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Author Topic: Should I drive my classic Camaro as a daily driver?  (Read 9216 times)
onlytherich68
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« on: December 05, 2007, 10:25:29 AM »

Should I drive my classic Camaro as a daily driver?
It is my goal when I get my Camaro convertible restored, to drive it as a daily driver. Is this realistic?
My concerns would be:
theft of car
theft of parts
Car crash
vandalism
personal safety (no air bags and such)
What do you think on this?
Should it just be a weekend car only?
TB
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rod67ss
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 10:56:48 AM »

Drive it! Just install anti theft devices.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 12:39:08 PM »

Should I drive my classic Camaro as a daily driver?

YES!!  Life is now!     Grin

Make sure it's insured for what it's worth in case something does happen.  Also, most people love the first generation Camaros so get ready for lots of stares, comments (thumbs up), and questions.  Most of all, have fun!

Paul 
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Gramps69Z
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 12:48:57 PM »

I try drive my Camaro two to four times a month.  Be defensive while driving.  The only problem for use as a daily driver, are the parts if you are involved in an accident.  Try to a fender and see what I mean.  Also check with you insurance company on the policy for replacment parts.
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2007, 01:32:51 PM »

I'm with the rest of these guys...  Drive it!

If you can afford the gas, up keep, insurance increase; then, your question becomes an ultimate goal question --that we all have to answer when we get in this hobby.  Is my ultimate goal to own a museum piece (and thus, preserve it at any cost) or to drive a great car (and thus, risk it)?

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Phillip
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 02:48:21 PM »

I guess there are different definitions of 'daily driver'. Does that mean take it to Walmart and leave it in the parking lot? Or drive it to work every day and leave it in the parking lot all day? To that I would say NO! Why restore a car to come out of work or a store and find a new door ding in your multi thousand dollar paint job.

Remember that classic car insurance companies won't insure a daily driver for stated value. To your regular insurance company it's just a 40 year old car that has virtually no value.

I drive mine, but seldom if ever leave it out of my site for the reasons you state in your list of concerns. I'm also conscious of the wear and tear my daily driver Mazda is subjected to- chipped windshields, gravel blast, etc.
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jdv69z
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 02:58:37 PM »

My personal opinion is that if you want a car to stay really nice, you can't drive it everyday. Occasional nice days in the summer, etc. maybe. But  rain, snow, and even  sunlight will take their toll on metal, rubber, paint, etc.

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 09:19:06 PM »

I agree with Jimmy V. When judging at a show this past summer, I could really tell the difference between ones driven regularly and ones driven infrequently, especially the undercarriage. Here's a solution: have two, one for driving and one to keep nice.
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 11:15:41 PM »

I love driving my car, but if I drove it every day it would no longer be fun going to car shows and driving on the weekend. Besides the gas cost would kill me. I vote no.
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 01:34:44 AM »

You only live once. Enjoy the drive. i drive mine everyday when its working properly.
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Ron C.
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 04:55:59 PM »

Do what you want, life is short. Just be carefull where you leave the car so it wont get stolen. 1st gen cars are a hot commodity right now. Grin
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2007, 11:17:40 AM »

