Car Corner
Classic Car Search Returns

April 1, 2004
By Scott Lewis

It has been a little while since I told you about my plans to look for another classic daily driver. I detailed the requirements for such a search in my January column. I started looking a few months before I posted that article, and I thought it was time to start showing you the cars I have come across.

I have done this in the past... and thanks to some redesign work and a bunch of time I have put all the old articles online in the archive complete with all the original pictures. I am proud of the effort, so be sure to revisit the previous classic car searches. You can find them here:
  • January 2000 - The Original Classic Car Search
    This used two fictional budgets ($10K & $20K).
  • September 2001 - A more ambitious Classic Car Search
    This time I searched for cars from $5000 - $20,000.
  • March 2002 - Project Car Search
    This time I tried to stay close to $5000, and not one
    car went over $7500.

For this round I want to quickly recap. I am looking for a classic mid 60s to early 70s car that could be used for almost daily transportation. I say almost because I am practical enough to realize I don't want to buy something and run it into the ground. I want a car that will at least hold its value due to careful driving and proper care. But I want a car I can drive a lot.

The basic requirements are A/C, rust free, power steering, disc brakes, stereo & manual transmission with a budget of $14,500. You can read the January article for the details and explanations.

Below are cars that either matched my criteria (yea, right) or came close (more likely). Of course, I include my usual comments on the cars. I initially listed the CPI price for some cars to show they were overpriced. But I decided to go back and show the CPI price for all cars to maintain consistency. I supply the "excellent" condition price because that is what CPI provides for free on their web site.

CPI describes an excellent condition car as "Nearly perfect condition. The vehicle has usually been professionally restored to the current highest standard, but a few exceptionally well cared for originals may qualify. All components are original or are exact replacements. Most excellent cars are not driven more than a few miles per year, if at all. There are vehicles, usually due to an interesting history or special circumstances, which will sell for more than CPI's excellent figure, but these are extremely rare and would require extensive documentation."

In my humble opinion I would probably rate the vast majority of cars listed here as below the excellent condition CPI describes. But I don't have time to manually look up all these cars in my 2002 CPI Guide.

The one thing I found most disappointing in my search was the lack of cars with manual transmissions. I wanted to favor a manual over an automatic transmission. Apparently there are a lot less manuals out there. Oops!

101 Cars

That's right... I found an astonishing 101 cars. Can you imaging the number of cars that did not make the list. Amyway, here they are. I will start with Camaros because I love them. I didn't think I would look at Camaros much because they tend to be more expensive than other cars, but what the heck I couldn't resist. Next I will show you Mustangs (again, I didn't think I would look but couldn't help myself) and finally the rest of the cars. Each car, taken by itself, was worth looking into with the intent to purchase if I had the cash burning a hole in my pocket.


If we start by looking up the value of a base 1969 Camaro we get these figures from CPI:

Coupe: $13,450, Convertible: $21,125.

No wonder I had such a hard time finding a convertible for $12K the last time I went shopping. Clearly I won't be looking at convertible Camaros this time. Since a mint Camaro coupe (not an SS, not an RS, not a Z/28... just a coupe) is worth slightly less than my budget I should be able to find a good Camaro coupe and stay in my budget. So here come the Camaros.

1969 Camaro - $9,500
2-door hard top, very nice original car, great inside and out, always garaged, 4 spd, 6 cylinders, no rust or dings.

Comments: Wow! When I was originally looking for a first generation Camaro convertible I would have loved to find a 6 cylinder car with a manual transmission. I have this thing about being different. I know... then why look at 69 Camaros when every hot rodder has one. I love the 69 Camaro. But a 250 straight 6 with a 4 speed! Wow! Did I say that already. Long term I would love to try and put GM's Vortec 4200 DOHC Inline 6 engine from the Chevy TrailBlazer into a car like this. This is definitely a project car for me. The price is low enough to allow for upgrades. The picture looks pretty good, but it is a low resolution picture. There is clearly a refection in the paint, so that's a good sign. Maybe it is the original paint. That would be great. I could see tinkering with the 6 cylinder to see what kind of power I could get out of it then swapping in a late model 6 cylinder or a crate small or big block in a few years. I assume it will need A/C and maybe a brake and steering upgrade. But these all fit in my price range considering I would have $5000 left over. Cool!

1969 Camaro - $12,900
The rare and desirable frost green exterior. This Camaro coupe is very stock and comes with the original window sticker, history, and lots of receipts. It has a 350 and Turbo 350 automatic. It has factory A/C & PS. The interior is dark green and in outstanding condition. Bucket seats and console. It has Rally type wheels with the deep rings and the standard Chevy centers. It has been kept in very good condition. Runs and drives excellent.

Comments: Where are cars like this when I am looking with money in my pockets. This is a really nice Camaro coupe. And for a change they are pricing it appropriately. They are asking top dollar, but the car looked almost new in the pictures, from the interior to the engine compartment. The only thing missing would be power disc brakes and a 4 speed. But the car is nice enough that I could live without those and enjoy driving it until I was ready to make the upgrades.

1969 Camaro - $11,888
1969 Chevrolet Camaro coupe, Ermine white on blue, front & rear spoilers, small block, auto, factory buckets, rare column shift, chrome Vette rallys on T/A's, very clean, nice driving Camaro!

Comments: Where was this car when I was looking last time. It has the right look. Black vinyl tops look great on 69 Camaros. It might add to the heat inside the car on hot Texas days, but there is enough money left over in the budget to add a good Vintage Air system to this car. It looks like a really nice blank canvas. After A/C and a decent radio I would start looking into swapping in a 5 speed tranny.

1969 Camaro - $15,888
1969 Chevrolet Camaro coupe, Ermine white on dark blue buckets, built small block, 4 speed, Vette rallys on T/A's, rear spoiler, SS hood, very sharp!

Comments: This Camaro and the one right above where at the same place. This one is overpriced by CPI's guide. The condition looks about the same, but I like the looks of the one above better. The SS hood is nice, but easily added. This car also has its heater controls missing from the dash. The question is whether this car's 4 speed is worth paying an extra 4 grand for. How much would it really cost to add a manual transmission? The fact that I would have to talk this car down too much in price means I would take the automatic above and use the money left over to add A/C and investigate a 4 or 5 speed swap.

1969 Camaro - $8,500
SS, 350 small block, 4-speed, 12 bolt rear, 3 exhaust, silver/black interior.

Comments: This car doesn't look like much, but all it needs to be at this price is a sound rust free car. It has the V-8/4-Speed that I am looking for. This is worth getting more pictures. Deserves an e-mail. BTW, what is "3 exhaust"?

1969 Camaro - $12,500
A Grandma owned car, 350, 2 bl., AT, PS, defrost, Weld wheels, no rust, original & stock except wheels, 116K original miles, light green in/out, runs/drives like new.

Comments: You have to wonder when they tell you it is "Grandma owned." O.K. if that is the original paint (which I am assuming from "original & stock except wheels") then I would be very interested. It doesn't have a manual, but they are hard to find (as I am learning). I assume it does not have A/C, so we need to plan for that. But I like cars that have been "babied." It's worth a call.

1969 Camaro RS - $10,900
327ci V8, Powerglide automatic transmission, PB, PS, A/C, RS equipment, operating hide-away headlamps, glacier blue, dark blue vinyl trim, vinyl top, bucket seats, solid, 83,268 miles.

CPI: $20,050

Comments: What is wrong with this car. An RS coupe is excellent condition is worth about 20 grand. This car has all the basic equipment I was except the manual transmission. This looks like it could make a great project car. The paint looks very faded. I am assuming this to be a good thing. I have said in the past I wouldn't mind getting a car that needed a paint job, but the body was straight and rust free. I would be checking for rust very carefully. Ideally this is the original paint making for a very clean canvas for a quality paint job. The interior looked pretty good as well. Since this would be a project car I would try to offer 9K and complain about the fact I was looking for a 4 speed car. Then I would try and put one in, and slowly upgrade the performance. Expect to replace/rebuild the Powerglide no matter what, they are junk.

1969 Camaro - $8,500
SS-350 black w/black int and roof. Newer 350 w/TH400. 10 bolt posi w/ 4 wheel discs. Buckets, console, gauge pkg., spoilers, rear ant, trim bright pkg. Solid frame, floors, trunk.

Comments: Definitely a caller. The first question is "Rust?" because this car was in Massachusetts. It needs A/C and a 4-speed, but that should not be a problem at this price point. If it is rust free it should be a great project car.

1969 Camaro - $13,900
Frame off started, totally rust free arrow straight and solid body, 1969 396 big block, auto, 12 bolt posi, power steering, power disc brakes, brand new rallys, Glacier Blue over black, white stripes, have tons of extras to finish, runs and drives super strong, the cleanest best bodied Camaro we've had in a long time, must see underneath to appreciate.

Comments: A big block Camaro... and a 69 to boot. How can I not take a long look. With just a little price drop we would be able to add A/C for a big block bruiser. This is worth looking into, but I would be concerned that it needs to much to "finish." Notice that it says it is a 69 engine which means it is not the original engine.

1969 Camaro SS Clone - $15,000
This Camaro (with SS badges) has a 350 c.i. engine with a mild cam. Rebuilt 4 years ago. 4 speed with console and gauges. Radio and cassette. Good interior with no rips or tears. Detailed engine bay. New paint which is only a year old. 5 new Cragar chrome mags and 5 new 15" tires. Has all new chrome bumpers, door handles, window trim, and windshield. Also, new gas tank powder coated blue and new flow master exhaust. Has front disc brakes. Runs great and sounds awesome.

Comments: This car was in a dealer very far north, so I would be very worried that the recent paint was to cover rust. This is a hot rod. I don't mind that. The detailed engine bay was flashy but definitely not stock. I will bet the engine is not the original. But let's get past that for a second. This car has everything in a Camaro coupe I want except A/C. The price is a little high, but using the non stock argument while armed with a CPI price guide, I would try to offer something in the low $13K range so I could add A/C. However, since this car is also the exact color combination I want, I will be willing to spend a little more and suffer in the heat for a little while. But the car has to be worth it... meaning no rust and ready for reliable driving.

1969 Camaro - $7,950
Black with black interior, 355, turbo 350, 10 bolt posi, rallys, cowl hood, spoiler, console, needs paint, fun car.

Comments: I have seen A LOT of ads that say, "needs paint." This car looks to good to say that. The blue RS above needs paint. Maybe he is honest. If it needs paint make sure it doesn't have rust. For a car that needs paint is looks good enough to drive in the mean time. At this price I would still have over $6000 to put into the car. That should cover a 4 speed, A/C, and maybe that paint job. This looks like it could be a good project car.

1970 Camaro - $12,900
350 V8, 4 speed, PS, front disc brakes. Gorgeous Mulsanne Blue exterior with black Z/28 stripes. Immaculate stock black interior with bucket seats and console. 15" Z/28 5-spoke wheels with new TA radials. New dual exhaust. New chrome bumpers and all weatherstripping. Runs and drives exceptionally well.

CPI: $7,800 (Z/28: $19,925)

Comments: Here we have a nice Camaro with a Z/28 look. The only thing missing is A/C. With the asking price we have just enough left over to add A/C. However, CPI puts this car at $7,800 in mint condition. Clearly they are trying to get more than it is worth because of the Z/28 look. A real Z/28 is worth almost $20K in excellent condition, so you can see why people make their cars look like something they are not. A buyer needs to take the price to heart because resale value will be tough. Make sure it has the original engine at any price over 10 grand. Even with numbers matching components I would offer $10,000 at the most. I am a little surprised I liked this car even though it is not an RS with the split bumper.

