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MyClassicGarage Historical 1981-1977 Pontiac - FIrebird

Rick, what exactly is a “Bandit Edition” Trans Am? People throw th…

Rick, what exactly is a “Bandit Edition” Trans Am? People throw that term around loosely. Spell it out for us.

Bandit simple means it has to be an Authentic “SE” which means it has to have the Special Edition Pkg, now depending on which year we are talking 1977-1981, it would mean a Y81- Y82- Y84 Special Edition (i can break that down at a another time) The Point is there is a BIG Diff in Value between a Special Edition and a Regular Black TA. The " Bandit " all started of course with the Movie : Smokey and the Bandit " and that Movie car was a 1977 Y82 ( SE ) Special Edition Trans Am What Special Edition Pkg consists of is the Folowing, Gold Snow Flake Wheels, Gold Pinstriping, Gold Anodized spoke Steering wheel, Gold Plated Dash Bezel, Gold Bird Badges in Door Panels, Gold Nose Crest Emblem ( EXCEPT 1977 ), Larger Sail Panel Birds, Gold Bird Automatic Shift Button,exclusive Black n Gold Hood Bird,(1977-1978) there are other factors depending on what year we are talking, for example a 1977 SE also received exclusive German Lettering decals, i am sending a 1977 Window sticker example, this one happens to be a Y82, which means “with T-Tops”. Now you can ad all the items mentioned above to any Black Trans Am, but that would be a Clone and not an Authentic SE " Bandit " Edition Trans Am, thanks for the question, Rick McLaughlin

about 5 years ago
mannie Restoration 1973-1976 Dodge - Dart

A 440 in a 1972 dodge dart.

Is it a pain to install a 440 in a 1972 dodge dart swinger with a slant six and if so, is it worth the time, effort and money?


First I will address your relative’s comments. The ’68 Dart, which was the same platform as your car (a 3G Mopar A-body), with the 426 Hemi S/S package, was, and still is, to this day, the fastest-accelerating production car ever built. In ’69, the factory offered a 440 Dart for street duty.

While unibody frame connectors, a 6-point (or more) cage, etc., are always a good idea, the basic A-body platform was extremely beefy and rigid, and able to handle anything a big-block can dish out. Your relative is just plain wrong.

The actual swap is straightforward, but does require changing virtually the entire powertrain, exhaust, cooling system, as well as suspension and brake upgrades, a wheel bolt pattern swap (to 5-on-4.5"), and so on. The MTS CD-rom, available at:

….contains a wealth of lowbuck engine and powertrain swap information, including just what you are contemplating. Is it a “pain”? No, it is basically a bolt-in, but, as I said, virtually everything must change. Everything except the shell.

It pays, however, to discuss the outcome of a big-block swap: Unless the engine is put on a serious diet, the car becomes a nose-heavy, ill-handling beast. Personally, I much prefer a 360-based smallblock swap — the car is simply much better balanced and more fun to drive.


over 3 years ago
MyClassicGarage General 1981-1976 Pontiac - FIrebird

Which Trans Am should I buy right now as a combination investment/c…

Which Trans Am should I buy right now as a combination investment/cruise night car?

depending on how much you want to invest, any 1976-1981 Black Trans Am, if its not an SE Bandit, you should be able to find a very presentable local show and cruise in car for under $20k, this is a very good investment right now, thanks for your question, Rick McLaughlin

about 5 years ago
VehicleNetwork My Car 1970-1970 Dodge - Challenger

What is a fair selling price for this 1970 Challenger?

Should I be able to sell it for $45,000?


The fair selling price for a heavily modified car usually comes down to this: Whatever someone will pay! Any appraisal is just a guesstimate. In general, modified cars sell for a, lot less money than it took to construct them, the only exception being a car so radical, unique, interesting, etc. that it moves the bar.

You car looks great, excepting for that way-too-thick fiberglass rear spoiler (and I haven’t seen underhood, etc.). Still, my guess is that you’re gonna have a tough time reaching your sales-price target.


over 3 years ago
leafern General 2015-1924 Chrysler - Coupe

Mopar and Fait good or bad?

