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The Problem with Wagoneers, As Illustrated by Two eBay Examples

Classic 4×4 continue to rise in value. Boomers with money bought up all the mainstream muscle cars and the metrojack movement is nearing its zenith, meaning those withing to co-opt some classic style are looking to Land Rovers, Land Cruiser Wagons and Wagoneers to match their overpriced under-muddied boots. Blazers, Broncos and CJs are just too accessible and everyone forgets Scouts exist. Land Rovers and Cruisers were made in few enough numbers and were genuinely crappy enough to make ownership challenging enough to feel special. Ambitious sellers are attempting to move top-condition Wagoneers in that over $20k (and up) market, but how can that work when they’re still thick on the ground under five grand?

I’ll admit in advance that this comparison is unfair. Exhibit A may well be the best-kept early Wagoneer in the country, a ’66 with 327ci V8, automatic and vinyl interior. The condition’s damn near perfect and nearly as original. The odometer reads 17,000 miles, which aligns with the condition (or a 6th-digit rollover and a massive restoration). Notable visible flaws include hacked-in extra gauges cut into the dash, a rattle-canned (?) instrument cluster and a giant CB antenna attached to nothing. There are no pictures of the undercarriage, which is concerning on a midwestern example. Speaking from my own example, the clean metal dash and instrument cluster are major aesthetic selling points, which are screwed up in nontrivial ways here. And yet: $60k Buy-It-Now.

1966 wagoneer for sale (4)1966 wagoneer for sale (6)

Meanwhile, this ’66 in Riverside is selling with a $3,600 opening bid and no reserve, meaning the seller’s willing to take $3,601. Obviously it’s several condition notches down, but certainly not $56,000 worth of work away from Exhibit A. It’s got the same V8, a preferable manual transmission, a better/more intact dash and the seller’s actually included pictures of the undercarriage. Compared to the wannabe museum piece, this one’s driven regularly and isn’t sitting on unusable antique bias ply whitewalls.

1966 jeep wagoneer project (1)1966 jeep wagoneer project (3)

While this is an intentionally extreme example, it seems the same story plays out through the middle of the spectrum as well. For every example that some dude’s trying to sell for $20k, there’s a slightly scruffier, functionally equivalent example for less than half-price. Hell, I could’ve met my needs for half the $8k I paid for mine. Given how most of these will be used (beach cruiser, hauling, camping, etc), the last 20% of the aesthetics aren’t all that critical.

I suppose I could conclude by congratulating myself on for constructing a nice “Don’t Buy and Expensive Wagoneer” PSA (again), but maybe there’s something I’m missing. Is there some confirmation bias that the buyer of a super-expensive vehicle adopts? “It’s good because it’s expensive”, rather than the other way around? Obviously Wagoneers are in my wheelhouse, but maybe you know of other vehicles where some examples pull ridiculous sale prices for no good reason?


For Sale: Bimmerworld 1999 Volvo VNL 420 with Great Dane Transport Trailer

1999 Volvo VNL 420 tractor front right

The problem with owning a race car is that race cars are not street legal and need to be transported to the race track. But if you’re serious about racing you will want to transport more than just your race car. For each race you will need tools, jack and stands, spare parts, and extra wheels. Then you have to deal with logistics stuff; food, drinks, water, clothes, possibly camping equipment. Anyway you look at it, it’s a lot of crap to haul to weekend race and clearly you will need a truck.

Have you seen current truck prices? You need fifty grand for a decent heavy duty pickup truck. You can save some money by buying a used and abused one, but it still isn’t cheap. Then you will need a trailer. Open trailers are cheaper and lighter but then you have to pile everything into the truck. Enclosed trailers are a cool option but that price creeps up quickly and you’ll definitely need a bigger truck.

But now there is this, and any serious budget focused team should take a long hard look at it:

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Truck Thursday: What the hell kind of a Land Cruiser is this?


My Ariel Atom owning/selling friend sent me this picture. He saw this weirdness on his way to work this morning, somewhere on Route 93, north of Boston. What the hell is it?

Is it an new Toyota chassis with an old body on it? And if so, what they hell were they thinking with those taillights?

Truck Thursday: Another Edition Of Oops I Did It Again


Recently this olelongrooffan was headed up to catch a VDub show in the next burg up on State Road 93 when I spotted this Mini Monster Truck on the rear of this flatbed in the utility area of the Germain Arena. Well, as Vdubs were on my mind, I decided to pack this bit of information away in my uncluttered cranium and continued hot footing it up Eisenhower’s Highway System. I took in that VDub show and on my way home, the thought of this Mini Monster Truck came back to my mind and I decided this olelongrooffan would get off that highway system at exit 123 and stop in and check out what was happening at the arena sponsored by a local automotive dealer and more. My fellow Hoons, should you be so inclined, are free to make the jump to see more of this Mini Monster Truck and read about another Oops I Did It Again experience this olongrooffan was lucky enough to have enjoyed that sunny Saturday afternoon here in the Sunshine State.

