1970 ford Thunderbird

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im looking to buy my 1st car to learn to drive in, i found a running 1970 thunderbird that looks to be in good shape (going to look at it tomarrow) and i was wondering if its worth the $900.00 there asking.

it has the origianl engine in it, a 429 v8 i think they said, i know itll be bad on gas but i like the older style more than the new cars.

any imput would be appreciated.

posted by  dgk180

First off, don't take everything I say rock solid, I'm new to this as well, in fact, I just bought my first car last saturday. However I've been driving for a couple years, and have several mechanic friends. So I do know "a little bit" of what I'm talking about.

Before you consider buying a car, think about what you want to put into the car, and what you want out of it. If you just want something to learn to drive in, drive around town, I'd suggest something newer, maybe 80's-90's. If you're looking for a project car, that you still plan on learning to drive with, you're probably going to want something that's currently running, without any major problems. Again, 80's-90's might be a good start. A vehicle from 1970, with the original engine... probably will have loads of issues, especially if it hasn't been rebuilt. I'd strongly suggest looking for something cheap, yet decent to "learn to drive" on, maybe a used kia (saw one at a dealership for like 2k) or maybe a saturn. Saturns may not have a whole lot of power, but they last quite awhile, and they're cheap. Pick something practical, even though you like the older body style's, it's going to cost you a whole lot of money to get running in decent condition, or nickel and dime you to death.
Check craigslist too, but when you go and check out the cars, take a mechanic with you, test all hardware, mechanics, electrical, wear, look for rust, discolored/mismatched paint, or carpet on the interior (might indicate rust) check for leaks, weird sounds, and test everything out. Take your time on the test drive. Never rush when looking at a car, or you might find yourself with a misled piece of a spitbucket.

Good luck!

But again, those are just my suggestions, and I hardly consider myself worth listening to. Try asking some of the more knowledgeable members that have been around awhile.

posted by  Sketchy

Hi dgk180,

Buying Classic cars makes us feel great initially but later it turns out to a burden. Classic cars were manufactured according their period, that won't help you to meet your current requirements. Classic cars are only attraction of few days, so i would suggest you to buy new car or modern car.

But after all, it's your wish. It is good to use such cars once in a while but not favorable for daily purpose.


posted by  rzramon

Where are you located? Depending on location, getting an older car inspected can be a problem, unless you can register it as a classic or historical vehicle (but then, you may have restrictions on how many miles you can drive, or how old you have to be to drive it, again, depending on state).

As you surmised, if it has the original 429, it'll be bad on gas. But the fuel costs will be offset by the savings on the car itself, as well as the ability to get your money back out of it if you decide to sell it later. And insurance may be cheaper, as well.

Older cars like this are easier to work on than newer cars, and for this car, the repair parts are available and relatively cheap. While it may need some things, you don't have to make it a new car, and there's less to actually go wrong on it than on a newer car. You also don't have to fix everything back to factory to be useable and reliable. But the fact that you can grab a manual and rebuild any of it yourself is a great way to learn about cars in general. And you have the satisfaction of driving something that is unique.

You say it's running already? If you do get it, make sure that all the hoses (there aren't many) are in good shape. Make sure the brakes are in good shape. it may need a tune-up (spark plugs, possibly wires, cap, rotor, and make sure the carb is adjusted properly). Make sure the tires are not age cracked. If there's rust, that can be dealt with later (at this point, the car's been around for almost 40 years. It's not going to fall apart anytime soon)

Then just drive it and enjoy a powerful, stylish classic car.

posted by  ChrisV

Hi Cris,
I appreciate your thoughts but even from your comments, the conclusion arises that instead of buying classic cars it's worth of buy modern cars.
How many of your agree with me.

RZ Cars

posted by  rzramon

Modern cars depreciate, so you spend way more, and lose more money. A '70 Thunderbird will always be worth what you put into it, and could be worth more than you have into it, so long as you don't crash it or let it deteriorate into unuseability.

Score one for the older car.

Modern cars break, too. They just cost more to fix, and are harder to work on yourself, making you HAVE to spend more money at a dealer or specialist mechanics shop.

Score two for the older car.

I've used older cars as daily drivers with no problems. They also tend to get more positive comments from the general public. and while newer cars can be faster, or handle better, from the factory, the classic car can simply be more enjoyable to be in.

posted by  ChrisV

I remember when I went to America a few years ago in LA, I saw this woman dressed like Penelope from Thunderbirds driving a 60's Thunderbird down the freeway and that was one of the coolest sights.

As for older vs modern cars its all a matter of preference. But imo older classics/near classic cars in general are allot cooler.

posted by  fudge

I think the old cars is quite better than modern cars.We have to consider that old cars have their original chassis and engine.And they are last longer than the modern car today.

posted by  ysabel

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