1959 Bonneville Contrasts Optimism with Decay

1959 Pontiac Bonneville for sale This car is too far gone. No one will ever put in the work necessary to fix the extensive rust, decayed interior and frozen drivetrain. And it’s tragic, because a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe signifies American cars at their most bombastic. The wide track eight lug wheels and jet-age fins stretching over a gargantuan trunk all come from an era where more was more. Irony, self-consciousness, counter-culture and minimalism hadn’t been invented yet. Seeing it in this condition gives off a bit of an Ozymandias vibe.

1959 Pontiac Bonneville (1)1959 Pontiac Bonneville (2)1959 Pontiac Bonneville (3)1959 Pontiac Bonneville (4)

I’d love to say some version of “patch it up, get it running and drive it as-is”, but it’d be nothing but patch before you could so much as it in it. While it’s doomed, the right thing to do here is pull the useful/valuable stuff like those eight lug wheels and send the rest to The Crusher. Hopefully others might continue living from its donation.

And then the jerk seller has the nerve to ask for a $3000 opening bid. At least it makes optimistic lawn art.

This 1974 Mustang II actually isn’t That Horrible

Tim Odell July 28, 2015 For Sale

1974 mustang II for sale

The Mustang II gets too much crap. It’s viewed as an embodiment of the malaise era (though the C3 Corvette begs to differ), an embarrassment by nostalgic baby boomers. From my point of view, it best embodies Boomers selective nostalgia and ability to gloss over important details of “their” time. I’d rather start with any Mustang II over any ’71-73 Mustang, as well as the vast majority of the ’69-70s as well. For some reason five years of bloated pathetic Mustangs get a pass and the II is relegated to whipping boy. Besides, it returned to the Original Mustang Formula: a sporty car based on the run-of-the-mill compact car of the day (Falcon, then Pinto) and maintained sales in an era where almost every other pony/muscle car brand died.

1974 mustang II interior1974 mustang II interior1974 mustang II for sale

Looking at this ’74 V6 manual fastback, I kinda get it. Sure, it’s pure ’70s: avocado on avocado, 4-lug slot mags and an engine wheezing two-digit horsepower. However, you could drop any number of powerplants under that hood, and with about 2700lbs to move, it’d move. Remember, too, that Mustang II suspension and rack-and-pinion steering are the go-to front end upgrades for countless crappily engineered classics. In short, this is a pretty sweet starting point for what could be a stereotype-challenging build.

$3100 with some fender rust? Huh. Maybe we’ll do that build with a Vega instead.

Cheap Alpine Starter Project or Rotary-Swapped?

Tim Odell July 21, 2015 For Sale, Showdown

1960 Sunbeam Alpine for sale1964 Sunbeam alpine for sale

While the American V8 in a European body formula typically produces awesome results (Examples 1, 2, and 3), the Sunbeam Tiger nearly stretches that logic to its breaking point. The Ford 260ci V8 practically needs an external oiling to fit in the engine bay, and cooling problems abound. Instead, why not start with the lesser sibling and drop something interesting in an Alpine?

Today we’ve got two paths to go down: one that’s “already done” (a phrase I’m never allowed to speak at home, due to its 100% falseness) and another that’s a blank canvas with a hint of Pinto 2.3L…

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Pile of VW Bus Shaped Rust to sell for over $6000

…and we should all be ok with that. Is it astoundingly dumb that a rusted, engineless shell of a 1960 15-window VW Bus would sell for so much money? Yes. However, that’s really only a good thing for us. Those of us owning anything close to this model might feel a trickle-down bump from the inflating prices of these vans, while the rest of us will just find something else that’s cheap and endearingly crappy.

Whoever’s bidding up this van knows that completely restored versions are selling for even more absurd prices at auction. He or she is doing the math on what it’d take to reconstruct what’s missing and shine up what’s there. Whether or not they actually make money on the endeavor is irrelevant; someone’s about to pour mid five-figure sums into independent automotive shops and parts suppliers to bring this thing back to life. Those dollars aren’t going to buy cheap sweatshop-made sensors and sending units via RockAuto for a more sensible newish car, they’re going to the Hanzel’s Auto Body Works and Canepas of the world. If everyone were cheapskates like us, the automotive aftermarket economy couldn’t support itself. If some nostalgia-drunk (or just drunk drunk) Baby Boomer with more money than sense wants to create their own personal stimulus package, more power to them.

In case you’re interested in practicing your body work skills for the next 100 years, here’s the auction. Bidding ends Saturday!

1960 Volkswagen Bus for sale – eBay Motors

D-Van Grand Prix: The Japanese Dodge Ram Van Racing Documentary You’ve Been Waiting For

Tim Odell July 16, 2015 All Things Hoon

Dajiban! Deep in the Hooniverse archives lies a post about a Japanese automotive fetish dedicated to building Dodge Ram Vans into track-ready condition. Despite the absurd premise, the end result comes out pretty bitchin’ (an adjective reserved specifically for Camaros and/or customized vans). The lowered stance plus Watanabe/Panasport-style wheels just works on these things. Daytona Magazine (a Japanese car culture mag) put together a documentary on the few weirdos who build these vans for their annual D-Van Grand Prix race. Click for subtitles and screeching tires.

