Custom Chevy-Powered Countach Replica is Nowhere Near as Bad as You’d Expect

Tim Odell May 14, 2015 All Things Hoon

lamborghini replica for saleMy “poster car” growing up was the Countach. While it was well past its prime by the late ’80s/early ’90s, my preteen brain couldn’t see past the proportions, cylinder count and wing to believe it was anything other than the ultimate mega everything.

With that in mind, I empathize with those who decide to make one themselves. Obviously, there’s a spectrum from bad Fiero kits up to Ken Imhoff’s “Basement Lamborghini”. Barring Avogadro’s Number of details, this seems to be somewhere in the middle: complete custom tube chassis, twin-turbo Chevy small block power, but still a ZF 5-speed between the rear wheels. This one’s got the proportions right, and has a number of actual Lambo parts incorportated, but is definitely a collection of fiberglass copy-panels. That said, if you’ve ever looked at a Countach up-close for more than 30 seconds, you’ll notice the build quality’s not much past a high-end kit car…so maybe side-by-side with a weathered Countach it wouldn’t show too badly. It did actually run in 1997, but has been stored since.

Anyway, this is an estate-sale situation where it seems the builder’s gone on to the great auto shop in the sky. His brother’s selling everything as-is, where-is in Southfield, Michigan. The reserve’s met at a mere $4550 as I type this, which is probably close to the part-out value of everything included.

1980 Lamborghini Countach replica for sale – eBay Motors

This Beater Marauder Convertible is Hotrodding at its Finest

1961 mercury marauder for saleThis 1961 Mercury Marauder has all the necessary equipment: A tri-power 390ci V8, four-speed transmission, nice seats, intact floors and power brakes. Intact sheet metal, a roof and hood? These things only serve to confine.

From context it seems the seller yanked it out of a barn somewhere then paid attention to getting the floors and mechanical bits sorted, swiped the interior out of what looks like an 80s Mercedes (that MB-Tex lasts forever) and called it a day. He drives it daily. For some reason I imagine the seller played by Woody Harrelson with a just bit of a Florida Man vibe.

1961 mercury marauder tri power1961 mercury marauder interior1961 mercury marauder interior 21961 mercury marauder rear end

Which, honestly, is exactly what I’d do all day every day if I could: start with cars a week away from The Crusher and bring the back to some form of functionality. Let someone else worry about getting the quarter panels patched perfectly or finding the factory-correct hose clamps.

The auction ends today and as I type this it’s sitting at $4000 with 16 bids, which…ok, honestly that’s a bit steep. I’m curious where it ends up.

1961 Mercury Marauder for sale – eBay Motors

Black and Tan 1958 Mercury Wagon: I must have you

Tim Odell May 12, 2015 For Sale

1958 mercury wagon for sale
Ford did some weird things with Mercury engines in the late 50s. This wagon has a four-barrel 383ci V8, but thankfully not the ubiquitous Chevy stroker. Nope, this particular 383 is from the MEL family with a claimed 300-330hp and 400-something lb-ft of torque. Those figures are impressive, it’s been said those early power numbers came more from the marketing department than the R&D group. Still, in proper tune that lump has the low-end grunt to haul this beast around just fine. Beyond the drivetrain and the sweet paintjob, this one’s got a squeaky clean interior and enough power convenience features (brakes, steering) to cruise in comfort…provided it’s not too warm out.

Personally, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of slapping any of the recent crop of TBI carb-replacement EFI systems on an ancient, thirsty motor just to see what happens. Back that up by a C6 with an overdrive unit, and you’ve got a remarkably versatile cruiser/hauler. I was about to go into a “you don’t surf” rant about classic wagons always having a board on the roof, but this guy actually uses it to go to the beach, so I’ll leave off for now.

Anyway, it’s $7500 on SF Bay Craigslist. Please buy it so I can stop thinking about it.



