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12/27/13 2:54 p.m.

My husband has always wanted a cool muscle car and he has a birthday coming up that I'd love to buy him one. I know at 3500 I'm not getting a show car but I'd like something functioning that we can do upgrades overtime. He wants something auto and v8. Open to any ideas in the big 3 brands etc. Any help would be great!

Rufledt SuperDork
12/27/13 2:58 p.m.

Whereabouts are you located? People here can probably do a classifieds search and give you options in your area. Also do you have a preference for any year range/model?

JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
12/27/13 3:00 p.m.

Let us know what part of the country you are in and we will try to find some good deals in your area.

Is your husband a regular on this board? If so, don't give his name or give it away, we just want to know if he is capable of make automotive improvements and repairs himself.

MadScientistMatt UltraDork
12/27/13 3:02 p.m.

This may be low for the really mainstream ones, except MAYBE an early Mustang coupe, but some of the less popular ones turn up in that price range:

  • '70s era Novas
  • Mopar A-bodies (Dart, Duster, early Barracudas)
  • Ford Torinos
  • Ford Falcons
  • Mercury Comets
JFX001 UltraDork
12/27/13 3:03 p.m.


And God Bless you!

Aimcat New Reader
12/27/13 3:13 p.m.

No my husband is not super mechanically inclined. His knowledge is basic. We have a good cheap mechanic though. We are in southwestern virginia. Open to anything early 70s and back. Also considered an iroc z camaro but maybe too modern.

Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
12/27/13 3:16 p.m.

Need it have 2 doors? You can get twice the car for your money if you don't mind the 4 door variant.

Aimcat New Reader
12/27/13 3:18 p.m.

4 door ehhh maybe. He would really prefer something 2 door and maybe something with work over time that will still be worth the money put in it.

aussiesmg MegaDork
12/27/13 3:21 p.m.

Manual or autotragic?

HappyAndy SuperDork
12/27/13 3:23 p.m.

In reply to Aimcat: Look in the lower RH corner if this webpage and click the link that says "$200X classifieds" there are a couple good candidates on the first page right now, including an Olds Vistacruiser wagon.

Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
12/27/13 3:30 p.m.

Remember body work is harder than mechanical work, it far better to start with a pretty, solid car that doesn't have an engine, than some bondo bucket that happens to run.

captdownshift Reader
12/27/13 3:33 p.m.


and i say c10, f100 or nomad

HappyAndy SuperDork
12/27/13 3:34 p.m.
Aimcat wrote: 4 door ehhh maybe. He would really prefer something 2 door and maybe something with work over time that will still be worth the money put in it.

A word of advice : It shouldn't be about the money, but about the enjoyment. Any muscle car that you could make easy money on is already worth more than $3500 right now. Breaking even is the best that you can hope for, and that's never guaranteed, even if you do everything right. Sometimes you can get lucky, but that's getting harder every day in the muscle car market.

Also, mechanical stuff is easier to fix than rust and body damage. I'd take rust free with a bad , or no engine any day of the week, over a complete and running rust bucket, no matter how rare or desirable it might be.

Gearheadotaku UberDork
12/27/13 3:35 p.m.

+1 for solid body first. Bodywork is much harder and takes longer to learn than mechanical work. It's 'art' vs. 'science'.

Would he consider a truck? An El Camino / El Rancho or pick up may bring a better start to the budget. 60's pick-ups can be really cool too and easier on the budget.

Aimcat New Reader
12/27/13 3:36 p.m.

Yes I agree. We do not want a rust bucket by any means.

Aimcat New Reader
12/27/13 3:37 p.m.

No to pickups. We started down that road and he wants a car for sure.

Brett_Murphy UltraDork
12/27/13 3:37 p.m.

In your general area:



Don't forget old trucks:


amg_rx7 Dork
12/27/13 3:54 p.m.

C3 Corvette convertible would be my pick if they are in budget.

Some others:
Chevy Nova 70+ Camaro

SyntheticBlinkerFluid PowerDork
12/27/13 4:51 p.m.

In reply to Aimcat:

If he's looking for a 2-Door "Muscle Car" with a V8 and automatic, may I suggest looking at a mid 70's era car like a GM A Body (Olds Cutlass, Buick Skylark, etc).

There's a lot of cars of that era that would fit the bill.

nepa03focus Reader
12/27/13 6:01 p.m.

Maverick? Maybe a tempest or olds thats not a 442? I'm just trying to think of something that's not super popular, so you won't pay for the name and get more car for your money .

bmw88rider Reader
12/27/13 6:03 p.m.

Either of the A bodies ,Mopar or GM, will be that range for a non-performance version. Both have great interchangeability through the years with some good ways to get decent HP for not too bad of a price.

Other than that, you will quickly get into project range. Not a classic but you can get a whole lot of Fox body mustang for that much.

Another one to look at is the mustang siblings, The cougar and falcon.

The cougar makes a great cruiser and is 95% the same car as the mustang mechanically but imho better looking and a better cruiser.

nepa03focus Reader
12/27/13 6:11 p.m.

Also if you drop the "muscle car part" you could check classic vws or corvairs. Problly not what you are looking for, but nice corvairs can be had for cheap.

ebonyandivory Dork
12/27/13 6:49 p.m.

My friend just bought a 60's Chrysler 300 for $1,000. Running and driving, good steel.


Aimcat New Reader
12/27/13 7:02 p.m.

I'm ok with the lesser name cars. Want something with eye appeal and with a little aggressive look

Brett_Murphy UltraDork
12/27/13 7:05 p.m.

Vega? Let me see...



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