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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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“Great Triumph Stag” is Kind of like “Great case of Ringworm”

Tim Odell March 10, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1972 triumph stag for sale

Look up your personal car (or personal favorite car)’s Wikipedia page. Are there eight paragraphs, roughly 25% of the word-count, dedicated to its design and manufacturing flaws? Then you don’t drive a Triumph Stag, arguably one of the worst engineered vehicles in history. Among the 3.0L V8 powered touring car’s failings:

  • The water pump is mounted above the engine, such that a low coolant level causes it to 1) stop pumping and 2) self destruct
  • The mismatched iron/aluminum block and heads required rare-at-the-time anti-corrosive coolant, which owners and dealers were not aware of, leading to electrolytic corrosion of the water passages.
  • Timing chains that stretched and failed in under 25k miles
  • Head bolts at different angles that stressed the head and gaskets to the point of failure
  • Block and head castings of abysmal quality, leading to clogged passages and warping heads
  • A manual transmission under-specified for the power this new gem of a V8 was making, leading to premature failure

And yet, this one looks pretty good. The paint and interior look well cared for and the engine bay’s as good as it was leaving the factory (though that dual carb setup…shudder…). The seller’s even opted to skip the cute-but-not-that-cute unnecessary model in favor of a couple of cute-and-actually-cute mastiffs in frame. The seller’s asking $5,000, which seems cheap for a car in this condition if it weren’t notoriously awful…but I’m not all that up to date on the Stag market these days.

According to the seller, the engine’s been completely rebuilt and there’s a whole parts car worth of spares. It’s been sitting for a while so you might as well start from scratch it needs some fresh fuel and probably a few seals replaced. Still, image yourself touring the countryside in your most stereotypically British outfit on a nippy autumn afternoon in that proper green roadster. Just don’t go too far out of town.

1972 Triumph Stag for sale – eBay Motors

A Trifecta of ’66 Mercuries; I’ll Take Them All!

mercury s55 for saleLeMons’ “deduct parts sold from the purchase price” rule may account for 95% of the vehicles generating “OMG NO WAY THAT’S $500!” butthurt. If you happen to know the street price of a few key interior or trim bits from, say, an e36 M3, you can get a wretched, somewhat-crunched, high-mileage example into Class A with a mountain of bribes and some penalty laps.

While I have no aspirations of class-A domination, the same logic tends to send me down a road that ends in running a brand-specific junkyard permanently. Case in point: this ’66 Mercury Colony Park wagon showed up in my searches, as did the S-55 behind it. Turns out the seller has two S-55s and the Colony Park currently for sale. There appears to be a later sedan and ’66-ish wagon in the background as well, but not listed. The ’66 S-55s are particularly notable, as it was the only year where the S-55 was technically its own model, rather than a trim/option on the Monterey. I smell rat pee an opportunity to come out ahead with a threesome! Wait…

1966 mercury s-55 convertible for sale1966 mercury colony park for sale

Of the three, the S55 convertible is potentially the most valuable, as they only made 145 of them, with this one originally sporting a Q-code 428ci V8. Of course that 428’s long-gone (probably into a Mustang that’s long since been wrapped around a tree), but we’re offered a 410 as a consolation prize. The S-55 hardtop and Colony Park Wagon are probably more interesting to enthusiasts, depending on what you’re into, but neither of them has a motor either.

Were it me, I’d buy the lot for a couple grand, then put either the wagon and the hardtop on the track powered by the convertible’s 410 and whatever other FE Craigslist yields. Strip them down to the essentials and sell the take-offs along with a slightly cleaned-up convertible for what you bought the whole pile for. Maybe see if you can get the ‘Vert running (in a fashion) with a donor motor just to bump the desirability a notch. Also, anyone suggesting scrapping the wagon for metal gets an IP ban.

1966 Mercury S-55 Convertible for sale – eBay Motors

1966 Mercury S-55 hard top for sale – eBay Motors

1966 Mercury Colony Park Station Wagon for sale – eBay Motors

1987 Cosworth Benz Project is as Horrifying as You Fear

Tim Odell February 26, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1987 Mercedes benz cosworth 190e for saleAt some point I want to pick up a dreadfully cheap 928, SEL 6.9, or 8-series to revive just to see how bad it’ll be. I love simplicity, but when someone describes a vehicle as hopeless or not worth saving, I just can’t back away from the challenge. This 1987 Mercedes Benz Cosworth 190e 2.3-16V scares even me away, even as a fantasy project with a fantasy garage and fantasy time to work on it.

