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Ok so I'm a 18 yr old kid and I just graduated from high school. And I find myself wondering what I should do about a car. I have a 74 nova custom 4 door, but its not in great condition. And I feel like my time for a fun but unreliable car is over. But I really don't want to get some stupid new reliable import, I love older cars. Like I said, my car needs quite a lot of work, and while I really like it (first car attachment I'm guessing) I don't know if it would be worth the money it would take to fix it up to make it reliable. So the way I see it I can get a new reliable import, fix up my car, or get a reliable old car. So I want to get an idea from you guys about what a reliable old car should cost. Not show or drag or anything, just a nice looking mechanically sound older car. Any ideas or help would be great, thanx.
 

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It used to drive me crazy when I was 18 (a LONNGG time ago! :D ) that only the old geezers could afford to do what I wanted to do. Times really haven't changed (even though you sure can't get your 8-BA bored for $5 a hole anymore). I personally prefer building a daily driver instead of something so fierce it only come out of the cage 3 times a year.

You say your ride needs lots of work? Just how bad is it? If you are really going to build a daily driver you will find the parts are MUCH cheaper than speed parts. Unless it is a real basket-case, I suspect you can have a reliable, air-conditioned, cool-looking ride for no more than it would cost to go out and buy a reliable not-cool-looking used ricer.

Remember, old geezers like me spend a ton of $$ on the bells and whistles because we can (sort-of) afford them...not because we need them!! :eek:

Dave
 

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NAQ said:
Ok so I'm a 18 yr old kid and I just graduated from high school. And I find myself wondering what I should do about a car. I have a 74 nova custom 4 door, but its not in great condition. And I feel like my time for a fun but unreliable car is over. But I really don't want to get some stupid new reliable import, I love older cars. Like I said, my car needs quite a lot of work, and while I really like it (first car attachment I'm guessing) I don't know if it would be worth the money it would take to fix it up to make it reliable. So the way I see it I can get a new reliable import, fix up my car, or get a reliable old car. So I want to get an idea from you guys about what a reliable old car should cost. Not show or drag or anything, just a nice looking mechanically sound older car. Any ideas or help would be great, thanx.
Honestly, you can knock imports, but with the price of gas, the cost of insurance, reliability issues, you just can't beat them for a daily driver. I know that is not the best attitude for a Nova board, but I also have a little truck (Datsun :) ) for a daily driver, and it is WAY more practical for everyday use. I'll tell you that it too is CHEAP to work on and EASY to fix. I can get parts for it at least as cheap as the Nova, AND it gets 30 miles per gallon! This isn't to say that old American iron CAN'T be a daily driver, but back in the day gas wasn't 3 bucks a gallon, nor was insurance for an 18 year old 700 dollars every 6 months :rolleyes: :shh:

I've always looked at it like the fact that I do have a reliable, easy to maintain, cheap to fix import truck (when it needs it, which is not very often, KNOCK ON WOOD) actually HELPS in owning a muscle car that can be used as a driver a few times a week. Kinda like a tag team with the gas sipper getting the majority of the work. I swapped days with my cars for quite some time, and with the cheap gas for my truck, it evened itself out over time, and I would bet my costs of ownership for both cars were cheaper than if I just had one NEWER v6 car that I drove into the ground.
 

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If you get rid of the Nova you will regret it later. I would look at getting a cheap small pick-up (good for running around and getting parts in.) Then take your time and fix up the nova slowly over time. As long as you have something else to drive who cares if it takes you 15 years to fix up the Nova. Also being it is a 4 door the value will probably never be there. Then again with the way people keep cutting up the the four door cars for parts they may eventually become more rare than the two door cars (I doubt it, but you never know.)
 

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well, have to chime in here... with my 7 1/2 cents worth ( onflation, you know :)

I agree with the gas pricing, etc... and have ( sic) been driving imports for daily use for years, including my 50 mpg VW golf diesel.
I always swore, however, that when / if I did not need the car to drive 100+ miles a day for work, I'd liek to have a nice Nova for a daily driver (summers).

So.... whan my 1991 Mirage recently died (timing belt, among other little things that should have been done,so it adds up ), I went out and replaced it with the following :
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2383390

and, yes, it will get 17-18 mpg ( Mitsubishi got 25+), but my current daily driver while hunting for / getting a new car on the road is my 1995 1 ton Chevy van ( 6.5 diesel, 20+ mpg, not bad for a huuge 'tank' but still not great.

my point being, deisel costs more than gas per gallon, so 17 mpg at 2.85 / gal versus 20 mpg @ 3.10+ for diesel, will average out the same.

you should drive what you like - and can afford, figure price of repairs into the gas savings ( and time, especially if you have to pay for some work to be done) - it's a LOT easier to work on my Novas or Phoenix than computerized,injected, 500 feet of vacuum lines, etc imports.
Plus, insurance on a Nova should be much cheaper, unless you have an SS or something, it's just another old granny car , lol....

and people DO build 4 doors, if the cars not totally rotted out, then fix her up, there will come a time when there's only a dozen 4 doors left on earth and then they will certainly be cool :)

~ AL ( the long winded :)
 

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It really depends on what you truly want, do you want the 4 door, do you want a 2 door? Post some pics if you can, that will help with the opinions, Theres some 4 door owners on this site who might chime in, and if you need some parts they might have them. You might not need too much. Then again, I don't know. If you get into fixing her up, you will know alot of stuff for your next one. But some of the parts on certain years are diff. then a 2 door versus a 4 door, It all depends on what you need. Follow your heart and you will know what to do. One thing for sure, you will find some great advice on this board.:chev:
 

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I'm only 17 and i bought my 72' when i was 15. A couple of years works(and pay) and mines totally reliable. I faced the same dilemma as you and went with fixing up my Nova and i couldnt be happier. Hope this helps.
 

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decisions

I am a tab older then 18, but I was recently looking for a car. I drove the heck out of an SSR and tried several corvettes. Truth is I really wanted 4 seats. I looked at several older muscle cars and almost bought a 442 convterbile. Then the 63 convirtible came into view and I could not say no. I drive my nova everyday and she has let me down twice, but I get more compliments and pleasure driving the nova then I would ever get with a 40,000 mid life crisis. Buy your towing insurance and keep some tool in the trunk and you will be fine.

If you like the car then keep it and understand that there will be plenty of time for other cars later on. I believe I am up to 25+ cars at 34 years of age. But that is genetic for my family. My grand dad had 14 at the auction when he finally died...

I always looked at it like I have no car payment and low insurance which more then makes up for the extra gas. Plus I get to drive something that not everyone else has. I can't stand to see these great old cars locked up in a garage - drive the p*** out of them...

rod
 

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nebraskarod said:
I am a tab older then 18, but I was recently looking for a car. I drove the heck out of an SSR and tried several corvettes.

rod

are you serious?? i work 3 jobs and could only pull that if i was to blow all my money and not face reality like rent, school, um.. all necessitys of life..


the way i see it is, looking back i would have bought a better nova, after all the money i blew, should have just bought one that was already pretty good with stuff done to it. once people who have completed projects, if they sell it they never get back what they put into it.
 

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akanovass said:
once people who have completed projects, if they sell it they never get back what they put into it.
Not everyone :D I have never lost money on a Nova yet - and certainly won't on the two that I have right now ;)
M
 
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