Thread: 1979 450 Slc
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:59 PM
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ScottinSoCal ScottinSoCal is offline
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Originally Posted by Obnoxio View Post
Got a line on one I kinda like. 165,000 miles, had timing chain redone recently, converted to 134, and had a trans rebuild. Whats to look out for on these cars? Are they decently powered? I want another sports car, but I dont want another Corvette, and my 300D has spoiled me with its comfort and solid construction.
They're not going to rival your Vette. A 79 had 180 bhp from the factory and weighs over 4000 lbs. 0-60 times are about 11 seconds.

The mileage on the one you're looking at is good. It isn't radically low, so you shouldn't have a lot of dried seals (and the resulting leaks). It isn't extremely high. Make sure maintenance was done on a regular basis by qualified people.

The only thing you've written that concerns me is the trans rebuild. I had to rebuild mine, but I'm pretty sure that's because the first trans service I had done, right after I got the car, almost required them to spoon the trans fluid out. It hadn't been changed in who-knows-how-long. In my case they didn't neglect the engine, just the transmission. I'm just short of 150K miles and it doesn't burn a drop of oil and the compression on the cylinders is all within spec and within a few lbs. of each other. They didn't have MB qualified people doing the work, though, and that meant a lot of lubricating odd spots; door hinges, the top mechanism (not an issue on your SLC) the door locks, the side mirrors, you name it.

Personally, I like the fuel system in the 77-79 cars. It has no electronics and is very easy to diagnose and repair once you're familiar with it. The climate control system is another matter. I've got mine working, but it took weeks and nearly $1,000. My AC had also been converted to 134 and I didn't need any AC parts, just the servo/amplifier and lots of time spent finding and repairing vacuum leaks, then replacing vacuum pods. At one point I almost threw in the towel and went with solenoids and a custom panel, just to get away from the servo/amplifier setup. Now that it's working I'm happy with it, but if it breaks I've still got the part numbers for those solenoids.

All in all, if they've got records or you can verify service in some other way, I'd go for it as a daily driver, provided it had no rust and the price was right. Rust scares me, and after 30 years a lot of them have rust.
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