Classic Muscle vs Modern Muscle

HardHitter

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In short, I've been looking around for about 4 months for a 1967-69 Camaro however everything I've seen so far is in the $20-$25K range and even at that range, we are looking at needing still a good amount of work. In addition, you'll never know how the body is of the cars under that paint and that is my true worry.

I've always wanted a Viper. I've owned my fair share of high HP cars, from 400rwhp imports (RX7s) to 400rwhp LS2 GTOs.

I've recently found this 1994 Dodge Viper which the owner is saying is a "SRT-10"

Car has 34,*** miles, motor is **** stock but obviously it has some work done on the exterior (brakes, wheels, suspension?)

The car is being documented as being serviced by former Viper Club president Randy Begin.

Wanted to know what your thoughts are on my decision if I were to go spend the money on a Viper over a classic muscle car
 

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evil00017

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I saw this car last night on autotrader. It really comes down to what do you want. Mechanically these cars hold up pretty well so I don't really think there is much to worry about there. I have always wanted a viper myself and have never regretted getting it. As for this car I dont think you have alot to worry about. You just need to decide what you really want.
 

viper vince

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I had a 1971 Road Runner 440+6 it was a fun. Buy the viper you cannot beat the technology. I like the old muscle cars but the new stuff hands better stops better .
 

MoparMap

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Yeah, it mainly depends what you enjoy and want to do with it. I have a 71 Vette, a 67 Dart with a 5.7 hemi swap, and an 04 Viper and they're all fun in their own ways. Hands down the Viper is the performance king of them all and you get it all pre-built in at the factory, so you don't have to update everything. I've seen some crazy performance out of the resto-modded older cars, but it's a huge investment to get there when you can just buy it all in one package in another car. The Dart is my "do anything I want to it" project car that I can kind of turn into whatever I want. The Vette is a mostly original fun classic to cruise around in, but really not much performance (base small block and auto). The Viper is usually the DD because it can handle weather better than the old cars, but it's also got the best creature comforts (if you can believe that). Good A/C, tight steering, awesome brakes, and lower wind noise. Getting the old ones out always puts a smile on my face though. There's just something fun about cruising around in a classic and I get more thumbs up and heads turning in them. Granted, my gen 3 is silver, so it kind of blends in a little more. My mom's red 94 sticks out like a sore thumb and has people running across parking lots to get a closer look.
 

Nine Ball

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That is an RT/10, not an SRT-10. The SRT-10 are 2003+ models.

Gen 1-2 Vipers like that are definitely the kings of curb appeal for the buck invested. Plus, they are cheap enough that they have stopped depreciating. That means you can drive/enjoy it without worrying too much.

I'm currently building a 1969 Camaro SS convertible myself, it will cost a LOT more to build right, compared to what that Viper likely costs. Will be $75-90K when I'm done, doing the work myself.

Tony
 

Indy

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Not even sure if you can call the Gen1 a modern muscle car anymore...
The black one in the pics looks nice. :2tu:
 

HardHitter

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Thank you all for the responses.

My worry with the classic cars is that I'll be looking to spend a nice penny of $20-$25K for something that still needs work. If I want to bring it pro-touring, we are talking a huge amount of restoration. It doesn't seem like it would be worth it.

From a Viper perspective, that car I posted looks nice but it is also located about 350-400 miles away. The price he is asking is way too much IMO opinion ($29K) for a higher mileage car. I've e-mailed him and I'm wary about his knowledge of the car. He didn't know what kind of wheels he had, what kind of suspension was done, and just said "the rims are large, I think 20's in the back and 30's in the front. Rims are very expensive"

KBB says a Viper of that year and mileage is a $20K car. I would think the car is fairly priced would be somewhere around $25K. I haven't been in pricing Vipers that long so I don't know how accurate my estimate would be. What were your thoughts on that?
 

diegoted

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KBB is not a good indicator of current prices! Muscle is muscle, how you put the power to the road is the question. Classic vs modern, it depends on what you want to do with it? I do both, each for a diffrent thrill!

Diego
 

DrumrBoy

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34,000 isn't high mileage. Yes there are some fair-weather drivers and garage queens out there with lower miles but there are also plenty that have been driven for well over 100,000 miles. Prices have been creeping up recently; this car might have been a $20-25K car a couple of years ago but upper 20's for it now doesn't seem wrong (assuming its been cared for and maintained).

