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Daily driven question.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by redzula, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. redzula
    Joined: Jul 6, 2011
    Posts: 1,009


    So I'm debating buying a 63 falcon to use as a year round daily driver and selling my current late model. Obviously its never going to be as reliable as a late model but is there any specific things to be concerned about with daily driving an old car like this. I know I'll have to be maintaining it more and keep a closer eye in things but I'd really like to hear some advice from people who already use a classic car as a daily.

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  2. i drove old cars daily from 16 into my early 30's. i never had any reliability issues because i took care of my stuff. these cars were built and designed to be driven all day, every day when they were new. has something changed about that in the last 50 years? i would not hesitate to drive my 57 anywhere, at any time, for any reason, on a daily basis. only reason i don't is that i'm spoiled on leather interior, power everything, ice cold AC and a great stereo in my tahoe.

    go thru the car before putting it into service, then service it regularly.

    i run a late model repair facility. they break down too.
    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 834


    I think my signature says it all.
  4. Sting Ray
    Joined: Mar 24, 2012
    Posts: 997

    Sting Ray

    My daily is a '67 model. When I was commuting to a job, the constant clutching and idling was tough and the drum brakes made for some scary moments. It was a lot of work compared to a modern car.

  5. The Falcon was built to be driven,,sure it has some age on it but it is a fairly simple built car and anything that needs repair can't be as expensive than a late model,,get it and drive the wheels off. HRP
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,129


    Until a few months ago I never drove a car under 20 years old for almost 25 years.

    The main thing with older cars like a Falcon is that the do need to be maintained and if you keep the stock drum brakes you have to be a defensive driver and always give yourself room to stop and always know where your escape lane is if you have to miss someone who jammed on the brakes on a four wheel disk rig ahead of you. In other words no tailgating BMW's.

    If you put everything in top shape before you put it on the road you shouldn't have any problems but if you just get one that has been sitting and start driving it things might not work out so well in the long run.
  7. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    How many miles do you drive per day? If you have a short commute, no big deal. If you're driving 150 miles per day, pressing a 50+ year old car into service like that might be a bit of a stretch. And there is no heated cup-holder! :eek: :p Oh, and if your boss requires you to be on time every day, that might be something to these old cars tend to break down more often than late models.....
  8. jchav62
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,932


    Lucky for you... you have friends and family.
  9. living in Iowa do you really want to drive it year round? how is the salt usage down there in the winter? in states like California , Washington , New Mexico , Oregon , South Carolina i don't see driving year round as an issue. in Iowa maybe use it 7-8 months a years and get a winter beater for the rest
  10. OzyRodder
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 294


    I drive my 29 model A with flathead 60 miles a day on I5. The only thing is I keep up my maintenance and worry more about cell phone using losers changing lanes.

    The only issue I have ever had was a broken distributor rotor but Pulled out my spare and powered on. Spares are a must. Car is more reliable than my coworkers and their modern dailys!
  11. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,650

    Jalopy Joker

    also, be sure to check with your insurance company. some do not allow classics to be used as DD.
  12. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,721

    from Nebraska

    It was nice to meet you at Goodguys over the weekend!

    Besides a few things that have already been mentioned, my only concern would be during the winter. Would you have another vehicle to drive in the snow? ...Or would you just drive the Falcon? I'd hate to see the salt eat up a good old car. Also, older cars can be a bear to start/drive in the really cold weather we can get in the Midwest.


    Edit: - I see 36-3window beat me to it! haha...
  13. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 871


    Since my newer DD has been down two months now, I've been driving my '61 GMC damn near daily now. I try to carpool to work as often as I can with my wife just because my 61 gets poor MPG, but I'd trust it more than a newer car with all electronic crap. As long as you stay on top of maintenance, you'll be good.
  14. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,049


    Plugs, points, condenser, cap & coil, you're good. There may be some top quality brake shoes w/good shoe material. They might help ease any stopping concerns. Older radiators and heater cores are suspect till renovated, as are hoses. Flush the brake fluid every so often, (4 year int.) you'll be glad you did.
  15. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    from Anoka. MN

    I've driven old cars in the Midwest year round, and I will say make sure your heater/defroster works great, even if it means upgrading to a aftermarket unit! The second important thing is keeping it tuned perfectly all winter long and installing a block heater if you can. A plug in block heater made below zero starts no problem in my old sbc powered wagon.

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  16. Macronan
    Joined: Dec 26, 2003
    Posts: 25


    Specific things to be aware of:

    1) Traffic. People give you more room, but you have got to be aware. Drive defensively. It's cliched for a reason. Signal your intentions. Understand your car's limitations and drive accordingly.

    2) Maintenance. There is a reason a fuel stop used to take a while. Check the oil. Check tire pressures. Clean the windshield. Walk around the car. This can be a big change for someone who has never practiced those habits.

    3) Embrace the experience. You are gonna get caught in some nasty weather. You might even feel too scared to continue driving in it. Pull over. Wait it out. Give yourself the extra time to get places.

