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Old 10-07-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
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Question Let's talk about daily driving vintage cars.

When I say "vintage," I am not talking about an NA6. I am talking about a car from the '50s, '60s, or '70s.

This would be a car that had a pretty complete restoration or possibly a "resto-mod." Think: a late '60s or early '70s 911 that might have an engine and gearbox from a later car, the suspension redone, etc. Not a numbers-matching concours car.


Would that be totally insane to imagine doing, if you had two alternative vehicles as backups for when that car needed work?
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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It's hard for me to imagine daily-driving a car that didn't have decent A/C. Summer is a 9 month season here, and even when it's not hot, it's humid.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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My only hesitation is the miles put on it. Miles cause things to break, and parts for older cars are harder to find, and it is harder to find people to work on them if you need something done you can't do yourself.

It wouldn't bother me, but also something to think about is safety; older cars did not have to pass the same safety standards as modern cars, so the more time you spend in one the more likely you are to get creamed by an escalade or something. Just a thought.

Also older cars will rust a little more than newer cars, though I don't imagine that's a big problem is central Florida.

Besides those things, and the difference in comforts a newer car would provide, driving a vintage car as a DD would be pretty awesome.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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The 911 is probably as good a way to go as any. I'd do it. **** it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Speaking from a LOT of personal experience with this:

How rare is the car? If it gets hit, can it be fixed?

For example, consider all the special trim on this car, of which less than 5,000 existed in 1966:



From a mechanical or even AC standpoint, I wouldn't hesitate. But the thought of having to track down a fender or fender trim keeps me up late.

A Porsche 911/MB SL/VW Bug/Mustang or something else where parts are still plentiful would not be an issue.

If you do get an old 911, I'm a K-Jetronic expert.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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Old cars suck. The have wind noise, rattles and squeaks. They generally handle like crap, get lousy mileage and have crappy brakes. Even upgrades are no comparison to modern integrated suspension, engine management and braking systems.

The seats are usually uncomfortable for longer trips. They lack other ergonomics like tilt/telescopic wheel, adjustable lumbar, headrests. A/C may be lacking, if it's even present at all.

Nostalgia is a ****-poor substitute for 30+ years of engineering. You'll look cool, but you'll be miserable. Save the vintage cars for weekend cruising.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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Great follow up questions and points.

Air conditioning upgrades are available for the 911s I'm daydreaming about, but they are not inexpensive. "What's that, Jack? 911 parts aren't inexpensive? Color me shocked!"

I have some contacts with the local Porsche Car Club chapter and would have access to a lot of very knowledgeable people and shops.

My daily commute is less than 10 miles each way, all surface streets, virtually no "bumper-to-bumper" traffic. I am typically driving in before rush hour and driving home after rush hour.

hornetball - You make a great point in terms of availability of replacement parts from a minor accident, like trim pieces. I am still doing the research, but one possible advantage of the 911 as a choice is that there seems to be a LOT of interchangeability because the basic architecture evolved so slowly. There is also a huge community and market for replacement parts.


I'm thinking about a 1968 - 1973 911, possibly buying a less collectible one (e.g. higher mileage, less original, etc) and making a project out of it with some updating of the gearbox, engine, A/C, etc. Sort of an "R-Gruppe style" build.

Something along these lines, but without the meatballs and possibly with an RS style ducktail:





It's still a daydream at this point until I start pricing things out in more detail. I'll be picking some Porsche brains at Roebling next weekend.

If this were to happen, we would end up with my Miata, the 911, and an SUV that my wife would daily drive (I would sell the M3).
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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One thing I discovered while building up an MB380SL for my wife is that parts availability for German cars is great. Mainly because they didn't needlessly mess with their designs back in the day . . . just gradual improvement. I'd kill to have that availability for the Plymouth.

Here's another shocker . . . for German cars, partsgeek.com is great. Have no idea why that is, but you can find almost anything over there and it shows up the next day.

Personally, I'd do it. Love old cars. I think it's the overweight new cars that suck.

Watch out for the specialty mechanics though. In the long run, you are better off learning the car systems yourself. My K-Jet never worked correctly until I finally buckled down and learned it. Despite $$$ paid to so-called specialty mechanics. Now it runs great.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Watch out for the specialty mechanics though. In the long run, you are better off learning the car systems yourself. My K-Jet never worked correctly until I finally buckled down and learned it. Despite $$$ paid to so-called specialty mechanics. Now it runs great.
K-Jet, like D-Jet and CIS should be given the flotation test and forgotten. MS is best.

Otherwise, I support this decision wholeheartedly. One of my buddies DD'd an early 914 for ~10 years with no more effort than you would put into an early Miata. He did without AC, but there's no reason you couldn't run a Vintage Air setup or something similar. His only real issue was that he had to replace every piece of rubber in the car every few years because the reproduction window seals and such were garbage.

My real worry would be spending seven fortunes to find a car worth restoring, and not wanting to daily drive it because you had so much money in it when you were done...
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