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Discussion Starter #1
Just found this site. Pretty cool! I'm looking to buy an El Camino to move around easily with my vintage bikes. I'll be racing some 1940s Harleys this year so I'm looking for a cool easy ride. I've always been eyeing the El Camino models and now have a great reason to go for it.

anyway, I will be going to see a 1973 El Camino tomorrow. I've read the buying tips on this forum but what are the other things I should be watching out or? Are there any recurrent problems specific to that year? Are there any things that should make me walk away immediatly? etc...
Here's a pic of the car I'll be seeing tomorrow:





It could use some black paint in my opinion!
Thanks in advance!
Eric
 

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Eric @ B.O.S said:
I will be going to see a 1973 El Camino tomorrow. I've read the buying tips on this forum but what are the other things I should be watching out or? Are there any recurrent problems specific to that year? Are there any things that should make me walk away immediatly?
IMHO, the answer to all of those questions is "Rust". If it's 30 years old there's bound to be some rust. If I'm looking to buy any vehicle, the first tell-tale signal for me to walk away is rust. Because, if you see a little there's probably more. Look real close. Good luck!!

:mrgreen:
 

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i thought 73's had round headlights :? , the only thing i can say is there isn't a huge amount of aftermarket for those years 73-77
 

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Yep, that front end is definately a 76-77. The rear bumper is correct though. My guess is that there was some front end damage and the 76-77 nose was a easy fix.

Abraham
 

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As 87ElCamino said, RUST. One of the biggest problems with that era Elky. That one in the pic looks pretty decent though. Check the back sides of the 1/4 panels and floor boards REAL close. I had a '77 12 years ago and that thing was a rust bucket :( Tha 1/4's and floor boards were gone!Pretty bad for a 14 year old vehicle.
 

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That front clip swap would be the first spot I would look on that car... Crawl underneath with a flashlight and look at the frame around the front Control arms(a-frame) for cracks or signs that its been welded... When you drive it check to see that it drives straight.

Body looks good in the pics, but that could hide a lot. Don't be afraid to crawl underneath the car to look at the floor boards to verify its solid or rusty etc etc... (bring a blanket so you don't get dirty btw) :)

The doors on the 73-77 are long & heavy- Very common for the drivers door hinges to be bent a bit- not a big deal, can be fixed with stuff from any autoparts store, but a good $$ barganing point. Open and close both doors several times to verify it is working good. If it seems to hang up on closing(have to be slammed hard) or hangs up on opening(have to lift or pull hard) the hinge is probably shot.

Since you plan on hauling stuff- Check out the bed carefully (including crawling under (yes one more time) from the back and looking at the bed floor from the bottom for signs of rust. While you are under the back- check out the rear frame for signs of past trailer hitches and any accidents.

Be sure to test out all the electrical switches(Backup lights, emergency, turn signals, brake, taillights, headlights, wipres, etc etc) have the seller sit in the car and turn them on- you stand outside to verify!!! Don't take their word!)

Anyway- Just a few things to watch out for... Car looks good in the pics, hopefully it will be as nice in person for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First of all thanks everyone for your feedback. I went to see the car yesterday. I looked at the car very carefully, crawled under several times etc... Chassis etc seemed fine, so did motor which ran good. Overall the condition was great except for...rust.

The car had been repainted and you could tell whoever did it did a pretty crappy job. There were bumps in the paint here and there and the paint had started to crack in some places: especially around both rear wheels.

I walked away. I'm sure the car was pretty good overall but the rust just didn't make me feel confortable at all. I really don't feel like doing some body work. My little experience in cars has tought me that when you see things like that on a car, you NEVER know what you are in for until you strip it completely. Hope I made the right choice. What do you think? Am I being too picky for a car of that era?

I'm gonna keep looking so I could use more advice. Thanks again,
Eric
 

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Eric @ B.O.S said:
The car had been repainted and you could tell whoever did it did a pretty crappy job. There were bumps in the paint here and there and the paint had started to crack in some places: especially around both rear wheels.
It sounds like one of those 20/20 paint jobs. The ones that look real good from 20 feet away, or as it's driving by at 20MPH.

The owner probably wants to sell it before it gets worse. Keep looking and don't be in a hurry. Summer is coming and there will be lots more Elkys for sale. Good luck in your search.

:mrgreen:
 

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I've found that your first impression is usually the correct one, probably a good thing you walked away...Better luck on the next one!
 
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