$4,500 is a very respectable starting point for a Craigslist vehicle. You can go straight into a 2009 Lincoln Town Car or a 2008 Toyota Corolla…either one of those will get you where you need to go and if properly cared for, will last forever. The Toyota gets the job done with sewing machine precision and quality, while the Lincoln is the last of the tough body-on-frame sleds to come out of the Big Three. But do yourself a favor: look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can picture yourself driving an airport limo or the top college car the year the Ting Tings came out. Can you say you would enjoy that time? If you are here, we think that answer is a no. You might go for the Lincoln anyways, and we can’t blame you, that’d be our choice too, but there is a third way.
Take a long look at this 1969 Ford Fairlane. It’s almost fifty years old, runs a Ford 351 that is simple to work on, has an automatic, and the classic look of Cragars. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from driving this Ford wherever you want to go, save your own issues about classic cars and what may happen. Remember, that this wasn’t always a neat classic…this used to be “just a car”. Look, I’ll level with you: not everything from 1964-1972 needs to be a pinpoint perfect restoration. For $4,500, you will get the pleasure of driving a car that your grandfather remembers with fondness as a new car, one that your dad may have driven as a used machine, and one that your kid will fawn over.
Ok, we all know that last line might be a bit far, but your kid will get to experience a fifty year old Ford, and not in a “Look, but don’t touch!” car show setting, either. That’s worth plenty.