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Old 12-23-2008, 11:15 PM   #1
rob67
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Reality Check

I really, really, really want to fix up one of these old trucks! But I have come to the realization that I number one can't afford one, and number two, if I got one it would sit for months on end until I could save up money for parts even if I did it in stages. So for now I will be content to live in the projects forum. I had planned on doing it next year until I got my review and found out that I was only getting a 2.5% raise. I am not complaining, believe me, I am thankful just to have a job, but that is the reality.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:33 PM   #2
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Re: Reality Check

Being truthful with yourself is the best thing you can do. There are thousands of unfinished projects setting in fields, simply because the owner wasn't honest with himself.
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:41 AM   #3
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Wink Re: Reality Check

Come on, do it! You know you want one! Plastic is your friend!
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:48 AM   #4
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Re: Reality Check

Keep saving and searching you could stumble on a great deal.
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:01 AM   #5
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Re: Reality Check

I'm kinda in the same boat, but not really. I did what any self-respecting vintage truck nut would do....I bought two of 'em! My '67 Chevy LWB is my beater with a heater. I've spent a couple hunny on little stuff like some slightly less abused sheet metal, a serp. system off a 4.3 S10 and such. I drive the beast everyday and will probably roll it till the wheels fall off. Then I stumbled upon a sweet deal for a '67 GMC SWB that is in the garage getting all kinds of work done....nothing too elaborate. Functional and frugal are the operative words. If you have basic tools, space, and intestinal fortitude you can do alot of stuff in order to at least keep the truck road-worthy until the funds come around to do what you want to do. Lest you forget the reason we wrench on this crusty old tin is to DRIVE THEM!!
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:14 AM   #6
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Re: Reality Check

Rob,
You are in a great position. You can find out so much info here, and save your money until you find the right one. I wouldnt jump on the first one you find. Believe me I bought my 72 C20, then the following week found a 72 factory big block a/c tilt Cheyenne super for less than I paid and WAY nicer than mine. Right now there is great deals out there GOOD LUCK AND BE PATIENT.
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:25 AM   #7
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Re: Reality Check

Friend, if you wont a old vehicle just keep it in the back of you'r mind and it will happen. Don't think too much about it. I've wonted things before that I obsesed on to the point that when I finally got the thing I didn't wont it any more but it will happen, good luck I know exactly how you feel.
Maybe if you started a small savings account, 10 - 20 bucks a week, and then theirs tax time.
I gave up Saturdays for what seemed like six months once trying to get a raggedy old Nova SS working for a used car salesman, roofing, paveng, hauling junk whatever. Missed my girlfriends best friends wedding, she was hot, ran out of gas late that last saturday afternoon coming from the car lot to get gas as I walked past the offramp two fat girls dressed in there finest pulled up and as our eyes met one said where you headed dirty man, I looked the two of 'em in the eyes and said home to take a shower ,which buffet you two headed for?
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:49 AM   #8
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Re: Reality Check

Do like I have started to do, I have a list of Items that I want for the truck when I finally build it. Each month I try and purchase something off of the list, if it is more than I can afford I lock the money away for the next few months until I can purchase the item that I want. Slowly but surely you will have the parts, and will just need the time to do a rebuild.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:02 AM   #9
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Re: Reality Check

Agree about gathering the parts. I have parts I have recently started getting for a distant future build of a blazer/jimmy I want to do. I keep my eye out for deals on parts and end up buying all the parts, using what I can, keeping what i will need, and selling the rest. Usually I end up with basically getting everything for really cheap that way....just takes a lot of patience and time...and it's the only way I'd ever get anything for my truck.

If you write a plan down and a list of items on a want/need list and pick those up and then search for a project truck that suits your abilities you can possibly find a deal. If you are good mechanically, look for something with a sound body, if you're better w. body work, look for something with a good powertrain.
I probably paid a bit too much for my truck as I have seen others here get trucks that were about 75% done that just needed assembly for around the same price as I paid for mine. Just takes research and patience.
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:58 AM   #10
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Re: Reality Check

A point that I am sure you are aware of is to buy the best body possible. By that, we mean one that is as rust-free and straight as you can find, unless you're a bodyman by night and a 9-5 man in the day. The mechanicals are easier to deal with at home. As an example, I bought my truck 9 years ago, drove it everyday for two years, with big plans. Then, the forced retirement hit when I was 53. Found another job, but not what I liked. Like my job now, but not as much money. Reality, right? So, Dad dies and I get a little money after my five siblings get their share and I have some money to use on my truck, in memory of my Dad. Work commences on the body and my bodyguy is stricken with Lymphoma. Plan B (which didn't exist) kicks in. Bring drivable chassis/cab home and pull drivetrain and gut interior on driveway. No longer driveable eyesore sits on driveway until second body guy can work it into his mercy and replace the rusty firewall/cowl section, while first bodyguy is getting chemo/radiation. More reality. I'm now 61. Reality bites....the big one.

