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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

Skyranger

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

DSC_9627

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

jag1

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

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

 

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