The Ozarks, I am quickly being reminded, is never short on rusty gold, diamonds in the rough that just need a little polishing to reveal their true quality. What we have here could be the next best thing.
It’s no secret that I’m a Craigslist hound, always trolling the bowels of the cars/trucks section for some interesting, rare, or just weird. Since moving to Springfield, I usually find the obligatory lifted trucks, clapped out rice rockets, or rust buckets that are only a few years old.
Today, though, I found something which is both interesting and rare, and I’ve only seen a handful of times in my entire life. In terms of style, it falls somewhere between a conversion van and a mail Jeep. Check it out!
Yeah, it’s got a lot of miles, but it’s a Ford F150, it’ll probably run forever without any problems, right? Too much wishful thinking? I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been a really big fan of these first-gen Lightning trucks. There’s something about 1990s ‘sport trucks’ that I really dig, and the fact that this “full size” is about half the size of the current F150 is a laughable concept. Remember when you could get a small single cab pickup with a hot V8 up front, and rear wheel drive?
Pepperidge Farm remembers. I remember.
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.
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)
The cool thing (well, one of the cool things) about surfing the Interwebs is the unprecedented opportunity we have to peek in on far-flung locales that we’d have known nothing about pre cyber-age. Working my Google-fu (if you’ll excuse my millennial jargon) while searching for the images I used in today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica post, I found this Caprice taxi that somehow ended up
Far Far Away in Edgemead, South Africa. The seller claims that it was a New York City taxi in a past life, and that it’s “The only New York Chev Caprice in the country“. OR IS IT? Our own Kamil Kaluski thinks otherwise, pointing out,
“I’m not sure that it’s a NYC cab. NYC cabs never came with those checker stickers, that I know of, at least none that I have ever seen, not in the 80s. No roof light, no medallion stencil,… it might be a cab, but I don’t think it was a NYC cab.”
Excellent points, but the seller does say that it “comes with the original taxi number and indicator on roof”…although the roof looks unaltered and the indicator is nowhere to be seen in the two very basic photos provided. What say you, is this the real NYC deal, or an imposter? In any case, it would still be a rare and most excellent way to drive around on the wrong side of the road at the opposite tip of another continent.
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.
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 .
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.
Whenever I travel, I always wind up at the local airport far too early. So when that happens, I pull out my laptop and start checking out what the local Craigslist has to offer. Today I’m in Miami (just drove the new Honda HR-V, which I can’t tell you about yet), so I was very curious as to what I might find. A few listings from Cuba popped up, the random smattering of muscle cars and hot rods were there, and a few nice old pickups caught my eye as well.
It’s this 1962 Bel Air wagon that has me drooling a bit, however, and it’s due in part to what’s under the hood.
Ever since I first ran across one at my first 24 Hours of LeMons race, I’ve been intrigued by the first Mercury Tracers sold in the U.S. Unlike the 1991 and later Tracers, these early examples did not share a platform with their contemporary Ford Escorts. They were instead rebadged Asian- and Australian-market Ford Lasers, which were themselves restyled Mazda 323s. And this one in Stark City, Missouri, must be the nicest Tracer wagon you’ll find left in the world. Here’s the entire ad text and follow the jump for a pocket history of the increasingly rare Tracer:
“This is a real clean nice little 4 cyl. 5 speed station wagon. It drives out real well. This will make somebody or family a great economical runner. The body is very straight, the interior is nice and clean. The engine has been very well cared for, oil changed on time. It has very good tread on all the tires, lots of life left. We also just put on a new alternator and master cyl. This car is ready to go. If you need a great little car at a reasonable price check this one out real hard. If we can answer any questions please feel free to call or e-mail. Thanks for taking a look.”
[Source: Joplin CraigsList]