1 2 3
ReverendDexter SuperDork
11/14/10 1:45 p.m.

What's the answer when you live in California and are sick of dealing with smog checks?

Bonus mode: Findable for challenge money.

Hard mode: Driveable when found for challenge money.

God mode: Don't require any major component swaps to be fun/reliable.

Immediate thoughts were Zs and 510s, but both of those are either in budget but beyond repair, or pristine and at zomg-lol prices. Corollas and Celicas come to mind, but Corollas are increasingly hard to find, and Celicas really need a motorswap to be engaging. Maybe a 2002? MG GT? RX4? Corvair? 914? Falcon?

triumph5 HalfDork
11/14/10 1:57 p.m.

I'm thinking in the late 60s: Ford falcon/Mercury Comet with the stock V-8 option. There is always a Mustang hanging around someplace, so many were sold... ..

WilberM3 Reader
11/14/10 2:09 p.m.

yea i was going to say 2002 as i read your post.

no experience so not sure about reliable, but howabout an Alfa Spider? http://capecod.craigslist.org/cto/2055237359.html

Javelin GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/14/10 2:17 p.m.

C3 Corvette

triumph5 HalfDork
11/14/10 2:20 p.m.

I've seen models with shot engines go for more than the asking price on that one. And the body looks unmolested--no munched nose, as is common to those.


internetautomart SuperDork
11/14/10 2:24 p.m.

74-75 f-body

oldsaw SuperDork
11/14/10 2:27 p.m.
WilberM3 wrote: yea i was going to say 2002 as i read your post. no experience so not sure about reliable, but howabout an Alfa Spider? http://capecod.craigslist.org/cto/2055237359.html

That guy has a 2CV and a big-bumper "B" and he's getting rid of the Alfa? I'm thinking the car has serious issues.

The car is on the sea coast and the seller states it needs paint and body work. The tinworm loves him some delectable Italian food and I'd bet this one has hosted dinner for a long, long time.

itsatrap New Reader
11/14/10 2:38 p.m.

Well In Cali I would think a Vega in good shape would be pretty easy to find, or a Nova. Maybe a Monza or Starfire.

pres589 HalfDork
11/14/10 2:55 p.m.


triumph5 HalfDork
11/14/10 3:02 p.m.

Opel Manta

Nitroracer Dork
11/14/10 3:03 p.m.

Falcon/Dart/Nova. Anything with a straight six should be dead reliable and V8 models aren't too difficult to find either. Hit up craigslist with a price range and see what has the nicest body.

ValuePack HalfDork
11/14/10 3:05 p.m.

I'd have to pick up an early 70's Valiant 318 in an lurid, original hue. A few suspension, braking and breathing mods could go a long way.

Scratch that, I still want a Pinto Runabout.

oldtin HalfDork
11/14/10 3:09 p.m.

I have a soft spot for 2002s and 914s. My jr high French teacher had a 2002. She was hot. Our neighbor had a green 73 914 that looked great. MGBs take engine swaps pretty well

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
11/14/10 3:15 p.m.

2002, Alfa GTV, or for extra-sweet bonus points... Pinto Squire Wagon with woodgrain stickers.

Nashco SuperDork
11/14/10 3:17 p.m.

Old Datsun or Volvo would be a good one in CA, IMO. Hard to ignore something American depending on what kind of fun you want to have, engine swaps and parts don't get much easier than 60s/70s American cars.


Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/14/10 3:48 p.m.

1966 Cadillac. Old enough to be cool without a 1970's interior, but no monster tailfins means they're still cheap. Really cheap. Nobody writes songs about Datsuns, but how many songs can you think of about Cadillacs?

Travis_K Dork
11/14/10 4:15 p.m.

Vega-too late, they are long gone

240z-are they really that expensive now? 5 years ago nice ones were going to the crusher by the hundreds.

2002-same as 240z, they must have recently disapeared

Alfa GTV, they are all on their 3rd or 4th shoddy restoration and need 30k in rust repair and body work, or are in decent shape and for sale for $40k.

The ones that sound like a decent idea still are any american car thats cheap and interesting enough, a fait 124 spider, volvo 122/142/544, or maybe a w116 mercedes?

jrw1621 SuperDork
11/14/10 5:01 p.m.

'68 Valiant. $800

stroker Reader
11/14/10 5:05 p.m.

Fox body Mustang? A-Body Mopar?

turbojunker HalfDork
11/14/10 5:14 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote: '68 Valiant. $800 Done. http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/cto/2053303868.html


skeze New Reader
11/14/10 5:22 p.m.

this could do the trick


then you can do this


m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/14/10 5:39 p.m.


gamby SuperDork
11/14/10 5:50 p.m.

With a good budget, sounds like a resto-mod is in order. Old chassis to skip smog w/ newschool engine and suspension tech to keep it headache free.

I wouldn't have much desire to deal with an old car on a daily basis.

That said--Porsche 911/924?

Kiponator New Reader
11/14/10 5:55 p.m.

2002 offers off the shelf parts to do an M10 turbo build, right?

Auto ADD
Auto ADD Dork
11/14/10 7:25 p.m.

Doesn't Cali smog go by the year of the motor not the year of the chassis? Unlike here in TX.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners