Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mid Week Match-Up: A Pre-War Sporster For W. Neff

Today's  Mid Week Match-Up request comes from W. Neff who writes:
As a city dweller with limited access to vandal-free off-street parking, I am seeking the most pragmatic choice of automobile: a cheap prewar sporting car. Open cockpit is preferred. I'm not small of stature, either (6'4"/ 270lbs) so spaciousness would be very helpful (I have been able to squeeze in a MGB without many issues, though a first generation Miata was extremely uncomfortable). No projects are sought; it should be running and driving properly. Cosmetics are not a concern of mine. In fact, I am looking for something characterful. My budget would be $20K and south (preferably around $15K).
Such a desire has been instilled through watching YouTube videos ( a true tempter of man) of a peculiarly British form of motorsport: trials. See here and here.  Other uses would be general touring, perhaps some rallies. Therefore, the retrofitting of some basic modern safety equipment (seat belts) is desirable, and I would like it to have enough power to safely use in the slow lane of the highway (45-50mph cruising). While my dream is to have a prewar Invicta S-Type or Lagonda or Alvis that would be passing vehicles on I-684 in the left lane in a display of lunacy, my budget is severely lacking.
Austin 7 and Model A specials are probably the default choice, though surely there are other options out there

DT: For my money I'd consider importing this 1929 Renault KZ3 found here on eBay offered for $12,000 buy-it-now located in Waterloo, Belgium. The original 2.1 liter 4-cylinder under the hood was rated at 35 horsepower from the factory, so it should be able to reach freeway speeds given a long enough on-ramp.  What do you suggest for W. Neff?  Comments below.

17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. None of them European, but still might be fun.

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  2. Thank you for all the suggestions thus far. I was worried that my budget would make for some very slim pickings, but that's clearly not the case.

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  3. Remember if you get one that has a windshield and side window glass make sure that it is tempered or has been replaced with tempered glass...or you might just lose your arm or head if you get into a fender bender.

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  4. Question is how's it gonna be used?

    The optimum for his requirement would be a BMW 328, or a couple other high-end mid '30s roadsters, but pricetag is a problem.

    Model As have four wheel brakes (cables, not hydraulics) and real transmissions but a stock or stock-rebuild A engine won't cruise at 50mph (or more) without pounding out their bearings. Need expensive machining for insert bearings or a Model B banger swap for real twice-a-week-to-the-office use.

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  5. A zebra of a different stripe. No rust on floorboards. 1921 Le Zebre

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  6. I would say take a look around this site....

    http://www.prewarcar.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it'll hit 50mph but it's gotta be a fun drive anyway:

      http://www.prewarcar.com/classifieds/ad188517.html

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    2. I don't think it'll hit 50mph but it's gotta be a fun drive anyway:

      http://www.prewarcar.com/classifieds/ad188517.html

      Delete
  7. I would say take a look around this site....

    http://www.prewarcar.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would say take a look around this site....

    http://www.prewarcar.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. A zebra of a different stripe. No rust on floorboards. 1921 Le Zebre

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geraldine -- I love how they use a boat propeller for radiator cooling fan!! Do you suppose Le Zebre could get up to Le Freeway speeds?

      -Vince

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  10. It is fascinating to see all of the imaginitive designs for what a car should be when you go back really far. Driving many of these cars is not as simple as an H - pattern stick and 3 pedals, either. Hand brakes, gears changed with pedals, and of course hand-cranked starts were all pretty commonplace. Early Fords had ignition timing that was adjusted with a lever on the steering wheel.
    Stranger still were early industrial and farm machines. Here is a video of an early tractor started with a punk and a blank 12 gauge cartridge.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEurohAwrmA

    ReplyDelete
  11. That looks so easy!
    I wish the old Caterpillar D6 was that easy to start. First you rope start the pony engine then the main engine. We would leave it running overnight rather than start it the next morning.

    ReplyDelete

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