A Gen 1 or pre ABS Gen 2 are pretty much muscle cars, a little smoother than 60's and 70's Chevys, but still pretty raw with no nannies. If you want the "steers like a truck and doesn't stop well" (not a disparagement....I own a few 70's cars, its actually exciting when you're feelin' it) go for the Camaro. If you want smoother yet still a blast but not a Lexus feel, go for the Viper ;-)
 

First Strike

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If you want the "steers like a truck and doesn't stop well" (not a disparagement....I own a few 70's cars, its actually exciting when you're feelin' it) go for the Camaro. If you want smoother yet still a blast but not a Lexus feel, go for the Viper ;-)[/QUOTE]

I surely can relate to the above comment. I own a 66 Big Block and a 72 small block vette, both feel like trucks compared to my 02GTS. However there is nothing like that 425 Big Block banging through the hookers, puts a permanent smile on my face every time.
 

gb66gth

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If you're going to buy a classic like the Camaro, be it a true restored car or a resto-mod car, buy it already done. In fact it would be worth spending an extra $10Kor even $20K from your 20-25K budget to find a car that was done awhile ago and now you can enjoy it. You'll never get your money out of it if you buy one at $20 and "do it yourself " or "as you go".

As far as the Viper, the Gen1-2 cars have bottomed out in value and they really are a hoot, not to mention reliable compared to a 50's-70's classic.
 

HardHitter

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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I know that the classics, one that is well done, are going to cost me $30-$40k. At this point of time in my life (27 and about to propose) it wouldn't make financial sense to spend that much.

At least for a Viper, I can afford while also saving up for a second house and proposing.

If you were to make an offer on that car, from only what you know of, what would your offers be?
 

slysnake

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Wanted to know what your thoughts are on my decision if I were to go spend the money on a Viper over a classic muscle car
I bought the Viper first. Now have my eyes set on a 70's 'cuda. But in the end, you need to have them BOTH!!! (Still trying to explain that concept to my wife)
 

steve e

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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I know that the classics, one that is well done, are going to cost me $30-$40k. At this point of time in my life (27 and about to propose) it wouldn't make financial sense to spend that much.

At least for a Viper, I can afford while also saving up for a second house and proposing.

If you were to make an offer on that car, from only what you know of, what would your offers be?

HardHitter, you can always propose, trust me on that one. Get the Viper while your still young, and with the Viper in no time at all you will have 6 more to chose to propose to:D all kidding aside you only live once.:usa:
 

MoparMap

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If you're going to buy a classic like the Camaro, be it a true restored car or a resto-mod car, buy it already done. In fact it would be worth spending an extra $10Kor even $20K from your 20-25K budget to find a car that was done awhile ago and now you can enjoy it. You'll never get your money out of it if you buy one at $20 and "do it yourself " or "as you go".

As far as the Viper, the Gen1-2 cars have bottomed out in value and they really are a hoot, not to mention reliable compared to a 50's-70's classic.

Definitely true that doing up cars is a labor of love and generally only for those that really want what they want. One nice thing about it though is you can potentially do it as you go so you're not dropping a huge chunk of money at once and instead spreading it out over time. Granted you'll probably spend more in the long run, but you can also potentially enjoy the car from the beginning as opposed to waiting and waiting before you ever get it. I bought my 67 Dart with a 318 and no interior and drove it that way for a few months with the biggest smile on my face. Rebuilt and replaced stuff over weekends so the car was never out of commission more than a few days (since it was my main means of transportation at the time). 3 years later I now have a 5.7 hemi with aftermarket fuel injection, a T56 Viper transmission, and a 8 3/4 Sure Grip rear end along with plenty of rebuilt factory parts (like the front suspension). I could probably still get my money out of it since I did all the work myself, but I don't plan to sell it any time soon. Looking at the pictures of what it looked like when I bought it to what it looks like now is a pretty eye-opening experience, even to me.

All that said though, sounds like you (the OP) are looking at similar price tags for a base car to start with or a Viper, so the quick answer would be go for the Viper. One thing to consider though, if you do happen to be mod-happy and want to start upgrading parts (though the car you're looking at looks like it has several of the fixin's already), it's probably going to cost a pretty penny more for Viper parts than Camaro parts. Case in point, I can do heads and a cam in my 5.7 Hemi for around $2500, heads and a cam on the Viper are more like $8000, and that's without labor.
 

Torquemonster06

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The wife and I did the "Old School Muscle" for a long time. She loved her 67 GT dart and I loved the 69 RR we had built. It was really fun to take the kids to the car shows and teach them about the cars. Memories last forever. But deep down inside the wife and I both wanted to own a viper. So eventually we started the process of working our way up to one. Im not rich by any means but admittedly we both have expensive tastes. We got our viper finally and haven't looked back. The kids are all grown up and moved out and have their own kids now. If you enjoy working on cars there are plenty of "Mods" you can do to a viper. Its always fun to make them your own.
 

