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1975 Dodge Dart is the car We Wish All of You Could Have

1975 Dodge dart for salePicking up the right project car can be an art: not too hopeless, not too expensive, with just enough things wrong to keep it cheap but not so many that you can’t enjoy it. Today’s 1975 Dodge Dart seems to be just such a car: a solid platform to start with and upgrade while you drive it.

1975 Dodge dart for sale1975 Dodge dart for sale1975 Dodge dart for sale

Faded paint and the unfortunate later pointy frontend work against it, but otherwise the seller’s claiming it’s mechanically great. The 318 breathing through a two-barrel carburetor and 2.45:1 rearend will hurt your quarter-mile times, but make for an economical highway cruiser. Inside, the too-new seats and stereo detract from the aesthetics, but everything else looks to be in great shape.

The kicker? The Buy-it-Now is only $3750. Auction ends in just a couple days, so go have That Talk with the people who approve bringing new cars home.

1975 Dodge Dart For Sale – eBay Motors

Ranger Roadster? Sure, Why Not?

I don’t have any tattoos. It’s not because of some aversion to them in principle, it’s just that I have a hard time thinking of anything I want written or drawn on me for the rest of my life. It must be nice to have no hesitation to making permanent changes. Case in point: I’d bet five bucks the seller of this dropped and chopped Ranger has some ink.

ford Ranger convertible

Sure, it’s been afflicted with the barbed wire armband and tribal thing of custom cars: bad interior customization and crappy flat black/gray paint. But then again, it’s got a 3.0L V6, five speed and a kinda-sorta decently executed roofectomy. Not unlike that “Bravery” Kanji tattoo your girlfriend said you should get, this could be a good idea for about one summer. For $2000, check it out on Atlanta Craigslist.

Hooniverse Asks Bonus: Best Cheap Compact Truck Under $6k?

Who’s up for some recreational car truck shopping? I’ve got a co-worker in need of a truck to haul crap around. She and her beau just bought a classy mobile home (it’s the Silicon Valley version of a trendy loft), and they’re neck deep in Home Depot/Lowe’s Runs. They’re looking to unload an older (stickshift!) Accord and pick up a cheap truck for cheap truck stuff. Cheap truck stuff includes:

  • Hauling large objects
  • Hauling dirt/compost/yard stuff
  • Hauling a motorcycle or two
  • (Maybe) making use of four-wheel-drive to avoid putting on chains for ski trips to Tahoe

Cheap truck stuff probably doesn’t include:

  • Serious offroading
  • Towing anything really heavy
  • Regular commute duty
  • Endless upgrades, modifications or working on it

She’s isn’t overwhelmed by a vehicle that needs maintenance, but she’s not into car stuff for car stuff’s sake. That said, something that’s got some character isn’t too bad. Right now a leading candidate is this guy, but it’s a question of just how much of a POS it actually is. My counsel was Rangers are crappy but cheap and cheap to own while Toyotas Hiluxes/Tacomas are much better, but much spendier. I’m leery of S10s, Durangos, and Nissans in this price range, but my real exposure to them is pretty limited. She’s shopping on SF Bay Craigslist, but even some general wisdom and recommendations for what to look for or avoid in this price range (under $6k) would be helpful.

Galaxie or Porsche Shell: How Do you Take Your Project Car He…wait, that title’s taken? Dang.

1968 porsche 912 for sale1963 ford galaxie for sale

Lest you not get the joke, be sure to check out Murilee’s continued series over at Autoweek. Anyway, today we’ve got a pair of projects that tempt with their awesome updsides, but even the “just leave it ugly and get it running” path may require serious work. Hellacious quantities of work, if you will.

Starting with my personal pick, we’ve got a 1963 ½ Ford Galaxie fastback. It’s a “Z code” (high-compression) 390ci V8 backed by a four-speed manual. Adding an awesomeness multiplier is the bench-seat plus four speed combo. It’s in “all there” condition, but technically so is the Titanic. It’s got classic signs of long-term outdoor storage and water intrusion: a rusted out trunk and wrinkled-up interior vinyl. If it’s just an interior re-do and some patch panels it’ll still take five years, that’s not too bad. Let’s just hope the frame’s solid. The seller describes the condition as “not in a hateful state”, a phrase I’ll be stealing. $3,500 buy it now, auction ends Friday.

