After last weekend in which I ran the 24 Hours of Lemons at Stafford Springs, and hearing all the kibitzing about the fact that there are no really unique vehicles available to convert into an IOE contender (and maintain a reasonable build budget) I decided to do a little Craigslist scouting on a Sunday Morning. I confined my searches to Vermont and New Hampshire because they have inspection laws on the books that virtually sideline a reasonably running car for rust and other issues, perfect for LeMons. Read more after the jump…
Our first contender is a 1971 Ford Maverick. Yes, a running Maverick for less than $500. According to the ad:
Automatic, 6 Cyl – Runs.
For Parts or Restoration.
Comes With a Set of Grabber Bucket Seats and Other Maverick Parts.
Even Has a Good Gas Tank.
How about a full size 1969 Chevrolet, equipped with a Six Cylinder, and a 4 Speed Manual? Yes the ad states that they want $1,000, but with shrewd negotiations, and a
falsified valid bill-o-sale, here is a shoe in for an IOE. According to the listing:
69 bel air 4 door thats savable but i dont have the resources to fix up right now, pretty bare car with a 250 straight 6, manual steering, and manual brakes. i did have the engine running and it sounded good with no noises or smoke, manifolds are off as i was going to put tbi fuel injection on it. originally a 3 on the tree but now has a 65 muncie M21 4 speed in it. floors, trunk, and doors have no rot. around the rear window, base of the windshield, bottom of the front fenders, and bottom of one rear quarter there is some rot. good body guy could have this stuff done in no time but i’m no body guy and have no welder or compressor so thats the main reason for selling. front seat has one rip in it but other than that its ok, rear seat was pretty beat so theres a cadillac leather seat back there just to make it usable, i do still have the factory seat. has no brakes at the moment, front wheel cylinders are blown out, will come with 2 new ones. master cylinder was done last year as was a fuel pump and sending unit in the tank. tires hold air but are bias plys from the early 90’s so theyre all dry rotted. does need a drivers window, pretty sure i know where one is in a junkyard. to me the car is savable and would be excellent to make into a cop car but if you’re looking for parts let me know and if it doesnt sell whole i’ll do the part out thing. if its parted out the muncie won’t be available. most parts from this will fit biscayne, caprice, and impala.
So you want to contend for the front of the pack, not for the IOE huh? Well, here is a Sweet T-Bird that just might do the trick. It is a 1990 Supercharged S/C, for only $900. Oh sure, it might just blow-up on the track, but then again, maybe it will outrun all those little Hondas and Alfa Romeos on it way to an outright win. According to the very brief listing:
5-SPEED, LOADED, 3.8 LITER SUPERCHARGED ENGINE, SUNROOF, RUNS AND DRIVES GOOD! BLACK ON GRAY CLOTH INTERIOR, ASKING $ 900.00
While that 1969 Chevy is cool, it only had a six. Here is a full sized Chevy, 7 years newer, that sports a 350 cid V-8! Another Instant IOE, or at least the least horrible Yank Tank Award. The listing reads:
1976 chevy impala, runs and drives great, needs easy body work and brake lines, 64k miles 350 2bbl would be an awesome car with a little work. have original paperwork including window sticker build sheet and maintenance records. lost interest in project. price is negotiable. car will need brake lines fixed to be driveable, or i may be able to fix if the deal is right, looking to trade for motorcycle, small SUV or subaru (needs work ok), small camper or pop-up in good condition, plasma cutter or welder, or try me. serious offers only, please dont waste my time.
If you thought the Diesel Powered T-Bird at Stafford was glorious, then feast your eyes on this 1964 Bird. The engine has been rebuilt, and it is in running condition. Sell off the interior, Wheelcovers, Radio, Window Regulators, and you will be well within LeMons Budgetary limitations. According to the ad:
im selling a 1964 thunderbird that is complete minus taillghts, car is very solid n runs n yard drives the engine was completely rebuilt by woodstock motors, bored 30 over. all new internals. the price is 1200 or best offer n cash is king as always! just started car and let it run for about a half hour and drove it around the yard. brakes are a little weak, probably needs bleeding. runs awesome. thanks for your interest
See? There are interesting LeMons quality IOE (and outright) winners available, and there are a lot more available here in New England. So what was your favorite?