1971 Camaro Z28 - $12,900
Real Z28, 350cid, 4 SPD

CPI: $18,125

Comments: I know, that is one short description. But it says it all. It is a real Z28/RS (of course I would verify that claim). I love these cars. They were one of the best muscle cars of the time for being a truly balanced package with handling as well as a great small block engine. And it has a 4 speed. What more could you want. How about A/C. The picture of the engine compartment showed the car was originally A/C equipped, but it was not in the car. I would have to prepare to replace missing components to get the A/C working or scrap the factory setup for a Vintage Air system. Either way figure about $1500 to get A/C working in the car. Now, I am not sure about this... but I don't know if A/C was available on the Z/28 in 71. I vaguely remember reading once that that A/C became available on the Z/28 in 73. This would be important to validate that this car is worth what they are asking. If it is a clone that would be very bad since they say it is a "Real Z/28." The RS Coupe for 71 is only worth $9,600 making this overpriced for a clone. Do some research before calling about this car.

1973 Camaro - $11,957
KY car, small block V-8, automatic/floor, buckets, console, power steering, power disc brakes, A/C, gauges and factory tach in dash, detailed engine bay, clean trunk, new tires, 8" rallys, rear spoiler, older amateur restoration.

CPI: $9,600 (Note: CPI does not list an RS for 1973. Interesting. So I put the 72 Camaro RS price here. A regular 73 Camaro is worth $6,550. Regardless, this car is overpriced and that leaves room to negotiate.)

Comments: It has everything but the manual transmission, but it is a split bumper car. I love that look. The spoiler is wrong, it is a 70 spoiler, but I can live with it. It is black on black and that might be an issue in Texas summers. This car should be priced closer to 10K, which would leave me with about 4K to start putting in a manual transmission and A/C. Some more research is in order here, but the car looks good and might make a nice project car if we can get the price down.

1970 Camaro RS - $11,900
307 V8 engine (original), 44k on rebuild. Edelbrock carb & intake. Automatic with shift kit, PS, A/C converted to 134A. New stock black interior, Cragar 5 spoke wheels. Refurbished several years ago at which time it had both rear quarter panels replaced, both front fenders, the rear valance and two pieces of new metal in the floor pan. A/C needs hoses and is not charged. No radio.

CPI: $9,900

Comments: I severely shortened the description. They mentioned a few minor issues, but all seemed reasonable. This car has a nice look, but I would look long and hard at the body work that was done. Clearly this car had rust to need such extensive surgery. But that is what you do to fix rust properly. So maybe this is what you end up with. I love the RS look of the early 70s Camaros. At this price I wouldn't mind checking out this car. Armed with my CPI guide I could try and talk them down.

1969 Camaro SS Convertible - $15,000
SS Convertible with factory A/C, Corvette brakes, 71 Corvette 350, 4.11 rear. New fuel lines, carb, rotors. New top parts not installed. Car has had some restoration done, but not finished. Must sell, price is firm.

CPI: $27,025

Comments: What is wrong with this car? It is worth plenty, so it must be in really bad shape to be priced so low. Yes, this is over my budget. It sounds like it could be a case of someone that has run out of money to finish what he started. It is clearly not a numbers matching car. If it is a real SS it has serious value potential. Even as a regular Camaro convertible its value gets over 20 grand. Unfortunately, at this price (assuming firm means firm) I would be in over my head... again. I would love this car. The picture (though poorly cropped) looks excellent. A really nice looking 69 Camaro convertible. If I had a larger budget to finish this car I would call. That's why it is on the bottom of the Camaro list. I just feel this car will need more money than I have to spend to make it a reliable and comfortable driver.


From previous searches I know Mustangs in fastback and convertible form tend to get expensive real quick. So I will probably have to keep my looking to coupes. However, there are some cool coupe out there. Personally a Mustang GT coupe with a 4 speed would be a great find, and is still affordable according to CPI's price guide. Let's get on with the Mustangs.

1965 Mustang - $10,759
Fully restored, new vintage burgundy paint (original factory color), factory air conditioning, 4 speed, "A" code engine with 4 barrel, new interior, new tires, no rust at all, Rally Pac tachometer/clock, console, Cragar mag wheels, runs great and is fun to drive and dependable.

CPI: $11,100

Comments: CPI puts a Mustang coupe at just over 11 grand in excellent (restored) condition. That means this car is priced exactly right... if indeed it is fully restored. The pictures for this car looked very good, though there were no interior shots. The pictures were very high resolution, and I couldn't see any problems with the body. This car was located in Texas, and has A/C and the 4 speed I want so much. This car is definitely worth taking a look at. It's not a GT, but that keeps the price down. Call now!

1966 Mustang GT - $12,500
289cu V-8 with 4 speed transmission. Black with black vinyl top, black vinyl buckets with center console.

CPI: $15,225

Comments: O.K. In my opinion this is the "best affordable" Mustang left. The Coupe is the lowest in price of all the early Mustang GTs. This one has a V-8 and 4-speed. The interior looked very clean in the photos, and it has the fog lights and the trumpet exhaust through the valance. If this is a real GT it is worth up to about $15K in mint condition. The price is low enough that I can add air conditioning and disc brakes (if necessary, the ad doesn't mention the brakes, but I saw a power steering pump in the engine bay) and still be within budget. Of course I would give a low bid to account for the A/C, especially since this car is triple black and the seller is located in Texas. At this price any rust is a show stopper. This car looks nicer than the 65 coupe above. It is a real GT but is triple black. I am a little apprehensive about all black cars in the Texas heat. It's a tough decision to go for the real GT or save some money and enjoy driving the burgundy car above in air conditioned comfort.

1967 Mustang Fastback - $11,900
Nice one owner fastback. Very desirable body style. Beautiful dark metallic green with two tone green and tan interior. 289 cubic inch V-8 with manual transmission. Very stock. Original wheel covers. Whitewall tires. Runs and Drives Great.

CPI: $14,200

Comments: Here we have a nice Mustang fastback with a manual (doesn't say if it's a 3 or 4 speed). Can you say Bullit! This car is missing some key components such as A/C, PS, PB. But the price is nice. I would look very close for rust. The interior was so-so as well. This is a project car for all it needs. Use that to try and get the price down to about $10K.

1967 Mustang Fastback - $12,500
289 and 3 speed trans. This car has had an extensive body restoration. There is no rust in the body. The paint is a presentable driver class paint job. Looks very nice, but at close inspection you will find little blems in the paint. The interior is in very good condition. Carpet has been replaced, seats are in very good condition and the dash pad looks good. Also has a new headliner. Pretty much stock on the inside and on the outside. The engine runs good. The engine compartment is not detailed. This is an excellent car that needs some detailing. (It really needs a set of wheels to make it stand out in the crowd).

CPI: $14,200

Comments: Bullit! I once saw one of these for sale for $3K back in 86. By the time I got the money together it was sold. Oh well. This car is a nice project car. It would need A/C, and a few more options. Their description puts it at CPI's good rating. Above is CPI's excellent rating. I would look up the good rating and use that to talk the price down. But fastback Mustangs with manual transmissions are hard to find. Especially rust free at this price. Worth getting more information and pictures.

1969 Mustang Mach 1 - $14,900
Sold new at Parnelli Jones Ford In California. Original window sticker included. Silver jade in color with black interior. Gold stripes. Black hood stripe. Original 351 W rebuilt with performance upgrades. 4 speed transmission. PS and Disc Brakes. Tach and gauges. Correct wheels. Raised white letter radials. Dual exhaust. Comes with lots of receipts. Runs, drives great.

CPI: $20,000

Comments: Wow, a real Mach 1 with a 4 speed. All that's missing is A/C. Cool... or hot. Sorry, couldn't resist. If I can get them down to $13K I could bolt in a Vintage Air system right away. But considering what it's worth I think you would have a hard time negotiating the price.

1966 Mustang - $7,850
Coupe, V8, extra chrome, nice paint/int, 4spd, good radial tires, orig, runs/drives good, blue.

CPI: $10,850

Comments: The dealer this car was at seems to deal in a lower quality of car than others. But that's why the price is down. This car is priced to be a project car. I would make sure it is rust free and not missing any major pieces. At this price it is hard to go wrong for a daily driver Mustang coupe with a 4 speed. If the car doesn't need much I could see using the rest of my budget for A/C, radio, wheels and tires, a Shelby style hood and stripes. Then just drive the heck out of it.

1970 Mustang Fastback - $10,995
Highly Desirable Fastback!!! Only 22,000 miles on new 351 Cleveland. Very sporty with Ford 9' rearend. Dual exhaust, chrome bumpers, power steering, AM radio, automatic. Great first addition for your Mustang collection!

CPI: $9,900

Comments: RUST! This car was in Washington State... I assume that is as bad for rusting cars as New York were I come from. Look very closely for rust. Don't let them tell you it has just a tiny bit of rust. That's like the doctor saying you have a tiny bit of cancer. Yikes! O.K. Enough with the rust diatribe. I love fastback Mustangs. Too bad this one doesn't have a 4 speed. It's a plain looking Mustang, but that can be a good thing. The blank canvas approach. He's only a little over its value, so we can negotiate on anything wrong with the car. It's at least worth a call to get some more pictures.

1966 Mustang GT 350 Clone - $10,595
New wiring harness. New exhaust, traction bars, shocks, has tach, new steering wheel, has roll cage. Features include: AM radio, custom wheels, power steering, radial tires, and vinyl interior. Exterior Color: Black, Interior Color: Black, Engine: 302CI, Transmission: Automatic, Mileage: 77,509.

CPI: $10,850

Comments: That roll cage is going to be a problem. This may be too much of a hot rod. It has a nice look, and the price is low enough to be a project car, and it's priced about right. Nothing too special, but worth seeing some more pictures.

1966 Mustang Shelby Clone - $12,595
Recent engine rebuild with hardened seats, bored out, hypertectic pistons, oversized valves, ported heads, hot cam, new Holley 4BBL. Fuel system new (tank, sending unit, fuel lines to tank, fuel pump). Rebuilt 4 speed, Hurst shifter, new clutch. Brakes completely rebuilt. New radiator, water pump, heater core, starter, idler arm, distributor, battery, Thrush exhaust, shocks, voltage regulator, carpet, dash pad, front buckets. Solid frame rails. GT rims. Califronia car. Features include: AM/FM radio, cassette, custom wheels, radial tires, and vinyl interior. Exterior Color: White and Blue, Interior Color: Blue, Engine: 289 CI, Transmission: 4 Speed Manual.

CPI: $10,850

Comments: Whew... back to overpriced. This car has a lot of stuff that is new. This brings up lots of questions. But it is a 4 speed which I really want. I like the blue on white paint scheme. I would try to talk them down based on the car's real value. It is worth a longer look.

1965 Mustang Convertible - $11,500
289 V8 with manual-3 speed transmission. Rangood red with red interior and white top. This 1965 Ford Mustang convertible has a fresh coat of paint, all number match (engine, body, interior). Perfect for the Sunday afternoon drive.