Approaching it in a fenced lot behind a New Jersey warehouse, we notice the lousy tint and over-sized, newer AMG monoblock wheels, typical of the suspiciously cheap aged luxury vehicle. Alas, under the hood, we’re treated to a quartet of exposed, rusted cylinder bores. Apparently the motor dropped a valve and this block isn’t salvageable. But wait! There’s still hope: the cylinder head was rebuilt and there’s a “good” block included with sale. Except that good block has surface rust and should probably be gone through by a shop. Honestly, I’d just as soon drop an Ecoboost crate motor in and call it a day.

1987 Mercedes benz cosworth 190e engine bay

Fine, the powertrain’s dubious, but hopefully the interior’s serviceable, right? Well, the visible 40% of the seating surfaces look pretty good, but the denuded C-pillar and missing gauge cluster leave an extra tinge of “fnck it” about the whole thing. Exterior? Rust bubbles, missing trim, oxidized paint, the usual. Oh, and those 18″ Monoblocks aren’t included, the factory wheels are and they’ve been spray painted black.

This thing checks all the “string of crappy owners in way over their heads” boxes, and just when you think the seller couldn’t do any better, he signs off with

Looking for Porsche 951. Also interested in E36 M3’s, Alfa GTV6 or similar cars.

Of course he is. Oh yeah, the price: opening at $2800, Buy-it-now of $4500. I apologize in advance for the drink you just spewed on your keyboard.

1987 Mercedes Benz Cosworth 190e 2.3-16V for sale – eBay Motors


Progenitor of Junior Comp Motorcycle Engined Dragsters Up for Sale

dave brackett dragster chassis for saleWhen this largely incomplete bike-powered dragster popped up in my standard eBay trawl, all I thought was that a modern Honda 600cc motor plus a small jungle gym would make for great entertainment. Not bad at a $950 Buy-it-Now. Turns out that in addition to maximum fun per dollar (in a straight line, at least), this one’s of historic significance.

Dave Brackett, the builder, built bikes and hot-rods that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the late 60s and early 70s: dual motor chopper trikes and the like. Dave’s work was unique in that he pushed to use Japanese bikes and motors as much as the standard Harley units of the time. On a whim, he put together a tiny chassis and threw a Honda 750 motor in, resulting in low 10s at 128mph in the quarter. Not a super-high trap speed, but quick as hell. Today’s NHRA Jr classes can trace back to this car (and its ilk).

dave bracket chassis for sale (1)dave bracket chassis for sale (3)

Based on this post, it looks like someone hauled this thing out of a barn in Temecula back in 2012 and spent a couple years cleaning it up. Assuming that’s not just black Krylon and a dead motor sitting in the chassis, $950 seems to be a great starting point for a cool piece of history that’d still make some speedy passes. Auction ends today!

1972 Dave Brackett Motorcycle-Powered Chassis – eBay Motors

Weekend Edition Quick Hit – The 80’s Called, and they want their Benz Back… (Shhhh, You can buy it…)

Mercedes Benz Other Over 100K Spent and Show Ready Must Be Seen  eBay - Google Chrome 282015 60045 AM.bmp

Something interesting happened this past week, and it was the fact that Radio Shack declared Bankruptcy… and then I remembered their Super Bowl Ad from 2014 and it actually makes sense. This was a store stuck in the past with too many locations, and nothing to actually draw new customers in. I bring this up because I spotted this Mercedes-Benz on eBay, and images used in that Radio Shack Ad seemed more appropriate than ever…

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eBay: Buy a four-car IMSA team for under $1 million


The Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced its 2015 entry lists for the Le Mans 24 Hours, the World Endurance Championship, and the European Le Mans Series. Missing from that list and also missing from the recent Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona was a team whose name and bright-orange racecars seemed everywhere only a few months ago: 8 Star Motorsports.

