My almost 17yo dd wants this post-war VINTAGE CAR!

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by chanteuseCarey, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. chanteuseCarey

    chanteuseCarey Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,962
    Location:
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    Okay, so the vintage automobile she really wants a Tucker, but yeah get real girl! She'll says she'd happily take this one as an alternate! She and I saw this car sitting by a road marked "For Sale" yesterday on the way to a volunteer gig we both had, she took this picture of me with her iPhone. She says I'm posed with the car like a "Tucker-ette".

    This car is a 1948 Dodge Deluxe 2door sedan with Fluid Drive. 43K original miles, everything is original and works and it drives very well. The current owner says the car was probably cream in color, it is right now primer grey. Just wonder if the price he's asking (or he's willing to trade for it) is reasonable. Think he'd accept my banged up 2007 Toyota Yaris in trade?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    I've seen a number of those late 47 - 48 Dodges around. They must have been really well built.
    BTW, Ms Chanteuse, you make a great spokesmodel. ;)
     
  3. AtomicEraTom

    AtomicEraTom

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    She has great taste in automobiles.
     
  4. James71

    James71 A-List Customer

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    Katoomba, Australia
    I would love a car like that....
     
  5. Gene

    Gene Practically Family

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    New Orleans, La.
    I'd say if she can drive that for her first car, she'll be able to drive anything! Also, definitely cuts down on the chance of getting hurt in an accident since she will eat all the fiberglass cars alive!
     
  6. Oldsarge

    Oldsarge One Too Many

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    Really! Any rice rocket she encounters will be shrapnel and all she'll need is some new paint.

    According to these people it should run around $4500. Find out what he's asking and let the dickering begin!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  7. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,409
    Location:
    London, UK
    Great looking car. Buying a vintage / classic / otherwise collectable car makes great financial sense, as long as it is practical. Buy at the right price and, looked after, it won't lose you money (unlike pretty much anything new). I don't know what your climate is like in NorCal, but I'd give some thought to whether she wants to drive it in the Winter if your roads get salted: that's really hard on an older car. We once moved a 50s Austin Cambridge on salted roads, and for that single day's driving we had to repair a couple of hubcaps.
     
  8. Lily Powers

    Lily Powers Practically Family

    I'd rather have a great vintage car than a fancy new one. Love the old cars. That Dodge has an 18 -20 gallon gas tank though. That's a pricey full tank in these parts! And would you be fighting her for the keys, mom???:D
     
  9. Talbot

    Talbot One Too Many

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    Melbourne Australia
    Just love those low mileage original survivors.
     
  10. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

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    oakland
    What a great car! They have more life than anything built today, but probably won't hold up as well in a crash against something as large. That being said, if you can get it, go for it!

    Mike
    My 2 cents
     
  11. Fly Boy

    Fly Boy One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Lovely car. Wish I could find something like it over here at a fair price!
     
  12. AtomicEraTom

    AtomicEraTom

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    Location:
    Portage, Wis.
    Best advice I can give is to make sure she knows a little bit about automotive maintenance, adjusting the carburetor and such. Stuff like that can happen on the road and need to be addressed promptly. Easy to learn, though.

    18 gallons? That's all? My pickup has a 34 lol

     
  13. StraightEight

    StraightEight One of the Regulars

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    267
    Location:
    LA, California
    For cars this old, it's less about the mileage than the age. First off, I wouldn't necessarily take the odo at face value as those old odos are easy to roll, and many are only five digits, so it may have been around the clock once (or twice). Unless there is documentation to support it, take the mileage as an item of faith. Secondly, even if the mileage is correct (43k miles in 63 years) the car only averaged 682 miles/year. Which means it spent a lot of time sitting, grease getting hard, water eating out the block, brake fluid rusting the lines, etc. If the engine hasn't been apart, I guarantee it will need to be apart soon, if for no other reason than to replace rusty freeze plugs and dried out gaskets. I don't mean to sound doomy and gloomy, as those old cars are really a joy, but bear in mind the age of the car you are considering. That car has seen a lot of New Years...
     
