Author Topic: Should my dad buy a cutlass car  (Read 1088 times)

mozar

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Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:42:56 PM »
My dad has his heart set on buying a 1970s cutlass. I have been talking to him about airbags and we learned that after market air bags are a bad idea. Then there is the lack of crumple zones and abs. Is this worth it? I don't want him driving around in a death trap. He commutes to work, maybe a 30 minute drive, and drives to see family a few times a year.

Roboturner

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 02:56:48 PM »
Heck yeah!

yes the old muscle has 0 safety features, but they are beauties.

My dream would be to get something really ostentatious like a 70's Plymouth 'Cuda
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 02:58:39 PM by Roboturner »

Malkynn

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 05:14:35 PM »
Worth it?

IDK, how valuable is it for him to drive a car with virtually no essential safety features just so that he can drive this particular type of car?

I mean, really, no one can decide if it's worth it other than him.
I used to drive a vintage Jaguar, it used to feel worth it to me, now it really doesn't.

mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 05:34:28 PM »
Why did you stop thinking it was worth it @Malkynn

Malkynn

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 06:16:34 PM »
Why did you stop thinking it was worth it @Malkynn

Stopped giving a fuck about how cool my car is and more about surviving in a city that can have 100 accidents in a single morning on a snow storm day.

I just plain stopped finding cars cool at one point.

Model96

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 06:26:39 PM »
He should do what makes him happy!
But solely using an older vehicle like that for a daily drive will probably not work very well for long, for a number of reasons.......

Villanelle

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 06:31:58 PM »
If he can afford the car and decides to buy it, that's on him.

But he needs to be prepared for all the additional expenses--more gas, likely higher insurance, higher maintenance and repair costs, etc.

(Edited because I misread and thought he was asking about buying the car for his dad, not his dad buying the car.)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 08:41:15 AM by Villanelle »

the_fixer

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 06:32:41 PM »
He is a grown ass adult if he wants the classic car and is willing to sacrifice some comfort and safety then I say go for it.

We all choose to do things that involve risk and each of us makes the decision as to what level of risk we are willing to accept and I think this choice is pretty low on the risk spectrum.




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mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 06:49:40 PM »
Why wouldn't it work for long? @Model96

I guess he can afford it. A few thousands dollars for a cutlass with a working engine. And he'll pay for auto body work separately. He wants to paint it vanta black. Maybe he should get it just so he can see how ridiculous it is. I'm an extremely cautious person so I can't relate.

Model96

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 07:05:34 PM »
Old cars don't steer and stop as well as the newer ones, so it's much easier to have an accident. For example, car in front does an emergency stop much quicker than an old Cutlass can.
Fuel economy will be bad. Maintenance is much higher than a modern car. Old cars are easy to steal.
If your Dad really likes the Cutlass he will soon get sick of doing low quality need to get there commuter miles in it instead of enjoying it on more open roads in quality time. Don't ask me how I know!!

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 07:39:08 PM »
Hell yes. 

3400 pounds of Detroit rolling iron, he will be fine and can watch all the other people crash into each other as they crane their necks to check him out in his badass car. 

When my FIL was dying he was really wanting fried eggs.  They were off limits because of his heart and diabetes so the nursing home brought him a flaccid bowl of shitty oatmeal every day.  He died that way, never getting to enjoy the fried eggs sizzled up in bacon grease like he had always known. 

I really wish I had smuggled in some damn eggs for him before he left us. 

ROF Expat

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 12:35:07 AM »
I strongly suspect that your dad is already well aware of the differences between a 40-year-old car and a new one.  There's nothing wrong with expressing your opinion that a new car would be better and safer, but once you've done that, there's no reason to get worked up about it.  IMHO, a big old American car wouldn't be unreasonably dangerous if you wear your seatbelt, drive carefully, and keep it well maintained with good modern tires and brake pads, but everybody has a different tolerance for risk.  I wouldn't choose one for my daughter's first car, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy the right one for myself. 

