A Copy of a Lotus Seven Clone Nets a Bargain

Tim Odell April 19, 2016 All Things Hoon

lotus seven clone for sale

For some songs, the remix/cover eclipses the original. Such is the case with the Lotus Seven. Lotus produced the original series from 1957 to 1972, selling about 2500 units. Since then, Caterham took over production of near-complete kits. As the Caterham kits proved too expensive for some, the “Locost” and “Locust” came to be, as well as other kits. Today’s example is an “S1 clone”, and it’s not clear if they mean it is an S1 clone of the original Seven (from noted clone/replicar maker Superperformance) or just a clone of the S1.

Simply put, the looks are a bit off. The tapered fuselage and curved windshield might offer some aerodynamic advantages over the original shape, but they end up more on the fiberglass-kit-car-ordered-from-the-back-of-Motor-Trend end of the spectrum than continuation classic.

All that said, with a Buy-it-Now of $8,500 (and presumably a reserve a little lower), this might still be a great bargain. For that price, you get a Toyota 3TC motor good for mid-high double digits hp with the T50 transmission and rear axle that accompanied it in its original late-70s/early-80s Toyota donor. Unless constructed of depleted uranium, the chassis weighs next to nothing, so that Toyota drivetrain could still deliver a great driving experience for the price…so long as the conversation doesn’t shift to used Miata prices.

“1967” Lotus Seven Clone – eBay Motors



Would You Rock a 1.6L Diesel Baja Bug?

Tim Odell April 19, 2016 For Sale

1973 baja bug diesel for sale

The original VW 1100-1600cc engines weren’t great at anything in particular, save being ubiquitous enough for their quirks to enter near common knowledge for a generation of gearheads. They offered mid double-digit horsepower and 20s mpgs in exchange for major maintenance intervals shorter than today’s oil change gaps. Today’s eBay find forces us to wonder: is a 50-ish horsepower diesel a better option?

Listed only as a “1.6L diesel”, we’re left to assume it’s a non-turbo from a late-80s model. How it’s driving those wheels (adapted to Beetle transaxle or somehow using its own) remains a mystery. 40mpg is attractive, and maybe there are some tweaks to be implemented on the motor to get a few more lb-ft or hp, but even then you’re left with a clattering nag of a motor.

We could overlook the shortcomings of the oil-burner were the car in great shape, but the rustbelt location and generally half-assed looking interior suggest otherwise. When the address is in Chicago, “surface rust on floor pan” means “start shopping for replacement metal”. Luckily, it’s only a few hundred bucks to replace all the metal down there. After you’re done with the metal work, there’s the stained headliner and plumbing on the engine to deal with.

Opening bid is already optimistic at $1200, but apparently there’s a reserve. What’d you pay for something like this?

1973 Baja Bug with diesel motor – eBay Motors

Sort Beverly Hills Car Club’s Listings by Price for an Endless Supply of Bad Ideas

Tim Odell April 14, 2016 For Sale

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Nothing more expensive than a cheap luxury car, they say. The Beverly Hills Car Club–actually, we’re going to digress right now. “Beverly Hills Car Club” is neither a car club nor in Beverly Hills. They’re a dealership that traffics cheaper examples of classics and exotics. Their address is a small warehouse in Lincoln Park, a gritty working class neighborhood about 30 minutes east of Beverly Hills. That said, their collection is extensive and actually pretty interesting…

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Showdown: Raygun Gothic Edition

Tim Odell April 12, 2016 Showdown

1961 Dodge dart pioneer for sale1961 ford tbird for sale

Automotive styling went through a bit of a “phase” in the ’59-62ish timeframe. Gone were the iconic shapes of 55-57, but the solid lines of the mid-60s had yet to materialize. Instead, we got a mix of wannabe-rockets (See: Ford tail lights of the era) and Googie architecture inspired swoops and gauge-pods. We’ve got examples from each camp in this edition.

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Three Way Three-Pedal Showdown: Pony(ish) Cars Representing the Beginning, Middle and End of the Malaise Era

Tim Odell April 12, 2016 Showdown

1974 Chevrolet camaro for sale1985 mustang lx t-tops for sale

Let’s take three distinctly different looks at a common formula: two doors, eight cylinders and three pedals. Most interestingly, they capture three specific moments in time: a Camaro ushering the descent into the Malaise Era, the very mascot of the Malaise Era: a Ford Granada and the car that best embodied the end of the Malaise Era: a Foxbody 5.0 Mustang.

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Someone in the Southwest Needs to Rescue this Truckified Eagle Wagon

Tim Odell April 7, 2016 For Sale

1983 eagle wagon for sale

A stickshift AMC wagon would be postworth enough, but this one’s received some special treatment leaving it entirely ill-prepared for its current environment. Specifically, car ain’t got no roof. At least, ain’t got about 7/8ths of its roof. Which would leave it wonderfully suited for life at a San Diego Beach or ranch in Arizona. Alas, it’s in a Chicago exurb, slowly being snowed and salted to death.

The beauty of the AMC Eagle is its parts commonality with the contemporary Jeep line. Typically oddball early 4×4 cars have drivetrains of pure unobtainium, but not here. And the parts that were Eagle-only are probably best swapped for Wrangler bits anyway.

Anyway, this one’s had everything from the B-pillars back removed, some diamond plate and questionable carpeting added. If you really wanted to show it some love, you could swap the carpet for DIY bedliner and spend a few hundred bucks to have a custom canvas top made.

It’s sitting just over a grand right now, but the reserve’s unmet. Curious what the seller thinks he can get for it.

