1964 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special – $2500

“All original non-restored condition. Was daily driver until 3 years ago. Has all original parts, including radio, stainless steel trims, chrome, hubcaps and rear fender skirts. Not running now, suspect oil pump problem, prob need engine rebuild. Had some work done before parking the car including new brake shoes, wheel cylinders and hoses all around, rebuilt master cylinder, new coil springs, new ball joints, idler and pitman arm. Custom dual exhaust with glasspacks is the only modification to the original car. Was a great drive, but must sell now. Love the car but need the space and I don’t have the time to spend to be able to put it on the road again. Great candidate for complete restoration or go the other way and drop it. It is a blank canvas. $2500 obo.”

Man, there is just something about old Cadillacs that defies description. Stretching for was seems like multiple city blocks and weighed down with what appears to be fourteen tons of chrome, they have a presence no other car can match. And few have more presence than the top-of-the-line, flagship Fleetwood model. In fact, perhaps I should just let Cadillac explain how awesome an old Fleetwood is:

“In a class by itself in its luxury and magnificence, the new Cadillac Fleetwood Series for 1964 has been created to more than meet the desires of those discriminating motorists who would be satisfied with nothing less than the world’s most elegant motoring.

Four models carry the distinguished Fleetwood laurel wreath and crest: the Eldorado Convertible, the Sixty Special Sedan, the Seventy-Five nine-passenger sedan and the Seventy-Five limousine-universally acknowledged as the most aristocratic motor cars in the world. However grand the occasion, an arrival in a Cadillac Fleetwood is a notable one, for whatever the model, it is an impeccable reflection of good taste and achievement… and the preeminent motor car wherever people of prominence gather. Of necessity a limited production car, fortunate indeed is the family who possesses a regal Cadillac Fleetwood.”

And the cost for all this in 1964? $6,388. Now? $2,500. Tell me that’s not a wicked deal. Granted, they probably didn’t need an engine rebuild fresh off the factory floor, but with a monstrous 429 cubic inch V8 underhood and an engine bay the size of Yaletown, I’d be surprised if rectifying the problem would be all that difficult. And being an almost completely unmolested car that appears to be bereft of all meaningful rust easily outweighs almost all mechanical issues when you’re shopping for a classic car in the Pacific Northwest. And hey, at just $2,500, you could have the entire car professionally restored from the ground up before you even started encroaching upon the price of this car’s contemporary.

1965 Mercury Monterey Convertible – $3200

“1965 Mercury Monterey Convertible, Factory 4 speed toploader car, 390 v8, bench seat. A real rare and unique car to restore. I’ve talked with the Ford and Mercury Registries and they say its 1 of 17 cars built. The car runs but is in need of a restoration. Car came with 3.89:1 rear axle. Currently has Hurst shifter. 604-854-0244”

The Mercury Monterey is something of an enigma. Yet further proof that the American auto manufacturers’ product planners may have been the basis for the drunkards in Mad Men, it existed to fill a perceived niche not yet fulfilled by any of Ford’s sedans, nor it’s Lincoln products. That niche? The elusive full-size, mid-range, semi-luxury coupe market that was obviously floundering between Ford and Lincoln products. But perhaps we should be thanking those product planners, for it was their foresight (or constant inebriation) that led to what we now recognize as a downright ridiculous number of differing models and sub-models. And without that, we wouldn’t have ever seen the 1964 Mercury Monterey Convertible.

You see, the Monterey was initially designed to fill the semi-luxury coupe market, and it took a couple of years for FoMoCo to turn their quasi-Lincoln into a convertible. By the time this car was produced,the Monterey was already on its fourth generation, and had grown quite substantially. Subsequently, the Monterey was only available with a big block engine, making this 390 cube-powered behemoth actually one of the more entry level models. That said, the addition of the four speed manual gearbox will undoubtedly liven it up. Interestingly, whomever purchased the car initially must have had pretty potent sporting aspirations, between the four speed top loader and the 3.89:1 rear axle ratio (second only to the even rarer 4.11:1 in terms of performanc). Overall, it appears to be in decent shape, but as with any old convertible, car must be exercised to examine all the various hardware and pieces that go into making the top function, and there’s also the additional risk of rust due to some ill-fitting or torn tops.