Well it’s two questions but they are related. Do you think that the ownership of Chrysler LLC is now owned by Fait? And. Do you think it will change the company (like make the Viper sound like a Ferrari)?


Fait, huh? OK….Well, let’s say that I have faith in FIAT.

Fiat now owns controlling interest in Chrysler, LLC, and a new corporation, headquartered in the Netherlands, has been chartered: FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

While it is true that Fiat got control of Chrysler basically for free (with the “minor” exception that they had to assume a ton of financial liabilities), they have, since the acquisition, poured billions into Chrysler.

It has been a 2-way street, with several Mopars being badged as Fiats and sold in Europe, and some Fiats use Chrysler engines.

Then there’s the slightly bizarre side to the story: The new Fiat 500L is made in Serbia, in the old Yugo (Zastava) plant.

But overall, I’d say that if it weren’t for Marchionne and Fiat, Chrysler would no longer exist.


almost 4 years ago
Miller's Stop N Shop My Car 1971-1971 Chevrolet - Cheyenne

Resale Value of a 1971 Cheyenne Chevy

I’m 18 years old, and my dad gave me this truck for my graduation present. I am not looking to actually sell it as it is too sentimentally valuable to me. Unless I were to hit really hard times. It is a 1971 Cheyenne Chevy C20 3/4 ton pickup truck.

Very cool truck. I would peg the value at $10,000.00 as is and $23,000.00 restored, based on recent sales and our own internal activity at RK Motors Charlotte. It’s got great options! The 396 and the 402 are actually the same motor-Chevrolet had a corporate ban on all engines in excess of 400 CI through 1969 and the 396 was called a 396 to stay under this ceiling. The 402 is not a bored our 396-the 396 is actually a 402. My advice: keep it as-is and drive it and enjoy it. Thanks for the question.

over 4 years ago
Wolves' Den General 1970-1968 Dodge - Charger

Buying an un-restored 1970 Dodge Charger

I have found a 1970 Dodge Charger for sale locally to me and I am looking for a project car for my father and I. The car has some rust spots including a really bad rust area on the rear-right roof support behind the passenger door. It has a running/rebuilt 440 Magnum V8. It has a 4-speed manual transmission and is black primer colored. I am having trouble establishing the worth of the vehicle as it is and would be very grateful for any help that can be offered. I am very new at this and I am eager to learn as best as I can.
Thank you in advance.


2nd-gen Chargers are hot items — of that, there’s no doubt!

Gauging how much the one you are perusing is worth is difficult without me personally inspecting it, so I’ll give you a checklist that will help you decide:

> Is the car a real 440 R/T (VIN XS29U)?

> If so, does the last 6 digits of the VIN appear on the radiator yoke, engine block, transmission case, and rear axle, as well as the data plate?

If you answered “no” to the above, the car is either a clone or non-matching-numbers, and the value is diminished.

Even though the car has some rust, try to ascertain if the car has been “done” at some earlier point. While dealing with rust is never cheap or fun, dealing with some amateur’s Bondo in addition to the rust is even worse. A flexible refrigerator magnet can help sort hidden body filler.

Try to have the closest quality resto shop look it over and give you a ballpark quote before purchase, or send scads of pix to shops.

Also be sure all the parts you need are being reproduced. If, in fact, the “roof support” (inner structure" is very rusty and cannot be repaired, that would be a major hassle, since no reproduction is made of that C-pillar. Either the needed components would need to be hand-fabbed, or a used one surgically removed from a donor vehicle.

Also try to gauge the quality of the work that has been done (powertrain). Does it run well, no smoke, strange noises? Does it look OEM, or does it have a bare aluminum intake manifold, chrome or aluminum valve covers, aftermarket distributor and air cleaner, etc?

