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Old 04-22-2021, 10:29 AM   #1
70cst
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I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

It's interesting as I look back on my life ... when I graduated from school in 1970 I wanted an SS396 Chevelle or SS396 Nova but ... I couldn't afford insurance back then. Now 50 years later I can afford the insurance on a 396 SS but I still can't afford to buy a SS396. So as a consolation prize in 2001 I bought a 1970cst with a 402BB. So as it goes in life ... I have a 1970 Chevy that I didn't even consider in 1970. Its funny how these things work out.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

Great Photo's, Great Truck and ..HAH!

Even the windows on the building match, how did you swing that?
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

That's one nice looking truck! I'm not sure that I'd want to spend the money to get the truck that I do have, though it is perfect for what we need. Inherited, the best price.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:00 PM   #4
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

You also did a bang-up job on the resto on your truck.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:21 PM   #5
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I was having a discussion yesterday with my 15 year old step son about what he wants to drive at 16. Of course he wants a Mustang...smh

I told him when I was 16 I wanted a Camaro or Chevelle. I found a few in my price range but my Dad would not let me have one because he was afraid the BBC cars were too much for me and I would get hurt. At 17 I finally ended up with a 71 C10. It wasn't what I wanted but by 17 I was ready to just have my own wheels.

I still have the truck and I am glad I do. I would still like to have the Camaro or Chevelle though...
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I'm a truck guy. I drive trucks because those are what I love. Trucks are my first choice. I'll take a truck over a car any day. I bought a nearly new '72 SWB Highlander with a 402 in '73 off the local Chevy dealer's OK Used Car lot when I was 18. I couldn't come anywhere near affording that same truck today, and wouldn't pay the money even if I could
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

So funny guys. When I was shopping for my first set of wheels at 16 my dad drug me all over looking at stuff he thought I'd like. 1971 Mach 1 Mustang - nope, ugly and too big. 1969 Dodge Charger - nope, ugly and too big (wish I had this one now).

Car I wanted? Guy had a 1969 AMC AMX with the go package for sale. Posi, four speed, 390, four barrel car. My dad drove it and told me I couldn't buy it. Too much car for me.

A couple weeks later I got my 1970 stepside and drove it for the next seven years. Wish I would have kept it.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I purchased a 1957 Corvette when I was 21, in 197o's.
Still have it. Had a blast in it when I was young.
It went well in the sand with 10.5" of rear tire on it. LOL
You can still drive on the beach in certain areas around here.
Road hard and put away wet but I never wrecked it.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:29 PM   #9
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

Car? Truck?
My first ride was an El Camino.

The front is like a car
The back is like a truck
The front is where you drive
The back is where you ....um, haul stuff
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:44 PM   #10
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

Great looking truck. When I was 17 back in the 70's I couldn't afford anything. One of my first cars was a 1968 Chevy wagon that I paid $300 for. I was a mechanic at that time so it was cheap and easy for me to fix.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:57 PM   #11
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I was 17 when the new '67 pickups came out. Couldn't afford one then. By the time I was 23, I arranged credit on a '68 C/10 Stepside for $1200. Took me 2 years to pay off. But I still have that truck and it's my daily driver.
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:32 PM   #12
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I get it. In 1977 when I turned 16, I wanted a Camaro. Dad said no way, so i bought a 69 el camino. I hated it, and I still am not a fan. Then I settled on an SS396 Chevelle. Way too rich for my blood, so I did the next best thing, I made one out of several wrecks. Turned out just fine and 45 years later, Im still making something from nothing. Your truck looks perfect, glad it worked out. PS, I sold the Chevelle to help build our 1st house.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:08 PM   #13
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

My first vehicle was a 67 CST pickup. I actually wanted a truck, and this one sat for a while at a small dealership locally where I grew up, and I really did not give it much notice at first. I had no idea it was originally a 327/TH400 and was loaded with options, but the original 327 was gone, and in its place a 327 out of Corvette, but tired. The first time I saw it on the road the dealership owners son was driving it, and I knew I had to have it. I surprised many with that truck, including a 383 Roadrunner. A few years later I ended up trading that truck for a big block SS Chevelle, but wish I had that red CST pickup again, although I ended up replacing the engine two times while I owned it, and the last was a low compression 350. I am now restoring a 72 Cheyenne with big block, but I could not help making the engine bay look much like the muscle cars of the day complete with headers, and factory style chrome air cleaner and valve covers on the 402. I would still like to have a big block chevelle (prefer 70 like most), but I doubt I will ever have an original, but the thought has crossed my mind to build my own SS 454 clone, and it would have to be red with cowl induction and the black stripes. We'll see how it goes, I plan to retire in a year or so and will have a lot more time on my hands. You only live once, and life is short. Those of you who grew up during the 60s and 70s know what I am talking about...... arguably the automotive era peaked in or around 1970, and it's been a downhill slide since in many ways.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:15 AM   #14
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I bought my 69 chevelle ss in 1978 and still have it paid 3275.00 Daytona yellow with white interior
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:15 PM   #15
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutone View Post
I get it. In 1977 when I turned 16, I wanted a Camaro. Dad said no way, so i bought a 69 el camino. I hated it, and I still am not a fan. Then I settled on an SS396 Chevelle. Way too rich for my blood, so I did the next best thing, I made one out of several wrecks. Turned out just fine and 45 years later, Im still making something from nothing. Your truck looks perfect, glad it worked out. PS, I sold the Chevelle to help build our 1st house.
Understand the selling part
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:34 PM   #16
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

My story is a bit backwards compared to yours, CST. My first car was a 67 Pontiac (in '84). Dad told me at 13, if I got a job and saved my money he would match my savings for a car. At 15-1/2 years old we started looking at cars. Dad was not a car-guy and all I wanted was something with wheels. Long story short, a 67 GTO went up for sale about a mile away and we bought it for $4200.oo. I actually did not save up quite half of it, but "the kid" in Dad came out and he floated me the extra $200. I figured it was to help with tires as he burned them off pretty good during the test drive. lol

If it was not for Dad pushing for the purchase of that old muscle car, I would not have gotten hooked on the classics and would not have my 72 C10 today. I always feel a bit sorry for a kid who gets the old family car for there first car as they may not get to spend there life spending all their money on rusted steel and hard to find parts.

Your truck is beautiful! AND, you will like getting in and out of that much better than getting in an out of a old car.
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Old 04-23-2021, 04:59 PM   #17
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

Everyone should own a big block Chevelle.
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Old 04-23-2021, 05:51 PM   #18
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I do regret selling the '66 LeMans that had a RA III 400 transplanted into it. That's in the same ballpark.
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Old 04-23-2021, 06:50 PM   #19
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I could not afford to buy my SS today . In 1984 I got mine fo $ 374 . Basically a mechanics lean towed car in with a broken axle week later no kid . Went to his house he couldn’t pay and signed the registration over.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:40 PM   #20
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I'm younger than ya'll, but when I bought my '71 in 1994 we had looked at sunday classfieds cars for over a year, including countless muscle car projects that were $3-5,000 but were ruled out due to rust or drivetrain issues that I wouldn't even blink at today. I remember driving a white 1966 Chevelle SS396 listed for $4k but Dad didn't like the transmission leaks lol. I mean re-sealing a TH350 was a deal breaker and patina paint would get you laughed at. Yet somehow we landed on my '71 Cheyenne that needed all of the above and more for $4800! Dad was convinced they were the next big thing and trucks were cheaper to restore and work on. He was right, gotta love Dads.

Turn of events, Dad had a '68 Z28 that he had to sell when I was born...I am now looking to buy/surprise him with one for a retirement project.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:32 PM   #21
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

Got my 70 back in 1999 for $1500. Right before muscle cars really inflated. It was rough, but the price was right. It was my first car and still own it. I used to say I was born about 10-15 years too late to collect muscle cars, but I am glad I was able to pick up these trucks when they were a dime a dozen still in salvage yards. The last 5 years, things have really became harder to locate in my area.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:42 PM   #22
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

I always wanted one of those 'king of the hill' muscle-cars ('70 Chevelle 454SS) but knew it would likely never happen. When I reached my twenties, the metric chassis/G-body replacements were well within my budget & they hooked me. I've had several of them since.

The G-body Malibu will never be the rock-star like a '70 model, but they're still basically the same under the exterior sheet-metal. They still have decent interior space & still easily accommodate a BBC/TH400 w/o much drama plus are slightly lighter to boot

I'm doing a 'What If' version now. I want to use some options of earlier models that were part of that appeal as well as some ideas from later GM offerings for the advanced technology.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:10 AM   #23
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

When I was 16 and getting my first car I wasn't picky at all. I would have been happy with a VW bug, Fiat Spyder, Camaro, Trans Am, or would loved to have a corvette.

What did I end up with? A 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 4 door in poop brown and a beige vynail (spelling?) top with a performance producing 260 cubic inch V8 of lackluster horsepower. Oh well, I was just happy to have a set of wheels and some freedom.
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:08 AM   #24
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

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When I was 16 and getting my first car I wasn't picky at all. I would have been happy with a VW bug, Fiat Spyder, Camaro, Trans Am, or would loved to have a corvette.

What did I end up with? A 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 4 door in poop brown and a beige vynail (spelling?) top with a performance producing 260 cubic inch V8 of lackluster horsepower. Oh well, I was just happy to have a set of wheels and some freedom.
As a young-gun, my siblings & I used to be watched over by the daughter of a family friend when my parents went out for a night. This young lady got a 4dr Ford Granada as her 1st car. I remember clear as yesterday telling my parents in zero uncertain terms that a car like that would be a hard NO for me. My mom said if I got anything from them, it would be the current Dodge Aspen station wagon she was driving @ the time. "If that wasn't good enough, you can use your own money & buy what you want". Task accepted.

I started mowing more yards & worked (under-age) @ a fast-food restaurant as a grunt.

I wound up buying a pretty cool '64 Chevy short-step w/a SBC/4spd Muncie combo. It wasn't that Holy-Grail '70 SS454 (I would have settled for a SS396 ) or a '69 Camaro, but I'd say I did all-right.

I'm building my current '64 like I wanted back then as a 16yr old w/o any resources. With 'Time' doing it's thing, the list has been amended .
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Building a small, high rpm engine with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive.
It's like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.....

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Old 04-24-2021, 11:17 AM   #25
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Re: I couldn't afford a SS 396 at 18 and 50 years later I still cant.

As a kid in the 60's I was hooked early on with the Chevelles and GTOs. My Dad sold new Dodge/Plymouth/Chryslers and drove company demonstrators and of course tested Road Runners, GTXs. Lucky me got to ride in most of them. I remember in particular a '65 Coronet 426 Hemi 4 speed! When becoming of age to have a car he would not let me have a muscle car though. He was for sure I'd get hurt in one. We'll never know...
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