelin_sst_1.jpg (60570 bytes)Description: This car features 28,000 original miles. Factory A/C, power steering and brakes. Original body and paint are mint. CD player. Very stock and original. This car runs and drives like new. Its the nicest SST in the country.

CPI's Value: Javelin: $6,550
                        Javelin AMX: $8,900

Source: Premium Motors

Comments: A true, low mileage car in excellent original condition. I think we can throw the CPI book out the window. It has all the right components in an interesting alternative to the typical Mustang and Camaro Pony Cars. And I like those wheels. Cool!


1970 Pontiac GTO - $12,900

70_gto_carousel_red_1.jpg (76279 bytes)Description: True GTO, not a Clone! Very pretty carousel red (orange) with black vinyl top and original saddle interior. Correct YS code 400 cubic inch V-8 with 350 horsepower. Turbo 400 automatic transmission. Power steering and power disc brakes. Factory working air conditioning. Bucket seats and console with floor shift. Bridgestone radial tires on correct Rallye II wheels. Stock dual snorkel air cleaner. Correct dual scoop hood. Clean and stock throughout. Runs and drives great.

CPI's Value: $19,275

Source: Gentle Touch Motor Cars

Comments: What is the world coming to when you can find a nice, clean and sharp looking GTO for under $13... with air conditioning. How can I not put this on the list. At this price I can even live with the less than perfect interior color.


1969 Pontiac GTO - $13,950

69_gto_green_on_green_1.jpg (70441 bytes)Description: Beautiful 2-owner car! Matching numbers 400/400 factory a/c, p/disc brakes, p/s, new dual exhaust. Excellent interior, bucket seats & console, 8 track player, original protect-o-plate. Owners manual, loads of receipts. Runs great! Drive anywhere!

CPI's Value: $15,675

Source: Brockers Beautys

Comments: This one looks a little unusual. But there is no denying that a true GTO with all the power options I want has to make the grade.


1969 Pontiac GTO - $14,995

69_gto_dark_red_on_red_1.jpg (43289 bytes)Description: 2-door coupe. Dark red with dark red interior, automatic, recent paint, recent transmission rebuild, very nice mechanically and cosmetically inside and out. This is a correct GTO that drives great, and would make a fine local Saturday night show car.

CPI's Value: $15,675

Source: Corvette Country

Comments: Initially I thought this was going to be a screaming deal. A real GTO with all the power accessories I want and within my $15K budget. Apparently CPI thinks this car is close to top dollar. However, when I checked NADA they put this car at average retail of $15,600 and high retail of $23,800. Ouch. So maybe I am right, this is a deal. Actually I think this is a good way to get into the GTO market. Most GTOs are very expensive. This one is almost affordable. From what I can see it needs a lot of detail under the hood (which can always wait for a driver) and some detail elsewhere. Overall I think this is worth it. It has all the requirements, so it made the cut. As a bonus this car is located in Austin, so I could see it after work.


1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 - $12,900

70_chevelle_ss_396_clone_gray_1.jpg (69906 bytes)Description: Charcoal metallic/white stripes. Ivory interior with new headliner, carpet, door panels. Less than 100 miles on complete rebuilt big block 396 .030 over, turbo 400 auto, 12 bolt posi, p/s, p/disc brakes, buckets, factory style console with horseshoe shifter, SS dash, chrome Cragar's, new exhaust, new bumpers.

CPI's Value: Malibu: $11,175
                        SS 396: $25,350

Source: Klemme Klassic Kars

Comments: I have to believe this is not a real SS 396 at this price. Even if it is real it can't be a numbers matching car. But that is what we want in a daily driver. Regardless, as a clean Chevelle with a 396 swap and a "SS look" this car is a nice ride. I love the color combination. All that's missing is the air conditioning, but it still fits within this month's criteria. It's a keeper. I wish they put interior picks on their web site.


1973 Chevelle Super Sport - $9,500

73_chevelle_ss_1.JPG (22343 bytes)Description: Last year for the Chevelle Super Sport. This car is identical to the car seen on the cover of the September 2004 Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine. Fresh correct blue paint with silver stripes. All new weather strips installed when painted. Car was fully de-chromed to paint. Nicely detailed. 350 ci, Quadrajet carb. Completely stock & original under the hood. Fresh interior. Blue swivel bucket seats with console shifted automatic transmission. Gauge package with functional factory tachometer. Factory cold air conditioning. I am the 3rd owner & have owned this car for 8 years. Drive this car anywhere. Original intake & exhaust manifolds are still on the car. Original style dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. See Hemmings Muscle Machines Sept 2004 for specs on these cars. The car on the cover looks identical to this car.