CPI: $20,800

Comments: What's wrong with this car? Why is it priced so low? Here we have a nice convertible with a manual transmission. We have it priced low enough for me to start adding A/C, PS & PDB. So what gives? Due to previous experience I would first ask if it has a power top. My guess is no. That alone could take it out of the running. That fresh coat of paint could be hiding rust. Something isn't right here.

68 Mustang California Special - $10,500
No Picture Available

CPI: $18,400

Comments: I saw this car at the Good Guy show in Fort Worth, and forgot to take a picture. I can only tell you what I quickly observed. The car appeared to be rust free and looked reasonably clean. Its interior was in good, but not great shape. The dash was good. I forgot to check for A/C, but I was not buying it at the time. It did not have a manual transmission. I love the Thunderbird sequential tail lights that this car shares with Shelby Mustangs of the same era. This car would have made a good car. If it did not have A/C I would "low ball" an offer of $9,000 on the spot. CPI rates this car at $18K in excellent, restored condition. At about $10K that leaves a fair amount for a partial restoration. This car should hold its value, even if it doesn't go up in value.

1969 Mustang Convertible - $12,900
One Owner, black plate California car. Loaded with a lot of options. 302 V-8, 4 barrel, automatic, PS, PDB, power top, deluxe interior, factory A/C, Factory AM/FM 8-track. 100% RUST FREE!

CPI: $15,100

Comments: Wow, a nice Mustang convertible at an affordable price. The color is nice, the interior is white (cool to the touch even in south central Texas), and all that's missing is a 4 speed. I could add that later if I get tired of driving a slushbox.

1967 Mustang GT - $16,950
289 4bbl, factory 4-speed, working factory air-conditioning, overhead console, am/fm, power steering, disc brakes, very fresh restoration on this original black plate central California car.

CPI: $13,850

Comments: I know, this one is expensive. But it mentions all the things I want, so I should be able to enjoy this right out of the box. Of course, I would try to get them down. Remember I paid $13,000 for a car advertised at $15,900, so making a low $14K offer isn't entirely out of the question. Plus CPI says this car is overpriced. That should help with the negotiations.

1973 Mustang Mach 1 - $10,900
Beautiful, Correct bright yellow with black hood, spoiler, and striping. Ginger (Saddle) interior in nice condition. Cobra Jet Q Code 351 cubic inch engine with C-6 automatic transmission. 4 barrel carburetion. Power steering and power disc brakes. Correct Mach 1 interior. Factory tach and gauges. Pushbutton AM radio with 8 Track tape player. Dual sport mirrors. Correct forged aluminum mag wheels. Raised white letter radials. Clean & stock throughout. Runs and drives great.

CPI: Mach 1: $13,375, Fastback $7,425

Comments: This is one of those cars that you just love or hate. I happen to like them a little, which is unusual. They are big and heavy. I believe the CJ engine is the preferable Cleveland engine which has lots of horsepower potential. The automatic is a bummer. I don't like when they say "Correct Mach 1 Interior." Is this a real Mach 1? Check it out carefully.

1976 Mustang II - $7,950
This is a one owner low mileage Stallion Package Mustang, 302 V8, automatic, A/C, gauges all work along with radio. A very rare find. 68,987 miles.

CPI: $4,400

Comments: Wow, a low mileage one owner Farrah Fawcett Mustang in like new condition. What a time warp. Pop some K.C. and the Sunshine Band it the radio and cruise. I was surprised to see how much overpriced this car is. These cars tend to rust out pretty easy, so if it is rust free then maybe it is worth the top dollar they are asking. The interior looks brand new, just like this exterior shot. Here's a car you won't see everyday. As a classic this car is perfect. As a project car you could make it into a Cobra II. White with big blue stripes. Charlie's Angels... here I come. It is a V-8, so with the right aftermarket parts you could get decent power. Better yet drop in a crate GT 40 engine for some serious power. I bet there is a following for these. And the price is low for my budget. This would make an "interesting" project car. Wow, it sounds like I really want this car. Nah... April Fools!

Overpriced And Worth It

Below are a few cars I came across that were way overpriced according to CPI's excellent value rating. However, they all seemed to be of the quality that would allow for such a possibility. I held the price limit here to $16,900 in the hopes that a $14,000 offer wouldn't to too far out of line. Now, some of these cars I can afford on my budget, but they are almost $5,000 over what CPI says they should sell for. I would be very interested in what these cars actually sell for. I listed them here because these cars seam worth trying hard for. Either spending a little more, or taking a chance with value vs. price.

1969 Buick GS 400 - $16,900
68,000 actual miles, Protect-o-Plate. Matching # Ram Air 400 V8, automatic, PS, re-charged factory A/C, bucket seats, console, sport steering wheel, tilt column, rebuilt factory 8-track tape system, AM-FM radio, Buick road wheels with new radials, new dual exhaust. Gorgeous special order bronze exterior with immaculate original black interior. Runs and drives strong and tight. Just tuned and serviced. Outstanding condition inside and out.

CPI: $12,700

Comments: O.K. I know, this car is way out of my $14.5K budget. I can use the CPI guide to help negotiate the price since it is overpriced. What if I offered $14,000 and took my chances. (When I bought my 67 Camaro the asking price was $15,900 and I got it for $13,000) The other pictures of this car had it looking brand new. This should be a powerful cruiser. I like the color and would verify that it is the correct color. Overall I would love to drive this car on a regular basis. Power, luxury, style... what more could you ask for. Power windows maybe.

1969 Chevelle Malibu - $14,900
Originally bought new by a family in Charleston, Ark. (30 miles from here). The lady owner gave the car to her nephew in 2001. This car had always been kept in a covered carport and had never had any collision damage. The paint and interior was faded due to age. The mechanical systems of the car were fine, as would be expected on a 58k mile car. The nephew sold the car to a gentleman here in the area who restored the car to like new condition. The miles, colors, etc are all correct on the car. The engine was bored 30 over when he rebuilt it, all the other mechanical systems were renewed as needed. This car drives like new, it is a very tight, quiet, good performing car. Have original owners manual, papers, and protect-o-plate. 307 V-8, auto.

CPI: $10,400

Comments: This is one of those cars that inspires me. There were a few pictures of this car and they could have been used to create a new car brochure. This car looked that good. But the asking price is $4,000 more than it's worth. My guess is that this is a classic case of spending more to restore a car than it is worth. I'll bet if you try to talk them down they will claim huge sums of money were spent restoring the car. Well then, it shouldn't have been restored. Just because you spend too much to restore a car doesn't mean it will be worth more. So why is this car on my list? Because it inspires me. It has PS, PB, A/C and no rust. The only thing missing is a manual transmission. I think it is worth a call and trying to see if the price is negotiable in light of a professional pricing guide like CPI or NADA. If I could get this car at say $12K I would first look into installing factory bucket seats in the correct interior color. Then I would look into the manual transmission swap. Next would be a factory console. Finally I might try adding horsepower with a 350 or 383 engine swap and save the original motor for when I want to return the car to stock. This car looks so good I wouldn't even try making it into an SS clone.

1972 Buick GS 350 - $15,500
350, V8 auto, PS, PB, Factory A/C, split bench, factory tach & gauges, dual mirrors, factory sport wheels, vinyl roof, tinted glass, all standard GS options, blue/white, factory AM-FM radio, bumper guards. Beautiful Buick GS in a great color combination!! All original equipment as well as correct paint, top and interior color codes. This is one of the nicest unrestored Buick GS models in the country!

CPI: $11,375

Comments: Let it not be said that people can't sell an overpriced car. I actually liked this car a lot before I looked it up on CPI's web site. They are not kidding about it being a "Great Color Combination." I love the look of this car. At the asking price it is just out of my reach, but with the CPI guide in hand we should be able to cut that down. I would offer $13K and take my chances. That's still more than its worth, but you sometimes have to pay more. I want to know if it has functional Ram Air... or just the hood.

1970 Impala - $10,957
Georgia car bought new in Cartersville GA on 3-24-70, one owner car w/ Ga title dated 5-6-70, custom coupe, all paperwork including protect-o-plate and original owner's manual, original sales agreement when car sold for $5064.39, original window sticker, numbers matching per vin stamped on engine pad and protect-o-plate. 350/250 hp, TH350 automatic, PDB, PS, factory A/C blows ice COLD!!!! Woodgrain interior accents, seat belts, American racing rims, original jack, spare, and trunk mat. Car is super clean and smooth driving, very unmolested car with recent paint, solid body and straight, this is a hard to find example of an original car.

CPI: $6,425

Comments: Clearly this car is overpriced. But CPI does state "There are vehicles, usually due to an interesting history or special circumstances, which will sell for more than CPI's excellent figure, but these are extremely rare and would require extensive documentation." One of the pictures of this car showed the documentation and even some trophies. So maybe it is worth more than the CPI rating. Even still, I think you should be able to low ball this to $9k. I would have a hard time paying more than that. You will have to deal with resale value later if you spend much more than it is really worth. Now, forgetting price, look at it. Even though it is green... inside and out... it looks great. The wheels definitely make the look. I think this could make a great cruiser. All it needs is power windows. I like this one a lot. I am only concerned about the recent paint. Is it possible they are hiding something? Rust?

1967 Cougar - $12,750
Local car sold new here in Ft Smith, the last owner is a retired antique car club member, a real car nut who babies his collection. Car drives like new and needs absolutely nothing. A great find for a Cougar enthusiast who really appreciates a true original. You won't be disappointed in this car at all. Drive it anywhere. 289, Auto.

CPI: $6,925

Comments: Again an overpriced car. In fact, this one is very overpriced at almost twice its value. I would be very interested in what this one sells for. This car looked like new in the pictures. I like Cougars. They are basically a long wheel base Mustang. A Gentleman's Mustang. This one is very clean, except for the cut-up dash for the CD player. But it still might make a nice daily driver, especially if it could be had for under 8 grand.

Affordable Drivers

Now let's get down to business. The is the section that counts the most. The higher priced cars in other sections are nice for dreaming, but this section of cars are ready to go right now. All of the cars in this next section are under 11 grand. Wow! That means they can be thought of as project cars. And that is exactly what I would buy them for. They all look good in the pictures which means I should be able to enjoy driving them as I slowly add the things I want is a classic daily driver.

1970 Chevelle Malibu - $8,500
New 350 with Turbo 350 trans, PS, A/C (not blowing cold), true dual Flowmaster, new tires, Hooker headers, HEI ignition, cowl induction hood, car sounds and runs great.

CPI: $11,175

Comments: This car came up by accident. It inspires me. I really like the color. If the paint and top (vinyl I am assuming) are in good condition and rust free then this makes a great project car. It looks good enough to drive while fixing the A/C, tinkering with the motor, adding a 4 or 5 speed, and updating the interior. There was one picture of the interior that showed a funky covered bench seat, so I would expect a fair amount of work to be done there. Overall I think this is worth taking a look at for a project car.

1969 Chevelle SS 396 clone - $8,900
Blue with white stripes, big block 396 cid, turbo 350 auto, Flowmaster's, black interior, new headliner, new carpet, new seat covers, buckets, factory tach, disc brakes, chrome wheels, Griffin aluminum radiator, headers, 750 Holley.

CPI: $10,400

Comments: What? Not an overpriced car. What is this world coming to when a clone is not overpriced. O.K. Let's take a look. It seems like a typical clone hot rod. That's fine by me. I assume it will need A/C and a few other things before being completely road worthy. If this is rust free it is probably worth it with little to no other questions. At this price I would have over 5 grand left in my budget to add a 4 speed and A/C. This is a nice project car. I like this one along the same lines as the 70 Chevelle above with the same color scheme. Let's get some more pics and check this one out.

