View Full Version : Unique classic cars???

09-09-2004, 01:16 AM
Can you guys help me out in naming any unique classic cars? By unique classic cars, I am talking about cars that aren't seen around much, yet they are reasonably priced (up to $5000) for a restoration. I love older cars and am open to anything. If it's a nice looking car that has possiblities, I'm willing to go with it. It can be British, American, German, etc. If you have links of the car, that would be appreciated as well. Thanks

09-09-2004, 01:34 AM
The list is almost endless... There are so many British and European car companies (comapared to the States) from the 1950's to 1960's, and many of them were small companies with little presence here.

Everyone knows my first answer to this question, why a British saloon car of course /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif A restoration project should be available for purchase for less than $1K, parts will be a little tougher to track down and might be slightly more expensive, but in this day and age (internet) parts supply is generally good for most now.

Or for something entirely different, you should check out these guys - www.arcaneauto.org (https://www.arcaneauto.org) - most of them are out of San Francisco, I think some further south too, they have lots of very "arcane" cars in their club membership and would probably have leads on some stuff, they also host an excellent Yahoogroups e-mail group.

If you're willing to travel a bit here are some from Alberta here that are for sale - https://community.webshots.com/album/146399629EtDHnm , Or my friend in Ontario has some neat stuff for sale (not everything in this album is for sale) - https://community.webshots.com/album/127925317ORrPVn

09-09-2004, 01:41 AM
British Saloon car? What is that? None of the cars in the links really caught my eye. Any of suggestions?

09-09-2004, 01:58 AM
TimeForChange said: British Saloon car? What is that? None of the cars in the links really caught my eye. Any of suggestions?

[/ QUOTE ]

A British saloon is what we call a sedan over here... (And for an interesting fact you'll probably never use, the British call a station wagon an estate car).

Seriously... the best place to start is what you want in general? Your question is almost too broad?

#1 What body style would you prefer? (roadster, sports coupe, sedan, etc...)

#2 What kind of engine size would you prefer?

#3 What era do you prefer? (1950's, 1960's)

#4 What's your price range?

#5 Do you want a restoration project or a runner? [this relates closely to question #4]

#6 What would you be using the car for?

[Anything I missed? These are probably the primary questions to ask yourself unless someone else has any other ones to add] Once you have an idea you can much more easily narrow down things, and if it's a unique car you're after be prepared to buy out of state if necessary, by their nature these unique cars can be hard to track down and could be anywhere (not necessarily just around the corner like an MGB, Triumph Spitfire, et al...)

Hope this helps...

09-09-2004, 02:07 AM
1. I lean more towards roadsters and coupes
2. Depending on the car, I would like a powerful engine, 6 cylinder cars for smaller cars, and 8 for most coupes
3. I like the cars from early 30s, late 40s, early 50s, late 60s and early 70s. That's the thing. I am fairly open.
4. I don't really want to spend more than $5000
5. I would like the car to be in fairly good mechanical shape. If its not, that's ok, because I'd like to fix it up myself. This includes some body work as well.
6. Ultimately, I want it for a daily driver. Something reliable enough that I can take out without having to stress about it breaking down

09-09-2004, 02:10 AM
O and one thing's for sure, it has to be a manual tranny

09-09-2004, 02:15 AM
Sounds like a 50's American car to me. But I agree, far too broad a question. I suggest browsing classic car web sites until you find a style of car you like, then go from there. If you want a small, underpowered, rare and beautiful British Saloon car may I suggest a MG Y-Type? There are a couple for sale that I know of and you won't find a much more rare car from such a popular marque. Seven in the US, and I see you're in So Cal so I'll mention only 3 here. I own one of them so of course I'm biased. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Photo (https://lbcnuts.com/hobby/mg/mgyb/mgyb8.jpg)

09-09-2004, 02:24 AM
No, the Y-type is not for me. Like you said, I have a broad idea of what I can get and that's why I feel as though going through classic car sites and looking around will not get me anywhere anytime soon. That's why I was asking for some help from you guys. See if you had any suggestions.

