Classic Car Watch
One Car At A Time

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.

January 1, 2008
By Scott Lewis

This month is going to be a little different. I was looking around to see what to put here and feeling generally uninspired. Then all of a sudden I saw a car that I wanted to make the preferred car for this month.

At that moment I assumed I was going to look for a few filler cars to round out a list. But then I saw another car that I wanted to be the preferred car. And then another, and another. It is rare that I see one car after another than gets me to forget about the ones before it.

So this month two things are different. I am going to list all the cars this month one by one in the order I found them... by date and time. The preferred car will be at the bottom. O.K. Not the very last one. I was still looking and did find a nice Mustang I just had to put here but it was the car that broke the streak.

If you just want to know about the final car to make the preferred status, go to the second to last car here. Otherwise follow along and the descriptions will hopefully cover my feelings as I discovered this month's cars.

1962 Chevrolet Impala 2 Door - $13,995

Description: 283 c.i. 4BBL V8, Automatic, Power Steering, Bench Seat, Heat, Factory AM Radio, Sunpro Gauge Cluster w/Temp, Oil and Amp Gauges, Spare w/Jack and Tool, Dual Exhaust, Factory 14 Inch Wheels w/Steel Hubcaps, Correct Nassau Blue Exterior, Correct Blue Cloth and Vinyl Interior, St Louis Built Impala, Very Nice Driving Car, Invest Some TLC In This Classic!

NADA: $18,700 - $29,700

Source: Fast Lane Classic Cars

Found: 10:14 PM 12/5/2007

Comments: When I came across this car I was blown away with how clean it looks... on the inside. I thought hard about grabbing the picture of the back seat because it really showed off how clean the interior was, and how nice looking the seats were. The front interior picture above is overexposed and it looses detail. Plus you can't see much of the seats.

Then I thought this was a really cool car. Yes, I would have to put A/C in it to make a daily or even frequent driver out of it. I thought this would be a great car to have to drive to work when the weather was nice and then have some late model beater to drive when the weather was bad.

Over the years I would add Torq Thrust wheels and some minor tweaks to the suspension and slowly add speed parts to it. This could make a great driving project car. My final thought was what else can I find to act as filler for this car on my list.

1966 AMC Rambler American 440 2dr Hardtop - $4,995

Description: -- Sale -- $4,995 -- 1966 AMC Rambler American 440 2 Door Hardtop 232ci 6cyl, Automatic, Power steering, Correct AM radio, Factory AC, Split bench, Factory steel wheels and hubcaps, Caballero tan metallic w/saddle interior, Rear window shade, Original owners manual and Copies of original title, Original paint and interior, One owner car until January 2005, Only 79,XXX actual miles, Always garaged and well cared for, Nice Driving Car! What a Great Find Classic!!

NADA: Not Found on NADA

Source: Fast Lane Classic Cars

Found: 10:16 PM 12/5/2007

Comments: If you are thinking you have seen this car before, you have. I listed this car as the preferred car back in June 2006. Now it is January 2008 and it is still for sale. They have lowered the price a grand, and the pictures are different. The current pictures show the body dings better than from 2006. Seeing the dings better made me feel better about the car. It really looks like this car could make a great low dollar project car.

Obviously this car is not popular, and you are not going to find a Year One catalog for it. But if you fancy bidding on eBay this car could be cool... in a dare to be different way.

I would try to low ball an offer on this car. After all, they have been sitting on it for over a year and a half. The first thing I would do is make sure the A/C blows cold. Then I would put on some Torq Thrust wheels. That would be day one. After that I would drive it as much as possible working out any kinks that would prevent it from being a daily driver.

Yea, I should set a president and make this car the preferred car... again. My final thought was to see what else I can find to be filler for a "dare to be different" list of cars.

1967 Pontiac Tempest Custom - $16,500

Description: 230 CID/165 HP overhead cam 6 cylinder engine, automatic transmission, power steering, Firestone Red Line tires, Rally II steel wheels, AM radio, tilt steering wheel, and a car alarm. This is an outstanding example of a low mileage, well cared for Tempest. The car was purchased from the original owner's family approximately 5 years ago. Since the purchase, necessary mechanical items have been replaced as needed (i.e. shocks, hoses, water pump, etc.) and a complete repaint in the original color. An inspection of this Tempest reveals a true "time capsule" appearance of all interior components to include rubber, glass, plastic chromed pieces, etc.

NADA: $7,975 - $11,650

Source: Classic Auto Showplace Ltd.

Found: 11:00 PM 12/5/2007

Comments: Oh my gosh! This car is awesome. It looks amazing in the photos. Wait! Is that an OHC 6? It is. This is a Sprint 6 car. Look how clean it is. That's it, I am done looking. This is the car for this month. I love the clean lines of the car and the Sprint 6 is a huge bonus. Too bad it is over my self imposed $15K budget... and it doesn't have air conditioning.

Oh, I would really love this car. My final thought was, I'm going to bed. This is good enough. I have never seen three cars back to back that should be the preferred car. I will look at them another day and decide which one will make the grade and then look for appropriate filler.

1968 Pontiac Firebird - $15,995 (Preferred Car)

Description: Reported to be 58000 original miles. Condition appears to substantiate the miles. Exceptional condition inside and out. Numbers matching 350 with automatic transmission. Power steering. Bucket seats with console. 160 MPH speedo. Dual exhaust. Factory rallys with new tires. Excellent body. Drives like a 58000 mile car should.

NADA: $17,595 - $35,650

Source: Premium Motors

Found: 9:06 PM 12/7/2007

Comments: O.K. A fresh day to take a quick look around. Wow, this is a really clean Firebird. Oh, I love the fake wood interior. This car looks like it would make an excellent driver. It needs air conditioning though. I actually thought this, "if I could just get over my Camaro fetish this would make a great Pony Car."

That thought ran through my head over and over as I looked at the pictures. This car is really clean. It looks like it should be at least as clean as my 67 Camaro RS Convertible I sold back in 2003. I would really love a car like this. And it is a low mileage car. I need to drive this car. Of, course I have to install A/C as soon as money would allow to make it a comfortable driver here in South Central Texas.

I started thinking about what makes a classic daily driver really cool. I recent saw a 79-80 Camaro on the road. When I was in high school and college a late seventies Camaro was not considered a cool Muscle Car. Just a neat kind of late model car.

First generation Camaros and Firebirds just look "older" than second generation cars. If I saw a 68 Firebird or a 70 Firebird on the road I would be far more impressed by the 68. The 70 model followed the basic look until 81, so people don't think of it as old as the ever so slightly older 67-69 cars. A first generation Camaro or Firebird just oozes classic more than its newer siblings. And if I think this way then you know the casual guy on the road is thinking something similar. First gen cars will get more thumbs up from people than second gen cars.

That makes this the perfect classic daily driver. So we found 4 cars that would be preferred cars back to back. Can this streak continue.

1965 Ford Mustang - $12,995

Description: New Paint, New Interior, Dual Flowmaster Exhaustm Styled Steel GT Wheels, BFG Radial Tires, Headers. 289 V8, Automatic, AM/FM with CD.

NADA: $16,200 - $27,100

Source: Play Toys

Found: 9:27 PM 12/7/2007

Comments: Here's a nice Mustang. This surely would make a nice driver once we put air conditioning into it. I love the wheels with the raise white lettered tires. It also has the GT Trumpet exhaust I like so much. We need to get rid of those red floor mats in a hurry.

Unfortunately, this car is not going to make it as the preferred car. The streak of preferred cars has been broken. The preferred car this month goes to the 68 Firebird above.