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I can only speak for myself, but I rarely shop for anything secondhand anymore. Seems like everybody trying to sell anything thinks their parts are worth their weight in gold. For example, the last swap meet I went to had a table with probably 100+ carburetors, some Holley's, some Q-jets, all in various condition. The guy wanted almost $400 for a 4150 that he said needed a rebuild. Sorry but it isn't that much more $$ for a brand new one shipped to my door. And if there is anything wrong with the new one, at least I have some recourse.

That's just one example but it's like that with everything. I don't have the time or energy to arrange time to meet with people to decide whether or not I even want to buy their stuff, and try to negotiate their crazy high asking price when I could just spend 5% or 10% more for brand new stuff shipped to my doorstep, and not to mention hassle-free returns/exchanges if something is defictive out of the box.
 

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I can only speak for myself, but I rarely shop for anything secondhand anymore. Seems like everybody trying to sell anything thinks their parts are worth their weight in gold. For example, the last swap meet I went to had a table with probably 100+ carburetors, some Holley's, some Q-jets, all in various condition. The guy wanted almost $400 for a 4150 that he said needed a rebuild. Sorry but it isn't that much more $$ for a brand new one shipped to my door. And if there is anything wrong with the new one, at least I have some recourse.

That's just one example but it's like that with everything. I don't have the time or energy to arrange time to meet with people to decide whether or not I even want to buy their stuff, and try to negotiate their crazy high asking price when I could just spend 5% or 10% more for brand new stuff shipped to my doorstep, and not to mention hassle-free returns/exchanges if something is defictive out of the box.
Exactly!!
 
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I am buying more and more car stuff, new used, dealer, private seller, you name it off ebay. It''s organized well, I don't have to actually deal with a bunch of jerks that don't return calls or are never home, and there are no security or personal safety issues. My reach is nation wide, and if the deal goes to hell, at least I have some recourse. A guy tried to scam me on a spare camera I bought, and ebay refunded my money and kicked him off the site. Just a couple of weeks ago, I picked up an open box set of $500 Hedman Headers for my car for $350 delivered. I've noticed that many of the new repo parts I need are cheaper there than through the vendor's own website.
 

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I think that the most important underlying factor in any decline in the hobby is the age of the guys who are (were?) interested in these cars. A lot of guys just cannot muster up the physical, and maybe even the mental, umph necessary to do much with the cars. I am lucky in that I can pretty much do the things I always did. I don't have any real health issues. I did have to throw in a softer clutch and heim joint clutch linkage as well as welding in a slight extension on my clutch pedal lever arm because of a bad ankle I have.That is pretty much it health wise for me. Now with those mods I can drive in traffic with no issues operating my left ankle come the next day.

I do find it harder and harder to get my attitude up for working on the car. I still like turning wrenches but getting started on something is a problem. Once I get moving on a project I usually see it thru to completion pretty quickly. I sometimes look at some potential projects and just ask myself "Why bother"?

I also think the availabilty of new performance cars is a factor hurting the old car hobby. I would very much like something new with all the bells and whistles technology and a performance suspension, engine and what not. I look at new Vettes and the new Camaro and while they are nice packages they don't make me run to the bank to get a cashiers check. Not sure why except maybe that GM has burned me enough times that the view in my rear view mirror says better to be done with new GM cars. I sometimes think about looking for a 2010....2013 C6 Corvette. Used cars a few years old are the way to go, let someone else eat the depreciation. I look but I don't spend!!!!! There is a high end Lexus, the ES 500 I think.....471 HP 5 litre with everything a car guy could want except for the $100K price tag. Looked at a used one for $80K but hit a brick wall with the better half. Kinda glad she dug her heals in on that. She would be ok with something near half the price of a new ES but the cheapskate in me balks at the numbers despite wanting the car.

I am stuck...this life is not a dress rehersal....I really don't think I want to start up another resto or pro-touring build and my own inner "spending regulator" says $50K+maybe even $70K is just too much.