I have a 69 Pace Car that I would love to drive everyday.  This is my 4h of five first gen Camaros.  I am currently building a completely non-original coupe.  My first 69 I bought in 1986 for when I was 18 and it was my daily driver.  It cost $90 and belonged to a friend of mine who got in an accident and bent the rear axle.   I replace the 2:73 with a 3:08 rear.  Back then I really didn't know what AC was and didn't need it as today I am spoiled.  The irony of it was that my first 69 was the only one that actually had AC.  It would charge up and last a month then leak out.  Since I didn't really use it and was a window down guy, I never bothered to repair it.  Anyway, I drove it everywhere, school, work etc. and put at least 8 to 10 thousand miles on it a year.  It got looks even back then as it was bright red with black Z/28 stripes.  It was a 307 motor and had a powerglide that I converted to a TH350.  I even took it to the track and it ran a 15.1 with the powerglide and a 14.7 with the TH350.  The only mods I had were a Torker II intake and a holley ( I think 750cfm, which were chosen based solely on what a friend of mine had lying around not being used.)  It still had factory exhaust manifolds. It was impressive for a 307.  Later it got sold for a 79 Trans Am.  I got my second 69 in 1992 which was also a base coupe but I converted to look like and SS.  It had a 350 built nicely, a 4 speed tranny from a donor Nova, 5 leaf rear springs and a front disc brake setup I got from a 69 Camaro in a junkyard (Try finding that today).  I too was bright red but with the hockey stick stripes.  Since I used a pickup truck for work, it was not my daily driver, but it was driven everywhere.  Now I have my Pace Car and I love driving it as much as I can.  I have driven it all over Florida for car shows hundreds of miles away.  It's been to Daytona for Turkey Rod Run, to Orlando for Chevy Nationals as well.   And the stare, honking and thumbs up are cool.  How can you not get noticed in a 69 Camaro, especially a white and BRIGHT orange one complete lettering on the door.  My biggest concern is is not getting into a wreck or the less than comfortable features of today's cars, but theft.  I have specialty insurance as well, which does limit the miles driven, but more importantly, will more than likely not pay me if the car is stolen as there is a clause in the policy which specifically states the car has to be attended (try defining that when explaining to the insurance adjuster, as unless it is a carjacking, all vehicle thefts were to unattended cars).  I am sure the insurance company will not pay.  I have driven to the malls and run errands with my wife and the entire time I was so uptight about the car being alone it was not worth the driving of it.  With these cars getting into astronomical values, even the best alarm and anti-theft device will not stop a determined thief.  I even have a secret kill switch and a steering wheel club and they do nothing to alleviate my nerves.  Years ago no one stole these things as they were just old Chevys.  Today, things are different.    As stated above, I am currently building a 69 Coupe with a 502 big block, a 5 speed tremec and a ford rear.  It has all the comforts of a modern car, AC, 4-wheel disc brakes, rack & pinion steering, complete new suspension, 4-link rear, coil over shocks in all corners etc.  The interior is from a 2000 Camaro with leather power seats with seat heaters, the matching console, big cushy steering wheel, and again, ICE COLD AC.  This car was a base X44 car with no engine or tranny, so the world won't miss another all origina Camaro.  I am hoping to drive this car more often as it will hopefully not be a big target as the Pace Car.  I will try to add some hi-tech anti-theft stuff to hopefully keep it from being stolen. 

Anyway, I guess my point is that we (or at least myself) don't drive our first gens as much due to many reasons.  I really feel theft is my number one deterent.  Comfort is no big deal to me and a wreck can be fixed.  By many of us not driving our first gens as much does help make them special because you don't see them everywhere anymore and when you do, it's cool. 

Sorry for the long response, but I enjoyed the stories above and wanted to ad mine as well.

Please add your stories as well, as at least one person (me) will read them as they are enjoyable to read.

Steve
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sam
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2007, 12:10:07 PM »

I drive mine on occasion at least 2X a week. If you live in Southern California you could drive it more. I don't think it is really necessary to drive it everyday for work and so forth. Why would you really want to? Too much time, money, cleaning and love go into these cars to drive a couple hundered miles a week. Early Saturday mornings and Sunday's after church are my favorite times to drive.  All year around.  Sam
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DAL777
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2007, 12:48:49 PM »

I say drive it.  That is what it was made for.  Make sure your insurance covers it and is adequate.  These cars are useless if you drive them 6 times a year.
I have two classic cars I never drive, I have buddy who owns 9 muscle cars and drives his Ford truck.  The cars sit in a building.

I just did the engine in my camaro and plan on DRIVING it.....I am tired of just looking at it sitting in the garage.  I just sold a 2004 Z06 corvette I have had sine 2004 and put only 2800 miles on it.  They guy I sold it to is going to drive the shit out of it!

My vote is:   insure it, drive it, enjoy it.  If it gets stolen, buy another one!  That is my plan.
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2007, 02:57:54 PM »

I have a 68 Z28 with the factory 302 that still puts a smile on my face and others that see it go by down country roads in my area. Nothing better than winding it up a bit and enjoying the rush these cars can give a 50 year old. I spent 300 hrs on the garage floor building it back to stock so yes I will enjoy it a couple times a week in the spring and summer. Heck the more I drive it the better it runs. Oh and yes I do not leave it out of my site for thieves.
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2007, 09:50:49 AM »

I would say.......  DRIVE IT!
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mrj
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2007, 04:16:26 AM »

Life is short! Yes, drive it but be sure you have a quality alarm and an Autolock-X (www.autolock.com/Unbreakable_Auto_BL.htm). Installs in seconds and is much better than a Club or steering wheel lock. If you’re paranoid like me you can add a hidden ignition switch and a GPS tracker.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2007, 04:24:19 AM »

