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!

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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


Diesel Oldsmobile Wagon is a Generation Gap Encarnate

1979 Olds Diesel Wagon for sale

There are about four Blipshift shirts I regret purchasing; with the Unicorn being the most recent. The brown diesel manual wagon, hoo boy! …except I can already hear my dad doing that dismissive scoff/chuckle that he does when presented with irony-steeped anti-cool that’s so popular with Gen X…or is that Y? (I fall in-between). Boomers, despite being the first major counter-culture movement, aren’t wired to accept the deliberately uncool. Anyway, this Olds Diesel is among the worst cars ever made, a car that turned lifelong GM buyers into Honda and Toyota customers, a stunning monument to The General’s inability to execute what might’ve been a good idea.

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No doubt about it, this car is awful…but it’s in pretty good condition. The interior looks better than our four-year-old prime kid hauler and the exterior’s got sun-burnt paint over straight panels. A diesel title makes it exempt from California’s malaise-hating smog checks, opening the door for a few creative liberties under the hood. LSX FTW BRO! would be a little too obvious (remember: self-conscious irony), but maybe a beefed up 6.5 turbo or Duramax would check both the horsepower and thematic boxes? Hell, maybe just keep it as-is as a mandatory experience for any auto writer ranting about low diesel adoption.

Anyway, it’s $1450 on SF Bay craigslist.

(go hereif the ad disappears)


Someone Rescue this SAAB 96 from an Oakland Tow Yard

1968 saab 96 for sale

Who among you failed this quirky brown machine? I’d argue there can’t be more than three degrees of separation between myself and the person who owned this ’68 96, allowed it to be towed, and then failed to claim it. Quirky and ambitious Oakland resident, I AM DISAPPOINT.

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Anyway, let someone else’s screw up be your gain: this thing’s on eBay with a $700 obo price, but a $295 lien sale mandatory fee. What does a grand get you? Looks like someone’s very much in-progress project: the interior’s mostly removed, but the body’s straight with sections that look like new or super clean old and the engine’s present. The after the jump, the Yard’s eight-plus minute walkaround video probably shows it better than I can…

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Hooniverse Garage: 1969 Jeep Wagoneer Intake Manifold Fix

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We’re back in the garage again, working on the Wagoneer. It’s well known that Jeeps leak oil, but there’s a spectrum from “marking their territory” to “British Leyland” to “Exxon Valdez”. My Wagoneer was leaking so much down the undercarriage it’d actually blow up the back of the car and accumulate an oil slick on the tailgate after any long drive. Good for rust prevention, bad when parking in friends’ driveways. It leaked from the rear main and the timing cover, but the biggest emitter was the back side of the intake manifold. Time to rectify that…

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Easter Sunday Ranchero Resurrection

All it needed was points and a condenser. Of course, I came to that conclusion after throwing a bunch of other parts at it first (and leaving the points on the counter as I walked out the door the first time). That raucous exhaust note comes courtesy of a massive crack in the exhaust manifold and a really high idle. After a little fiddling it runs like a car with a bad exhaust manifold that needs a carb rebuild.

With that box checked, it’s time to address wiring to impart such luxuries as starting the motor from inside the vehicle and functional stop/turn signals. Following that it’ll be time to address the translucent floors, hopefully with a solution that can tie the floor, future cage landing spots and subframes together as one. But the in the mean time, I’m pushing towards that first around-the-block drive.

1962 Ranchero Makes a Predictable Entrance to the Hooniverse Fleet

1962 ford falcon ranchero project car lemons hooniversePlease welcome my new 1962 Ford Ranchero to the fleet! The image you see above marks the fourth vehicle that’s been towed to my driveway in the last four years. This fine example of the Falcon platform’s versatility sports a 170ci straight six, a three-on-the-tree and…not much else. Power nothing, non-functional window rollers, rusted-out floors and a few good dents in the body. However, it only weighs about 2500lbs and shares a number of key parts with all other Falcons, Mavericks and early Mustangs.

That parts interchangeability should come in handy as we build it out to be our next LeMons racer. Things than many people throw away (like 200 and 250ci I-6s, 8″ rear axles, floor-shifted three speed transmissions and drum brake spindles) constitute upgrades for us. Not only that, but it can haul its own spare parts!

Well, it could, once it’s running…

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Who Needs an Early Celica for Cheap-as-Free?

1973 Toyota Celica for sale (1)

Not long after Ford (or, arguably, Plymouth) pioneered the “sporty car on a mundane sedan chassis” pony car formula, even Toyota got in on that action with the 1970 Celica. They based the Celica on the Carina chassis, but with bigger engines and cooler styling. I’ve no hands-on experience with 70s Celicas, but I see a compact longitudinal-layout vehicle with parts interchangeability reaching into the late-80s, and there’s a lot to like about that. While this one lacks the “Japanese Mustang” looks of the ’77 liftback, it benefits from a pre-smog year of manufacture. With a curb weight just over a ton, there’s no shortage of engines that’d make this thing scream.

