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Weekend Edition: Risky Business – 1982 Porsche 928 for sale


Sometimes you come upon a bad idea so obvious it’s visible from space. Last night, out on the town with the Peugeot, I did a double take not entirely dissimilar to the scene in Christine where Arnie first sees the decrepit Fury hulk. Parked across the street from a used car dealer, there was an early Porsche 928 in gunmetal brown, covered in evening mist. It looked completely alien sitting on its own, with a quickly written note on the window that yes, it is for sale, here’s the number.

The difference with anything usually left out for sale was that this Porsche seemed exceptionally clean. No clearcoat damage, no rips on the leather, nothing that would immediately point out a history of abuse or deferred maintenance. It wasn’t your usual Craigslist special, one that would best serve a LeMons prospect. How bad could it be?

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Retard vers la futur: DMC-ized Citroën BX for sale


There’s a few good possibilities for a DMC replica build, if you’re extremely fond of that Giugiaro folded paper design but lack the wherewithal to get an actual, legit, crowd-pulling DeLorean DMC-12 just in time (groan) for October 2015. You could start by dressing up a Volkswagen Scirocco, or if you’re into the more obscure, you can get a LeMons-grade Isuzu Piazza and slap some ducts on it.

This guy who will remain anonymous, but lives at the post code 50400, has built his own DeLorean that’s both closer and further from the original, using a Bertone-designed Citroën BX diesel. Hey, if you’re going to build a DeLorean out of a car, why not do it with style?

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Please Don’t Make this Turbo Corvair into a Trike

Corvair spyder turbo motor

Alternate title: How Would You Roll the Dice with a Motor from a Corvair that’s been Sitting Since Before Touch-Tone Phones. Encased amidst that vaguely-Corvair-shaped cloud of ferrous oxide is a 150 hp turbocharged flat six mated to a four speed manual transmission. The seller admits he hasn’t tried to crank it, so we don’t know if the block, crank and cylinders have maintained their independence or become one, metallurgically speaking.

1964 corvair spyder for sale (3)1964 corvair spyder for sale (4)1964 corvair spyder for sale (5)

The seller goes so far as to suggest making a trike out of it, which I’ll count as a strike against the state of Virginia as a whole–shame on the lot of you. Assuming the drivetrain could be made functional again, what would you do with that turbo pancake?

For me the only answer is a Dune Buggy or sand rail. A quick search tells me they’re already hopelessly expensive complete, but here’s a chassis for not too much. Groovy bodywork is mandatory, however:
Vintage Sandrail

Groovy image via Autoculture.org

1964 Corvair Spyder 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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Weekend Edition: Swift Possibilities Looming


I’ll cut to the chase: does anybody have a wiring loom for a Suzuki Swift GTi just hanging around, doing nothing?

Alright, maybe a little back story is required here. My friends, often of wrenching sort, acquired a Suzuki Swift cabriolet for last summer’s roadtripping around Europe. You know, the Geo Metro kind. The German-market Swift came with an eight-valve, 1300cc SOHC powerhouse that produced maybe 60 horsepower, and the gearing was ridiculously long. I mean, highway speeds had the engine turning over at 2000rpm, and Nürburgring laps were done in second and third for most of the time. I’m not kidding, the blue-wheeled, tribal-striped white droptop did a good number of Bridge to Gantry times on two glorious days.

Of course, later on it was deemed the Swift needed a burst of MORE POWER. For a not unreasonable sum, a powertrain for a Swift GTi was spotted in Berlin and then we sort of drove there across the country to pick it up. Back at the garage, it was noticed that despite the seller’s claims, the engine is not electrically a straight swap. The short-ratio GTi gearbox obviously bolted on the 8-valve engine and did its part to help, but the 16-valve, 100-horsepower engine needs the correct GTi wiring loom to make the transplant work.

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You Know What’s Better than a Renault Floride? Two Renault Florides!

1959 renault floride for saleAside from recognizing these as some kind of Renault, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Floride with a hard top before. The more common “1.5 cars worth of useable parts” listings (as this one is) tend to be for a topless Caravelle or Dauphine. Honestly, I know nothing of these vehicles and their parts availability, so I can’t even begin to guess what’d go into making one or both of these roadworthy for the first time since the 1970s. But hey, if one carburetor’s borked, you can pull the one from the parts car, which is surely in excellent condition!

renault caravelle floride for sale (2)renault caravelle floride for sale (3)renault caravelle floride for sale (4)renault caravelle floride for sale (5)

As is often the case, I fell down a bit of a wikipedia hole researching these vehicles. Did you know they were produced in Renault’s first large factory, which happened to occupy a man-made island in the middle of the Seine on the outskirts of Paris? Île Seguin  has a mildly interesting pre-industrial history, but at its peak had an underground test-track and loading docks for receiving and delivering parts and completed vehicles. It also made an easy target for Allied bomber pilots during WWII (the Germans had repurposed the facility for their own uses).

