I’m not shy in my admiration for first-gen Mustangs, and I have to admit that one is pretty high on my perpetual list of next old cars. There are almost always a handful of these for sale in my area at any given time, but this one jumped out at me because of the color and the proud grandma in the photos. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to have a car painted “twilight turquoise?” I’d probably lose the Cragars and put some blackwall tires on it, but I think that’s all it really needs. If it’s nice enough for grandma to drive, it must be nice enough for you.
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After last week’s high-priced Bonneville, this similarly expensive Torino seems like a bargain. Well, maybe not, but you could practically eat off the engine compartment, and look at that angry face! I honestly could not remember ever seeing one of these cars before. I knew it was a Torino, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that specific grille before, and it’s awesome, in an “I’m going to thump you, punk” kind of way. It’s sitting up way too high, and it “only” has a 302, but that purported $12k paint job sure looks nice.
It’s officially convertible season, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen one this nice for sale. It’s pretty much the perfect spec: tri-power, 8-lug wheels, loaded, all on top of a pretty blue color with a white interior. That’s a lot of car, and if you were looking for a full-size Pontiac convertible, I don’t know if you could find a better one. Of course, it’s a LOT of money, to the point that I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving it daily or running errands with it (as I tend to do). Still, it’s hard to not see yourself behind that gently curved windshield, winding your way down some country road (and hanging on for dear life around every corner). There’s lots of ways to spend ~$30k, and this certainly isn’t the best or most responsible, but this is still a pretty good one.
Far be it from me to question the integrity of anyone selling a car on Craigslist, but this car is not really a two-door. Well, it is in the sense that it has two functioning doors, but not in the sense that it left the factory that way. In case you were thinking that the space between the trailing edge of the door and the rear wheel well looked a little off, you’re right – two-door Bel Airs of this vintage have longer doors than this one does. That’s not to say that this car isn’t in good shape otherwise, but I’d be leery of any other amateur bodywork or weirdness. I guess I can’t blame anybody here – it’s not like it would be easy to sell a brown, four-door, six-cylinder Bel Air, and you’ll certainly have the only one like it if you buy this one.
In college, I once borrowed a buddy’s car to drive 25 miles away to look at a clapped-out Centurion convertible, so this car brought back a few good memories – mostly because I wisely decided NOT to buy that car. At the time, I negated that wise decision when I ended up buying an equally clapped-out convertible that was 15 years newer. In spite of (or perhaps because of) that experience, I still get the urge for a convertible around this time of year. This particular Centurion is WAY nicer than the one I looked at those years ago, and is probably not much more expensive. It might not have the same panache as a Cadillac or Lincoln, but it’s probably 1/3 the price of a similar Caddy.
This car couldn’t be any more of its era, and I love it for that reason. Well, not enough to spend even a quarter of the asking price, but I do love it. Between the color scheme, the giant graphics on the door, and the “Hemi” 2.6L engine, this thing screams “1980” louder than if you put on some Christopher Cross on the radio and turned it up all the way. The Fire Arrow was a rebadged Mitsubishi Lancer, but all I really care about are the stripes and the hood decal. It’s a shame there are no interior pics, because I think I see plaid seats through the window, and that just ups the ante even more. I can practically feel my sideburns growing just from looking at the photo.
There are times when I do get bored while searching Craigslist. Page after page of overpriced musclecars I could never afford and rusty projects that will never get finished tend to dull my enthusiasm, and it takes something truly bizarre to capture my interest. This van did just that. Between the pictures showing a grille- and headlight-less fascia (but don’t worry, those parts are in the basement!), a shifter, and a very grungy footwell, I was excited to see what else was in store. Let’s examine this ad a little further:
“She’d be a great running van with minor work done to it.” – Have you ever done engine work on a full-size van? Nothing about it is minor. Considering the seller mentions later on that he suspects the engine has a bad head gasket, I wouldn’t say “minor” is the word to use here.
“Really cool all black ‘no windows in back’ vintage van w/ carpet on the inside.” – I would say “scary as hell” as opposed to “really cool,” but that’s just me.
“Has cupboards for camping” – Or, you know, storing the remains of your victims.
“3/4 of the tires are good (ALL hold air)” – Considering “holding air” is the main prerequisite for being a tire, I don’t know that that’s something to really brag about. And now I’m really curious as to what makes the fourth tire bad.
“wooden door handles” – And yet no pictures. Given the state of the rest of the vehicle, I can’t imagine the craftsmanship that went into these.
“kinda messy inside” – Understatement of the century here.
“shifter gets “stuck” sometimes” – At what times? When I’m trying to get out of the way of a runaway garbage truck, most likely.
“I’ll even help you work on it to drive it out of here.” – Jackpot! That’s the whiff of desperation I was hoping for. Hand the guy $500 and this thing is yours, I’m sure of it.