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spunko

1970s cars - which one is the least shit?

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I have decided, once the lockdown is over, to finally take the plunge and buy a 1970s 'classic' car (budget ~£6k). The problem is, they're all meant to be shit. Can any DOSBODers recommend which ones might have the best outlay/spend ie. to sort any issues?

I have always liked the MGB and the Triumph Spitfire.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/202003128349487

But when I mentioned this before, a few people on here said they were all terrible. Which they probably are, but I don't mind.

I know nothing about car maintenance (!), but am happy to learn and take things apart, and have a new garage that is underused. Not quite in the same league I know, but I cleaned my strimmer's carburetor and replaced the air filter the other day, based on YouTube videos alone. The parts were easy to get hold of - so I think that should be the main consideration.

Any advice please from those who experienced the wonder of 70s cars... apart from "dont" ? :CryBaby:

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Was going to suggest a BMW 2002 but they are way above your budget 

I would wait until the recession / depression hits hard as the classic car market it well overdue a crash 

The only British cars I would consider from that era would be a fast Escort or a Dolomite Sprint, but they are still crap compared to modern cars and are money pits 

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MGB is both the obvious and very good one.

There are so many spares available at reasonable prices that you can literally build a new one and I knew two women, both very much not car nuts, who were happily driving them in the last fifteen years when the cars were forty years old. In both cases they looked after their own cars rather than hubby doing it for them.

The other would be the Mini.

Everything else is rare, exotic or quirky (= breaks down a lot).

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1 minute ago, Malthus said:

Was going to suggest a BMW 2002 but they are way above your budget 

I would wait until the recession / depression hits hard as the classic car market it well overdue a crash 

The only British cars I would consider from that era would be a fast Escort or a Dolomite Sprint, but they are still crap compared to modern cars and are money pits 

Yes sorry, I mean once prices start to drop. I wouldn't buy right now.

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1161938

:x

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Always fancied an MG Midget/Triumph Spitfire. I think if you're happy with the fact you'll spend more time working on it than driving it then go for it.

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@Chewing Grass I should have stipulated, I recently got rid of a big old V8 (0-60 in 3.9s!) as the running costs were pretty yuge. So as tempting as it is, I think I'll have to stick to lower engines. I do miss the sound, though.

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Posted (edited)

A German car.

[Also Pin's motorcycle idea is good -- it'll take up less room in the garage when it isn't working.]

Edited by dgul

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I've owned a Triumph Herald Convertible, Spitfire Mk4 and Dolomite 1500, all as daily drivers. None of them have broken down on me or refused to start. It's true that cars of that era are less reliable but it's often overstated imo. The biggest issue by far is rust and if you buy a rot box, it will be a money pit unless you can weld it yourself. Even if it is solid, it will become a rot box unless attention is paid to rust prevention. Mechanically, they are simple and easy to fix if you have a Haynes Manual (or Youtube). 

I'd say go for it. The experience is far more 'real' than driving a modern car. It is much more obvious that you are being propelled at speed by a mechanical device that you have to carefully control in order stay alive and get where you want to go. Be aware that braking is more of a suggestion than command and I recommend that you avoid models that don't have a brake servo (especially if you are going to be switching between that and a a car that does have a servo).

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13 minutes ago, dgul said:

A German car.

[Also Pin's motorcycle idea is good -- it'll take up less room in the garage when it isn't working.]

More specifically a German aircooled car. Having had plenty of old cars overheat from Honda Civics to XJ6’s I’m now on my 4th veedub and get nothing but pleasure from it, it’s been no trouble at all in my 3/4 years of ownership. Also get plenty of waves and thumbs up if that’s your thing. The Type 3/Variant that I’m driving is also a much nicer ride that the beetles imo. So cheap to maintain, will hold values, parts freely available and quite a scene behind them so lots of knowledge out there.

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Posted (edited)

Not many of those older cars were very bad mechanically. Easy to maintain. It's rust that seemed to get them.

volkswagens seem to have a bit of a following MR @Sugarlips.

One of my mates has a 1970s van.

Edited by MrPin

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All I remember with aircooled VWs is cracked cylinder heads if you went anywhere long distance on a motorway or hot and hilly like the South of France in the camper van with an astronomical repair bill to boot (in Francs) to get home.

If you are doing air-cooled get a Citroen.

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42 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

MGB is both the obvious and very good one.

There are so many spares available at reasonable prices that you can literally build a new one and I knew two women, both very much not car nuts, who were happily driving them in the last fifteen years when the cars were forty years old. In both cases they looked after their own cars rather than hubby doing it for them.

The other would be the Mini.

Everything else is rare, exotic or quirky (= breaks down a lot).

Valid points but I loved spitfires and the ultimate car for me but not practical is a seriese 2a lightweight land rover 

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2 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

All I remember with aircooled VWs is cracked cylinder heads if you went anywhere long distance on a motorway or hot and hilly like the South of France in the camper van with an astronomical repair bill to boot (in Francs) to get home.

If you are doing air-cooled get a Citroen.

Indeed.

2CV.

Comically slow but a charming car in which to potter about whilst trying to get the door handles to touch the road. Sort-of convertible too.

When you arrive at your destination, take out the front seats for use as deckchairs and have a picnic of saucisson sec.

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5 minutes ago, stokiescum said:

Valid points but I loved spitfires and the ultimate car for me but not practical is a seriese 2a lightweight land rover 

Great if you like tinkering!

If I had some land the an old Landy would suit me down to the ground for pottering about with it SORNed so all I'd need to be able to do would be to keep it going.

I wouldn't want one as a road car. I say this as having been in one and it reminding me of when I used to fly in noisy cargo aircraft in the Air Cadets; only noisier and with more metal bits sticking out into the cab.

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7 minutes ago, stokiescum said:

Valid points but I loved spitfires and the ultimate car for me but not practical is a seriese 2a lightweight land rover 

Standard series LR would be fine, and petrol would be fairly usable (the old diesel less so, but not without charm).  Also, IME most people who drive older Land Rovers seem to be smiling -- I think this factor shouldn't be ignored.

[And you can fix them with gaffer tape and bits of string when they go wrong.]

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