Great magazine. I've been reading it for years. A while back you requested our busted-knuckles type of story, so I wanted to share my story from 40 years ago. When I was a senior in high school standing in the parking lot during a fire drill, parked right in front of me was my friend Bob Wilson's '64 four-door Valiant slant-six, known to all as the Duster. Being the rascal I can be, I figured it would be OK to switch a couple plug wires. Back to class we go. Bob worked at the local Gulf station and I worked at the local Sunoco. On my lunch break I would run down to the Gulf station to see how the better half was being treated. You can imagine my surprise walking in to find the Duster sitting in the bay with the cylinder head off. Apparently, after limping it back to work on it, he decided that the Duster needed a valve job. To this day, we still laugh to tears about that prank. Bob and I are still friends after all these years and still laugh about old times.
There was a second part to this story, when about a year later Bob was able to exact revenge. As hilarious as it was, the outcome isn't exactly appropriate for print. That said, thanks for writing in, Tom. It's always good to hear stories from gearhead buddies.
I am a huge fan of your magazine, and I usually read it 10 times over till I soak it all in. In "Pick Your First Project Car" (July '09) I think that the price range for the G-bodies is a little high. My family has had wonderful luck snagging very cheap G-bodies. My mom had an '86 Pontiac Grand Prix that was yellow with a half-tan top and T-tops, which never leaked. She bought the car for $75 with 85,000 original miles and delivered mail in it for five years. Underneath the hood was a 4.3L V-6 that had 315,000 miles until I totaled it in an ice storm.
My first car was an '80 Buick Regal, as plain Jane as could be. I scored it for $100, and it had only 60,000 original miles and zero rust. The car was owned by a preacher's wife so she only drove it to the grocery store and church. Currently it has a blown transmission and is waiting on a 350 stroker.
Lastly, my daily driver is an '83 Chevy Monte Carlo that I picked up recently for $700 with 93,000 original miles. It has a little surface rust on the hood, roof, and trunk, but I'm planning to repaint it gray over the summer. For wheels, I picked up a set of Corvette Rallys with P235/60R15 tires up front and P255/60R15 out back for just $200-these are all original GM wheels! Powering the Monte is a 305ci small-block with an aluminum intake, chrome valve covers, and a Quadrajet four-barrel carb.
Besides the three cars I've listed, my family has scored six G-bodies during my life. All of them together cost under $4,000, but most of them were also six-cylinder cars. I really appreciate your time, and I'm looking forward to my next issue.
During my first stint at our sister publication Car Craft magazine, I purchased a really straight V-8 -powered '78 Malibu for $750. I still can't believe how cheap it was and wish I would have held onto that car. Good deals are definitely out there, but you definitely have to make a valiant effort to find them.
I just wanted to say thank you. The coveted CHP plates arrived a couple days ago. I'm planning to send you a work-in-progress picture of my '69 El Camino SS in the near future.
Glad you received them, John! I'll admit we get backed up at times, but we eventually get the plates out. Those of you who write in about how to get plates, all you have to do is respond to our questions through email and be sure to include your address. Here's another chance to get your hands on a CHP plate: We're running low on Busted Knuckles adventures. Send in your story, and if we print it you can expect a plate shortly, along with a few other goodies we like to toss in.