Craigslist Crapshoot

Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer.
Is there any phrase scarier than “aftermarket convertible?” Okay, maybe “there’s a clown under your bed” ranks right up there, but automotively speaking having your roof cut off by people who didn’t originally design the car is pretty sketchy, and that’s just what we went looking for last week. We’ll get to the bottom of the topless contenders in a sec, but first this week’s quest.
Unless you’re jonesing for a movie that’s so bad it’s good, seeking out the horrible isn’t always on people’s to-do list. Generally cars form the ’70s are considered to be among history’s worst, but that’s was not exclusively the case and what we want to find this week are the best ’70s cars that didn’t suck that the classifieds has to offer. 
As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Since we’ve changed commenting systems, you may need to update your commenter account. Make sure you have a Disqus account – they’re free and easy to get – and then comment away.
Got that? Good, now let’s let the sun shine in!
Let me just say that right off the bat Lokki and mdharrell gave us the complete opposite ends of the non-factory convertible spectrum, the former serving up a natty McLaren Capri and the latter a Clark Cortez motorhome that somebody apparently left the gas on in.
In between those extremes came an open air Firebird from before the factory got on the bandwagon, which was found by smalleyxb122, a Straman Si located by JayP and a Sunchaser offered up by Alff. That last car’s sister, an AMC Eagle Sundancer, made an appearance too, thanks to gord. All were strangely compelling.
Somewhat scarier were the Challenger SRT8 found by ptschett, an open air 1952 Chevy 3100 brought to us by tonyola, OA5599‘s weird Suburban selection, and P161911‘s Chrysler 300 suggestion which has been pimped as well as de-roofed and looks just about ready to drop its latest jam on the streets, yo.
Our winner for the week comes to us from across the pond, and which, while an aftermarket conversion does come with a provenance to be appreciated. That’s the rare and lovely 1967 Ford Cortina Crayford convertible found by SlowJoeCrow, and which I think we all will agree is the neatest and most natty of all. It more than makes up for Crayford’s horrific Triumph TR7 Tracer Estate.
Congrats to SlowJoeCrow, and thank you all for the wonderful section of topless treats. Now, let’s see what gems are hidden in the world’s ’70s survivors.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

54 responses to “Craigslist Crapshoot”

  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    While it would be simple to post a pre-smog early-70s muscle car that had undergone a rotisserie pro-touring resto-mod and costs six figures, I think we should also consider the best of what the malaise era had to offer, as well.
    Thus, I present to you this 1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II, resplendent in two shades reminiscent of mother earth’s most fertile soil:

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    I had to become quite “old” before I understood the “troubles with the 70s”. Isn’t that an US-centric thing? Lots of fantastic cars were made in the 70s, and even the Eastern bloc had some automobile fighting power left in it then. Also: In 1974, a legendary product was introduced to the world. For decades, it was supposed to be the safest car around. The first with Lambdasond/catalytic converter:
    1977 Volvo 244, 3000$, slight sprinkling of caramel on orange:

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Looks like some of the caramel dripped onto the wheels.

  3. Papa Van Twee Avatar
    Papa Van Twee

    This isn’t a case of finding one that doesn’t suck, but which one sucks less.
    So I went with a 1973 Citroën SM Maserati. Reliable? Maybe. Good, when it runs, yes. It looks nice, and has been in storage, but once fixed up it would be a real gem.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      SM was always a tongue-in-cheek kind of name for such a painful experience. Fun fact: The Swedish journalist who rolled the MB A class in a “moose test” dailed one of these at the time. The test resulted in the industrywide introduction of ESP.

    2. Citric Avatar

      In the Western Development Museum in North Battleford, Sk they have one of these, though it has the Euro-spec front end. I have a theory that it was donated to the museum because the last owner saw a repair bill.

  4. GTXcellent Avatar

    Sure, I’m currently very upset with a certain Swedish car that has a manual transmission, but I’d sure love to have this svelte little beauty take it’s place. Price is awfully optimistic at $20k though – he must have Barrett Jackson numbers in his head.

