Looking for a first car, help?
Hi everyone. :)
I'm not really an expert when it comes to cars, but I'm currently hunting for a first car and, well, I want it to last. Basically I'm looking to purchase something that falls under the 'basic transportation' bracket that I can do up over a number of years.
There's only one problem, I have no idea how to go about it. That's where you kind folks come in. I'm just going to spill my guts on what I think and, if you have any suggestions, hints, or want to save me from an extreme waste of money, please feel free to lay them out. Anything useful tip you can give me is great.
What I'm thinking is a 6cyl XA, XB, or XC sedan, preferably manual. Sounds drop dead boring to some of you yes? Maybe so, but hey, I admit it, I'm a muscle car fan. There are also a few solid reasons behind this choice.
Why an XA/B/C?
Cause they're cheap and parts are, from what I hear, abundant. They might not be the most fuel efficient ford, but they're built like tanks and take a beating, so yeah, the perfect l-plate to p-plate vehicle.
Why (on earth) 6 cylinders?
Well, because I'm a fairly lousy driver right now, and an 8 is sure to send me carreering into a wall sooner rather than later. Also, while it's all very well to have a p-plate legal 8, a friend of mine has told me (from good experience) that, should you get into a prang that results in a court case, your chances of coming out on top are slim at best. A p-plater with a V8 is the equivalent of a 12 year old with a bolt action. Legal, but it doesn't look very good.
But I don't plan to stick with the 6 forever. I'm told that, apart from gear box, diff, suspension and a couple of other things, dumping a 351 into an engine bay that originally housed a 250 is minimum hassle. Once I'm off my p's, I'll be considering ordering in a recoed cleve from Ford Muscle Parts. When I get the cash that is.
Because you can't learn how to be a good driver in an auto, I've tried, it feels like cheating. The only problem I think I'll have is finding a 6 cylinder manual sedan with 4 on the floor. I hear, but I have no first hand knowledge to back it up, that manual conversions for old falcons are worth the money if done right. Is this true? If so, what kind of box should I go with so that I can stick with it once I change engine? Who in Victoria does these kinds of conversions the best?
Why a sedan?
Because a good mate of mine had a three-on-the-tree XB wagon and it was just awful. The car is big enough without the extra bulk. As for a coupe, I've only ever seen one 6cyl advertised, and I didn't have the cash at the time.
What do I plan to DO with it?
Well, while I'm on my p's, just ironing out the more simple mech problems at first. Then a high gloss black paint job (from the bare metal, rust proofed and all), and then maybe some interior work. I'm thinking (for seating) something durable like grey suede on black vinyl. After the car looks top notch, I'd add any enhancements I can that won't have to be ditched after the engine switch. Big exhaust, 9" diff etc.
Basically I want to get a car and stick with it, but, if I'm out of my mind or being stupidly unrealistic, let me know. I'm completely open to any reasonable suggestion that fits under a $4000 starting figure.