1963 ford galaxie trunk rust

We’re light on air-cooled Porsche expertise here, but the common knowledge is that clean examples go for crazy money and people get angry if you modify them too much. Luckily, neither is an issue with this ’68 912. We’ve got a shell with what looks like just cosmetic rust issues, no engine and whatever transmission a 912 came with. It appears to have received some rear flares and possibly other stylistic updates. Seeing as though it’s already gutted and pre-lightened by oxidation, your first weekend of prepping it for race car duty has been covered for you. After that, you’ll just need to source like everything a motor, some patch panels, a cage and some race buckets. No reserve and bidding’s at $2,850 as I type this.

1968 porsche 912 rust

1969 Fiat 850 Spider: Imagine a Smaller, Slower, Prettier Toyota MR Spyder

1969 Fiat 850 Spider for saleUs kooky enthusiasts commonly clamor for a major automaker to pull the trigger on a mid-rear sports car that uses a FWD powertrain behind the seats. Decades ago, Fiat took a shortcut on that formula and made everything rear-engined. The 850 descended from the 600, which descended from the 500, Fiat’s OG rear-engine-d commuter. In the 850 Spider, the 843cc motor produced a whopping 49hp to haul roughly 1500lbs around. Imagine a (new) Dodge Charger with roughly 150hp for a comparable power-to-weight reference.

1969 Fiat 850 Spider side

Regardless of its relative gutlessness, today’s Fiat 850 for sale has a certain charm to it. At first glance I mistook it for a larger 124 Sport Spider, given the family resemblance. It’s on offer from an Italian car specialist in Southern California with 100% eBay feedback. Going with the good vibes is the right mix for a fun project driver: excellent mechanicals and just good enough exterior to get a few “molto bene“s driving around.

1969 Fiat 850 Spider – $3700 Buy-it-Now or Best Offer with the auction ending Thursday afternoon.

1963 Pontiac Temptest Hints at what Detroit Could’ve Been

Tim Odell March 11, 2014 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1963 Pontiac Tempest LeMans for saleFor over 50 years, General Motors has alternated between blessing and disappointing enthusiasts. Small-block V8s and beefy automatic transmissions? No problem. Small sports cars (that aren’t the Corvette)? Nothing but tears and more tears. The Pontiac Tempest (and its Y-body cousins from Buick and Oldsmobile) brought innovations not seen again until Porsche brought them back in the late-70s.

Specifically, this 1963 Pontiac Tempest sports a 326ci V8 mated to a flexible driveshaft bowed under the car, driving a rear-mounted transaxle that puts power down through independent rear suspension. If the all-iron 326ci Pontiac motor was too crude, you opt for the half-a-389V8 four-cylinder making as much as 165hp or a 215ci aluminum V8 with an optional turbo in the Oldsmobile. Alas, this was GM and all of that super-advanced technology didn’t quite, well, work. Specifically, the independent rear suspension was a primitive swing-axle setup shared with the notorious first-generation Corvair and those advanced motors were prone to vibrations, turbo issues or block porosity. Turning to the disappointing side of the coin, GM never granted the BOP cars a second generation (unlike the Corvair) to iron out those teething problems. By the mid-to-late 60s, neither the average customer nor GM management had any appetite for the technical innovations of the early 60s when conventional V8s, 2-and 3-speed automatics and rear axles on leaf springs were good enough. For more detail, Niedermeyer The Elder covered the Y-bodies in greater detail back in 2010 on The Truth About Cars.

1963 Pontiac Tempest lemans motor

Were I a collector with means, I’d add today’s example to my collection. It’s a 1963 Tempest convertible with the 326V8 (making 260hp) hooked to a three speed manual. It’s a stylish cruiser with just enough sporting pretensions to keep things interesting. $25k worth of interesting? That’s up to you.

 

A Pair of ’64 Chevelles Reminds Us What We Love About Muscle Cars

american flag chevelle for sale194 Chevelle Big Block for sale

The muscle car earns our love by delivering giggle-inducing engine rumble and straight line acceleration in a cheap, slightly crappy package. To truly appreciate it, you’ve got to check your cynicism, self-consciousness and irony addiction at the door. Through some strange coincidence, we’ve found two exemplary (though slightly different) specimens that both happen to be ’64 Chevelles.

