When these cars were cheap and plentiful - Chevelle Tech
Bench Racing Stories, cruising and more.

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 2:33 AM Thread Starter
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When these cars were cheap and plentiful

Showed up a little late to the party, missed out on those days when theses cars were just that cars! Used and abused thrown away left for dead in farmers fields etc. I love hearing stories from when you could pick an SS car for $500 or what it was like walking around a Chevy dealership in the 60's or early 70's.

What did the classified ads looked like in the late 70's ? I wish I could take a time machine and walk around junkyards from the 1970's and 80's. So old timers what do you say take a trip down memory lane and let the young'uns know what it was like.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 2:54 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

I was lucky, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was a great place to live then. There were so many muscle cars available it would make your head spin today. Rust was not a factor. The local auto trader was flooded with listing, it seemed like every page had one or two. Prices were generally cheap. All you needed was a bit of patience and persistence and you could get a good car at a good price. We never had to deal with rusted wrecks, cars locally were parked in driveways, not fields.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 4:57 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

I was in high school in the late 70s, the school parking lot was full of old cars parents could not afford to drive ( crazy gas prices) , had too many miles or were just plain hand me downs

I drove a 1970 w-30 442 that my dad bought new. any day you would see, a 69 440 six pak road runner, a couple 383 challengers, a 428 powered GTO, 69 z28, GTOs etc in a row.

we would mod them , race them and yes wreck them.

My friend saved up all summer once to buy a low milage 69 z28 for the crazy price of $2800.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 7:41 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

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Originally Posted by Chad1969 View Post
what it was like walking around a Chevy dealership in the 60's or early 70's.
"First showing of the new cars" back in 60's-70's was always in Autumn of the year. Buddies and I would take off on a Saturday morning and travel around to ALL the dealers (Chevy, Mopar, Ford) just to get a look at the new muscle sitting on the showroom floor. Bonus was the trade-ins sitting out on the lot. ALL kinds of 2-3 year old used, or left-over new, muscle cars could be bought for $2000-2500.

I took a day off work on a Thursday in Sept of '68 to "guard" my brand new '68 L79 Malibu as it was sitting on the showroom floor of Hinckley Chevrolet in Freeborn, MN. Very small dealership in a small town, and my new Malibu was the only muscle car they had for the first showing of the new '68s. I was not allowed to take it home until that Thursday night after the "first showing" was over and the dealership closed for the day. Very next day a buddy of mine went over to the same dealer and ordered a new '68 300 Chevelle 2-door sedan with L78 (396/375 hp) engine and all the go-fast goodies. He wasn't really experienced on how to order all the good stuff, so I went along and we filled out the order form together. He pretty much ordered that car the way I would have wanted it, except for colors, and that was fine with him......

Fun times and great memories......
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 7:53 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

1970, the minimum wage was $1.60 and a Big Mac was $.49. A loaded LS6 was about $4500.00 and that's about $30,000.00 in today's money.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 8:00 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

You asked for it this is going to be long. I'm old enough that I was able to walk around different Dealers lots on Sunday mornings when these cars were brand new. I remember trying door handles to see if any of these cars were open just to get a chance to sit in them and dream about owning one. I even got the chance to open a few hoods and remember opening a hood to a ElCamino SS to find that "Midnight Auto Supply" had already removed the intake and everything that was connected above it. Some cars were even sitting on cement blocks with their rims and tires removed. I remember going to a Ford Dealer that had a Boss 302 and Boss 429 sitting right in front of the showroom. I opened both hoods of these cars and couldn't believe the engine compartment on the Boss 429 it was all motor. Back then I wanted to buy a brand new Road Runner as my first new car but that all changed when I got my first job at a company that was right across the street from the tech school I was going to. I remember sitting in the classroom staring out the window and seeing a few new 68 Chevelle SS's and one plane looking faded 57 Chevy going out around lunch time and pulling hole shots while waiting for the light to change. Well when I graduated I ended up getting a job as a Apprentice Toolmaker at that company that was across the street from my school. Funny thing about it that company made a lot of the fasteners and clips that were originally used in these cars. That's where all the different cars were coming from at lunch time. There were a bunch of gear heads already working there and I new I would fit right in. One of the guys that owned one of those Chevelles that I watched pulling hole shots at lunch took me out to look at his Chevelle and that's when I knew my first new car was going to be a Chevelle SS not a Road Runner. In 69 I had enough saved and went to the Chevy Dealer to place my order for a brand new 69 Chevelle SS. That car seemed to be jinxed from the start and after a year of ownership I ordered my second new car a 70 Nova SS. After 4 years and over 100k miles on that Nova I decided to order a Vega GT because of the gas crunch. It was a real nice looking car but one of the biggest pieces of $hit I ever owned. By this point the first High Performance Era was pretty much dead and if you still longed for those days you had to buy these cars used. I ended up buying a ratty looking 65 Corvette Convertible but got rid of that when I ordered a brand new 76 Corvette. It wasn't long after buying that that I traded it for a 67 Corvette Coupe that was the first car that cost me more than it was when it was brand new. Believe me I found it very hard to pay more for a car used than it was brand new. Sold that 67 after about 5 yrs and bought another 67 matching number Corvette Coupe. Years went by always had some sort of toy in the garage with a nice everyday driver for daily use. In 2001 I bought a new Ford Mustang Bullitt and remember taking it for a ride after work just to listen to the amazing sound of the factory exhaust. When the second High Performance Era started around 2005 I bought a new Mustang GT and traded that for a new 2009 Challenger R/T. The new cars were nice but just didn't have the appeal the old iron had. In 2012 my search was on and i finally found my current and last toy a 71 Malibu. So that's about 50 years of my life of cars but it was a hell of a good time.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 8:02 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

in the early 80s I used to get the local dandy dime ads at lunch on fridays, find chevelles, impalas, etc for under 200 bucks. Call at lunch, arrange to look at them on Friday after work, tow them home, throw a ad in the newspaper to part them out. Those parts bought a lot of steak and beers back in the day. wished I would of kept half of the cars. jim
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 8:23 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

