Greetings to all from flat, dry, treeless West Texas!
Been a fan of this body style for years, found an ad in Craiglist for this car for $750. The guy had no key, but had a clear title. We ended up at $350. I loaded it up and hauled it to my locksmith and $100 later, I'm good to go. It had been garage parked for 3 years, so I was a bit leery. Emptied most of the gas out and added fresh. Engine turned over 3 or 4 times and fired up. Runs smooth, no misses, drove it a half mile and tranny appears to up and down shift fine. 267K miles, most put on by an old Real Estate Agent. I don't know how much coffee he drank, but he sure spilled a lot! Gave it to his granddaughter who put the last 50K on it.
Exterior is the lighter of the two red/maroon colors with tan interior and sun/moon roof. Clearcoat is junk in several areas, only got to the paint in one spot on the trunk lid. 8 door dings down the sides and that's it for body damage, hope to get 'em all rubbed out paintless. Rubber back bumper has a pretty good ding, but easily repaired. It has its share of little things, but overall I'm happy for my $450 investment. Pressure washed under the front end, zero rust anywhere under this thing - I'm amazed. I was disappointed to see tell-tale signs of corrosion on the very tip of the hood, but the spot is only about the size of a silver dollar, so not too bad. Interior is in amazing shape, other than random coffee stains on the carpet.
Gotta get gaskets in it, one of their major reasons for P.O. not driving is the oil leak onto the back exhaust manifold. I took the engine cover and oil filler spout off and used my borescope to check out what I could of the inside of the engine. Clean as a whistle, zero sludge. Think I got lucky, appears to have been well maintained. I'd like to do a S/C swap, but will drive it awhile to make sure this is the car for me before I step into that upgrade. Intake and valve cover gaskets first and if that stops the leaks, I'm gonna drive it for awhile. Most of the paint issues are on hood, roof and trunk, considering a 2-tone paint scheme - leaving most of it red, adding either pearl white or a black metallic on hood, roof and trunk. This keeps me from doing a complete re-color and saving a lot of money since inside of doors, jambs, etc. won't need to be painted.
Plans are some 20's and 1" drop springs, paint and fix the few little things. Then drive hell out of it!