chrisd1984
chrisd1984
5/4/11 10:46 a.m.

Hi, I just have a question regarding the purchase of a classic car for year round driving.

I'm a fairly young driver and I cannot stand driving newer vehicles. I found a 1973 Plymouth Satellite in good shape that's been certified and I'm thinking of going ahead with a purchase. The price is very good and would leave me a little money over in the event that something unforeseeable happens with the car.

My concern is, this would be my only car so I would be driving it 4-5 times a week year round. That being said, I would store it in a warm garage and store it in a parking garage when I drive it out in the winter and have to park it somewhere. The winters here are so so: I live in the Toronto area of Ontario so there isn't a lot of snow but still a little bit of salt on the roads and the occasional snow storm.

The way I see it though is that these cars were driven in winters for several decades when they first came out, so am I wrong to assume I can use it year round?

Is there any feedback anyone can give me? Perhaps a better model of car that would withstand the winters if treated with the proper care? Or is there any advice to totally protect a classic car from the threats of the wintertime? Winter time in Toronto lasts about 4 months (November to March) with snow intermittently. The car has also been rust proofed too and is 98% rust free.

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
5/4/11 11:00 a.m.

1 word.

SALT!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
5/4/11 11:47 a.m.

+1 on Andre's comment. Most of the rust proofing will delay the onset of rust but you've got to be very dilligent in keeping the car clean over the winter and keep the various rust proofing methods (cavity wax, underbody whatever) up to date.

I wouldn't really do that, I'd see if I could get a beater for the snowy and wet weather and only drive a classic on the nice winter days.

stu67tiger
stu67tiger Reader
5/4/11 11:58 a.m.

I see this thread every so often. “Would a classic XXX GT from 196X make a good daily driver?” The answer is another question. Do you want a classic or do you want a daily driver?

Today’s cars seem to last a lot longer than they used to, better engines, lubes, paint, rustproofing, whatever. Those of us with grey hair remember that back in the day, if you bought almost ANY new car and drove it year round, especially in the northern snowy regions, it would start to turn to s//t within a few years. So why would it be any different for a restored old car today? It might be possible to extend the life some by squirting rustproofing in every crevice, etc., but if you use it, you are going to use it up at some point. Snow and salt will accelerate the ageing, no matter what you do.

Stu

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
5/4/11 12:38 p.m.

My big thing about classics in modern traffic is

  1. Abs/braking. Modern cars can stop shorter.
  2. Size. I really do not enjoy driving my GT6 in traffic. Car is not visible enough.
  3. Collision. If your in a crash. TOAST. Crumple zones, steering columns and so much more. Look at all the videos produced over the years. Older cars just we're not designed for accidents.

I could go on, but in a CANADIAN winter the last thing I want to be in is an older car.

A.

naparsei
naparsei New Reader
5/4/11 1:08 p.m.

People drive old cars all the time, and as you pointed out, these old cars were new once, and the climate hasn't change THAT much... ;)

So, are you really ready to deal with that car in the snow? With the crappy heater? The comment above about stopping distances is no joke, either.

If you want to do it, go for it. It's a car. It was meant to be driven, and not just "slow on the driveway." It might die someday from rust. In all honesty, that was going to happen anyway - whether or not you drive it.

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
5/4/11 1:23 p.m.

I've been in traffic for 2 hours with it -30C outside. Really made me want a slush box transmission vs manual.

Even in my modern Mazda my toes we're very cold by the end of the run.

I agree drive the hell of a car, but right tool for the right job.

KaptKaos
KaptKaos Reader
5/4/11 1:52 p.m.

$5/gal gas.

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
5/4/11 3:38 p.m.

Oh right forgot about the gas thing.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
5/4/11 4:41 p.m.

Your rust free Satellite won't last many winters even in TO. Just be prepared to use it up and toss it away when it is done like any cheap used car. The TO driving and parking experience will rough it up as well and rust might not even be its worst enemy.
Cheers Ron

NOHOME
NOHOME Reader
5/6/11 8:26 a.m.

CAN you do it? Certainly. It is just a car and it will perform just as well in modern winters as it did when new.

Do you WANT to be doing this? As long as you are happy to have the car joint its brothers who have died of regular use, why not? Keep in mind that if you see a 70's American car around, it is most likely because it was NOT driven in winter.

For heavens sake, people drove MGBs in winter when they were new. And all they had for heat was some asthmatic gerbil under the dash blowing through a straw. Buy gloves and a scrapper (for the inside) and you are good.

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