1983 AMC Eagle Wagon Convertible(?) for sale – eBay Motors

Pick Up this JDM Toyota Soarer Before Someone Drifts it into a Curb

Tim Odell April 5, 2016 For Sale

1986 toyota soarer for saleThe 1986-1991 Japan-only Toyota Soarer shared its chassis with the same era’s Supra, which we did get. That era’s Supras earned a reputation for joylessness, despite the 7M-GTE motor’s tolerance to turbo boost pressures commonly found on the ocean floor. The Soarer made fewer sporting claims in favor of being a grand tourer. Nevertheless, they tend to be magnets for all the worst of treatments JDM cars receive: bosuzuku, VIP, hella stanced, etc.

Thankfully, this one’s been spared that treatment. It was imported to Texas legally under the 25 year rule and is ready for use anywhere that won’t require an emissions test (you’re killing me, California). Per the seller, it’s in excellent, but not perfect cosmetic shape and runs well. Having been in and out of a few late-80s Toyotas, I can tell exactly how that interior corduroy and plastic would feel. Same with the shifter and other driver controls. What I can’t comment on is what the 200-ish HP 1G-GTE twin-turbo 2.0L straight six feels like to drive. If that’s not enough grunt (and front-end weight) for you, the seller has all the necessary parts to drop in a 7M-GTE, as well.

1986 toyota soarer for sale

Hopefully the next owner doesn’t modify it further and instead keeps things on the mellow track they’re on today. For somewhere between $5,500 and $6,500, that could be your call to make.

1986 JDM RHD Toyota Soarer for sale – eBay Motors


Showdown: Piles of Nostalgia-Shaped Rust

Tim Odell March 31, 2016 Showdown

While almost any car in this condition would’ve been reduced to Chinese refrigerators by now, the ultra-rusty shells of cars like today’s contenders theoretically hold some value.

Assuming you wanted to “bring them back”, the ’65 Mustang Fastback, a “real A-code car” creeps into the low $30k range in good, restored shape. A ’67 911s comes in a little over double that, per Hagerty. The Mustang looks in a notch better shape and would obviously be easier to rebuild from less costly donor or reproduction parts. Still, it’s not hard to imagine the sum of $80/hr bodywork needed approaching either of those figures or, say, the USS Ronald Reagan.

So…what then? Aside from a few desiccated interior bits and a rear axle on the Ford, there’s nothing of value they could donate. Maybe there’s some hope for a beater-grade rebuild incorporating My First Sheetmetal® grade body work and whatever parts could be scrounged and swapped? Rusty Slammington comes to mind. The Porsche’s got a low enough opening price for that to make sense, but we can assume the reserve’s in the same prohibitively expensive territory as the Mustang’s $4k Buy It Now. Need we point out the cornucopia of better-than-beater grade classic cruisers available for less than that very starting point?

So…aside from running away laughing and/or screaming, what would you do with either of these? Which would you start with?

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback for sale – eBay Motors

1967 Porsche 911s for sale – eBay Motors

Oh, by the way: not title for either. Mustang seller refuses to give out full VIN, but that’s probably not because the car’s stolen.

1971 4×4 Eldorado Convertible May be the Zenith of Americanness

1976 Cadillac Eldorado 4x4 for sale

Forget the Escalade. Forget luxury crossovers trying to also be “coupes”. Forget (if you can) the Murano CrossCabrio. This is the vehicle that combines the presence of a 4×4 with the impractical jauntiness of a drop-top two door.

We need to give credit to the builder for not just dropping the body on a Blazer frame, but actually adapting the Cadillac motor and frame to accommodate a 4×4 drivetrain and suspension. Additional points awarded for no American flag hood decal or dumbass bumper stickers. Most importantly, no longhorns on the hood. That said, the conspicuously installed aftermarket stereo system detracts from the gravitas of the whole setup.

Overall, this seems to be the perfect vehicle for a construction boss to roll up to a job site in. He’s not here to do any real dirty work, but a few measly obstacles aren’t going to hold him back.

1971 Cadillac Eldorado 4×4 for sale – eBay Motors

Hooniverse Asks Bonus – What’s Your Version of “Going Bowman”?

Tim Odell March 17, 2016 All Things Hoon

zach bowman odyssey

Zach Bowman is on an odyssey. He’s sold almost all of his possessions and has hit the road with his wife and baby daughter with no particular destination in mind. If you’re not already following his trip on The Drive, you should be.

Reading his dispatches from my cubicle at work, I sigh heavily. My day is stable, pays very well and I’m genuinely applying my talents to help people in need (if you ever have a stroke, give me a call. Actually, don’t, go here instead). But still, I wouldn’t do it for free. Hooniverse has always been about encouraging people to go for it, even (especially?) when “it” is an ill-advised but awesome adventure. Project cars and LeMons fit the bill nicely, but so do road trips.

Still, there’s that next level, where you abandon some major tenet of “normal” adult living to have the adventure you just can’t have in your spare time. Commit yourself to the cause. Start or join a race team. Open a shop or dealership. Move to the country and take over some hermit’s junkyard? Things like that.

Personally, I want a warehouse for a house. 10,000-20,000 square feet of polished concrete under 24 foot ceilings. We’ll get a decent two bed, two bath manufactured home and park it in the corner (maybe even the top corner on stilts) and turn the roof into a 1/3 acre yard with a deck and garden beds. Obviously, that leaves the remainder for storage and maintenance of a giant fleet of hoopties. On a larger scale of ambition, I’d go even bigger and use the surplus space to run a sort of garage co-op where members get access to space, lifts and tools they can’t get at home.

But that’s just me. I’m sick of wistfully sighing if only I had the space.

Maybe yours is different. Maybe it’s not cars at all. What would you go off the deep end for?