  5. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    My gut says to post a TR7 but the reality is this. There is nothing cooler from the seventies than a Bandit Trans Am. What bothers me more as a forty four year old is knowing what I could have paid for them fifteen years ago and what they are going for at auction now. These are starting to move into the stupid money range.
    So let me say this. There is no American car of the seventies that looks as out of place as the second gen Firebird. It looks like an alien. Pontiac put the beak from this bird on most of its models and it just looked silly on their square cars. It set a trend they were never quite able to match again.
    I have an awesome 79 trans am for sale. extra clean. im the second owner and had the car for 20 years now. drive train was changed and modified and in great working order. it has a 455 engine and a 400 transmission its a reverse manual valve body ( it can be swithed back to full automatic if you want) 3500 stall and 355 possi rear. the car has zero rust garaged kept since 1979. any questions please call text or email me.
    Thank you Paul

  6. P161911 Avatar

    While the 1977 Rolls Royce didn’t suck. This $2,800 “Rolls Roycy” might. Part of me says there has to be at least $3k or $4k in parts here at least.

    1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      Still looks good after all these years.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Well, it is in Las Vegas. No telling what kind of transgendering has happened under that bodywork.

  7. mdharrell Avatar

    I’ve ridden in a Ford Courier Sasquatch (thanks, Pete!) and from what I can tell they don’t suck. I’ve also been informed, as the ad confirms, that 1976 is the year to have:

    1. Alff Avatar

      I had a regular Courier. It kinda sucked.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Perhaps your standards are higher than mine.

        1. Alff Avatar

          Or my butt is more tender. My biggest gripe was how uncomfortable it was on road trips.

  8. Jofes2 Avatar

    Over the last year I’ve had a mild obsession on and off over the Lancia Gamma Coupé. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just something in every bit of design that is so… right to me.
    Just look at the shiny, silvery paint. The straight, clean lines. The elegant folding on the boot lid. Those perfectly shaped and coloured taillights. Those nicely cut doors. Those hubcaps. That steering wheel. The only-so-slightly curved dashboard. That pointy front end… I could go on forever.
    Sadly, the lighting inside the showroom doesn’t make the smurf upholstered interior justice. It looks a little silly in the pictures, but out in the real world it’s probably perfect. It has to be.
    One day I’m driving one of those home from Italy to live happily ever after. Somehow…

  9. Alff Avatar

    The Westmoreland gets some hate thrown its way but generally speaking Mk1 VWs didn’t suck. The Scirocco is my favorite.

    1. JayP Avatar

      I was going down that path but I had to get some work done today.
      And if one were close, I’d probably buy it.

      1. Alff Avatar

        The asking prices on those that are available are surprisingly high, at least to me.

        1. JayP Avatar

          They are getting up there.
          I think the one to buy is the Audi GT… still fun to drive but no one knows it yet. Not checked prices lately but prolly up there now.

  10. Jofes2 Avatar

    This is not a submission, but in my search I stumbled upon a 1974 Volvo 144. Sjalabais had already posted a Volvo and this model was introduced in the 60’s, so it was discarded. However, I still want to show you the seat upholstery.
    If you want a glimpse of Europe in the 1970’s, look at this colour. Absorb it. The pattern too. Now, imagine it on everything.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Shouldn’t be a problem to post moar Volvos, but this upholstery looks fantastically preserved. My wife just bought a dress that would go well with

    2. Alff Avatar

      While not orange, the seats in my 1976 Buick Skyhawk were no less distinctive. It may not have been the best era for drivers but it was a great time to be a passenger. Image courtesy of Murilee.

  11. Tomsk Avatar

    This ’73 450 SE represents the last year for both the small-bumpers and 4.5L V8/short-wheelbase combo in the U.S. It’s eleven grand, but how can you say no to that radioactive bordello red upholstery?

    1. Hatchtopia Avatar

      LOVE that color combo. It’s perfect.

    2. Kiefmo Avatar

      As much as I’d love a 6.9SEL, this one looks the business and doesn’t have the fussy hydro-pneumatic suspension. Want!

