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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I used to own a ’69 GTO and miss having an A body car from that era. (I hope no one minds my openness to Pontiacs.)

I’ve been thinking about the later A bodies (73-75 Chevelles / Lemans) because of the availability and cost of the 68-72’s, and also because the later seemed to be overlooked. I’m looking for something I could use as a summer daily driver that I could use what ever engine set up I wanted regardless if emissions come back or not. I’ve noticed a few versions (Laguna, Grand Am) and they have really peaked my interest. I’m also quite fond of the round taillights on the ‘73’s. I’m not looking for a collector car because it would be used every day.

I’ve searched and read some on this site and others, and I still have questions.

I was wondering what the differences are in weight, handling and issues with restoring one of these are? Are the rear wheel wells as big as the ’68-‘72’s? Can they be made to corner well at all? What weakness do these cars have, what are their strengths?

Would it make sense to plan on buying one or two parts cars to go with the one you want, or would it be better to go with a 68-72 because of parts availability? (Kind of like buying a ticket for admission and the rest is cake?) What would be the cost comparison between the two for restoring and improving performance?

Are decent performance parts available? (Suspension, springs, sway bars, bushings, shocks, headers, -is custom exhaust the norm?)
Other parts availability (front/rear bumpers, steering box, window motors, dash parts, buttons,interioir, brake components, fuel tank etc.)(Either OEM or aftermarket.) Did I miss anything important?
Have people bought up these already waiting to charge big time for them?

My big question: Are the swivel seats really that great, or are they just a novelty? I’ve always wondered about them.

I hope no one minds me hopping on board with all of these questions, I’m just trying to get a feel for what these cars are all about and if it’s something I want to commit to. If I missed a big write up on this, please send me a link and forgive my ignorance.

Thanks for taking a look, any help is appreciated.
Terry
 

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well, these cars can be made to handle. in fact, quite a bit of the suspension is pretty close to what was used up until 96 in the fullsize cars- Caprices and the legendary 94-96 Impala SS. i'm not saying you are going to drop a full Imp SS suspension under one, but they are very similar. stuff like springs and the front sway bars interchange. not sure about the rear sway bar- i don't have one to compare to. i've even heard rumors thatthe spindles will swap in for east 12" brakes that will fit 15" wheels- but i've not looked into that.
the wheel wells are HUGE- possibly bigger than the older cars.
there isn't quite the same amount of resto stuff made for these cars, but life is getting easier.
as for those swivel buckets- they are the coolest thing ever. they fit me- all 6 feet and 220 pounds- perfectly, and the swivel thing is just plain cool and actually makes getting in the back seat easy compared to the flip forward seats that like to fall back on you as you climb in. plus, all the ricer kidz will respect you because you were able to get your seats to turn like that..
 

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Not sure they have any strengths unless you want to count the 5 mph protruding government mandated crash bumpers....

Weaknesses....not much in terms of aftermarket parts for them...and they're mostly smog/emissions plagued, plus they're heavier than the earlier models and equipped with low performance engines....

Another weakness is they're not considered eye candy to most like the earlier models....

The swivel buckets I would guess are good for the guy with the big beer belly that just walked out of one of those "all you can eat buffet" places....
 

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don't listen to Junkyarddawg..
he just mocks that which he doesn't understand.
every "problem" he pointed out is easily overcome. i lost well over 50 pounds off the front of my Monte by getting rid of 90% of the steel brace behind the front bumper. engines are easy to swap, and the cars do just feel a lot more solid when you drive them- plus, all controls you will need to use are easily within reach without moving at all in your seat.
they are better in every way except for performance- and that was because they had to try to figure out all the new government emissions and crash standards. once you drive one- even a stock one- you will be hooked.
 

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don't listen to Junkyarddawg..
he just mocks that which he doesn't understand.
every "problem" he pointed out is easily overcome.
Yeah....don't listen to me.....I only learn from others on here....plus some of what I mentioned was true but I never said there wasn't a remedy...

I lost well over 50 pounds off the front of my Monte by getting rid of 90% of the steel brace behind the front bumper. engines are easy to swap, and the cars do just feel a lot more solid when you drive them- plus, all controls you will need to use are easily within reach without moving at all in your seat.
Now why did you get rid of the steel bracing behind the bumper? It was put there for a reason....

If you live in a state that checks for emissions and does the sniffer test and you do an engine swap you might want to ensure the new engine doesn't pollute more than the old one and that the emission controls are working and intact.

Once you drive one- even a stock one- you will be hooked.
I have owned and driven one....that was when I was 17 and at the time I thought they were cool, but no one else did.