09-09-2004, 10:56 AM
I don’t really have any suggestions only that you should consider a couple of things while looking for that treasure:

While you might find a good deal in your price range ($5000).
1) The more "rare" the car is the more the asking price will more than likely be. Example: I've seen many really nice Rubber Bumper MGBs selling for under $5000. While I've seen one or two MGAs that where total desasters, selling for far more than $5000.
2) The more “rare” the car is (regardless of the price) the harder it will be to find parts.
3) Likewise those “rare & hard to find” parts for your classic aren’t going to be cheap by any means.
4) Remember the worse the condition of the car when you get it, coupled with its rarity and parts availability – could mean an “expensive” restoration. I’ve talked to guys that paid out 2 & 3 times the original asking price just to have a decent driver and they did most of the work themselves too.

Example: I am a huge fan of the Triumph Stags and a few years back I almost got one. Both of the cars I was looking at had a lot of work that was required one had even had the original engine pulled and had a V6 in it. Started looking around for parts availability and soon discovered that part prices where high and many of those parts where hard to find, compared to many of the more mass produced vehicles like say a MGB or TR6 etc.

Good luck…

09-09-2004, 11:30 AM
By rare car, i don't necessarily mean that the has to actually be a "rare" car. For example, I was going through some classifieds and saw a Dodge Demon. Now I'm sure part won't be too hard to find for that, but the fact that its not common to see them around and the looks of it is nice. Of course it wasn't in my price range, but that was just an example. I don't mind putting in the money and the work for it, because it will be MY car. I don't really plan on selling it when it is brought back to a drivable shape. I have quite some time to get it in a good shape before I can drive it anyway, so I think the time and effort put into it will be that much better. This will be the first car that I'm going to put time into fixing, so I would want to hold on to it for a while. I want one where I can drive it on a daily basis and still be able to take it to a fancy place without it being out of place.

09-09-2004, 11:33 AM
I've got the perfect car for you!

Its six cylinder, unique, reliable, resonably priced and decent parts avaliability. Sadly its not British but it remains one of my favorites. A 1965-1969 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa. Get the 140hp, 4 carbs version with a 4 spd. Coupe or Convertible.


Super 7
09-09-2004, 12:22 PM
The six cylinder thing makes it tough for most British and Japanese old cars, still, I would recommend looking at 70's japanese cars like early Celicas, Datsun 510's (my personal favorite) $5000 will buy a heck of a nice Ford Falcon, maybe even one with a disc brake conversion. Drums suck if you are actually going to use the car. A super nice Scirocco or 16 valve Golf can be had for less than that from the late 80's to early 90's. They are hard to find in excellent shape, but the Mercury Capri came with a 6 from 1972. They are a sporty coupe. Parts are mail order on them, but thats ok. All my cars are like that.

$5000 buys a lot of 80's Mustang and Camaro too.

https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayIS...884071&rd=1 (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=5356&item=24888840 71&rd=1)

Alfa Sedans, except the Guilia, are almost free. I am very fond of Alfetta sedans like this one. Rare in excellent shape though. The Alfetta Coupe is also in that price range. An Alfetta like this one has not sold twice on E Bay. It is in HB. I don't know what part of So Cal you are in.

09-09-2004, 02:55 PM
If youre not set on a six cylinder consider one of the early 70's BMWs.

One of my favorite BMWs was the 2002 seen here:
BMW 2002 ad (https://www.bmwworld.com/ads/2002tii.jpg)

I've seen a few drivers in your price range. Lots of pep and easy to take care of.


09-09-2004, 03:22 PM
The Corvair is a great suggestion! My sister has one. The earlys (60-64) are cute; the lates (65 to 69) have a little "beefier" look to them. For the price of my Healey engine rebuild you could buy a really nice driver; if you want one to fix up, I've heard of cars that are running but needing restoration for $500 - yes, that's hundred, not thousand!

Parts are cheap and readily available. The local club gets together and works on cars more so than the Healey group. There's a big meet, the Great Western Fan Belt Toss and Swap Meet, coming up in Palm Springs on November 12-14 (website www.vintagecorsa.com (https://www.vintagecorsa.com)) with cars coming from across the country and where you can buy a raffle ticket to win a rebuilt 140 engine (I helped) for $2. That would be a great start on a project car!

09-09-2004, 03:39 PM
I sold my 65 110 convertible the day before yesterday /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif . I loved that car, but the decision was made that we only need one classic car right now and the Healey won. They are great cars, prices are reasonable, club and vendor community are outstanding. Email me at kpdii@earthlink.net if you need any more info or contacts.