The general rule comes down to this:

There are 2 “classes” of Mopars that are the most valuable:

> Dead-stock OEM matching-numbers restorations

> Highly modified cars that are unusual in appearance and/or technology. EG: ’69 Charger body on 2013 Charger chassis/powertrain. Or twin-turbo V8 with SMPI that idles at 600 RPM, 6-speed. Or clone of some famous NASCAR or drag car. And so on.


over 4 years ago
SXW32 General 1970-1970 Oldsmobile - Cutlass

1970 SX W32 Conv

Hi Joseph;
I was wondering if you may have a good idea of what my 1970 SX W32 Convertible might be worth as I cannot find another that has been recorded as sold! It is fully loaded with many options, is numbers matching, and is triple black. It is a very good number 2 car. It scored 957 out of 1000 at an Olds national meet. If you can help me, I would appreciate it!
Thank you,

Now that’s a coo car! If it were mine and it were a true factory triple-black convertible, I would be asking $55K for it if it were an automatic and $65K if it came equipped with a 4 speed manual transmission.

Thanks for the question.

almost 4 years ago
Frazz's Place Restoration 1970-1974 Dodge - Challenger

To clone or not to clone

Hi Rick,
I recently acquired a ‘71 Challenger with no fender tag, no broadcast sheet, and is not numbers matching. It originally was a 318 car, so will never be a $50k trailer queen nor do I want it to be. I am currently doing some restoration: rebuilding the 360 that it came with and stroking it to 408 ci, new suspension, body and paint, etc. I am considering cloning it to a R/T car but would like to know your opinion of clone’s. Should I keep it just a Challenger or clone it and does it effect the value good or bad?


You asked for an opinion, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Not everybody will agree with me, in fact, the only person whose opinion REALLY counts is the eventual buyer!

Here’s the one part of your plan I have a problem with: You’re not even building an accurate clone…as I’m sure you know, the 360 wasn’t available until 1974. The closest you could come to cloning it, with your planned engine, would be to make it appear as a stock ‘71 Challenger 340. That would require, at a minimum, stock ’71 manifolds (all 3), which would put quite a crimp in your 408’s peak power. (Should you decide to go that way, I’d use a fairly mild cam and build it as a torque-tuned engine).

If you went all the way, and made it into a Hemi or 440 6-pack car, correct down to the last nut and bolt, you could be certain in the knowledge that the car would be significantly more valuable than a non-matching 318-2 car.

Since it sounds to me as if you’re planning on flipping this sometime in the not-too-distant future, do the math on cash outlay vs. potential profit. Some wild guesses: As a Hemi clone, in today’s market, it could bring $75-90K (depending on options, and this assumes a really straight body, etc.). As a 440-6, maybe $20-25K less.


almost 4 years ago
Twisted Monkey Garage Historical 1967-1967 Dodge - Dart

Production numbers for the 1967 Dodge Dart GT Convertible

What were the production numbers for the convertible Dart GT in 67? You guys have the GT production numbers, but not convertible. Also: do you know how many of those are still alive today?


There were 3,729 1967 Dart GT convertibles built. This number includes all engines, all transmissions.

For the US market, the most believable numbers I have are:

6-cylinder (170 & 225) : 1,761
8-cylinder (273-2, 273-4, 383-4) : 1,626
Total: 3,387

If you want a wild guess — there’s no way to know — I’d say maybe 10% of ’em have not been melted down and recycled as Hyundais.

Should yours happen to be a 273-4 or 383, I’d say the number still extant would be single digits. Again, this is only an educated guess!


over 3 years ago
oneblockpontiac Mechanical 1967-1967 Pontiac - Tempest

needing help with something new in my life "saginaw 3 speed 1967 in…

needing help with something new in my life "saginaw 3 speed 1967 in a tempest sprint witha x block 421

Shifter linkage is generally an easy fix, sounds like your bushings are wore in the shifter or shifter itself is wore, either way inexpensive repair or replace, do not sell car because of this, sounds like a cool car, enjoy, Rick McLaughlin

about 5 years ago
MyClassicGarage Historical Pontiac - Trans Am

Why did Pontiac name the Trans Am when it never raced in the Trans …

Why did Pontiac name the Trans Am when it never raced in the Trans Am series?

