Project Subaru Justy: Bad Omens and Junkyard Luck

Alan Cesar January 29, 2015 Project Cars


Put the car in gear to pull away from the stoplight. Slowly let up on the clutch. A moment that feels almost like forward motion is followed by grinding. Feel that gut sink. Try again with same results. Open the window, then the door. Step out. Reach in and turn the wheel. Put a shoulder to the door frame.

Push the car off the road and onto gravel. Call a friend who hopefully has a tow rope, and while waiting, try to imagine the best and worst-case scenarios for what might be broken. Then consider the possible solutions when dealing with an abandonware car purchased for $1,300.

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Project Subaru Justy: Itty Bitty Wheels and Tires


My Justy’s previous owner sold the car to me with a brand-new set of tires mounted on alloy wheels. He said he had spent a good amount of time finding wheels that were the right size and period-correct. It was clear the man loved the car and was interested in taking good care of it, but that also meant the Justy rolled with balloons on the same sort of wheels I’ve seen on dozens of Pontiac Grand Ams.

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Turbo AMC Spirit Does Wicked Burnouts


When you add boost to the legendary Jeep 4.0-liter inline 6 engine, magic happens. If you put that magic inside a yellow and brown box of delicious defunct automaker and take it to an automotive competition, you might just win.

But it’s more likely you’ll end up mid-pack in competition as the crowd favorite, especially when they get a peek at that interior.

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Project Eagle: Diagnosing a Driveline Problem


When I last spoke of this Eagle, it was a mere introduction — both of myself and of this project. I hinted vaguely at its “some kind of clutch problem.” Honestly, that’s about all I knew at the time. Shortly after, my dad came over for a visit and we spent a couple days yanking the transfer case, transmission and front axle out to see what was up.

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The Diesel Truck of your Dreams is in a Florida Junkyard

Alan Cesar January 22, 2015 Thursday Trivia


Your enthusiast fanboy dream truck is here, and at the right price to boot. It’s 4 wheel drive with a manual transmission, mated to a diesel engine. The short bed and standard cab mean it’s perfect for maneuverability when you’re out muddin’, or simply trying to get to your cabin. It’s already fitted with big tires and some auxiliary gauges. The caveat: To row your own while rolling coal, you’ll have to extract it from a junkyard and find out why it went there in the first place.

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Earn Your Place in Chicago Television History

Alan Cesar January 21, 2015 All Things Hoon


If you’ve watched TV anywhere near Chicago sometime in the last 30 years, you’ve probably seen what is now an iconic low-budget commercial for Victory Auto Wreckers. It’s been on the air essentially unchanged since 1985. Now is your chance to replace it, earn a measly $500, and perhaps become immortalized in Chicago television history for another three decades.

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Project Justy: Even Your Horn Can Wear Out

Alan Cesar January 21, 2015 Project Cars


On my first night drive with my Subaru Justy, a friendly motorcyclist pulled up next to me and said I don’t have any marker lights. My brake lights worked fine, which was somewhat comforting, but any co-spatial event in this tin can is unlikely to end well for me. I had to avoid driving at night until I could sort out this wiring problem.

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Project Justy: A Tune-Up and Unearthing Problems

Alan Cesar January 16, 2015 Project Cars


This Subaru Justy, as with most cars that sell in the very-low-four-figure range, has had an unknown number of previous owners. It’s not worth the trouble to find out. That simple fact, combined with its low price, means the Justy had problems that were ignored because they’re not worth the cost to repair, and has problems that were repaired poorly.

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HCOTY – The Beast of Turin Fiat S76

[Source image: Stefan Marjoram]

The initial ignition blast torqued the whole chassis as though it were absorbing the impact of a missile. A gentleman revved the engine and made adjustments as sparks shot from its open exhaust ports, dropping deafening sonic assaults upon everyone present. Microphones failed to completely capture the unholy racket. When watching the video, the recording’s audio distortion gives the best indication as to the actual volume and ferocity of this — the word is overused, but nothing is more appropriate here — this monstrous engine. It was the first time the Beast of Turin had belched flame in more than a century.

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Haul American Soil in a Holden Ute

Alan Cesar November 14, 2014 All Things Hoon


Sometimes, when a car and a pickup truck love each other very much, they give birth to a hideous mutant child. At least that’s what my wife says, which means I won’t be buying a Holden Ute anytime soon. Fortunately for those of you without wives (or with wives who are more understanding when you want to spend five figures on a used trucklet with two seats), these Aussie El Caminos are now available in the U.S. through the aftermarket. A Colorado-based company called Left Hand Utes is importing Holdens and converting them, obviously, to drive on the right side of the road. You could have one for as little as $30,000. Hit the jump to see how.

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