Classic Car Watch

March 1, 2007
By Scott Lewis

If you have been following this column you know I bought a Mini Cooper S Convertible back in June 2006. Because of this I did a major clean up of the ads I have collected over the course of this column. I wanted a fresh start. This month is the official fresh start. I have wanted to do an Anti-Mini for some time. The Mini is small and gets pretty good gas mileage. Plus it is a convertible and I really don't see the need in getting another convertible. So lets look at really big cars that get terrible gas mileage.

The one car I think about when I think of an Anti-Mini is the Monte Carlo. When the Mini came out (the modern Mini that is) it was the shortest car sold in America. Cool. The Monte Carlo has the longest hood GM ever put on a production car. Also cool. Now that's an Anti-Mini. However, there are so few Monte Carlos out there. So I did a little browsing of my usual dealers looking for other big cars that I could add here.

The list is short, but I don't mind. Remember, I started with a clean slate, so I don't have a 6 - 12 month list of cars to pour over for this article. Similar to the early articles in this column every car here was for sale at least for some part of the month I searched for them.

1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $11,900

Description: Just arrived to our Atlanta Collector Car Showroom. Exterior paint finish in Placer Gold Metallic with a Black vinyl roof complemented by a Black vinyl interior. Features include: 350 V-8 4 Brl. dual exhaust engine, automatic transmission, power steering, power front disc brakes, factory a/c, bucket seats & console, Sony Am-Fm Stereo cassette radio, 15 in. Rallye wheels, B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A tires, front & rear bumper guards, Wheel lip moldings, Passenger side mirror, Tilt wheel, 3-spoke sport steering wheel. Excellent body & paint. Very good mechanical condition.

NADA: $12,073 - $17,243

Source: Brandon Classics

Found: 2/18/2007

Comments: This car is probably the best compromise this month. The black roof and interior lend itself to any exterior color, and looks good with the gold. It has air conditioning for comfortable drives to and from work. Bucket seats and console are a big help. I really would like power windows in a Monte, but this is close enough for an occasional driver. Plus there is some money left in the budget if I want to add some extras.

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $16,995

Description: 454 2-door Coupe - Rare 454 V8 with cam, TH400 trans with 2000 stall converter, 12 bolt posi rear with 3.30 gears, power steering, power brakes, power windows, remote power locks, bucket seats, console, Kenwood AM-FM-CD-SIRIUS with Excelon 3-way 300watt components, JL Audio woofers with JL Audio 300-2 channel & 500-1 amps, tinted windows, 7 rally in front & 8 in rear, dual exhaust with headers - Super Straight & Solid Body - Quality Paint & Clean Interior - Thumpin Sound System - Super Fast & Great Driving Monte Carlo.

NADA: $13,585 - $22,165

Source: Classic & Collectible Cars

Found 2/18/2007

Comments: If you want to really do an Anti-Mini this is it. A big block in a big car. If this is a numbers matching 454 car, I would love it. We don't have air conditioning and this car is already over budget. Because of the 454 I would drive this car less than a small block car. That could help with the lack of air conditioning. I would definitely take a closer look at this car if I was ready to buy.

This dealer is located in Las Vegas, and it just so happens I am headed to Vegas for a conference in March. Maybe I can sneak away for a couple of hours to check this dealer and car out.

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $5,999

Description: This 1972 Monte Carlo is a mechanically sound car, recently having a tune up, transmission work, new brakes, and a new column installed. It is a Florida car with A/C and an AM/FM Stereo. Under the hood sports a powerful 350 CID V-8 engine coupled to automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. The body and overall aesthetics do need work, however this car proves to be a good driver! Come in and take a look!

NADA: $11,495 - $18,755

Source: Classic Auto Showplace Ltd.

Found: 11/16/2006

Comments: Admitting this cars needs body work could be an issue. However, for a reasonably priced driver this might be just the ticket. I like the color and if the A/C blows cold we could be driving this right away. Then there is plenty left in a $15K budget to slowly work on this car over time as we drive it.

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $8,950

Description: This 1972 Monte Carlo has the sleek lines and sporty good looks that tell the world it is ready to hit the open road in search of new places and new spaces. With only 52k miles showing on the odometer it drives like a new one--good steering and braking, firm suspension, smooth running--just like you'd expect. The 350 V8 engine has been modified with a mild cam, Street Master intake, Holley 650 cfm 4 bbl carburetor, coated headers, custom cowl induction and a chrome air cleaner lid. A column shift 350 automatic transmission, power steering and brakes and limited slip rear end make driving a breeze. And if there is not enough breeze coming in the window, a factory air conditioner will drive it in on hot summer days. Interior features include a new headliner, AM/FM/cassette stereo, aftermarket Stewart/Warner oil and water temp gauges in the dash and cloth covered bench seating for the whole gang. In addition to classic good looks, the exterior features tinted windows, dual side mirrors, dual exhaust with turbo mufflers and a very nice set of rally wheels. In the course of its 30-something years, it has picked up a few character marks--a crack in the dash pad at the speaker grill (not unusual), cracks in the steering wheel (also not unusual), a few water stains on front seat (upholstery protectant did not come standard apparently), the gear shift indicator does not move and there is minor marring of the body and paint on both rear fenders (backwards was not someone's best direction!). A great car from a great era for cars.

NADA: $11,495 - $18,755

Source: Midway Auto Sales & Classic Cars, Inc.

Found: 2/18/2007

Comments: This one would require an in-person visit to see if the issues mentioned are serious or not, and if there is more than meets the eye. But it should be worth a look for any local prospects.

1966 Chevrolet Impala - $14,000

Description: 396 V8 Engine. Automatic Transmission. Power Steering. Power Brakes. Factory Air Conditioning. Custom Wheels. Drive Anywhere.

NADA: $18,198 - $29,435

Source: Oldies but Goodies

Found: 2/24/2007

Comments: I came across this one by accident. I have always liked this year Impala. The big block was the clincher for an Anti-Mini. The fact that this car also has air conditioning helps me look past the 80s style pinstripes.

1968 Pontiac Catalina - $13,500

Description: 400 2bbl V8, automatic, power steering, power brakes, factory A/C, factory AM radio, factory tinted glass, immaculate interior, factory steel wheels & hubcaps, black vinyl top, correct spare & jack, original build sheet, Protect-o-Plate & owners manual, only 12,230 actual miles, 1 family owned car, very original car! Unbelievably clean inside & out!!

NADA: $6,630 - $9,900

Source: Fast Lane Classic Cars

Found: 7/2/2006

Comments: O.K. This is an old one. In fact, I think I originally found this car over a year ago. However, it is still for sale and it still intrigues me. I tried to search for Catalinas, but couldn't find anything I liked as much as this car. If they dropped the price of this car to $10K I would seriously consider it.