A well-built, well-designed, tireless, cheap-to-keep servant
Right off of the dealer lot, the car suffered a vibration between 65-70 MPH. Dealer had no idea how to fix. Cousin (fresh out of tech school) replaced right rear shock absorber - problem solved.
Starter solenoid went bad - didn't engage starter pinion properly - ground flywheel - had to replace flywheel - 31,000 miles.
Thermostat stuck, caused overheating - 37,000 miles.
Distributor bushings needed replacement to address hesitation just off of idle - 46,000 miles.
Just the usual - brake shoes, tires, valve cover gaskets, belt changes, exhaust system replacements.
Front end held up well - occasional idler arm replacement.
Carburetor needed periodic rebuilds (3) to maintain drivability.
Springs (more rear than front) started sagging after about 8-9 years (~ 85,000 miles).
Interior held up reasonably well - bench seats split after several years of family (read:hard) use.
The 230 cubic inch straight 6 cylinder engine was excellent - no issues with bottom end, valve guides, rings, pistons. Valve tap developed after wrong PCV valve started sludging up motor. Luckily, a rough idle called our attention to the problem before the sludging got out totally of hand.
2-speed Powerglide transmission never had any reliability problems.
Fuel economy nothing special (14 MPG average - mainly city driving), acceleration from a stop none too speedy. The same bulletproof Powerglide mentioned above didn't help either parameter - a TurboHydraMatic 3-speed would have helped both.
Decent handling despite manual steering - just a bit tough to park. Rear wheel drive has its advantages.
Manual drum brakes were reliable, and stopped well - with a bigger engine/more accessories, that might not have been the case.
A well-built, well-designed, tireless, cheap-to-keep servant. Quality was fantastic compared to that of subsequent model years.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th February, 2007