    I love driving my '50 daily.
  17. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754


    I have a '53 Belair 4 door that is my daily. Rebuilt the 235 and 3 speed and most everything else over the last 4 years. At first, literally each time I drove it, something failed or broke. Radiator, then automatic, then motor, then fuel pump, then motor again, then bearings, brakes.... But the good news is, when I repaired these items, I improved or upgraded when possible.

    Below is my '53, also my '79 truck for poor winter conditions and a dependable daily. I think its a good idea to have two running vehicles at all times when using them as your daily and depending on them to get you to work each day. When one is down, you have a back up. I rotate between my truck, my 53 and my harley sportster. I try to drive/ride them each every week.

    Theres only so many years you can drive before youre too old to drive. We're here for a good time, not a long time. What do you want to be driving?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  18. Perrorojo
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 357


    Keep something else for winter. Best decision I've made in years was going to my Tbird. I drive about 330 miles a week and I love it. Fuel cost is way up with the 390 but it's worth it. I have a jeep for winter but am looking for an old willys truck.

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  19. redzula
    Joined: Jul 6, 2011
    Posts: 1,009


    Thanks guys. Maybe asking the hamb gets a little biased answers lol just the way I like it. I'd probably keep it pretty much stock... for awhile at least.
    I commute about 35-40 miles round trip to work. Also I would be taking my 18 month and in a few months a new baby to daycare in it (the wife picks them up but I drop them off) so she is concerned about their safety for obvious reasons I am too but these old cars were built like tanks. I'm a little concerned about getting through snow but I think I'll manage.

    The car
    63 falcon 4 door 47,000 original miles
    Think its a 6cyl with an auto but I didn't look at the pedals to be sure. (Manual cars were column shift)
    The interior is perfect
    Body looks like original paint. Its flaking but all there and has all the trim. Its a really nice original looking car but not so nice than i'd feel bad driving it through bad weather

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  20. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 871


    IMO your biggest worry is stupid drivers on cell phones and jackasses that'll cut you off. That'll test your drum brake's abilities! Just keep a good following distance.
  21. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    Up until 2007 when my wife's father died and she inherited his Quest, our newest DD was my 1972 El Camino.

    I didn't even want the minivan until we moved to NC where the seasons actually change. We're from San Francisco where you didn't need a good working heater much less A/C. And FWD works real good in snow it turns out.
  22. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    from oregon

    Or just don't let them find out your using it as a dd ;)
  23. low-n-slo54
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,920


    My '54 Chevy had less issues than my Trailblazer. Drove it daily and put about 300+ miles a week on it.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    I've got two words for you......PREVENTATIVE MAINTAINANCE. I drove an old Chevy truck to swap meets for years, and it never left me anywhere because I changed parts BEFORE they failed; rather than waiting for the fuel pump to crap out halfway to Carlisle, I'd replace it. I figured that the price of just one tow job off of Route 81 would pay for lots of wear parts that I replaced in my driveway.
  25. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    There's a bit of a myth; these old cars are NOT built like tanks. Compared to late model cars, they are tin cans in comparison. Crumple zones, side impact bracing, etc don't exist on these tin cans.....not to mention ABS, all-wheel drive, airbags, etc. The experience is wicked cool, but newer cars can absorb an impact without harm to you or the kids. These old cars fold right up.
  26. redzula
    Joined: Jul 6, 2011
    Posts: 1,009


    Haha yeah I already got a handle on that driving the metropolitan around d good guys last weekend I'm starting to think they didn't even put brakes on those.

    Thanks for the advice guys I think I'm going to try and get the car. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

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  27. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,283

    general gow
    Staff Member

    I drove a '62 Comet as a daily for a few years. Simple cars to take care of and maintain. The only potential pain is the availability of replacement parts. They take a few days to get a hold of. So, I would keep spares of a few important things around.

    The snow and salt is another consideration. My '67 F100, which has been my daily for the last 4 years, has definitely suffered some from exposure to winter salt in New England. But it keeps chugging.
  28. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 704


    I drove my 69 Fairlane wagon for 10 years as our daily family car. I loved every minute of it and would do it again if I didn't care as much about it now. The salt brine did Eventually cause lots of rust I have since repaired it all, repainted it for the third time and it was just that Good Guys with this last weekend. Great memories andI loved the looks on peoples faces. Owned it now for 24 years.
    Go for it. You'll have a better appreciation for old cars. Alot of people talk the talk, but few drive them everyday.
  29. hooliganshotrods
    Joined: Dec 2, 2010
    Posts: 607

    from Calgary

    I drive a 53 ford customline all year, rain, snow or shine in Canadian weather. I maintain it, and it has never once left me stranded. Sure the vacuum operated windshield wipers are a treat in the rain :rolleyes: and the heater is so so but they built them to drive year round back then so why not now?? Just be cautious of other idiots and their cell phones. We all know how drum brakes operate so just be aware, it won't stop as quick as your new car/truck.
  30. I daily drive mt '56 Ford except when there is salt on the roads:eek: When I lived in California a few years ago though I daily drove it there. I have never had a problem (knock on wood). My car has been to almost every province and state and it is dependable as fuck. The only reason I might have to stop using it as a daily is I really can't afford the gas right now:( I'm a college student and it seems my biggest expenses right now are in gas. It is a lot to fill up and doesn't get me very far.

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