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Older cars and trucks

Hi all I don’t want to start a war, but I would like to know why some of you answer questions about should I buy a old car, keep a old car. Its always it will be a repair nightmare or a safety problem. I am not taking about the replies that look for rust and have it checked out. Ex-sample I would like to buy and drive a old car and drive it across the states. Ok lets look at the facts 5000 to 6000 miles at most. If there is not any car that can not be drove that far if it was checked out and tune up be for you left. I would like to see it. Yes things can happen on the road with a new car or old. I drive a truck with 321000 miles on it ( 97 chevy k1500) and I planing on going to Ar. from Mi pulling a 5TH wheel trailer. Life is full of risks and most of us have drove old cars and lived to tell about it. Oh and as far a safety go’s if its your time its your time. I don’t care what you are driving. After 40 years driving and working on cars, a body-man for 25 years. I can tell you airbags or not it don’t mater. I have seen seat belts save people and airbags kill people and vice a verse.

I wonder if many repliers are just being politicaly correct so as not to get trapped by the OP later with, ‘‘but you said…and look what happened.’’

What ?
Must Be The Lead Fumes, Bondo Dust, And Imron Overspray In The Air.
I Managed A Body Shop, But Could Only Take It For 2 Years. It Convinced Me To Go Back To College For Another Degree.


Many Old Cars Are For Sale Precisely Because They Have Been Used To Attempt Travel Across Some Part Of A State And Didn’t Make It Or Couldn’t Be Trusted Any More.

I am wary of any old car for sale that has no license plate or insurance, rusted brake rotors and weeds growing under it. Why was it parked ? I’d rather buy one that’s being driven daily, just for the reason mentioned above.

I agree that many old cars can be purchased, inspected, and tuned-up and they’re good to go. Others not so much . . . at least without a radiator, head gasket, alternator, etcetera.

Life is full of risks, but one can try and keep them reasonable.


Yes some days I sill cough up a lung. :slight_smile: But what I am saying is the replies to someone who wants to buy a old car or truck could be to the point of what they want to do. I mean if you want to drive a VW Bug from New York state to Washington state. I say ok do it. But just make sure the its checked out and tuned up. Because we all know they did it when they were 5-10 years old. Or put this way if it was 1975 and I said I wanted to drive a 1970 Bug on this trip. I think you say just tune it up and check it out and go.

Today a restored car that has been restored as a driver. I would think it should be able to go 5000 to 10000 miles with out to much problems.

Restored cars are one thing. Old jalopies are another.

If you want to drive a 1970 VW Bug from New York to Washington, go ahead. Please post regular updates on your trip. You’ll probably have a great time, but please don’t ask us to do it.

I owned a VW bus from this period (1971), and it was a marvelous vehicle. But there’s no way I’d want to drive that thing across the country today.

Around the block? Yes. To a local car show? Yes.

Across the state? No. Across the country? Absolutely not.

Yes, these vehicles did this when they were 5-10 years old, but they’re now 40+ years old. It’s not the same thing.

Think about it.

Yes it the same if there put back to that shape. So you are saying that a old car that is in good shape with many new parts should not be driven. I am not asking anyone to drive anything any were. I am just saying that if a car is the shape as is was close to new. Why would it not be able to go a say a 5000-6000 mile trip. You prove my point about the answers people get on here. New parts are just as good on a 1970 whatever as a 2010 whatever. See my point.

I have 1968 chevy pickup. When its done it will have all new parts in the drive train , new motor, new trans and interior. No it wont have points. Would I drive it across the county? Yes. Will it have problems? Maybe. When I took my 97 chevy pickup to Texas and back with almost 300000 on it I had a gas line leak. My 2001 Ford Ranger Broke down more in a year than the 97 has since I got it in 2002.

So I guess they all break no matter what.

If I had to ask someone else if it’s a good idea to use the truck I have to pull a 5th wheel, I have answered my own question; it isn’t.
In reality, it depends upon the weight and capability of your truck. If you have the 5th wheel now, make some shorter trips. If the accumulated miles are uneventful, you can feel better about a longer trip.

“I have 1968 chevy pickup. When its done it will have all new parts in the drive train , new motor, new trans and interior”.
This is a horse with a different undershirt. You are a mechanic and know your equipment. You wouldn’t go driving cross-country hell bent for leather.
That is a lot different than if I started out on a long trip in an old car. If something went wrong, I would probably remove the plate, give the car to the highway department and start walking.
Back in 1962, I made the 350 mile trip to graduate school in a $75 1947 Pontiac. It used a quart of oil every 200-250 miles. The cluster gear was worn in the transmission and it sounded awful in first gear, so I would shift as quickly as possible to second. The engine block had a crack around one of the valve seats and I had doped it up with K & W block sealer. The car got me and my possessions to the university, and it did fine around town, but I used public transportation for trips back home at vacation times.

You did better than I did with my much newer 55 Desoto I used in college. I left a pan under the car each evening to catch the transmission fluid I could pour back into the car each morning. I got a school year and one summer out of it before I bought my 62 Rambler “upgrade”, with bed hooks of course.

Usually, the people who are asking the questions can’t fix their own cars. If you have to pay a mechanic to fix it, there are old cars that are not worth driving.

I like the surprises. Some people say that they have no mechanical skills and their 1997 car just stopped running. Knowing how much it costs to get a mechanic, I told him to junk it and get another. Naturally, he borrows a code reader that says “unable to communicate with PCM”, so he changes the computer himself and the problem is solved. I wish it were all that easy.