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      12-26-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
E82tt6
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Advice on reliable muscle car for girl friend.

My girlfriend is looking to spend $5k or less on a car. She loves the muscle car style, ala Buick GN Olds 442, mustang, caprice, camaro, challenger. "Square, long, and low!" is what she is. The tough part: manual tranny is an ABSOLUTE requirement. She will not drive a slush box.

Reliability is also important. I was thinking perhaps a fox body mustang, but I'm unsure of reliabily, and some almost ok gas mileage would be good. Anything worse than 17/24 is pushing it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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      12-26-2008, 01:20 PM   #2
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mustang!
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      12-26-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by E82tt6 View Post
My girlfriend is looking to spend $5k or less on a car. She loves the muscle car style, ala Buick GN Olds 442, mustang, caprice, camaro, challenger. "Square, long, and low!" is what she is. The tough part: manual tranny is an ABSOLUTE requirement. She will not drive a slush box.

Reliability is also important. I was thinking perhaps a fox body mustang, but I'm unsure of reliabily, and some almost ok gas mileage would be good. Anything worse than 17/24 is pushing it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
fox body stangs are fuglyyyyyyy.
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      12-26-2008, 01:38 PM   #4
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I know, but she likes them. Anyone have experience with relabily? I think the powertrain is solid, and I know parts are everywhere, but she can't have it dying all the time.
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      12-26-2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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fox body stangs are fuglyyyyyyy.
+1 You shouldn't be with a girl who likes fox body mustangs.
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      12-26-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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My girlfriend is looking to spend $5k or less on a car. She loves the muscle car style, ala Buick GN Olds 442, mustang, caprice, camaro, challenger. "Square, long, and low!" is what she is. The tough part: manual tranny is an ABSOLUTE requirement. She will not drive a slush box.

Reliability is also important. I was thinking perhaps a fox body mustang, but I'm unsure of reliabily, and some almost ok gas mileage would be good. Anything worse than 17/24 is pushing it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Will she be towing you in the 135i?
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      12-26-2008, 03:22 PM   #7
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Mustangs have always been girls cars so get that. (seriously look it up, no joke, marketed to secretaries originally)
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      12-26-2008, 04:19 PM   #8
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Muscle car for 5k? I assume you mean mid to late '90's "muscle car" When I think of muscle car I think mid to late 60's... that was tthe real muscle car era.

if your thinking 80's to 90;s muscle then there is nothing reliable about those cars, especially not for 5k
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      12-27-2008, 02:02 AM   #9
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Muscle car for 5k? I assume you mean mid to late '90's "muscle car" When I think of muscle car I think mid to late 60's... that was tthe real muscle car era.

if your thinking 80's to 90;s muscle then there is nothing reliable about those cars, especially not for 5k
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      12-27-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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Yeah, I do mean a psuedo muscle car.

Are 5.0 stangs that bad? I was under the impression that they're fairly hardy.
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      12-27-2008, 05:39 PM   #11
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5.0 mustang LX
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      12-27-2008, 05:48 PM   #12
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Depends what you mean about reliability.

Both Ford's 5.0 V8 and Chevy's 5.7 350 (Camaro/Firebird) are pretty stout and reliable engines. Now, the rest of the car ... oh boy.

I had my share: 84 Mustang SVO (turbo!), 87 Mustang GT 5.0, 88 Firebird Formula 350 (5 speed - very rare). All sticks of course. Would be pretty hard to find an early 90's vintage one (5K range) that wasn't abused too much. There is always the lucky find (I had a great uncle who owned an IROC Z 350, bought it new in 87 when he was 75!!! It was mostly a garage queen and sold under his estate a few years back when he died for a song. Only 37K! Someone got a great find (if you are looking for that sort of car).

I would say though that a 5k Mustang (for ex) would probably be more reliable than a 5K BMW!
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      12-27-2008, 06:23 PM   #13
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I would think it would be tough to find any car that's reliable for $5k.
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      12-27-2008, 11:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rroof View Post
Depends what you mean about reliability.

