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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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Weekend Edition: Swift Possibilities Looming

swift_edited

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

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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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The Citroën to End all Citroëns? 5 Door CX 25 GTI Turbo 2

Tim Odell September 25, 2014 For Sale, Terrible Ideas

1988 citroen cx gti turbo 2 for saleWhen visiting Hanzel’s Auto Body Works for Seconds Saturdays, I make a point to marvel in the inherent weirdness of Citroëns. Leaving aside questions of actual performance, they’re designed so completely differently from their contemporaries. Adding to the baseline of that weirdness, today’s example is so rare it shouldn’t exist. Made at a time of waning sales late in it’s model run, the CX Series 2 Turbo was the ultimate top of the line. This example routes all 168 horsepower through a manual gearbox, and the gauge cluster tells us it’s an actual US model. Atop that pyramid of incroyable, it’s in Michigan with nearly no rust and a decent price.

1988 citroen cx gti turbo 2 for sale (1)1988 citroen cx gti turbo 2 for sale (3)1988 citroen cx gti turbo 2 for sale (4)

Rest assured, it needs work. The wiring is doing that thing that 80s European car wiring does, leading to weird nonfunctional circuits despite seemingly good connections. Pretty sure Painless doesn’t have a kit for this a Citroën CX, so plan on doing some interesting debugging (though you could use a universal harness to do the whole car). The front seats have been swapped for something, but look fine and would only be an issue for a purist.

At the current bid of $2,125, you’d be stealing it. While nowhere near as sportif, the this thing’s as rare and example of cool engineering as an UR-Quattro or early BMW turbo or M car. What’s it worth?

1988 Citroën CX 25 GTi Turbo 2 for sale – eBay Motors

The Best Guy on Craigslist, Part 2: Four Early-’80s Imperials for $2000

1981 chrysler imperial for sale

Unfortunately for me, I’m resigned to believe that a solid-axle, rear-wheel-drive Detroit V8 powered car can only be so bad. I’m just a notch too young to have experienced the contrast between a humble but reliable late-70s Honda and a corpulent, shoddily assembled contemporary Buick. With that in mind, The Best Guy on Craigslist’s fleet of 4 Imperials for $2,000 seems like a recipe for an incredibly successful and classy LeMons squad.

While the early and late cars spring to mind most quickly, we must remember the Imperial name graced the graced one of Chrysler’s last RWD cars until recent times. Sharing a platform with the Dodge Monaco and (non-Corinthian) Chrysler Cordoba, the early-80s Imperial came with a TBI’ed 318 V8, 904 transmission and a ton of cheesy early-80s luxury touches like fake crystal and over-padded velour seats.

While these seem to be run-of-the-mill Imperials, a good theme might be to construct one into each version of the special editions they were available in, most notably the Frank Sinatra SE, which came with a box set of 16 Sinatra tapes.

Check out all the slant-nose glory right here: Four 1981-83 Chrysler Imperials for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

We’ve got one more post from this seller, but that’ll have to wait for Thursday…

The Best Guy on Craigslist, Part 1: 1472ci worth of Cadillacs for $1600

1976 cadillac eldorado for sale

Yours truly, fellow Hoon Eric Rood and Murilee Martin aka Judge Phil spent the weekend sweating our undersides off dispensing justice at the World Record Setting* Vodden The Hell are We Doing 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway, which means I’ve got LeMons on the brain. Scheming some ideas for ridiculous LeMons cars, my mind circled in on using the Cadillac FWD architecture of a massive V8 mounted longitudinally over a mutant TH400 transmission with CV shafts exiting east-west. Uncovering a pair of Eldorados on craigslist was just the tip of the LeMony iceberg. Noticing the cars in the background, searching the seller’s phone number uncovered a septic tank treasure trove too awesome to be contained in one post.

To lead off, we’ve got a fleet of Fleetwoods Eldorados for a distressingly low price. The Seller has a pair of ’76 Eldos in one Craigslist ad, with a ’69 in another. the ’76s are 500ci-equipped convertibles, while the ’69 is a 472ci hardtop. Don’t let the displacement fool you, the smaller ’69 is definitely the most potent of the trio, but the low-compression ’76s could be freed of their emissions controls and still deliver torque by the ton at the low end. Those low compression lumps will run on our crappy California gas without begging for octane booster. Besides, the lower CR leaves open the possibility of running some mild turbocharging for an even more ridiculous setup.

Oh yeah, that ridiculous setup…I know the Scrubbing Bubbles VW is looking for a new home. If not “Scrubby”, a VW Van probably provides ample room to nestle that powerplant in the rear. Not to impugn the 70 year old Volkswagen design, but maybe something more recent like an Astro Van would work better. Or (duh) you could just run them in their FWD Boss Hoggian drop-drop glory!

Pair of 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertibles for sale – SF Bay Craigslist
1969 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

Tune in later for 2 more posts of awesomeness from the same seller…

*pending Guinness certification, which might take nearly forever.

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