Project Car SOTU: ’62 Ranchero, ’64 Falcon, ’69 Wagoneer and ’59 Project House Hell

falcon sonoma judgingTime flies. Re-reading last year’s post, so many of the “really need to get to…” items remain as such. At least my kitchen is done.

The ’64 Falcon just plods along, but with a growing number of minor nags. The Wagoneer pisses me off on a regular basis, but makes for good videos. The kitchen remodel’s done, so wanting for another huge drain of money and time I bought an utter POS ’62 Ranchero to race in LeMons.

Onward for details…

… Continue Reading

Showdown: Non-Wretched Jeep FC Vs Detroit-Diesel Swapped International

Tim Odell May 7, 2015 For Sale, Showdown

1957 jeep fc150 for sale1960 international travelall for sale

It’s been forever since our last showdown, but when I had these two tabs open adjacent to each other (and a primordial version of my Falcon next to them), it was clearly time to dust off the category.

In one corner, a ’57 Jeep FC in rare mid-grade condition. Typically we find these in end-stage terminal corrosion or as $20k restoration queens. This one’s generally intact, running and driving, with a $6300 asking price. The flathead four cylinder and insanely low gearing aren’t going to win any races on paved ground but with some vintage mud tires and a locker or two, it’ll out-climb anything this side of a mountain goat. And it’ll do so with that bed full of cut firewood.

Representing the “Ugh, it’s not a Jeep, it’s an International” faction, we’ve got this 1960 International Travelall. As if an early Travelall wasn’t unique enough, it’s had a Detroit 4-53 swapped in. Fun fact: those Detroit Diesel engine names are the number of cylinders and the displacement for each. Thus 4-53 = 212ci (3.5l) four cylinder. These are good for somewhere just north of 100hp, meaning this leviathan will also be an exercise in patience. Mechanically, “everything’s in order”, but it’s evident that some paint and body work top the To-Do list. The $5000 asking price feels about $1500 too high, but maybe that’s just me.

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On this truckiest of Truck Thursdays, what would you pick?

Pokey FC or Pokier Travelall?

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534ci Twin-Turbo Super Seamaster is Here to Shame Your GM Twin-Six

Super Seamaster turbo 534 super duty

In the late 50s, Ford sold (from the factory!) a 534ci twin-turbo marine V8. Such a thing has some pretty impressive numbers: over 1300lbs fully equipped, 440hp and 660lbf-ft of torque at a mere 3300rpm…ok, maybe one impressive number and two kinda not so impressive numbers. Aside from its size, the 534 SeaMaster sports an impressive intake arrangement: A pull-through carburetor system that feeds mixed air/fuel through twin turbochargers into a water-cooled intake plenum.

But let’s take a step back: I stumbled on this sweet ’57 Mercury Wagon with a claimed 368ci V8, an engine I’d never heard of. Turns out it’s the top dog of the Lincoln (not Ford) Y-Block family, good for up to 300hp and 400ish lb-ft of torque. Ford phased out the Y-Blocks in the late 50s in favor of the Windsor, FE, MEL and Super Duty engine families. Super Duty…? Turns out Ford applied the name to a line of giant-block truck engines long before it became synonymous with Brodozers. These were industrial engines, meant to make big torque at low speeds for hundreds of thousands of miles, which explains the relatively lousy HP/lb stats they post. Like many industrial engines, they found their way into boats, but because boats (typically) have no transmission, they tend to need more high-end power than many-geared over-the road trucks. Thus: twin turbos on the 534!

Once you go searching for 534s, you’ll find this guy who pulled (and unfortunately recycled) two from a ’69 ChrisCraft he’s redoing, this sweet thread on the H.A.M.B. with ex-truckers and Ford mechanics speaking highly of the motor, and finally this great thread on a ChrisCraft forum with the original brochures, from which we pulled a selection.