The Fanbelt Toss is legendary, I always wanted to make it, but could never pull it off.

I have lots of goodies for sale right now including a 140 motor, lots of literature, and a CORSA dash.

Patton (1998 Corvair National Convention - Rookie of the Year)

The Corvair is a great suggestion! My sister has one. The earlys (60-64) are cute; the lates (65 to 69) have a little "beefier" look to them. For the price of my Healey engine rebuild you could buy a really nice driver; if you want one to fix up, I've heard of cars that are running but needing restoration for $500 - yes, that's hundred, not thousand!

Parts are cheap and readily available. The local club gets together and works on cars more so than the Healey group. There's a big meet, the Great Western Fan Belt Toss and Swap Meet, coming up in Palm Springs on November 12-14 (website www.vintagecorsa.com (https://www.vintagecorsa.com)) with cars coming from across the country and where you can buy a raffle ticket to win a rebuilt 140 engine (I helped) for $2. That would be a great start on a project car!

[/ QUOTE ]

09-09-2004, 03:43 PM
BTW its always interested me how many Corvair guys like British cars and vice-versa. I know lots of crossovers in both communities.


MGA Steve
09-09-2004, 03:58 PM
For a unique, 1960s American car with nearly all of the features we now consider required in a daily driver, consider a Studebaker Avanti. One of the safest cars built in the 1960s by any manufacturer--domestic or foreign; disk brakes; rust-free fiberglass body; unique styling (but it really grows on most people); and a V-8 engine (get one without the supercharger to keep it in your price range).

After Studebaker folded, the local dealers in Indianopolis bought the factory and continued to make them as the "Avanti II" until they ran out of the original engines and chassis. Then they made them with all Chevy running gear and chassis (from the Monte Carlo, I think) for a few more years. Try to find one with the original Studebaker parts--either an Avanti or Avanti II--and the value will increase with time.

Good hunting! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif

09-09-2004, 04:01 PM
The Corvair guys will be happy to hear the Toss got a positive mention in the British Car Forum!


The Fanbelt Toss is legendary, I always wanted to make it, but could never pull it off.

09-09-2004, 07:51 PM
Studebaker. Sounds frumpy, but the coupes really are slick. They are much less common that Chevys or Fords, but not so rare as to be impossible to find. Also, the parts are readily available, especially around me, near South Bend where they were made. Here are a few examples:




Avantis are great too, but nice ones still cost. the coupes can be purchased quite reasonably.

09-09-2004, 09:54 PM
So far, I think the Corvair is in the lead. They are really nice cars. I was also interested in the Olds 442, but I doubt I can find on in the $5000 price range. The Avantis and the Studebakers aren't my style of cars. I am not dead set on the engine size, but it really does have to have some power for its size/weight. Whether I do decide to go with the Corvair or not, I think I'll have to definately go to the Palm Springs meet. Its not at the same time as the gay festival is it? I hope not.

09-09-2004, 11:24 PM
The Corvairs are the second weekend; the other group is the first weekend.

If you're in the Orange County area, the club meeting is the first Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m. Fullerton Bank bldg., State College and Chapman in Fullerton. My sister makes the cookies, brownies and chocolate-covered strawberries when they're in season - reason enough to attend! The 2nd half of the meeting is sort of a tech session/round table discussion - I'm sure you could pick up a lot of good information.

BN1 (not a Corvair)

09-09-2004, 11:30 PM
I'm actually in pasadena, about a 45 min drive to where you are talking about without traffic. The OC is a pain in the arse to go to. I work out there at times and I don't like it much, although the ladies there are quite the lookers. lol. Maybe I'll go check it out. Do I have to be a member to go to the meetings?

tony barnhill
09-10-2004, 12:19 AM
1980 Rover SD-1! Classy, V8 powered w/5-speed tranny...all the amenities (power everything)...to some, it even looks Ferrari-esque!

09-10-2004, 12:24 AM
I didn't like that car much.

09-10-2004, 01:30 AM
No, you don't. There's also a club in the South Bay and San Fernando Valley.


09-10-2004, 01:31 AM
what part of san fernando valley? Can you give me some more info on them please?

09-10-2004, 02:40 AM
I live in the San Fernando Valley. Never heard of a club specific to it.

