The art of automobile customizing is in a sorry state today. Most so called hot rod shops simply bolt on expensive aftermarket components onto vehicles and call them done. There was a time when creating a hod rod meant re-purposing components from other cars and if you put a Lincoln Versailles rear end into your Mustang, you were the only one with that setup in your state. Bring back the glory days of classic hot rodding with this 1941 Ford Speedster offered for $8,900 in Belchertown, MA via craigslist. Tip from jdah.
Monday, October 20, 2014
low mile MX-5 was instantly solved by a reader. Today's WAI feature is going to be harder. Just what am I anyway? Update with answer below.
The evolution of the Porsche 928 was very much like the 911 it was designed to supersede. Each year the 928 got a little faster, a little better, but changes were kept evolutionary instead of revolutionary. The sleek-in-the-front and bulbous-in-the-rear design was penned by Wolfgang Möbius and was one of the first cars to offer a polyurethane front bumper that could survive US 5 mph impact standards. In 1987 Porsche introduced the S4 version of the 928, which was more of the same, just faster and a little better looking. Find this 1987 Porsche 928 S4 currently bidding for $565 with 5 days to go on eBay.
We could spend all day arguing the best way to get into an ///M badged car, but lets talk for a minute about instagram. It isn't (as I had previously assumed) a powered form of graham cracker --not quite. Instagram is a 13 person company worth a billion dollars (as of 2012) that is a platform for sharing photos that you have taken on your phone. The process involves adding a number of style filters, the most common seems to be a vintage looking color filter that makes your otherwise crisp picture look like total crap. This is why I'm always telling people that web 2.0 needs to be banned. Back in the day, to make a web page you needed to write your own HTML, navigate the treacherous world of telnet/FTP and generally be a pseudo hacker badass to create decent content. Web 2.0 style sites, on the other hand, allow all sorts of no talent ass clowns the ability to post stuff and ruined the cluttered and clean look of mostly text webspaces (a few animated Beavis and Butthead gifs was okay). Why does this E34 M5 look like it belongs in the 1960s? Because instagram, that is why. The car is a great deal, but the pictures make me want to drink bleach. Find this 1991 BMW M5 E34 offered for $4,500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Fueltruck.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Sunbeam Alpine was a 4-cylinder powered British roadster sold by the Rootes Group back in the 60s as a competitor to the MGB and Triumph Spitfire/TR6. The Alpine is known as the basis for the V8 powered Sunbean Tiger, but a properly maintaned Alpine is a great way to get into classic British roadster without selling a kidney. Find this 1965 Sunbeam Alpine offered for $9,900 in Detroit, MI via grautogallery.com. Tip from Ignacio.
The Horrorod as defined by Daily Turismo as: Any customized vehicle that makes you want to huddle up in the fetal position and cry. As Halloween approaches, we prepare for our annual Festival of Horrorods the only way we know how...which is to post more Horrorods. It is a vicious circle of horror, but I'm not going to stop it. If I try, the clowns will eat me. Find this 1966 Ford Mustang 4X4 offered for $2,800 in some backwoods mountain town, Anywhere, USA via craigslist.
The gorgeous Mercedes-Benz R107 generation SL roadster was introduced in 1971 and lasted for an incredibly long 18 years of production. It was finally replaced in 1989 by the smoother but less cool looking R129, but if you want a deal on a classic, reliable and drivable 2-seat roadster, the R107 is the way to go. Find this 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SL offered for $4,950 in San Rafael, CA via craigslist. Tip from Alex.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
The Bitter SC (1979-1989) was a coach built German luxury grand tourer that used the Opel Senator chassis for its moving parts. In 1979 it may have closely resembled a Ferrari 400i, but it was a closer competitor to Porsche's recently released 928 or a BMW 6-series. Today the Bitter SC is traded for something in the $5-$15k range depending on condition and this one looks decent. Find this 1982 Bitter SC currently bidding for $7,500 with 2 days to go located in Portland, OR via eBay.