“Das Customizing” Leads to the World’s Best(?) Six-Wheeled Opel Corsa

Tim Odell April 30, 2015 All Things Hoon

Some guys in Germany had one-and-some-extra Opel Corsa As and did what any rational group of guys with a welder, some scrap metal, some spray foam and a few gallons of paint would do: made a 6-wheeled, um…middle-wheel-drive “Opel Corsa A-A”. Alas, there’s minimal footage of it running and driving (here’s a quick clip), as we’d love to see the reaction of the more traditionally well-regimented German road-going population. Anyway, if anyone’s good with German, maybe provide a few translations of the highlights in the comments…?

Meanwhile, I’ve found my new desktop background…

… Continue Reading

Please Don’t Make this Turbo Corvair into a Trike

Corvair spyder turbo motor

Alternate title: How Would You Roll the Dice with a Motor from a Corvair that’s been Sitting Since Before Touch-Tone Phones. Encased amidst that vaguely-Corvair-shaped cloud of ferrous oxide is a 150 hp turbocharged flat six mated to a four speed manual transmission. The seller admits he hasn’t tried to crank it, so we don’t know if the block, crank and cylinders have maintained their independence or become one, metallurgically speaking.

1964 corvair spyder for sale (3)1964 corvair spyder for sale (4)1964 corvair spyder for sale (5)

The seller goes so far as to suggest making a trike out of it, which I’ll count as a strike against the state of Virginia as a whole–shame on the lot of you. Assuming the drivetrain could be made functional again, what would you do with that turbo pancake?

For me the only answer is a Dune Buggy or sand rail. A quick search tells me they’re already hopelessly expensive complete, but here’s a chassis for not too much. Groovy bodywork is mandatory, however:
Vintage Sandrail

Groovy image via Autoculture.org

1964 Corvair Spyder for sale – eBay Motors

Hooniverse Garage: 1969 Jeep Wagoneer Interior Fix Prep

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Let me introduce you to the concept of California Rust. Out here, we don’t kill our vehicles via road salt (because 98% of the state gets no snow), but we have our own version: the sun cooks weatherstripping and rain leaks in all winter and spring, sitting stagnant under the carpet. Repeat for a few decades and plenty of vehicles with pristine frames, rockers and quarter panels have Flintstones-grade floors. Such is my Wagoneer.

Welding makes great footage, but really makes up about .0001% of the hours of any body work activity. The rest is grinding and sanding. Today, we’re going through some of the basic setup to exorcise the ferrous oxide demons from my floors. Roll down your sleeves and put in your earplugs; it’s about to get sparky.

Hooniverse Garage is brought to you by Valvoline. We’re already fans of the brand, so teaming up to bring you focused wrenching content is a no brainer. Enjoy!

You Know What’s Better than a Renault Floride? Two Renault Florides!

1959 renault floride for saleAside from recognizing these as some kind of Renault, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Floride with a hard top before. The more common “1.5 cars worth of useable parts” listings (as this one is) tend to be for a topless Caravelle or Dauphine. Honestly, I know nothing of these vehicles and their parts availability, so I can’t even begin to guess what’d go into making one or both of these roadworthy for the first time since the 1970s. But hey, if one carburetor’s borked, you can pull the one from the parts car, which is surely in excellent condition!

renault caravelle floride for sale (2)renault caravelle floride for sale (3)renault caravelle floride for sale (4)renault caravelle floride for sale (5)

As is often the case, I fell down a bit of a wikipedia hole researching these vehicles. Did you know they were produced in Renault’s first large factory, which happened to occupy a man-made island in the middle of the Seine on the outskirts of Paris? Île Seguin  has a mildly interesting pre-industrial history, but at its peak had an underground test-track and loading docks for receiving and delivering parts and completed vehicles. It also made an easy target for Allied bomber pilots during WWII (the Germans had repurposed the facility for their own uses).

Anyway, back to the cars: the seller seems a reasonable individual willing to facilitate inspections or delivery, as the market for Renault Florides in the immediate vicinity of kinda-rural Auburn, CA can’t be too hot.

$3500 obo for the pair – eBay Motors



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