Classic Car Watch
Dallas & Fort Worth (Classic Car Liquidators, Gateway & Streetside)

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.

February 19, 2018
By Scott Lewis

My first dealer visit was to A&E Classic Cars in New Braunfels last weekend. I was very impressed.

Now it's time to take a longer drive and head to the Dallas - Fort Worth area. There are 3 large classic car dealers in this area: Gateway Classic Cars in Dallas, Streetside Classics in Fort Worth and Classic Car Liquidators in Sherman (north of Dallas). I also stopped by a smaller dealer, Garrett Classics in Lewisville. I did not have time to visit another dealer, Atlas Muscle Cars. I went there on February 17th and tried to see as much as I could in one day. Then I had dinner with my brother-in-law and his wife.

Below are the cars I researched before going. As before, the "notes" where written before going and the "update" was done upon my return. I have serious interest some cars, the rest are to gauge the quality of the cars from each dealer. The cars I was serious about are in blue. The updates for those cars will be important as I narrow my choices. Get ready for a long read... there are over 30 cars listed below. Fortunately, there are only 11 in blue, and 2 of those were sold.

At this stage I want to know if I can trust each dealer's web site, so I don't have to visit again until I find the car and need to schedule a test drive.

I will tackle these dealers in the order I saw them starting with Classic Car Liquidators. I forgot to ask this dealer if they own the cars or if they are on consignment. I will email them to ask. If consignment it can't hurt to make low offers.

1966 Mustang Fastback - $34,995 (link)

Description: Green over Black, Auto

Notes: Manual Drum Brakes, Manual Steering. Wow, talk about a low option car. However, this is an awesome looking Bullitt Mustang (to me... I know it is the wrong year and has silver stripes). I love this look of this car. I need to see if I want to spend my max on it (my max without A/C is $35k).

Update: This was a very clean car, and I liked it... a lot. But it just has too little for the price. Manual steering, manual drum brakes is as basic as it gets. Also, it was originally a 6 cylinder car, so we need to be a little concerned that the conversion was done properly. Maybe I can make an offer on this car that will allow me to add A/C and 4 wheel disc brakes and still be within budget. So, likely this car is out of the running, but clearly I still like it enough I want to give it a chance. This is the hardest part of this search. You can spend forever trying to find the perfect classic car with the perfect options, or just buy something and enjoy it now.

1964 Biscayne - $23,999 (link)

Description: Custom Orange/Gold over Brown/Tan, 350, Auto on Column, Vintage Air.

Notes: Power Front Disc Brakes, Power Steering, Power Drivers seat, Boyd Coddington Wheels, Custom Leather Interior, Tilt Steering & Vintage Air A/C. This car is loaded. Why is this here? I am not even looking at this type of car. But that price and how good this car looks in pictures... I may have to buy it. I would try and knock the price down a couple thousand to leave me enough money to buy a modern convertible.

Update: This car was just as good in person as it is in the photos. Very interesting. But I have to decide if I really want to go this far off script.

1968 Camaro - $28,999 (link)

Description: Teal over White, 350, 5 Speed, A/C.

Notes: Power Steering, Power Brakes, Drilled and Slotted 4 Piston Front Brakes & A/C. I am a little surprised to find a nice looking 1st Gen Camaro with A/C for under $30K. Plus it has a 5 speed.

Update: SOLD!

1968 Mustang GT/CS - $28,999 (link)

Description: Yellow over Black, 289 #'s Match, Auto, A/C.

Notes: If this car were another color I would likely stop looking and make an appointment to test drive it. I have always has a fondness for the California Special with the Shelby-like taillights. Yes, Shelby-like, because on the CS they are not sequential. I think I can fix that.

Update: This car was perfect, except for the color. I could even stop looking and buy this... but I don't know if I can live with the color. Notice, this car was not in blue, yet it is now under consideration.

1965 Mustang - $28,999 (link)

Description: Maroon over Black, 5.0, Auto, 4 Wheel Disc Brakes.

Notes: This is a nicely modified Mustang. I love the paint, and hope it looks as good in person as it does in the photos. Plus this car looks super clean underneath. I can't wait to see this one. It has real potential for my money.