Both Ford's 5.0 V8 and Chevy's 5.7 350 (Camaro/Firebird) are pretty stout and reliable engines. Now, the rest of the car ... oh boy.

I had my share: 84 Mustang SVO (turbo!), 87 Mustang GT 5.0, 88 Firebird Formula 350 (5 speed - very rare). All sticks of course. Would be pretty hard to find an early 90's vintage one (5K range) that wasn't abused too much. There is always the lucky find (I had a great uncle who owned an IROC Z 350, bought it new in 87 when he was 75!!! It was mostly a garage queen and sold under his estate a few years back when he died for a song. Only 37K! Someone got a great find (if you are looking for that sort of car).

I would say though that a 5k Mustang (for ex) would probably be more reliable than a 5K BMW!
I'm fairly certain that you couldn't get a manual with the 350 in the Firebird / TransAm GTA, or IROC.

Your Formula must have had the 305.
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      12-28-2008, 05:08 AM   #15
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You won't find any reliable muscle cars for that price. Maybe a '65-'67 mustang, but it wont be in good condition. Any MOPAR is out of the question with that budget. Get a mustang with a 289, or a chevy witth a 350. You won't get an Olds 442 for 5k, nor a Buick grand national.
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      12-29-2008, 09:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I would think it would be tough to find any car that's reliable for $5k.

QFT. Under $5k you are going to be looking at a car that is WELL used. Won't matter if it's American, German, Japanese, etc, if it's a performance model, it'll most likely have been abused. Pointing to one brand or model and saying "that one isn't going to be reliable, get another" is absolutely ignorant.

One nice thing about Mustangs is how cheap and easy it is to mod them. Brakes, suspension, engine, all easy to upgrade, and easy to make work very well indeed. the 5.0 and T5 are durable parts. Look for '87 and newer, to give you the best engines (the earlier 5.0s, while moddable, were carbed until '85, and had an optional really crappy throttle body injection). In '87, IIRC, they got the better cams and pistons and heads, as well as the better injection.

The LX coupe is the lightest of them, but available with all the GT underpinnings. It's the one to look for.



these cars make outstanding drag race/road race/ or autocross cars.

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      12-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #17
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      12-29-2008, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
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QFT. Under $5k you are going to be looking at a car that is WELL used. Won't matter if it's American, German, Japanese, etc, if it's a performance model, it'll most likely have been abused. Pointing to one brand or model and saying "that one isn't going to be reliable, get another" is absolutely ignorant.

One nice thing about Mustangs is how cheap and easy it is to mod them. Brakes, suspension, engine, all easy to upgrade, and easy to make work very well indeed. the 5.0 and T5 are durable parts. Look for '87 and newer, to give you the best engines (the earlier 5.0s, while moddable, were carbed until '85, and had an optional really crappy throttle body injection). In '87, IIRC, they got the better cams and pistons and heads, as well as the better injection.

The LX coupe is the lightest of them, but available with all the GT underpinnings. It's the one to look for.



these cars make outstanding drag race/road race/ or autocross cars.


What does QTF mean? I hope its not "quit fucking talking".
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      12-29-2008, 11:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
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What does QTF mean? I hope its not "quit fucking talking".
QFT means "quoted for truth" in message board shorthand.
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      12-29-2008, 05:57 PM   #20
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I think she's settled on a 5.0 or a 305/350 camaro. I know whatever she gets will be well used, but mechanicals are stout enough, and parts cheap enough that I am not super concerned about having to do some mild fix up. I have a buddy that could do mild body work/rustproofing/painting for me.

Any experience with how they do in the snow with some good winter tires on? She did well for years in an old Skylark with all seasons, so she is a fine driver.
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      12-30-2008, 08:53 AM   #21
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Tires make all the difference. After I sold my 460 powered Fox Mustang to a friend (500 hp, nearly 700 lb ft of torque) he put blizzaks on it and used it in the snow in Cour d'Alene Idaho for a few years with no problems.

All seasons in the snow? bad news. use real snow tires on dedicated wheels and all will be fine. Same advice applies to any car, really.
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