Classic Car Watch
Back to Basics - Part II

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.

August 2, 2015
By Scott Lewis

Last month I did a "Back to Basics" look at cars. That was a Texas based search, cars within a few hundred miles of my zip code. In other words... cars I could look at on a Saturday and possibly drive home.

This month I want to take another approach. Let's call it "Back to Basics - Part II." This month I revisited the history of this column. Back in 2010 I created the "Short List." This was a list of 5 cars that I most likely wanted to buy... when I had the money. Don't read that old article, it was full of ideals of how my finances would go. They failed miserably.

But the list itself is still valid. These are cars I like a LOT. So I thought this month I would only look at cars from this list.

  • 1970-1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 1965-1968 Ford Mustang
  • 1965-1969 Chevrolet Corvair
  • 1967-1973 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 1969-1982 Chevrolet Corvette

Looking at this list... I can tell you right now... I cannot afford a 69-72 Corvette, or a 67-69 Camaro. They are just too high in price for any budget I can come up with in the near future. So I have to settle for later versions of the C3 Corvette, and 70-73 Camaros, which could still be a stretch.

Here are the cars I liked when I searched Auto Trader Classic looking nationally for each car in the $5,000 - $20,000 price range.

Out of 17 Corvairs on the day of my search, these are the ones I liked:

1965 Chevrolet Corvair Convertible - $13,700

Description: Looks & runs great, Must see, Very clean interior. Listed with 72007 miles.

Source: AotoTrader Classic

Comments: The pictures are terrible, but high resolution. And the car looks pretty good.

1968 Chevrolet Covair - $12,995

Description: Recently Restored! 164 ci 140hp flat 6 cylinder, 2 speed automatic transmission, stock radio, bucket seats with center console, new carpet, dual Flowmaster exhaust, chrome wheels with new tires, and RWD. New: Paint exhaust, interior touches, shocks, valve adjustment, carburetors, and plugs. True miles are unknown.

Source: Play Toys

Comments: I am on the fence on the wheels, but otherwise I really like this one.

1965 Chevrolet Corvair - $8,995

Description: Monza 500 2dr HT, nice body/paint, great orig int, 6cyl, powerglide auto, runs/drives great.

Source: Country Classic Cars

Comments: I like the color better than the dark blue above. I don't like the bench seat though. But the price is great for a starter classic.

1967 Chevrolet Corvair - $7,950

Description: Six cylinder engine, 4-speed transmission, performance upgrades, bucket seats, CD player, Grant steering wheel, spoiler, 14" rally wheels.

Source: Maple Motors

Comments: I love the paint scheme to look a bit like the 78 Pace Car Corvette. And the Rallye wheels look great too. Price is nice. I hate the scoops on the truck (hood).

1965 Chevrolet Corvair - $14,500

Description: Quality Chevrolet Corvair Corsa, All Original and ready to show!

Source: Classic Rides and Rods

Out of 14 Monte Carlos on the day of my search, these are the ones I liked:

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $16,500

Description: Recent restored frame off. has a numbers matching 402 big block with a turbo 400 automatic transmission, just installed a 1 inch drop suspension, custom rims, with newer cooper tires, also new 3 inch stainless dual exhaust system, and factory SS gauge package with tach. -new rebuilt rear end 308 richmond gears with auburn posi-backed up by a 12 bolt rear end, The Chrome/grill, and all glass along with the trim are in good condition, The Floors/rocker panels, trunk are solid as a rock, The interior has black bucket seats with a center console that is controlled by the original horseshoe shifter, the door panels, dash, carpet are in nice condition, but the headliner will need to be replaced, car has front disc brakes, and this is a AC car as well, The paint is marina blue with ghost flame SS Stripes, i would rate the paint 7.5/10, This BIG BLOCK Monte is ready to hit the cruise nights very solid car, but keep in mind this is not a professional restoration, BUT VERY CLEAN AND STRAIGHT RESTO

Source: American Muscle Cars

Comments: I like the color, the wheels, the bucket seats with the console with the horseshoe shifter. Love the numbers matching big block.

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $19,425

Description: 1972 Monte Carlo New Paint Original Interior 350 Engine Power Steering Power Breaks Cold A/C 59,595 Original Miles.

