Thursday, April 30, 2020

What Am I? Checkpoint Classic

DT's logo guru Kaibeezy sent this Wasthington Post article about coronavirus checkpoints in Lebanon to me and asked "Where is my mind? That brown car is not a modern car. Is it a brick? A W124?!?" and I am stumped too.  Despite my own inability to figure this out... I'm positive that somebody from the commentariat will solve this in about 5 minutes...hit it!

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Blue Boat: 1977 Pontiac LeMans Safari

Here are two words that don't go together. LeMans and Safari. LeMans is a city in France that hosts a prestigious 24 hour race for sports racing cars and a Safari is fun filled vacation for wealthy people where they stalk rare wildlife and get sand in their cargo pants.  Here is one more word that doesn't go with EITHER of those two -- Pontiac.  Pontiac is the late GM performance brand that had nothing to do with GT racing or hunting in the mid 1970s, but that didn't stop them from building something called the Pontiac LeMans Safari...because marketing.  Find this 1977 Pontiac LeMans Safari here on eBay bidding for $6200 with a few hours to go.

Cheap Project: 1972 Saab 96 V4

This next car comes as a tip from Erik202 who writes: If you’re going to buy what amounts to a rolling shell with potential you could do much much worse. Yup, the seller admits that the powertrain has been disassembled, but the German built Taunus V4 is one of those little engines that you can rebuild in your garage with a pair of pliers, a 6-pack of Heineken, and a jar of Loctite. And this is the kind of car that you will drive everywhere because you won't worry about rock chips but you will worry about missing out on beautiful mountain views because you are grabbing fistfuls of opposite-lock. Find this 1972 Saab 96 V4 offered for $2500 CAD ($1800 USD) in Calgary, AB via

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

V8 RallyCross Ready: 1993 Ford Ranger

Trucks are popular (I believe the F150 is still the best selling vehicle in the USA) and they have an interesting history.  They started off 100 years ago with the Ford Model T Runabout as a work truck and that was mostly the paradigm for 50 years until the El Camino & Ranchero introduced a "styled" pickup -- something that was as much about image as it was about utilitarianism.  A few years later and GM introduced something even more radical, the performance pickup in form of the Silverado 454SS and GMC Cyclone which were shortly followed by Ford's SVT Lightning.  People had been racing pickups over the years and in 1995 NASCAR introduced its SuperTruck racing series...but today we've got a pickup that is setup to race in SCCA RallyCross, which is basically an AutoCross on some dirt/mud/snow.  Sounds fun! Find this 1993 Ford Ranger offered for $5000 via forums. Tip from ISAUN.

Mazda Inside: 1967 Jaguar XKE E-Type Kit

Every time I make a blanket statement, I get in trouble.  Arrgg...I just did it again.  The statement I made the other day was something about kit cars being mostly replica Cobras and things based on Volkswagen Beetle chassis and that the Jag kit was interesting and unique...and then we got a tip for another Jag kit car, this one based on an RX-7, complete with 13B rotary power?  Whaaa??  Why didn't I know about this?  Who wouldn't want the nimble reflexes of an FB RX-7 mated with the gorgeous looks of an E-Type convertible...even if it is a "gasp" kit car.  Find this 1967 Jaguar XKE E-Type Kit offered for $22500 in West Babylon, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Upscale and Downmarket: 1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class isn't quite the same luxury status symbol that it used to be (BMW, Audi, Lexus, Tesla et al have certainly gained in the mind of the 1% where Lincoln and Cadillac have faded) but there was a time when driving a W124 meant you were somebody.  Or you were driving somebody around because these were popular around the world as taxi cabs.  A few decades later and now anybody can own a W124 with nice examples going for not a lot of cash. Find this 1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon offered for $6500 in Anaheim, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

Carmudgeon's Choice: 1971 Datsun 510

I know that I'm going to sound like some old cranky curmudgeon when I say this...but I remember a time when Datsun 510s were appreciated for being a cheap way to drive something that looked like a sedan but handled like a sports car.  Time was not friendly to 510 -- its thin sheet metal reduced weight, but turned to mush in the presence of moisture, and more than a few 510s were stuffed under the tire wall at your nearest race the pool of 510s got smaller, but the cool factor skyrocketed and suddenly people want money like they are a sports car instead of a sedan that drives like a sports car.  Anyway, lemme land this plane...prices for the 510 are high these days, but this next one has a certain combination of speed and flair that even a curmudgeon can appreciate. Find this 1971 Datsun 510 offered for $14888 CAD ($11k USD) in Vancouver, BC via craigslist. Tip from Erik202. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Bronze Age: 1981 AMC Eagle Kammback DL-50

The AMC Eagle was a neat looking 4X4 compact crossover-car thing that beat the modern market to the compact crossover and defined traditional labeling of the time. The sedan/wagon/coupe versions were built on the AMC Concord chassis, but the 2-door SX/4, Kammback, & Sundancer models were built on the AMC Spirit subcompact chassis...but the important part is that they were powered by big inline-6s and could offroad like a Jeep. Today's next feature is a solid gold oldie in more ways than one. Find this 1981 AMC Eagle Kammback DL-50 here on eBay bidding for $4900 with one day to go, located in Benson, AZ.

