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Thread: Purchasing Help! Much appreciated :)

  1. #1
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    Default Purchasing Help! Much appreciated :)

    Hey guys,

    My name is Matt and I'm looking to gain a little bit of insight from Classic Z Cars. A little background about myself, I am 25 years old, have been a rwd, Japanese car fanatic my entire life, and have owned almost every affordable rwd, Japanese sports car I can think of in some model year or another. (other than maybe a supra). Anyway having owned all of these seems to be a gift and a curse in deciding what to buy next. I have recently got a serious bug about purchasing a classic jdm type vehicle with my main focus is on a 240/280Z. However, I do not know if my price point is a realistic grounds for finding one mechanically sound (cosmetics aside other than major rust) and need help with A. is it possible and B. if not what do you guys feel is a next best option? I am looking to purchase something around $6k.

    Here is what I have owned so far:
    -95 Nissan 240sx SE
    -91 Mazda Rx7 Convertible
    -90 Nissan 300zx N/A
    -93 Toyota MR2 N/A
    -06 Mazda Mazdaspeed 6
    -06 Mazda MX-5 GT

    Here is what I have been looking at:
    -70's Nissan 240/280Z
    -80's Mazda RX7 (FB)
    -80's Toyota MK1 MR2 S/C (funky design but can't say it doesnt have character lol)
    -80's M50 swapped BMW E30
    -70's Toyota Celica GT/ST (dig the old school design, feel they are way underpowered)
    -Any other unique cars I may be missing?

    Anyway I am truly just looking for something to be a relative project/weekend car yet is unique in its own right. I am mechanically skilled, however, until I find a decent house to move to (with a decent garage I should say) I am also fairly limited. My biggest problem in the quest too is that I live in the Savannah, GA area and the car scene is rather limited which forces me to drive 4+ hours to possibly buy a decent car. Knowing the answers may be a bit biased, what do you guys feel about the cars above, and is a Z even a possibility with that price range in mind right now?

    Thank you for you input!

    Matt
    Last edited by NISxMO; 08-21-2014 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User madkaw's Avatar
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    Matt,
    I will be blatantly biased and say go for the early Z. With that budget you should find a decent one------------------go for the best body you can find.
    The Z is unique because there are so few nice ones out there, but so widely loved; it is crazy the attention the car gets. Probably the easiest one to work on from your list too.
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    I'm guessing that you've posted the same question on BMW, Toyota, and Mazda forums, too. What kind of feedback are you getting from other sources?

    Since you realize that any answers will be biased, it comes down to "pay your money and take a chance". Just like marriage, it doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment and you can always move on to something else if your first choice doesn't meet your needs.

    Also like marriage, learn as much as you can about your choice before committing. Good luck on the decision & search!
    Dennis
    1971 240Z - Original Owner
    2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible

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    Thanks for the advice though I may skip it on the marriage part haha! It makes me sick that I have let 2-3 what seems like good deals fall through my fingertips. I guess I just need to have the money ready and jump on the very next thing I see.

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    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NISxMO View Post
    It makes me sick that I have let 2-3 what seems like good deals fall through my fingertips. I guess I just need to have the money ready and jump on the very next thing I see.
    CASH IS KING! Anytime you are going to look at a car you need to have the full asking price in cash. This is the only way you can negotiate the best deal on a classic car under $10K or secure the deal at all. Anything above that, most sellers will understand you need to go the bank and you can make arrangements to do that. Since most sellers don't know you from Adam many don't want to deal with any kind of check from a bank, no matter how legit it is. In their eyes, if you can bring me a check from a bank then you can bring cash from the bank as well. Yes, some sellers will go to your bank with you to do the transaction and that is all good if it works out. However, too many times when I have sold a car I just want to get the buyer on their way and if I am the buyer I want to get the documents signed and keys in my hand before someone else calls or shows up wanting what I am trying to buy. I have bought and sold 46 cars so far in my life so I have seen just about everything from each side of the table.

    A few things to keep in mind. Vintage Japanese cars are getting a lot of press right now so not only are enthusiasts looking for them but dealers are too. Madkaw is right, finding a good solid Z that is relatively stock is getting harder to find. I am sure that applies to everything else on your list. The key to scoring a deal is being ready all the time. You literally have to jump on deals because like you said, they slip through your fingers if don't.

    From my experience, here are the keys to being ready.
    1. Get your cash out of the bank as quickly as possibly once you get a good line on a deal. Since you may be going to look at it once the banks have closed you need to have your cash ready. If you end up not buying the car you can always put it back in the bank.

    2. Have all the necessary documents lined up along with a couple of pens and a notepad. In TX the buyer and seller have to sign a Application for Title in addition to the title itself. Sellers never think about this so I always bring a few blank ones with me.

    3. Have a small tool bag ready to go all times with a flash light, gloves, some rags, and simple hand tools. You will be crawling around on the ground inspecting the car, checking fluids, etc. If you buy a car and have an issue on the drive home, you will be better prepared.

    4. Let your close friends know you are seriously looking for these cars, you never know what they may see on their drive to work or when they are out getting groceries. Also, you will need someone to take you out to look at a car so you can drive the new car home. If no one is available to do this you can always drive out there and make arrangements to pick it up later in the day. If you get a bad feeling about leaving it then drive the new acquisition home and go back for your daily car later since it is probably fully insured.

    5. Have a few extra copies of your insurance card with you. If you get pulled over while driving your new car home you will need to show this. Most officers are understanding that you just bought the car but at least you can prove you have insurance. Once you show them all the associated paper work you should be fine.

    Keep us posted on what you find. We look forward to updates. Good luck on your hunt!
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    Hardaway, that is definitely some good advice and I appreciate your input. I flipped cars in college to help pay for some of my school expenses and pretty much had to operate under the same principles. Until now I had not taken the money from the bank because I wanted to narrow down the search and find what I was looking for. After seeing how quickly these things sell for I now realize that won't do if I am expecting to find a decent deal.

    I guess the whole point of the thread was more or less to see if my price point was realistic which it seems is quite possible. I am looking at a few around the southeast so we will see what pans out. I found a mint 77 Toyota Celica GT liftback with jdm bumpers and coilovers (otherwise original) in a beautiful gunmetal color that is really pulling the ol' heartstrings. If these things had half the engines the Z cars have I would probably pull the trigger, though I'm still going to try and hold out for a Z it is proving quite the distraction at the moment.


    *EDIT* Another question to swing your way....has anyone ever done the whole sight unseen purchase/shipping method. I know with internet, the whole buying experience has completely shifted and shipping cars across country now seems to be more utilized. Anyone know of quality companies or cost pertaining to such? I would probably only do something like that from a long term forum member. (in the meantime I'll google different companies)
    Last edited by NISxMO; 08-23-2014 at 01:24 AM.

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    Shipping might be cheaper then you think. I bought a WRX sight unseen and it didn't turn out to well. The shipping was the best part . I put the job out there and there was a bidding war to get my business.
    Buying a car unseen is really risky. Pay the money to have a neutral go out and look the car over and get a report. It can be as little as 100$ and might save you thousands.
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    I have bought a few cars sight and unseen and for the most part the experience has been lack luster and disappointing. Despite lots of pictures and conversations with the owner you can never know enough about a car unless you can touch it and drive it. If you are spending over $10K I think its in your best interest to buy a cheap plane ticket and go see the car for yourself. If you decide to buy it then you can negotiate the deal in person and make plans to have it shipped back home or even possibly drive it home.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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