After two successful seasons in the WEC and IMSA’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship, the team has now posted all their American sports car racing equipment from three classes up for sale on eBay and they can be yours for well under a million dollars altogether.

Click the links below to see the auctions or follow the jump for a bit more.

8 Star Corvette DP
8 Star LMPC car
8 Star Lites car, white engine cover
8 Star Lites car, all orange

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1965 Falcon Convertible Parked for 25 Years, How Hard Could it Be?

Tim Odell February 5, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1965 Ford falcon convertible for saleI probably overuse the world “could”. As in, you could buy a Corvair and you could put a FWD Cadillac 472/500 drivetrain in with relative ease. Some of those “could”s are an afternoon of hands-on work and some Sisyphean. In short, I see the potential for awesomeness in the end result and I’m tempted by relatively low entry prices. Thus, you can image the effect this $1,000 ’65 Falcon Futura convertible with a 289 and four-speed has on me.

Typically a recently de-tarped car sunk to its wheels in a side-yard invokes images of Flinstones-grade floors beneath a moss-garden interior. However, this one’s located in San Bernardino, CA, which gets about 15″ (38cm) of rain per year. The place is crispy dry. That said, the seller hasn’t bothered to open the door or hood to show what we’re up against. The paint’s wonderfully patina-ed and the top’s shot. That’s all we know. Luckily, you could get a top from these guys and you could rebuild the T-10 and 289 with relative ease.

1965 ford falcon convertible (2)1965 ford falcon convertible (3)

It looks like this car’s probably a $15-25k vehicle once “done”, so if you could do everything but the paint/body work yourself, you might come out ahead. Of course, that’d be missing the point. Instead, you could clean the tank, replace every line, hose, belt and seal, throw a Mexico blanket on the seat and go for a drive.

1965 Ford Falcon Futura Convertible for sale – eBay Motors

1964 Studebaker Wagonaire Daytona For Sale Like It’s No Big Deal

Tim Odell February 3, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale

Who wouldn’t love a funky compact wagon with a 289ci V8 up front? Despite what those iconic numbers would suggest, today’s subject hails from South Bend, Indiana, not Dearborn, Michigan. Specifically, we’re looking at a Studebaker Lark Daytona Wagonaire. Daytona = 289 V8 powered model, with power steering and disc brakes; Wagonaire = Studebaker wagon with a sliding section of the rear roof. Despite what GMC might’ve told you, our own Jim’s Envoy XUV didn’t really break any new ground.

1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (1)1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (2)1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (3)1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (4)

Maybe we’ll admit that the intervening 40 years offered some improvement to the design of the open-top-wagon-thing. Specifically, the Envoy is actually weather tight, with weather-resistant surfaces (aka hard plastic) back there. Our Wagonaire’s headliner appears to be colonized by fungi in the wake of some water ingress. The rough condition continues around the vehicle, but I’m struck by the rough-but-not-awful shape it’s in…kinda like any other four-digit craigslist/ebay classic. Typically when we see rare/unique cars like these, they’re either pristine and crazily priced or utterly wretched. This seems like an example you could drive and use properly (e.g. palm tree or grandfather clock transport) while replacing the worst bits as-needed. The current $5,300 bit puts it about double an equivalent Falcon or Nova in this kind of shape, but the seller doesn’t seem to have ambitions of too crazy pricing, given that the add reads like any other old car ad (minus a giant Wikipedia copy/paste).

1964 Studebaker Wagonaire for sale – eBay Motors

Be sure to soak up the very 1963ness of the Lark Daytona Wagonaire in this old clip:

YouTube Preview Image

Weekend Edition Quick Hit – A Minty Fresh 1976 Pontiac Ventura Coupe with only 120 Miles on the Odometer!

Pontiac Other Coupe  eBay - Google Chrome 212015 125825 PM.bmp

Well, look at what we have here… This is a time capsule that perfectly displays the state of the Car Companies during the depths of the Malaise Era. This is a 1975 Pontiac Ventura Coupe that has only covered 120 miles in its entire life… And it also shows how cars during this time period were optioned. Make the break, and discover this very unusual Pontiac for yourself…

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