Update: This is my favorite car from this dealer. I even asked the salesman to call me if it looks like someone is going to try and buy it, to give me a chance to raise my down payment sooner. I mentioned I would need to add A/C and they told me they could do that. They have their own shop and can install A/C and charge more for the car to account for that. That allows you to buy the car with the A/C for one price. Perfect if you are financing your classic.

For me, I have a friend with a restoration shop and he will work with me to a) get me a discount on the A/C system and b) finish the work after I get as far as possible and just charge me by the hour. This could save me $500 - $1,000, and could be fun. I need to see how much this dealer charges for the A/C install.

1966 Mustang - $21,999 (link)

Description: Dark Blue over Blue, 289 FI, Auto.

Notes: Manual Brakes, Power Steering, FiTech Electronic Fuel-Injection, Flaming River Steering Box. Well, except the manual (I assume drum) brakes, this is a nice Mustang with a few modifications. At this price it would be easy to add 4 wheels disc brakes and an overdrive automatic transmission. Oh yea... and air conditioning. This could be a fun project. This is almost a fall back car. If I get the heebie jeebies thinking about spending a lot of money on a classic, this is a near perfect car to drive and ticker with without investing a ton on money up front.

Update: SOLD!

1966 Mustang GT - $27,999 (link)

Description: Black with White over Black/White Pony Int, 289, Auto.

Notes: Manual Brakes, 4 Piston Front Brakes, Manual Steering. Not much in the option department. But it is a GT with a Pony Interior. Granted... you know how I hate white vinyl roofs.

Update: This car looked fantastic. I just hate the white vinyl roof. It kills the look. I wonder if I could just change the roof to black. Then again, just find another car (there are quite a few Mustangs in this article alone). Maybe I should just get over myself. This is a real GT with a Two-Tone Pony Interior for under $30K.

1969 Chevelle - $31,999 (link)

Description: Blue over Black, 350, 4 Speed, Bench.

Notes: Nothing actually too exciting here, just a blue Chevelle with a 4 speed. I don't think this will pass muster at over $30K.

Update: This car was not quite as clean underneath and the Mustangs from this dealer. It looked to be a decent car, but the only thing that I found compelling was the 4 speed.

The second dealer was the small dealer in Lewisville, Garrett Classics. They emailed me on Thursday saying one of the two cars I was interested had been sold. That leaves this one, but this time I was very interested. This dealer only does consignments.

1966 Mustang - $27,000 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 302, AOD Auto w/ Console, 4 Wheel Disc, A/C.

Notes: I normally hate the Shelby R style front end. I have a friend with that on his car, but he still has a front bumper. I wonder if it is easy to put a front bumper on this car. I love what has been done here. They did not add the fake scoops in front of the rear wheels, they put in an overdrive transmission, installed 4 wheel disc brakes and it looks like it has a rack & pinion steering. Plus it has A/C. All the things I would do. Nice!

Update: This car seemed like a nice RestoMod. It has a full front suspension upgrade with tubular upper and lower control arms with the shock towers removed. This car is not going back to stock anytime soon. We have to be very careful here of the quality of the work. I am not sure I can get someone qualified to check it out. I don't like the Shelby R style front end. I will need to test drive this car to be sure all the things work well. I will also run it by by friend that owns the restoration shop. He has done similar work to car, and he might be able to tell by the pictures if this is a car to look into further or run away.

Next up was Gateway Classic Cars, which only does consignment sales. It was a little difficult walking around their warehouse... for the simple reason that none of the cars have the price on them. Since any offer on any car gets relayed back to the owner, they don't put prices on the cars in the warehouse. You have to be looking at their web site on your phone as you walk around... or bring a really nice list like I did.

1970 Monte Carlo - $19,995 (link)

Description: Triple Green, 350, Auto w/ Console & Buckets, Power Windows, Tach and Gauges, A/C.

Notes: Is the A/C working? It is in the photos, but never mentioned in the ad. Is it a #'s matching engine? How well do the power windows work?

