In 1973 Mercedes-Benz introduced the legendary W116 S-Class around the globe. In case you might wonder, the S is short for Sonderklasse, or Special Class, as in, unless you earn money like a special body parts doctor, you can't afford this. Today, the W116 chassis is known for its low startup costs, incredibly durable interior materials, tank-like build quality and expensive parts/labor costs if something major goes wrong...unless you've removed the costly Mercedes-Benz engine and shoved something cheap up front. Find this 1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 with Chevy V8 offered for $4,000 in Rockland, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
We get some strange e-mail into the DT tips inbox, (the toe-nail fungus removal spam is nonstop...what is up with these people...I don't have a problem!) but sometimes someone asks a question that makes us curious too. Like this email from Gary who writes: Could you help me to identify this steering wheel? Is it worth anything? Thank-you for any help you might be willing to give me.
The Cadillac Eldorado was originally built as a convertible halo car on the Series 62 platform in 1953, but became its own unique model in 1967 when it was transferred to a front-drive platform and designated a personal luxury coupe where it survived until 2002. The big front drive beast won't have good handling characteristics, but anything full sized from the same era is such a turd in the turns that you won't be able to tell the difference. Rear-wheel-drive, front-wheel-drive, squid-wheel-drive (which is when you have a car that rides on live giant squid instead of tires)...you probably won't be able to tell the difference. Find this 1969 Cadillac Eldorado offered for $11,000 via craigslist, located in the SF Bay Area. Tip from Kaibeezy.
The Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT/GTV is often simply called the GTV6 because later versions were powered by a front mounted V6, but the early GT/GTV examples used inline-4 power borrowed from the original tipo 105/115 GTV. Owners of these cars will heap praises on the communicative chassis while admitting that build quality wasn't exactly perfect. They aren't quite as gorgeous as the earlier cars, but they offer a fantastic fun-to-lira ratio and are often found in clusters, like Honey Bunches of Oats or women heading to the powder room. Find this 1976-1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT Collection of 4 cars offered for something in the $5000 range (is that one or more cars?) via craigslist, located in Seattle, WA. Tip from Rottenland.
Monday, September 29, 2014
The Alfa Romeo GTV (105 series) is a regular feature on this website because it offers exclusivity and vintage driving experience that is almost unmatched in the new econobox MSRP price range. The 1971-76 GTV, with its iconic twin headlights, is the design work of Giorgetto Giugiaro of the Bertone and features curves that belong in a museum...or my garage. Find this 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV offered for $18,000 in Athens, GA via craigslist. Seller submission from Bob.
Welcome to another edition of DT's cure for the Monday morning blues -- What Am I? In this better than being blind game we find a random picture of a car and you get to guess what it is. In past weeks we've posted stuff that has ranged from easy to tricky, but today I just want to post something that nobody will ever solve. Why? Because I am a jerk. Any more questions? Just what am I anyway? Update with answer below.
We scour the internet looking for car deals. Each of us has our favorite sites and search engines that we use trying to find our unicorns. I tend to prefer Ebay over Craigslist just because eBay's search features are so much better, even though I have to constantly keep an eye out for shill bidding on eBay. I have developed a higher confidence level in the people I'm potentially dealing with on eBay and remain leery of what's lurking in the Craigslist world (too much time in the Detroit suburbs I guess). This post is more of a comparison of the feature differences between Criagslist and eBay, but I was lucky enough to stumble across a really nice car that's featured on both sites. Find this 1993 Mercedes 400 SEL with just 43,000 miles listed both here on Craigslist and here on eBay. The seller is asking $6,500 on Craigslist (which we'll assume is his Buy-it-Now price) with bidding currently at $5,201 on his no reserve Ebay auction which will be at the end of the business day here in CA.
The Pacer was a poorly built hatchback from the waning years of AMC's existence on this planet and would have totally rusted into the collective garbage heaps of America if not for the iconic appearance as the preferred ride of two rockers named Wayne and Garth in the groundbreaking SNL skit-crossover-feature movie Wayne's World (actually, Blues Brothers beat Wayne's World to the big screen by a decade, but we aren't talking cop motor/cop shock combinations today). Today's Pacer is no Mirthmobile or ordinary example; it looks more like the Pace Car of the Apocalypse. Find this 1978 AMC Pacer Restomod offered for $9,900 reserve-not-met on eBay, with 2 days to go, located in Detroit, MI.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The term Grandpa car gets tossed around a bit, but today's feature is described by the seller as a Grandpa car, so we mean not harm when we use it today. Actually, this is the kind of car your Grandpa would drive because no one with his facilities intact would ever have purchased this car new or driven it for a few decades. Find this 1986 Ford Escort with 65k miles on the odometer offered for $1,999 in Novato, CA via craigslist.
