Classic Car Watch
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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.

July 5, 2015
By Scott Lewis

It has been far too long since I did a simple search of Auto Trader Classic & Auto Trader to see what was out there. First we will cover Auto Trader Classic, scroll down for examples from Auto Trader below.

I plugged into Auto Trader Classic's search the following:

Years: 1965-1981
Price: $5-20K
Distance: 250 miles from my zip code

Here is what I found worth looking at.

1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 - $17,995

Description: One, it's a real-deal Z/28, which was perhaps the hottest car on the road in 1973. Two, it's got a fresh drivetrain that was built to party. And three, it's a two owner with incredible documentation including the original Dealer Invoice, owner's manual, and a lot more history about the car. Interested? Door fit is good, the hood sits flush, and even the three-piece spoiler out back fits well. this car needs a new set of seat covers. Mechanicals include a built 350 cubic inch V8 with less than 3500 miles on it. An Edelbrock intake with Holley 4-barrel carburetor, Headman headers, and a big cam give it plenty of performance and it's still quite fresh. A few chrome pieces and bright Chevy Orange paint make the engine bay look special and it runs superbly. It's linked to a bulletproof TH400 3-speed automatic with a B/M shift kit inside and a 3000 RPM stall torque converter, which works with the 4.10 gears in the rebuilt 10-bolt.

Source: Streetside Classics

Comments: This car needs work, but presents well. I don't know I would pay this much for it. But if the work done so far is good, it might be a chance to pick up on someone else's project and just finish it.

1975 Pontiac Firebird - $16,900

Description: V8 Pontiac motor. Automatic transmission. 10 bolt rear end. Painted Deep Black & Cardinal Red finish. Black vinyl bucket seat interior with full console. Power front disc brakes. Power steering. Dual hood scoops. Rear sway bar. HEI. Dual exhaust with manifolds and chrome exhaust tips. Factory Air Conditioning. Factory in-dash tachometer and in-dash clock. Tilt column. Remote driver side mirror. AM/FM/Cassette radio with rear speakers. 15” Factory wheels with radial tires.

Source: A & E Classics

Comments: I love this car. It looks fantastic in the photos provided on the site. I could definitely see driving the wheels off this car. It doesn't saw what V-8, but probably a 350 Pontiac motor.

1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL - $13,995

Description: it's still wearing its original paint which is proof that it's led a good life. this is a southern car so it hasn't been slogging through winter weather for years and as a result the doors slam with that precision that you almost can't find today. The optional red leather interior is a fantastic upgrade over the usual MB-Tex vinyl that was standard equipment in these cars. These cars came loaded with every feature they could think of in 1978, including power windows and locks, A/C with a recent R134a refrigerant upgrade, and even a rear defroster in the removable hardtop.

Source: Streetside Classics

Comments: Hey... it's Bobby Ewing's car from Dallas! I always loved that. I would definitely like to see one of these in my collection some day.

1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

Description: This is the first styling of the SL with the original European-style bumpers. The engine starts up every time and all lights work. Fully functioning car that you can jump in and enjoy as is. There has been well over $10,000 invested through aesthetics (wheels, seats, steering wheel and more) as well as under-the-hood. It is originally from Texas and I am the 2nd owner. The car has been garage stored over the years and has the original paint. The front seats have been changed for a non-MB Sport version until can find original replacements. Some accenture AMG body work additions add to the style. 4.5L 8 Cylinder / 260HP 3 SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH ALUMINUM SHIFTER B&G SPORT SPRINGS LECARRA 3 SPOKE LEATHER STEERING WHEEL AMG STYLING SPORT SEATS WITH 4 POINT HARNESS AMG PENTA WHEELS 16X8 (Extremely Rare!)

Source: Auto Trader Classic

Comments: This is a strange one. The seats are weird. But the price is pretty low. Also, this one was located in San Antonio making it very easy to see if I wanted to. I would take a look because of how local it is. But if any of the mods effect reliability I would pass in a heartbeat.

