Originally Posted by simps80
I know its a simplex, but it seems like a good starting point especially since in all likelihood the extent of my ham-ness will be trail only initially.
This radio most certainly will work repeaters, do PL tones, be able send DTMF tones. The only significant downside compared to a new radio is the number of memories it will have available and for the price that is a very minimal downside. Heck, even for some amount of money (I would expect about $25 ~ $50) this is a fine radio. Newer FM mobile radios haven't gained a whole ton better performance (e.g. sensitivity, selectivity and frequency stability), the main advances are user features like memory handling, scanning, etc.
My $0.02 is that it's a most excellent starting point and you'll probably have this radio for many years to come. But it is probably about 10 or more years old, so you might consider opening it up and giving it a once over. I worked on a radio for Randy and found that all the thermal grease had dried up and the internal memory battery was dying. So stuff like that might need to be done just due to age. Plastic bits also start to crack (like knobs) but mostly just cosmetic junk.