Nostalga: The selling of “Old Reliable” a.k.a. “The Lizard”

She served me long and well, except for having to replace the transmission, and the engine twice…
When I decided to sell I wrote this ad and posted it on Craigslist.  It sold within a week (for $400).
I place it here now for your amusement.

photo of old car
Buy my ugly car – ’83 Pontiac 6000 LE
Date: 2010-05-31, 8:10PM
o 1983 Pontiac 6000 LE
o Forest green with red racing strip.
o 2nd owner – my sister was original owner (I’ve had the car since about 1993).
o 4 door sedan,
o 2.8L V6 carbureted,
o Front wheel drive
o 3 speed automatic transmission.
o Alloy wheels (but one is odd pattern)
o Tires are fair condition.
It’s a hybrid… sort of:
Body is from Pontiac.
Engine is from an 87 Buick Century.
Transmission is from an 85 Chevy Celebrity.
I have a few spares that come with the car.
The car runs but it’s just tired. I pulled a small enclosed trailer to Birmingham and back about 6 months ago (but it wasn’t my first choice).

The Good:
Engine runs well,
body in good shape (only two visible dings),
transmission is solid and shifts well,
all glass is intact,
leaks some oil but doesn’t really burn any,
good battery / alternator,
lights work (hi/low beam headlights, parking, turn signals, dash and interior),
gauge panel (temp/volts/oil pressure) – all gauges work,
working AM/FM/cassette player,
trailer hitch with ball, ball mount and 4-flat trailer connector,
air shocks / auto-leveling system works.
power windows work,
electric trunk lock works.
the car starts every time you get into it.
has a spare tire and I think it has a jack.

The Bad:
The paint looks like a skin disease – (I call it “The Lizard” because it’s green and scaly)
the headliner is coming apart and is sagging down in the back,
A/C is not working (but I have a new compressor and dryer and installed R-134 adapters)
Electrical part of A/C control in the dash has some burned contacts so it needs a new switch or hardwiring.
trip part of odometer is broken (but regular odometer works)
odometer only 5 digits so actual mileage is unknown.
power locks work on back doors only
power windows do work, but driver rear has a ‘creative’ non-oem switch installed.
driver power seat broken – motor spins but seat doesn’t move.
window gaskets rotted so doors collect water during rain (but they empty out if the drain holes are kept clean)
electric automatic FM antenna won’t retract (but it’s stuck in the ‘up’ position).
engine cooling fan automatic system failed so A/C switch must be left in Max or Normal to engage fan to prevent overheating.
if it sits for long the gas drains out of the carb and you have to pump the pedal twice and crank it, and repeat this three times.
I replaced the front struts and didn’t get it aligned so it pulls to the right a bit.
it takes a while for the alternator to kick in, couple of miles, or just rev the engine.
it takes a while for the car to go forward in drive when the car is cold.

So… I’ve had this car forever – we call it ‘old reliable’.
I went on my first honeymoon in this car – in 1983.
I used to show my 17 year old where he kicked of a glove box Pontiac 6000 emblem when he was just 1 and in a baby seat and where he broke the odometer trip reset when he was 5 because he was too curious!
This car was stolen back in the baby seat days and the police called us before we knew it was missing. Insurance paid for all the repairs.
A week ago my ‘good car’ broke down, with a trailer in tow, and I got this car and towed the trailer home before calling the tow truck for the ‘good’ car.

If you’re still reading you either need a car really badly or you just can’t believe your eyes.

If you are handy with cars then this car is for you.
If you don’t know where the oil dipstick is – don’t buy this car!

Sold as-is with no guarantees – as with so many things in life.
Thanks for looking.

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