The London Black cab is a dying thing. The strange looking hacks zipping through tight streets are as much a symbol of London as the Tower Bridge or Big Ben…and certainly more iconic than the big Ferris wheel of blimps that blights the view of the Thames these days. Regardless, the crunch of low cost alternatives like Uber/Lyft, autonomous driving, pollution, and the fact that black cabs are based on a chassis older than a ’57 Chevy means that there is an asteroid with their name on it headed toward London now. Find this 1967 Austin FX4 Taxi offered for $10,900 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist.
The Lotus Elite had the distinct honor of being the world’s most expensive 4-cylinder powered vehicle when it was launched in 1974. The fiberglass body mounted on a steel backbone chassis was an evolution of the Europa…but it took a turn in the other direction by being front-engine. The end result is a car that isn’t quite as mid-engine tight as the Europa, but with engine bay room that makes it way easier to convert into a V8 powered beast. Find this 1978 Lotus Elite offered for $6,500 in Lexington, SC via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Do you remember the Oldsmobile Special Vehicle program from the 1990s…no don’t worry, your memory isn’t going bad, you probably don’t remember it because it was a memorable as your Great Aunt Barb’s green bean casserole at Thanksgiving dinner…but think of the Silhouette OSV as if that green bean casserole had been spiked with a heavy dose of Carolina Reaper chili peppers. Because that is what Oldsmobile did at the 1999 SEMA show, they produced a few concept Olds speed machines, an Intrigue, an Alero, and a Silhouette. Somehow Oldsmobile managed to build at least 3 concept Silhouettes before the bean counters at GM’s corporate HQ shut them down and redirected them back to producing more hospital cafeteria menu cars. Regardless, you can buy one for next to nothing. Find this 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV offered for $8,588 CAD ($6,717 USD) in Kelowna, BC, Canada via autotrader.ca. Shout out to Hagerty for finding this oddball.
I have been watching some youtube videos recently showcasing Ken Block’s Hoonicorn racing against random cars in a drag setting. The Hoonicorn is a 1965 Ford Mustang converted to all-wheel-drive and sporting a twin-turbo 1400 horsepower V8. It is far from street legal, but it is not a drag car (it is purpose built for hooning) and to watch it stomp all over million dollar supercars is something special. Nobody (other than Ken Block) can afford the luxury of building his own Hoonicorn, but you can buy this next thing and get somewhere close for a fraction of the cost…maybe. It does have a boosted engine and sticky 315 tires all the way around, it’s only missing all-wheel-drive, a sequential gearbox, and 1000 additional horsepower. Find this 1971 Volkswagen Beetle offered for $5,900 in Antioch, CA via craigslist.
Owning and driving an old truck tends to be a more emotional and less rational decision…but who wants to spend their entire life in a hazy state of rational miasma, driving rational economy cars and fuel sipping hybrids. Not me. I want the thrill of not knowing if my truck is going to start in the morning and or stop in the afternoon. It what separates us from the robots that are currently taking over the internet. Don’t be a bot. Drive an old truck. Find this 1966 Ford F100 Pickup offered for $4,250 in Cedar Hill, MO via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
A wiser man than I once said, if you can’t drive a nice classic car, then drive a cheap classic car. He (or she) was correct, because not everyone can afford a desirable classic like a first generation Corvette or a Austin-Healey 3000 or a Jag E-type…but…anyone can afford something strange like a ’55 Studebaker 4 door sedan in really nice shape. Find this 1955 Studebaker Champion offered for $7,500 in Houston, TX via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Nissan sold a pickup under the Datsun brand in the USA in 1964 – technically called the 320 Pickup, but many folks call them the 1200 or D1200 because that had a 1200cc engine and 1200 badges on the side. If you look closely you will also find a 60hp badge as well…which was never something to brag about, unless you were trying to drag race toddler on a tricycle, but the 60s were a strange time. Find this 1964 Datsun 1200 Pickup offered for $6,500 in Yucca Valley, CA via craigslist.
We had such a good time posting beautiful German cars designed by a Frenchman that we wanted to post yet another classic Fräulein, but this one has a long wheelbase and is bagged. And when I say bagged, I don’t mean like it has been put inside of a bag…but that the suspension has been modified to use inflatable air bags and now it can be stanced or lifted at the flick of a switch. Find this 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL offered for $10,000 in New Hampshire via craigslist. Tip from Carter.
The Mercedes-Benz W114 was yet another gorgeous 3-box styling design from famed designed Paul Bracq. Most of the W114s you find around are the basic 4-door sedan version, but a few are the sporty coupe. Can a car that hits 60mph in 15 seconds actually be sporty…sure…it is just a matter a opinion, I guess. Happy Bracq Friday! Find this 1972 Mercedes-Benz 250C offered for $9000 in Somersworth, NH. Tip from Carter.
Frenchman Paul Bracq designed many great cars…but few are as affordable for the level of awesomeness as the E24 generation BMW 6-series. You get a big inline-6 in a sporty personal luxury coupe for the price of a piece of junk 15 year old minivan with 150k miles. I’m not saying this car is a good deal, no…I’m shouting at the top of my lungs that it is a STEAL! Find this 1981 BMW 633CSi offered for $8900 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck. Happy Bracq Friday!