Get what you can, while you can, when you can. You are not getting any younger. Neither are these trucks. You may have to bite the bullet when you find one at a time that may seem inopportune. Such is the reality of these beasts and obsessions.
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:14 AM   #11
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Re: Reality Check

One of the issues I had was space. I'm fortunate to be ok with the money situation, but dang I'm always stumbling over the truck and it's parts! I have to walk sideways through my garage to get access to things in it. Very frustrating.

Plus as a "do it yourselfer", There are always other things to tend to. I needed to tile a floor, or run sprinkler lines build a deck, etc. etc. All these cause delays.

I would love to have a nice big out of the way place just dedicated to go work on the truck when I can. I'm again fortunate, but life gets in the way and the delays to getting my project on the road have been literally years. And I didn't even do a body off type of deal!
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:46 PM   #12
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Re: Reality Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyncompute View Post
One of the issues I had was space. I'm fortunate to be ok with the money situation, but dang I'm always stumbling over the truck and it's parts! I have to walk sideways through my garage to get access to things in it. Very frustrating.

Plus as a "do it yourselfer", There are always other things to tend to. I needed to tile a floor, or run sprinkler lines build a deck, etc. etc. All these cause delays.

I would love to have a nice big out of the way place just dedicated to go work on the truck when I can. I'm again fortunate, but life gets in the way and the delays to getting my project on the road have been literally years. And I didn't even do a body off type of deal!
I am lucky I guess in not having a garage to work on cars. I never have to worry about space to work on stuff. I know what you mean about being a DIYer. I work on all my cars (and my freinds also), fix the Heater, fix the plumbing, do the landscaping, fix the washing machine, etc, etc, and I am gone from the house 12 hours a day with my day job.

I just thought this seemed like a good time since I have aquired quite a good collection of tools over the years (all name brand now unlike the made in Taiwan crap I used to have). I don't have to use them as much now that me and the wife both drive 2006s (Kias, I know but that was all we could afford). I have been doing mechanic work for several people over the years for free, maybe I should start charging! I would like to at least have a small concrete pad put in front of my shed to work on cars on, but that will have to wait.
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:05 PM   #13
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Re: Reality Check

rob67...you speak wise words. I would say many on this board bought their truck only after they could afford one and also after a lot of research. I was on this board educating myself on trucks. Although I was looking for a 48-55 model...I stumbled on a 70cst BB fully loaded for about $2300. It has been sitting since 2000 and in Jan. 08 it went to the body shop. I just sold my low milage Taco TRD to help fund project "Circuit Rider". Also this will be my driver and I will not be purchasing a new truck. At least not in the forsee-able future. The key is patience which you are showing. There are still plenty of good bargins out there...save your $$$ and some day you will stumble on the truck meant for you.
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #14
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Re: Reality Check

I have a feeling with the economy being the way it is there are going to be a lot of bargains out there. I've seen a lot of nice drivers for very little money.
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #15
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Re: Reality Check

Rob, what do you do at your job? With that 2.5% raise, did you even break even in your lifestyle as it is? The purchase of a truck is daunting, but it depends on what level you are willing to start at. If you want a good clean truck, they are out there and some are not so expensive to scare off the buyer. It takes some looking, but you can do it. The fixing up part is the most expensive---you cannot justify this to your family unless they are on board with you. You could find a decent driver and use it to collect your planned treasures for it for a couple years, at least you are enjoying the truck as you go.
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Old 12-25-2008, 01:22 AM   #16
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Re: Reality Check

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Rob, what do you do at your job? With that 2.5% raise, did you even break even in your lifestyle as it is?
I did break even, but that is assuming that gas doesn't shoot to the moon again!

My plan would be to find one that doesn't need any body work, just mechanicals. Then get it running and fix it up as I am driving it.
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:39 AM   #17
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Thumbs up Re: Reality Check

I started mine in 93. Long before I knew what I was getting into. Did the whole frame off and total rebuild. It's taken that long because I did it as the money came available. Just don't loose sight of what you want. Here it is, 2009, and I still have a couple things to do to get it road worthy. Don't get overwhelmed by it. It's great, ya get to meet some fantastic people,(from this board), plus ya gain a wealth of info and experience along the way. Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:19 PM   #18
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Re: Reality Check

TXFirefighter wrote a great post not too long ago about this subject. I hate to hack up his words, but the essence of his comment was: don't get sucked into something huge that you probably won't finish. There are guys and trucks on this site that make your jaw drop...they rip them apart, replace everything that wears out, buy the best gear, powder coat their frames, install 600+ HP LSx engines, and get those paint jobs that make your eyes bleed if you look at them in the sunshine. Most of us, though, either drive our trucks every day or have way too many other responsibilities to do this level of work. So, as a really nice compromise, do what the other board members are saying: be patient! The right truck will come along, when you're not expecting it most likely - in a field, in a parking lot, your neighbors father-in-law lost his job, etc. Then, drive it and upgrade parts as you go.