Time, you just missed the Woodley Park British Car Show. Hundreds of cars were there and just about every model you could think of.

09-10-2004, 02:42 AM
seems like i just missed all these shows

09-10-2004, 03:01 AM
Their PO Box is Mission Hills, but I think they hold they meetings in North Hollywood, just west of you. There's a website at www.corvair.org (https://www.corvair.org) - you can click onto Local Chapters, then California, and it'll list all the local chapters with addresses and contacts.

09-10-2004, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the link.

I also like the styling of the late 50s early 60s cars, but are rather long aren't they? What body size of nowaday cars would you compare them to? Say a BMW 5 series, 7 series or longer?

MGA Steve
09-10-2004, 04:30 PM
There are no cars today that compare in size to a '59 or '60 Cadillac or Lincoln Continental with a 430 cubic-inch (7.2 liter) V-8. The largest cars today--Chrysler 300, M-B S500--are narrower, lower, and shorter than a '59-'64 Chevy Impala or Ford Galaxy 500. That is one reason that minivans and SUVs are so popular--room for a family of five that would have easily fit in a 1964 Chevy station wagon.

Avantis don't look any other car--Studebaker or not. Check out the '64 Avanti located in Chico, California, and listed on Collector Car Trader at "https://adcache.collectorcartraderonline.com/10/0/8/75199308.htm". Asking $7,000, but could undoubtedly get it for less. An Avanti II would be less, even though newer. They came with either a 289 or 304 cubic-inch V-8, and many were supercharged with a Paxton blower.

Jim Weatherford
09-10-2004, 07:43 PM
How about Rare and Classic and in your price range? Try a Jensen Healey, It' a open roadster, 10,500 were ever made, only about 1,500 are registered and on the road and a good driver can be had for $5,000. Parts are available and are reasonable. It is the best buy in LBC's today a real sleeper in the market and the biggest bang for your buck on the road. See mine and others in the gallery.

09-13-2004, 11:02 AM
An affordable 60s American car for you may be a Ford Falcon. The early sixties models with a 260/289/302 V/8 may be had for as little as $5,000 in pretty good condtion. It's a sporty little car, and with the V/8 a true "muscle" car, although the collectors haven't quite caught on to them yet.

Check it out:


09-13-2004, 05:36 PM
I have always liked the Lancia Flaminia Sports. Its a Zagato design and a beautiful car. However I don't know how much it one would cost, or how hard finding one would be.


09-16-2004, 08:47 AM
YES!!!! The Corvair would be a vehicle meeting most of your stated requirements...The corsica might be a bit hard to find (but worth the search), and failing that why not just "save" a rough '65 coupe and modify it? The 4 speed tranny is internally like a corvette's unit, and there is a kit that lets you "flip" the tranny and hook up a Chevy V8.Unique? Fast? Fun? 4 speed? 50/50 weight ballance? YES!!!

09-16-2004, 02:41 PM
Volvo P1800...? ( see attachment )
Unbreakable with style to spare.

09-16-2004, 04:09 PM
Carl, that is a good suggestion. We had an extensive thread on these cars a few weeks back, and it was generally agreed that they are the dog's whatsits. The 1800ES would be a gem too.

Super 7
09-16-2004, 06:38 PM
I really like the Volvo 122 / Amazon. Plus I like all the IPD hot rod parts available to make them handle and to make them go.

09-16-2004, 06:43 PM
I've always liked a 1964 Valiant as well. Slant six or V8. Of course our Canadian version is a bit different - basically its a US Dodge Dart with a US Plymouth Valiant nose stuck on the front. Looks quite slick imo.


09-16-2004, 10:32 PM
I really liked the Volvo 1800 and the Lancia. How much are these going for in decent shape?

09-16-2004, 10:40 PM

i just found this one for sale. What do you guys think?

09-17-2004, 01:09 AM
The Lancia will be rather costly I would think......that is if you can find one. The Volvo may not be too bad, between $6K to $10K for a nice one.

Super 7
09-17-2004, 01:49 PM
Guess what. An old one like that might even be British. The early ones were made by Jensen. If it isn't rusty, buy it. Rust is the only real expensive thing to fix.

09-18-2004, 11:27 AM
Sounds like that Volvo is right up your alley. For that price, expect that it needs a little work....and...as Super7 says, watch out for rust. Rust is the real killer when it comes to repair/restoration $$$$$.

