The story is pretty much the same every time: it’s the car that has been in the garage for decades. Maybe it was started every once in a while, but more often than not it wasn’t. The owner quit driving, maybe by choice, maybe not. The car isn’t a 100% perfect gem, but compared to similar models you’ve been looking at on Craigslist late at night, it’s solid. It’ll need work, of course, but maybe you can be the one to bring it back to it’s former glory, provided you’ve got the spending cash to bring it home today. Sound familiar?
A 1970 example is probably the only way a Chevrolet Bel Air is going to make it onto the Rough Start radar. You aren’t getting a tri-five for that kind of money easily, that’s for sure. But there is a lot to like about the big B-body. Besides it’s overall shape and weathered but decent Texas condition, it’s largely unmolested. The hubcaps are present, the interior isn’t completely roasted out of it, and the 350 under the hood looks complete. The seller freely admits that work is needed, but what does that mean? We’ll wager that you’ll be waking up a car that’s been dead for a while. Things like fluid checks, gaskets, and brakes would be a good once-over checklist. But who knows…maybe the timing is out of adjustment and the car runs very rough.
It’s too nice to see a demolition derby and too cool to just be left to rot under the sun. We say get it moving by any means necessary. If that means raiding a truck motor, so be it. Get it rolling, get it to stop, and make sure that air conditioning blows cold and you’ve got a killer cruiser that is an open canvas to the start of a very cool build. You’re out $2,300 on the car itself, and we would have to look the car over to see how far that other $2,700 will carry you from the $5,000 budget. If the engine isn’t dead and only needs minor work, chances are good that you could have this Bel Air running and driving at or under budget.