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Showdown, Grey-Market 4x4s Edition

Tim Odell January 14, 2016 For Sale, Showdown

1987 toyota land cruiser 70 series for sale1987 nissan patrol for sale

Around the developing world, Land Cruiser Vs Patrol is a bit like Mustang Vs Camaro. Today we’ve got a pair from the mid-80s for you to choose from, from the same seller, no less. In the US, we assume Land Cruisers to be larger family dirt wagons and Patrols to be more Wrangler or Defender-like. This pair reverses that, with a Patrol wagon and two door Land Cruiser.

The Patrol’s an ’87 “MK” model, sporting an SD33 Turbodiesel engine and five-speed manual transmission. Fun fact: that SD33 actually made an appearance in the engine bays of IH Scouts in the final years of production. That motor’s good for right around 100hp and 175lb-ft of torque. The interior looks to be in decent shape (particularly for 390k km), complete with a third row seat. The seller’s English isn’t particularly strong, but we can glean that it’s been sitting for months and will need some love to bring back into true driveable condition.

At $8,999, you’ve gotta really value that “What is that?!” factor.

1986 Nissan Patrol for sale – eBay Motors

Sadly, Toyota never offered the 70-series Land Cruiser in the US. Though, weirdly, this one has a US-VIN and a speedometer/odometer delineated in miles, somehow. Our eBayer bought it from a guy in Washington State 3.5 years ago and has been bombing around on back roads with it ever since. This model also sports a 100-ish hp diesel backed by a five-speed. Beyond the installation of new cheesy aftermarket seats (he’s got the originals), the seller offers us basically zero information on condition.

So, uh…also $8,999 for this guy.

1987 Land Cruiser 70 series for sale – eBay Motors

What’ll it be? Datsun or Toyoda?

A Westy Syncro isn’t Ten Times Better than this 4×4 E350

e350 4x4 for sale Westy syncro for sale

We try to keep it positive here at Hooniverse; we do this not because we feel a need to pull punches, but because we do cars for fun, so why traffic in outrage or misery? Maybe when we run out of awesome stuff to talk about we’ll go negative. All that said, WTF is it with the pricing on Vanagon Westfalia campers?

One one hand we have a pretty redneck-y, but undeniably badass 4×4 Econoline for $5500, while the contrasting Westy Syncro is $54,500. I can appreciate the compact packaging, efficiency and overall Indie Kid cred afforded by the Westy. This particular example is in unbelievably perfect condition, possibly the nicest one anywhere. For its part, the Ford sports a 460ci big block backed by one-ton running gear, with an LSD up front and locker in the rear. It manages to wear 36″ mud tires without looking like a Jenga tower. Don’t even start about the 460’s thirst, because you’d have to drive to the moon to recoup the gas savings(1).

Can someone explain to me why that Syncro’s worth somewhere between double and triple what I would’ve guessed?




Cheap Alpine Starter Project or Rotary-Swapped?

Tim Odell July 21, 2015 For Sale, Showdown

1960 Sunbeam Alpine for sale1964 Sunbeam alpine for sale

While the American V8 in a European body formula typically produces awesome results (Examples 1, 2, and 3), the Sunbeam Tiger nearly stretches that logic to its breaking point. The Ford 260ci V8 practically needs an external oiling to fit in the engine bay, and cooling problems abound. Instead, why not start with the lesser sibling and drop something interesting in an Alpine?

Today we’ve got two paths to go down: one that’s “already done” (a phrase I’m never allowed to speak at home, due to its 100% falseness) and another that’s a blank canvas with a hint of Pinto 2.3L…

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Showdown: ’80s Turbo Edition

Tim Odell July 7, 2015 For Sale, Showdown

1988 Ford thunderbird turbo coupe1984 nissan 300zx

After the Malaise Era came the Turbo Mullet Era. The name should be descriptive enough, but the time refers to the mid-80s to early 90s when automakers were sure turbocharged four and six cylinder cars would obsolete V8s. Something about head gaskets, octane ratings and auto mechanic competence ensured that dream was never fully realized, but the departure from 130hp 2bbl big blocks was still a breath of force-fed fresh air.