Decisions!
Decisions?
Decisions?!
 

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Im in the bay area and there are a lot of younger guys building older cars around here . I'm talking really sweet older cars . I've been to a few cruise nights and gears and beers events and such and there is always an impressive turnout of younger guys . I have to say though the LS is king now days . Hell I even want one . lol.
 

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The only thing stopping me from buying older stuff is money....I dont have it like I use to....at least for the moment.
 

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The hobby is doing OK but it is still not what it used to be in my area. Yesterdays Chevelle Club still has their annual show but nowadays they get 60-70 cars rather than the 250 they got 20 years ago. The monthly Cool Car Cruise in Silverdale is very popular however, sometimes bringing in 400-500 cars. But when I check out the folks driving those cars they are virtually all in the 60-75 year old age group. Chevelle parts also seem more scarce than they did just a few years ago. And yes, the guys that are selling parts seem to want a lot of money for them. All these things are contributing to increasing thoughts of selling my Chevelle and moving on to something else.
 

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So I’m 52, finally finished my first car restoration after a starting in 2002. Obviously it was on/off with family always coming first. My first car was a Chevelle in the 80s so I’ve always dreamed of building the car I have today.

Back when I started driving, I wanted many muscle cars in my garage. But the fact is, all muscle car pricing has increased substantially since then. That was really driven IMO with the start of BJ televised auctions. So now everyone wanted American Muscle..... and the price of these machines has gone way up.

I hear that all local shops are busy, but that only exists for customers with deep pockets. So interest in muscle cars needs lots of $ ... which is tough for the younger crowd. And if you have $, modern muscle with more power and performance is hard to beat.
 

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Im in the bay area and there are a lot of younger guys building older cars around here . I'm talking really sweet older cars . I've been to a few cruise nights and gears and beers events and such and there is always an impressive turnout of younger guys . I have to say though the LS is king now days . Hell I even want one . lol.
Why wouldn't someone want one? The Chevelle my father and I are building has a 427, but it had a 427 in it, and an M22. The cost to rebuilt the motor, add a new ignition, and headers, wasn't too prohibitive.

If it were a sbc car to begin with, 0% chance I wouldn't have gone LS with it.

Kinda noodling through what a '66 ElCo with an LS would look like, and we're still 2-3 months away from finishing this project.

The biggest obstacle is paint and body work, can't imagine that coming in at less than $25k, and that's if we get really, really lucky with whatever starting point we find.

That's what is keeping the hobby down, the cost of body work. And I don't begrudge the shops what they charge, for the most part. The shop that did the Chevelle had a 4-6 month wait for a full resto paint and body job. Worth it, they are great, but, ooph. I'm 38, couldn't have done that 10 years ago.

Cheers
Greg
 

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Why wouldn't someone want one? The Chevelle my father and I are building has a 427, but it had a 427 in it, and an M22. The cost to rebuilt the motor, add a new ignition, and headers, wasn't too prohibitive.

If it were a sbc car to begin with, 0% chance I wouldn't have gone LS with it.

Kinda noodling through what a '66 ElCo with an LS would look like, and we're still 2-3 months away from finishing this project.

The biggest obstacle is paint and body work, can't imagine that coming in at less than $25k, and that's if we get really, really lucky with whatever starting point we find.

That's what is keeping the hobby down, the cost of body work. And I don't begrudge the shops what they charge, for the most part. The shop that did the Chevelle had a 4-6 month wait for a full resto paint and body job. Worth it, they are great, but, ooph. I'm 38, couldn't have done that 10 years ago.

Cheers
Greg
I can see the issue of the body shop costs slowing folks down. I think that body work costs have gone up with inflation but there is another factor at play today. So many of these "project" cars are now just rust buckets when they arrive at the body shop. Also most shops want no part of hobbiest work. Insured collision work is sooooo much easier for them, the cars are newer and the mechanism for getting parts and working with the ins. company is already hard wired into place. None of those things apply to the classic resto scene.

