Thanks for the quick reply! The car is in Los Feliz. Below is a photo of the engine bay, and a few others. The owner says he didn't keep service records.
A few observations:
The heat works but the A/C is broken. He said its a factory unit, not aftermarket.
The seats are brown as is the carpeting. The seats are worn, hence the covers.
The dash is cracked, as is the steering wheel in several places.
The windows all work.
I noticed that after I drove the car, he tried to start it a few minutes later and it didn't start right away - he had to crank it for a few seconds before it actually started.
Is $3.5k reasonable? $3k? $2k?
I would say $3500 is high considering, that
1. the questionable mileage/ condition of the motor.....
2. the rusted trunk floor and
3. the seats are shot
You have to calculate at least a couple of these issues will need attention.
I forgot to address the rust in the trunk.
water leaks in from window or leaking trunk seal and sits forever under the rubber matte.
BTW : I have a set of decent seats (in that color), if you end up buying the car.
Your last mention of it hard starting when hot will only be worse in the summer time.
If you go back, take a video of it starting (preferably cold start).
It could be as simple as needing a tune-up to needing a valve job because of low compression, or worn carburetors, or worse (worn rings and cylinder walls).
Difficult to diagnose long distance (therefore the video).
Also consider being without A/C, because that can get expensive to fix.
Second set of photos is better looking.
I would still look under car for rust, or as suggested pull up carpets front and back and check if floor is solid.
Color code is 181H , probably a white tone, but I'll check.
the only thing strange is the flaked off paint on and around the options plate, like the radiator steamed it off.
These 250 motors do run hot and overheat when not looked after and kept adjusted right because of the smog equipment that was put on back then.
Check radiator for proper (green) coolant and anywhere in engine compartment for rust water stains...
I would offer $2500 to start...
let him counter offer....your call.
Or better: look at a couple others as suggested and compare.