Hello, I am in the US Army stationed in JBSA Fort Sam Houston Texas and I have come pretty close to saving up enough cash for a car. (5-6K price but I can also throw in my 3kish bonus if I want). I NEED a car since I'm going to be reserve, and was wondering if it's a good idea to buy a MANUAL V8 Camaro of the generation in the picture (the one before they cut them). Maybe even with a Corvette engine. I guess what I'm asking is, opinions on the car? Sportiness, reliability, handling, parts/maintenance/insurance cost, interior, overall quality, how easy it is to work on, tips on driving it in bad weather...?
*my other choice might be a late model Corvette C4 if I can find one standard or a 2005ish Infiniti G35.
-Real owner or enthusiast or just about anyone, good advice appreciated.
I own, built, and drive daily an 86 Camaro.
I had another one but it was totalled. So Ive tested every practical aspect and I think theyre great cars.
You can find them cheap (like 2-3 grand) and for that theyre usually running projects. But they require TONS of attention to maintain. Unless you strip it all down and restore it, or buy one someone else worked hard to build and sadly sell to you for 9-10k. Then obviously money isn't a thing to you and you take half the fun out of it anyway.
However, once you build it up to a point where it runs good and is up to snuff, they're easy to work on. One of the easiest cars to work on ever imo. GM parts and small block parts are in literally every part store.
They drive very fast, but in straight lines. Good drag cars. They hug the road very well but you have to be careful. Heavy car with rwd and all the weight in the front. It can fishtail like crazy. They're not as bad as everybody says in the rain and snow, unless you are an idiot. Some are slow but with a nice 350 or bigger, they fly. The sky is the limit with third gens.
Tl,dr they're fun and fast and worth all the work building them. Especially when you get to see the looks on ricers at the light.
well, raping Honda Civics up the tailpipe IS definitely what I'm going to do with it without a doubt. But can you explain in what aspects do they require the most attention? And what should I check for when buying pre owned?
Well at this point they're all pre-owned lol.
What you want to look for is one with a good body. The usual spots are in the wheel wells/strut towers, rockers and floor pans. You can throw a motor and trans in there worth more than the car.
They're nice money pits, with not a whole lot of return in investment. But that's lots of cars. They're fun like I said but I spent thousands of hours tearing these old cars up. As well as thousands of dollars. It's a trade off. If you have time to waste spinning wrenches it's worth it.
The only attention I would say is constant is preservation. Just keeping everything in check and running smooth. It's an old performance car so things break. As long as it's not a rot box go for it.
Depending what you find in what condition, you could get lucky and have a nice clean running car to slap some go-fast V8 parts on and vroom vroom.
You should consider a foxbody mustang
>more stout rear end
>very common to find with a 5 speed
>5.0 last forever
>easy to work on
>god tier exhaust note
>weigh about 3,000 or about 2,800 in one trim
The camaros 7.5 rear end is just junk the howls like crazy with steeper gears like 3.73's or 4.10. They also don't come in manual with the 350 because the gm t5 was dog shit.
>lets spend 3k+ on a car just so it can compete with another stock car in the same price range.
If your using that logic lets drop 3k on a foxbody that will leave your ass in the dust while your rear end explodes because it cant stand up to anything over stock power.
It's a horse apiece. You fix the foxbody's handling or you fix the Camaro's drivetrain. OP, get whichever one you like better or come across first, you won't regret either.
He's right though. When I was a kid I thought Firebirds looked so much cooler than foxbodies but now that I'm an adult, I've got a fox. They're simpler and lighter with less to break and a shorter wheel base. Performance parts are easier to come by on a budget too.
Not OP, but what about the El Camino and Firebird from the 80's?
My dad is a mechanic and he told me that back in the 80's he dreaded working on modern cars (for the time) and still does to this day. Something about crappy computers, greasy engines, and poor gas economy. I'm sure his statement could apply to some cars of that generation, but surely not all.
Firebird or T/A and Camaros of the years 82-92 were nearly identical. Only exception were the bumpers lights and trim. Not sure about Caminos, but I now they fall pretty close, because Chevy.
I have a 92 RS auto, which isn't anything special at all lol. It's TBI, which makes no power but for whatever reason starts every time. Manual would be nice but 700R4 isn't a bad trans.
Since it's got the truck motor, pretty damn reliable. However, at this age, vacuum lines are going bad. HVAC and emissions control lines are practically all vacuum on those motors, so they will likely warrant a replacing for a daily. >>14180749 is very correct about rust. Body by Fisher!
It taught me how to rock a car out of being stuck in snow/ice. Also, t-tops leak, no matter what anyone says haha.
>all these faggots talking about power
>ford vs GM
I own a foxbody mustang. Who cares what you drive or how much power you have? Take care of your shit, maintain it properly and you have my respect.
The El Camino was bretty gud, they were the same body style from 78-87 so fairly simple. All drivetrain parts interchange with the other G-bodies (Monte Carlo, Cutlass, Regal etc). Worst thing about them was the carburetor, they took the old Rochester Quadrajet 4bbl which was already a fairly complex and temperamental design (though decent when working right) and added a computer and a rat's nest of vacuum lines to it. That same clusterfuck of a carb was on the early turdgens. Fortunately if you don't live in a communist shithole you can replace the carb with something decent, or just yank the lame 305 and put in a 350. The 7.5 rear will hold together fine for daily driving and the occasional donuts but too many hard launches with a healthy engine will kill it.
>added a computer and a rat's nest of vacuum lines to it
Is that possible "the computer" my dad talks about?
That's the main issue as to why he's against me purchasing one (im not underaged or living with him, but he is the mechanic in the family and he's usually 100% accurate in repairs). Something about an emissions mandate from the 80's that required those and he that's why he doesn't care for cars from that decade.
Knowing about the carburetor is good though, if I continue to get enough information, I could probably justify getting one as a repair learning car.