Pontiac had 3 names for the Trans Am, ( “Sebring”, which Chrysler had tied up," Formula", which Pontiac wanted to use for Gen 2, and “Trans Am” which they hestitaed to name it because of the engine size limit associated with the Racing series (302 cu in ), but Tran Am was it, Pontiac had to pay SCCA , 5 bucks for every Trans Am made for the Rights to use the name, Trans Am never raced in the series because they never developed the 303 they had talked and the 400 was simply too big, thanks for the Question, Rick McLaughlin

about 5 years ago

78 Y88 or not?

I’m going to selling my 78 T/A and want to be sure of what I have before I do. I have figured out it was made in Van Nuys Cal. and heard they do not stamp cowl tag Y88. So how do you know? And could it be a Special Edition Gold?
Thank you

Well first off your paint has to be 50 , then interior can only be Camel , then of course you should have Gold dash , Steering wheel spokes Gold. , all birds on door panels n shift knob Gold, Brown pinstripes on outside of car , but to be positive you need PHS docs , Thanks

over 3 years ago
Maverick's shop General 1969-1969 Plymouth - Satellite

Resale price of 1969 Plymouth

Hello, I have a 1969 Plymouth Satellite Mod Top its a 318 auto with matching numbers. Only 1,627 were produced in 1969 and that was the only year that the Mod Top option available for the Satellite.

What a cool car!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mod Top 69 Satellite. Assuming the car is in clean overall condition, with no major mechanical defects, value is in the $15k-$20K range with the small block. The 318/auto drive-train will always hold it back a bit, but I bet it’s a lot of fun to show up at a cruise event in that car and explain that the Mod Top was indeed a factory option!

over 4 years ago
69 desertchicken General 1962-1980 Plymouth - Belvedere

Microsleeve repair bushing

Can you tell me how microsleeve yoke repair bushing ,Mancini racing Pt.# MREMS426-1875 works. Have had leaking issues in the past and wondered if this would be worth the investment. Thanks,Mike

The concept is simple: If, after a bazillion miles, the seal has worn a groove in the yoke (also vibration damper hub, axle shaft, etc. etc.), the new seal will still leak. The Micro Sleeve is a very thin stainless steel sleeve that you press on, creating a new, wear-resistant seal surface. Actually better than new!

Heating the sleeve to about 250 deg. F. makes installation a snap — but wear heat-resistant gloves!

Generally, the spring-loaded rubber lip-type seals wear this type of groove in the yoke. The older leather seals did not, but then, they always seeped some.


over 4 years ago
Doc's Goats General 1967-1967 Pontiac - GTO

67 GTO HO convertible, auto

I have a 1967 HO GTO HO convertible that I have owned for 20 years. It is a nice driver with nice paint, everything is stock, matching engine and trans, about the only option is the “wood” steering wheel and the HO motor. Out of the blue the other day my wife said that she thought that we should sell the car because since they don’t make Ponitacs any more, the value will be heading down on GTOs. I asked her what kind of drugs she had been taking. Later as I thought about it, I don’t really know what this car is worth, and if the values are headed up or down on GTOs.

Bill, I am going to have to disagree with your wife on this one. Of all of the factors that make a 1967 Pontiac GTO desirable or undesirable, the fact that Pontiac is not building cars today is not on the list. Enjoy your GTO and understand that collectors will still be lusting after in ten years because it’s a 67 GTO Convertible.

Thanks for the question!

about 4 years ago
Byron Gray 67 Dart GT General 1963-1976 Dodge - Dart

Engine oil

What is the preferred engine oil to use in a 1967 dodge dart gt?


There’s a whole host of factors that would determine the “ideal” oil to use, making this a simple question with a complex answer.

A ‘67 Dart could have anything from a 170 cube slant six to a 383-4 engine, but, surprisingly, the displacement has little effect on the oil I’d recommend.

