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1st & 2nd Generation Camaros 1967-1969 Camaros / 1970-1981 Camaro

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Old 01-14-2009, 01:13 AM   #1
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Help me

im considering buying a 1968 or 69 camaro for my first car but i need to know if the gas mileage is worth it. i will be driving often and i dont want to be filling up at the gas station every 50 miles. Do you think a 1st gen is a good car for a beginning driver.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:43 AM   #2
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Na ............ you should be good for at least 55 miles!!!!!!
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:58 AM   #3
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Find something else for a first car. 1st Gens are great as collector cars, restoration projects, or weekend drag cars, but not so good for everyday driving. More routine maintenance is required, gas mileage sucks, and reliability depends on many factors. Plus, don't want to be putting all those miles on a collector car! Maybe try and find a decent 4th Gen or something. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:00 AM   #4
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I'm using my '74 for a daily driver and maintanence is a bi***. I swear there is something wrong with it everyday. It needs constant attention.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by blazzin1 View Post
Find something else for a first car. 1st Gens are great as collector cars, restoration projects, or weekend drag cars, but not so good for everyday driving. More routine maintenance is required, gas mileage sucks, and reliability depends on many factors. Plus, don't want to be putting all those miles on a collector car! Maybe try and find a decent 4th Gen or something. Just my humble opinion.
I call BS on this. About a decade ago, I owned a '69 SS 396/325 that was in what would be considered "driver condition" (paid $8k for it). I drove the car 4-5 times a week and had no problems. In fact, I flew up to St. Louis, bought the car, and drove it home...800 miles and it ran like a champ. My routine maintenance was filling it up with gas and oil changes...period. The car averaged 15 mpg when I kept my foot out of it. These cars are reliable and a lot of fun to drive. If I had a "show restored" first gen Camaro, then I'd probably only drive it handful of times a year. I'm in the process of looking for another one, because I sold the '69 when my wife was pregnant with our 1st child.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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my opinion....i guess it depends the condition of it. If it is really clean with low miles. To me it sure seems to be a waste.
Although you would get to drive a 68 or 69 camaro everyday.....that sure would be fun.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
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The 6 banger cars are decent on gas. Do you realize how much you will need to spend to get yourself into a 68 or 69 Camaro? No bank will lend you the money so you better have cash.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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I call BS on this. About a decade ago, I owned a '69 SS 396/325 that was in what would be considered "driver condition" (paid $8k for it). I drove the car 4-5 times a week and had no problems. In fact, I flew up to St. Louis, bought the car, and drove it home...800 miles and it ran like a champ. My routine maintenance was filling it up with gas and oil changes...period. The car averaged 15 mpg when I kept my foot out of it. These cars are reliable and a lot of fun to drive. If I had a "show restored" first gen Camaro, then I'd probably only drive it handful of times a year. I'm in the process of looking for another one, because I sold the '69 when my wife was pregnant with our 1st child.
YMMV...I agree with blazin...
First off...The 1st gens have become too valuable to risk the everyday dents/dings/road rash a daily driver takes (my opinion)

2nd...Either you were very lucky, you didn't have it long, or you didn't fix stuff when it broke. These cars are pushing 40 years old, if it's not a rust bucket, and everything is there, you're still going to have to stay on top of it maintenance wise.

How many miles did you put on the car?

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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YMMV...I agree with blazin...
First off...The 1st gens have become too valuable to risk the everyday dents/dings/road rash a daily driver takes (my opinion)

2nd...Either you were very lucky, you didn't have it long, or you didn't fix stuff when it broke. These cars are pushing 40 years old, if it's not a rust bucket, and everything is there, you're still going to have to stay on top of it maintenance wise.

How many miles did you put on the car?
I agree; I would not risk driving a "show car" around every day, but a car that is a "driver" I would...and did. And, I am not referring to the matching numbers SS's (in their various configurations), Z/28's, COPO's, Yenko's, etc. You can find a great solid car with a non-matching drivetrain for a heck of a lot less than one that is just missing the original engine.