However, if this car spent all of it's life in California, rust will probably not be a problem.

Also, those electric overdrives are expensive to repair, and parts are hard to find for the OD.

Sounds like this might be a good deal for what you're looking for, though. It's sure worth a telephone call.

Good Luck!!!

09-20-2004, 02:35 PM
Does the Volvo have some power to it with the 4 banger in it? How big of a car is it? Is it the size of a modern day sedan?

09-22-2004, 01:19 PM
You can do with a P1800 what you can do with an Amazon.
Lots of 'go faster bits' around. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif
It's not a whole lot bigger to sit in than an MGB.
Might be a tad longer.
Beautiful on the outside, less so on the inside.
Typical'70:s Volvo interior. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

09-22-2004, 07:17 PM
Did everyone forget the renowned Saab Sonnet of the 1970's??????? Nice car, but every one I've ever seen is burning oil.

Geo Hahn
09-22-2004, 08:53 PM
I think until the early 70s (intro of Sonett III) the Sonett II had a two-cycle engine so it was supposed to burn oil (though perhaps not in the quantities you've seen).

09-23-2004, 09:42 AM
The Sonnet a friend of mine had was a V-4, 2 cycle with a 4 speed gearbox, shifter on the column!

What a wierd combination, especially with all the American muscle cars running about in those days. It looked like an upside down bathtub, a V-4 oil burner with four on the tree!

It was a great little car and ran pretty fast, if I remember correctly.

Super 7
09-23-2004, 12:54 PM
I thought all the 2 strokes were 3 cylinder and the V4 was a 4 stroke from Ford, I think Ford Taunes.

09-23-2004, 02:04 PM
I thought all the 2 strokes were 3 cylinder and the V4 was a 4 stroke from Ford, I think Ford Taunes.

[/ QUOTE ]


09-23-2004, 07:14 PM
How about the Fiat Spyder? I always liked their lines, and the fact they were convertibles. If I wasn't able to get a TR6, I had already considered either a Fiat Spyder or an Alpha Romeo.

09-23-2004, 08:32 PM
Only problem with a fiat spider is finding one that isn't rusted out completely.

09-23-2004, 09:37 PM
And they had so much faith in their electric windows, that there is a plug in the door panel you can remove to install the hand crank and operate the windows manually. And we say nasty things about Lucas! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-24-2004, 12:54 AM
It’s pretty easy to find nice FIAT Spyders in So Cal. You’re just not likely to find one for $5k. Then again, almost all of the other cars mentioned so far won’t be found in decent shape for under $5k.

That Volvo P1800S has potential but you’d have to look it over closely. OBTW that one isn’t an LBC. The early ones were made by Jensen in England. The S models were made in Sweden. (Easy to remember, eh? S for Sweden.)

TimeforChange, from your apparent concerns about 4-cyl cars I take that you’re interested in a bit of acceleration. Unfortunately that’s not something the less costly English and Euro cars are known for. You’ll have a very tough time finding anything exceptionally quick from “over there” in your intended price range. A few years back it would have been easy to pick up a less famous American Muscle car for reasonable cash but as you found with the Demon that’s no longer the case.

I’m sure something will come up. It will just take a lot of hunting, a little luck and quite a bit of patience.


09-24-2004, 05:48 PM
And now I'll mention a car that I had the honor to own and drive for 12 years. I believe that the 1976 Lincoln Mercury Capri II will someday be a VERY sought after collector car. It had a 2.8 Liter V6, and was imported from the Frankfurt factory in West Germany. I loved that car. It had a killer 2nd gear that left most other cars of its size in the dust. I bet parts might be hard to come by now, because before I traded it in in 1990, it was already hard to get parts for it. It was a great long distance cruise car, and was marketed as "The Sexy European." When it first came out in 1975, it really turned heads. Weak points were bad brakes....squealed a lot, warping rotors....get em wet, and they warped, typical Ford weak front end suspension, and it leaked oil at a rate that you needed to add a qt. everytime you filled up with gasoline.
Good points were the excellent, well built, and comfortable vinyl seats, the dynamic engine.....great, although heavy handed transmission, and blow me away acceleration.
Ford's next import, the Merkur was a flop compared to the German built Capri. I have fond memories of that 1976 Capri II!