1967 Ford Falcon – $1000

“Runs and drives great, new brakes, seats mint, overall very good interior. Six cylinder 200ci. 604-996-5049 “

After a couple pretty pricey automobiles, it’s about time we got back to basics… and it doesn’t get much more basic than a Ford Falcon sedan. Built and marketed as one of Ford’s first economy cars, the Falcon would eventually become a station wagon, a coupe, two- and foor-door sedans, a convertible, a sedan delivery, and even a car-cum-truck thing in the form of the Ranchero. With engine options ranging from tiny little 2.4 litre inline sixes to relatively potent 302 small block V8s, the early Falcons were wildly popular and handily outsold almost all of their competition, with the exception of the almost equally popular Chevy Nova.

This particular Falcon, as you can see from the two-tone paint job, has obviously seen better days. One of the now less-desireable sedan models, it’s bargain basement price means you might be able to spend a few extra bucks on some of the things it will invariable need. Equipped with the middle of the road 200 cubic inch inline six, the small car should be capable of besting 17 miles per gallon on average, especially with modern carburetion. Conversely, replacing the tired 200 six pot with a more modern fuel injected motor from any number of 5.0L-powered pickups, Mustangs, and sedans will reward with excellent power and even better fuel economy than the old engine could ever provide. Finally, with a strong following around the world, ownership, maintenance, and repair of any old Falcon is nearly as painless as any newer vehicle would provide.

1952 Nash Statesman Super – $4500

“1952 Nash Super Statesman 4 door beauty. Great lines with real chrome front and rear ends, a real head turner…giving it away for $4500 as I found another vehicle I want. Cool features in this ol girl like the front seats folding into a big bed, car was known as a Salesman’s car, One could drive while the other slept. Unique starting system as in its all in the clutch…Car runs great, and was a daily driver, qualifies for COLLECTOR PLATES. A few minor problems, like a little surface rust on rear driver’s side door. Consider a trade.” 

Alright, I know I’m pushing it with two $5,000 cars in a row, but what can I say; I’m a sucker for these old, defunct American marques. This particular brand started life as a Wisconsin-based auto manufacturer founded in 1916 by the name of Nash Motors. Eventually partnering with the Kelvinator appliance company in 1938, the marque became known as the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation, but even that name would be short lived as the Nash corporation eventually started producing cars under the AMC banner in the late fifties.

Best known for their diminutive and lovable Metropolitan coupe, Nash was also a high-volume manufacturer of much more staid vehicles, the most popular of which were their Statesman and Ambassador lines. Sharing a familiar body, the upper class Ambassador featured a longer wheelbase by virtue of a lengthened front end, while the shorter (but mechanically identical from the firewall back) Statesman also featured a more basic interior with lower grade materials and options.

However, as one can tell from the ad, that doesn’t neccessarily mean you won’t be entertained. Au contraire, such interesting features as Nash’s unique “Selecto-Lift Starting” (a mechanism by which the car is started by lifting up on the gearshift) and fold flat seating will definitely keep you (and your friends) equal parts entertained and bewildered. Looking very sleek beneath its front and rear wheel spats, this particular Statesman Super (a model designator indicating the middle-rung Statesman, with the Statesman Custom being the high end model and the otherwise unnamed Statesman being the low rent model for institutions and fleet sales) seems to be in great shape for the price. Being an off-brand manufacturer, it’s not uncommon for Nash’s to command surprisingly low prices, so long as they aren’t attached to the wildly popular Metropolitan. Subsequently, that makes vehicles like this collector plated Statesman Super a very cost effective way to get into the classic car market without paying a premium for a more recognizable badge.

1952 Pontiac Chieftain – $5000

“1952 Pontiac four door sedan. Inline six with Hydraglide automatic transmission. 51,000 original miles. New tires, brakes, headliner, and paint two years ago. New battery two months ago.”

The most expensive car yet to appear on CYSB (not that that is an overly interesting claim as yet!), this Pontiac Chieftain might also be the nicest yet. The first new vehicle Pontiac would produce after World War II, the Chieftain represented Pontiac’s take on the popular Chevrolet A-body platform; a relatively small sedan layout that lent itself well to the sporting, youthful image of the Pontiac brand. Adorned with a few extra chrome bits and available with a then-impressive 121 horsepower inline 8(!), the Chieftain sold surprisingly well to returning G.I.s eager to hop back into something a bit more impressive than the Willys GPWs and GM deuce and a half trucks they’d been used to.

