[thechat] Little white Corvette

Luther, Ron ron.luther at hp.com
Tue May 4 08:10:09 CDT 2004

Christopher Evans cruised in with:

>>I paid off the loan on the old car, and was looking for a fun summer 

Congrats 'Captain Chris'!

Having no car note is a very good feeling!!  ;-)

>>A buddy of mine knows a guy whose sister is selling a '77 Corvette 
>>for 10K. <snip /> That seems like a good deal to me, fits my 

Schweeeeeeeeet! Those are pretty cars!

>>Whatchoo think?  Ron, you know the climate - the Vette would rule on 
>>Erie beaches, esp if I grow a mustache. What should I watch for? 

Dude, there are waaaay better 'car guys' out here than me ... Nagrom, 
Bob, and Jeff to name just a few.  I'm mechanically REclined. 
Screwdrivers have too many moving parts for me! I don't own any 
table saws or things because my fingers have a built-in defense 
mechanism and won't reach into my wallet to pay for them. My little 
brother got all the 'mechanical' ability in the family. I can do 
esoteric math - but don't ask me to replace a head gasket - that's 
waaaay too hard for me.

I would note a couple of things.  One: That's an 'American' car, and 
(I think) a good choice of year. I _think_ it came with some of the 
most popular and easiest to work on motors ever made.  I would think 
you would be able to take it pretty much anywhere if you had any 

[I once had a yen for a late model used Vette. {Gee Ron, you say that 
like you've completely gotten over it!} Anyway, while I was getting 
an oil change on my truck last year I asked the mechanic what it would 
cost for a tune up on a 2000/2001 Vette ... after I picked my jaw off 
the floor he took me into the shop bay where they were tuning up a 
Firebird with the same motor. Some part (the points?) was actually 
located _inside_ the engine block ... behind the water pump.  They 
had to unbolt the engine and lift it halfway out of the car ... just 
to finish the stupid tune up! Oy! He was also telling me about a new 
car (a 2003 Infiniti Q45 perhaps?) where he had to quote someone a $600 
price just to change the spark plugs ... the guy hung up on him ... 
then showed up at the shop 2 days later, with new spark plugs in hand. 
I'm not an engineer - so I can't explain why you would have to take 
1/2 the dang car apart to do things that should be 'routine 

Two: Some people (me for one) forget that the cost for repair parts and 
labor is exactly the same for folks who buy the car used as it is 
for folks who could afford to buy the car new.  The tune-ups on my 
Saab were over $100 a cylinder.  A guy I used to work with sold his 
old 911 because the tune-ups were over $1000!  Again, I don't think 
this would be a problem on a '77 Vette ... but sometimes folks start 
thinking that just cuz they could (barely) come up with the cash to 
buy a used NSX, BMW, Ferrari [Hey, I once saw a used 318 for $18,000!]
 - they could also afford to keep the dang thing running.

Lastly: Put in a nice loud stereo ... I hear that old Vettes tend to 
'rattle' quite a bit!  ;-)

>>Leaking T-tops?

No first-hand experience. (Most of *my* vehicles have been pretty 
mundane. The sportiest car I've owned was an '85 GTI I bought new 
to rallye in.  The coolest car I've owned was a Saab 9000S {don't 
be impressed - I bought it used} that self-destructed in the Texas 
heat when I moved down here. <sob />) However, a buddy of mine - 
former VP of Purchasing and long-time car nut, has always had 
'show' cars ... Indy Pace Car Vettes, T-Buckets, High Boys, a 
Prowler ... and I've heard him 'lose it' bitching about leaky 
T-tops on some of his former toys - so apparently its extremely 
annoying ... and not uncommon.

(Who notes that one of the things that impresses him about 'SoTex' 
is that [if it ain't flooding] nice rides like a Vette or a Benz 
are very nearly 'practical' - (a) they are useable pretty much 
12 months of the year, so you don't need a secondary 'salt car', 
and (b) because of being more useable, they should actually be 
cheaper to own here than up in say Chicago or someplace like that.)

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