The term ultimate sleeper gets tossed around a lot on the interwebs, including at this very website, but today..I swear...this is the ultimate sleeper. It is the automotive equivalent of having a 357 magnum hidden inside a beanie baby or 5 lbs of C4 disguised as a tub of margarine. It is so sleepy that you might just fall asleep before you get past the pictures and into the description of its fire-breathing powertrain and suspension customization. STAY AWAKE!! Find this 1961 Mercury Comet S22 currently bidding for $2,611 on eBay, located in Aurora, IL with 2 days to go.
Imagine that you are a well-to-do Seattle-ite with a decent haul of cash in your pocket and you want a car. Of course you aren't going to buy something 'Merican because they are uncouth, Japanese are just too common, and German cars are overpriced, so you head to your nearest Volvo dealer and start to see what $30k will get you. You tell the dealer that you want something with the spaciousness of a wagon, 5-speed manual trans with an automatic mode for traffic/drag strips, a V8 grumble, at least one turbocharger, fuel economy of a 4-banger, convenience of a 4-door, style of a 2-door, classic looks, and it should double as a track day car when needed. Without missing a beat, the dealer walks you over to some behemoth with Xs or Cs in its name followed by a few numbers and promises this will do the trick. They tested this thing on the Thorsburgring in Sweden, its faster than a Ferrari. He even manages to get you seated in finance office negotiating dollars before your phone rings. Drat, its those guys from the Daily Turismo. They always call at the most inopportune times. What, did you get locked out of your mobile home again? A man speaking through Dorito crumbs on the other end of the line tells you I've found the car you need...well...actually its five cars. The financier's guest chair is still spinning as you hit the road. All Volvos are tips from FuelTruck.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
1999-2000 Civic Si coupes ("EM1" in JDM-tyte parlance) will one day cross the auction block as the Porsche 993 of Civics. These are the last of the golden era. A time when a low-displacement four-cylinder revved like a Ducati, sounded like an irritated weed-whacker, and inspired a million catchphrases. It was an honest car stolen or molested by dishonest people, and whose image was marred by pretentious loudmouths. Already, the premium for stock examples keeps potential buyers from the economy car we should be entitled to: a high-mpg, high-revving, highly useful one. Find this 2000 Honda Civic Si in Tulsa, OK for the high price of $7,499 via their website or AutoTrader.
From 1987 through 1991 ARCONA (Austin Rover Cars Of North America) imported a rebadged version of the Rover 800 series as the Sterling 825/827 for the US market. Under the skin are the bones of an Acura Legend and the Sterling used Honda V6 engine mated to the front wheels. You hardly ever see a Sterling on the road anymore and probably mistake it for an Acura if you don't notice the badge, but they sold about 36,000 of the sedans in 6 years of production. Find this 1989 Sterling 827 for $950 in Seattle, WA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The B13 Sentra SE-R makes a great autocross legend or a loyal, affable commuter companion thanks to the venerable SR20 engine, well-behaving limited-slip differential, and communicative chassis. Looking like a abandoned mutt in search of a background to play in, this Sentra just needs a bath and some cosmetic fixes. With just a little effort and hardly a down payment, it would happily wear cow trails along the fenceline and into the heart of your family's financial overseer. Find this 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R in Richmond, VA for $1,000 via craigslist.
Friday, September 26, 2014
The MGB GT was a hardtop version of the legendary MGB and featured a Pininfarina designed shape with 2+2 seating and hatchback functionality. It was introduced in 1965 and was sold in the US market through 1974 with 125k units produced worldwide, so it isn't common enough to be ignored but it isn't rare enough to have an overinflated price tag. Find this 1974 MG MGB GT offered for $6,500 in Punta Gorda, FL Tip from FuelTruck.
You're heading someplace in a hurry. You pop your car into reverse for the first step of your usual 3-point trooper-turn to get your car out of your driveway. After stopping, you put it into drive and pull up as far as you can, almost clearing that bush where you stop for point two. You go to put the car into reverse for the third point, but she's a no go! Will not go past neutral. Well, now you're blocking your driveway, so you gotta 'convince' that bush to give just a little so you can get out to the street. Coffee Brake feature written by Hunsbloger.
The SAAB 96 is a slow car, with 60mph achieved in a sundial stopwatch friendly 15 seconds...or more. Don't make the mistake of confusing slow with un-fun, as a SAAB 96 is not a Prius-like appliance and will provide a thrill a minute, like merging on a major highway for instance. Another example is cruising down hill, for example. In a fancy car like a 911 it is a simple choice of which gear to select for engine braking, but the 96 uses a freewheel clutch designed to prolong the life of the previously fitted 2-stroke engine and it lets the car cruise down a hill while the engine settles to a peaceful idle. Need to pick up speed, just mash the gas and a few minutes later the engine revs match trans speed the power gets put to the wheels. Want engine braking -- just hit a floor mounted switch and the trans gets engaged. If this seems like your idea of fun you can pickup this 1972 Saab 96 V4 for $3750 in Seattle, WA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.