As some of you might know, I am planning to purchase a late-60s to early-70s, preferrably pre-smogger full-size wagon in the US and bring it back to Germany with me. Thanks to cash for clunkers and the fact that the concept "wagon" never caught on in the same way as it did in Germany, good, reasonably-priced examples seem to be few. Thus, I ask the hive mind for help!
Budget limit (including basic maintenance and any repairs needed) is $5000. I have a slight preference for the 1971/72 "Knudsen nose" Ford LTD/Country Squire and the 1971-76 GM "Clamshell" offerings (Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser/Chevy Caprice/etc), but I'll consider other cars if the condition is right.
I've already enlisted CraigB, Spectre and LCG to help me looking, but more people might find more cars.
There are some "hard" requirements any car has to fulfill:
-The engine, exhaust and drivetrain have to be stock and matching the model and year in question - i.e. a V8 swapped into a former V6 car is OK if the V8 swapped in was available for the model and year from factory, same goes for other replacement engines, gearboxes, etc. If the engine does not match the car, I won't get the car certified as a historic vehicle and will have to pay taxes by the cubic inch. Not a good idea with a 60s/70s V8. Luckily, matching numbers are not required, though.
-The body has to be largely rust-free. Having to do immediate rust repairs will take the final remains of economic sense out of the project.
-Engine has to be a V8 - I won't buy a US car without that sweet V8 rumble.
-Automatic gearbox - my girl is unhappy with the Kadett's manual, so getting an autobox will be a first step to make her like the car. Also: burnouts.
-Front-engine, rear wheel drive layout. I don't have an interest in a Corvair, Toronado or similar early experiment in alternative layouts.
-And most important: The car has to be in good enough overall shape and keep to do a hassle-free 3500-mile road trip in it.
Then there's the wishlist - things I look for in a car, but that I'd give up if the rest of the car is what I am looking for:
-Original, nicely faded paint
If you post a link, it would be nice if you'd indicate whether you'd be willing to inspect the car in person, as well.