I had a car done 25+ years ago after searching several shops for a guy I felt comfortable with. At one of the shops that did a mix of insurance and resto work the owner was just plain rude, made it clear he did not want the work by making me wait while he screwed around with everything in sight. I walked out. Another guy stalled and stalled and stalled as far as giving me a start date. I decided that if getting started takes this long how long will getting finished take? I walked again. Finally ran into a younger guy who was an old school street rod guy wotking on his own in a huge garage at his home. He had done a car for a guy I worked with. Called Steve (the body guy) and we talked a bit. He said "I can't start for 3 to 4 months, you start at the end of my wait list. If someone ahead of you bails out everyone moves up one notch. Don't even ask to jump ahead. I do one car at a time..start to finish and then I start the next one.

After removing all the trim....bumpers and everything else. He stripped the entire car to metal, did all the door jams, under the trunk lid under the hood..the entire 9 yards. All removeable sheet metal like doors and hood and trunk lid were removed and worked on while they were sitting on stands similar to saw horses. BC / CC black. Total cost was under $5000 (I know it was a long time ago and there was no rust...only minor filler work prior to block sanding. I still have the car and the paint still looks like the day he put it on. I should add that I got pictures of every panel at the various stages of the job...before, during and after!
 

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Discussion Starter #51
hard to find for 5k!! Thats real reasonable
Body shops love ins work. They get the parts they want fast, know what they are gonna make, need more they put in for it
Car guy? Brings beat u parts weeks later doesnt want to pay for extras etc wants a Discount, wife wont give him money etc. At least thats what some shops say
Mine sat in 2 shops apart for too many years...first estimate was 15k which I knew would get done right/fast just didnt have it. Well I did but was lured by 8k est from a shop who did a buddies.
Sat there for years had to call the sheriff as my engine wound up in another customers cars, both my others, interior 6 speed..he stole all of it. Next shop never finisned.
Body shops a big hold up I agree.

x2 on new cars doing it all better. HAte to admit they do
The aspect we appreciate they cant cause they weren aroud back then so it makes no sense...especially driving a stick.
 

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hard to find for 5k!! Thats real reasonable
Body shops love ins work. They get the parts they want fast, know what they are gonna make, need more they put in for it
Car guy? Brings beat u parts weeks later doesnt want to pay for extras etc wants a Discount, wife wont give him money etc. At least thats what some shops say
Mine sat in 2 shops apart for too many years...first estimate was 15k which I knew would get done right/fast just didnt have it. Well I did but was lured by 8k est from a shop who did a buddies.
Sat there for years had to call the sheriff as my engine wound up in another customers cars, both my others, interior 6 speed..he stole all of it. Next shop never finisned.
Body shops a big hold up I agree.

x2 on new cars doing it all better. HAte to admit they do
The aspect we appreciate they cant cause they weren aroud back then so it makes no sense...especially driving a stick.
Remember that the work was done 25 years ago so the $5K has to be taken in perspective. I forgot to add that it was finished within days of what he promised due I am sure to the "I work on one car at a time...start to finish" rule he used in scheduling and operating his shop. I should add that the car had no rust at all for him to fuss with.

The new cars indeed do it all better and they do it with so much more beyond just accelerating quickly. Creature comforts, audio, built in Bluetooth, braking and handling, ride quality. Don't forget gas mileage as related to the old muscle cars. The list is indeed long. That said the old cars do have a "back in the day" charm that is not easy to ignore.

All this leads me to the pro touring sub section of the car hobby. Essentially at the most basic level of description pro touring builds involve the installation of all the modern capability of the newer cars into 50 year old shells. The pro-touring builds are expensive make no mistake about that. It is easy to drop big bucks into the front suspension alone: never mind the brakes, transmission, interior and, before I forget, the body work.
 

