Invest in current car or get a roller?

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by AllGoNoShow, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. AllGoNoShow

    AllGoNoShow Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,547
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Well gentleman I came here for some advice. I got an 81 Z that was my first car, bought when I was 16, that I have owned for the last 20 years. Sat in the garage for the last ten, got it running and driving again last month and it is finally time to do it the way I always wanted.

    The reality is, however, my 81z needs new front floor pans (I slammed in some metal coverings when I was a teen), probably at least one quarter panel (maybe 2) , there is rust in the cowl under the windshield now I noticed, and a new tail panel from some odd damage. The pinch welds on the bottom where the pans meet the rockers are also mangled like someone used every inch of it trying to jack the car with them. It's not in terrible condition but it certainly needs some bodywork (and that's what I see). Front subframe also will have to be fixed around the body mounts from a little rot.

    I keep on seeing rolling chassis late second gens for not a lot of money and am just wondering at what point do I just start over with a new to me car? Someone locally has a roller 1980 berlinetta that appears to be (and claimed to be) completely rust free....for under $3K. It is also a coupe and my 81 is a t-top. I swear sometimes I look at my t-tops and I think I like them, then the other half of the time I decide I hate them.

    Just trying to get some advice from you guys that have faced similar decisions.
     
    buick skylark likes this.
  2. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,433
    Likes Received:
    164
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Location:
    Gordon from Jacksonville Fl
    If you can find a roller in better shape than your current car and that would cost less to buy than yours would to fix all the issues I would go that route. Bonus is you have a spare parts car with your old car. Lots of rollers out there that people invested money into getting the body done then got tired of the project or ran out of money. If it is something like that just ensure the body work was doen correctly so you don't run into issues down the road. Lots of people take progress pics, you can ask if they have any, that will give you a clue of what was done and how.
     
  3. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    19,442
    Likes Received:
    798
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Scott from Hamilton, NJ
    Do you do your own body work? Is the car inside?
     
    buick skylark likes this.
  4. xten

    xten Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1,744
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    If you are fixing yours, how long do you think it would take you? If you don't find anything else, the repairs on yours will be very intrusive. With quarters, you can count on outer wheelhouses. Yours would have to come completely apart. At the end of the day, how much time and money do you think you would have invested? At least go look at the Berlinetta. If it's what the owner says it is, you're miles ahead starting with a solid platform. I would think the only decision you would really have to make in this case is can you live without the T-top.
     
    buick skylark likes this.
  5. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,972
    Likes Received:
    512
    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    The real question is how sentimental is your car? When it comes to that money and work is never a question. You surely can find a more solid car and be cheaper to build in the end, but it won’t be your 81z
     
  6. mallard

    mallard Veteran Member

    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    134
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Location:
    SK, Canada
    If there's a chance to go rust free or near rust free I think you grab it. You're easily going to spend $3 grand or more fixing your rust let alone your time and effort. I've never been a fan of the 70s-80s era T-tops because so many fit poorly after a few years. I'm thinking you might want to grab the roller but like a previous poster said you'll have to determine how important the T-tops are to you.

    If it were me, the decision would be easy but only you can make that decision.
     
    buick skylark likes this.
  7. DrPepper

    DrPepper Veteran Member

    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Location:
    Central VA
    Beware, anyone can 'claim' a car is rust free. But in upstate NY, can that really be true??
    You know where the rust is on your '81, so when you look at a roller, you know where to look for the problems.
    I bought a '73 Nova that spent some years in NY. What a mistake and shame on me for not doing a closer inspection.
    Now I don't look at anything that may have ever been north of the Mason-Dixon line.
     
  8. AllGoNoShow

    AllGoNoShow Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,547
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    THAnks for the replies. I'm going to go look at it this weekend and see if it's even what it is advertised to be. I took a better look at my 81 just to get a better idea of how bad the rust is. probably doesn't need full quarters, just patches in front of the wheel wells and there is a rust hole that went through in the door jamb area where the jamb of the quarter meets the rockers...I'll probably upload some pictures to the body section to see what what a repair would entail.

    I have a welder and would be attempting to do the work myself but naturally time is an issue and I'm at a point in my life I got more money then time so I am going to farm some stuff out. I'm not a hugely sentimental person but that is a consideration....decisions decisions!
     
    buick skylark likes this.
  9. AllGoNoShow

    AllGoNoShow Veteran Member

    Messages:
    2,547
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Well that guy with the Berlinetta is a completely crook ....within 2 minutes of talking with him he said the car was outside a buddy's shed and I could take a look at it without him(post says it was garage kept), he needed money for his sick mom, he was working with a guy haggling on price already but car was still available, and he was working on getting the title from DMV (post says it was clean).

    I didn't waste my time on it....the fact that idiots put cars on Craigslists without titles in hand boggles me.
     
    buick skylark and RMTZ28 like this.
  10. RMTZ28

    RMTZ28 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Location:
    Alb. nm
    First questions I ask.... Do you have a title? is it in your name? then go from there.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.