Special Feels: 1986 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham

The Oldsmobile corporate slogan in early 1986 was "There's a special feel in an Oldsmobile"...which is ironic because that "special feel" wasn't necessarily a good thing...but the corporate goons at Olds changed it in late 1986 to "Oldsmobile Quality. Feel it!"...also...funny in an ironic sorta way...but I have to admit that this Toronado has a certain charm to the entire hearing aide beige package...from the hidden headlights to the odd proportions of the truncated rear's almost nostalgic.  Find this 1986 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham here on eBay bidding for $4150 with a few hours to go, located in Palm Harbor, FL.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Kustom Kruiser: 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser

The PT Cruiser was sold by Chrysler from 2000 through 2010 to aging Costco Hawaiian shirt shoppers who picked it out of the lineup of econoboxes at their nearest mile-o-cars because it looked retro but still had the same useability and driving characteristics of a Prius.  The two questions most often asked at the dealership were can I drive it in sandals and do the rainbow grateful dead stickers come from the factory? Today's PT, however, has been given the full 30's gangster treatment from an owner and it looks...well...interesting. I won't pretend that it is my cup of tea, but it looks like someone spent some serious time building this thing and it will certainly make an impression.  Find this 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser offered for $7900 in Murfreesboro, TN via hemmings. Tip from Barbpaddles.

Friday, April 24, 2020

I'm Not Joking and Don't Call Me Shirley: 1995 Toyota Sera

Everybody wants the best of both worlds.  Everybody wants a car that gets them street cred and respect for being "different" but that same body wants a car that is reliable and where does a Prius cross with a Lamborghini?  Lemme tell ya.  It's called the Toyota Sera and is two parts Toyota Paseo and one part lambo door equipped JDM oddball.  Find this 1995 Toyota Sera offered for $8,800 in Orefield, PA via Tip from Barbpaddles.

BumbleBe1: 1987 Nissan Be-1

I love it when a seller tells a story.  And this next seller does deliver the goods.  Not only does he do a good job of articulating his reasons for selling the car (which aren't really necessary in the sale of a vehicle) but he also goes to great lengths to show that he is indeed a 61 year old man who just purchased a new Ford Ranger and even includes a selfie of said self and Ranger.  The last part of the story that I love is the fact that he is both reasonable in his asking price and firm in his conviction -- so don't send him a text message with a random and un-substantiated offer.  Personally, as a used car seller on the web, the thing I hate the most are random low ball SMS offers that have zero actual substance.  I usually reply with a "yes, I will take $xxx offer, but only if you immediately send me $1000 non-refundable deposit."  Never had a taker. Find this 1987 Nissan Be-1 offered for $4328 in Portland, OR via craigslist.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Ice Blue Survivor: 1979 Saab 900 Turbo

How hard can it be to import a vehicle from Latvia?  Ignoring the current Coronavirus induced global shipping issues, I have to think that getting a car from Latvia imported into the USA and legal to drive on the street might be difficult for even the most seasoned car importer. But this next Saab Turbo is sooooooooo much nicer than the average Saab story that you find driving around on the mean streets of anytown USA.  And this car reminds me so much of the Draken 99 EMS that I want to ignore all of the warning signs and buy it.  Find this 1979 Saab 900 Turbo here on eBay bidding for $8600 in Latvia with a few hours to go.

Terrano Regulus: 2001 Infiniti QX4

You might have never heard of the Infiniti QX4 before today...well...because it is an oddball luxury SUV from Nissan's luxury brand sold from 1997-2003. You can barely throw a timing belt without hitting a Nissan Pathfinder around these parts, but good luck finding a QX4 -- I have to imagine that Infiniti only sold a dozen or so...but according to this random website, Infiniti sold about 20k a year -- not much in the modern world, but more than a Nissan GTR. Find this 2001 Infiniti QX4 offered for $3300 in Pasadena, CA via craigslist.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

British Invasion: 1953 MG TD

Back in the day, my old man owned and daily drove an MG TD.  It probably wasn't the best idea because my dad treats mechanical machines the same way that you might treat a discarded N95 mask found outside a tuberculosis ward-- two parts curiosity mixed with a healthy dose of fear. The end result was a car that needed to be given to a mechanic who demanded a royal ransom for a set of piston return springs and six quarts of synthetic clutch lubricant. Despite this family history, I've always had a soft spot for the early pre-war styled MG T-type.  This next example is a perfect father-son restoration project which could make it three generations of terrible mechanical reliability if I do this right. Find this 1953 MG TD offered for $5,900 in Southington, CT. Tip from BarbPaddles.

100cc of Social Displacement: 1939 Peugeot P52 Motorcycle

This next car...errr...two wheeler...comes from tipper Brad who writes: I thought you might dig this very interesting (presumably rare) little motorbike—although I cannot recall whether you are a cars-only outlet...This old cycle definitely deserves the label survivor, esp. considering it was produced in Europe just as WW2 was getting underway.  It seems like all the money is being asked but, as usual, where will you find another? Anyhow, what’s better for social distancing than a single-seater? There’s no room to haul bulk parcels of toilet paper, but they cannot be found anyway. Stay safe.  I couldn't have said it better myself -- thanks Brad!!  Find this 1939 Peugeot P52 Motorcycle offered for $3500 in Coatesville, PA via craigslist.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Man, A Van, A Plan: 1993 Volkswagen Eurovan

What was sold here new in the United States as the Volkswagen EuroVan was actually the 4th generation of the Transporter / Type 2 / Bus / Kombi / etc.  The EuroVan was the first of the bread loaf VW vans to have its engine and drive wheels up front, finally ditching the rear/rear setup of old and the rackity-clackity air cooled engines that typified the VeeDub Van experience.  Today's example is one of the cheapest asking prices I've seen for a EuroVan and makes me want to put on my hazmat suit and take a trip to New York. Find this 1993 Volkswagen Eurovan offered for $3600 in Paramus, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.