CPI's Value: $10,100

Source: Cars On Line

Comments: O.K. We have gone off the deep end. But I really like this car. I could do without the big ugly bumpers, but the color is so nice I can look past that. This is an unusual alternative to the more popular 64-72 Chevelles, and might make a really cool daily driver.


1972 Gran Sport Skylark - $15,000

72_gs_ac_white_1.jpg (21491 bytes)Description: Great paint, Great body, perfect interior, power steering, power disk brakes, cold air, complete unmolested GS with the addition of front and rear spoilers, Buick rally wheels, 59,000 reading on odometer, new carpets, new correct mats, new seat covers, recent paint with GSX paint style. Buckets with console and new wood grain inlay, prior owner states rebuilt engine, no leaks, smoking or other problems everything works. Adult owned 3rd owner Texas car.

CPI's Value: $11,375

Source: Muscle Cars and Classic

Comments: It has everything I need. What engine does it have? I am assuming a GS 350. If this car is as good as he says I think we can go for it.


1966 El Camino - $11,957

66_el_camino_4_speed_bench_blue_1.JPG (196390 bytes)Description: California built car, vin#136806Z, small block runs great!! 327/275 block #3858174, has correct build date to trim tag so engine could be matching numbers, 'EB' engine pad # 327/275 designation per book, Power Brakes, Power steering, AM radio, new carpet, new sill plates, new door panels, new dash pad, aftermarket tach and gauge cluster, spare tire, detailed engine bay, fiberglass bed cover, older paint approx 10 years but still very presentable, nice driver quality car, clean and detailed all over, runs/drives great down the road, same owner last 14 years until we purchased the car.

CPI's Value: $9,650

Source: Jake's Forgotten Past

Comments: The only way an El Camino can get on this list is with a bench seat, since I will need to take my two boys to school in the mornings and need at least seating for three.

This El Camino has a clean interior, power steering and power brakes. All that's missing is air conditioning, but it fits in the price to add A/C. Plus it has a manual transmission. Cool!


1969 Dodge Super Bee Clone - $9,850

69_super_bee_clone_yellow_2.jpg (82209 bytes)Description: 400, auto, power steering, power brakes, new paint, exhaust, wheels & tires, runs & drives excellent.


CPI's Value: Coronet: $7,375
                        Super Bee 383: $19,775

Source: Noel Davis Auto Sales

Comments: This is what a clone is supposed to be. A low cost look-a-like to the car I can't afford. We need to put in air condition, but the price is in line with that for this month. This is no where near my first choice, but I can't see any reason why I shouldn't consider it.


1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS - $12,000

70_camaro_rs_red_1.jpg (38276 bytes)Description: GM Code 81 Red. Original 350 bored .30 over, Edlebrock 600 carb, Performer intake. Mild cam, headers, dual exhaust. Interior in excellent condition. Rallye wheels w. BFG Radial TA's. Original TH350 tranny rebuilt by TCI mechanic. Runs and drives fantastic. 4 year restoration completed 5 years ago by 2nd owner. He showed it for 4 years and then sold to me.

CPI's Value: $9,900

Source: Cars On Line

Comments: A story, I'll try to be brief. When I first got into cars as a teenager I really loved the the Camaro RS with the split bumper. A guy down the street owned one that had Crager wheels and side pipes (hey, it was the seventies), and it really looked great. So I still like them.

I would love to let this car stay on the list, but I rejected it because of price. I think this car is better off in the $10-11K range.


1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS - $13,000

70_camaro_rs_red_and_black_1.jpg (63090 bytes)Description: Clean 70 1/2 split bumper R/S. California kept--no rust and all original body parts. Red with black vinyl top. Locking car cover included. New rubber. New rubber frame components. Restored 3500 miles ago. Slightly warm and very responsive 350/350. Holley 600 CFM 4BBL. Dual exhaust with deep throated high flow mufflers. B&M sport shifter. Factory air fully refurbished--40 pounds freon (worth nearly $1,000) comes with car. 15-inch aluminum alloy rally wheels. P235/60R15 Dunlop GT qualifiers. Spare wheel and tire same as above. Headliner in perfect condition. Interior in good shape. Slight interior work left for full restoration. Don't miss this lifetime opportunity to feel history in your hands--Chevy thunder the way it used to be. All reasonable offers will be considered. This car is a proven head turner!

