Thursday, November 4, 2010


I've been doing some research online and discovered I can register and insure my old car for less than $200 a year. That will give me some incentive to fix the old gal up to make it drivable.

First thing I need to do is patch the floorboards, they are rusted through on both sides in front. On the driver's side it is probably from salt and water from the driver's boots. The passenger side is because the heater core sprung a leak and it sat with a puddle of coolant soaking the carpet for too long. Or I could leave it the way it is and if the brakes fail I can stop it like the Flintstone's car.

I can get full coverage collector car insurance for around $130 a year and get a Historical plate for $30. If I want to use the correct year plate (the one from 1965 currently on the front), it'll cost me $35.

Besides the floorboards and some bodywork, it needs work under the hood. The engine uses almost as much oil as gas. The plugs only last for about a 1000 miles before they need to be cleaned or replaced. I do have another engine (318 V8) in a '79 Plymouth that I could put in it and that would allow me to use unleaded gas. The original engine (273 V8)was designed to use leaded gas and it's a pain in the ass to have to use a lead substitute to keep from burning the valves. Or I could spend a couple of grand rebuilding the engine that's in it and have the heads worked so it can run on unleaded.

I've always liked these cars (bought my first one 40 years ago which is now a parts car for this one and have had this one for over 28 years) and can't understand why they aren't more popular like the Mustangs and Camaros. Maybe it's because it doesn't have the long hood, short trunk style. It kinda looks like a sedan with a huge rear window. At least it ain't a Rambler Marlin!!!


  1. A proper restore on that car would cost at least 20 grand, but to just get it to run on the street would be much less.

    The 273 may just need some new valve guide seals, that's likely where most of the oil is going and I have the tools to do that with without removing the heads.

    But if the 318 has fewer miles go for it. As for unleaded gas, don't sweat it or putting an additive in it.

    It won't be driven hard enough and hot enough to sweat it.

  2. We have a 1985 Saab 900 with about 250,000 miles on it. We're thinking of putting the historic plates on it and getting the cheap insurance as well. We haven't been using it much at all lately because it needs a head gasket.

    My aunt had a 1968 Valiant - great car. I used to drive it sometimes when my car was in the shop.

  3. I bought a 49 dodge for $ was this guys' dove hunting car. every time you went over a bump dove feathers would float up ..there was a hole in the floor board right beneath the drivers feet..when it rained or snow it was a tad damp and start it there was a loop of wire that wrapped around the steering wheel with a toggle switch and a button on the dash, you had to press the button and the toggle switch at the same time to get it to start..the tires would all go flat over night, and I'd have to drive to station every morning to air them back get the radio to work you had to hit it with a fist in just the right place and then the radio would come on.Every morning when I'd get into it I'd say a little prayer for her to start..she started every day. I called her WONDER MOTHER.. cause it was a wonder the mother ran. when I sold it for the same price to a high school kid 2 years later, he drove it for 4 years of high school, sold it to his younger sister for the same $50 and she drove it for 2 years before some drunk Indian ran a red light and totaled it out..she didn't have a scratch..other than the tires it was the most reliable auto I ever owned..ha

  4. BBC, the 273 has worn rings. The 318 needs valve guide seals as it puts out a cloud of smoke when you first fire it up after it has sat for any length of time like overnight. The 273 smokes all the time, but it is old enough to smoke. It has 130,000 miles on it.

  5. Mauigirl, The Old Lady's favorite car was a 1973 Plymouth Scamp (2dr hardtop Valiant)which was the same as the Dodge Swinger only different nameplate. We paid $300 for it in 1989 and put over a 100,000 miles on it in 6 years before sending it to the scrapyard. I could have fixed it then but the body was rusting out, carpet would get wet when you drove it in wet weather.

  6. YDG, when I was in high school, I had a '50 Plymouth business coupe. I only had the front bench seat, but a humongous trunk. I had 7 people in it one day, all up front. I didn't drive it long as I wrecked it, was going to fix it, but the frame got bent in the wreck and the body was rusted.


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