The “theory” behind viscosity selection has also changed quite a bit in the last 40-50 years. It was thought “back in the day” that a heavy viscosity oil was needed for high performance protection, that view has gradually fallen by the wayside. Except for a very few specialized cases, the heaviest oil I’d use on a street-driven car is 10W40. In anything but a southern summer, 10W30 would be “it”. I’d not go thinner, even though lighter oils do build initial pressure more quickly, the fact remains that carbureted engines pollute and dilute the oil more than modern SMPI setups; the heavier viscosity helps protect the bottom end. Unless we’re talking an Alaskan or Canadian winter, avoid anything lighter. And drag race engines, which see higher RPM and greater specific outputs, now use even far lighter oils, mainly to reduce windage losses. Windage is real nasty — picture the crankshaft’s counterweights slamming into the oil at high RPM: This friction heats the oil and actually (mechanically) breaks it down. Light oils reduce this effect significantly.

Synthetics offer some advantages, whether these are worth the premium price changed is debatable. They thicken less in lower temperatures, insuring fast pressure build-up on that cold start. They also break down far less at very high temperatures.

Personally, I use the cheapest synthetic 10W30 in just about everything. Currently, that translates to Wal-Mart house brand (SuperTech) full synthetic 5-quart jugs.

Remember, however, that description of oil dilution. Carbureted car’s should have shorter drain intervals than modern cars. If the car is regularly warmed up and “hammered”, and the carburetor has stock calibration (not over-rich), you might go 3,000 miles — no more. If you have a pig-rich aftermarket carb, and only use the car to cruise 10 miles to the local cruise-in, I’d revert to time-based drain intervals: 90 days maximum.

One tip that’s helped me achieve long life from all my engines: Always pre-fill the filter with oil before installation.


over 3 years ago
SHIFTYS Historical 1968-1968 Plymouth - Barracuda


Im having trouble locating production numbers on my newest project. 68 barracuda conv. 318 2v 4 spd. 8 3/4 factory tach


There were 1,756 318 ragtops built. That’s a pretty solid number. From there we have to do some calculations:

My best guess is that maybe 10% were 4-speeds, meaning approx. 175 cars. Maybe 10% of those had the tach, so now were down to something on the order of 18 cars. Give or take….nobody really knows for sure!


over 3 years ago

What is your all-time favorite Mopar and why?

What is your all-time favorite Mopar and why?

Depends on the mood I’m in – that’s why I have a garage full of ‘em. If I’m out to embarrass (and fry) rice, I’ll take my ‘99 Neon ACR, which is shod with Auto-X type tires — a G-machine of the first order. But I’m sure that’s not what you wanted to hear!

I am partial to any A-body and ‘62-’72 B-bodies. The lighter and tauter the better. Styling means very little to me. Performance — all facets, not just straight-line — is everything.

When the weather turns to s**t, there’s nothing I’d rather be in but an XJ (boxy Cherokee).

But enough dancing around. I think if I had to pick one dead-stock Mopar, and one only, it would be a ’62 Polara 500 convertible, 361.


about 5 years ago
I KILL 4 a MOPAR... General 1966-1975 Dodge - Charger

Build ups of eng. manifold swaps.

I always wondered, since i have yet to see or hear, can you put intake manifold
on a 383 and also a 6 pack ? Same thing with a 318, can you put 340 heads on a smaller 318, and also a 6 pack on it too ? Never seen it done, and since you can’t find any used 340’s per se, can you ?


Sure, although it was never OEM, both swaps are technically feasible.

For the 383 and 400 B engine, use Edelbrock’s DP6B (P/N 2470) manifold and 440 carbs. A bit of tuning will be required.

On a 318, you’d use the 340 manifold and carbs, but, unless you’re using later 318-4 heads (really 360 heads), there will be some port mismatch, and the engine will be over-carbureted and tricky to tune. Really, a swap to a complete 360 is a much better way to go.

Realize that, today, the 6-BBl setup is just eye candy. Modern large-plenum 1 X 4-BBl manifolds make more power.


almost 4 years ago
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