Oh and yes I do not leave it out of my site for thieves.
For your peace of mind be sure you have a quality alarm and an Autolock-X (www.autolock.com/Unbreakable_Auto_BL.htm). Installs in seconds and is much better than a Club or steering wheel lock. If you’re paranoid like me you can add a hidden ignition switch and/or a hidden fuel pump switch and a GPS tracker. Now you can look away.
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2007, 12:35:00 AM »

  DRIVE the thing! Man, I see a lot of paranoia and just don't get the mentality. Thieves these days steal Hondas and Toyotas--not 1st-Gen Camaros. Some of you guys must live in high-crime cities. Insure the car with Hagerty and forget about it. If it gets hit (fat chance of that) they'll fix it. The airbag thing is mainly what I don't get--if you're that scared of getting into a wreck, why drive it all? If you consider all the cars in all the states in all the counties in all the cities of the U.S. the chances of a wreck are almost laughable unless you make it happen. Just park it away from idiots who'll open a door into it and ding it.
  That being said, I'll probably get nailed the next time I take my '68 out and suffer some hubris, but airbags and thieves and stuff I can't control are the farthest things from my mind--life turns on a dime. I couldn't imagine not driving the car because it doesn't have modern safety devices or being scared to back it out of the garage if the sky might fall.
  Drive it and enjoy it! 
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2007, 06:17:16 AM »

Just a thought with alarms. Don't advertise what you have. They only help when they go off. As for the kill switch stuff, that helps, and if you put it on a remote, it's even harder for a thief to bypass.

Tom
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ironman24
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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2007, 09:59:54 AM »

I would say drive it as much as you can!  But as for a Daily driver......it all depends on what your thinking of a daily driver is... 
I have taken my 67 to work on nice summer days.  But would not think of taking it out on a day they are calling for rain!  Also it depends on what your parking is like at work.  I park on an end spot with a tree on one side and my boss parked next to me on the other side.  (Her husband has a 68 camaro, so i know when she parks next to me there will be no doors open into mine.)
Some times ill even pull it in my warehouse bay so at lunch i can wax it up! Smiley  (gota love those long lunches on a nice sunny friday!)  Grin

Insurance would be a big issue too....  most classic car insurance companys state it can not be used as a daily driver.  So if something were to happen, it would not be covered.  Then the cost of repairs will hurt the wallet! And if you were to go with a regular insurance company you would get the full coverage amount for what the car is really worth.

But if I had unlimitted cash flow I bet I would have two cars... One to drive daily and one for shows-  and maybe a third just to drive while the other two are getting detailed.  Wink

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auburnfan23
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« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2007, 10:41:18 PM »

 I love Driving mine, but its also good to have a car other than your Classic (maybe one that gets good gas mileage haha).
I know mine gets very bad gas mileage and I probably could not afford to drive it every day....
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red67l78
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2007, 08:50:41 PM »

I like all the differences in driving and not.  My story is i drive when i can.  I don't lock the doors and don't leave anything in car.  The visibility is high and people are constantly looking.  I call it watching your car.  My thinking is what is someone going to steel out of your car?  One trick i use for me is when going to the mall and diner and movie and hours of fun  i pull the distributer rotor out and reclip cap.  Tell me who is going to have a specific rotor in there pocket.   Let someone crank for a while until they get board.  I owned my car for 22 years. 
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onlytherich68
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2007, 08:08:25 AM »

Removing the rotor is a great idea. I used to remove the coil wire but someone can use just about any coil wire if they try.
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tom
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2007, 10:40:34 AM »

I still like the electric fuel pump with a hidden switch. On my old Buick, I had enough pressure to go a short distance before it ran dry.

Tom
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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2011, 12:26:32 PM »

I am currently building a 69 Coupe with a 502 big block, a 5 speed tremec and a ford rear.  It has all the comforts of a modern car, AC, 4-wheel disc brakes, rack & pinion steering, complete new suspension, 4-link rear, coil over shocks in all corners etc.  The interior is from a 2000 Camaro with leather power seats with seat heaters, the matching console, big cushy steering wheel, and again, ICE COLD AC.  This car was a base X44 car with no engine or tranny, so the world won't miss another all origina Camaro.  I am hoping to drive this car more often as it will hopefully not be a big target as the Pace Car.  I will try to add some hi-tech anti-theft stuff to hopefully keep it from being stolen. 

Steve

Steve,

Did you ever complete this project? If so, I sure would like to see some pics. Sounds like a great driver.
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