1967 Chevelle - $9,500
250 6 Cylinder, automatic, new paint, 90,000 actual miles, new tires, new rechromed bumpers, new gas tank, seat covers over original seats, since new original spare tire and jack, rust free body, well kept by one, original owner since new. It has the dream car ride!!

CPI: $12,450

Comments: Now here's a blank canvas if ever there was one. I say I like the 250 6 cylinder in a Camaro. I should like it in a Chevelle too. This is going to be a stripper car. So blank canvas is the perfect term. If that is the original paint than this is a nice find. I would need the 5 grand I have left over in my budget to add A/C, PS, PB, stereo and a manual tranny. That's a lot of work, so I would try to talk them down. This is definitely a project car for me. But I have seen similar stuff at car shows. I once saw a 65 Chevelle with a 6 and a three on the tree with no options. It was a mint original stripper. He put on widened Corvette rally wheels for a neat look that doesn't take away form the stock appearance of the car. This car could do the same. If the condition is very good you have some money to work with to mildly restore it for car shows without going out of my budget or taking a loss later. This car has potential. I like it.

1970 Chevelle Malibu - $8,700
Midnight blue, 2 door, Original 350 with 250 HP engine. New tires, new breaks, new battery, etc. Runs nice, super clean, high tech cover, extras.

CPI: $11,175

Comments: When I first saw this car I thought... Wow, a nice plain Chevelle in clean condition at a decent price. I still think that. And it is priced great for a project car. Let's hope it doesn't have any rust. Otherwise this car would have to be hiding something really bad not to be worth looking into.

1968 Firebird - $8,000
Don't miss out on this great deal! Nice & clean. Overhead cam 6 cylinder. Has fold down rear seat. This car is a classic! This deal won't last long.

CPI: $9,275

Comments: Well, this guy thinks he has a great deal. I thought the pictures looked very good. This car was in Texas, and I assume that there is no rust. Assuming no rust it is a nice old Firebird. I like the OHC 6 cylinder, it's different. Too bad it doesn't have a 4 speed tranny. This car is not worth much more than they are asking, so putting money into it will not be a good idea. This should make a decent driver. I would investigate putting A/C on that engine. Since we have over 6 grand left in the budget we can look into the A/C and a manual transmission swap. Think of this one as an interesting drivable project car. Like I said, you won't get money out of this car, so remember that when throwing money into it.

1970 Cougar XR7 - $10,888
Factory 351-4V, auto, ps, disc brakes, buckets, console, floor shift, A/C, hidden headlights, beautiful un-molested original survivor, loaded XR7, must see to believe.

CPI: $7,850

Comments: Here's another one that fooled me. Until I looked it up on CPI I thought it was going to be priced right. They have it overpriced. That's good. I can offer a low amount. I like Cougars. They are a gentleman's Mustang. If it is a 351 Cleveland (as opposed to Windsor) it could be pretty fast. All that's missing is a four speed, but that should be about the same amount of work as swapping a 4 speed into a Mustang. I think it is worth a look, and a low offer. Maybe 9 grand.

1972 Chevelle - $9,500
350 engine w/ mild cam, 350 Turbo trans with B&M shift kit, B&M under hood supercharger, PB, PW, cold A/C, refurbished SS dash, SS interior, bucket seats, horse-shoe shifter.

CPI: $11,500

Comments: Talk about someone else's project car. The pictures all looked good. The engine compartment was not detailed, but the blower was sitting there plain as day. This should be a reasonably quick car. It would be interesting to put it on a chassis dyno to get a horsepower reading. Regardless, the price is under its value, something that doesn't seem to happen often enough... especially if you look at my comments on cars. This car deserves a closer look. I like it.

1971 Nova - $9,950
A classic Nova with a 350 V-8 finished in yellow, with black cloth interior. A CD player and Crager wheels also help set this car off.

CPI: $7,325

Comments: This is a project car. The color can't be stock. I think this is a little pricey for a Nova without knowing about A/C or other options. It's just a Nova. If we can get him down to what it is worth it might make a great project car, but otherwise I would look elsewhere.

1969 Pontiac Gran Prix - $6,500
400 C.I. 350HP, Turbo 400 trans w/shift kit, new paint, new vinyl top, PB, PW, PS plus a 1969 GP for parts or restoration. All for $6500.

CPI: $7,350

Comments: A quick story/background... My mother bought a 1976 Gran Prix new in 1976. This was her second GP, the first being a 68 (I think, I was too young to remember the first one except that it was dark green). My sister, bother and I all drove the crap out of that 76 GP. I remember taking a quick drive in a friend's 74 GP with a 400 (mom's had a 350 and was slow). Someone ran a stop sign and almost hit me in the 74. If I did not already know the handling of this car like the back of my hand I would have been hit. As it turned out I was able to dodge the accident by almost driving on the sidewalk. My passenger friend was extremely impressed with my skills. Those skills came from familiarity. So... I have a fondness for the Gran Prix. Now back to this car(s). I like the look of the blue with black. You can see the "parts" car in the background. According to CPI his asking price is close to top dollar, so let's hope the condition matches. That being said I could see this as a luxury cruiser. I love power windows in old cars. Especially when you show them to non-enthusiasts and tell them how long the things they take for granted today have been around. This car definitely deserve an e-mail to get more pictures.

1967 Impala SS - $6,995
2-dr hardtop, 327-300 hp, 4 bbl, dual exhaust, A/T, PS, PB, A/C, buckets, console, no rust-California car, great lines, true SS car.

CPI: $10,850

Comments: I like the look of the Impala SS fastbacks. This is a cruiser, and at this price clearly a project car. A big block would be helpful since these are heavy cars. I like the color if the paint is in good shape and it really is rust free. The ad had a few pictures, and the interior looked very nice.

1968 Dodge Dart - $9,950
2dr hardtop, 92k actual miles. One female owner from Beverly Hills CA. 383ci V8, 727 Torque Flite transmission. Dealer installed A/C, PS, bucket seats, 2-1/2' exhaust. Beautiful paint & interior!

CPI: $6,800

Comments: CPI doesn't mention a 383 in its listings on the Web for a 68 Dart GT. It does list the GTS, but I don't know that the GTS is definitely a 383 car either. So I am at a bit of a loss to judge whether CPI is on target here or not. If this is a numbers matching 383 then I would think that CPI is off. Now, a 383 in a Dart!! That's some power to weight. I put this car in here because it was affordable and it has the big block. This might make an interesting project car. And it should be fast!!

1972 Dodge Challenger - $9,900
This car is unbelievably solid as a rock and original. I saw no rust anywhere; beautiful original floors, trunk, rockers and quarters. All gauges work. Console with Slapstick shifter. All lights on dash work and idiot lights work as well. Factory A/C that works well and power steering. 318, 2 barrel carb, automatic.

CPI: $10,075

Comments: At first glance I assumed the price was reasonable. Good thing I looked it up. They are asking top dollar for this car. It is not that good. Challengers are hard to come buy at decent prices, but with my CPI Guide in hand I would low ball an offer. If this is a truly rust free car with the original engine it is worth a look. It has A/C which is a must for me. These cars cost more to own and build up, so I have to keep that in mind if I get serious. The 318 will have to go, but long term this could make a TA clone with a 340 six-pack. The lack of a 4 speed is keeping me from making a call.

1967 Chevelle Malibu - $5,975
400/4-speed, power steering, buckets, floor shift, white over black interior, Americans, good condition overall, drives perfect.

CPI: $12,450

Comments: Wow... a four speed. I assume a 400 small block. Lot's of torque, but watch for overheating. The price is right for a project car. It would take a thorough inspection to determine its true condition. At this price I would be looking hard for rust, and figuring how much it will cost to get it into daily drivable condition. This is a classic case of finishing a project car that was started by someone else. As long as the car is sound and complete it should be worth it.

1969 Chevelle - $9,595
10,000 miles on 350 engine. Steel crank, K-B pistons, headers, mild cam. PS, AM/FM radio w/ CD player, Turbo 350, 91,000 actual miles. 9" Ford w/ 4:11. Very nice Chevelle ready to drive.

CPI: $10,400

Comments: It's definitely a hot rod when they tell you what kind of engine components it has. Also, a Ford 9" rear end is heavy duty stuff... if it was done right. So this is someone else's project that we would be picking up on. Not necessarily a bad thing unless we have to spend a lot of time and money fixing mistakes. However, the red interior may be too much to take for me.

Hard Negotiations Required

This section of cars are almost all overpriced by CPI's guide. However, when I first looked at them I thought there were reasonably priced. Most are affordable in my $14K budget. I really like a lot of these cars. I just wish they were priced better. So, make sure you have your CPI Price Guide with you as you try hard to get these cars down to the price they should be at. Even if you can't get the price down, you might want to think about these cars anyway. Some seam worth paying more for.

1967 Chevelle - $14,888
2dr, Granada Gold w/black vinyl top on black interior with buckets & console, PS, PB, AM/FM CD, 15 X 8 Rallys on radial T/A's, factory bumper guards, small block mated to a 700R4 auto, alarm, remote keyless entry, very clean & solid Chevelle!

CPI: $12,450

Comments: I like this car. I noticed a couple of things. The interior looks O.K., but the carpet was worthless. It needs replacing. That is not a big thing. A bigger problem is the price. This car should be about 3 grand less than it is. If you could get it for $11-12K it might be worth it. I like that it has a 700-R4 overdrive tranny. Also, this car needs A/C. Like I said... offer $11K and see what happens.

1969 Dart GTS - $13,900
New 340 crate motor, automatic transmission, PS, PB, A/C, center console, bucket seats, very nice original car!

CPI: $14,350

Comments: Here is an unusual car... for me. I am not a big Dart fan. However, this car doesn't need anything. I would prefer a 4 speed, but they are hard to come by. The pictures of this car looked very nice. It is a factory A/C car, and it has bucket seats and a console... both seem to be a bit rare for Mopars. The price is appropriate for a car in excellent condition, so apparently they don't have it overpriced. What is this world coming to. It is also in my budget. The crate motor means it is not a numbers matching car. Since they are asking top dollar for it I would use the lack of the original engine to try to get the price down. Overall, I think this is a car I could buy and start driving right away. I am almost inspired. If it was a Camaro I would be inspired.

1970 Chevelle Malibu - $13,995
350 4bbl V-8, 4 speed, PDB, factory A/C, buckets/console, tilt, factory tach, AM/FM/CD, Flowmaster exhaust, 10 bolt posi w/3.31 gears, Arizona car.

CPI: $11,175

Comments: O.K. Let's see... 4 speed, check. A/C, check. Power disc brakes, check. Stereo, check. Rust free... it's from Arizona, check. The only thing missing from my requirements is power steering. And it might have that. Yes, this car is overpriced by CPI's price guide, so we should be able to negotiate. This car looks very plain, but I look at that as a blank canvas. At $14K I think it is a bit too much for a project car, but in the $11K range I would love this car.

1972 Chevelle - $13,500
This is the perfect car to go cruising in. It is a 1972 Chevelle made to look like an SS car. The great part is, it has the 454 and A/C, but it does not have the SS price tag!!! Probably the bargain of the year, just $13,500!! This car has it all; 454, PS, PB, SS hood, SS stripes and A/C!!!

