Hello, my name is Jack, and I just joined these forums. I hope to learn a lot and eventually be able to share some of my experiences with others.Here is the situation. I've been looking for and older car with low miles for a commuter. Online I've found two cars that fit the bill. Both are GM "X" Bodies, a 1976 Nova with an 250 I6, and a 1976 Skylark with an odd-fire 231 V6. Both have pros and cons, and are about equal in regards to price. My question is, which would be able to deliver better drivibility, reliability, and performance, the 250, or the 231? I realize the aftermarket is pretty slim for both. Which do you think is better supported? I am also broke, so affordability in regards to performance upgrades (I'm thinking scrapyard affordable!) is also a big factor for me. Which one shoul I be leaning towards?Thanks,- Jack
I'd go for something running a Slant 6 if you're not specifically seeking the GM X body. They have a decent following and you can get information and advice pretty easily between allpar.com and slantsix.org. It should be a lot easier to get mileage and performance out of the Slant 6, especially with their advice. It also had a much longer run, so you should be able to scavenge decent parts. Either way, expanding your search to post-72 Dart, Duster, Scamp, Volare, and Aspen is going to give you more options. Mopar Muscle has articles on performance builds: http://www.moparmusclemagazine.com/projectbuild/155_0304_1962_plymouth_valiant_slant_six/index.htmlhttp://www.moparmusclemagazine.com/techarticles/mopp_0602_chrysler_slant_six_engine/index.htmlI haven't bothered researching GM 6's, so somebody else can defend them against my assumption they were both just thrown together.
How about the AMC I6? (232, 258, etc.) I've seen a Hornet and an Eagle for sale locally, and I know my buddy's 4.0L cherokee is unstoppable, even without oil!
I'm personally looking for a Hornet, they're pretty sharp done up. I get the impression a lot of guys leave the 6 in their cars, so there should be pretty good information on the AMC forums. AMC will be dirt cheap compared to the overpriced big three and they're actually pretty sharp cars that'll stand out just restored. Most people never consider them, you can just search AMC on Craigslist to see them all in one shot.The best car shows in Ohio cut off at '70 or '72, only a couple Goodguy's shows will take anything post '72. (I think those are in California) No clue where you're from, but it's something to keep in mind. AMC and early Mopar A-bodies would be the cheapest way to go if you want to take it to Goodguys. (Saw a convertible '63 dart for $800 with a Super 6 in Cincinnati.)I can't find a website dedicated to X bodies, but there should be one around... Paddock covers the Nova through '79 though, so there is aftermarket support.
if i had the choice i would go with the nova. it,s easy to upgrade to a v8 and later if you decide to sell it ,chances are it will sell faster. also there are many compagnies selling replacement parts for the nova.
1976 Nova with an 250 I6, great car... parts are becoming more available... lots of earlier stuff fits... many 2 gen camaro parts fit... one draw back the integral exhaust head... they tend to crack... mostly when people take out the thermostats... without a proper thermostat.. the thermal cycling takes its toll on the head... there are just so many options with this model... as with the buick also... there is no need to keep the original motor in either... unless you need it to pass smog... 1976 Skylark with an odd-fire 231 V6. this is another matter... they made the even fire motors up through 87 in rear wheel drive cars... with computer controlled carbs... there were also a hand full of throttle body injected versions.. that would swap in easily... if you can find one... one could always pick and choose a bunch of parts from a s10 or camaro 4.3 throttle body injected motor and if a proper adaptor could be found.. put throttle body injection and electric timing control on one of the later even fire 3.8 motors... or even the 4.1 buick V6 motors that are floating around... some in full sized cads... one could also just install a 4.3 throttle body injected motor into either one of these cars... or even a TBI 305 or 350... but the 4.3 might get a little better fuel mileage..so many ways to go... chevy ..., buick... which one has less rust???? straighter body.,,, less pitted chrome and trim..2 door , 4 door, lift back????like i said.. so many ways to go... i would imagine that both have power disc brakes... i think the last front drum brake was offered in 74...