CPI's Value: $9,900

Source: Cars On Line

Comments: Again, this car needs to come down in price. It is a shame because I really like it. Next time.


1973 Chevrolet Camaro - $12,500

73_camaro_rs_red_white_stripes_1.jpg (15925 bytes)Description: 400 V8, 350 Turbo tranny, 10 bolt rear, disk brakes, power steering, power brakes.

Value: $9,600

Source: Hook on Classics

Comments: Damn, can't they price these more fairly. I really like the RS split bumper Camaros. Too bad everyone thinks they are worth more than they are.


1968 Chevrolet Nova - $9,995

68_nova_blue_1.jpg (58464 bytes)Description: This car features a fresh built 350 crate motor. Power steering. New Torque-thrust wheels and tires. Beautiful body and paint. Runs and drives great.

CPI's Value: $7,325

Source: Premium Motors

Comments: This car came close to making the cut, but I couldn't look past the cheap looking steering wheel and floor shifter. I would probably do some interior work before driving this car daily. This is a project car, but a really nice Nova project car with some nice looking wheels and tires and nice exterior. It also could make for a reasonable alternative to a Pony Car. Maybe another time.


1965 Ford Mustang - $13,900

65_mustang_coupe_ac_green_1.jpg (24319 bytes)Description: Coupe, V8, auto, power brakes, air conditioning, showroom restoration, green with black vinyl, #'s match.

CPI's Value: $11,100

Source: Muscle Cars and Classics

http://www.musclecars-and-classics.com/1965_Mustang_7.htm

Comments: They don't mention power steering and the price is a bit steep for a regular Mustang, even in showroom condition. If this car had more than hub caps it might move up. The price just seems too high.


1972 Dodge Swinger - $7,000

72_dart_swinger_v8_ac_green_1.JPG (33041 bytes)Description: Nice car, 66,000 miles, PS, Auto, AC, Nice interior, Great little Mopar.

CPI's Value: $6,225

Source: Hyatt Classics

Comments: This car was being consider for two reasons. 1) It fit the basic requirements for this month, and 2) it was cheap. Unfortunately I am not that desperate for a cheap little car. It has potential if you like the body style, but it is a desperate reach for an affordable Mopar. I would rather have a 67-69 Barracuda. Then again, so would a lot of people.


1969 Chevrolet Chevelle - $12,800

69_chevelle_350_4_speed_1.jpg (71710 bytes)Description: 350 engine, 4 speed, all new interior, new exhaust, new shocks, new ball joints, gauges all work, new chrome bumpers, new emblems, new wheels and tires, CD player and new speakers, weather stripping and glass good, priced to sell.

CPI's Value: $10,400

Source: Greene's Classic Cars

Comments: "Priced to sell." I'll be the judge of that. This car is overpriced. It is listed for more than CPI says it should be in excellent condition. I can give a little for the 4 speed, but this car needs negotiating. Since they don't mention the A/C (it is in the engine picture) I suspect it is not working. Could be a good project car at around ten thousand.


1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Clone - $12,950

70_chevelle_ss_clone_gray_350_1.jpg (64665 bytes)Description: Beautiful SS Clone! Freshly Rebuilt High Performance 350ci V8 Headers Dual Exhaust 350 Turbo Auto Trans w/Moon-Eyes Shifter New Interior Bucket Seats SS Dash Excellent Body New Painnt 15" Ralleye Wheels P/S P/B Runs & Drives Great! Sharp Car!

CPI's Value: $11,175

Source: Brockers Beautys

Comments: This car comes close, but with the charcoal gray SS 396 above this one just doesn't cut it with the small block. Sorry.


1972 Chevrolet El Camino - $11,750

72_el_camino_1.jpg (152320 bytes)Description: 350, automatic, power steering, power disc brakes, air conditioning, AM/FM Cassette, dual exhaust, American Racing torque thrust wheels. One owner original Las Vegas car. Runs & drives excellent, super straight & solid body, original paperwork since new. Great driver.

CPI's Value: $7,875

Source: Classic & Collectible Cars

Comments: This is a very plain looking El Camino, but that is exactly what you want with an original one owner car from a very dry part of the country. It also has the bench seat I need in an El Camino to drive daily. Is it really worth as much as they are asking? I don't know so I had to drop it. Maybe next time.


