They say you should never buy a car in the rain…(which is good advice because you can’t tell paint condition in the rain and the water noise masks potential issues on the test drive)…and this begs the question; should you buy a car with pictures taken during a wash? The answer is no, but that shouldn’t stop you from looking at that car in person and making an informed decision on the condition of a W115.. Personally I like the fact that this car has a 4-speed gearbox and I don’t mind the blingy wheels or the lowered suspension. Find this 1975 Mercedes-Benz 240D offered for $5,600 in Dublin, CA via craigslist.
The other day I witnessed a late model Crown Victoria driving down the road that was so low it grounded out on a small bump in the road — something that would have barely been noticed in a stock 65 Buick. And it got me thinking that the modern slammed stance stuff is strange…and then I remembered that there was a time when a modified car would have been jacked up and was probably equally annoying to drive…which takes us to this next beast which is a sweet ode to the stance of the 70s. Find this 1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite offered for $7000 in Thomaston, GA via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.
There is no hallowed ground in the world of automotive swaps, but there are some swaps that make you say “why?”. And this next one is a real head scratcher — not that putting an OM617 Mercedes diesel into a small pickup would make for a bad vehicle…it is just strange. It’s not like you are going to increase your towing capacity or beat the torque from a Magnum V8…but that flapper valve tipped exhaust stack certainly has some style. Find this 1989 Dodge Dakota diesel swap offered for $2000 in Cazenovia, NY via craigslist.
The convertible pickup might have seemed like a novel idea when the Dakota Sport was released in 1989…but then you start thinking about the horse drawn wagon…which was pretty much a convertible pickup since man first domesticated horse in the Bronze age, and then you think about the first mass produced vehicle..yup, the Ford Model T Runabout was a convertible pickup. So…yeah…nothing new is really ever new, just rebranded and adjusted for inflation. Find this 1989 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible offered for $8,500 in Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The second generation Chevrolet Corvair (1965-1969) is one of the cheaper ways to get into a rear-engine aircooled classic with a flat-6 out back…but when people see them on the road they probably assume it is another V8 powered American car. So why not conform to their delusions with a little custom beast like this next car. Find this 1965 Chevrolet Corvair offered for $16,000 in Gloucester, MA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car might look like something that Jim Rockford would have chased down the bad guys (with a paint color change, of course) and done some serious J-turns or Bandit would have evaded Buford T. Justice across scores of county lines…but with the base (Buick sourced) 231ci V6 mated to a 3-speed auto, this car would have a hard time chasing down a kid on a bicycle, much less evading some baddy with a Pontiac LeMans or a full sized Ford. Despite that…I can appreciate that someone looking to get into the classic car hobby with an affordable and approachable classic could do much worse. Find this 1980 Pontiac Firebird Esprit bidding for $3600 no-reserve in Tempe, AZ with less than 1 day to go on BringATrailer.
It wasn’t long ago that you could find a stock 240SX on your local craigslist for a few hundred bucks and turn it into your canyon carving drift monster..but several decades, hundreds of LS swaps, and thousands of wrecked telephone poles later, the stock 240SX is as rare as rocking horse manure. This next example isn’t in perfect shape, but it doesn’t look like it’s even been on the Hakone Turnpike or the Usui touge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be the first to push the tail end out. Find this 1993 Nissan 240SX offered for $6950 in Ontario, CA via craigslist. Tip from Art.
This next car comes from all the way around on the other side of the globe in a little place called Australia. Actually…it isn’t little at all. It is roughly the size of mainland USA from Los Angeles to Cleveland, but with the population of Texas. The result is a population density that is only beaten by Mongolia and Namibia if you are looking for places with wide open spaces. However, the people in Australia are car crazy and love horsepower and rear-drive beasts even if they no longer produce automobiles in their own factories thanks to Ford and GM. (Enjoy this tribute the the Australian car industry rock video from Grindhouse…but be warned you’ll see a lot of fat/hairy shirtless dudes past that click. Don’t say I didn’t warn you in the comments). Enjoy this tribute to the old days of Holden and Ford with a turbocharged inline-6. Find this 2005 Ford Falcon XR6T Ute offered for $7500 AUD ($5329 USD) in York, Western Australia via gumtree.
The Volvo purists might get a little disturbed at seeing yet another LS-based V8 swap in a classic 240 body…but let’s face it, with over 2.8 million examples of the 200-series (240 and 260) built from 1974 through 1993, it’s not like you can’t find another stock one sitting around. And that stock 240 will probably been useful to tow this thing to the next fuel station. Find this 1989 Volvo 244 With V8 Swap offered for $7000 via facebork in Sarasota, FL. Tip from Art.
Guts, cojones, bollocks, che palle, chutzpah, sisu, etc. Every culture/language has it’s own word for when somebody does something that shows a certain sense of disregard for common sense. I don’t judge those folks for not exercising the same caution as the rest of us chickens, because sometimes the end result is land a man on the moon, or discovering the Peep. But this next car is going to take all of the combined guts, wherewithal, and arcane Mercedes-Benz knowledge to make it run again on all 12 cylinders…and my hat is off to the man, women, or eunuch who does it. Find this 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600 offered for $2900 in Litchfield, CT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.