CPI: $11,500 (SS: $16,175, SS 396: $19,375, SS 454: $22,350)

Comments: Now this is what a clone should be. Notice that this car is slightly overpriced for a regular Malibu coupe. However, they didn't price it way out there because it is a clone of a far more expensive vehicle. Now... let's compare it to my criteria... they don't mention a radio (no big deal there) and it has an automatic (becoming all too common in my searching). Otherwise it is cool. This car should be FAST with that big block. I like it. And I don't have to haggle on the price unless I want to. Cool!

1972 Dodge Demon - $14,600
383 Big Block, auto, power steering, Rallye wheels, dual hood scoops, new Plum Crazy purple paint (basecoat/clearcoat), new interior, buckets, runs & drives great!

CPI: Demon 340: $11,550

Comments: This one is a little unusual. There never was a Demon with a 383 (according to the CPI web site. So is this really a Demon 340 with a 383 swap? I love Plum Crazy. This car needs power brakes, and probably a disc brake upgrade. It also lacks A/C. So, with that I would need to offer about $12K to cover those two items. It doesn't have a stick, but it is a big block in a light car. I used to know some Mopar nuts back in New York and they frowned on big blocks in the smaller bodied Mopars. But it might be fun. A real tire shredder. The condition in the rest of the pictures was very nice,. I could see offering 12 grand, but no more.

1968 Dodge Charger - $13,200
Matching #'s 383 big block, auto in floor console, power steering, buckets, straight body, runs & drives GREAT!!! A nice weekend cruiser!

CPI: $13,900

Comments: I don't usually see any Chargers in my price range. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places. This one needed some interior work, but overall it was nice looking. This is worth checking out. It will need A/C, but there is just enough money left in the budget to put in A/C. I was a little surprised that CPI rated this car where it did. An R/T 383 would be up to over 17 grand. Maybe I should look harder for non R/T Chargers.

1969 Plymouth Roadrunner - $13,800
Matching #383 big block, auto, power steering, A/C, "A Real Roadrunner with vin #RM21H9G," Kenwood CD, Crager wheels, buckets, exceptionally clean and straight.

CPI: $20,150

Comments: As you can see we have a car that is under its value. This is probably a fair indication of its condition. Don't tell me we have a fairly priced car here. Anyway, I am rambling. This car looks real good. I could see myself driving it. It is not completely stock, and needs some things to get it ready for daily driving. But it is a clean Road Runner with A/C and the price is in my budget.

1967 Mercury Cougar - $12,900
390 CI, Edelbrock intake, C-6 transmission, A/C, nice interior, Alpine/JBL Stereo, New wheels.

CPI: GT 390: $9,800

Comments: Wow, a big block Mustang... err I mean Cougar with A/C. I couldn't see a power brake booster or power steering pump in the engine picture. The A/C blocked the PS if there was one. I would guess it has power steering but not power brakes. At the asking price I could add power disc brakes. CPI says the 390 is worth just under 10 grand. Cool. I would take the CPI guide with me to help barter the price down. Even at the asking price we are in good shape for a powerful big block Pony car.

1972 Nova - $13,500
307 V-8, 3 speed automatic, PS, factory A/C, tinted glass, AM/FM cassette stereo, custom wheels. This is a one owner, actual miles (54,500) Nova that has been garaged since new, and includes service and repair records!! There aren't many of these left. Even the trunk paint is original!!

CPI: $7,325

Comments: Those wheels don't do it for me. They look too modern for a classic car. I would replace them with a set of American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels. I knew before I got to CPI's site this car was going to be way overpriced. CPI states that its excellent rating covers "a few exceptionally well cared for originals." It also claims that "there are vehicles, usually due to an interesting history or special circumstances, which will sell for more than CPI's excellent figure, but these are extremely rare and would require extensive documentation." This car could be just that. It is a well documented, one owner, low mileage, garaged vehicle. That doesn't mean I wouldn't try to talk them down. But it is still in the budget at the asking price. If it is really a one owner car I have to wonder why those wheels. Maybe they mean "one family" owned car and some kid added those wheels recently. Regardless, I like Novas and this car looks exceptional.

1969 Nova - $13,900
350 V-8 (Match #), 4 speed, PS, PB, radio, vinyl roof. Beautiful Nova coupe with original engine, Protect-o-Plate, and finished in blue with a black vinyl roof and black interior.

CPI: $7,325

Comments: Whoa! I first wrote this one up before looking at all the pictures. There is an aftermarket under dash A/C system in here. That means it has all of my criteria (except possibly a stereo, but I never really care about that at purchase time). So, this car has everything. The wheels are too modern for the body style. Depending on how good the aftermarket A/C system is this car could be ready to go right out of the box. Of course, CPI says that Novas are cheap, but I find that good ones seem to go for more than CPI's guide. I would still bring my CPI Guide with me to negotiate the price. Because I like the look, including the color combination, I would be willing to throw the CPI price guide out the windows. I would still try to get this for around $11-12K.

1972 Chevelle SS Clone - $14,888
4 speed, beautiful cranberry red with black SS stripes on black buckets, nasty small block, PS, PB, Centerlines, factory tach in dash, car runs and drives excellent.

CPI: $11,500

Comments: Here is another case of someone thinking a clone should cost more that the base model the car really is. I took a deferent approach here. I am showing you the interior picture. Why? Glad you asked. I was really impressed with the interior. The exterior was your basic red with black SS stripes and black vinyl roof. I really like the faux wood grain SS style dash. Also, this car has a 4 speed which is a big plus for me. The car needs A/C, and its doesn't look good enough in the pictures to justify the price. Since it really isn't an SS I would use the CPI guide to talk them down to about $10-11K. That's a pretty big cut, but I can't see going over value for a hot rod with some stripes. I do like the interior though.

1967 Chevelle - $13,500
Super clean 1967 Chevelle SS clone. 283, Powerglide with power steering. Paint is brand new base/clear coat. Brand new Rally wheels and tires. Mint original interior. Bench seat. Column shift. All original gauges and dash with all gauges and lights, etc.. functioning well. All interior moldings are clean. Headliner is excellent. Body is straight and paint shows real nice. Runs and drives excellent.

CPI: $12,450 (SS: $24,450)

Comments: Someone forgot to tell this guy that clones are not worth more than the car they really are. When the value of the car doubles for being an SS you can see why people make clones. Regardless, the car looks truly excellent in the pictures. The column shift Powerglide will have to go, and it needs A/C. I don't mind the 283 for now, but a strong 350 or big block would be in the cards for a car like this. Because it is a clone and only a 283/Powerglide I would seriously low ball an offer of about $10K and make sure to bring my CPI price guide to back up my low offer. For me this is a project car, so I have to keep the price down.

1964 Chevelle Malibu - $16,850
2-Dr Sport Coupe. Here is one super-fine little sport coupe built new in Los Angeles, CA with all the right stuff! Powered by an updated and modified 283 V8 with late angle plug heads, Performer alloy intake manifold, polished Edelbrock 4-barrel carb., performance camshaft backed by a Turbo 350 auto trans. followed by a 10-bolt factory differential. PS, PDB, tilt column, in-dash aftermarket AM/FM/CD player, new imitation leather upholstery, new carpeting, carpeted trunk, new 15" American style alloy wheels, great body work and new paint, new FlowMaster exhaust system, new glove box and dash pad. This is one fine rust-free car that runs, looks, and performs better than any photo can capture.

CPI: Malibu: $9,900, SS: $18,350

Comments: This one barely made it into my $16,900 search limit. I was really impressed with this car. There were many picture with the listing and it looked excellent in every one. The interior is not stock, but looks very nice and conservative. The exterior shots all look perfect. I really like this car. Too bad it is way overpriced. Because of the lack of A/C I would have to offer about $13K. I wonder if that would insult them. Nowhere in the ad did they mention that it is an SS, but there are SS emblems on it. Hmmm. My guess is that it is just a coupe, as stated. But then they are asking way to much. Maybe I should be insulted. I think this car would be great at $12-13K.

1972 Chevelle - $14,888
SS options, beautiful metallic copper orange paint with black SS stripes, alloys, built small block, auto, ps, pdb, very clean black interior, buckets, console & matching black vinyl top, super clean Chevelle!

CPI: $11,500 (SS: $16,175)

Comments: I don't like those wheels, and I used to have them on my 1970 Chevelle way back when. The interior has the non-SS dash with the speedo that runs horizontally across the dash. Too bad. An SS dash would be nice. The price is... as usual... too high. But the color really pops in some of the pictures. It might be worth a look to see it in person. It amazes me how many people think they can slap a couple of SS badges on a car and they think they can get SS prices for them. This car needs A/C, and I would want to replace those wheels ASAP. I would offer $10 or 11K, and move on if they don't bite.

1970 Chevelle SS Clone - $13,995
350 V-8, M20 4-Speed Manual, 3.08 Posi. A/C, PB, PS. A very nicely built SS clone. New interior, carpet, rubber bumpers, weather stipping, brakes, A/C compressor, alternator. Holley carb, Edelbrock intake. New fenders, hood, headlight bezels, door skins and half quarters. A/C now 134 and blows cold.

CPI: $11,175

Comments: Yep, another unfinished project car. But this one has a 4 speed. All those new body parts have me worried about rust. I have to be honest, I like the car, but compared to the plain green Malibu elsewhere in this listing for the same price this one takes a back seat. Then again sometimes you have to take what you can get, and this might be a good car if we can get the price down. After all it mentions all the right things: A/C, PS, PB, 4-speed.

1972 Dodge Challenger R/T - $12,500
318-V8 (possible #'s matching), rare 3-speed in console, Rallye hood & gauges, A REAL RT/Rallye car with ''JS'' Vin code, fender tag, A nice driver.

CPI: $10,075

Comments: They claim a "REAL RT." When I looked it up on CPI's Guide it does not show an R/T for the 72 - 74 years of the Challenger. The R/T in 70 & 71 starts with a 383 engine. So... how real is this? Did they make an R/T in 72? Would it come with only a 318 and not a 340/360? This car requires serious research. Now let's take a look at it. There were a few pictures, and they show the car in nice condition. It has a manual transmission which I really want. I like this body style. The color is a bit bolder than I would prefer. Overall I think this car is worth looking into. I would take a CPI guide with me to argue the price and make sure I research the R/T option for 1972. This car needs A/C, PS & PB, so we may have to talk them down to under the 10 grand the car would be worth in mint condition.

1969 Dodge Charger - $13,500
318 engine, super smooth! ALL ORIGINAL! Clean inside & out! Garage kept, I am the second owner of this vehicle. All numbers match! Engine rebuilt 5,500 miles ago. Interior all original except for the front seats and the headliner. AM radio, AC-Vents but needs AC Compressor. IMMACULATE CONDITION!

CPI: $13,900

Comments: This car was located in New York... where I hail from. I could easily get someone to check it out for me. If it is truly in immaculate condition he has it priced right. I would use the non-functioning A/C to get the price down. The 318 will not make for a fast car, but a crate 360 or the new Hemi might be cool. Rust would be a show stopper.

1974 Dodge Challenger - $12,500
2nd owner. Like new interior. Fresh 318 engine has 360 racing heads and mild cam, 4 bbl (1300 miles). 50,700 miles on car. Spare parts included with sale (dash, grill, doorskins and tail lights). Mystic Metallic Blue paint. New tires with engine.

