Poor fuel mileage when purchased (10-11mpg).
Difficulty starting when purchased.
Leaky engine gaskets.
Leaky transmission oil pan gasket.
Air conditioner inoperative.
Sagging rear springs.
Shock absorbers worn out.
This car had been used infrequently, had been stored in the New Mexico desert, and maintenance by previous owner had been limited to oil and oil filter changes.
I only paid $350 for it, and put a little more than $1,000 into it fixing it up.
My first move was to buy a new set of tires and shock absorbers, and correct the sag in the rear springs with rubber spacers.
The radiator wasn't original. It was from a car with a much smaller engine and was leaking. I replaced it with a new, correct radiator, and changed belts and hoses and thermostat.
Transmission got fluid and filter replaced, engine got oil and filter changed.
I corrected the engine oil leaks by replacing valve cover gaskets. Mileage was improved by replacing spark plugs and plug wires, and tuning carburetor.
Now it gets up to 16mpg.
This car is extremely comfortable. It is enormous, plenty of room in the interior, trunk, and engine compartment.
I am so pleased with this car that I plan to take it on a cross-country trip this week.
A car this size may cause some concern from other drivers as being gross and excessive. By automobile standards, it is. But mechanically, it has much more in common with pickups and Sport Utility Vehicles than with today's front-wheel drive cars. Judged by comparison with it's present-day mechanical peers, it is neither gross nor is it a gas hog.
It delivers the luxury it was made to provide, and with 3 tons of metal surrounding the driver, it provides safety, too. I feel this car could hold it's own in a collision with anything up to a Humvee.