I remember riding my bike after school to go to the Chevy dealer to look at the new cars. Back then, they would put paper over the dealership windows to hide them until the "official" date. I saw the 55 Chevy on day one, also 56 and 57. I remember being disappointed with the 58. I'm old.
I remember walking the used car lots when I was in high school, when tri-fives were just used cars. I bought a nice 55 Pontiac 2 door sedan when I was in college in 1964 from the Buick dealer for the pricely sum of $95.00.
When I was in the Army in Germany from 66 -69, I would see guys re-enlist and get their bonus check and order new cars thru the PX in Stuttgart. They'd show up with a new Impala convertible, or a Chevelle 4 speed, or..........those were the days............as I remember them.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 8:29 AM
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I'm too young to have first hand experience, but I really wonder if muscle cars were ever just cars?.. I think they were pretty collectible and envied right off the lot... for sure prices dropped from new for 10-15 years. Definitely into the 90s they were sitting in garages and fields (more 50s cars) and could still be had for cheap... you just had to look a lot harder. I paid my university tuition in the 90s flipping 55-7 chevy trucks... from field to city, instant profit. TV and internet leveled the market on all collectibles a lot.

ak

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 9:30 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

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Originally Posted by ak 67SD View Post
I'm too young to have first hand experience, but I really wonder if muscle cars were ever just cars?
ak
Yes, they were just everyday cars. During the summer months they were nothing but pure muscle cars but once the winter came the fancy wheels came off and the snow tires went on. My brand new 69 Chevelle SS and 70 Nova SS were my everyday drivers even in the winter. If you were lucky enough and had the money and had a place to store your car you could buy a crasher for the winter. In later years that was exactly what I did. If we ever knew back then what this hobby would have turned into we would be all rich but for me I got to own some of the best Muscle Cars of all times and don't regret a minute of it.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 9:31 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

I relive those days on a regular basis when driving one of the 5 replicas of favorite cars that I had from 55 thru 72 and one one 64 original that I located and repurchased last year.


It's total insanity - the amount of time and money I've spent on these relics. I should have added air conditioning to everyone of them but so far only two have it. Hard to believe that we drove these things in south TX back then and thought nothing of the sweltering heat.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 10:05 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

When I was 16 (1973) I bought my first car from a coworker for $300.00. It was a 1965 Impala SS convertible. As I recall most cars were advertised in the city newspaper and because one was charged for the ad by the line there was usually just the basic information and definately no pics. No cell phones, no voicemailes. The seller was either home or you were not speaking to them.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 10:39 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

My first new car was a full size SS-4 speed. It was a 1965 Willow green with gray buckets. Traded it the following year , WHY? Chevy just came out with the 396 in Chevelles. SO,, Back to Baker Chevrolet in Beaver, Pa. Trade the 65 F. Size for a 66 Aztec bronze Chevelle 396 4-Speed & Radio.
In 1967 Totaled the 396, Ins, issues so I buy Mace Bakers wifes DEMO. It was a maroon 1966 Caprice ALL POWER. The under dash stereo would light up Green when you hit a stereo Sta. I use to crush beer cans with the power windows, Daa!
In 1968 I had the Caprice painted Vedero Green ( pontiac color) Also the 396 flags in the front fenders. I got some MOPAR round amber lights. They were the size of a silver dollar? Cut them down on the edges and they fit VERY NICE in the " V " painted area on the 396 flags.
In 1969 I won a 1969 4 speed Camaro from SUNOCO. Traded my 66 & the Camaro for a Caddy " ELDORADO". Drove it for a while sold it then ordered my LS-5/4 speed El Camino. Thats why my Camino has a lot of toys, Wanted it like the Caddy.
That ordered El Camino is still in my garage. The Car salesman would wet there pants when they saw me coming. They would dam near run to the door to meet me! Drinking beer in Quart containers, Girls, Got my first trophy at Quaker City, Salem ohio in 1959............ Its been all downhill with cars since then. I traded Bill Glasser a cast iron G.M. 4 speed for a running 56 Chevy 2 dr. hdt. Put me in a time machine I " WANNA GO BACK " WOW what a trip it has been !
Bob
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 10:57 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

Up here in Boston the Want Add was the magazine to get every week. My 72 Chevelle and my 1974 Z28 were drivers come snow and salt. They also started rusting after 3 years or less. I bought my 67 Barracuda Formula S for $1600 3 years old, my new chevelle $3500 and Z28 for $3800. Junk yards were plentiful with cars because most muscle cars were faster then they could handle or stop. In 1976 I bought my Camaro SS 350 well equipped for $1800 but it already had fenders and quarter panels replaced. Street racing everywhere and although many people died in crashes it didn't stop any of my friends. Overall a fun time for me. I would go back if i could...
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 19, 11:21 AM
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Re: When these cars were cheap and plentiful

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I would go back if i could...
So would I, but this time around I would invest in Microsoft.
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