1972 Dodge Charger - $20,500

Description: 1972 Charger SE - 383 Magnum out of 71 Roadrunner - engine has been rebuilt with a mild Lunati cam - about 5K miles on rebuild - rebuilt 727 tranny using red eagle clutch plates - TCI tranny cooler - shift kit - 3K stall Hughes torque converter installed with tranny rebuild (synthetic tranny oil) - Under 2K miles on tranny rebuild - rewired bumper to bumper with new harnesses - MSD ignition - new griffin aluminum radiator - car doesn't overheat, hasn't exceeded 180-190 degrees in the Houston heat - New seats - dash and door panels are original and are in good condition - paint looks great, but it does have some chips and could use new paint - this car runs great.

Source: Auto Trader Classic

Comments: I am not sure how this got in here being over $20,000. Then again... I will probably never be able to afford a 68-69 Charger, so I had to take a closer look. The interior looks almost exactly like the 73 Road Runner I used to have... including that factory slap stick shifter in the factory console so flat you can put your big gulf on it would the need for a cup holder.

1971 GMC Sprint - $12,500

Description: Rare GMC Sprint ( El Camino twin ), Original Numbers Matching 350-V8, Automatic, Air Conditioning, Power Disc Brakes, Power Steering, 12 Bolt Rear Axle, Tilt Steering Column, Chrome Ralley Wheels, Solid Body, Solid Floorpans, Headers w/ Dual Exhaust, Aluminum 4v Intake, Runs Strong, Black on Black

Source: Auto Trends

Comments: A nice alternative to a El Camino. It looks very clean and seems like a nice find. I like it.

1978 Pontiac Trans Am - $12,900

Description: This Pontiac Trans Am is one of 57,035, l78-400 c. I., automatic cars built in 1978. It is solar gold with the camel velour cloth interior. The current mileage is 77,262 and is the original mileage. The wheels are the original Honeycomb aluminum 15x7 with the center caps. The tires are matching BF Goodrich p235/75r15 and are about 50% on the tread. This T/A starts right up and runs and drives great! The engine is the original 6.6, l78- 400 c.i. 4 bbl v8, backed by a 3 speed automatic transmission.

Source: Classical Gas Enterprises

Comments: It's not the best looking TA out there, but the price and the fact it has the original and preferred 400 engine is a huge plus. I would think about it.

1965 Ford Mustang - $14,995

Description: This 1965 brilliant blue Mustang is powered by a 1979 351 Windsor. It rolls on 15" American Racing polished Torque Thrust wheels. It has a black vinyl interior and has air conditioning. It has a new Holley 4v carburetor on top of an Edelbrock street master aluminum intake manifold with a chrome air cleaner & chrome valve covers.. To handle the horsepower it has an 8" rear, one inch front lowering springs, new Edelbrock gas shocks, new leaf springs, long tube headers, glass pack mufflers, set of three Sun Pro gauges and an electronic ignition. The car has new brakes, a new master cylinder and a new starter solenoid. It comes with a Mustang am/fm/cassette stereo. This car was originally a 6 cylinder but has been completely converted.

Source: Performance Mustangs

Comments: I love the color. It is effecting my judgment. If the mods are done well, this could be a great car to drive around.

1966 Ford Falcon - $15,995

Description: Packing a 289 cubic inch V8, a manual gearbox, and a clean, uncluttered look, this 1966 Falcon Futura 2-door offers Mustang performance and value with a distinctly sporting look and a very reasonable price tag.

Source: Streetside Classics

Comments: I am not a big fan... but like the ad states, it is a Mustang under the skin. Also, the car looked very clean in the pictures. It would have to be almost perfect to sway me, but worth a look.

1969 Ford Mustang Convertible - $15,000

Description: 1969 Mustang GT Convertible/ 61k miles. -New Floors, Frame Rails, Paint, Disc Brakes (Frt), Suspension, Wheels/Tires. -Original Interior in great condition. -351w/ T5 trans installed and runs great. (Original 351w and 3spd available @ additional cost.) -Convertible top in good condition, rear window will need replacing.