We’ll start with the cleaner, more cliched option: a 1964 Chevelle for sale with a 350ci small block V8, TH350 three speed auto and overwhelmingly patriotic paint job. In addition to the paint job, the interior’s clean (if a little sparse) and it’s got a 12-bolt rearend. Additionally, there are as many pictures of new(ish) trim and body parts in bags as there are of the car. If you’re willing to be a rolling patriotic billboard and a 350/350 combo is good enough for you, you’ll have to pay more than the current $5,500 bid, as the reserve’s not met.

 american flag chevelle interior

Our second example…man, I didn’t think cars like this still existed: 396ci big block V8, four-speed, crappy paint, minimal rust and a current bid of $4200. Provided that unmet reserve is in the mid-4-digit range, we’ve got a hell of a deal on our hands. Everything works, it’s just ugly, cosmetically speaking. With so much paint sanded off, its next home would best be a garage or incredibly dry part of the country. Even then, it’ll need floors and likely other body work. $4,200 with an unmet reserve; again we hope the seller’s not overzealous.

1964 Chevelle Big Block engine194 Chevelle Big Block for sale

One’s got the better mechanicals, the other less bodywork but a love-it-or-leave-it paint job. Where would you spend your muscle money?

Your Dog Wants You to Buy this ’64 Ford F100 4×4

1964 ford f100 4x4 for saleWhat is it about a dog riding up front on a bench seat? There’s a part of our eight year old selves that lives on, begging to go take a toy truck and the dog and play in the mud or snow. This is that truck.

Specifically, we’re looking at a 1964 Ford F100 with a 292 Y-Block V8, 4-speed (with granny low) manual transmission and four wheel drive. Per the seller everything works great and the paint is a 70s re-spray with patina. The pictures show a clean looking truck that appears to get regular use. No, you won’t win any form of race or conquer the Rubicon trail with this truck, but you will be able to go camping anywhere with your dog and your girl without even having to pitch a tent. You’ll get thumbs up and respect with every Lowe’s run and you’ll develop a strong relationship with your physical therapist or pharmacist to deal with the back pain.

 1964 ford f100 4x4 side1964 ford f100 4x4 interior1964 ford f100 4x4 offroad

Anyway, we’re looking at $2,125 with an unmet reserve and 1½  days remaining.

1964 Ford F100 4×4 for sale – eBay Motors

“Built Fiat 128″: not a Phrase You Read Every Day

Tim Odell February 20, 2014 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1978 Fiat 128 for sale“What’s wrong with that 510?” I wondered while blasting through the Hooniverse Interesting Car Search on eBay Motors (patent pending). Things devolved from there as I realized I was looking at a built Fiat 128. My experience with Fiats is limited to being bummed my dad didn’t buy my grandfather’s X1/9 when I was about five, so my commentary would mostly be a re-summary of the listing. Click through to read it yourself, but the relevant bullet points are:

  • Fiat mechanic seller, who worked at an original Fiat dealership back in the day
  • Cleaned up mechanically and cosmetically
  • Stroker 1500 motor from seller’s X1/9, into which he swapped a K20
  • FIXAGAN plates, which better come with the car

1978 Fiat 128 stroker motor1978 Fiat 128 interior

The opening bid is $6,000, a number I’m not qualified to comment on specifically to Fiat 128s. However, using generalized semi-obscure used classic enthusiast car pricing, seems $1-2k too steep, depending on what value you place on a really well built Fiat 1500 stroker. What say you?

1974 Fiat 128 for sale - eBay Motors

 

And a 428 in Every Driveway!

1967 Mercury Colony Park for saleYou know what’s expensive? An Ecoboost®-equipped Ford Flex®. You’re almost halfway to six figures by the time you spec out a new one. Given their wagon-y lines, mediocre fuel economy and lack of room compared to a minivan, it’s not hard to see why they’re slow sellers. Still, more people should buy them, complete with the good motor. Why? Because it’s The One With The Good Motor that’s always worth buying, owning and fixing as the decades march on. Perhaps that’s why my early-80s eyes see a lot more potential for awesome in classic wagons than my dad does. Most longroofs you’ll find on eBay or Craigslist today are v8 equipped, and the full-sizers aren’t hard to find with big blocks. However when new, these muscle wagons were the exception. Most puttered about with straight sixes or bottom-spec V8s and lousy transmissions, and that’s what Baby Boomers remember.

1967 Mercury Colony Park1967 Mercury Colony Park rear1967 Mercury Colony Park 428

Today’s example is the Ecoboost of its day: a Mercury Colony Park with a 428 “Super Marauder” (awesome name) V8. It’s got power everything, typical California-desiccated paint and…well, that’s all we can learn from the ad. Given the half-open hood, wheel blocks and adjacent project Mustang in the pictures, the condition’s probably not top-notch. Luckily the seller only wants “$4″ for it!

1967 Mercury Colony Park for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

 

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