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One of the big things driving up the cost of body shop work is material costs. The new water based paints may be environmentally friendly, but they are not wallet friendly. I had my car painted 19 years ago for $1400. This was basically just prep and paint, I had done all the metal work. Nowadays you can't even buy the paint for that money.
 
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I feel if the hobby is dying down it's more because our age group is either slowing down or dying off. Don't forget we grew up with these cars and the younger crowd is growing up with their Hondas and Toyotas. Most of us aren't in the rebuilding stage anymore but own something nice that we may wrench on once in awhile but the main purpose now is to drive and enjoy them. Sure people are putting LS motors in them, different suspensions, etc. but for me I'm satisfied with them the way they came from the factory and wouldn't dream of putting a rim bigger than a 15" on them. Feel lucky that we grew up in some of the best times for the automobile. :D:grin2::thumbsup:
 

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Things evolve.

Most of us started out in the late ‘50’s and 60’s as hot rodders. We cared little for originality on anything. I had a ‘65 Malibu SS before I was drafted into the Army, 300 hp 327, 4 speed, black on black. No air, no power steering, it was a hot rod in the raw. I did everything to it I could afford to make it faster.

I never got into the “investment car” thing. These cars are just toys. I have had my ‘67 Malibu since ‘92 and have reincarnated it several times.

As for cost of work. Two years ago, I had my Malibu stripped, a few bad spots repaired, reblocked, , and reshot with the latest EXALTA.

I also had the bubble in the hood addd to clear the Holley HP MP fuel injection.

$12,000.



https://www.chevelles.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=604552&stc=1&d=1569980511

The younger generation is into the cars they grew up with.

Just like we are.
 

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It's slowed some, but not all that much. It's more a matter of changing tastes. I sold my 71 Malibu 11 years ago. Now I find that I'm more drawn to vehicles like the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and the original Toyota FJ (the older Jeep lookalike, not the modern FJ Cruiser). Check out the prices on the Wagoneers. A nice, restored Grand Wagoneer will bring anywhere from $25K to $45K depending on where you live. Production numbers were never super high, but the basic body sheetmetal never changed from 1963 to 1991 when they ceased being produced. There are still a lot of them out there. You can find one that's both restorable and affordable if you spend some time shopping around.

Also like the old International Scouts and Toyota Landcruisers. Not as many of those out there though. But in general, I find myself drawn more to those and to quirky vehicles like those these days rather than classic muscle.
 
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I'm 36 and I love the old school stuff. I will NEVER put an LS in my 67. If any of you guys are thinking about scrapping Big Block stuff let me know before you do.
 

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I'm 36 and I love the old school stuff. I will NEVER put an LS in my 67. If any of you guys are thinking about scrapping Big Block stuff let me know before you do.
I'll be 82 in a couple of months, I started out hot rodding the early 50's and love all the old stuff too but I'd love to have one Chevelle with a modern drive train (as long as it looks like an original) plus another one with the old school big block.

I hope my grandkids don't trade my Chevelles for Jap cars when I'm gone :)
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Same here love gen1 stuff i dont care about mpg smooth idle, stink or whats in. If I had it my way there would be a solid lifter 427 in mine.
 

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Most young guys today don't have a lot of money. If they only have one car they will drive something that doesn't get 10 miles to the gallon. My 3 guys love the car culture but they drive a GTI, a Miata and an Audi. They modify them as much as they can but this is what they can afford $5K - 8K. They need something dependable to drive every day. So a Chevelle for that kind of money isn't viable. Maybe some day they have a good job and can afford a hobby car they will.

The other big factor is insurance. Also, every guy that I know that is really into muscle cars has one. The last 20 years that this hobby has been flourishing there have been so many cars brought back to life it just takes longer to find buyers. Look whats happening to Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The market is flooded and the guys that really like them already have one or are getting to old to really enjoy them. As someone said earlier in this post, the younger guys were brought up with something different.
 
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