CPI: $10,075

Comments: Another overpriced car. I am concerned with the spare parts. Why do they have a spare dash? Is the dash cracked... or worse? Although this car is overpriced, I am finding that LOTS of Mopars are overpriced. Maybe CPI is a little off, or maybe Mopar people are a little off. No mention of options, so this would require a call or e-mail for more info and more pics. I like Challengers. This could be a long term project car where we drop in the new Hemi now that it is available as a crate engine.

Affordable Convertibles

I didn't think I would look at convertibles this time. I grouped a handful of them here. These cars are in the $9-13K range. This makes them affordable on my $14.5K budget. I would check each one out for a power top, because that would be a show stopper for me.

1972 Malibu Convertible - $12,900
Beautiful midnight Bronze with white stripes. 350 cubic inch V-8 with Turbo 350 automatic transmission. White interior and white power top. PDB & PS. Very stock. BF Goodrich TA Radials on Rally Wheels. Nice chrome. Runs and drives great.

CPI: $18,400

Comments: Once again, I find myself compelled to look at a convertible. This one looks like it has a real chance as a cruiser for me. It does not have a manual transmission, but they rarely do... as I am learning. This car needs A/C, which I would use to try and get the price down some. It is well under CPI's price for an excellent car, which leaves room to lightly restore it without losing money. That's a nice touch. It has a power top which should make driving it regularly easy. And the white interior will stay cool to the touch even in the Texas sun. This is a nice ride for me.

1967 Firebird Convertible - $12,500
1967 is the first year of the Firebird and a limited number of convertibles were made. Good condition inside and out but not perfect. Powered by a healthy 400 motor with an automatic transmission and A/C. This car looks great and is ready for someone to add the finishing touches!

CPI: $20,050 (Non 400: $16,675)

Comments: Just in case this was not a real 400 convertible I checked both prices. Either way this car is priced reasonably. The picture is a little small, but it looks great. I would prefer a 4 speed, but you can't get everything as I am learning. I already dealt with a manual top on a Camaro, so my number one question would be if it has a power top. I am not prepared to do the manual top thing again. Otherwise this car looks a lot like what I want my dream 69 Camaro to look like. This car also reminds me of a car I saw when I was looking last time. It was a 68 Firebird 400 convertible priced at $12,500 right in Austin. I saw the ad and called and the answering machine said the car was sold. I believe the ad was only out for a few days. Wow it went fast. I believe a car like this, priced like this will also go fast unless it has rust or something really wrong with it. I would call.

1971 Buick GS 350 Convertible - $11,500
Original 350 ci. engine and transmission were completely rebuilt approximately 3000 miles ago. New carpet, upholstery, door seals, window seals and new power convertible top were all replaced at the same time. All components are operational including the A/C, clock and aftermarket CD player and changer. Good daily driver.

CPI: $17,850

Comments: Like a couple of other cars on this page, this car inspires me. I know, I wasn't supposed to look at convertibles, but I came across this one and couldn't resist. This car has all my requirements except the manual transmission. It has A/C, PS, PB, etc. I just hope it has no rust. It is located in Texas, so that makes it easy to see & bring home. The black interior could be a problem in Texas with the top down. I would prefer a white interior. There is enough money left over to cover repairs or even trying to swap in a manual transmission. If I keep it stock this car tops out at over $17K so I can lightly restore it without worrying about losing money.

1970 Barracuda Convertible - $13,000
318, all #s match, original owner. Have original bill of sale, owners manual, window sticker, parts list. Excellent condition. Exterior stripped & repainted three years ago. Red with black interior. Seats need reupholstered & top is tight. 128,000 miles.

CPI: $20,650

Comments: Wait a minute. I thought I wasn't going to look at convertibles this time around. Oops. On with this car... The picture looks like just an unassuming convertible parked next to a house. Cool. Maybe that's why this car is affordable. This could be that rare find. It has hub caps, so it is probably bone stock. Depending on the condition of the interior and that paint job this car looks like it's worth it. They don't mention a power top, which would be a show stopper for me if it doesn't have one. I think this is a bargain. I want it.

1971 Buick Skylark Convertible - $12,900
79,000 actual miles. 350 V8, automatic, PS, PB, tilt wheel, sport wheel, factory in-dash tachometer, AM radio, chrome Buick road wheels, dual exhaust, immaculate white interior with new top boot. Excellent power top with glass back window. Nicely detailed engine and trunk areas. Everything works and this car runs and drives like new. Service records to document miles.

CPI: $12,550

Comments: This seems to be a clean classic convertible. They don't mention A/C, so I may need to low ball an offer. They are asking top dollar, so the condition better be excellent, or go somewhere else. The white on white should remain comfortable even in the south Texas sun. This car would make a good cruiser. Performance with the 350 would be average, but a 455 could always be added down the road to make a GS clone.

1971 Cutlass Supreme Convertible - $8,995
350 4bbl with automatic. 90,000 original miles, two owner Texas car, numbers match, power steering, power disc brakes, power top, A/C, buckets, console, clean and solid, correct Saturn Gold over original white interior, good top and boot, works excellent, trunk kit with spare, car runs and drives perfect, sounds awesome, very unmolested.

CPI: $14,450

Comments: Wow, a clean convertible for under 10 grand. I would confirm it to be rust free. I always liked the Olds 442 as a gentleman's Muscle Car. This car has the potential to be a cool 442 clone. Add the ram air hood, and paint the car a better color. It looks good, so maybe we can just paint the ram air hood to match and add white stripes. The white interior will stay cool to the touch even in the Texas sun. Swapping a manual into this car would be a project, but there is money left over for just that. In fact, considering this car's value in excellent condition, the price is a nice bonus that allows for some restoration dollars that will not go to waste.

1973 Cougar XR7 Convertible - $8,995
351C V8, rebuilt automatic, PS, PDB, A/C, power windows, tilt wheel, power seat, AM-FM stereo, leather bucket seats with console, new white power top, Magnum wheels with Goodyears. Runs and drives as good as it looks. A/C complete and working but needs charge. Drive anywhere.

CPI: $10,325

Comments: O.K. I don't think I would really consider this car. I put it here because it makes a statement. It has power steering, brakes, top, windows & seats. It has A/C (that needs some work), tilt steering wheel and even leather interior (assuming it is real leather... a possibility with a Mercury). Most of the things we take for granted today. But this is in a 30 year old car. The white interior would do well here in south central Texas. The 351 Cleveland is a good motor if it is the 4 barrel version. Gas mileage will suck, but who cares. Just think about all my criteria. It has every single one except the manual transmission, which I am finding is much harder to get than I originally expected. The car is priced below 10 grand, right where it should be. If all I wanted was a convertible cruiser, this car would be fine. In fact, compared to the gold 71 Cutlass convertible listed above, this car is just as nice, has more options, and has more performance potential. Why not?

Straining The Budget

Next are cars that are at or near the the top of my budget ($16.9K asking price) and CPI seams to agree with most of the the prices. These are cars that I would try hard to negotiate down the price, but would expect to fail. Some of them, although I could afford the purchase price, would require some upgrades to make daily drivable. That makes it more difficult to justify the high price.

1972 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 - $14,900
Cortez silver with black stripes, new B/C paint, fresh 454, turbo 400 auto, dual exhaust, cowl hood, PS, PB, ice cold A/C! Complete new black interior with buckets, factory SS wheels, BF Goodrich Radial TA's, new bumpers, factory tach. Drive it anywhere.

CPI: $22,350

Comments: Wow... an SS 454 Chevelle that I can afford AND priced well below its mint condition value. What is this world coming to. O.K. Let's read between the lines. Fresh 454 probably means it is not the original motor. They don't say it is a "real SS" or if it is a "clone." Lack of stating it is a clone should mean it is real. Go figure. Now let's compare it to my requirements. A/C, PS, PB. All that's missing is a 4 speed. For a real SS 454 at this price I can live without a 4 speed.

1972 El Camino SS 454 - $12,950
Re-Built 454ci V8, 4-Speed, PS, disc brakes, bucket seats & console, 12 bolt rear, dual exhaust, American Mags, beautiful Cortez silver over black. Drives like new!

CPI: $22,500

Comments: If this is a clone they should state it. This is a bargain if it is a real SS 454. Even if the engine is not original, at this price it wouldn't matter much. I have turned myself off of El Caminos because they don't have a back seat for my two boys. But this one has a big block and four speed. The car originally had A/C, but no compressor was in the pictures. So, at the asking price I would have enough left over to get the A/C working, or convert it to a Vintage Air system. With how light these are in the tail it would go through tires every few hundred feet. Cool!

1968 Pontiac GTO - $15,900
Original paint car. 400/350 hp, number's match, M20 wide ratio, Muncie, 4 speed. 3.55 safety track rear. Verdoro green with gold interior. A perfect example of a totally original car. Trunk has original spatter paint. Original jack with Rally II red line spare. Original gold bucket seats with console. Rally dash, power steering, and non power brakes. Original Hurst shifter. 67,000 actual miles. Super solid car. Car really needs paint, but she is original. Some collectors prefer to leave them original. The body is extremely straight. The doors closes like new. The hood lines up nice. Engine bay is original and needs minor detail. This goat's performance is 100%. Comes with PHS documentation. We are going to paint this car sometime next month.

CPI: $15,675 (With Ram Air 400: $19,800)

Comments: I wrote my comments long after I saved this ad. In fact I don't remember where I saw it to see if they did paint it. I assume the price was before painting. Now down to business. Here is another case of liking a vehicle before looking up its value. Without knowing its value I say this: This is near the top of my price ceiling, and I doubt they will bite if I low ball them. The car needs A/C (and some other things) and that will probably knock this car out of the running pretty quickly. But I love the idea of an all original Muscle Car with a 4 speed. I would try to offer $14K before they paint it and worry about cosmetics later. Now let's look it up on CPI. Wow, it is worth only $15,675... in excellent condition. Maybe we should low ball them with the CPI guide in hand since they clearly have it overpriced. Or we should try and get that paint job thrown in at this price. Once again... it pays to have a price guide.

1974 Dodge Challenger - $14,995
Pistol Grip 4 speed. Matching numbers 360 with a Purple Shaft cam, Edlebrock intake, Edlebrock carburetor, headers and glasspacks, 8 3/4 rear... much more.

CPI: $18,150

Comments: The pictures of this Challenger were very nice. I love pistol grip shifters. This price is high (for my budget) and the car doesn't have A/C. So I would have to see if I could get away with offering $13K.

1972 Barracuda - $16,950
Numbers Match! 340ci V8 & Slapstick automatic, PS, PB, A/C, bucket seats & console, Ralleys, 1 family owned, 85k actual miles, very nice, drives excellent!

CPI: Barracuda Coupe: $9,075, Cuda: $11,975, Cuda 340/360: $19,150

Comments: When I see a really nice Mopar in my price range (just barely) I get goose bumps. This is a tricky car. The picture of the rear of this car had a Cuda emblem. If that is true then this is a reasonably priced car. However, the description just says Barracuda. Is this a Barracuda or a Cuda? Look at the CPI value for regular Barracudas and you can see why people will try to pass off a car as a Cuda... or even a Cuda clone. If this is not a real Cuda it is drastically overpriced, and if you pay this much for a Cuda clone you will never recover your money. This car has every option I want except the four speed. Since Mopars are already rare I will have to settle for an automatic. This Cuda looks like I could enjoy it right out of the box. So, do you think they would take $14K for it?

