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  #1  
Old 04-06-2013, 02:15 PM
Growler Growler is offline
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Question What to build??

Hi all
I'm in a situation I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with. The bug's bitten me again and I want to start a new project. I've toyed around long enough and I'm hoping to put some wrench time into this one; a long-termer.

Now, as an Australian muscle car fan, the obvious two choices are the Falcon and Commodore. But they've been done to death. I wouldn't be here if I wanted another blown SS. Rather, I'd like to buy some American metal. But here's were the problem is. American imports in this country are sometimes ridiculously expensive. Sure, they're already beautfully restored, but the price means that buying one as a project basis is a stupid idea. I've also explored importing direct from the US but it's an intimidating process. So I've come here with a few questions:

1. MOST IMPORTANTLY: What should I buy? I don't want to start a blood feud between diehard Ford/Chev/Moparians so I'm asking in terms of pricing and support in this country. Something a bit different would also be good

2. How should I buy it?
Should I buy a car already registered here or bite the bullet and import? If I import, where from?

3. What sort of state should it be in?
As I said, I want to put some work into this one. So obviously, I'd want one that's cheap and a bit worn but not broken. That way I don't feel guilty about working ground up. But I've never had experience with American models so I don't know how old is too old, how rusty too rusty etc.

4. How far should I go?
I do want to build a showcar with a bit of power. A lot of people think it's blasphemy to put an aftermarket motor in a classic muscle car, but if there's one thing I'm sure of it's that I'm going to build the engine myself.But there's that tradeoff between show and go. How much do I dare to change things?

If you think I don't know what I want yet, thats about right. This is the planning stage and I've come to this forum because although some who read this will be opinionated armchair 'experts', I hope most of you know what you're talking about.

NB:I'm going to be able to do a lot of the mechanical work myself
Cheers
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2013, 02:27 PM
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cluxford cluxford is offline
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1st up welcome aboard

2nd the question you've asked is a massively broad question with almost no right answer, ultimately it will come down to tastes and budgets....but I've added some comments below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Growler View Post
Hi all
I'm in a situation I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with. The bug's bitten me again and I want to start a new project. I've toyed around long enough and I'm hoping to put some wrench time into this one; a long-termer.

Now, as an Australian muscle car fan, the obvious two choices are the Falcon and Commodore. But they've been done to death. I wouldn't be here if I wanted another blown SS. Rather, I'd like to buy some American metal. But here's were the problem is. American imports in this country are sometimes ridiculously expensive. Sure, they're already beautfully restored, but the price means that buying one as a project basis is a stupid idea. I've also explored importing direct from the US but it's an intimidating process. So I've come here with a few questions:

1. MOST IMPORTANTLY: What should I buy? I don't want to start a blood feud between diehard Ford/Chev/Moparians so I'm asking in terms of pricing and support in this country. Something a bit different would also be good it depends, do you want something that has easy parts access or don't mind if parts are had to come by ? There are so many choices it's scary, pony car, land yacht, muscle car, I assume anything from the mid 50's trough early 70's is what you are after given your on this forum

2. How should I buy it?
Should I buy a car already registered here or bite the bullet and import? If I import, where from? both are options, again depends what you buy. You say you want something different, if that's the case probably not a good chance to find it here in the condition or price you want, so therefore the US will be more likely, if you want the bellybutton Camaro or Mustang, much better chance of buying local at a decent price. Don't be afraid of importing, by using a reputable company - and there are plenty on here such as Shermatt, CCA and USAtoAus you will have no issues. many of us on this forum have imported one or more cars, almost all without major issues

3. What sort of state should it be in?
As I said, I want to put some work into this one. So obviously, I'd want one that's cheap and a bit worn but not broken. That way I don't feel guilty about working ground up. But I've never had experience with American models so I don't know how old is too old, how rusty too rusty etc. no different to buying aussie muscle, if you have the skills you can fix anything, again depends if you want a car that has easy parts replacement, many cars esp Chev's (Camaro's, Impalas etc) and Mustangs have readily available panels to literally replace every single panel and nut/bolt of the car with repo stuff - which is hit and miss in terms of quality but at least it's new

4. How far should I go?
I do want to build a showcar with a bit of power. A lot of people think it's blasphemy to put an aftermarket motor in a classic muscle car, but if there's one thing I'm sure of it's that I'm going to build the engine myself.But there's that tradeoff between show and go. How much do I dare to change things? go nuts, I'm a HUGE fan of big power and lots of customisation, but that's just me

If you think I don't know what I want yet, thats about right. This is the planning stage and I've come to this forum because although some who read this will be opinionated armchair 'experts', I hope most of you know what you're talking about.

NB:I'm going to be able to do a lot of the mechanical work myself
Cheers
Good luck with the search and finding what you want.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2013, 02:43 PM
Growler Growler is offline
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I apologise for the massively broad question but I'm stunned by the amount of informaion I've found availible everywhere.
A lot of forum users complain that people ask questions that are easily answerable with research but it's probably best to speak to people who have knowlege. Thats why forums are around

To narrow it down a bit, I'm probably not looking for anything earlier than 1965 and ideally it'll up with a big block roots set up (of course ), so I'd like a car small or light enough to make that count. Also, I'd like a car with parts that are RELATIVELY easy to find but not a Mustang or Camaro
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:52 PM
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cluxford cluxford is offline
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all good right up till your last 10 or so words.