  14. MPicciotto

    MPicciotto Practically Family

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, MD
    My "first car" was a 1970 Jeep. Even with it only being 30 years old it seems to my memories that I spent more time under the hood then behind the wheel. Not that I have any regrets. But your daughter may find herself spending more time wrenching then she'd like. One alternative is to find one that has been "street rodded" to keep the original appearance but underneath is a small block Chevy and matching transmission, electronics etc. Just a thought.

    Matt
     
  15. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

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    1,840
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I'd be more concerned about the old MOPAR 'slush-o-matic' transmission. If she's never driven one, or had the opportunity to do so, I'd suggest she'd give one a try (on a hill too) and see if she's still that enthused about the car. Two tons of steel suddenly rolling backwards when you release the brake on a hill is kind of disconcerting the first time it happens and you're not ready for it.

    I drive a 2 year newer Plymouth version of that old Dodge each and everyday for the past 8 years (1950 Special Deluxe 4 door), and it's a love/hate relationship. Unless she has mechanical appitude or some good friends who are mechanics and versed in working on these old cars, she may be biting off more than she's willing to chew at this time.

    Not trying to be a wet blanket, but a dose of reality needs to be tossed out here. MOPAR's are great cars, but their resale value don't come close to the prices Ford's and GM products of this age get, so if she's not happy with the car, she may not get much money back for it.

    Those sell in my neck of the woods in the $2500 to $5000 range depending on condition and options on the car.

    All that said, they are definitely cruisers and when they're in a good mood (yep, I know MINE has its good and bad days), on a sunny day and a clear 2 lane road, they're a joy to drive. I keep completely clear of interstates. They're happiest being driven at 45 mph...the speed limit of the roads and era they were built to drive on in the 40's and 50's.

    Ok. Nuff rambling. (grins)

    I have to get ready for work and drive my old leaky MOPAR to work on this dreary rainy day this morning. THESE are the days the car is NO fun to drive......pneumatic wipers that work only when they want to.....Sigh.

    Regards! Michaelson
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  16. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,840
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Oh, and just some personal stats from my car.....depending on your motor, I'm still getting anywhere from 21 to 23 miles per gallon, and the standard gas tank on these cars are 15 gallons, so it takes about $35 to fill at today's prices. That's the good news......

    As to safety....well, that depends on your point of view. Yes, if you hit anything else in these cars, it's like the Queen Mary hitting a rowboat....but these aren't 'safety cages' like those rowboats have. You will either hit your steering wheel, or your steel dashboard.

    If you install lapstap seatbelts (like most of us have to, as they did't come with seatbelts), there's a couple things to consider. The body is of course attached to the frame. The steering wheel and column is part of the frame.

    SOOoo, where do you attach the lapstrap? You attach to the main seat frame, you get involved in a headon collision and body snaps from the frame, you will get nailed by the steering column. Ok, so with that in mind, you decide to attach to the frame through the floorboard and get caught in the same collision situation, you'll still be attached to the frame, but the seat and car body will move forward with you being mashed by your seatbelt.

    In order to bypass this problem, you go for the 3 point hitch shoulder strap, which completely bypasses the 'vintage' styling of the car...as well as having the problem of trying to FIND such a rig that will fit your car.

    There's a LOT of things you have to consider. These cars are fun....but they are in NO way 'safe' by any stretch of the imagination for occupants. Yes...in serious collisions these cars hold up well....but the riders INSIDE these cars don't do so well. That's why they created the 'crash cage' design in today's new cars.

    Man, I'm on a downer today, aren't I? Well, I'm pushing 60, so at least I understand what I'm facing and dealing with in driving these old cars. A young lady of 17 has her whole life ahead of her. These old monsters don't forgive much if you don't treat them right, or if you don't respect the damage they can and WILL do to you and anyone you hit should you momentarily have your attention directed to something else......like a cell phone or radio station change.