I bought my C20 about 18 months ago, 4 children, only 1 income for most of that time, it's my daily driver. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it was in excellent driver-shape, and I've done a few things as time & money permit. I enjoy my truck, and although it's not the bagged/stroked/hugger orange truck I ultimately envision, I enjoy myself.

Don't get sucked into doing a frame off, 30,40,50k job if you don't have the resources. It'll sit under the carport rotting away until you eventually sell off the pieces and lose all your investment.

Be patient, do it in pieces, and drive it! Or, if you have the resources (garage, money, understanding wife, tools), buy a bone-stock straight, rust free Arizona truck, strip it to bare metal, and spend 3 years and 40 grand building the perfect ride! I hope to someday...maybe when the kids leave the house.
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:04 AM   #19
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Re: Reality Check

Your dream can become a reality. I started out with a 69 that was not worth fixing...It became parts for another truck I found with a decent cab. Then a 87 Chevy came to me with no trans for 200.00. It became parts for my project truck. then a 72 came along for parts and I took a few things off of it. I still have the 72. I will fix it one of these days after this project is done. 2 weeks ago I traded a computer for a 69 3/4 with a 396 and 4 speed. Good bed, windshield, motor, Trans, and other things I needed. So the thing is if you get a base to start off with...then you have a start. Sometimes things will fall into your lap...sometimes you have to go looking. You can make this a reality.
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Old 12-25-2008, 11:00 AM   #20
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Re: Reality Check

I just finished reading all the posts on this thread, as I expected there was a bunch of great advice.

There is little I can add, but I wish you success in your venture.

Like many others the economy has slowed the progress on the work on my two project trucks.

I am one of the group that makes a truck roadworthy first, drives it while collecting parts as money allows. I have found doing it this way bargains can be found.

Both my trucks now are in a daily driver condition, but need sheetmetal work.

Being of the age I am, 62, I have realized that the journey is more important than the destination. My son and I are working on various trucks together so it makes it worth the while. The way I look at it if I never finish a restoration I know it will be ok since we worked together. I have found finding someone to share the experience with helps with motivation.

Danny
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Old 12-25-2008, 01:21 PM   #21
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Re: Reality Check

Here is my .02 worth. If you want a good looking, rear wheel drive, V-8 american hot rod, these trucks are a bargain. I know , we have two Mopars. There were millions of these trucks made. None of them were all that rare options wise or limited production. Copperhead proved you can build one of these trucks with just a cab and a title. The aftermarket is plentiful with parts. Barret-Jackson hasn't inflated the price of these trucks, yet. You can build these trucks any way you want. G-machine, cruiser, pro street, factory original, daily driver, towing, work truck, mini monster, rock crawler, etc. Keep looking, you'll find a good project sooner or later, especially in this economy.
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:40 PM   #22
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Re: Reality Check

rob i know what you mean well when i got my 67 chevy 3/4 ton long wheel base truck i got it for $200 it had no engine bed bench seat arm rest out side door mirrors rear bumper it had a 3speed on the tree when i have some money i get somthing for the truck or do somthing too the truck i see that you live in north carolina theres alot of old chevys there look in the carolina trader or go too the sweep meet in charlotte in arpil you will find lots of deals on trucks cars parts i should be going there myself
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:04 PM   #23
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Re: Reality Check

Reality is not all it's cracked up to be. I figured I would throw in my two bits. I didn't nor do I have the money to just take on a restoration all at one time, but I have a sweet 69'. I picked her up for $2,500. She was old and dirty and been sitting for eight years but all the parts were there, not all working but there. Over the past three years I have fixed lots of little things like weather striping, found a new grill, repaired wiring, cleaned up the dash painted the glove box, rebuilt the front end, new tires, brakes, and many more little things that are now making my truck fun to drive. Right now I'm looking for an engine to put on a stand and rebuild as I have the extra cash. Someday I would like to take her all apart and do a frame up, but in the mean time I am getting a lot done and I have a great truck.
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:36 PM   #24
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Re: Reality Check

Just buy one that is a reliable driver.
Then save up and get what you need.

Thats what Im doing.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:30 AM   #25
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Re: Reality Check

What should I expect to pay for something that is drivable without a whole lot of body work needed? Again, I don't mind working on the mechanicals as long as I don't have to do much body work (no welder etc and the boss has put a moratorium on new tool purchases for now).
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