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eBay Find: Not Your Regular Ford Sierra 1.6

Chris Haining November 18, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale


Ah, the Ford Sierra. The controversial-at-first, aero-styled successor to the three-box Cortina. Arctic Circle correspondent Antti has one. Everybody should. It’s been a firm favourite of mine for years, no doubt thanks to years spent riding shotgun in Dad’s ’83 2.0 Ghia, with its impossibly plush velour, severely polished wood on the doors, “Graphic Information Module” and joystick for speaker balance and fade. I loved that car.

Sierras are a dying breed, these days. Huge swathes of the Sierra population were cut down in their prime in the late ’90s, chopped up as drivetrain donors for kit-car projects of various qualities. Only the very best, and most interesting, survive. One thing that separates the UK from the rest of Europe is that the three-door version was only ever sold here in two flavours; stripped bare economy or full house RS Cosworth (barring the XR4i with its different side pressings). An awful lot of the former were, over the years, transformed into replicas of the latter, often very, very badly.

This one, though, is rather more interesting than that.

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This 5.0L Powered E30 is Somewhere Between a Hopeless Pile of Parts and a Kickass Race Car

Tim Odell October 1, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1987 e30 v8 swap for sale

BMW’s E30 chassis lives on for enthusiasts (outside the rust belt) as a well balanced paragon of durability, sport and efficiency. So obviously it’s a great candidate for a drift car. Personally drifting’s not my thing, but any activity that has guys building unconventional high horsepower machines on the cheap can’t be too bad, right? Besides, cheap E30s are hardly rare in my neck of the woods, so it’s unlikely a rare classic was butchered just to smoke tires.

The seller/builder juiced this one up with all-iron, carbed Ford 302, thankfully backed by a T-5. He didn’t just drop the V8 in a call it a day, though. The rear diff is a welded 3.73:1 unit that enables easy slides through third gear. Plenty of fun/stupid to be had there. It’s the rest of the mods list that leaves me wondering if this is just a bunch of shit bolted together, or if it just needs a little…um…social norming to be a fun track or touring car.

1987 e30 v8 swap for sale1987 e30 v8 swap for sale

We’ll let the list speak for itself…

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1959 Bonneville Contrasts Optimism with Decay

1959 Pontiac Bonneville for sale This car is too far gone. No one will ever put in the work necessary to fix the extensive rust, decayed interior and frozen drivetrain. And it’s tragic, because a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe signifies American cars at their most bombastic. The wide track eight lug wheels and jet-age fins stretching over a gargantuan trunk all come from an era where more was more. Irony, self-consciousness, counter-culture and minimalism hadn’t been invented yet. Seeing it in this condition gives off a bit of an Ozymandias vibe.

1959 Pontiac Bonneville (1)1959 Pontiac Bonneville (2)1959 Pontiac Bonneville (3)1959 Pontiac Bonneville (4)

I’d love to say some version of “patch it up, get it running and drive it as-is”, but it’d be nothing but patch before you could so much as it in it. While it’s doomed, the right thing to do here is pull the useful/valuable stuff like those eight lug wheels and send the rest to The Crusher. Hopefully others might continue living from its donation.

And then the jerk seller has the nerve to ask for a $3000 opening bid. At least it makes optimistic lawn art.

Pile of VW Bus Shaped Rust to sell for over $6000

…and we should all be ok with that. Is it astoundingly dumb that a rusted, engineless shell of a 1960 15-window VW Bus would sell for so much money? Yes. However, that’s really only a good thing for us. Those of us owning anything close to this model might feel a trickle-down bump from the inflating prices of these vans, while the rest of us will just find something else that’s cheap and endearingly crappy.

Whoever’s bidding up this van knows that completely restored versions are selling for even more absurd prices at auction. He or she is doing the math on what it’d take to reconstruct what’s missing and shine up what’s there. Whether or not they actually make money on the endeavor is irrelevant; someone’s about to pour mid five-figure sums into independent automotive shops and parts suppliers to bring this thing back to life. Those dollars aren’t going to buy cheap sweatshop-made sensors and sending units via RockAuto for a more sensible newish car, they’re going to the Hanzel’s Auto Body Works and Canepas of the world. If everyone were cheapskates like us, the automotive aftermarket economy couldn’t support itself. If some nostalgia-drunk (or just drunk drunk) Baby Boomer with more money than sense wants to create their own personal stimulus package, more power to them.

In case you’re interested in practicing your body work skills for the next 100 years, here’s the auction. Bidding ends Saturday!

1960 Volkswagen Bus for sale – eBay Motors

Found on eBay: 1991 Ford SkyRanger

Scott Ith May 22, 2015 eBay Insanity


The obvious question, when looking at this Modified Ford Ranger, is, “What the hell is going on here?” It has a body kit, and a wing at the front of the bed…and at the back! Ground effects and 4×4 trucks don’t usually make great bedfellows, but that’s none of this truck’s business. Oh, and let’s not forget that convertible top and the killer tape stripes.

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Diecast Delights: Lotus Elise 111S in 1/18 Scale


You know, collecting diecast models is a peculiar hobby that everybody goes about in different ways. There are dozens of forums out there devoted to it, but a common theme is people fawning over the latest releases by companies like Exoto, Spark and CMC. These models are often made in extremely limited numbers, and the first person to flex their chequebook wins. The thing is, is this really collecting, or is it just shopping? And does it even matter?

With neither of my daily drivers being worth much more than £500, I have neither the funds nor the stomach to pump several hundred quid at a time into buying toys. Besides which, models at the high end of the industry are like jewellery, and end up being displayed in a similar way. It can end up being more about the model itself than the actual car it represents. For me the car is paramount, and if 85% of the detail can be bought for 15% of the price, then I’m all for it.

Hence this Lotus Elise now appearing in my collection after an eBay bidding war in which my maximum bid was £20.

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This Beater Marauder Convertible is Hotrodding at its Finest

1961 mercury marauder for saleThis 1961 Mercury Marauder has all the necessary equipment: A tri-power 390ci V8, four-speed transmission, nice seats, intact floors and power brakes. Intact sheet metal, a roof and hood? These things only serve to confine.

From context it seems the seller yanked it out of a barn somewhere then paid attention to getting the floors and mechanical bits sorted, swiped the interior out of what looks like an 80s Mercedes (that MB-Tex lasts forever) and called it a day. He drives it daily. For some reason I imagine the seller played by Woody Harrelson with a just bit of a Florida Man vibe.

1961 mercury marauder tri power1961 mercury marauder interior1961 mercury marauder interior 21961 mercury marauder rear end

Which, honestly, is exactly what I’d do all day every day if I could: start with cars a week away from The Crusher and bring the back to some form of functionality. Let someone else worry about getting the quarter panels patched perfectly or finding the factory-correct hose clamps.

The auction ends today and as I type this it’s sitting at $4000 with 16 bids, which…ok, honestly that’s a bit steep. I’m curious where it ends up.

1961 Mercury Marauder for sale – eBay Motors

Talk about a Facelift – Banham Jaguar XJ-S HE on eBay


What you are looking here, if you dare to look it in the eye, is a 1987 Jaguar XJ-S droptop. Or that’s what it was before bought up to date in the 1990s by Banham Conversions.

This white dream is currently for sale in Germany, and it’s interesting to spot all the partsbin improvements that have been molded into the fiberglass-enhanced body. The advertisement mentions the “XJSS” conversion work on the Jaguar was originally inspired by the vintage XKSS, but as it stands it’s still a little bit far away from that. Perhaps it needs more Bondo.

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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


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