The question of which car best represents the Turbo Mullet Era remains without definitive answer (Mustang SVO?, Turbo K Car?, Chevy Sprint Turbo?, Buick GNX?, Various Mazdas? weigh in below), today we’re deciding between a T-Bird Turbo Coupe and a 300ZX…

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Showdown: Non-Wretched Jeep FC Vs Detroit-Diesel Swapped International

Tim Odell May 7, 2015 For Sale, Showdown

1957 jeep fc150 for sale1960 international travelall for sale

It’s been forever since our last showdown, but when I had these two tabs open adjacent to each other (and a primordial version of my Falcon next to them), it was clearly time to dust off the category.

In one corner, a ’57 Jeep FC in rare mid-grade condition. Typically we find these in end-stage terminal corrosion or as $20k restoration queens. This one’s generally intact, running and driving, with a $6300 asking price. The flathead four cylinder and insanely low gearing aren’t going to win any races on paved ground but with some vintage mud tires and a locker or two, it’ll out-climb anything this side of a mountain goat. And it’ll do so with that bed full of cut firewood.

Representing the “Ugh, it’s not a Jeep, it’s an International” faction, we’ve got this 1960 International Travelall. As if an early Travelall wasn’t unique enough, it’s had a Detroit 4-53 swapped in. Fun fact: those Detroit Diesel engine names are the number of cylinders and the displacement for each. Thus 4-53 = 212ci (3.5l) four cylinder. These are good for somewhere just north of 100hp, meaning this leviathan will also be an exercise in patience. Mechanically, “everything’s in order”, but it’s evident that some paint and body work top the To-Do list. The $5000 asking price feels about $1500 too high, but maybe that’s just me.

international travelall for sale (1)international travelall for sale (2)international travelall for sale (4)

On this truckiest of Truck Thursdays, what would you pick?

Pokey FC or Pokier Travelall?

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Malaise Showdown: Cosworth Vega Vs 4-Speed LeMans

1975 cosworth vega for sale1975 cosworth vega for sale

With six divisions and 50% market market share, GM of Old could afford to offer a variety of flavors of “sporty” cars. The “Colonnade” styling of the A-body midsizers, introduced in 1973, embodies so much of the Malaise Era: overwrought and overweight, housing large but disappointing powerplants, a desperate hollow ploy to hang onto what made the 60s great. Meanwhile, on the communist side of town, the Vega represented the new reality of Diminished Expectations: America was going to have to make due with less. Smaller, lighter and more advanced was the future, and the Vega was here to show us the way.

But if you’re reading Hooniverse you already know all that. The Vega was about 3/4 done when launched and the Colonnades are almost lovable if properly overhauled to be more beefy than porcine. Such is the case today. Our Pontiac’s been blessed with a warmed-over 389 from a ’66 GTO, backed by a four-speed Muncie M22. The interior’s decent (as ’74 Pontiacs go) and the paint’s good. I’d do the details differently: wheels and tires that fill the wells, no hood scoop and probably one four-barrel instead of two. However, overall the package looks like a fun machine for parking lot donuts and some decent drag passes. The reserve’s unmet at $3,150, but I’d guess this is a $7-10k car.

“One Vega for the price of two”, the Cosworth Vega is arguably the more Hooniverse car here, in that it’s a crappy platform that might just have some potential courtesy of some choice upgrades. Wait…I just said that about the Colonnade. Ok, anyway, the Cosworth Vega came equipped with a 2.0L motor checking all the right boxes: all-aluminum, DOHC, EFI, stainless header, and a decent-for-the-time 6500RPM redline. Alas, in production trim it only managed to deliver 110 net horsepower.

Our example’s in damn good shape—from 20 feet away. The paint’s original, faded and rusted in only one spot according to the seller. Otherwise the listing’s pictures show the interior and engine bay to be in great original shape. With a $2499 opener and $3600 buy-it-now, this actually looks like a damn good deal for the Best of the Worst.

Malaise Light or Original Flavor?

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Showdown, Trar Thursday Edition: 4×4 Nova or 4×4 Pinto?

