Classic Car Watch

July 1, 2007
By Scott Lewis

Intermediates are the backbone of the Muscle Car. I spent one day in June looking for these "mid sized" cars, and I thought it would good to get a back to the roots of this column and the Muscle Car era. I am not going to cover actual Muscle Cars here. I just want to look for the standard version intermediates that Muscle Cars were based on.

I found 7 cars that one day, but decided to narrow that down to 5. I also thought it would be a good idea to show 5 more cars from the previous few months. I have tagged the ones I found in June so you can see how easy it can be to find a decent car if you want one.

I was recently inspired by Muscle Car on Spike TV's Power Block. They are building a LeMans without turning it into a GTO clone. In fact, the host hates clones. He hates them because people try to pass off clones as cars they are not. Personally, I hate clones because people think it is acceptable to call a car a clone and get almost as much money as the real thing. Either way, we both hate clones.

Let's get a look at 10 recent intermediate finds.

1969 Plymouth Satellite - $16,900 (Preferred Car)

Description: 318, at, ps, green with green interior, same owner for 25 years, Excellent condition! Drives like new!

NADA: $8,550 - $14,850

Source: Just Muscle Cars

Found: 2/23/2007

Comments: This is the definitive base model by which a Muscle Car was built. I would not even make a Road Runner clone out of it. Well, maybe the horn. This car looks good as is. We even have NADA to thank for providing ammunition to negotiate the price down. Installing A/C would be a must for south Texas, but other than that this car looks good enough to enjoy as is.

1967 Ford Fairlane GTA - $16,900

Description: GTA 390/335 in correct Burnt Amber Emberglo with black side stripes, black bucket seat interior, and factory steel wheels w/poverty caps. Very nice, genuine S-code 390 car with matching numbers! Original C6 automatic transmission and 9" 3.25 rearend. Power steering and power brakes for safe easy driving. Very nice paint in correct V-code Burnt Amber EmberGlo done in acrylic enamel and block sanded to a smooth finish. Correct black side stripes.

NADA: $7,768 - $13,975

Source: Sports Car Gallery of Beaver Falls

Found: 3/25/2007

Comments: Oops, a real Muscle Car slipped in. For the same asking price as the Satellite above we could get a real Muscle Car. NADA doesn't list the GTA as an option for the Fairlane, and might explain the low value. Anyway, I love this color. I like the dog dish wheel covers, but would probably still add some Torque Thrust II wheels in time. Of course that comes after A/C.

1967 Pontiac LeMans - $13,900

Description: Gold paint/Black vinyl interior; 38,503 stated miles; 326 CID V-8; Automatic transmission; power steering; power brakes; bucket seats; original AM radio; black vinyl top; PMD mag wheels.

NADA: $15,180 - $26,520

Source: Classic Auto Showplace Ltd.

Found: 3/25/2007

Comments: I showed this car a couple of months ago... before the TV show Muscle Car showed their project LeMans. This one is so nice that you could drive it as is. And then resto-mod it later. And this one is within my $15K budget. Why does this car get such respect from NADA?

1968 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu - $17,500

Description: Vin#136378A121693 Awesome all numbers matching AZ rust free car, with original owners manual and protect-o-plate, 307 V8, automatic, p/s, p/b, factory radio and updated premier sound system, vinyl top, super sport wheels, and ice cold air. Nice original interior, this is a gorgeous correct one, in excellent condition and road ready.

NADA: $15,400 - $26,100

Source: Arizona Connection

Found: 5/1/2007

Comments: I didn't price this one with A/C because it is not a factory A/C car. And the price is up there for our budget. Again, NADA likes this car, so you should get your money out of it later... if that's important. Personally I like the plain Arizona thing for what should be a vey rust free car.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu - $9,500 (June Find)

Description: Gold with tan interior, 307 ci, automatic transmission, only 44,000 original miles, power steering and brakes, new American Racing wheels, dual exhaust. A very solid and great driving car without the big price!