What’s a Lotus 3.5? A Half-Done Lotus Seven Clone

Tim Odell July 14, 2015 For Sale

Lotus Seven kit for saleLotus Seven clones hardly count as replicas as the Seven hardly counted as a car. Simply a motor, cockpit and minimal chassis coverage to get the job done, they embodied “simplify and add lightness” better than anything before or since. Caterham will gladly sell you a new one, but why pay so much for such a simple thing when you can build your own? Someone took that attitude and bought a kit from the now defunct Demon Motorsports of Canada, but didn’t quite see it through…

Here you get a complete frame with a Miata drivetrain mounted inside. Obviously the most critical part would be an in-person inspection of that frame’s build quality; without a good frame you’ve just got a pile of scrap. Next, completing the suspension, brakes, driver controls and wiring will fall to the buyer. Honestly, none of that sounds too tough, given that we’re working on an open-chassis featherweight car and all (mostly) new parts. As someone wresting with a 53 year old rusty black widow sanctuary, that half-built orphan chassis looks positively delightful.

Auction ends today with a $5,000 buy in. Too much? Too little? What do you think?

Lotus 7 Kit – eBay Motors

1949 Dodge Route Van Sports Cool Technology, Looks like an Extra from Cars

1949 Dodge step van for saleIt’s unfortunate that every patina-ed old desert truck elicits a Mater reference even worse when people make clones thereof. However, this 1949 Dodge Route van has just the right overall look to be Mater’s older brother/cousin. The “Flathead Valley Diesel Repair” hand-painted logo seems almost too perfect for that universe.

Anyway, this one’s got typical old service vehicle rust in all the typical places. It’s got what the seller guesses is a GMC 270 in place of whatever Dodge flathead came from the factory. Most interestingly, the seller says this model has independent rear suspension. The ad has no pictures thereof, but I found this thread with someone working on one. In addition to the IRS, these had an offset engine. Those two features combined to maximize the interior room and get closer to being a “storage cabinet on wheels” as they were advertised. Sort of an alternative evolution to the FWD minivan or VW Type II’s methods of solving the problem.

For once, the body work is the easy part; these are just flat panels that can be patched with flat sheet. The oddball IRS-specific parts and oddball everything else might leave you stymied or in search of more common underpinnings to drop in. Sorted out, though, this would make such an awesome shop/delivery/florist/dog washer/small business van. Just make sure you hand-paint your logo.

It’s sitting at $4,250 with an unmet reserve and an auction ending shortly.

1949 Dodge Route Van for sale – eBay Motors

Showdown: ’80s Turbo Edition

Tim Odell July 7, 2015 For Sale, Showdown

1988 Ford thunderbird turbo coupe1984 nissan 300zx

After the Malaise Era came the Turbo Mullet Era. The name should be descriptive enough, but the time refers to the mid-80s to early 90s when automakers were sure turbocharged four and six cylinder cars would obsolete V8s. Something about head gaskets, octane ratings and auto mechanic competence ensured that dream was never fully realized, but the departure from 130hp 2bbl big blocks was still a breath of force-fed fresh air.

The question of which car best represents the Turbo Mullet Era remains without definitive answer (Mustang SVO?, Turbo K Car?, Chevy Sprint Turbo?, Buick GNX?, Various Mazdas? weigh in below), today we’re deciding between a T-Bird Turbo Coupe and a 300ZX…

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Suzuki Samurai 1936 GMC Mashup…Actually Works Pretty Well

Tim Odell July 2, 2015 For Sale

GMC Samurai mashupAlas, the poor Samurai. Like its namesake, Suzuki’s SUVlet was right only for a specific time and place. The mid-80s USA was neither. Nevertheless, it’s a great little platform on which to build a compact trail rig. Rarely do people complain about the boxy 80s Japanese aesthetic, but our seller here saw fit to rebody one with a 1936 GMC front clip and custom made dump bed.

Looking past the purple paint, 1992tastic wheels, “Mongrol” (SIC) decals and lack of a roof, this thing’s actually pretty awesome. The swoopy front fenders swallow 33″ tires and the rear mini-bed can haul landscaping materials, hay bales or (as the seller suggests) hogs. Pardon my City Boy ignorance, but that’s what a “hog hauler” does, right? It’s not some country euphemism? I won’t even speculate as to whether said hogs are alive or not…

Remember, it’s roughly the size of today’s side-by-side UTV type vehicles, but still street legal. Titled as a ’36 GMC, it’s exempt from pretty much everything in states that care about such things. Before hitting the street, it’ll need a host of clean-up activities to deal with squishy brakes, wiring and “some rust”.

The seller’s only asking $1975 for it, which really isn’t too greedy depending on the nature of the rust (and a billion other details). Auction ends Monday!

1936 GMC-Samurai Mashup – eBay Motors


Gearturbine / Retrodynamic Engine thing as Art and Object Lesson

Tim Odell June 30, 2015 All Things Hoon


After the jump is a bizarre tip/pitch/skreed about a prototype multi-stage turbine thing, but to be honest it reads like some kind of engineering-themed nonsense verse with phrases like ” DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type – Non Waste Looses”. For a bigger dose of either WUT or WAT just click through.

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