Choose a classic car or truck to use as a daily driver
If you are one of the many who are frustrated by inflated new car prices and over-engineering that has evolved to the point where it is not only absurd in practical terms, but also unaffordable in terms of parts, repair and maintenance costs, then you may have considered opting for a classic car or truck. To be used as a daily driver.
In a related blog post titled “Why You Shouldn’t Do a Car Rebuild or Restoration Project,” the underlying message was that converting a classic car or truck as a DIY project has many considerations and consequences that must be acknowledged before embarking on what could become a success. Epic…or unfortunate failure.
The same is true when deciding to go back to basics by choosing an older car or truck in good enough condition to justify some investment in repairs with the plan that it will be used as a daily driver.
However, not just any car will do this.
Related Article: Chevy Trucks to Buy and Not to Buy Explained by a Chevy Mechanic
Choosing the right car for the daily driver
That message was recent Uncle Tony’s garage A YouTube channel episode in which the host gives some preliminary advice on what a budding classic car owner needs to know the least and consider before answering a used car ad and choosing a model that seems like the old-fashioned way to go.
In the video he explains why no car makes a good or suitable choice and what years and model types are good candidates for daily drivers of classic cars that he believes are the right choices…with a little work.
However, follow along with the host and learn five helpful points he touches on which are also presented in summary form after the video… just in case you want a peek at the tips he has to offer.
A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Classic Car or Truck to Use as a Daily Driver — Tips for Getting Started
5 points towards choosing the right car summary
- Choose your era wisely: Make sure you choose the car that suits your needs now and the requirements of the present. What this means is that you will need a reliable, DIY serviceable, classic car or truck that can handle today’s interstate traffic where you have to be able to travel at 60-70 mph. This means that the range of vehicles to choose from will range from the early 1960s models that still had carburetors to fuel-injected ones and early OBD II era vehicles up to 1998. The point is that with the integration of electronics with automobile mechanics, even In about 1998, it was still relatively simple, reliable, and repairable, and not the overly complicated (and expensive) mess it is today with newer model years.
- Stick to the base models of popular high-performance vehicles: Muscle cars of the past still have a good OEM supply and an almost endless supply of aftermarket parts available to keep your classic running. The popularity of muscle cars ensures that you can still find a garage or mechanic with the tools and knowledge needed to perform repairs that are beyond your paycheck. Better yet, the cost of these replacement parts can be much lower than the cost of newer parts today.
- Keep it at the factory (if possible): The goal here to meet your needs for a reliable daily driver is to keep costs down and not veer off course by going into a dark hole of modifications. It’s true that your car will probably run better with modifications, but sometimes it’s hard to stop once you start it and before you know it, you’ve invested enough money to buy a new modern car.
- Choose a template based on your intended use, not its popularity: Focus on the intended use of your daily driver and try not to get caught up in the popularity of older, high-performance models you usually see in car magazines. A four-door sedan may make more sense than a cooler-looking coupe that will likely be more expensive.
- Avoid orphan cars or orphan parts models: Brands best avoided include orphan cars—a term applied to those likes of Corvair and Pontiac that are no longer made. Thus, this includes the high-end Cadillac and Oldsmobile models of the past that were large, complex and technologically impressive in their time but today require hard-to-find parts for discontinued systems. Although collectible, these types are not well suited for daily drivers.
If you haven’t watched the video and found the content useful, come back to the video and get all the details and tips provided by the host.
For additional articles related to old used carsHere are a few to consider:
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. He has experience in early car restorations, and he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications to improve performance. Follow Tim on the Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites And Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
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