Source: RL Custom Cars

Comments: Gotta like the low miles. The price seems high. Except for the mileage there is nothing special here. Need to see it in person.

1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - $18,995

Description: This 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is one impressive luxury coupe. It offers numbers matching V8 power, plenty of luxury features including cold A/C, and a period-perfect color combination, making it a fantastic example of Chevy's best in 1970.

Source: Streetside Classics

Comments: Those wheels have to go!!! They ruin the vibe of the car. I have seen this car on sale for a while. I may have even put it on this site before (I was not in the mood to look). Regardless, get the price a little lower... and replace the wheels with some nice Rallye wheels and this car is set.

Out of 33 Camaros on the day of my search, these are the ones I liked:

1968 Chevrolet Camaro - $13,650

Description: new radiator, nice all orig car, great paint, nice int, newer crager wheels, good tires, six cyl, 3spd, runs good.

Source: Country Classic Cars

Comments: A six cylinder with 3 on the tree. That's why this car is affordable. I'll take it. Probably the only way I will be able to afford a 1st gen Camaro for a long time.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro - $17,500

Description: Nice driver with a 20 footer paint job. Has a 350 with s 30 thousandths over bore making it a 355. 350 Turbo Transmission. Motor has less than 3000 miles since rebuild and transmission was built with a shift kit around the same time. Manual drum brakes, and manual steering. Interior is decent. Aftermarket radio does not work.

Source Robert Steinert Classic Car Network

Comments: The wheels are crap. The photos are crap. But the car looks like it good be something. I want to see this one in person.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible - $19,900

Description: 1968 Camaro Convertible. RS 69,000 Miles. In Line 6 Cylinder. Own since 1995. Last 18yrs this car has never seen snow or rain.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Comments: Plain, Nice, I Like it. Love the low mileage.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro - $18,750

Description: 25283

Source: AutoTrader CLassics

Comments: When the entire description is just a number, and that number seems like the mileage, and the mileage is super low... I get interested. Otherwise... what is wrong with this guy for not putting more info into his ad. Really, he couldn't put in a sentence that says it's the original mileage.

Out of 268 Corvettes on the day of my search, these are the ones I liked:

1976 Chevrolet Corvette - $16,900

Description: 1976 Chevy Corvette for Sale. Corvette...America's favorite sports car! And, here is a really sharp one! A 3 owner, well cared for Corvette that is ready to show or go! Whether you want to head out to dinner or to your local car show or cruise-in, it will capture everyone's attention. It's plain to see that it's been well maintained throughout it's life. Powered by a 350 CI L-48 with automatic transmission, power steering, four wheel power disc brakes, factory air conditioning, and color keyed T-Tops. Very original throughout. A quick look will indicate that the correct air breather is in place along with the chromed ignition suppressor cover. Finished in Code 22, Corvette Bright Blue with a contrasting gray leather interior with bucket seats, console, an AM/FM radio, power windows, and a tilt steering column. The car rolls on a set of factory alloy rims carrying B.F.Goodrich raised white letter radials in 215/60R 15's. Here's a great opportunity to grab up a low mileage, very popular classic that's sure to provide countless hours of enjoyable cruising!

Source: PJ's Auto World

Comments: The ad showed 51,459 miles. If true that would justify the price. Plus I love the color. I like it!

1978 Chevrolet Corvette - $14,995

Description: 1978 Corvette For Sale Anniversary Edition Power Steering Power Brakes Power Windows Air Conditioning New Tires & Rims New Paint New Interior.

Source: WeBe Autos

Comments: I love a Silver Anniversary Corvette. I just want to see one with a silver interior. Oh well, if you're not going to get silver the dark blue this car has is the next best thing. Love the two-tone paint. I also love how they polished the wheels. I did that for a friend once on a 76 Vette back in NY.

1972 Chevrolet Corvette - $19,999

Description: 78882 original miles Only 500 miles in new engine. Transmission just service oil/filter. new tires ,new mufflers, new brakes, new fuel pump.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Comments: How did a chrome bumper Vette make it on this list. Well, probably because the new engine is not a numbers matching one. I can live with that.