1970 Pontiac Lemans - $10,995

70_lemans_gold_1.jpg (155153 bytes)Description: 350 2BBL V8, automatic, power steering, power brakes, buckets, factory A/C car, correct AM radio, new interior & paint, dual exhaust, PMD Rallye wheels, vinyl top, original books & window sticker, very straight & clean car! Excellent driving car!

CPI's Value: $6,600

Source: Fast Lane Classic Cars

Comments: This car came close to making it, but the interior was just not up to snuff. With a real GTO above for only $13K I can't see getting this car as-is, without negotiating or an interior makeover.


1970 Pontiac LeMans Sport - $8,950

70_lemans_sport_4_speed_white_1.jpg (50178 bytes)Description: 2dr hardtop, very rare original factory bucket seats & console stick shift vehicle, 350ci V8, P/S, A/C, Stage II Rallye wheels, nice paint & interior, dual exhaust, runs & drives like new! Must See!

CPI's Value: $6,600

Source: Brockers Beautys

Comments: Another ugly interior drops this car form the list. In a list of project cars this car would do really well, but amongst ready to drive cars it just isn't in the running.


1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass - $11,900

67_cutlass_aquamarine_1.jpg (75101 bytes)Description: Equipped with rare Turnpike Cruiser package. Same owner for many years. Gorgeous Aquamarine exterior with black interior. 400 cubic inch V-8 with Turbo 400 automatic transmission. Power disc brakes and power steering. Heavy duty suspension with front and rear sway bars. Factory A/C car. Custom stereo (comes with original AM Radio). Custom wheels. Extremely clean throughout. Original Protecto Plate. Runs and drives excellent.

CPI's Value: Cutlass: $8,250
                        442:       $18,075

Source: Gentle Touch Motor Cars

Comments: I always liked the long boxy look of this year Olds. This car should make the Runner Up list, but I have two problems. It seems pricey, and it has a bench seat. I could live with the bench seat and just cruise with it. NADA puts this car at $12,593 for a high retail price, so maybe it is not too high. I couldn't help but thinking I would have to negotiate. Is it a numbers matching car? Maybe next time.


1968 Chevrolet Caprice - $13,900

68_caprice_396_air_green_1.jpg (112945 bytes)Description: This is it! Numbers matching 396 big block California Caprice. 4 month old restoration on a perfect body. New paint, vinyl top and interior. Highly optioned car with big block, Turbo 400 transmission, air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, bucket seats with center console and floor shift, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, power antenna, CD and Rallye wheels with new tires. Custom exhausts with Flowmasters. This car is beautiful in every way.

CPI's Value: $8,625

Source: West Coast Car Connection

Comments: The pictures on this one are not good enough to make a call. Also, this car requires some serious soul searching. Do I really want a 4500 lb. car with a big block for a daily driver. I would expect to be lucky to pull 12-14 mpg on the highway with this car. I love the idea, but ultimately this is an occasional driver. Love the power windows!


1969 Impala Custom SS 427 - $12,900

69_impala_ss427_4_speed_black_1.jpg (41201 bytes)Description: This is a good driving big block 4-speed car, that's fun to drive. It was originally gold with black vinyl top, now painted black with gold interior, sharp! Recently received confirmation from a previous owner this car is a real 427 4-speed car!

CPI's Value: $14,050

Source: Arena Motor Sales

Comments: I am a little concerned that they claimed, "Recently received confirmation from a previous owner this car is a real 427 4-speed car!" Is this a numbers matching car? That should be easy to determine. If not I just can't see paying top dollar. I don't care about the color, but the engine is very important at this price. Also, 69 is the easiest year to fake into an SS (read: clone). Add to this the same soul searching I did for the green Caprice above (really big car with a big block leading to crappy gas mileage) and I just have to pass on this car. At least for now.


1969 Chevrolet Impala SS 427 - $13,900

69_impala_ss_427_auto_air_black_on_white_1.jpg (50053 bytes)Description: Original 427 big-block, Turbo 400 trans. Original, numbers matching car. Floors, trunk very solid. Could use paint but starts, runs great. A/C blows ice cold.

CPI's Value: $14,050

SourceCollector Car Trader

Comments: More soul searching about living with an overweight car with a really big engine for a daily driver. In the end I just can't do it. Not for these cars. I like them, just not that much.

At the last minute, as I was verifying which cars were sold or still for sale, I saw this car listed for $10,500. That's a drop of $3,400 from the original asking price. Don't ever assume a price is not negotiable. In fact, if I had more time I would rethink my soul searching on this one. $3,400 buys a lot of gas if mileage was the only reason to leave this one behind. I will consider this for another list.

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