There's nothing wrong with them, if that's what you want go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:lol: Thanks novaderrik, and everyone else, I like what I'm hearing.

I'm thinking a new drive train would make it one nice ride so I'm not worried about engine performance. I just want to make sure that it would be worth the effort, time and money. When they had emissions in MN before, anything pre '76 was exempt. I take it this isn't always the case?
And it doesn't bother me what other people think when I know what I got.

Does anyone know of any good books or sites about these cars?
 

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Now why did you get rid of the steel bracing behind the bumper? It was put there for a reason...
why do some people put fiberglass bumpers and hoods on their 70 Chevelles? they were put there for a reason..
as for the emissions thing- if you need to worry about that, it's easy to build a powerful, clean running engine these days to pass inspection. it's been done on cars like Camaros and the mid 80's Monte SS, so why not on a mid 70's car?
 

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why do some people put fiberglass bumpers and hoods on their 70 Chevelles? they were put there for a reason..
Ya I agree, but the glass bumpers are usually on track only vehicles where being as light as you can is crucial.....is your Monte a street car or a track car?

IMO the glass hoods dont have the same compromise as glass bumpers since all they do is cover the engine.

As for the emissions thing- if you need to worry about that, it's easy to build a powerful, clean running engine these days to pass inspection. it's been done on cars like Camaros and the mid 80's Monte SS, so why not on a mid 70's car?
From what I've gathered in some areas the smog police don't want your engine polluting more than the original. And doesn't a 300 hp 350 engine pollute more than a 150 hp 350?
 

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Hi,

I used to own a ’69 GTO and miss having an A body car from that era. (I hope no one minds my openness to Pontiacs.)

I’ve been thinking about the later A bodies (73-75 Chevelles / Lemans) because of the availability and cost of the 68-72’s, and also because the later seemed to be overlooked. I’m looking for something I could use as a summer daily driver that I could use what ever engine set up I wanted regardless if emissions come back or not. I’ve noticed a few versions (Laguna, Grand Am) and they have really peaked my interest. I’m also quite fond of the round taillights on the ‘73’s. I’m not looking for a collector car because it would be used every day.

I’ve searched and read some on this site and others, and I still have questions.

I was wondering what the differences are in weight, handling and issues with restoring one of these are? Are the rear wheel wells as big as the ’68-‘72’s? Can they be made to corner well at all? What weakness do these cars have, what are their strengths?

Would it make sense to plan on buying one or two parts cars to go with the one you want, or would it be better to go with a 68-72 because of parts availability? (Kind of like buying a ticket for admission and the rest is cake?) What would be the cost comparison between the two for restoring and improving performance?

Are decent performance parts available? (Suspension, springs, sway bars, bushings, shocks, headers, -is custom exhaust the norm?)
Other parts availability (front/rear bumpers, steering box, window motors, dash parts, buttons,interioir, brake components, fuel tank etc.)(Either OEM or aftermarket.) Did I miss anything important?
Have people bought up these already waiting to charge big time for them?

My big question: Are the swivel seats really that great, or are they just a novelty? I’ve always wondered about them.

I hope no one minds me hopping on board with all of these questions, I’m just trying to get a feel for what these cars are all about and if it’s something I want to commit to. If I missed a big write up on this, please send me a link and forgive my ignorance.

Thanks for taking a look, any help is appreciated.

Terry
http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163626
 

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Terry, there's a few of them running around town here. One of the guys I work with has a white and maroon one with a big big block, cowl hood, etc. He won't bring it to the track, but it's pushing pretty good power.
 

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as for the emissions thing- if you need to worry about that, it's easy to build a powerful, clean running engine these days to pass inspection. it's been done on cars like Camaros and the mid 80's Monte SS, so why not on a mid 70's car?
This is true. My 86 Cutlass with it's original 307 barely passed the idle test before the dyno test was mandatory. I built a 69 casted 350 small block for it, took it through inspection and it shut the dyno down halfway through because it ran so clean. The CO was 0.0%, the HC was 8 PPM, NOx was a bit high at 680, but that's because I don't have an EGR valve on it even though it's suppose to have one. The engine is putting out around 325 HP. So long as it's tuned properly, it can have power and be efficeint :thumbsup:
 

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You think I can make a 400 sbc pass the sniffer test in a mid 80's G body without having to detune it for power?
I did it with a 1970 Cadillac 472 in a '83 Grand Prix. They even changed the year designation in thier records so it read as a 1970, and when new tab renerwal notices came, it called it a 1970.
 
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