Old cars really are irrational, though.  A new Toyota corolla is faster and better handling than most sportscars from the 60s and 70s.  A modern 4 or 6 cylinder mustang or camaro right off the showroom floor will blow the doors off all but the very highest-end musclecars of the 60s and 70s.  They're safer, more reliable, and get better gas mileage, too.  I lived in the days of those old cars and I still have a soft spot for some of them, but there's no question about the benefits of modern technology. 




six-car-habit

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 01:41:45 AM »
 A few years ago, i bought a 1976 Cutlass from a guy and his wife. He was the original owner and they had brought it around the country with them thru several moves. She said he always managed to rent or own a place where he could keep it indoors when not in use.  The rig had 64K miles on it, the motor purred- Rocket 350 4bbl, the seats were "crushed velour".
   The couple were very friendly, and i talked with them for 3-4 hours about life etc.  Paid for the car, and went back to pick it up the next weekend w/ kid. they cooked us lunch , and we spend another nice several hours with them.
  All in I was into the car for a bit over $4000, including tax tabs registration.  Sold it to help finance a trip to see family cross country.  A Guy bought it and drove home 2000 miles.  I made about $500 on the deal + have good memories that kid will also share. Maybe i could have made more $$, but finding it a good home was important.  Hopefully you'll help your dad find a cool Cutlass, and not attempt to steer him towards a boring-safe-faster- lacking distinctive style-corolla...
  PS - the 76 cutlass series was the best selling car line in 1976 in America

mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2020, 04:10:37 AM »
I don't think he's thought about it as much as the people here. He has a great car that he was planning to give to me. But I'm going to tell him to keep it along with the points mentioned here. All he has is street parking in the middle of DC. And is commuting in DC and N.Va, he'll have to drive a couple hours just to find an open road.

rothwem

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2020, 04:52:10 AM »
Iím in the ďheís a grown ass manĒ camp.  Youíre not supporting him financially are you? Heís not senile, right? Itís probably not the wisest purchase, newer cars are better is just about every way.  But if thatís what he likes, who are you to tell him otherwise?


mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2020, 05:04:56 AM »
He values my opinion.

Car Jack

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2020, 08:44:57 AM »
So chances are, I'm in your dad's age bracket (I remember how my teacher reacted when JFK was shot).  We all remember how cool certain old cars were.  As a big DIY guy, even back then, I also remember stopping 2 miles from home to open the hood to pry the choke open to keep the piece of shit running.  And I remember that all the odometers were 5 digits because virtually no car ever got much beyond 80k miles before heading to the junkyard.  And I remember how quickly old cars rusted out in the great salt belt to keep winter snow at bay.  In addition, does your dad know about hardened valve seats?  Because if a 70's car is all original, it depends on the lead in gas to keep the seats from self destructing and guess what......there's no lead in gas anymore.  And of course, all 70's cars need the carb adjusted with each passing season.  Around DC, the seasons change....right?  If he's not a DIYer, then it's reasonable to set up 4 appointments a year with your local old car guy to re-adjust.  Speaking of carbs, you do understand that even a small block V8 in one of these cars is going to suck down about a gallon every 10 miles, right?  And on street parking?  Well, expect the little dings from kids on bikes and people sitting on it and who knows what else.

Personally, I love the way old cars look.  But compared to cars of today, they are garbage.  Younger people simply have not experienced how much pieces of crap old cars really were. 

mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2020, 09:35:00 AM »
Oh my god, I don't know what a carb is but maybe he does. Maybe I'll read him the responses from this post.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2020, 11:23:56 AM »
OP: The answer to your initial question is YES. If you don't know what a carburetor is, Dad should probably not be relying on your opinion about this. (not trying to be mean or anything, just pointing out that you are clearly not a subject matter expert on this particular subject.)

Is a great idea in DMV traffic?  Heck no. That traffic is stupid crazy.

That said, having a "cool" car that you love and truly enjoy is something that you won't understand if you are not one of those afflicted with the "car guy/girl gene"    I'll give you a personal example:  I'm a big car guy (yes, I know what forum this is- but it's something I can't turn off. Wife is like that too). My parents have always wondered why. No one else in the family is. Anyway, one day when I ask him, Dad tells me his dream car was a 1950 something so and so. He never had one because it wasn't responsible, family obligations, didn't have the money etc. He's retired now. I brought it up again. Finally, he made the purchase after all these years of denying himself this one luxury.  He could now afford it.