This is a must see car. It is my second chance to compare a $20K Monte Carlo from a dealer to the Monte Carlo I test drove from a private seller. This is a key reason to visit these dealers. Are the prices they are asking worth it, or should I just keep find privately owned vehicles.

Update: SOLD! Darn, my second chance to compare a private seller Monet Carlo to a dealer car was lost.

1967 Mustang - $19,995 (link)

Description: Black over Red, 302, Auto, A/C.

Notes: Just a plain Mustang. This will allow me to gauge how well a car for $20K looks a their dealership. The photos are not inspiring. The nose of the car is way up in the air.

Update: I just didn't like this car.

1966 Mustang - $24,995 (link)


Description: Red over Black Pony Int, 289, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: This is an important car for me to see. A Mustang with Pony Interior, Console & A/C for $25K. It is at a nice price point. It is cheaper that the Mustang I am considering at A&E by $3,000 even though this car has more options. It also looks good enough to just start driving right away. Upgrades can come later.

Update: This car impressed me a lot. I want it. It sits too high in the rear, but that is easily fixed. The interior was super nice, with lots of faux wood. This car only has drum brakes, but at this price point I have no problem with that. Though I would try to give a slightly lower off to help pay for the 4 wheels disc brake upgrade. This car is very high on my list at the moment.

1968 Camaro RS/SS - $29,995 (link)

Description: White over White, 396 NOM, 4 Speed w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: Wow! An RS/SS Camaro for $30K. And it has a 396, a 4 Speed... and A/C? I have to see this car. I have to know how well this car compares to the Yellow 1972 Camaro RS at A&E Classic Cars. Obviously this car has a big advantage in power with the 396 big block. Or does it? A big block will make the car more nose heavy impacting handling. The 2nd Gen Camaro had improvements to its handling, plus a small block for the 72. That means the 72 should handle much better than this car, but be slower. How much slower? Most important is the condition for the same price. Improving handling and/or power is easy. I am not looking for a car in need of a restoration. Let's see.

Update: SOLD!

1972 Challenger - $29,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 340, Auto w/ Console & Slap Stik, A/C.

Notes: This just came up less than a week before my trip. It's a Challenger with a console and A/C. What more do I need to know? I want to see it.

Update: This car is leaking tranny and power steering fluid. Not a deal breaker. I really liked it. This and the red Mustang above are the two cars vying for my money from this dealer. I need to confirm, but I believe this car had drum brakes. So we will need an upgrade there on top of some needed maintenance. I am going to do a little research on brake and suspension option on the aftermarket for these cars, and decide if I want to make an offer.

1969 Chevelle - $34,995 (link)

Description: Orange over Black, 396 NOM, Auto on Column, Bench.

Notes: This car is here just for me to evaluate the condition of a $35K car from Gateway. The pictures lead me to believe the underside of this car is very clean and solid. Let's see how good the car looks in person and how the interior holds up to scrutiny.

Update: This car just didn't impress me much. Especially after the Mustang and Challenger.

Finally I headed over to Streetside Classics, with the longest list of cars. This dealer had the most impressive showroom, which kind of means they likely make the most money selling vehicles. However, all their cars are on consignment so they will present any off to the owner of the car.

1973 Grand Prix - $13,995 (link)

Description: White over Red, 400, Cold A/C.

Notes: Here is a super afford option for a classic. I have been tracking this car since June when they wanted $16,995 for it. I am curious how it will look in person. Also, if I found a Mustang or Camaro I liked for about $20K I could see getting this car as well. Or would I get the 76 Grand Prix I saw in Ohio? Or a modern convertible? Hmmm.

Update: Pretty plain car. But if you wanted a classic for not a lot of money this is your car. This does make a nice driver. I can't image buying it since I know of a black 76 Grand Prix for a little less money.... just out of state.

1965 Mustang - $17,995 (link)

Description: Fawn over Black, 260, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: The most affordable Mustang I will be seeing. And it has A/C. This is an experiment in seeing how little I can spend for a Driving/Project Car. Could I make this car look cool? Style Steel or Magnum 500 Wheels w/ BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires. GT Fog Lights. Partial or Total Two-Tone Pony Interior. GT Gauge Pod w/ Faux Wood and matching Glove Box and Console accents. Yea. I think this car could make a great affordable project car that looks good while you upgrade it little by little. What color stripes would go with this color?