When shopping for an expensive used Italian car you have to dance the fine line between douche bag and cool dude. If you buy anything with the prancing horse logo on the side, you instantly are painted with the douchebag brush. Same goes for anything with a bull on the side, and lets face it, even some serpent badged cars are hoity-toity enough that folks will look at you sideways...but...can will never go wrong with lance and shield. Find this 1989 Lancia Delta HF Integrale currently bidding for $22,100 with 2 days to go, located in Miami, FL via eBay.
What's the difference between a Supra with 800 horsepower, 1,000 horsepower, and 1,300 horsepower? About three tenths in the 1/4 mile, or so the joke goes. See, the problem with Toyota's JZ-series engines isn't thrust. The 2.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC unit with one, two, or zero turbochargers ensured that, and a broad aftermarket only adds to the mayhem. The challenge is making all that power stick. Off-road tread definitely won't aid in launching this 2WD body-on-frame truck down the track, but it's unique and well-done and altogether a very Seattle thing to do. Find this 1JZ-GTE-swapped 1995 Toyota 4Runner in Seattle, WA for $10,000 via craigslist.
Friday, October 17, 2014
The 3rd generation Chevrolet Camaro was released in 1982 as an attempt by GM to compete with Ford's new Fox platform Mustang. The new Camaro was much more modern than its predecessor and if you drive one of them today, it doesn't feel like something that was designed in the 70s. It won't feel like a new Audi on the inside, but the 3rd gen Camaro features a variety of fuel injected small block V8s and a well engineered chassis (C&D allegedly nominated the '84 Camaro as the best handling American car for sale in 1984). Find this 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta offered for $3,750 in Boise, ID via craigslist. Tip from Oldsmobuick.
If you are car guy and a speed junkie, you'll usually be looking for your next ride to be a bit faster. You can look up factory 0-60 mph specs to get an idea of how it scoots off the line, or 1/4 mile trap speeds to see how it'll go at speed and if you want to know how it handles you can look up skid pad g-levels from magazines. Unfortunately OE tire compound (which you are going to change anyway), gear ratios, measurement techniques and surface differences make many of these numbers worthless. What you need is a good idea of how the car will run through a section of road with all external factors being equal. One of the tricks I've used for a quick comparison of overall speediness is the SCCA Solo2 autocross Stock Classification.
Cromniomancy is the art of divination using onions. In practice, you inscribe two choices (perhaps for love life or career choice) on the bottom of two onions and wait for one to sprout -- the first one with a sprout lets you know which of the two choices you need to follow. Personally, I find this sort of witchcraft disgusting, not just because of my dislike for onions (actually they do taste good when cooked, but raw onions are about as appealing to eat as a set of used spark plugs), but also because I prefer the art of Audiomancy. This is where you buy two used Audis, inscribe your life changing choices and wait for one to have a catastrophic failure that requires a multi-week dealer visit. Oddly enough, Audiomancy is a great way to make important financial decisions while simultaneously emptying your bank account and rendering those financial issues moot. Plus, who has time to wait for those onions to sprout -- a used Audi is only a few good throttle pedal mashes away from some complex and financially crippling electro-hydra-mechnical failure. Here is a set of used Audis ready for the Audiorceror; first is this 2007 Audi S6 offered for $18,900 and second is this 2007 Audi S4 offered for $18,999, both cars are located in St Louis, MO via craigslist.
You are likely sick of hearing how great of a deal the E36 M3 is, but don't mistake it with implying the E36 M3 is a great car. The E36 may have a fabulous chassis powered by a decent engine, but it is filled with a lackluster interior and maintenance is expensive. Regardless, it is by and far the cheapest way to wear the coveted ///M badge. That's gotta count for something, right? Find this 1996 BMW M3 offered for $7,200 near Boise, ID via craigslist. Tip from Oldsmobuick