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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks!

Lifelong Chevelle fan here. Saving money to buy my first Chevelle. Would love some help with a checklist of things to review look for when I come across an offer.

Given that my years of interest (69-70) are a bit older, I want to seek wise counsel on things to look for so I’m confident going into negotiations.

Thanks everyone!
 

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I'd start with paper work and how much comes with the car (orig. docs?), make sure title matches VIN on the dash, then if you're looking for a matching #s car check engine, trans & rear end #s then I'd be checking for shoddy body work or any type of body work, how goods the paint? is it new and hiding shoddy body work, what condition is the engine, trans & rear end in? how does it drive & stop, does everything work? etc.
 

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I'd start by making a "list of priorities", things which matter the most to you. Are you looking for a numbers matching kind of car or a modded, custom car?... Either way, I think that one of the most important things is that the car has a solid body and frame. Then, do you want a numbers matching car, a modded custom or resto-mod car?... A small block or big block or LS engine car?... carburetor or injection? What kind of transmission would you prefer...manual or automatic?... with or without overdrive?... These are all things to be taken in consideration but if you know what your priorities are, it'll make your "shopping" experience easier, less confusing since you'll know what to look for. Also, these cars are 50 years old and have very likely changed hands several times and might have been modified by each owner to suit their own needs...
Good luck, Claude.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd start with paper work and how much comes with the car (orig. docs?), make sure title matches VIN on the dash, then if you're looking for a matching #s car check engine, trans & rear end #s then I'd be checking for shoddy body work or any type of body work, how goods the paint? is it new and hiding shoddy body work, what condition is the engine, trans & rear end in? how does it drive & stop, does everything work? etc.
Thanks Shovelrick!
 

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Look at a 68 to 72 el Camino.. The prices are reasonable and they come with a heavy duty chassis and frame that makes them handle and ride better then the average A body.. The sedan doors they use remove all the rattles that come with a hard top. The only other car to use this frame was the 69-72 Pontiac Grand Prix.. John DeLoran knew.. NASCAR wouldn't let Smokey use one..
 

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Another thing to consider BUDGET! I’m sure some folks here can give you some idea of how much to budget. No doubt there many variables that will affect the budget. Some have been mentioned above. But here’s my experience and something to consider.
When I was looking some time ago for a Chevelle. I ran across a few fairly good non matching numbers cars, most with no ac, so so paint, little signs of rust working it’s way around the bondo, usually around window trims molding areas. Cars were between 69 and 72 Chevelle. None were ss or tributes. They ranged from $22k to $25k. I did see some rust buckets for around $12k but if you do the math, just trying to do a half ass job you’ll be back to $25k in no time. So at the end of the day a non matching number car in really nice shape with decent work done to it will set you back $30k to $35k. That is with a sbc in most cases. Cause a bbc well built with 450+hp can push that figure up anywhere from $5k to $8k.

So when considering budget try to buy as much car as you can. In most cases restoring a car will cost more. Most folks selling a car they restored are cutting there loses when they sell it. (If there honest) There lose is your gain. Use your money as wisely as you can. If your good at drive train stuff don’t buy a rust bucket. If your good at body stuff , you get the point.

Good luck.
Nelson
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you only knew how PERFECT this advice was! You dropped so many gems that I wasn’t aware of on budget (restore sell = cutting losses). Big moment for leverage.

Thank you so much, Nelson!
 

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I would also stress the budget too. I would also look at a car loan if needed to get a better car if you need a loan. Here is my example - now this was 1980 but just multiply the numbers to get to today. I bought a 1965 Chevelle in 1980 for $800 (which I still have today) it had a fairly straight body a 12 bolt not too much rust and a 327 with a 4 speed. Now it did need a lot of work and I was at the end of the day looking for a big block car. It needed a paint job, disk brakes, cowl hood, fix the anti-big tire rear fender lips, update this, fix that put an interior in and a bunch of other things. So at the end of the day lets say with all the stuff I was at $7,000 (note this is up to say 1985). The issue is - if I got a car loan for say $2,500 plus say $1,000 I could have gotten a really nice car (similar to my 1985 - $7,000 one) and saved probably $3,000 and a lot of my time. What is the difference if I pay the bank the money or the paint shop, engine guy etc. I am still out the money to get the car I want and in long run I would have saved money and I would have the car right away versus piece meal over several years. Now if you want to be Michealangelo and create your own car or save one of the many lost there way Chevelles that is up to you. So the budget is an initial budget and a final budget. If you don't want to work on it much and want it now get as much of a car you can now. If you have say an initial budget of $12,000 with a final of $25,000 maybe look at the car loan and just get a better car up front and how many times have guys $25,000 budget gone to $35,000+++. Also beware of paint jail - get a car that is painted the horror stories of cars being lost for years and thousands of $$$ over budget at the paint shop another reason to stretch to get the most car for the money even if you borrow it because like I said you can either pay the bank or the paint shop / engine, trans guy. Good luck sir.
 

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What price range are you looking at? 70’s tend to be pricey except when I was selling mine.☹
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would also stress the budget too. I would also look at a car loan if needed to get a better car if you need a loan. Here is my example - now this was 1980 but just multiply the numbers to get to today. I bought a 1965 Chevelle in 1980 for $800 (which I still have today) it had a fairly straight body a 12 bolt not too much rust and a 327 with a 4 speed. Now it did need a lot of work and I was at the end of the day looking for a big block car. It needed a paint job, disk brakes, cowl hood, fix the anti-big tire rear fender lips, update this, fix that put an interior in and a bunch of other things. So at the end of the day lets say with all the stuff I was at $7,000 (note this is up to say 1985). The issue is - if I got a car loan for say $2,500 plus say $1,000 I could have gotten a really nice car (similar to my 1985 - $7,000 one) and saved probably $3,000 and a lot of my time. What is the difference if I pay the bank the money or the paint shop, engine guy etc. I am still out the money to get the car I want and in long run I would have saved money and I would have the car right away versus piece meal over several years. Now if you want to be Michealangelo and create your own car or save one of the many lost there way Chevelles that is up to you. So the budget is an initial budget and a final budget. If you don't want to work on it much and want it now get as much of a car you can now. If you have say an initial budget of $12,000 with a final of $25,000 maybe look at the car loan and just get a better car up front and how many times have guys $25,000 budget gone to $35,000+++. Also beware of paint jail - get a car that is painted the horror stories of cars being lost for years and thousands of $$$ over budget at the paint shop another reason to stretch to get the most car for the money even if you borrow it because like I said you can either pay the bank or the paint shop / engine, trans guy. Good luck sir.
This is spot on, Lew540. What I hear is it’s going to cost you if you go cheap on this - and may cost you for a long time. That’s not worth it. One thing I can promise you: I’ve got no intention of being Michealangelo! Haha. We’ll keep building cash and even consider loans to get the RIGHT car. Thanks Lew540!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What price range are you looking at? 70’s tend to be pricey except when I was selling mine.☹
Honestly, I’m resetting my expectations after reading Lew and Nelson’s posts. I think I’m mentally into the $40-50+ range now if I don’t want to have to deal with issues (and only keep paying for them now/later)
 

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I would look at budget,how much work can you do or have to hire out, Investment..?..
 
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