Monthly Archives: January 2013

Will It Baby?

Back when I was searching for a new car, I had to balance my desire for a cool (by my oddball standards) daily driver with a usable family car (not to mention my budget).  I still think I came out ahead on that equation.  Jalopnik writer Jason Torchinsky has a series based on this idea called “Will It Baby.”  In the latest example, he examines if a Ford Mustang is a viable kiddo hauler, with decidedly mixed results.  I don’t normally highlight other writers on here, but between the idea of feeding your child into a car “like a log into a locomotive firebox,” and “actually looking at your kid in the back seat requires a neck transplant from an owl,” there’s some pretty great stuff here.  Check it out!




As Seen on Craiglist – 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

As Seen On TV Logo copy

I was (even more) unabashedly pro-GM as a child – my parents drove exclusively GM products until I was in middle school, and my dad was a Pontiac guy for most of his adult life (even though he had owned Mustangs and a VW Beetle as well).  This has manifested itself in my irrational love of 80’s G- and B-bodies and my intense desire to own a Buick Grand National.  Anyway, one of the few non-GM cars that I begrudgingly fell in love with in my youth were these turbo T-birds.  I have no idea if $9k is a good deal or not – this car falls into that weird state where it’s not quite old enough to be a classic but too old to be a daily driver, and it’s not truly rare (although rust and attrition have certainly made them harder to find).  But it’s cool (for an ’80’s Ford, anyway), and while not blazingly fast, it’s at least quick enough to be fun.  It’s also attractive for its time without being overly dated, and I love the dark blue color with a red pinstripe.  The low miles are good news, as is the seller’s apparent love for the car.  To be honest, I’d find a lot more cars to spend my $9k on first, but I’d certainly give it a test drive first.

88 tbird

As Seen on Craiglist – 1973 Pontiac Ventura

As Seen On TV Logo copy

This is one of those ads that I initially thought was a great deal, and then the more I read the less I liked it.  Of course, it started with a mistake on my part – I thought the car was listed for $3500, not $8500, which is a ridiculous amount for this car.  But with (supposedly) only 31k on the clock, this could be a nice alternative to the common Nova (with which this car shares a chassis and many other parts) – the post bodystyle and hubcaps lend it a nice sleeper look, and you can soup it up on the cheap.  But then I read the rest of the one-line description, and I got to the “New brake lines.  Needs a little bodywork.” part, and I realized that the single, poorly focused photo is probably hiding a vat of bondo hiding under that shiny blue paint.  There’s no way I’m paying $8500 for a car that needed new brake lines and still needs body work (sure signs of underbody rust), especially when it likely has a straight-six engine and needs a host of other repairs to run correctly.  Considering that this car has been driven an average of 775 miles per year, it’s a fair bet that most consumables (hoses, belts, etc.) are in dire need of replacement, not to mention that cars that have been sitting tend to start showing problems once they’re driven regularly.  I’ll pass, thank you very much.

73 Ventura

As Seen on Craigslist – 1972 Chevy LUV

As Seen On TV Logo copy

Every now and then I like to highlight a deathtrap, and this certainly fits the bill.  I’m too lazy to look up the curb weight for a ’72 LUV, but with a 350-400 hp small block Chevy under the massive fiberglass hood and 4.10 gears in the back, I’d be willing to bet this thing would make you wet your pants in a hurry.  I can’t tell you the last time I saw a LUV truck in person – they rusted and got used up pretty quickly – but this looks like it would be pretty fun, at least for the first quarter mile or so.

72 LUV

As Seen on Craiglist – 1970 Buick Riviera

As Seen On TV Logo copy

I know, I know not another Riviera – but the triple brown of this car just sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go.  Between the beautiful deep caramel paint, the honking 455 under the hood, and the low price, it doesn’t get more “affordable personal luxury” than this.  The color on the door is just slightly off, so any prospective buyers would be wise to check for collision or rust damage in that area, but aside from that it looks fantastic.  The Rivi had gotten pretty bloated by this time, and any sporting pretensions were pretty much gone by this point, but I bet it’s a fantastic highway cruiser and way more comfortable than almost any other car you could buy for six grand.

1970 riviera