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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

Ft. Lauderdale Auctions America 2015: The American Classics Edition


So my buddy TheKenMan set this olelongrooffan up with a free pass to the Auctions America gig over in Fort Lauderdale this past weekend. As the Convention Center is located in the Port of the Everglades about a 90 minute drive across Alligator Alley, I decided to head over there on Saturday to seen what could be seen. For lack of a better place to begin, this olelongrooffan is going to kick off with The American Classics Edition. Further installments will include Truck Thursday, a little something for mdharrel, another something for the ever lovely $kaycog and more.  But alas, I am getting ahead of myself. In order for my fellow Hoons to see something more special than this Special, a jump will be required.

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Found on CraigsList: Holman-Moody’s 1967 Ford F100 Ranger shop truck

Unless you don’t have a pulse, you are probably enamored with Jeff’s HoonTruck, a sweet Ford F100 with a 390 V8. And unless you really don’t have a pulse, you should be salivating over the above image of what was—the CraigsList seller claims—the shop mule for legendary North Carolina racing shop Holman-Moody. It’s a 1967 Ford F100 Ranger, which means that the shop obtained it in the midst of Le Mans podium-sweeping Ford GT40 production and NASCAR domination with innovative Fords.

The F100 comes with a nifty, top-trim 352 V8 and a three-speed manual on the column. The interior looks clean and the white paint looks original with the hand-painted Holman-Moody logos a bit faded. They could use some sprucing, one might suggest, but if I were buying it, I’d sure preserve everything about it. The truck is, of course, modified and upgraded as you’d expect from a racing shop and you can click on the ad for the laundry list of new and upgraded parts, including the glovebox door signed by former Holman-Moody president Lee Holman.

Is a piece of original history like this worth $14,000? To the right NASCAR fan (or driver, even), I bet it is.

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’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

Found on CraigsList: A four-cylinder, daily-driven Mercury Comet


As odd as it seems, this automotive writer has never really had a dream car. I have enthusiasm for a variety of makes and models, but none have ever struck me as a “must-own.” Instead, I typically fancy a car for a few weeks or months and then file it away to my dream garage for when I have a few thousand-dollar bills laying around. Lately, the early 1960s Mercury Comet has been the car of my fancy; I love the Ford Falcon (its platform mate) lines blended with a vestigial 1950s fin and, for whatever reason, the crosshairs on the front fenders complete the look.

In my mind, I’d love a nice driver in teal with the original Ford 170 six-cylinder engine, but a recent CraigsList search turned up a primer gray 1962 Comet in North Carolina. I like that look just fine, actually, but the interesting part is (allegedly) under the hood: The seller—who is apparently trying to gauge interest—has swapped in the fuel-injected Ford Lima 2.3-liter engine and five-speed transmission from a Ford Ranger along with the 8-inch rear end from a Ford Maverick. The Lima is a robust and durable mill and, according to the seller who claims to daily drive it, the four-banger Comet will get gas mileage in the high 20s, making this a surprisingly practical 53-year-old car.

The ad lists the car for $7,000, which seems a bit much without showing the mechanical bits of the car, but I kind of love the idea of this car. Am I crazy? Is this automotive travesty or triumph? And here is perhaps a bigger question: What kind of cars should someone who loves the idea of this car consider a “must-own?”

Full text for posterity:

Just seeing if anyone might be interested in this. I don’t want to sell, but have found another project I want. This is a daily driven car. It has a 2.3 fuel injected engine and 5 speed manual out of a 93 ranger. Has front disk brakes and an 8 inch rear out of a 71 maverick. Gets close to 30 mpg . Body is in great shape and is primered gray. No trades unless they include a 5 speed truck and cash .

[Asheville CraigsList]

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


Craigslist: Porsche-Powered Ice Racer Karmann Ghia


This little piece of history is so awesome, it deserves to be shared among the Hoonitariat. Back in the 1960s, someone decided it would be a good idea to make what amounts to a long-wheelbase Porsche 356 for ice racing. By using a late 1950s Karmann Ghia and dropping in a Porsche 356B Super 90 engine, then outfitting the car with the 356’s uprated larger drum brakes and wheels, this racer made something of an ice racing hot rod. With ‘enough’ power to hang the rear end out for days on end, this little #11 must have been wicked on the ice in period. Now it could be yours.

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Streetwalker: 1988 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z


I’ve shot a lot of cars for this site, and a large number of those have been American cars strewn around the Finnish small-town landscape. Again, wintertime snow humps are receding, and the stateside-born metal is revealed, either by people bringing out their priced V8 behemoths or the melting snow just showing you what it has hidden for months.

This 1988 Camaro IROC-Z belongs to the latter camp. A friend remarked he has seen the dreamy red T-Top beast buried in snow for the whole winter long, and now you can see it in its perfect ’80s glory. And it doesn’t even seem that much worse for wear.

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Pair of Opel GTs Makes a Great Tuesday Twofor

Tim Odell March 17, 2015 For Sale

1972 opel gt for saleThe Opel GT should be a great car for the likes of us. And yet, beyond Team Tiny Vette, I’m not really aware of any great Opel GT builds around (cars like that tend to show up in the LeMons paddock). From what I can tell, they’re kind of Opel’s Fiero, in that they look sporty but use mostly plebeian sedan motors and underpinnings, leading to uninspired handling. Of course, that’s roughly the same formula Ford used for a certain equine specialty, so it’s probably a matter of throwing the right aftermarket parts at it.

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Our two examples represent the typical condition of a US Opel GT: stalled projects in a yard full of other stalled projects. Something along the lines of “seemed like a fun car, but parts are a little hard to find and don’t really have time for this”. The most concerning two words from the seller are “typical rust”. “Typical” means different things in different states: In the Rust belt, that’d mean disintegrated floors, rockers and fenders. In the southwest, that’s a few microns of iron oxide where the paint’s been burned off. Kentucky’s sort of a crapshoot, but for our likely use they’ll be just fine.

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Given 1) the mini-Corvette styling, 2) the GM connection and 3) Opel being German, the only proper engine swap would be an alternate-universe next-gen Corvette rotary. Dropping in the heart of a rusted or wrecked RX-7 of any generation would likely produce great results. The key is to build in the necessary GM “XP Car” fake provenance and supply the necessary breathless Popular Mechanics preview based on a foggily remembered conversation overheard at a Detroit bar and some equally foggy spy shots.

1972 and 1973 Opel GTs for sale – eBay Motors

Found on eBay: 1965 Bobsy Vanguard Formula Vee project

Eric Rood March 16, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

Bodywork Lead

For a long time, the cheapest way to go wheel-to-wheel racing was simply to buy a Formula Vee, an extremely simple open-wheel racecar built almost entirely with stock Volkswagen Beetle mechanical components. With horsepower in the mid-double digits, Formula Vee was essentially a slightly bigger go-kart. Because of the cheap and plentiful nature of components, Formula Vees could be built for virtually nothing when introduced in the late 1950s and owing to their extremely light nature, towed behind the family sedan, too. Today, while classic and vintage car markets boom, the simple Formula Vee remains an affordable vintage racing option, as this 1965 Bobsy Vanguard chassis project shows a $2,850 Buy It Now tag on eBay.

Source: (old.school.restorations on eBay)

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