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The Hella Sweet Tow Rigs of LeMons at Sonoma Raceway

COE Ford car carrierLast weekend I had the pleasure(?) of dispensing justice upon the miscreant drivers of the 24 Hours of LeMons “Good Enough Grand Prix” at Sonoma Raceway. It was a small field comprised of teams that had been wait-listed for December’s Sonoma race mixed with a bunch of die-hards. As a result the BMW count (particularly e30s and e36s) was higher than usual (as these teams tend to be skipped over in favor of Ramblers and Super Snipes). Very Hooniverse builds (like the 440-powered M-B or blown 3800-powered Suzuki/S-10 thing) were few and far between. However, the overall combination of crappy/awesome intrinsic to LeMons tends to extend to tow vehicles as well. I’m sure Murilee Martin’s wrap up will show up at Car and Driver any moment now, but in the meantime let’s take a look at the (as Jay would say) Hella butt awesome tow/camping rigs of LeMons.

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Mid-Engined Rat Rod Pickup Gets an A for Concept, C+ for Execution

1935 mid engine rat rod pickup for saleWe try not to be in the business of too much mockery or negativity here at Hooniverse. It’s not that we’ve got no teeth, but that we do Car Stuff (writing, wrenching, racing, driving, etc) for fun. The world’s a serious place with enough serious business going on; we use Car Stuff as a refuge. When we run out of awesome stuff to talk about we can traffic in outrage and cynicism.

That said, there’s room for commentary and critique. The idea of a mid-engine-ed (sigh…) rat rod pickup is an attractive one. Plenty of room and frame rail to mount up a bitchin’ powertrain for the world to see…or maybe better hide it under a toolbox or something like these guys from this year’s Thunderhill LeMons. With so much room, one could drop in a cool I-8, a gnarly industrial/aircraft/marine powerplant or a unique FWD choice like a Cadillac 472/500. Alas, the (sadly, deceased) builder of this car elected for a more obvious choice: Chevy 350/350 combo on a big box-steel frame attached to a Jag IRS.

But maybe we can salvage it to something a dash more creative. First off, we need to fabricate a functional frunk. There’s ample room up front for luggage or kegs. The radiator’s currently in the grille, but were it relocated to the bed a much more aggressive chop could be taken out of the grille/hood area. That, or replace the grill with a solid “shield” of polished or die-rolled metal or something cool. Out back, we need to lower that IRS some (looks like it’s trying to avoid being kicked in the nuts), ditch those fuel tanks (for a single unit up front?) and fab some semblance of a bed. If you wanted to get really “theme-y” with it, you could add an engine stand/hoist and make it look like it’s hauling its own engine as cargo. Put the radiator in there askew to add to the effect. goofiness aside, this thing could probably be made into a decent performer. Also, can you think of any other vehicle with independent rear, but solid-axle front suspension?

Anyway, the current bid’s $4,000 with the auction ending Friday afternoon.

1935 Rat Rod Mid Engine Pickup for sale – eBay Motors

Truck Thursday: The Naples/Marco AACA Show Edition


So there this olelongrooffan and TheKenMan were at our third car show of that eventful 8 hour stretch one day last winter. We had already seen some pretty cool ass street rods out at the Seminole Indian Casino in Immokalee (sorry dead batteries and no place close by to get some more AA’s), spent a little time learning some more history about Ford’s Mustang at its birthday party and here at this exquisite show presented by the Naples/Marco Island branch of the Antique Automobile Club of America at the Naples Depot. Now this olelongrooffan must admit I was mistaken when I previously mentioned that no trains had run there since the early 80’s. They still run a kiddie scale train, much like the one TheGentleManFarmer had when I was a teenager, running around the perimeter of the grounds of this now train museum. But enough about that, we are here to chat it up about some trucks. For mere beauty, this 1934 Ford truck was the coolest one we saw there. Click on through to see more of it.

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Truck Thursday: Land Rover Discovery with Vortec Power

land rover discovery vortec

I love Land Rovers, don’t question it, just accept it. The thing is that I’m simply too smart to buy a used one, for obvious reasons, and too dumb to make enough money to afford a new one. Despite that, in an attempt to redefine insanity, I keep looking for a used one. There are unicorns and/or amazing deals out there and this one may be one of those.


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Truck Thursday: Nissan “Project Titan” is one awesome expedition truck

Nissan Project Titan

Those of that have been following my ramblings on these pages know that I have a lust for expedition vehicles. Perhaps it is from my father, a geography professor and a Lada Niva owner, or my mother who is a frequent traveler and a Jeep Wrangler owner, or perhaps my six week long African safari during college left an impression on me. Whatever the case, I love the damn things. Unfortunately, in my personal life I have neither the need, the time, the place, or the funds for a proper expedition vehicle, which is why I bore you with them here.

Nissan recently created a crowd-sourced projected which will allow “Iraqi war veterans and Wounded Warrior Project Alumni David Guzman and Kevin McMahon embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure… across the Alaskan landscape, Nissan will document the adventure, with a YouTube series set to launch this fall. The adventure begins today when Guzman and McMahon shift into drive in the Alaskan Frontier. To follow the team’s thrilling journey through the Last Frontier, visit the Nissan Trucks Facebook page: Facebook.com/nissantrucks.”

Cool! A nicely built expedition truck that will actually be used!

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Truck Thursday… Dragster?

YouTube Preview Image


The engine is from a semi-truck.

Also, since we love alliteration here (h)at the Hooniverse… This thing has a triple turbo setup. I’m currently trying to figure out how to turn the noise it creates into my new ringtone.

[Source: Reddit]


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