Well, since then, my parents have now been tooling around their local area and are having a grand time. The car has made even the most mundane trips into an adventure. A trip down memory lane. And they get lots of attention too with lost of thumbs up and so forth.  Mom told me the other day she feels like a Queen riding around in the car with all of her fans waving and honking! LOL

Again, this is not a practical vehicle by any means for the purposes of commuting, but it sure is cool and might make the commute actually bearable.

Just my .02

Uturn

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2020, 12:34:12 PM »
You buy classic cars because you like to tinker.  You do not buy classic cars because you like to drive.  Even brand new, those things needed tinkering. 

mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2020, 02:37:18 PM »
My dad values my opinion about his financial choices. He is aware that I'm not a car expert.
I can't imagine buying a car that is expensive and unsafe so that people wave at me. But my dad sure would like that.

Malkynn

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2020, 02:44:00 PM »
My dad values my opinion about his financial choices. He is aware that I'm not a car expert.
I can't imagine buying a car that is expensive and unsafe so that people wave at me. But my dad sure would like that.

Then I would frame it that way, the way I did in my initial response. Ask him what benefit he sees from this car and get him to try and quantify that. Just how many thousands of dollars and how much personal safety risk is worth it to him to get waved at by people on the street?

Dave1442397

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2020, 04:22:11 PM »
I hope he likes fixing old cars! My mechanic has stopped taking classic cars at his shop. He has three lifts, and he said the problem with classic cars is that they typically need parts that are hard to find, and take days or weeks to be delivered.

He doesn't want a car like that taking up a lift when he could be working on other cars, and he can't leave classic cars outside at night because he's afraid they'll get stolen.

He'll work on some '80s cars like Toyota MR2s, etc, but that's as far back as he goes these days.

mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2020, 06:30:57 PM »
Quote
Then I would frame it that way, the way I did in my initial response. Ask him what benefit he sees from this car and get him to try and quantify that. Just how many thousands of dollars and how much personal safety risk is worth it to him to get waved at by people on the street?
He would pay many thousands to be waved at, lol.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2020, 05:22:22 AM »
To clarify as it seems some of my post was maybe unintentionally out of context... It's not about spending money to have people wave at you or to get attention.  When I take any of my cars out I get lots of attention too. I don't particularly like it. Maybe some do.  (my mother does ) :) LOL

The idea is that this is something that makes you "feel" great- maybe feeling young again. "Non-car people" will not understand. At least, I don't think so.
Maybe a cheaper alternative to therapy. LOL

Having a classic car is like a time machine for some people. All of a sudden the mundane is transformed into excitement. Will it require maintenance? Sure. All cars do. Will it have some super rare unobtanium parts? Not likely- it's a 1970 Cutlass. GM made tons of these cars and body style and there is a solid following and enthusiast base for them.  Will it be hard to work on? Nope. A couple screw drivers and an SAE ratchet set will cover most everything. Will it be as reliable as a new car? Why would it not be? As long as you make sure you've addressed maintenance and done a few upgrades like, say front discs if not previously equipped. (can be done for about $500). Maybe adding seat belts if they were not in car already ($35 a set). Will tinkering be a thing? Sure- this is a 50 year old car. Maybe it's been through several owners. Sometimes, you need to fix other people's "fixes". Still not a deal breaker. 

On the flip side of this equation, the registration is cheap, the insurance is cheap, no emissions testing requirements, no computers to fail, no computer sensors to crap out. No super crazy expensive trips to the dealer because they have the only computer that can talk to the car to tell them what's wrong with it. No check engine light.  This car will be able to be maintained with a simple trip to your local auto parts store. If, and it's a big if, a certain part was not available locally, you can find anything you need for this car online.

I don't think the car is the best idea for a commuter, but that's not the point.  If Dad wants it and will enjoy it, then I say motor on!!   If he gets bored or tired of it he can always sell it - likely for a profit. They aren't making any more of these cars.

mozar

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Re: Should my dad buy a cutlass car
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2020, 03:25:46 PM »
I was commenting on the waving because it's funny to me, but I understand the other points. I have a better appreciation of why he wants it although it seems illogical to me. It sounds like a bad idea for daily commuting though, which is his plan.