Camaro's and mustangs have parts availability out the ying yang. You could build an entire car from repo parts.

Alright here's a few I'll through out there, my thoughts only, and as said car choice is such a personal thing, but light and can take a big block:

AMX Javelin


64 Falcon


Corvette (but probably doesn't fit the "different" category)


2nd Gen Camaro's are getting a lot more popular now


Nova
Just check out this thread for some seriously tough cars
http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=10312

Lots lots more to choose from, but some to get you started

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Old 04-06-2013, 03:22 PM
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Marauder Marauder is offline
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I'll chime in, because i'm bored and say Don't buy a Delorean. Thats something different. Or a beetle with a body kit. Too different for some people...

I like the look of the Sunbeam Tigers. Bit different, plus has that US conection(Get Smart). And they are a V8.

Maybe a Plymouth Fury? Like Christine?

Maybe a Briklin SV1? or not..
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2013, 03:46 PM
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anychevy anychevy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Growler View Post
To narrow it down a bit, I'm probably not looking for anything earlier than 1965 and ideally it'll up with a big block roots set up (of course ), so I'd like a car small or light enough to make that count. Also, I'd like a car with parts that are RELATIVELY easy to find but not a Mustang or Camaro
GM A body cars are "midsize" (in between a Camaro and an Impala) built on a full chassis, can handle big HP engines and parts are easily available.
Look at 65-69 Chevrolet chevelle, Pontiac GTO and Buick skylark.

It's a good time to buy, lots to choose from, prices are down, but you need to do your homework before you buy, there's lots of junk for sale that will cost more to restore
(even to driver quality) than they will ever be worth.

Mopar E bodies "challenger and cuda" are a nice size as well, but an incomplete project can end up being your worst nightmare and there's a few of them around.
Good ones aren't cheap.

As mentioned, Chevy Nova's and little MoPars like the Dodge demon and Plymouth duster are pretty cool cars and no bigger than a valiant.
Good luck
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2013, 05:17 PM
Growler Growler is offline
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After doing a little research with these things in mind, I've narrowed down the list:
. The little Duster looks quite nice and it's pretty easy to find good examples on the net. Don't know much about Mopars though
. The Nova is a car I'm quite familiar with because of some of the amazing examples on the global drag scene
. A Buick Skylark is significantly cheaper than it's A body counterparts, thanks for that Maurauder.
. Ford Torinos are very large but I've always had a soft sport for them

What are people's opinions of these cars?

Also, this is going to sound stupid, but why don't more people import cars into Australia? Even including shipping, most of the quotes I'm getting are 10g+ cheaper than their Australian counterparts. I know that it's a hassle and a gamble to get everything compliant. I know hidden costs abound,but it's still amazing how cheap you can get these cars via import, especially if you're building a track car
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2013, 05:20 PM
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cluxford cluxford is offline
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Here's my fav Buick Skylark.

Tough looking car

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSLsGgDjFXE
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2013, 05:38 PM
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anychevy anychevy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Growler View Post
why don't more people import cars into Australia? Even including shipping, most of the quotes I'm getting are 10g+ cheaper than their Australian counterparts. I know that it's a hassle and a gamble to get everything compliant. I know hidden costs abound,but it's still amazing how cheap you can get these cars via import, especially if you're building a track car
Some guys actually fly over there, take time off work, spend money on accommodation, transport, fuel, food etc. etc. and look at 10 pieces of $hit for every 1 decent car
and they don't do all that for nothing.
Then there's the guys who buy cars sight unseen of eBay and craigslist and end up with a POS they want to get rid of quickly to the not so knowledgeable.
But there are a lot of deals to be had, especially for projects, you just need to get familiar with the type of car you want, go to car shows, talk to owners, you know, research
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2013, 06:00 PM
TJS811 TJS811 is offline
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64-67 Pontiac GTO
or
65-67 2-door Chevelle.
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2013, 06:19 PM
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skyper skyper is offline
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I would bulid a really cool dodge with a massive Hemi
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2013, 07:59 PM
TJS811 TJS811 is offline
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Originally Posted by skyper View Post
I would bulid a really cool dodge with a massive Hemi
Nice idea, I know of a '73 Challenger with 318/auto for $7,500. If I had more room at the moment, it'd be the next project....
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2013, 08:10 PM
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khany454 khany454 is offline
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im a little biased being a nova owner, but they are the lightest of the chev muscle cars of the era (68-72 anyway, not sure about the earlier ones)
and parts availability is the same as a camaro/mustang.
best thing about them is every time i take mine out all i get is people staring saying WTF is that?! haha
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:20 PM
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chevval chevval is offline
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a chev monza would be different!!!!!

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  #15  
Old 04-06-2013, 08:23 PM
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YenkoSC YenkoSC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Growler View Post
After doing a little research with these things in mind, I've narrowed down the list:
. The little Duster looks quite nice and it's pretty easy to find good examples on the net. Don't know much about Mopars though
. The Nova is a car I'm quite familiar with because of some of the amazing examples on the global drag scene
. A Buick Skylark is significantly cheaper than it's A body counterparts, thanks for that Maurauder.
. Ford Torinos are very large but I've always had a soft sport for them
Don't quote me on this, but out of that list, I seem to think that the Nova would be the one that has the most repro and aftermarket parts available (Haven't looked into the markets for other models listed so may be wrong), thus potentially saving you a lot of money. A Nova also has many similarities to the Camaro so a BBC drops in easy and it's a relatively light car.
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