Update: This car looked too plain, especially on the inside. And I also saw another Mustang that had the same exterior color but with a two tone Pony Interior for only $1,000 more. I will try to find it on their site. I could see making a project out of the other fawn car.

1965 Mustang - $18,995 (link)

For Sale: 1965 Ford Mustang

Description: Fawn over Two-Tone Pony Interior, 289, Auto, A/C.

Notes: This is a really nice, if completely boring Mustang. It looks to have power steering, manual brakes with front disc, A/C and a Pony Interior with all the faux wood I like so much. The hub caps nail it for me. A really clean Mustang that is a perfect blank canvas.

Update: This car will always be plain due to the color. But I think it would be a great challenge to tweak the overall performance of this car (braking, handling & power) while dressing up the appearance (nice wheels w/ BFG Radial T/As, Fog lights, Trumpet exhaust, Shelby hood). Could it look cool without a color change? I kind of want to find out.

1970 Cutlass - $19,995 (link)

Description: White over Blue, 350, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: The ad says it has a 4 speed auto with overdrive. Sweet! This is here because what if I  just want a really nice, classic car to drive almost every day. This car would need little sorting to be a reliable daily driver.

Update: This car has paint issues. For starters it looks to me like it originally had a vinyl roof, but it was removed and the roof just painted white to match. Also, I saw some paint on the lower quarter panel behind the wheel. Since I was not really interested I did not pull out a magnet or anything to see if there was any kind of Bondo. Upon rechecking their site, I could see the paint in the quarter panel in the photos. This is important because that should drive questions to the dealer. This visit was to determine if the photos and description of the cars on their site were enough to know if I would want the car or not. Meaning... do I have to go to the dealer for each car, or just when I am making an offer. This car tells me I need to look closer at the photos just before making that offer, but there was nothing disingenuous here.

1971 Firebird Formula 350 - $19,995 (link)

Description: Red with White over White, Auto, A/C, Power Windows.

Notes: I hate the white vinyl roof. But we know that can be changed to black easily. Here we have a nice Pony Car for a low enough price I could consider two cars. We need to toughen this car up a bit. Change the vinyl top to black, lower the nose a couple of inches and put BF Goodrich Radial TAs with raise white letters on it. That will help this car a lot.

Update: This car looked perfectly fine. If you like these you should just buy this one. At this price you can't go wrong. I would consider it if I did not already see other cars I like better.

1966 Mustang - $23,995 (link)

Description: Red over Parchment Pony Int, 351W, 5 Speed.

Notes: If this car runs good with the 351, it could be a great RestoMod. The heavy lifting is already done. Just add A/C and suspension mods and drive the wheels off. There is a monster hole in the dash where the radio went. I can only guess that at some point someone put in a modern stereo and then took it out. This will need to be fixed. But at what cost. Just looking at it I think you have to do this like real body work and create a patch panel and weld it in and paint it.

Update: This car had rusted floor boards, so I walked away.

1971 Mustang Fastback - $24,995 (link)

Description:  Not a Mach1, Pewter over Red, 351C/2, Auto.

Notes: I have a weird fondness for these oversized Mustangs. This is a luxury Mustang. I drove one a long time ago that had two 4 barrel carbs. It was a slug. It was over-carbureted. We won't make that mistake here. I want to test drive this and see how she performs. Also, there is A/C on the climate controls, but not under the hood. I suspect this was an A/C car, but the A/C was removed. We will want to correct that mistake right away. I think this car has a classy look about it. I think I want it.

Update: This car looked good, but less exciting in person than the photos on their web site. I guess I need to see it under better light. I have not give up on this car yet, but there were so many nice cars that I can't imagine this car having a chance to crack my wallet. However, if you are interested in these larger, more gentlemanly Mustang I suggest you take a close look at this one.

1968 442 - $25,995 (link)

Description: Blue over Black, 400 #'s Match, Auto w/ Console.

Notes: This is a throw away. I don't think I want this car. However, it is a #'s matching 400 powered 442 for a reasonable amount of money. I want to see how good it looks in person.

Update: I need to visit their web site and look at all the pictures. This car has some paint issues, which is likely why it is priced so low for a true 442. Looking at the photos I did see some of the paint issues, but it was very subtle. This is the only car that gives me pause to buy a car without seeing it first. I think the dealer should have included a clse up of the paint on the left quarter panel. You really can't tell from the photos on their web site what it really looks like.

1972 Chevelle - $26,995 (link)

Description: Silver over Black, 350 NOM, Auto Column, Bench, Nice Aftermarket Gauges.

Notes: This car has tubular control arms front and back, so some suspension work has been done. Nice. We really need to see how well the engine runs. This car has potential to be a nice RestoMod with a little more tweaking. And A/C, of course.

Update: This was a very nice Chevelle. I may consider it. At teh least it allowed me to believe in this dealer and the most of teh cars and their prices.

1971 Mustang Fastback - $26,995 (link)

Description: Blue over Blue/White/Black, 351C, 4 Speed, Ram Air.

Notes: This car is only $2K more than the Pewter Mustang above, but it already has the working Ram Air!!! Everything about this car says I should like it more. Blue with a Black/White interior, Tach and gauges, working Ram Air. For some reason I am pulled toward the unusual Pewter/Red car above.

Update: This looked better than the pewter one. But I still like the pewter one better.

1967 Cougar - $28,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 289, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: I always liked the Cougar for being a "Gentleman's Mustang." And that goes perfect for this car. I can't find anything wrong with it. This may be the most important car I look at from this dealer. It really looks like a super clean Cougar ready for me to drive everywhere!!

Update: I was a little disappointed with this car. The paint doesn't seem as shiny as it does in the pictures. As best I could tell it has a single stage pain, so it might just need a buffing. Otherwise I really like this car. It is definitely in the running.

1968 Mustang - $29,995 (link)

Description: Highland Green over Black, 289, Auto, A/C.

Notes: A coupe version of the Bullitt Mustang... with A/C!!! Sign me up. $30K for a coupe that has nothing special seems a bit high to me. Oh hell, just wait 10 years and I'll say the same thing when they cost $40K.

Update: This car has small rust spots and the lower font of each door. I walked away. Checking the photos... this is another time i feel they should include detailed photos of the issue. I could see something in the photos, but never would have thought it was rust spots. This is the second car to make me think I need to see a car in person before making an offer.

1967 Grand Prix - $29,995 (link)

Description: Teal over White, 428, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Notes: I can't explain why this car is on this list. I have a weird fondness for really, nicely equipped car from the 60's. Car that were heavily optioned, and oozed class and style. This is one of those cars. Does the 8-Track work?!?!

Update: This car looked so cool. The front suspension had a lot of new components. It looked better than the photos. If I want to go weird, this is the car to go weird in. Unfortunately I want a car that performs better (handling and braking) to take on drives on twisty roads.

1966 Mustang GT - $31,995 (link)

For Sale: 1966 Ford Mustang

Description: Green over Parchment, 289 #'s Match, Auto w/ console, A/C, Pony Int, Rally Pak.

Notes: This is the car that started it all... the searching for nicely equipped Mustangs with the GT option. I have to know how good this car is in person. Will the paint be noticeable to me? Will I care? Will I just love this car when I sit in it with all that fake wood trim? Stay tuned!

Update: This is the car. This car had me contact the dealer. I needed to know if the paint on the fenders was good or bad. When I saw the car in person it looked good. Inside their warehouse you could not tell anything. The salesman told me (prior to my coming) that he took it outside in the sun and saw a slight color variation. I could not see that in person. I assume it only shows up in very bright light. I shined a flashlight on it and it is my guess this car was painted while it was apart. The fenders were likely propped up at an angle to make it east to paint. The door may have stayed in the upright position. This would cause the metallic particles in the paint to settle ever so slightly different, and effect how it looks when the car come back together. This is just a guess on my part.

So... does the car measure up to my expectation. Yes! I really liked it. I want to test drive it. It is strongly in the running.