    They just don't recover like a new car in an oversteer, and with drum brakes which I assume this Dodge has (all MOPAR had them up until the 60's), she'll need to learn how to stop too. Drum brakes lock if you hit them hard....causing the car to skid. You also have to have them manually adjusted as the brake shoe wears down. You'll also have to find a source of brake shoes. They don't sell them down at the brake shop anymore.

    You'll have to remember every time you go to a tire shop to remind the mechanic that the wheel bolts are clockwise on one side, and counterclock wise on the other. If you don't, the first time he tries to take a wheel off on the drivers side and DOESN'T know this, he'll drive the bolt clear through your wheel. Old MOPAR wheels are tough to find, though a few old Ford wheels have been known to work.

    Like I said, LOTS and LOTS of little things you need to know, and remember, and we haven't even LOOKED under the hood......

    Regards! Michaelson
     
  17. AtomicEraTom

    AtomicEraTom

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    I had a 60 Bel-Air and a 79 Electra that I wrenched on more than I drove lol But at least they're easy to fix and if the car won't start, it's either fuel or spark, there's no O2 sensors, computers, or any of that bologna. I got in a head-on collision in my Bel-Air, she was driving about 50 mph when she hit me. The car was totalled and I got tossed around a lot due to not having a seatbelt and did bounce of the wheel once, but was overall just fine. These cars can take a hit. You definitely gotta want to drive a vintage car, but it is very rewarding all in all.
     
  18. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I second EVERYTHING Michaelson said!

    I would never recommend an old car for a teenage driver. The old wives tales about "old American iron" being safer are bunko; Old cars, by modern standards, are death traps. They don't have crumple zones, airbags, three-point seat belts, or any other crash survivability features!

    Avoiding accidents is more difficult too. Drum brakes are very unforgiving of speed, tailgating, wet roads, etc. Old steering and suspension systems require require some adjusting to, which for a inexperienced driver can be very difficult, and it is easy for a young driver to over correct, which can be very dangerous. . .

    . . . the reason I know all of this? I was a teenage driver of a classic car. My first vehicle was a 66 Ford Galaxie 500XL, and I survived to be an adult driver only by luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  19. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,851
    Location:
    Colorado
    My dad would never let me drive an old car because the steering wheel columns have been known to impale the driver in an accident. He grew up across from a body shop in the 40s and 50s -- he told me his share of gruesome tales. He would often see the column sticking out covered in blood.

    His own mother cut her neck up bad on a steering wheel column. Could have killed her. I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of old cars because I'm sure they have both equal good and bad qualities, but if I were a mother I would have my child drive a new car. This is just what I grew up hearing and I'd hate for your daughter (a new driver) to get into an accident and cut herself badly.
     
  20. JimWagner

    JimWagner Practically Family

    Messages:
    946
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Googling around on this Dodge I see that with that transmission its theoretical top speed was 78 mph and 0-60 was around 23.8 seconds. It will likely be quite a bit slower than that after all these years. See earlier comment about it should really be driven around 45-50 mph. Does it have (working) power steering? Not sure these cars had power steering. Hope your niece has above average upper body strength! How about a/c? Unlikely.

    Finding even the most mundane parts (sparkplugs, belts, hoses, wiper blades, battery) is going to be problematic. Anything more major than that and you'll be searching the internet, attending parts swap meets, finding all the best vintage junk yards, networking with like minded Dodge owners and generally admiring this thing sitting in your driveway.

    Keeping it in tune and the carburetor adjusted is going to require TLC on a regular basis. I wouldn't consider this car a candidate for a daily driver. Bring it out for a car or vintage get together, but don't plan on driving it to work every day. Try that and you'll put more miles on it in one or two years than it's had put on it (assuming the odometer is correct) in 60. Do you really believe the car can take that?

    Owning a car like this is really for an enthusiast with the money, resources, time, ability, skills and inclination to work on it constantly.

    I once owned a 15 year old 1967 MGB/GT. Took me 6 months just to find all the parts to rebuild the front suspension. This Dodge will be harder to find parts for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

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