HardHitter

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Any of you in the California area? It would be nice to have another Viper owner check it out locally. Here is the link to his FS ad: http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/4325274086.html

He says that the motor is stock but from what others are saying, it doesn't look stock. There are smooth tubes from what it looks like. There has been body work it seems like as well as a lot of the embossed markings are missing.

He's asking $29K but I still offered him $25K to see what he's willing to work with. I would think it is an average deal for around $26-$27k. From what I know of

- Has some motor mods done (looks like just smooth tubes)
- Exhaust seems "louder" than what a stock car should be. I think that he has an aftermarket exhaust system on it but from the pictures, the headers seem to be stock manifolds (start up clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAV2Gep3-UU)
- Wheels are iForged Daytonas which are 2 or 3 piece wheels. They are 19's in front and 20's in back with 275/325 tires
- Suspension is aftermarket as he said, and I quote "suspension has adjustment wrenches and I believe it is some type of three or four bar suspension I don't know". With the "adjustment wrenches" I'm assuming the car has coilovers
- Brakes look to be aftermarket Brembo brake kit based upon the pictures

Based on your experience on Vipers and knowledge, what would you price this out at?
 

Caesar!

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Classic Muscle vs Modern..
I have a 71 Challenger RT 440 six pack and 4sp pistol grip... and a Pontiac TA.455 4sp. And yes the Viper GTS..Dont kid yourself..The Old School Muscle is Fast!!! I get more Riled up Rifling through the gears on the old Big Block Detroit iron and listening to that M22 Rockcrusher ****** in my TA...
The Old school Muscle will never die...and maybe because the Viper has elements of Old School Muscle I like it....Fast and Dangerous!!! LOL.
You cant go wrong with a Camaro either...Beautiful cars..My suggestion...Buy one of each...Old School and Modern...and you'll always smile when you jump into either.
 

rdutko

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Just come out and ask the little princess to be...

Q:"What kind of car am I allowed to buy?"

A: "A new mini-van."
 

TitleMine

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With how cheap the RT/10 is now, you'd be nuts not to get one unless you can only afford one car. I mean seriously, would you rather have a Scion FRS or a freakin' Viper?
 

G-ManGTS

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Did you run the carfax and/or autocheck? Any accidents? How many owners? A lot of times scarfax will also include detials on maintenance performed. I would base my offer on the answers to the above.
 

Camfab

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I think it's funny that people think a twenty year old car with 34K is a high mileage. At that age you should be more concerned about what the condition of everything non mechanical is in the car. The head gaskets are the biggest worry with Gen 1 cars. Some were repaired with the same defective style gaskets (paper) as original. As stated above, plenty of Vipers have been wrapped around telephone poles and repaired. Personally I'd never buy any car sight unseen without it being inspected by me or at the very least a pro vehicle inspection service. One that specializes in those vehicles. Three hundred bucks is chump change when your buying a car.
 

Camfab

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Do some reading here, SoCal has some of the best Viper guys in the nation, hire one out for the afternoon if you have too. If they seem expensive to you, you might want to consider buying a different car. Viper parts aren't cheap like a Vette and you cant buy anything at Kragen other than plugs and oil.
 

GermanViper

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I bought the Viper first. Now have my eyes set on a 70's 'cuda. But in the end, you need to have them BOTH!!! (Still trying to explain that concept to my wife)

Muahahaha! :) Luckily my girlfriend is as much into cars as I am. This is why we now have 7 cars in total! :)
 

Kmrumedy

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Classic Muscle vs Modern..
.My suggestion...Buy one of each...Old School and Modern...and you'll always smile when you jump into either.

This.

It's great to have one to drive and one to tinker. And the best tip ever has already been stated a few times....buy a car that is already done. You will save tons of money. Let someone else sink cash into the car. Many people do this and then get bored with the cars and sell them for pennies on the dollar.

Case and point. I just got this 64 Mopar this past summer. The owner put over $27K into the car. Cost me less than a 1/3 of that price. Never thought I would refer to my Viper as my " slow car ". This little Mopar is insane! Pic and vid of engine running....just love this sound. Good luck with your purchase. Fun is in the search!

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Vid

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u2g30I5PfgE
 

DrumrBoy

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Sounds sweet Indeed. If you can and are interested, try to get a different air filter on it....those polymer elements don't survive the first backfire and the resulting liquid plastic mess is really tough to get off the carb. I know these are used when clearance is tight and maybe that's why the previous owner used it, but if you can, change to something with a paper or K&N-type element (or keep it tuned really really well so it never shoots gasoline the wrong way). Nice ride.
 

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