I’m breaking a few of my unwritten rules here – first, I’m posting about a car that is not in my vicinity, and second, I’m more interested in the – ahem – portly fellow in the photos. He is in every one of the photos, and I have yet to determine the particular social demographic that would be enticed to inquire about an overpriced, rusty, 40-year-old convertible by his presence in the ad. Far be it from me to comment on anyone’s physique, but his belly is actually quite impressive. It’s like he’s smuggling a beach ball in there. I really can’t stop looking at it. I’m hypnotized by it. In fact, the longer I stare, the more I start to think that $19k isn’t so bad for this car. I mean, it’s supposedly a real 442, and it is a convertible. It wouldn’t take much to fix the holes in the trunk and do some body work, and then my new friend and I could cruise down the sun-soaked Michigan roads while listening to… wait! That’s the angle! By distracting me with that mesmerizing solar plexus, I was suddenly much more amenable to buying this hunk of iron oxide. Wow, really dodged a bullet there. Look below at your own risk.
For a while in the mid-80s through early-90s, it seemed like you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a Disco-era Nova. They, along with similar vintage Dodge Darts and Ford Mavericks, were the go-to first car/cheap beater for a generation of people. While the Nova was generally unchanged for over a decade, the earlier 68-72 cars are better-looking (and lack the stink of malaise that permeates the later cars), and their values have reached the relative stratosphere for the hot rodder on a budget. Those later cars, while rarer now than ever, can still be found for a song and take the same hop-up parts and fat tires as their earlier cousins, but will never be as cool – especially in four-door form. So I understand the impulse of this very enthusiastic seller to paint the car orange and slap a (hopefully ironic) stars-and-bars on the roof – anything to make this turd of a car feel cool. If you wanted to go for broke, you’d weld all four doors shut and try to wedge yourself in through the front window. The dusting of snow on the hood would certainly help the slide across, but I’m certainly not limber enough to get through that little window in one piece. The solution is obvious, friends: sawzall that center post right out of the car! Voila – ample room to pop your caboose in the car, awing everyone in sight (especially anyone in cutoff shorts) as the
fire-breathing emissions-choked 305 stumbles to life. There a few greater pleasures in life, I’m sure.
The seventh-generation Thunderbird is not typically one that enthusiasts remember fondly, but as can often be said in life, you can’t lose with 22s. The airbags don’t hurt either, as the car actually looks pretty… well, unique anyway all hunkered down and murdered-out over those comically oversized hoops. And I’m contractually obligated to mention that paragon of late-70s style, t-tops. Plus, how many cars do you know of with not only an opera window in the b-pillar but another semi-useless piece of glass before the trunk? Despite my love of oddballs and unloved cars, I wouldn’t buy this one, per se, but I suppose I would drive it if someone gave it to me. So there’s your ringing endorsement.
My love of forward-control oddities knows almost no bounds, so this wouldn’t be a very hard sell for me: it’s brown, it’s got lots of windows, and it looks to be very solid. The seller would be miles ahead if he mentioned AT ALL why it is up on blocks, though – brakes? Suspension? Perpetually leaking transmission? Even with that crucial piece of information withheld, $3500 seems like a pretty good deal for something you certainly don’t see every day and will
frighten you to death thrill you on a daily basis with its stopping and handling peculiarities. Once you figure out how to get it roadworthy again, that is.
Ahoy, mateys! Hop aboard the SS Galaxie and sail the seven seas! Yarr, I don’t know what the person who did this was thinking, but I guess I would enjoy pontoon boat ownership too. For what it is, that crazy continental kit/bumper extension is nicely finished, but the last thing this car needs is more rear overhang. Instead, it needs a fair bit of addition by subtraction – toss everything past the tail lights, the whitewalls, the hokey wheel covers, and the fender skirts, lose a few inches off the ride height, and you’d have a pretty great coke-bottle-cruiser for under $10k. Or, you know, swap out the steering wheel for a tiller and start wearing shirts with epaulets.
At the risk of turning this blog into all Mopar A-bodies, all the time, I present yet another Chrysler frugality machine, this time in just the right shade of gold. It’s a two-door, but still a sensible post car (wouldn’t want the luxury of a pillar-less hardtop on this economy-mobile), and looks straight as a pin. The up-rated rally wheels are a nice touch, although I would of course prefer steelies with dog dishes. The icing on this stodgy slice of cake is the presence of the leaning tower of power under the hood. While a V8 might be a lot more powerful (and possibly downright scary given the light weight and probable drum brakes here), this car just screams out for slant 6 reliability. Assuming no rust, this is a good bit of car for the money, and that engine will still be running long after you squander the next three summers gathering parts for a fire-breathing big block to shoehorn between the fenders.
Far be it from me to try to understand the vagaries of the vintage limousine market, but fifteen large seems like a lot of money for an old British luxury car that isn’t a Rolls or Bentley. But hey, maybe you can make that back renting it out for weddings and the like – although I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of a bride after her white dress is covered in blue mouse fur after exiting that seat. It’s definitely the only one I’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t make it any more exciting. I think there are a lot more interesting (and certainly more fun to drive) options out there for that money. Like three Fieros, or maybe a whole fleet of mopeds.