'68 Convertible- yay or nay?
First time poster and new to the GTO world here, so forgive me if I mess up any terminology or models here, these cars were made before I was born.
I've been driving this old beater F-150 truck for a while now. Nothing wrong with it, but I've been looking for something with a bit less.....rust.... to it. I've been tinkering with motors and stuff since I was about 8, my dad bought me a dune buggy made from a '71 Beetle which constantly needed work.
This guy near my house always seems to have something in his driveway for sale, cars, snowmobiles, trailers, always something. Last week, a good condition mist blue GTO went up with a tag asking $9000. Went to go see it later and took it for a drive. I asked him more questions than I can count, but I figured I would have to learn a bit more about these things.
-1968 LeMans GTO. Here's my first question already. The owner called it a Pontiac LeMans, but on the rear "quarters" I believe, next to the Pontiac symbol, it says GTO. I googled for a picture of a '68 GTO, and it looks too different to be that(headlights aren't behind grille). I don't have a picture of it handy, and I don't know really of anything else that could identify it.
-The owner called the motor the "Sprint Six". Had a single 4bbl carb, it started and ran just fine, with a tiny bit of "popping" now and then at idle. Said the carb might need a rebuild(I'm certianly familiar with that) Driving, no issues at all. The owner said when he bought it, there was antifreeze in the oil and the head gasket was blown, so he rebuilt it, only around 1000 miles on the rebuild. When I drove it and stepped on it, there was no sputter or hesitation at all and it moved, big time. It was a 3-speed manual.
-It has a new(er?) ragtop, and the lift mechanism works like new, no issues with that at all. Also includes a cover for the ragtop when it's folded down, which is brand new.
-It has "courtesy lights" for the backseat. The owner said these were a rare option and substantially added to the value. Any truth to this? All the other lights work, headlights, flashers, brakes, even reverse are fine.
-Power steering, but no power brakes for 4 wheel drums. The steering seemed awfully loose, but the owner said this was normal(the owner also has a slightly newer GTO with the triple carbs and a '57 Ford, so I suspect he knows what he's talking about) The generator had been replaced with an alternator.
-Recent paint job. It was from the factory a white color, but it was repainted to a mist green, which was an original color choice. Paint is in great shape and was done well. Lots of new chrome/trim bits in the cabin and around the body.
-Trunk is rusted out. One corner you can see the pavement through. While I don't totally care about this, it kinda raised red flags about rust on the frame or other places. Didn't get a chance to look underneath.
-Upholstery is like new. Said it is from another original car, not a reman or look-alike job. In general, the cabin is in great shape. All the gauges worked and were originals. The ignition required a bit of a jimmy to work, but that's not a big deal and easily fixed. Only other issue was wipers weren't working(owner said he was looking into this) and the switch for the blower was bad, again, not a big deal. No A/C, but I'm used to that, and it's a convertible, so who cares?
-New wheels, not originals but look very nice. All 4 tires were brand new.
-Single spinner rear end, forgot to ask what gears are in it. First gear would take it up to about 40mph, didn't have a tach and since I don't know the motor I couldn't tell you the revs. Said he had a 2.9 posi rear end that he would include if I wanted it.
-Could I tow with this car? Nothing big or heavy, the biggest load it would see would be maybe half a ton(trailer plus two snowmobiles) and only towing it like 50 miles a couple times a year. Owner said as long as I put a frame mount hitch on, that would be fine.
Now I just need help convincing myself to buy it. I've always wanted to drive a vintage car, and now a muscle car no less. I was planning on buying a Wrangler or something similar, partially because I was tired of my single spinner, 2WD 5spd truck getting stuck all the time, and partly because Wranglers are dime-a-dozen, at least around here. I could get a NICE, hopped up Wrangler for like $5k. However, I also realize that a GTO(or lemans, or whatever it is) will only increase in value and minor work can skyrocket it's resale value.
So, the $9000 question is... is it worth it? Going by what I've seen these things go for online, totally. Runs fine. Great body/interior. Only minor, easily fixed problems. But what about gas mileage? I doubt this thing gets 10mpg on the highway. Insurance is likely to be a lot(this will be a daily driver should I buy it) due to the horsepower.
Any input here would be greatly appreciated. I want to buy it, but I need a little convincing and figured this would be the best place to get it. Oh, I didn't realize this post was so long, sorry.