Source: Auto Trader Classic

Comments: Another car from San Antonio (well, almost but the area code is the same as SA), so I have to check it out. Only 3 pics in the ad, so we need a LOT more into. I really like that it has a 5 speed in it.

1970 Mercury Cougar - $16,800

Description: This 1970 Cougar is a nice driver and is a factory XR7 edition which included simulated wood trim, a tachometer, an electric clock and special wheel covers. The hideaway headlights flip around from behind what looks to be part of the grill and operate properly. In the rear you will find sequential taillights that span almost the entire rear of the car. Powering up this classic is a 351 Windsor.

Source: Classical Gas Enterprises

Comments: I don't like the color, and I really don't like the wheels. But I like the car, enough to want to see it up close.

Continuing on AutoTrader (not classic) with this search:

1981 - 1995
5000 15000
Mileage under 60,000
Sort oldest to newest
300 miles from my zip code

Here's what I found there:

1982 Chevrolet Corvette - $16,500

Description: For your driving pleasure this RARE FIND 1982 Chevrolet Corvette is offered for sale! Striking Silver exterior with full Gray leather that brings this VETTE to life! AN ORIGINAL 26K MILES! Powered by an impressive 5.7L, 8-cylinder engine, RWD, with an Automatic Transmission. Comes well-equipped with T-Tops, Premium Surround Sound System, Adjustable Driver Sport Seat, Ice Cold A/C, Premium Wheels that define the sleekness of the exterior, and there is so much more. Well-maintained. Always Garaged! All accessories/options are in fine working condition. This one is definitely for Corvette Enthusiasts!

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: I am a sucker for the 82 Collector Edition Vette. Even with the lousy Crossfire Injection. Got to love the low mileage! 

1985 Buick Regal T-Type - $16,500

Description: Up for sale is a redone 1985 Buick Regal T-Type. Powered by an upgraded 3.8 liter V6 tuned to 12 lbs of boost on a GBody Chip. Complete repaint of car to include jams, underhood and decklid. Shaved door handles. Updated & Upgraded Suspension with new bushings throughout, Eibach Pro Springs and Bilstein shocks. Interior has been got some treatments as well. Grand National seat covers. Two sets of gauge pods to moniter boost/vacuum, RPM, oil pressure and water temp. New Grant steering wheel. New COMPLETE HVAC system. Blows Ice cold. New Rims and Tires. Boss 338 wheels 18x9.5 rear and 18x8.0 front. Running new BFG KDW Tires 245 front 265 rear. I am sure I am missing a lot of new parts but everything has been gone over and works like it should. Custom wheels Boss 338 18x8 Front w/ brand new 245/45/18 BFG. Excellent condition, Looks & drives great, Must see, New paint, New tires, No accidents, Seats like new, Title in hand, Very clean interior.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: Seems a lot like what I would do to a car like this. It's always cheaper to buy it than build it. As long as the work done is quality work... I think this could be a cool car. Worth a look.

1988 Ford Mustang LX - $8,500

Description: I purchased this mustang from its original owner in 1998. Since then, we have modified and shown this car at several shows. There is not much that has not been upgraded, and this car is perfect for a weekend or summer evening toy. This car has it all, and is super fun as well as turn heads everywhere you take it. It is time for us to pass this toy along to another person who has the time to enjoy it, as it just sits in our garage. There has been well over 30k invested into this car, so serious buyers please inquire.Suspension:Yellow Adjustable Koni ShocksRed Adjustable Koni Quad ShoksEibach Blue Racing SpringsComplete Energy Suspension Urethane Bushing SystemStrut Tower BraceLower G BraceWheels, Tires & Brakes:Custom polished Centerline wheels 17X7(front) 17X8 (rear)Goodyear F-1 tires (235-45-ZR17)Powerstop slotted front rotorsDriveline:Tremec 5sp (3.27, 1.98, 1.34, 1.0, 0.68)King Cobra ClutchRace balanced driveshaftComplete rear-end bearingsAuburn Locker3.73 Richmond GearsEngine:302 Long BlockPort matched headsPerformer RPM manifoldHolly Race CarbMallory DistributorHeadman 1 5/8 headersCustom Erson Roller Camshaft The car was repainted using the factory burgundy with a violet pearl in the clear coat to allow it to change colors, andwe modified the interior with a 4 point cage, seats, stereo, pro 5.0 shifter, some gauges and 2 stainless exhaust andflow master mufflers.Items the car needs are new tires, as they are old, not worn out. The drivers and passenger side door lock actuatorshave died with age. The driver side needs new door weather-stripping, but the car does not leak. The headliner iswrinkled as with its age and the Texas heat they didn t get along well, and I have a small crack in the windshield.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: I don't normally like such heavily modified cars. But buying it for pennies on the dollar I like. SO maybe a really good inspection might be worth it. If I was going to mod a Fox Body Mustang, why not save money and buy one built already, then just sort it and make it look nice.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette - $16,500