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner - $13,900
383 auto, numbers match, 85,000 original miles, fender tag, all correct, real RM23N Roadrunner, super solid Alabama car, B5 blue over immaculate blue interior, gold dust stripe, buckets, console, AM 8 track, Magnum 500’s, horn works, excellent condition inside and out, drives perfect, Beep Beep!!

CPI: $20,150

Comments: I used to really love this body style. However, I was spoiled by the nicer interior of my 73 Roadrunner. I love the fake scoops on the sides with the Roadrunner's dust coming out of it. The only thing I see wrong with this car, beside that it's an automatic, is that it doesn't have A/C. I would try to low-ball the offer to cover installing A/C and worry about the manual later in life.

1971 Plymouth GTX - $14,700
Matching #'s 440, Slapstick auto, buckets, very nice interior, a REAL GTX with "RS" Vin code, fender tag & buildsheet, low count car, 1 of 2,211, straight body, solid trunk pans, custom wheels, runs & drives great!!!

CPI: $15,850

Comments: I used to own a 1973 Road Runner GTX (they combined the two in that year, maybe others). It was in horrible shape. Rusting apart at the seams. But the interior was immaculate and it had a 440 with the slapstick auto. After rebuilding that 440 it was the fastest car I think I have ever driven. So this car has a warm spot for me. Amazingly they didn't overprice the heck out of it.

1966 Belair SS 396 - $16,990
2 Dr Coupe, 396/375hp, m21 4sp trans, 12 bolt posi-traction rear, documented restoration, Madeira maroon paint, new 1/4 panels, rally wheels, factory tach, new dual exhaust.

CPI: Impala SS 396: $17,075

Comments: CPI doesn't list a Bel Air for 1966 on their web site. So it makes it hard to truly price this thing. It is priced at top dollar for me, and top dollar for an Impala SS 396. Low balling a car is hard if you don't have documentation to back it up. I would do a little research before contacting the seller. I love these old big beasts. It has the top horsepower 396 and a four speed. Being a Bel Air it is the stripper of the big Chevys of the day. So it won't have A/C (I don't know if you could get A/C with the 375 hp motor), and it probably has manual brakes and steering. I would make sure it is a numbers matching car. This car would be a great occasional driver and show car, but I find it compelling to think about.

1968 Chevelle SS 396 - $15,900
Beautiful, correct Matador red exterior with white stripes. True Super Sport. 396 V-8 with 4 barrel carburetion. 4 speed with correct Muncie shifter. Factory tach and gauges. Nice black interior with walnut steering wheel. 12 bolt rearend. Nice chrome. Rally wheels on BF Goodrich Radial TA tires. Extremely clean throughout. Show and cruise. Very nice condition. Runs excellent.

CPI: $25,075

Comments: Wow... A real SS 396 Chevelle... for only 16 grand. What's wrong with this car? It says, "True Super Sport" not "True Super Sport 396." A non 396 SS is still worth more than 22 grand. So why is this car so cheap? For my budget it is overpriced, but I bought a Camaro for $13K that was listed at this price. However, this car is a stripper in terms of my requirements. A/C, PB, PS all missing. But a real big block with a 4 speed. Wow! I have to assume it is not the original motor or they would be asking at least 20K for the car. A little research would be in order and maybe some price negotiation. Just remember, if it is low priced for a reason now then its resale value is in question later.

1971 Chevelle SS - $15,900
Rust free California car! Beautiful factory (43G) Lime green paint, black SS stripes, black interior, 350 ci. engine, 4 bbl, PS, PDB, headers, 4 speed, bucket seats, Hurst shifter, Grant wood steering wheel, am-fm-cassette, remote mirror, GM seat belts, dual exhaust, 12 bolt posi rear end, cowl hood, factoy SS wheels, BF Goodrich tires, body color mirrors, Rust Free! Runs & Drives Excellent!

CPI: $16,175

Comments: Wow, he says rust free twice, so it must be. O.K. We are over budget, but that didn't stop me last time when I bought a car advertised for this same price for $13K. We should verify that this is a real SS. This car is perfect except for A/C. I would initially offer $13K and see where things go. After all, they are asking top dollar for the car. I should be able to find some flaws that help knock the price down to my level so I can put A/C in right away.

1968 Chevelle SS 396 - $13,900
Genuine Super Sport. Beautiful, correct Matador Red with black vinyl top and correct parchment interior. Professionally rebuilt 396 V-8 with aluminum heads and intake, stainless rockers, headers, etc. Turbo 400 automatic transmission. Rare power windows. Super rare fiber optics. Power steering and power brakes. Show detailed engine compartment with lots of chrome dress up and performance items. Awesome stereo system. BF Goodrich radial TA tires on rally wheels. Custom tach and gauges. Runs and drives excellent. Show and cruise.

CPI: $22,825

Comments: They say it is a real SS. I would do a little research to be able to confirm that. The engine compartment was way over the top in chrome flash. Clearly someone intended this to be a show car, or look like one. It didn't impress me, and I have been to car shows. Regardless, the engine is clearly not stock, and I would bet dollars for donuts that it is not the original engine. But maybe that is reason enough for this car to be priced so low for a true SS 396. This is perfect for me. The only options missing for me are A/C (which I would need to add right away) and a 4 speed. If the car runs as good as it looks and it really is an SS 396 I would be very interested. I would low ball an offer on the basis that I would return the engine compartment to stock (I might eventually) and put the money toward a Vintage Air system to keep the summer cruising cool. If I could get this car for $13K I could add A/C and be happy enough while slowly returning the engine compartment to stock and eventually swapping in a 4 or 5 speed down the road.

1969 Dodge Charger R/T SE - $16,999
That's right, a real R/T SE, 383, 4 speed, from the factory! All correct and original w/ build sheet and fender tag. It doesn't get any better than this. Runs and drives good. Mint leather interior.

CPI: $17,675

Comments: This one just barely squeaked in according to price. One dollar more and it would not have made it. There is not enough info in the ad to determine how it fits my criteria. I actual like the 383 engine as a "small" big block. The R/T SE is the most valuable Charger (short of the racing inspired 500 and Daytonas). This car is priced reasonable if it is in mint condition. However, I saw the dash cut for a modern radio, and wires hanging under the dash. No mention of PS, PB or A/C. But I love Chargers, and this is a big block with a 4 speed. So I have to call. If only I had the cash in hand right now.

1970 Coronet 500 Convertible - $15,950
Low production #'s. Only 924 produced. 440ci V8 big block, auto, PS, PB, power top, A/C. New interior and paint. Nice chrome and stainless. An excellent investment opportunity.

CPI: $15,675

Comments: I love it when they tell you it is an excellent investment opportunity. That always means they are overpriced. Now, let's look it up. Wow, they are right on the money if this car is in mint condition. I can't believe it. Something must be wrong with this car. If I was serious at the moment I would call for more pictures.

Trans Ams

Don't forget Pontiac had Pony cars too. This section is a bit of a stretch as many of these cars creep out of the early 70s, but I like Trans Ams. Let's see what's out there.

1971 Firebird Formula 400 - $12,500 
True Formula documented by Pontiac Historical Services. Very rare, less than 1900 made with 4 speeds. Beautiful white exterior with blue stripes. 400 cubic inch V-8, 4 barrel carburetion. 4 speed transmission with Hurst shifter. Black interior with bucket seats and console. Factory tach and gauges. Originally a factory A/C car, but some of the components have been removed. Raised white letter radials on Rallye II mag wheels. Front and rear spoilers. Runs and drives great. Very clean throughout.

CPI: $13,150

Comments: It's not a Trans Am but it still looks good. Also it has a 400 and a 4 speed. They are asking close to top dollar for the car. That means that the non-functioning A/C should allow for easy negotiations. How about $11K?

1971 Trans Am - $13,900
400, TH400 auto, No's. match, fully redone, fresh Cameo white, new dk. blue deluxe interior, buckets, console, Hurst dual gate, fact. am/fm, p.s, all new p. disc brakes, rear swaybar, 3.08 posi, super clean and straight eye popper!

CPI: $18,800

Comments: This is what an early Trans Am is supposed to look like. I love it. At this price it is over budget since it doesn't have A/C or a 4-speed. But it looks good, and should be fast. I could see driving this on a regular basis. I would offer $12,500 and try to put A/C in it. Budget in new rear tires every 5000 miles. He he.

1977 Trans Am - $14,900
TA 6.6, PS, PDB, PW, 4 Speed, buckets, console, tach and gauges, factory A/C, tinted glass, radio. This Trans Am is a match #, correct color and interior code car. This is a great long term investment as a collector car or car show cruiser. These Trans Am's are getting hard to find, especially with a 4 speed and factory air!

CPI: $10,925

Comments: Smokey and the Bandit returns! This is the car that really started the comeback for performance. I know, the Trans Am got weaker and weaker through the 1981 model year (remember those pathetic 301 turbo editions). But this car in the famous movie is why Chevrolet re-introduced the Z/28 in 1978 after dropping it in 1975. Sales of Trans Ams went through the roof in 77 and 78. With Pontiac selling lots of Trans Ams and Chevrolet re-introducing the Z-28, Ford got back in the picture with the Mustang GT. You can thank these cars for the performance era returning. So even though this is a little new for a mid 60s to early 70s classic, it is a classic. Now I love when they say "a great long term investment." I guess that's whey they are asking so much for it. Well it isn't a short term investment when you pay 4 grand too much for the car. I would take the CPI guide with me to talk the price down. But it is close to my budget and has everything I want: A/C, PS, PDB, 4 speed, etc. It also has the preferred TA 6.6 engine (I would verify that). It even has power windows!

1978 Trans Am - $12,500
Smokey & the Bandit! Factory (19U) black with gold accents & bird, factory (19R) black interior, matching numbers (WC) 6.6 400 ci./220 hp, factory Hurst 4 speed manual transmission, PS, PDB, A/C, completely original under the hood, bucket seats with console, Hurst shifter, tilt TA wheel, GM seat belts with shoulder harness, factory tachometer & gauges, Pioneer am-fm-cassette, remote mirror, power windows, Flowmaster dual exhaust w/ TA tips, rear sway bar, posi-trac rear end, original spackle paint in the trunk, WS6 Honeycomb wheels, white letter tires, original build (L) Van Nuys, California, delivered to Pinson, Alabama new, original owners manuals & protect-o-plate, Great Investment!

CPI: $10,925

Comments: Hey, he mentioned Smokey and the Bandit first. He also thinks this is a "Great Investment." At least he is closer to the value than the 77 Trans Am above. This has the same equipment as the 77, so it should be a wash. However, that black interior would be hot in Texas. At this price it is a better value that the 77, so this should be called first. This one also seems to have more documentation which does help with the investment thing.

1976 Trans Am - $14,900
Matching # 455, 4 speed. Stunning black paint, black interior, PS, PDB, tilt wheel, rear console, highly detailed engine bay, trunk compartment, interior & exterior. Pictures do not do this car justice. If your looking for a fast, mint Trans Am, this is it!

CPI: $9,575

Comments: This is one time when I think the CPI guide may be wrong. There was no place on the web site to see if the 455 was worth more than any other Trans Am. I think that is definitely an oversight. Maybe the print version shows it. Regardless, that engine should have enough torque to wipe out the rear tires every week. And it is a 4 speed. They don't mention A/C which would be mandatory for a black on black car is Texas. I would do more research on the value of this car due to the 455 engine. Even so, I think we can try to get him to come down. After all this is a less desirable year than the square headlight 77 used in "the movie."

