Am I crazy for wanting to buy this 83 Monte Carlo SS??

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AlexxRyzhkov

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 4, 2016
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Ok, so I've always wanted to buy an 80s muscle car (Foxbody, IROC, Monte Carlo, etc) and just build a comfy cruiser with enough power to keep me excited. Maybe like 300 whp? Now my background... I'm a 17 year old who's pretty new to the car scene but have worked on his own cars.


Here's the thing, I've never worked on ANYthing carbureted, nor have I worked on something this old.

Now the other problem...
This car need work, and ALOT of it.


Some info about it. It's a 1983 Monte Carlo SS with a 454 Big Block and a Turbo 400 transmission swapped into it. The seller basically bought an old shell, and swapped in the motor and trans, and did the absolute bare minimum to get it driveable. He literally drove it for a couple weeks before he got a new Camaro, and then let it sit for 2 years. It's got unknown miles on shell and motor.


Condition? Not good. Paint is completely faded and the clear coat is gone, little rust on body except the floorboards are garbage, the interior is completely gone except for 2 seats, a cracked dash, and a steering wheel. Missing driver side window, passenger window doesn't work. Nothing is wired in except for the bare essentials. AC not hooked up, who knows about the heat... Basically just a button to start the motor, and the headlights/brake lights. Oh and it's really dirty, the interior has dirt and leaves in it.


How does it run...? Well... idk
The guy didn't even try to start it since about a year before, so naturally it wouldn't start the first couple tries. He put some new gas into it and after a couple tries it started running and it stayed running. The idle sounds pretty off, but it is cammed so i really don't know. He drove it around the block and it was making a weird scraping noise. It drove pretty well until at a stop sign, he gave it gas and it died for whatever reason. Started right up though and it drove fine back home. He hasn't changed anything since he put the motor in, but he says it should run great with a basic tune-up.


How much is he asking? After a bit of negotiation... $1200. Clean title, runs and drives, has a 454, but needs a ton of work. Here's some pictures:

http://imgur.com/1KNLlUw.png

http://imgur.com/DxaTCQB.png

http://imgur.com/jfBeOYw.png

http://imgur.com/scJ7lLd.png

http://imgur.com/JYXYT9J.png

http://imgur.com/HAhlqME.png

http://imgur.com/eqoMRIB.png


As you can see, it needs work. But is it worth it? I mean I love Monte Carlos a lot, but I'm scared that this will completely drain my wallet, and my biggest fear is that I'll never finish it, and will have to sell it at a loss. I really like that it has a 454, because the stock 305s are pretty damn slow.

My plans are:
completely pressure wash it

clean the interior out

weld in new floor panels

go to a junkyard and get new carpet, headliner, door panels, and a new dash. Plus get a new window and working window regulators.

get the motor running well, fix anything it really needs fixed.

Sand it down, bondo up the small dents, and plastidip it.

My total budget is $2000, give or take $500. Plus the $1200 for the car. Am I crazy or should I go for it?
 

Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
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Jan 4, 2009
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There are so many red flags on this, I hardly know where to start....and I only looked at 3 of the pics.

Wrong dash for an 83 (no burgandy interiors in SS for 83),
hoof off with shitty foam air cleaner....gee, I wonder how much water is in the oil pan?
Needs everything.

IMO, not the car to learn on, it'll eat you alive in $$$ and time. Better to save for and buy a better example.

Sorry to be harsh, but that's (my) reality of the car presented.
 
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pagrunt

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Sep 14, 2014
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I would work on getting it at a lower price. That's pretty rough for $1200. It is not a real SS from seeing all the bright trim on it. You'll need more than your budget to get that streetable. Need to search what the cost for what is needed to judge the value of the car. Back when I was your age (the early '90's) that was a $200-$400 car just because of the 454 core regardless of running or not. Think of the pros & cons of what it has/need, what you know you need, what you would like to do, what support you have to get the work done. The big thing would be outside of the price would be how serious you are for taking on that project. I would try to beat him up on that price to low ball the best you can.
 

AlexxRyzhkov

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 4, 2016
5
1
1
There are so many red flags on this, I hardly know where to start....and I only looked at 3 of the pics. Wrong dash for an 83 (no burgandy interiors in SS for 83), hoof off with shitty foam air cleaner....gee, I wonder how much water is in the oil pan? Needs everything.

IMO, not the car to learn on, it'll eat you alive in $$$ and time. Better to save for and buy a better example.

Sorry to be harsh, but that's (my) reality of the car presented.

After some research, I'm wondering if this is an SS. Because the front end looks like it was swapped because it doesn't line up with the fenders. As for the shitty air filter, the hood was on (just not bolted in), so it didn't get rained on.

I know it's a project, but the cheapest STOCK Monte Carlo is $3500, and it still needed minor body work and paint. The 454 is the only reason i was this.
 

clean8485

Comic Book Super Hero
Dec 18, 2005
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The car is definitely not worth it. Might be a good parts car for $500.00. It would be a HUGE money pit. Save your money and find a car that's in better condition.
 
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AlexxRyzhkov

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 4, 2016
5
1
1
I would work on getting it at a lower price. That's pretty rough for $1200. It is not a real SS from seeing all the bright trim on it. You'll need more than your budget to get that streetable. Need to search what the cost for what is needed to judge the value of the car. Back when I was your age (the early '90's) that was a $200-$400 car just because of the 454 core regardless of running or not. Think of the pros & cons of what it has/need, what you know you need, what you would like to do, what support you have to get the work done. The big thing would be outside of the price would be how serious you are for taking on that project. I would try to beat him up on that price to low ball the best you can.

I really am trying to get him to go down, but he won't budge. He was wanting $1500 originally, I was trying to get him down to $900 but he would only meet halfway.

Is $2500 not enough to get it streetable? My plan was $350 for plasti-dip + body work, $50 for new floor panels, roughly $400 for interior bits, and the other $1700 into brakes, suspension, and a full tune-up.
 

565bbchevy

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G-Body of the Month
Aug 8, 2011
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It is not an SS, somebody just put the nose and rear spoiler on and the rear bumper cover and tail lights are from an 87'- 88'
Save your money and buy one that is cleaner and driveable you will be way farther ahead in the long run.
I think I would question everything on the car from the condition of the frame to will the engine even run, trans shift, what kind of electrical issues are you going to be plagued with etc. etc.
It's a good parts car but for a lot less than he is asking.
 

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
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Elderton, Pa
$900 is too high, I took a 2nd look at your pics it is rougher that I thought. There looks to be other things hiding under everything that can push the cost of everything. The other thing is why did he park & forget it when he got the new car. I kinda got burnt on a '72 I picked up when I was 23. Cost me a $100 & a $200 Rocket 350 (I paid $100 for the 350) for project car with an extra frame I was going to sell. Ended up it was in a nasty front end accident that the "new" front clip was hiding. Ended up I needed the frame for how bad the original was bent up. I got the car back on the road but I paid too much even for that deal.
 

AlexxRyzhkov

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 4, 2016
5
1
1
It is not an SS, somebody just put the nose and rear spoiler on and the rear bumper cover and tail lights are from an 87'- 88'
Save your money and buy one that is cleaner and driveable you will be way farther ahead in the long run.
I think I would question everything on the car from the condition of the frame to will the engine even run, trans shift, what kind of electrical issues are you going to be plagued with etc. etc.
It's a good parts car but for a lot less than he is asking.
Well it does run and the trans does shift, in terms of electrical there's nothing really hooked up besides the engine, trans, dash, and head/tail lights.
 
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