Description: Car has been restored, new paint, tires, exhaust system, interior, Show Car quality, engine rebuilt, has small cam, flow masters, new carb, accel ignition, car restored by professional , All records, New paint, New tires, Seats like new, Well maintained.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: The car was listed as 21,965 miles. If that's true... I have to check this car out.

1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z - $13,500

Description: A/C ice cold, Always garaged, Excellent condition, Fully loaded with all the goodies, Looks & drives great, Must see, Never seen snow, New tires, Non-smoker, Seats like new, Title in hand, Very clean interior, Well maintained. No teenage drivers. New tires, New headliner, T-tops (no leak), Power windows, New alternator and belts, Ready to show, Great for meets and evenings out. Perfect for cruising and enjoying. Never been a daily driver. Slight rear main seal leak and needs antenna repaired.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: The ad listed it as 39K miles. Wow! I need to see this car. These cars were so cool when I was in college. Yea, they were crap with more rattles on the showroom floor than most cars ever have. But it still looks cool.

1988 Pontiac Fiero GT - $8,950

Description: Collector car, Always garaged, Custom wheels, Never seen snow, No accidents, Non-smoker, Well maintained.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: This car has 52k original miles. I actually thought about buying one, but didn't because it was going out of production. So I bought a Honda CRX Si instead. I need to at least see this car.

1989 Ford Mustang LX - $10,490

Description: If you've been considering a 5.0 Mustang now's the time to act. I have kids now that are driving age and need to free up parking. The miles on it are original and the Mustang still runs and drives great. I am the second owner but have had it for some 25 years. It has always been garage kept and maintained. This is your opportunity to own and enjoy a classic Mustang 5.0 for many years to come.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: Not this is more like it. If you want an LX Fox Body Mustang... this is what you want. Unfortunately I want a coupe. Oops! I can't pass up looking over this car though.

1994 Ford Mustang Cobra - $12,000

Description: 1994 Mustang INDY PACE CAR Number 85 of 1000. Drives and looks great. First year of the Cobra return. A/C ice cold with new compressor, Always garaged, Custom wheels, Excellent condition, Fully loaded with all the goodies, Mostly highway miles, Must see, Never seen snow, New tires, No accidents, Non-smoker, Title in hand, Very clean interior, Well maintained. Convertible top in great shape with original boot included. In the trunk the original sealed box with Indy stickers to be added if you wish. Car has 52,000 Original miles on the odometer.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: These are going to go up in value. Count on it. It's just a question of how much. I am not into cars for investment though. As a driver this should be a nice car... and it should hold its value if you need to sell it. That is a plus with me.

1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 - $14,000

Description: Excellent condition, Looks & drives great, Must see, Title in hand, New tires, New top, Engine: 5.7L V8 OHV 12V.

Source: Auto Trader

Comments: Someday I will but a 93-96 Camaro Z-28. This one has only 51K miles, but the price still seemed to high form me. However, I want bright red, and not a convertible, so keep looking. In fact.. I would go nation wide to get a Camaro of this vintage.