Our second weekly edition of Race, Daily, Restore features three early all-wheel drive passenger cars. There was a time when rear-wheel drive was standard for cars, front-wheel drive was remarkable, and 4WD on trucks meant getting out and locking the front hubs before venturing into the snow and muck. But that changed, thanks to the ground-breaking but rare Jensen FF in the mid ’60s, then the AMC Eagle (in this case, a be-vinyled 1980 2-door Sport coupe), and then Pontiac’s 6000STE AWD in 1988–90. These were not clumsy part-time 4WD systems [Yeah, I’m looking at you, Suzuki X-90], but rather sophisticated, permanent all-wheel drive systems suited to street use, even on dry pavement.
Your job is to tell me which of the three you would:
- RACE – build into some sort of dedicated racing machine (not street legal) for your choice of competition — any legitimate, sanctioned form of motorsport: road course, rally, drag, LSR, Baja, etc.;
- DAILY – have as your sole street-registered car, for all your commuting and general transportation needs.
- RESTORE – do a museum-quality, factory-correct, frame-off restoration, then add to your collection, but not drive on the street.
Just like math class, please demonstrate how you came to your conclusions for full credit.
- Assume that you’re given these three vehicles outright, so there’s no acquisition cost, but the cost of race-prepping, maintaining, insuring and restoring them will be on you.
- These are your ONLY three cars. You cannot factor in any other cars you might actually own, e.g., “I’ll daily the MR2 because I have a van I can take the kids in…” Likewise, you can’t sell the restored car to buy another vehicle.
- You must assign one of the cars to each category. You can’t say, “I’ll race my street car,” or “I’ll drive that one for a season then restore it.”
- You can’t half-ass a car you don’t like, such as theoretically racing Lemons or doing a “20-footer” cosmetic restoration.