1971 Chevelle - $32,995 (link)

Description: Blue over Black, 383, Auto, Bench, Custom Dash, 4 Wheel Disc, A/C.

Notes: That is such a nice blue Chevelle I think I would want to see it no matter what equipment it has. As it is, it's a just a basic modded Chevelle in a really nice shade of blue!

Update: SOLD!

1969 Camaro - $33,995 (link)

Description: Green with Black over Green, 350, 4 Speed.

Notes: This is the elephant in the... dealership. If you look at the first article in this series of searching for a classic to actually buy, you will see a really nice 1969 Fathom Green Camaro SS for $40K. This is supposed to be the affordable compromise to that car. Granted, this is pretty high on the price list (I kind of want to stay below $35K, and this car still needs A/C). I have to see this car in person to see if I can live with that weird shade of green for the interior. And then pay for A/C to be added. This better be one hell of a 69 Camaro.

Update: Ugly Green Interior!!! I talked with the salesman that I was previously in contact with (about the green Mustang GT above). We talked for a while about this car. When I said I was interested in the car, he actually finished my thought and said, "but that interior." It was a funny moment. For starters, it is not quite as bad in person. When they light the car to photograph it, it makes those seats look worse than they really are.

I was talking about this car to a friend the next day, and when I mentioned that the car also had a 4 speed he said just what I have been thinking, "so that's why you are still thinking about it." True!!! I need to talk to my friend that owns a restoration shop and see how much it really costs to convert the color of an interior. Maybe it is enough to leave some of the less offensive parts green (like the headliner which is more involved than carpet or seat covers) and just change some of it to black.

If I have written this much about this car, you can tell I want this car. If it had A/C at this price I would likely pull the trigger and just slowly update the interior. We will see.

1969 Chevelle - $38,995 (link)

Description: Gray over Black, 502, Auto w/ Console & Buckets, Gauges, Vintage Air A/C.

Notes: I have pretty much made up my mind that I won't go over $35K unless the car already has A/C and is ready to drive. Thankfully this car has A/C. And it is truly a Muscle Car with that 502 engine. If I want to drive a beast, this is the beast to drive! Most likely the price will keep me away, but it can't hurt to look.

Update: This car looked great. However, the suspension on this was completely stock. Putting this much power down and  not being able to safely stop it. Hmm. I love that is has A/C on a 502 Big Block. I just don't know if I want a big block for the gas mileage.

1972 Challenger - $38,995 (link)

Description: Red over White, 340, Auto w/ Console & Slap Stik, A/C.

Notes: We have not seen many Mopars since we started this search. Fortunately this car has A/C, because it is technically out of my price range ($38K is my max... assuming perfection, which rarely happens). However, this may be perfect. Let's see... it has my favorite console and shifter, A/C, built engine, power steering, power disc brakes, upgraded stereo with iPod and Bluetooth capability. What else do I need? Maybe I just need to save up a larger down payment.

Update: I assume SOLD, I could not find it.

1966 Mustang - $38,995 (link)

Description: Dark Green/Silver over Black, 289 EFI, 5 Speed.

Notes: If you look at the picture I have here this car looks black. Oh no, follow the link and look at all the photos. This car is dark green. I would hope this is a really well done, show quality paint job. Add to that it has fuel injection and a 5 speed. But no A/C :-(. It looks like a great RestoMod. However, unless the price comes down I will have to pass. Regardless, I have got to see it if I have time.

Update: This car just didn't impress me, especially at this price.


Overall, with only 2 exceptions to all the cars I have seen at 5 dealers (the 4 here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the 1 in New Braunfels), I can say that for the most part you can buy cars from these dealers without much worry. Meaning... If you could not visit the dealer you could safely buy from them with an independent inspection.

Consider that Gateway & Streetside have locations around the country I could see buying from them without without seeing the car in person.

That leads to our next topic. As I wait for my measly 6% company bonus in March, I need to contemplate going out of state. I drove 5 hours straight to a dealer north of Dallas. I consider that reasonable. Beyond that... I have to think much harder about a car. That means flying to see a car or relying completely on an inspection. We'll get into that with our next article.

Stay Tuned!!!