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Condition wise, this one’s a “side yard car”, to be sure. The seller just wants it gone and a puzzling mix of parts (the pedals and steering wheel) are missing. One fender’s mis-matched (a ’74), there’s typical rust around the front/rear windshields and the hood is “not salvageable” (though it’s unclear why). As much as I dislike seeing relatively rare cars get all hacked up for drifting or hardcore offroading, if ever there was a candidate for box flares and a welded diff, this is it. We’ve gotta hand it this seller: he started the auction at $1 with no reserve. True Adam Smith free-market pricing in action, which (as I type this) places the value of this car somewhere around $285 after 24 bids. Auction ends Wednesday afternoon, so we’ll see how much it climbs by then.

1973 Toyota Celica for sale – eBay Motors

’57 Chevy Bel Air 4×4 is the Pure Essence of Trar

Tim Odell March 26, 2015 For Sale

1957 chevy bel air 4x4 for sale

Firstly, let it be known, Trar: A portmanteau of truck and car; A car on a truck chassis.

Before Eagle and the original Wagoneer, innovative ruralites were putting cars on truck chassis for reasons known only to themselves. And now the ultimate irony is that a quintessentially redneck vehicle configuration has become one of the most most mainstream, high-volume segments of the auto industry. Every Traverse out there needs to come pay Grandpa 4×4 Bel Air a visit.

The specifics of this beast? How about a 1941 GM 1-Ton Weapons Carrier chassis, 283 V8 and 4 speed manual? The body’s not perfect, but pretty danged good. The seller rivals our Short Sentence Fiesta Guy for odd ad diction style. The word count is high,; the font is courier new. He’s refreshingly un-optimistic about the condition and magnitude of the restoration effort needed, to the point that I find myself disagreeing and longing to pull a Roadkill/Dirt-Every-Day grade driveway rescue and drive home. The fact that it’s sitting 30 minutes from my house might boost my confidence in that adventure a notch.

Still, we’re looking at a (literally) bomb-proof drivetrain and a motor that can be replaced by countless cheap examples over a weekend. What’s not to like? Besides, the $4,000 to $4,500 price is pretty danged reasonable for what you get.

1957 Chevy Bel Air 4×4 for sale – eBay Motors

Hooniverse Garage: DIY Installation of a Leaf Spring Lift

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This week we’re kicking off a series of DIY maintenance, fixes and upgrades to my 1969 Jeep Wagoneer with the installation of a four inch lift from Hell Creek Suspension. With leaf springs front and rear, this is about as simple as suspension modifications get: jack it up, unbolt the old springs and shocks, bolt the new ones in. The simplicity of this job makes it a great first “major” modification to a car to attempt. In fact, I got my start performing this very install on my 1991 Jeep Wrangler as a junior in high school. Because the Wagoneer has a spring-under-axle configuration up front and spring-over-axle out back, what we cover here applies to modifying any leaf-sprung vehicle, either lifting or lowering.

You can see the the video that things go pretty straightforwardly with only a minor snag when it came to the U-bolts and the new mounting plates. There’s no movie magic there, I did it all in my driveway with basic tools and it took a whole day instead of half like I was hoping. You can even see my neighbors walking their dogs by.

There are only two points not pictured, but worth mentioning. One, I soaked every bolt in penetrating oil the day before, which really speeds up the unbolting process. Two (and there’s a hint of this at the very end), the added height had my driveshaft drooping down and rubbing on part of the gas tank skidplate. That skidplate was a previous owner add-on that mostly just collected oil, so I removed it.

This is the first of what will hopefully (*cough*) be a long series of DIY features using our project cars as examples. Sound off in the comments about what what you’d like to see more of, less of, or other projects you’d like us to work on.

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 Need a 412 in Your Life

Tim Odell March 24, 2015 For Sale

1974 vw 412 for sale

…and I’m not talking about calling someone in Pittsburgh. While the 70s weren’t kind to anyone, but prior the Polo/Golf/Passat Renaissance Volkswagen went through a bit of an awkward phase with the K70, Super Beetle, Type 181 “Thing”, “VW” 914 and this: the 411/412 “Type 4″. The Type 4 was essentially an updated version of the standard VW formula: air-cooled rear flat 4, but now with fuel injection and updated independent/strut suspension. This is, by the way, should not to be confused with the similar-looking South-America (and Nigeria!) only Brasilia, which was pretty much just a re-bodied Beetle.

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Overall, the condition looks decent: there’s no rust or obvious cosmetic issues beyond a split driver’s seat cushion, and there are lots of new parts and claims it runs excellently. The Oregon plates on a Southern California car raise questions, but maybe no one told this guy ’75-and-earlier cars are smog test exempt. Looking over this example’s photos, it looks a bit like a 911’s frumpier half-sister: the rough shape is the same, but the beauty’s entirely absent. I can see how these might get a notch sexier with the giant bumpers trimmed back and a new stance/wheel/tire combo. Oh, and a Subaru swap, just to make everyone angry.

The auction’s got five days to go, so we can assume it’s going to climb past the current $2,025 price towards a mystery reserve. Any idea what these are worth?

 1974 Volkswagen 412 – eBay Motors



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