I put 8,600 miles on the car. When I bought the car, the speedometer was not working. I drove it home and put a new speedo cable in and that was the extent of what I did to it. Nothing broke on me and I was looking forward to working on the car and fixing stuff that needed it, but it never happened.

I agree with you that most 1st gens in really good driver condition (e.g., nice paint and interior) is going to cost you right at $18-20k in today's market. Last year, that number was about 30-40% higher. There are good solid cars out there that are not restored just well taken care of for $13-15k as people need the money and are dropping prices like crazy. I've gone to see these cars and I've test driven them. The classic car market has taken a big hit and prices are falling. Those that deal with the "pedigree" cars (e.g., numbers matching Z/28) are not that affected right now. Though, the BJ auction has had some surprises with very nice cars going for quite a bit less than they should.

I am not sure what you mean by keeping on top of these cars maintenance wise. Do you mean you are constantly working on them? Or, that you have to do similar maintenance as a more modern car? The one thing that I really appreciate about these cars is that I can do the majority of repairs that might be needed.

I considered shifting my focus to 2nd gens because they are quite a bit less money and have some better engineering. For example, the '78 and '79 Z/28's can be had in very nice condition for $13-15k with some having only 50-60k original miles. But, I'm sure I'd be kicking myself if I did because I've always had a "thing" for the '68...this is in no reference to the guy that "loves" his cars
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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hell yea man! if i were u, id get the 68 or 69, drive it, but save up for some beater car tht u can drive in the winter. i got an 86' for my first car not too long ago, and its awesome!! and as long as it runs good, buy it, and try to fix it up! thts wat im trying to do
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Skidmark View Post
im considering buying a 1968 or 69 camaro for my first car but i need to know if the gas mileage is worth it. i will be driving often and i dont want to be filling up at the gas station every 50 miles. Do you think a 1st gen is a good car for a beginning driver.
Hard to even guess what engine you'll find in any first gen. But no, don't expect good gas mileage. IMO these cars are classics to be taken care of, not to be a first car for a beginning driver.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:10 AM   #12
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That is a terrible choice for a first car. I don't want to come off as cruel, but there isn't a 16-year-old in the world who isn't a better driver after a couple more years. You have all the time in the world to get a classic. Why would you want to waste one in the meantime?

I know what you're going to say. "I'm a good driver, and I'll be careful with this classic muscle car." You probably are a good driver. Get it when you're a great driver. There aren't 1968 Camaros in every neighborhood for a reason. They're fairly rare, and they are treated like royalty. They only go out on summer days, for instance, or they only drive a few miles at a time. Obviously, there are exceptions, but those exceptions tend to be the ones in the worst condition.

The moral of the story is that you may love a car but that doesn't mean that you're ready for it. I'm not ready for a classic car yet. You'll know when you're ready when you can honestly say that you treat your current daily driver like it belongs in a museum. Until then, enjoy your current car, learn a lot about the cars you love, and get one when the time is right.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:15 PM   #13
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I say you should buy one and give it to me. Thoughts?
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:46 AM   #14
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Depends where you live. Below was my daily driver for 4 years while I went to school. I was hell bent on driving that for the sheer claim of saying I did it.

The main mod I did was the heating system. I installed a larger box all together and blower motor, it was always toasty in winter and it enhanced my driving skills. I would add a security system to it, and a keyed line lock for the brakes.

You need to weigh all the variables. First gens did come with 6 cylinders, mine had a 327 and got 22mpg with a 2 barrel carb, 4 speed, and 3:10 rear gears. I put the 2 barrel intake on for mileage and it was still quick.

The value of those cars then were not what they are now but mine was a beater.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:09 PM   #15
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Depending on the condition you could use it as a daily drive, but not my first choice. Without spending $ and time to give it a more upgraded feel you my want to reconsider. When you start down that road you become vested and then it turns into your first project and you need another car to use as a daily driver. Love Gen one and if I had the room I would have about 3 more. My experience about 14 years ago.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:36 AM   #16
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You want a safe, easy to drive and economical car for your first vehicle and the car that seems to fit that bill is first gen Camaro?? Hmmmmmm....
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