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Readers' Tales Of Screamin' Deals

By Miles Cook, Photography by Readers

Goldfinger
Who:
Tyrone Martin
Where:
Indianapolis, IN
What:
'73 Torino Wagon (a.k.a. Goldfinger)
Price:
$100 cash, two gas cans of premium, a new battery, and some motor oil in each cylinder. He fired it up and drove it home.
Details: Ty scored it with 62,437 miles on the clock. It's got a two-barrel-fed 400M, a C6, and a 9-inch.

Burly Buick
Who:
James Freeman
Where:
Estill, SC
What:
A Buick LeSabre-he didn't say what year (a '73 or '74 maybe?)
Price:
$300
The Owner Says:
"I've always liked whale-body musclecars. I bought the car from a little old lady in Kentucky in 1986 and haven't really spent any money on it since. I drive 50 miles a day to work and get 17 mpg cruising at 55 mph. The 455 has a Q-jet carb and the trans is a TH400."

Falcon Flyin' High
Who:
Mark Hoffman
Where:
St. Clair, MO
What:
'65 Falcon Futura
Price:
"I purchased this car 22 years ago at age 14 for $200. It was my high school transportation and autobody class project. I did a complete restoration in 1993."
Details: Now totally fixed up as bitchin' restified street machine, Mark's classic Ford has a 302 with a Crane cam, a Weiand intake, a Carter 600, an ACCEL distributor, and Hi-Po K-code manifolds. The motor provides its Wheaties to a T-10 four-speed trans and a 9-inch with 3.89:1 gears. PST suspension bits, gas shocks, Michelin skins, and Cragar wheels round out this flyin' Ford bird.

A Valiant Effort
Who:
Jeff Chong
Where:
Hacienda Heights, CA
What:
'64 Valiant Convertible
Price:
$500
The Owner Says:
"An old classic convertible, all original, sitting under a tree for 20 years. All for $500. Sounds too good to be true. I found this car on the Internet as a member of the Mopar Mailing List, and it had a 273 V-8 and a push-button automatic. Over the next few years, I would occasionally e-mail the seller to see if the car was still there. It was about 400 miles away in San Francisco, so I made the trip to see the car. It looked typical of something that had been sitting for 20 years, with flat tires, weather-beaten paint, and an interior filled with leaves and acorns. A few months later, I loaded up my van with tools, Valiant parts, new tires, and a battery. After a little work it fired up and I drove it home. So far, I have detailed the engine, had the body straightened out, and installed disc brakes from a '71 Dart. After paint and cosmetics, future plans call for a Commando 273 Carter AFB carb and a hotter cam. I'm also going to replace the 2.93:1-geared 7 1/4 rearend with an 8 3/4 and 3.23:1 gears. Hopefully, my Valiant will be looking better soon, but in the meantime, it's a blast to drive and great fun to have a ragtop that's truly uncommon."

How Can You Lose?: $501-$1,000

A Toronado Tornado
Who:
Steve Schumacher
Where:
Santa Barbara, CA
What:
'70 Toronado
Price:
$800
The Owner Says:
"A couple of years ago I bought an unrestored '70 Toronado for $800, and it was loaded with old-man-engineer doodads. It has Oldsmobile's highest (advertised) horsepower engine-the W-34 455 with 400hp and 510 lb-ft of torque-and only the Toro 455s had forged cranks and six-quart oil capacity (things the similar W-30 didn't). In fact, a '68 Toro engine powered the first Olds Hurst cars for 1968. But what makes this car such a good project is its image. To me, there's more to a musclecar than sticking a big engine in grandma's grocery-getter and plastering it with Speed-Racer stripes and decals. The first front-wheel-drive Toros ('66-'70) were designed from inception to be real musclecars with Bill Mitchell's unique aggressive styling, state-of-the-art technology, and unmitigated luxury. These cars oozed dark, evil elegance, which is the essence of true power that no stripped-down special can ever possess. Toronado occupants can engorge themselves in politically incorrect lavishness while enjoying massive front-wheel-drive burnouts." Cool!

By Miles Cook
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