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Need some advice - New from Florida

1748 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MiketheSpike
Hey guys,

Not sure if this is the best forum to ask for advice, but since this is my first post I figured I'd put it here. I have wanted a Chevelle since I was 17 years old (almost bought one), I am now 30 and its about time to make it happen.

I am not exactly a performance car guy, but I know my way around an engine compartment fairly well. I still have a lot to learn as I am a firefighter/paramedic by trade so I have no offical training in the mechanic field.

I am looking to buy my first Chevelle and I would like some advice from some guys who know them well:

1. I want power (doesn't everyone?), and I want it to sound awesome (like a boat)! I have been narrowing my search to a 396 or a 454, but I was curious if a 350 is a viable option for power in these old cars. I know the parts are probably cheaper and easier to find. This is my first Chevelle but will also likely be my last, so I want to buy the right motor the first time.

2. I am looking for a car around 10,000-13,000. I know that limits my options a lot, so I fully expect to get a car with ragged interior. What major concerns should I look for to aviod getting a lemon? I can deal with ripped seats and bad interior, but bent frames and major issues are not something I want.

3. Any other tips for a first time Chevelle buyer?

P.S. I live in Sarasota, FL so if anyone know of one in the area let me know.

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Biggest question is the intent of the car. It sounds to me like you want it to be a daily driver. So . . . that means small block. 350's (especially in the southern states) are a dime a dozen and for $500-800 you can get one turning out some decent power, depending on how savvy and patient you are on ebay and kijiji.

Next question is, how original do you want to keep it? sbc 350 with th350 trany? Or, if you really want to make it a decent driver (with some nuts) you can put in an LSx motor and 4 spd auto transmission - more power and better fuel economy but you'll get heckled every time someone looks under the hood.

Personally, I think $13k is a great start for a Chevelle. Near me (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) there was a guy trying for months to sell a base 72, all done for $ 11k. It eventually went.

Best advice . . . be patient and don't rush into a purchase. Do some reading on here about what to look for when checking out a car. Anything can be fixed, just a matter of time and money.
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