Tim Odell June 12, 2014 For Sale, Showdown

Yes, Trar. It means truck-car, aka a car on a truck chassis. In this case the stars have aligned on the middle of the Lone Star State to bring us two malaisey cars atop stonking truck chassis’. It’s Ford Vs Chevy, a Pinto and a Nova, both from 1973. Beneath the Ford is a ’72 Bronco chassis with a  302. Beneath the Chevy, a shortbed Chevy truck chassis with a mildly built 454.

Here’s where I begin comparing the relative merits of each car, but by what criteria do we judge a trar? Is the purpose offroad performance? To get you laid after a night of cruising the local main drag? Sheer WTF factor? I really don’t know. I’ll summarize and you can analyze…

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Showdown: Sporty, Small and Red Edition

Tim Odell January 28, 2014 For Sale, Showdown

1990 Honda Civic si for sale1988 pontiac fiero for sale

It’s been forever since our last Showdown, but today we’ve got two very different takes on sporty compact commuters: a 1990 Honda Civic Si versus a 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT. Before you dismiss the Fiero out of hand for being a Fiero, remember that by ’88 the Fiero finally got the suspension it deserved. Also, this one’s had the 200ish horsepower 3.4L V6 from a 1995 Camaro swapped in. That kind of power mounted mid-ships in a 2700lb car could make for some good times. Alas, it’s missing a third pedal and still carries a heavy mid-80s GM vibe to it. Also seems a good 2″ too tall. Still, there’s a distinctly awesome almost-kinda-Ferrari look to that engine bay, and it’d be awesome to silence a few folks expecting the typically pathetic Fiero performance. Is that shock and awe mild bemusement worth $4,500?

1988 pontiac fiero interior1988 pontiac fiero engine1988 pontiac fiero camaro v6 swap

1988 Pontiac Fiero – eBay Motors

On the other hand, the Honda brings the angry squirrels with 1.6L of revvy power breathing through a four-into-one header. In addition to that upgrade, there’s a raft of seemingly tasteful appearance upgrades from new paint, window tint and lighting. Sounds scary in text, but the overall appearance of the car isn’t too fast or furious. The seller’s also performed a pile of relevant maintenance which he seems particularly proud of, despite the fact that at 254,000 miles, we’d expect a timing belt, cap and rotor. Neither the fuel door nor horn work properly, but those sound like one-weekend fixes. All-in-all it looks like a great way to get 40mpg on the way to work without giving up on some fun behind the wheel. Seems like a good deal at $4,000

1990 Honda Civic si for sale rear1990 Honda Civic si interior1990 Honda Civic si motor

1990 Honda Civic Si – eBay Motors

Hit the jump to cast a vote. 

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Showdown: Unlikely Rival Wagons Edition

Tim Odell June 19, 2013 For Sale, Showdown

2007 Magnum SRT8 for sale (1)

BMW people are not Chrysler SRT people, and vice-versa. Neither would cross shop the other product with any seriousness, because, well, obviously. And yet, five and ssix years on, we find a Dodge Magnum SRT8 and BMW 535xi Touring with comparable prices and mileage.

In one corner we have an exquisitely engineered all-weather tourer with a turbocharged 3.0 straight six. The other contains an casually assembled, awkwardly styled bruiser riding on an outdated Mercedes chassis. The BMW might break your heart with maintenance bills, but the Magnum might just turn your stomach. One will kick you in the teeth with torque, the other will turn any mountain journey into a joyride.

Let’s see some details after the jump.

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Showdown: Awesome Oddball Wagons

1965 International Travelall for sale1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser for sale

Generally speaking, dog show people are pretty crazy. That said, I’m intrigued by their ability to to pick winners from disparate breeds. Does a really awesome Boxer beat out a really awesome Schnauzer? (yes). As far as I know there’s no pan-fruit competition where they have to pick between apples and kiwi. Anyway, today we’re doing just that: comparing two similar but different long roofs that are among the best of their breeds.

In one corner, we’ve got Pure ’70s: an olive green Vista Cruiser with a 455ci V8. In the other is the Travelall that helped establish International Harvester’s reputation as a builder of no-nonsense SUVs.

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