I’m really becoming more and more enamored with Cars On Line as my go to website for vehicular window shopping. Never seen Cars On Line? You should check it out. It’s more of an aggregator than a full on car buying experience, like Cars.com or AutoTrader.com, but for all of that, it’s the cars that it does advertise that makes me keep going back to it - Cars On Line specializes on classics and exotics. Want a verified 1969 Camaro Z28? A Dodge Super Bee built for the drag strip? A restored Triumph TR6? A restomod Plymouth Valiant with an LS1 under the hood? Cars On Line is the website to search for it.

Admittedly, I like CoL for its selection far more than I like the site itself. Can we get prices on the listings, up front? How about a search bar so we can narrow results to basic car stats, like transmissions? How about even little thumbnails beside each listing? Oh well, that’s all just software related, they can always make improvements as time goes on. But man, right now, it is such a basic, basic website, if I couldn’t find what I’m looking for, I wouldn’t even bother with it.

What am I looking at on CoL? It is so tempting to look for something small, foreign, rear-wheel driven, and inexpensive, but way down in the cockles of my heart (maybe even the sub-cockles), I know I really want a classic domestic muscle car. A Dodge Dart. A Mustang. A Super Bee. A Nova. A Challenger. A Camaro. A Rebel. A Monte Carlo. Specifically, my dream right now is to find something that is in, not perfect condition, but good enough condition to use as a daily/semi-daily driver, something that is fun to drive and attracts some attention as I drive down the road. Then later, when I’m a little more sure in my wrenching skills (and I’ve got the spare money to afford it), perform a full restomod on it, swap everything under the skin for modern - new suspension, brakes, fuel delivery, motor, trans, AC, radio, the works.

Honestly, there are so many good options to pick from, I have no idea which classic hunk of Detroit iron I’d settle on - has to be a 2dr hardtop coupe, rear wheel drive, and look mean. The pinnacle would be a C2 or C3 Corvette, but the C2s are getting rarer and rarer, and so are the better fettled early C3s. Sadly, while I’d be okay with just about any C2 or C3 I could afford, I’d still have to say no because I need a little more than a hint of a backseat. Definitely want a 2dr, but still need to put 3 or 4 people into the vehicle from time to time. So no roadsters, but that leaves so much - Darts are relatively tiny but still have plenty of room for both engine and passengers; AMC Rebels are just plain mean with their blocky outlines, but so rare it’s hard to find running examples for low enough price points; Monte Carlos exude cruising and coolness, but I’m only fond of the ‘80’s generation of them, and they were never offered with manual transmissions (fixable, but a pain); Super Bee/Cuda/Charger/Challenger are all excellent options, not too big and awesome looking, but popular enough to be expensive; Novas were always the poor man’s choice (my very blue collar paternal grandfather famously bought one, wish dad had managed to hold onto it), looked very mean, and had a big enough engine bay to swallow some awe-inspiring blocks; speaking of bowties, Camaros... wow, the classic of classic muscle cars. Admit it, when you watched John Cusack unwittingly woo the hot foreign exchange student and avoiding the newspaper boy (“Where’s my $2?!”) while driving that gorgeous ‘67 Camaro RS/SS in Better Off Dead, you wished you could have one just like it at the bottom of your parent’s driveway, rusting away under a tarp. Unfortunately, that makes many of them very expensive, but fortunately popular enough that many just started and half-finished restoration projects exist out there for reasonable prices.


Why the interest? It struck me that for not much more than what I spent on either my car or the wife’s van, I could have something much more interesting and appealing. Think about it - a lightly used Honda Fit, or this 1968 Camaro (not CoL, but you get the idea)? Admittedly, a new(er) anything is going to have a lot more creature comforts over something that old in that price range (cruise control, AC that works, entertainment system not just a radio, decent gas mileage, lot more comfortable ride), not to mention a lot more prone to breaking down and other age-related maladies. I can do without the creature comforts for a short while (I just got a 20 year old winter beater truck with 4WD to make sure I can make it to work no matter the road conditions, and it has NOTHING in the way of creature comforts, and I drove it to Texas and back last year in the middle of August), and I have more than one spare vehicle (okay, I will have more than one spare in the nearish future, I hope) to tide me over if the dream ride goes into the shop. This is an attainable dream.

Now if I could only get the garage uncluttered, about 20 more hours in the day to get everything else I need done, and winning the lottery wouldn’t hurt, either. {sigh}