1971 Chevrolet Corvette - $17,995

Description: Super Sweet-Original Corvette Stingray-Low Low Miles.

Source: American Muscle Cars

Comments: What's wrong with this car. he ad listed it as having 46K miles. If that's true this car should be a lot more than this. I would think. It even has a 4 speed. I should be going to see it.

Out of 149 Mustangs on the day of my search, these are the ones I liked:

1965 Ford Mustang - $16,995

Description: Fully Restored and Fresh Paint!!! 289 V8, automatic transmission, AM radio, embossed bucket seats, dual exhaust, Crager wheels, RWD, full size spare tire, and vinyl hardtop.

Source: Play Toys

Comments: This car has a Two-Tone (blue & white, my favorite) Pony Interior with a bench seat. I don't recall ever seeing both of those together before. I want this car!!!!

1966 Ford Mustang - $16,995

Description: This lovely 1966 Ford Mustang coupe features a wonderful color combination, a sweet-running 289, and an extra-large dose of charm. Code Y Silver Blue was the factory color for this pony car, but it's been replaced with a more desirable coat of vivid red paint. It's a captivating look that will certainly age well with the Mustang's lines. Bodywork is fair, making this car the perfect driver. Chrome Crager wheels measure in at 14'' and complete the classic look we've all come to love with older Mustangs. The interior makes for a great color combination, finished in clean black vinyl. Black carpets have been fitted and are topped with a full length center console that houses the shifter for the automatic transmission. 

Source: Streetside Classics

Comments: Just a nice Mustang. I like it.

1965 Ford Mustang - $14,995

Description: 1965 Ford Mustang 289 CID, Automatic, 2 door Hardtop, Turquoise exterior with Black interior, A/C, No Power steering or brakes. Runs and drives well.

Source: Auto Quest Investment Cars

Comments: Another nice but plain Mustang. This one has A/C.

1966 Ford Mustang - $14,900

Description: V-8 engine, automatic transmission, power brakes, chrome accessories, split bench seat, floor shifter, wood grain steering wheel, side scoops, trumpet exhaust, 14" chrome Magnum 500 wheels.

Source: Maple Motors

Comments: I am totally digging the look of this Mustang. Love the dark green color with the white accent stripes.

1966 Ford Mustang - $14,995

Description: 1966 Mustang Classic. 10 miles on newly rebuilt engine with warranty, automatic transmission, factory A/C with new compressor, new drum to disc brake conversion, new cooling system, new tires. Looks & Runs great.

Source: AutoTrader Classics

Comments: I am getting a strange vide from this car. Might be worth a call, but I would not put it high on my list. It is a 6 cylinder car with A/C, so maybe it's just me. Could be a nice cruiser.

1965 Ford Mustang - $13,900

Description: Restored & refurbished straight solid body & floors, rebuilt original 200 cid 6cly engine with automatic transmission, nice black interior with rare bench seat, car is fully serviced and needs nothing but a good home.

Source: Old Town Automobile & Truck Sales

Comments: I am pulled to this car for some reason. It's just a plain Mustang with a 6 cylinder, and automatic and a bench seat. There is nothing special here. So why do I like it so much?

1966 Ford Mustang - $12,995

Description: Wimbledon White looks great on the handsome bodywork, and this one steadily shows sharp and smooth reflections. The chrome and other bright pieces, like the sporty bullet mirrors, are in good shape. White and blue vinyl interior. Three-spoke, wood-trimmed steering wheel. A vintage AM/FM radio lives in the dash, but it's just for originality since a Sony AM/FM/CD stereo has been installed inconspicuously underneath. This coupe came from the factory with a 200 cubic inch inline-six and 3 speed manual transmission.

Source: Streetside Classics

Comments: Something weird here. The interior looks like a Pony interior. The door panels are Pony interior panels. But the seat, though two-tone, are not Pony Interior. The steering wheels seems Pony Interior. The blue on the seats looks too dark. It should match the blue on the dash. So... lets get correct Pony Interior seat covers for this car. Then it will look great. Add some A/C and drive it. Maybe even swap the 3 speed for a 5 speed. That would be cool. Overall I love the look (if we corrected those seats).