Classic Car Watch
Top 10 Choices

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.

May 1, 2017
By Scott Lewis

If you have been reading this column for any length of time, you know I like looking around the Internet at classic cars. And you might also know that next year (early 2018) I will be shopping for a car. I have a debt consolidation loan that will be paid off at the end of December. Add to that, income tax refund and possible company bonus and I will be shopping for a car next Spring.

I am still on the fence about what car to get. I expect to have a budget of $30k. I don't think I could swing any more (unless it was really, really special). This might mean getting just one car. So, do I get a modern car or a classic? I would love to get both, but I just can't see that happening.

If I get a classic I will still have my Ford Focus. I would like the ability to drive the classic as much as possible. Insurance might be a limiting factor. I will look into that next year.

For now I want to show you the top 10 cars I would be calling about if I were shopping today. I will spread this around... I could literally put 10 Mustangs here, but that would be boring. Let's just look at one car from each of a few categories.

Of course, I will have a few runner-ups at the bottom. I made sure that all teh cars below were still for sale on the day this was published (5/1/2017), so follow the link if you are interested. Don't contact me.

1972 Corvette, Blue on Blue, 350/200, Auto, A/C - $27,972 (link)

1972 Corvette For Sale 1972 Corvette For Sale 1972 Corvette For Sale 1972 Corvette For Sale

Comments: I have not yet decided if I want a Corvette. I like them, but these seem less "Muscle Car" to me. However, here is a perfect Corvette for me. Chrome bumper (68-72) in blue with A/C. I would prefer a manual, but at my age I will not be picky.

1969 Camaro, Blue w/ Black over Black, 350, Auto w/ Console - $26,900 (link)

Comments: A couple of weeks ago i saw a 69 Camaro at a local car event. It was for sale. It was perfect, and it has now tainted me. That car was "done" already. It have tubular control arms, with coil over front suspension, a ZZ4 crate motor with a 6 speed manual, and Vintage Air A/C. Exactly what i would do to a 69 Camaro. He wanted $33K. I told him to call me next year if he hasn't sold it. The car I am showing you here is a sweetheart. It is an awesome blank canvas. Just add A/C and drive, drive, drive.

1971 Camaro SS, Red over Black, 350 #'s Match, Auto, A/C - $23,500 (link)

Comments: This is PERFECT. Verify #'s Matching. It is super low key with no spoilers. But bright red with an attractive black vinyl roof. The perfect Rallye wheels. A/C. This needs nothing except some personal touches down the line like 4 wheel disc brakes, upgraded suspension and fuel injection.

1966 Mustang Convertible, Emberglo over Emberglo, 289, Auto, A/C - $30,500 (link)

Notes: This is EXACTLY what I want... if I get a convertible. Perfect color combination. All the right Faux Wood. It's Perfect!!!!

1979 Pontiac Trans Am, Black over Black, 65K, W-72 400, 4 speed, W-S6, A/C - $25,998 (link)

used 1979 Pontiac Trans AM  | Lakeland, FL used 1979 Pontiac Trans AM  | Lakeland, FL used 1979 Pontiac Trans AM  | Lakeland, FL used 1979 Pontiac Trans AM  | Lakeland, FL

Comments: I do not believe I will end up with a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am, but I do like them. I was a teenager when the movie came out so there is that nostalgia factor tugging at my heart strings. They're kind of cool, so maybe!!

1971 Monte Carlo SS 454, Blue over Blue, 454 #'s Match, Auto w/ Console, A/C - $29,983 (link)

Comments: This is perfect. A big honking Monte Carlo... and an SS 454 to boot. Right at the top of my budget. I really hope this car is still for sale next year. Heck, it's even in blue, my favorite color. BTW... the ad currently says "inquire," but I saw it listed for $29,983 when I first saw it for sale in late February.

1971 Nova, Red over Black, 350, 4 Speed, A/C - $28,995 --> $26,995 (link)

Comments: This car has EVERYTHING right for a 68-72 Nova. Plain, black interior with a 4 speed... and it even has A/C. Wow! Remember, this has the same suspension as a 1st gen Camaro, so the sky is the limit if you want performance. I must admit, I am on the fence with the vinyl roof, more with this car than some of the others above. The seats are from something more modern. I would consider swapping in a factory bench seat for more of that sleeper feel.