Anyway, back to the cars: the seller seems a reasonable individual willing to facilitate inspections or delivery, as the market for Renault Florides in the immediate vicinity of kinda-rural Auburn, CA can’t be too hot.

$3500 obo for the pair – eBay Motors


Kijiji: The Renault In The Crawlspace


This advertisement from Alberta, Canada creates far more questions than it answers. First of all, how on earth did most of a Renault Dauphine (Wren Oh, dough-fan?) find itself buried in the crawlspace of a house? Was this car stolen at some point and chopped up and hidden away? Did some poor sap have an angry wife tell him to get rid of the car, and he simply hid it from her in the one place he knew she’d never go? The crawlspace (nor the house, for that matter) look very clean or absent of dankness, so how did the body panels survive without rotting away? Why doesn’t anyone on the internet know how to use the correct form of ‘your/you’re/yore’? What exactly is a Kijiji? Why is Canada so weird? Why the flip do they like poutine? (poo-teen?)

This Dauphine, sometimes informally referred to as the 5CV (Sink Shove Oh?) looks like it isn’t much more than a pile of parts. There is no actual chassis to bolt all of these parts to. Everything else, though, looks like it’s there. The engine, the glass, the bumpers, most of the sheetmetal, and a bunch of indistinguishable cables and metal bits. The seller doesn’t list a price, but it would be interesting to see this thing rebuilt. If you do it, please don’t restore the parts, please install them in crawlspace condition. Consider it patina.

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Old is the New New: Rusty’s BMW E39 Economic Lunacy

E39 Story

According to FlightRadar24 (an essential app purchase) last night a 1979 Fairchild Metro II flew over my house. This is an aeroplane which is still in viable revenue-earning status after 35 years of maintenance. I also know that DHL routinely fly thirty-year old 757s out of my local airport. The idea that these old birds are kept running made me wonder, yet again, why doing the same thing with cars seems to be becoming such a minority sport.

So I’ve been having another of my brainwaves. Welcome to the first of my ideas this year for potentially losing a sensational amount of money.

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LeMons Grade Citroen SM? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Tim Odell October 16, 2014 For Sale, Terrible Ideas

1973 citroen sm for sale

Spend enough time among the LeMons staff, and you pick up a few key phrases. The prefix “Hella butt terrible” is a favorite, and I feel it was invented for for this car. The SM is simultaneously incredible and incomprehensibly difficult, as only the team-up of Citroen and Maserati could be. Nothing’s easy or cheap to fix. Which is what makes this beater SM so awesome. It’s for sale in Beverly Hills and “has been sitting for many years, waiting to be restored”. The previous long-time owner didn’t exactly take great care of it. High end car from the 70s, what looks like drunken parking lot damage, offloaded to a high-end/classic dealer? Oh yes.

As far as we know, there’s never been an SM in LeMons. This needs to change. Now. The price is a little high, but I can say with 100% certainty that if the sale price is even close to the current $860 (reserve unmet), you’re guaranteed to receive a disinterested limp-wristed wave of the long cigarette holder through BS inspection. Besides, that soon to be removed interior’s gotta be worth a pretty penny towards your final budget. On the plus side, it’s pre-smog, so it’ll be easier to keep it street legal in case you want to cruise in real style.

1973 Citroen SM for sale – eBay Motors

The Best Guy on Craigslist: Packards, Hudsons, Lincolns and a Trio of Fieros

A couple weeks back I started what was supposed to be a trio of posts about The Best Guy on Craigslist with a quartet of Imperials and a pile of big-engine Caddies, but before the third post could run all of his ads disappeared. Now that they’re back, I figured I’ll highlight everything this guy has to offer, rather than rope you along. In totality, this guy’s collection/accumulation/hoard/junkyard is in pretty sorry shape (as many of you noted on the previous posts). However, if you look past the dirt and grime, there are a number of great powertrains to be donated or LeMons/low-budget builds to be made. Hit the jump for a collection of (what used to be) classy, heavy hitters

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