« Last post by Grand73Am on Today at 12:48:10 AM »
Sounds like the car's been well maintained and by somebody who knew what he was doing. The mileage is low for its age, and it's been kept indoors, so there's probably not much wrong with it. From what you said, you can do the basic maintenance, which is all it should need. Verify the brakes are in good condition, including the parking brake. Not hard to fix if need be. In addition, when starting with a new-to-you car, make sure the hoses and belts are good or put new ones on for confidence. Unless your uncle replaced them with new already, it may need some new fuel hoses at the tank and up front, since the old ones can crack and leak with today's ethanol-laced fuel. I've changed them on both my 79's due to leaks from cracks in the old rubber fuel hose. But in a cooler climate like yours, they may still be okay. So, that's something to take a close look at to be sure they're still good. Might need some new tires if they're old. Grease the front suspension and wheel bearings, unless your uncle has done that recently. Of course, check all the fluids. Fresh oil and filter and antifreeze if needed. And don't forget to check the rear end gear oil too. If it needs rearend gear oil, use limited slip gear oil.
Check to see that the usual things work, like the lights, wipers, horn, turn signals, windows, locks, heat and a/c. Not that hard to fix anything that doesn't work. Then it may need a general cleaning. Once you make sure everything is in good condition and works, there shouldn't be a worry about driving it every day. I would. And I like T-tops, which would make it even more fun. If you have to park it outside, there are car covers for outside use, that are water resistant, for protection in bad weather.
I have 2 79 TA's that run, and have driven them in the past. I'm doing some work on them now, and once I finish with one, I'll be driving it again, since it's so much fun to drive. But, I do have experience with driving old cars as my only transportation for the long term. My 79's are the newest cars I have. My daily driver has been a 75 Lemans Sport Coupe for the last 12 years, and counting. It just turned 150K miles on the original engine. Sure, I've had to do some maintenance over that time, like change the radiator, alternator, water pump, battery, tires, carb rebuild, heater core, brakes, tires, but nothing I couldn't handle myself. Not all at once of course, just as was needed. And that's what I like...to have a car I can fix myself when needed, and the parts aren't expensive. It's really been cheap, reliable transportation over the years. Far less than the cost of buying, insuring and tagging a new car, and it goes up in value the longer I have it, instead of depreciating. I'm a car restorer, so I'm experienced with working on old cars and have the tools, which is an advantage, but someone who's handy and has some tools, and a copy of the Pontiac service manual can fix most things.
Pricewise, it sounds like a good deal, so you couldn't lose money on it. Only you can decide if it will fit in with your family. It may not be the most practical, but I can assure you it will be the most fun, and get the most attention. And it's not much money, especially compared to the cost of a new vehicle. If you need a truck, I liked the idea somebody had about getting a little older(or cheap) truck for that purpose. I have a 73 El Camino for my truck, another inexpensive vehicle to own.