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Classic Car Daily Driver


64deville
01-26-2005, 05:05 PM
I'm currently in the process of buying a new (used car). I've mostly owned 1980 and newer vehicles with the exception of my 1964 Cadillac deVille (in very good condition). I think I would like to have a classic car as a daily driver. I really like the way my older car runs and drives as well as the styling and features. I especially like the fact that it is fairly simple to work on.

I need some suggestions on what to look into. I've looked at just about every classic car there is and have narrowed it down somewhat but any suggestions or advice would be helpful.

Here are some of the ones I think would be good and the reasons for choosing them:
1. 1963 Cadillac Sedan deVille - good styling, nice ride, pretty simple, ahve some knowledge about them from my 64 but do I really want two of them?

2. 1967-1972 Buick Skylark 2dr - Always liked the styling (I like all the body styles from these years), simple, parts are common and easy to find. I let a cherry 72 slip through my fingers last month.

3. 1968-1969 Ford Torino 2dr hardtop - Like the styling, simple, abundant mech parts sources, cheaper than the fastbacks, rare.

4. 1960-1965 Ford Falcon - economical, easy on gas, unique, very simple, decent styling.

5. 1978-1983 - Chevy Malibu 2dr - Simple little 2 doors with cheap parts and some style. I would put some mags and dual exhaust but I wouldn't go nuts like some people do on mods for these cars.

Any insight into these models or into any other classic car you think would make a good daily driver, I'm all ears. My budget is about $5000 for which I know I can get a very nice ride. It may not be the most sought after classic but I don't care.

Andy

curtis73
01-28-2005, 03:39 AM
Here are some of the ones I think would be good and the reasons for choosing them:
1. 1963 Cadillac Sedan deVille - good styling, nice ride, pretty simple, ahve some knowledge about them from my 64 but do I really want two of them?

2. 1967-1972 Buick Skylark 2dr - Always liked the styling (I like all the body styles from these years), simple, parts are common and easy to find. I let a cherry 72 slip through my fingers last month.

3. 1968-1969 Ford Torino 2dr hardtop - Like the styling, simple, abundant mech parts sources, cheaper than the fastbacks, rare.

4. 1960-1965 Ford Falcon - economical, easy on gas, unique, very simple, decent styling.

5. 1978-1983 - Chevy Malibu 2dr - Simple little 2 doors with cheap parts and some style. I would put some mags and dual exhaust but I wouldn't go nuts like some people do on mods for these cars.



I personally really like the classic Caddys. The Caddy engines were designed very well. The blocks are very high in nickel content making them very hard and resistant to wear. Their hardness makes them unlikely candidates for race engines, but excellent for long-term cylinder wear.

Any of the cars you've chosen are excellent choices. I guess it depends partly on what your personality is like. Some choose what they already know (like the caddy in your case) and some choose to learn as they go (and would choose the Ford). The only potentially labor-intensive choice I see is the Buick. Buick engines from square one have inadequate oiling. Not just inadequate, pathetic. Its easily solved with parts and labor, but maybe something you're not willing to dive into for a daily driver.

The Fords also present an attractive package, although I personally dont' get into their style.

Therfore, my ranking goes as follows:

Caddy
Ford
Buick
Chevy

Unless you are willing to deal with Buick's oiling, then I'd say:

Caddy
Buick
Ford
Chevy.

I only put chevy last since they are the most common, but aside from buick's oiling issues, any of the the choices you've made are excellent.

64deville
01-28-2005, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the infor Curtis - I 've never been aware that Buicks suffered that problem. That was super specific on the Caddy as well, I knew the motors were bomb proof but didn't really realize it was because of the high nickle content.

The only thing that scares me about the Cadillac is mechanical parts availability. The 390 that comes in the 63's apparently had some differences from the 390's from 62-59. The distributor,as well as other accessory locations were changed, the engine itself is shorter and lighter, and the cranks are different. All this makes me wonder if finding the right mech bits for of 1 year only motor are going to be difficult and costly. I have some experience with this from my 64 but the 429 in it was used until the late 60's making it a bit more common.

Thanks a lot Curtis, I appreciate your insight and information.

Andy

curtis73
01-28-2005, 12:35 PM
I suppose for a little extra cash you could swap out the engines. I put a Caddy 500 in a Pontiac which is why I know a little about them, but as far as switching between the engine families I'm not an expert. I know the 368, 425, 472, and 500 all interchange many parts, including engine mounts so they are all a direct swap, but going back that far to the late 50's and early 60's. I chose a 75 500 to get the lower compression for towing so I'm a little clueless that far back. Speaking of my caddy, the odometer read 23,000, but it had obviously turned over 100k given the condition of the car. When we pulled the heads there were still light crosshatches in the bores. They also don't have a harmonic damper. They are so low-rpm and well enough balancedthat its not needed.

Buicks can be fixed by a new oil pump and a new front cover, both available from T/A peformance. The stock covers score and wear which drops pressure and allows excessive endplay shortening the life of the pump. Its a pretty big problem, but the rest of the buick engine design is excellent. If you take the time to cure this issue, its a wonderful engine. That 455 with its huge bore and a stroke of just 3.9 begs for midrange torque.

http://www.taperformance.com/

If you're interested in the caddy swap (or worried about parts availability) try these links:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22

http://www.hwforums.com/2089/index.html

http://www.cowboyseven.us/forum/

http://www.cad500parts.com/

http://www.500cid.com/

The first several are tech forums and the last two are parts gurus. Although they specialize in the big-inch caddys, they both have parts available for the 390s.

Check over at the Cadillac forums here, too. Sometimes there is an old caddy guru that crops up amidst the CTSs :)

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