    3. Sjalabais Avatar

      These tend to look stately in almost all conditions*. Love the neighborhood, btw, judging by the first shot: Olds Jags, big old S class…nice.
      *black window tint and cut springs are an exemption and make every car look silly

  12. Batshitbox Avatar

    I’m going with one of my personal favorites The Mercury Capri. I wish I could find a Cologne VS version, but here’s the 2-liter
    Great underappreciated small car, why everyone concentrated on the Pinto and the Maverick I’ll never know, and why wasn’t there a domestic Ford badged version (we had the Comet/Maverick and the Bobcat/Pinto)?

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Cars I passed over for the Capri
      The Chevrolet El Camino, multiple advertisements, 70s awesomeness distilled
      Scamp (1970) VW Jeep Veepster (CJ-2A kit)
      1979 MB 508D Fire Truck
      1978 Reliant Robin $1500 (in California?)
      1977 RHD Scout II Terra

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        The Reliant is in Lake Oswego, just outside of Portland. I didn’t need to know that.
        On the bright side, I may have just figured out the source of my KV’s tail lights:

        1. P161911 Avatar

          But is Reliant the original source of the taillights or did they steal them from someone else. JC Whitney?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            The markings on mine are British and I’ve seen very similar lamp assemblies offered as UK trailer lights but never precisely the same style as those on the KV. My guess is Reliant went to the same outside supplier as KV and chose the same slightly unusual variant from their catalog[ue].

        2. 0A5599 Avatar

          The Reliant ad has been deleted by its author. Congratulations on your new purchase. Did you tow it home on Pete’s one wheel trailer?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Not guilty. I wish the new owner all the best.
            Anyway, I wouldn’t borrow Pete’s one-wheel trailer now that I have one of my own. This is it in the previous owner’s driveway:

    2. Sjalabais Avatar

      I love the green colour. A Volvo 960 in this colour with cream interior was one of the first Volvos I ever “noticed” as a kid.

  13. ptschett Avatar

    1979 brown Delta 88 sedan. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys sold separately.

  14. oldcarjunkie Avatar

    Probably the best sports car of the malaise period is the Triumph TR8 convertible. The Rover V8 transforms the cars. The addition of better braking and power steering is a nice bonus too.
    The hardest part is finding one – quite rare especially the 70s cars.
    Here is a ’78.

    1. JayP Avatar

      About 15 years ago I found a TR8 convertible locally for about $3500. I wanted to see it but by the time I got around they’d sold the car. The same car popped up for sale about a month later for $15k at a British specialty garage. They worked over the suspension and that’s it. I wish I’d gotten it first.

      1. oldcarjunkie Avatar

        I actually bought one a few months ago. A 1980 TR8 for $4500. Needed a little electrical and the top isn’t perfect. Sounds fantasic – very meaty exhaust note.

  15. mrh1965 Avatar

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Z’s. Our neighbor had a 260 2+2 back in the day, the only thing cooler was the other neighbor’s 911. Both were doctors, natch.
    Anyway, this looks pretty good. I could live without the chin spoiler but suspect that’s easily remedied.

  16. Sean McMillan Avatar
    Sean McMillan hahahaha
    elling my 1971 rs Camaro numbers matching car, wood grain interior all there, will need floor pan,roof, deck lid, roll pan, quarter patches, but everything is good dash, rockers, doors, windows, seats, door panel, glass, fenders, hood, motor, trans, console, grill, inner fenders, chrome, both bumpers, firewall, pillar posts, dash and bezel, 150mph speedo, automatic, brown rare color, would make a great car needs about 2k in metal then u have a numbers matching car worth 18 to 30k, if interested give me a call , looking to sale or part trade and cash, don’t let this car fool u, don’t need help selling it, send all trades to listed cell, rick
    do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
    OK this one sucks but I had to share it for the optimism

    1. Sean McMillan Avatar
      Sean McMillan
      The “good” seats and interior.

%d bloggers like this: