G3 best muscle car project for the buck?

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G3 best muscle car project for the buck? Empty G3 best muscle car project for the buck?

Post by 76malibu on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:02 pm

I know this is matter of preference and can be subject to personal views, but do you think the G3 GM platform can be the hidden treasure for a muscle car project?
(Notice that by posting it on this forum I don't expect much challenge Very Happy)

Let's look at it that way: you are a guy with limited time and money, willing to buy a vintage toy which can burn rubber.
Now try to find a classic american car made before 1980 for under 3000$ then look at what you can do with the car.
If you already are a GM lover then congratulations Smile

You can find a nice 1976 A-body on Craigslist for 1500$, like this one :
http://newyork.craigslist.org/stn/cto/5446600663.html
G3 best muscle car project for the buck? 00F0F_6nSIPs9SuRZ_600x450

Minor rust, clean interior, and dirt cheap!
At this price popular cars like a Camaro is a pile of rust without engine (in my area at least), same for a Chevelle prior to 1973 ... if you ever find one for that price (I know, some of you may have a lucky story to tell).

Let's say the car is drivable and good enough for your girlfriend to sit in it on her own will.
The next thing would be to give the car some motivation, like shovelling a SBC 350 engine in it (if you are lucky it is already in there). To my knowledge it is one of the most affordable engine capable of producing 400 HP (with upgrades).

Then when we compare the suspension system of a G3 to a G2 F-body (Camaro) it has coil springs on the 4 corners. The G2 F-body has rear leaf springs.
Suspension kits for pre-73 Chevelles are very popular. I guess it is mainly to "drop" properly the car but I read somewhere the stock suspension geometry has some flaws.

So I came up with the conclusion that:

  • A G3 GM can take the engine with the best Power/Price ratio, or even swallow the biggest engine you can think of, thanks to his sheer size
  • In stock form the handling is improved compared to other platforms, and you don't need to do custom conversion to get coil springs
  • You can find some very well priced, with minor rust and an interior not ruined by [...] choose between: a gang of teenagers / 30 years the window open / was previously a doghouse


Some may say the overall look is important and G3 cars don't have the same aura as others. Well, I can tell you each time I stop at a gas station with mine somebody come to talk to me. I even got chased on a parking lot because the guy wanted to buy my car. Internet won't tell you G3 are popular Smile

And the cherry on the cake, it can also be a nasty sleeper for those who love that kind of stuff. Take your oncle for a ride. He had one back in time but would expect an anemic slant 6 under the hood...
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Post by dynchel on Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:08 am

I agree. Lots of potential, and everyone knows someone who had one.
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Post by thatfnthing on Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:57 am

You know you're preaching to the choir, right? Smile

76malibu wrote:
Some may say the overall look is important and G3 cars don't have the same aura as others. Well, I can tell you each time I stop at a gas station with mine somebody come to talk to me. I even got chased on a parking lot because the guy wanted to buy my car. Internet won't tell you G3 are popular Smile

x2 on that. I used to have a house on the corner of a fairly busy street, and would leave the garage door open on a nice day while working in the yard. More than a couple times I was approached by someone asking if the Monte was for sale.
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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:24 am

I don't subscribe to the "muscle car" thing.

With maybe a few exceptions, G3s are cruisers. Mostly for the suspension features you describe.

And in factory/stock form, none of them could "burn rubber". Maybe a 73 BB could have if the street was wet. Smile

That being said, yeah. I think the G3 has become one of the better vintage/antique/collector car projects out there. They can be easily built into fire breathing monsters or sleepers easily.

If you can find one that wasn't built into a figure 8 racer or demo derby car.

I hear or see the terms "rare" or "getting harder to find" attached to many old cars, but I really am seeing it happen with G3s. Along with the fact that prices have doubled or tripled for some models in the last 5 years or so.
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Post by 76malibu on Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:39 pm

thatfnthing wrote:You know you're preaching to the choir, right?  Smile
Yes Very Happy I know my point of view will not be challenged as if I posted on a Dodge Charger forum.

Anyway those cars are only good looking while up in the air
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Post by pila on Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:16 pm

Seems like all it takes to get things moving for fun in these cars is a 2004R trans,, and a 3.73 rear end...

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Post by 76malibu on Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:27 pm

I found by chance a picture of the 1976 Daytona 500 starting line.
I am stunned by the number of Laguna S3. I can count at least 10 of them.
That would do a pretty good poster in my garage.
G3 best muscle car project for the buck? 1976da10
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Post by Keith Seymore on Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:00 am

Roadcaptain S3 wrote:
And in factory/stock form, none of them could "burn rubber". Maybe a 73 BB could have if the street was wet. Smile

"None"?

Mine went 14.90s first time at the track.  It's gone 12.25 @ 120 mph with the original motor with just "tuning".

K


Last edited by Keith Seymore on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:27 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Keith Seymore on Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:04 am

76malibu wrote:

So I came up with the conclusion that:

  • A G3 GM can take the engine with the best Power/Price ratio, or even swallow the biggest engine you can think of, thanks to his sheer size
  • In stock form the handling is improved compared to other platforms, and you don't need to do custom conversion to get coil springs
  • You can find some very well priced, with minor rust and an interior not ruined by [...] choose between: a gang of teenagers / 30 years the window open / was previously a doghouse



You have come to the right conclusions.

I would also add:  they are perceived to be "heavy", which means there are lots of opportunities to take weight out.
And: Any performance part made for a big block, a Corvette or earlier Chevelle will either fit directly or can be made to fit.

K
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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:52 pm

Keith Seymore wrote:
Roadcaptain S3 wrote:
And in factory/stock form, none of them could "burn rubber". Maybe a 73 BB could have if the street was wet. Smile

"None"?

Mine went 14.90s first time at the track.  It's gone 12.25 @ 120 mph with the original motor with just "tuning".

K

I'll revise that to:
Few could "burn rubber"

When I hear that term, I picture big 'ol smoky burnouts. Not wheel chirps.

Circa 1984, I had several friends with G3s. They were all bought in factory form and 7+ years old at the time. So I can't really say what they did when they were new.


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Post by Keith Seymore on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:54 pm

Roadcaptain S3 wrote:
I'll revise that to:
Few could "burn rubber"

When I hear that term, I picture big 'ol smoky burnouts. Not wheel chirps.

Very good.  I can accept your revision.

K

G3 best muscle car project for the buck? Chevelleburnout_zps3698251c
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Post by pila on Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:31 pm

Nice ride Keith !! Very Happy

 Just any engine may be a stretch, for dropping into a G3. My '75 Elco has a slightly warmed over 507 inch Caddy in it.
No room for headers, and had to trim the end of one of the upper control arm shaft bolts a bit, to even clear the right exhaust manifold.

G3 best muscle car project for the buck? P1010991_zpsviieq3wq

A friend is putting a '58 392 Chrysler hemi in his '79 Camaro,  and that's a WIDE engine.  Not sure how that is gonna work out (?) Rolling Eyes

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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:49 pm

Keith Seymore wrote:
Roadcaptain S3 wrote:
I'll revise that to:
Few could "burn rubber"

When I hear that term, I picture big 'ol smoky burnouts. Not wheel chirps.

Very good.  I can accept your revision.

K

G3 best muscle car project for the buck? Chevelleburnout_zps3698251c

Yep.
Like that. Very Happy
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Post by 73ss on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:34 pm

pila wrote:Seems like all it takes to get things moving for fun in these cars is a 2004R trans,, and a 3.73 rear end...

It sure does help. Smash the loud pedal, double downshift, break the tires loose. Fun
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