But, had a G.I. purchased this particular example, one would hope that he got his jollies out of the savings he would have made: equipped with the lowly inline six and automatic gearbox, this never would have been considered much beyond basic transportation. Furthermore, the addition of a few decades’ worth of wear has seen the departure of some of the chrome trim; namely the side spears that can be notoriously hard to replace on cars of this era. However, with a recent paint job and what looks to be a decent storage area, it appears to be in surprisingly good shape. Also,the footnote that a new battery was recently installed also demonstrates that the car is most likely taken out and exercised occasionally, making this a perfect candidate for someone looking for a turn-key classic that they’re not afraid to take out of the garage.

1963 AMC Rambler – Was $675, Now $550

“All orginal 198 6 cylinder. Aluminum block numbers matching 3 speed standard transmission. Brand new never been used tires, 50,359 original miles. Runs but has fuel delivery issues (needs fuel pump). Rust on passenger side of hood but otherwise decent shape very straight. Its awesome project car but I have never gotten around to fixing it up. If the post is up I still have the car! Call Nicole or Ross at 604 850 5255”

The American Motor Company, formed after the merger of Hudson and Nash-Kelvinator in 1954, is one of the most overlooked brands on the market today. Producing everything from uber-large station wagons, to tiny runabouts, to fire-breathing musclecars, AMC never reached the heights that the other three American automakers did. Falling into dissolution in 1988, AMC would put their brand on everything from Jeeps to Gremlins. But, without a doubt, the vehicle that many will best recall is this: the Rambler. One of the most popular vehicles AMC made, it was every bit the equal of the Chevy and Ford sedans of the day.

But, decades later, the little know name brand still commands a vastly smaller price tag than it’s more mainstream counterparts… which is a good thing for those shopping for a deal. Looking every bit as retro cool as a Fairlane or Impala of the same era, this Rambler marks the beginning of the second generation of Rambler, but appears to be the most basic of the three available trim levels (which were known simply as the 550, 660, and 770 models). However, that doesn’t cheapen the Rambler experience: winning Motor Trend‘s coveted Car of the Year award for 1963, the Rambler featured such technological breakthroughs as curved side glass and a unibody design. Sure, this one’s seen better days, but with minimal rust repair and a new fuel pump (not exactly rocket science on an old inline six), you just can’t beat the price.

1974 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible – $2500

“Complete car, 2 door coupe. Runs & drives great, passes aircare every year. Onwed for past 3 years.

She’s been lots of fun to drive over the years, but time pass her on & let someone else enjoy. A real head-turner!”

Into every life, a little Cadillac must fall. Once considered the standard of the world (to the point that it was actually referred to in exactly that manner), all Cadillacs are vehicles to be appreciated, and none is better known than this: the Eldorado. Having been conceived during the single best decade in car design (the ’50s) and representing the most ridiculously opulent of lifestyles, the Eldorado’s pairing of unabashed girth and stupendous styling was a match made in heaven; a match that slowly found itself spinning, flaming, towards the fire and brimstone-filled hell that was the ’70s. Transformed from an airliner-inspired masterpiece into this colossal, 500 cubic inch V8-powered front wheel drive behemoth, the almost 5,000 pound Eldorado drove like drunken schooner and drank like a motoryacht from its bottomless 101 litre fuel tank. But if it was panache, wow-factor, and a smooth ride that a disco-crazed professional was after, the line ended at the ’74 Eldorado.

But, as much as the later Eldorados were pure, unadulterated bastardizations of the once-proud nameplate, they’ve aged almost gracefully… not Judy Dench graceful, but maybe Molly Ringwald graceful. And like those famous actresses, nothing recalls their perspective eras better. Recently repainted that perfect shade of pink, equipped with a (new) white top, and approximately the same length as the infamous short bus, this ex-California car will make an excellent car with which one can enjoy the last remnants of summer here in Vancouver. However, if someone wanted to keep it longer-term, rust forming around the wheel fender skirts will need addressing, as will the various engine issues. But, the news that an uninstalled, but factory optional, 8-track player is included with the purchase of the car should offset some of those concerns. Bee Gees 8 track are available seperately from eBay with prices ranging from $5 to $20 US.