NADA: $4,725 - $6,900

Source: Fitzgerald Motorsports

Found: 6/13/2007

Comments: I don't know why this car is here, except it looks decent and 4 doors may someday become cool. I would use NADA to get the price down to about six grand. Then I would try to turn it into a BMW killer. Build in great handling, decent power and mileage at the same time and surprise a lot of people. It could be cool. Someone has to launch the 4 door craze.

1970 Pontiac LeMans Sport - $13,595 (June Find)

Description: 350, Auto, bucket seats, dual exhaust, new battery, rebuilt distributor, rechromed rear bumper, air shocks, GTO hood and steering wheel and painted front bumper. Call (800-231-3616) for more information. Features: Radial Tires, Rally Wheels, Seatbelts, Vinyl Interior.

NADA: $4,305 - $6,064

Source: Gateway Classic Cars

Found: 6/13/2007

Comments: I wanted to get a decent mix of brands in here and this was one of the best Pontiacs I could find in June. But it looks good and I love the console. It's way over priced based on NADA so use that to your advantage when negotiating a price.

1972 Pontiac LeMans - $13,750 (June Find)

Description: 350, V8, AT, p/s, p/b, factory ice-cold air, day and night mirror, dual outside mirrors, factory vinyl top, Pontiac rally wheels, white letter tires. This is a very nice original Arizona rust free car. That has had only 2 adult owners, with only 65,435 miles, car has always been adult driven and maintained at the Pontiac garage. This is as nice underneath as on top.

NADA: $6,023 - $8,690

Source: Arizona Connection

Found: 6/13/2007

Comments: This Pontiac forgoes the console for air conditioning. I can live with that. We can add buckets and a console later more easily than adding A/C.

1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass S - $12,000 (June Find)

Description: All new resteration,350 rocket engine ready for show or every day use, better than new. Same body as a 442 can be made into a look a like at a big savings. You only need to change the hood and add 442 emblems. Car already has a new 442 rear bumper with exhaust through the bumper.

NADA: $7,500 - $13,050

Source: Collector Car Trader

Found: 6/13/2007

Comments: To continue adding other brands I hit up Oldsmobile. There is not a lot of information, and no pictures of the interior. So we need to contact the seller for more pictures and info. At this price point this better be a prime example of this model car. Now, if this car is as good as it is priced at (better condition than the 67 Camaro I sold in 03 for just under NADA's average retail price) then this could be very interesting. With my usual $15K budget I would still have money left over from a top condition car. This could be a cool daily driver... one that is going up in vlaue

1972 Ford Gran Torino - $10,000 (June Find)

Description: 351C Excellent Condition. Runs great. Original engine, transmission. Partially restored. 2y/o paint (orig color), new chrome, polished trim. New Krager wheels. Tires have under 5K miles and are 2yo. New interior carpet, seat upholstery. Custom stereo/amp/speakers are included, but are removable. Original AM radio is working and still in console. My grandfather was the 1st owner. I have the original title and bill of sale.

NADA: $6,438 - $11,625

Source: Collector Car Trader

Found: 6/13/2007

Comments: I can't leave Ford out of the equation. I was actually surprised I was able to find a Ford as easily as I did. I actually found a couple of others, but I was narrowing this list down and felt this was the best to represent the blue oval from my one day June excursion. The color here doesn't thrill me, so this is one of those dare to be different cars. If I bought this car I would ditch that stereo/speaker box in a heartbeat... and then would continue buy putting in buckets and a console and change the interior color to black.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle - $13,900

Description: Built 350, at, ac, ps, pb, CD Player, American Racing rims, Red with black int, Great Shape!

NADA: $8,165 - $13,168

Source: Just Muscle Cars

Found: 4/30/2007

Comments: You didn't think there wasn't going to be another Chevelle did you. Hey, I am a Chevy guy. The problem with this car is that it claims AC, but I don't see the compressor in the engine compartment. Because of that I priced this car without AC. IN the end through this is the look I am expecting when I think Muscle Car.