1971 Chevelle Malibu SS, Blue over Black, 350 Crate, 4 Speed, Console, SS Dash, A/C - $24,999 (link)

Comments: I know it must be a clone, but it looks good enough. Especially since it has teh SS dash. I tend to ignore SS Chevelle clones with the bar speedo. And how often do you see a nice SS clone with a 4 speed and A/C? The fact it is a late model crate motor is a plus for me. I want to drive the tires off this car.

1972 GS, Orange over Black, 350 #'s Match, Auto w/ Console, A/C - $28,900 (link)

1972 Buick GS 1972 Buick GS 1972 Buick GS 1972 Buick GS

Comments: This car is PERFECT except for color. Though not a bad orange, it is ORANGE. I Love EVERYTHING else about the car. Dyna Mat already installed during restoration, mild rear suspension mods, real ram air, buckets with console, etc. Just perfect!

1972 Road Runner, Hemi Orange over Black, 400, Auto w/ Slap Stick in Console, A/C, PW, 75K miles - $28,500 (link)

Comments: I had a 73 Road Runner. They are a little uglier than the 71-72, which I think did the best job with the fuselage look. The fact this one also has A/C and is ready to cruise makes this a no brainer.

Now for some runner-ups.

1982 Corvette Collector Edition, A/C, 42K - $18,800 (link)

Comments: If I was to give up on the chrome bumper Vettes (68-72), I could go for one of these. This one is nice low mileage and looks sharp. The engine is a dog (about 200 horsepower) so this would be a cruiser. But cruise I would. Hey, it's a hatchback... so load it up and go on Power Tour!

1969 Camaro, Brown over Black, 307 #'s Match, 3 Speed Manual - $25,900 (link)

Comments: I really like this car. However, it only has a 307. This is literally the lowest horsepower engine you could ever get in a Camaro with a V-8. However, this does have a manual. Yes a 3 speed, the lowest manual. But at least the clutch pedal and associated hardware for a manual are all in place. This would be a fantastic blank canvas. I would consider this a project car. Very slowly over time I would tweak it. Add A/C (immediately). Later put a 6 speed manual in it. Then 4 wheel disc brakes. Then a crate motor. Then suspension. All this could be done why driving the car. The perfect driver/project that looks great right now. I passed up a 307/3 speed 69 Camaro in my early 20's because I could not drive a manual... yet. What a dummy I was.

1966 Mustang, Dark Green over Black, 289, Auto - $19,995 (link)

Comments: I prefer the 66 Mustang of the early 1st gen cars. I love the 5 gauge cluster over the bar speedo in 65. This one is super clean. Another great blank canvas for a project. If I spend more I want more (A/C, console, faux wood, etc). As it is.. I really could see buying this car. I would upgrade the interior with a console, two-tone Pony seats and door panels (black & white). Maybe consider converting the interior to green and white. I would have to talk that over with my restoration guy before wasting the money on that. Then a console, new carpet with Dyna-Mat under it. Then mild performance tweaks. The possibilities with a car like this are endless. Of course the goal would be to do as much as possible for as little cash. Let's not go crazy.

1970 Ford Mustang COUPE, White over Red, M code 351 Cleveland, 4spd, Shaker Hood, A/C - $29,900 (link)

Comments: I REALLY want a 66 Coupe (fastbacks are mostly out of my price range), but I currently do not have one for sale on my radar that is perfect enough for me in my price range. Always missing something. However, when I came across this 70 coupe I fell in love. The shaker hood, 4 speed and A/C. Perfect. This is just different enough for me, and has all the right parts that I can forgive it for not being a 66.

1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6, Brown over Tan, 400, 4 speed, T-Tops, A/C - $25,995 (link)

Comments: I am still on the fence if I really want to get a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am. But this one really impressed me... especially being brown!!! Looks great!

1970 Buick Skylark, Green on Green, 350 #'s Match, Auto on Column, Bench, 32K miles - $25,000 (link)

Comments: Gran Sport Clone. Too bad it did not have buckets, console and A/C. Seems pricey for a clone, but I like the color more that the Orange one above.

1971 Dodge Dart Swinger, Plum Crazy with Black over Black, 340 NOM, Auto on Column, Buckets, A/C - $24,850 (link)

Comments: I really like the Plum Crazy color on Mopars. I want one someday. This is currently the only Plum Crazy car I have seen recently in my price range.