1975 Trans Am - $8,975
400 4-Speed, 91k orig, no's match, M21, fully doc. correct car, bld. sheet, dealer invoice, Stellar Blue, white dlx. interior, buckets, console, p.w., 3.08 posi, orig. spare w/cannister, ex. cond in and out, drives awesome!!

CPI: $9,575

Comments: O.K. This one is out in left field. A 75 Trans Am? Smog City! However, it is a true 400/4-speed car. I can't dismiss that. And next year it will be 30 years old and exempt from smog testing, even in California (if my memory is correct). This is going for top dollar based on CPI's price guide. I don't think this will go up in value much, but you never know. This would make a great performance project car. Offer $7,500 and see if they bite.

Grossly Overpriced

Here are a few cars that I came across that I feel are grossly overpriced. The sellers need to understand that because you throw a ton of money at a car does not mean it goes up in value. Also, just because you have a nice clone does not mean you can charge a lot for it. The theme is the same for these cars, they are so far overpriced that I should be insulted as a potential buyer. I don't think they deserve anywhere close to the asking price for these cars.

1972 Dodge Dart Custom - $17,500
Complete restoration of an original low mileage old lady dart. The engine was replaced with a crate 360 V8, 300 hp. Conversion done at ICT engines with receipt for $8193.75. Mopar black krinkle valve covers & air-cleaner, new American Racing polished 15" Torque Thrust II wheels on T/A radials, A/C, PS, PDB, 5 speed standard transmission with the legendary Pistol Grip shifter, new exhaust with flowmaster mufflers, new black paint with gold racing stripes, original interior, original build/broadcast sheet, owner's manual, dart/demon sales brochure, quality assurance card, detailed pictures and receipts of restoration. The Dart is a cool cruiser for a low investment level.

CPI: Swinger 340: $9,975, Swinger: $6,225

Comments: O.K. I know, this car is out of my "stretched" price range. I promised not to look at cars over $16,900. As I have said, I paid $13,000 for a car advertised for $15,900 on my previous classic car purchase. So a $16,900 car that I could hope to get for $14,000 means I was able to limit my search to cars no more than $16,900. But I wanted to put this car in here for two reasons. First, it is exactly what I asked for. And more. It is a rust free car. It has A/C, PS & PDB. It even has a 5 speed. That is something I would always be considering to add to any 4 speed car I would buy. All the work is done for me. It has a crate 360, which should respond well to some performance parts over time. Even at 300 hp in a light car this should move plenty well. The second reason I wanted to list it here was to show how overpriced it is. If this is a true 340 car it is only worth 10 grand. Yet they have the audacity to say "low investment level" when they overpriced the car by more than 7 grand. I'm sorry, I don't care if you do spend 8 grand installing an engine, it does not make the car worth more. In fact, this is worth less than a properly restored original Dart Swinger 340. With all that said, let's see... I don't like the gold stripes, what would it take to remove them? Otherwise I like the car. Do you think they would come down to $14,000. Should I waste my money if they did. Should I offer $12K instead. Would they be insulted. Should I be insulted.

1970 Dodge Coronet 500 - $13,995
SuperBee Clone - Yes this car is hot. It has a 440 big block with goodies under the hood, auto, center shift console, new interior, new paint, base coat/clear coat, new wheels, new tires. A very fine car and ready to show off. Don't be cheap and think you could build for less than we are selling this one for.

CPI: Coronet 500: $9,250, Super Bee 383: $19,775, Super Bee 440: $20,775

Comments: This car is in here because I find it interesting. We have a clone of a car that is worth over 20 grand in mint condition. However, the actual car is only worth 9 grand. They say, "Don't be cheap and think you could build for less than we are selling this one for." Well, let's see. If you found a Coronet in good to excellent condition for under $9,000, added a 440 engine, painted it, added the hood scoops and some badges. Hmmm, for 5 grand. Sounds do-able to me, plus you have the fun of doing it yourself. This car does not really have any value over a stock Coronet. Until the pricing guides start officially pricing clones I see this car as one that tries to get someone too cheap to buy an original. Granted, you save thousands. Since it is a clone that does indeed cost less than the real McKoy someone may be more willing to drive it.

1974 Plymouth Barracuda - $13,900
Extremely nice B-5 blue paint with black stripes. Black interior. High performance 360 V-8. Balanced and blueprinted. Ported heads, racing cam. Holley 4 barrel carburetion. Rebuilt automatic transmission with shift kit, stall converter, and SlapStick shifter. Manual valve body. 8 3/4 rear. Disc brakes. Cuda hood and look. New raised white letter radials. Very sharp looking car.

CPI: $9,075

Comments: When I first saw the picture and price of this car I thought "Wow, a decent priced Barracuda." Then I read the description. This is a hot rod. Not a bad thing mind you, as I am a hot rodder. But the manual valve body would have to be replaced with a normal one. I have see the term "balanced and blueprinted" used incorrectly so many times I assume it is incorrect. Now, let's look it up on CPI's price guide. What do you know, it is overpriced. Darn. I liked it. Also it doesn't have A/C, PS, PB or manual trans. Oops! That makes this a serious project car. Since we have to fix some things before we even hit CPI's description I would have to limit my offer to $8K. Sorry!

Tri-5 Chevys

I just happen to come across these and couldn't leave them out. Not exactly mid 60s cars, but that's O.K. since they are within our $14.5K budget.

1955 Chevrolet 210 - $14,500
2 Door, red/white, 350cid with less than 500 miles on rebuild, 4spd, front disc brakes, new bumpers, new tires & wheels, dual exhaust, recent paint, complete new interior. Very solid car, drives excellent.

CPI: $20,175

Comments: I am as surprised as you to see a 55 Chevy on this list. Hardly a mid 60s to early 70s car. However, it does have the key ingredients at a price I can afford. This is at the limit of my budget, but it has disc brakes and the all important 4 speed. I would need to add A/C. There weren't any other pictures with the car, so I would need to see more pictures before I started getting serious.

1957 Chevrolet 210 - $13,950
Nice original interior, stock 235ci 6cyl., auto transmission. Solid body, good chrome. Beautiful original dash, white wall, stock covers, drives like new!

CPI: $21,775

Comments: Finally, a real investment. If this car is in as good as they say then it would make for a neat occasional driver and show car. These cars will draw a crowd even with a 6 cylinder engine. It's worth more than 20 grand restored, so the price leaves plenty of money left to invest without losing your shirt. That's cool. Too bad I want a daily driver.


I just couldn't resist.

1965 Corvair Monza Convertible - $9,995
This is as nice as they get. 110 H.P. motor. Factory 4-speed. Power steering. Beautiful body and paint with ghost flames. Perfect interior. New Torque-Thrust wheels. Runs and drives excellent.

CPI: $8,725

Comments: O.K. I know that a Corvair is a far stretch for a classic daily driver. But think about it. If it is in good reliable running condition that flat 6 should hopefully get decent gas mileage. The pictures were excellent. It is a convertible and probably a manual top. I don't know if you can easily add air conditioning to a Corvair like you can with the more popular, front engined cars of the day. The interior really did look perfect in the pictures. The price is low enough this could be a project car. I swore off manual tops and lack of air conditioning, but this car looks just right for a Corvair. I would research adding a power top and A/C then give a call. Notice that this is slightly overpriced and not stock, so their should be room to negotiate the price down to help fund the project.

1965 Pontiac Tempest - $9,888
1965 Pontiac Tempest Custom 2dr hardtop, original 215 6 cylinder, 3 spd on the tree, gorgeous all original unmolested Tempest, white on frost blue w/bench, arrow straight & rust free, Cragar SS wheels.

CPI: $7025

Comments: I said I like to be different. This car is different. Three-on-the-Tree. You don't see those everyday. I was a little surprised to see that this car was overpriced. Oh well, I should have expected it. This car is not much, but it is different. I could see spending money on it to change the interior color to something that looks cool, putting the shifter on the floor, and converting it to a 4 or 5 speed. Now, if that 6 cylinder is the Overhead Cam Sprint 6 I think this is worth looking into. In general I don't look at this car as cool, but just a funky old car. But then again that is different, and being an A-Body GM car means there are tons of parts available for it. I know... it's a long shot.


Well there you have it. Let's recap for a bit. I found 101 cars I liked enough to make note of them here. I even found 12 convertibles... which I wasn't looking for this time. 

Manuals vs. Automatics

37 cars has manual transmissions and 64 had automatics. Keep in mind I was looking for cars with a manual transmission. Even with the slant toward three pedals, the automatics out numbered the manuals almost 2:1. That's pretty bad.

Price vs. Value

As for pricing, 43 cars here were overpriced by CPI's excellent rating. Now, I did not count some of the cars with questionable description that would increase that number. Also, since I was looking for cars at or below $16,900 I basically eliminated all the other cars out there that are so overpriced that buyers should be personal friends of B.T Barnum.

This leaves 56 cars below the CPI's excellent value. Does this mean they are not overpriced. Hardly. Remember, CPI defines a car in excellent condition as being in "Nearly perfect condition," and has "usually been professionally restored to the current highest standard." My 67 Camaro RS Convertible listed in CPI's guide for $14,100 in "good" condition. In excellent condition my Camaro would have been worth $22,925. I sold it for a fair $14,500.

Most of these cars don't look like they are in as good a condition as my Camaro was. CPI's "good" rating states, "Very nice condition. In fact, most casual observers would describe the vehicle as excellent. 'Good' cars show very little wear and are driven sparingly. Many are used as weekend drivers. Many older restorations fall into this category." I have seen a LOT of cars advertised as good drivers. Good cars are not good drivers according to CPI. That goes down to fair condition.

I'll bet if we compared all the cars on this list to CPI's good rating that 90% of these cars would be overpriced. This means YOU need to buy a good price guide before you shop for a classic car. Don't be fooled into paying to much or you will be stuck when it comes time to sell your car.

Budget vs. Negotiation

They say everything is negotiable. I hope so. I paid $13,000 for a car that was advertised for $15,900. I sold that car for $14,500 when I had it advertised for $16,000. 

By my budget 74 cars were within my budget by the asking price. If I factor in the cars that would require A/C or other components to meet my driving requirements the number drops significantly. But the point is that there are cars out there that can fit in a reasonable budget. I listed a number of affordable drivers and convertibles. All were below $13K. Plus I had quite a few cars in the $13-$14K range that seamed to be worth blowing my entire budget on.

Now... just because I can afford a $14,000 car does mean I should buy it if it is only worth $10,000. And you shouldn't buy a car for $11,000 that is worth less that $7,000. You can find a few cars in here that are 4-5 thousand dollars over there market value according to CPI. Some are priced at as much as twice their value. Ouch! That would mean to justify their price tey should be concourse winning show cars.

I seriously blame the people out there that are willing to buy cars without looking up their true value as a reason for such overpriced cars. I have talked to one dealer, and he sells cars on consignment for $1500. The first $500 is up front money to cover his costs in advertising and keeping the car in his showroom. That seems reasonable. So he is basically making $1000 on a car. Many of these cars are far more than $1,000 to $1,500 overpriced. That's just gouging. I hate it.

It is becoming harder and harder for the average person to afford a classic car. Someday I hope to be shopping for one of these cars again. I don't know exactly when, but it will happen someday.

Next month I have a little surprise. Until then...