Help us find cars to celebrate Bracq Friday. Paul Bracq is a French born mustache enthusiast who created the graceful shape of icons like the BMW 7-series, 6-series, E21 3-series, MB W113 SL, W108, W100 (aka 600 or Großer Mercedes) W111, W114, multiple Popemobiles and the French TGV high speed train. You can read more […]
It’s been a bit of a front-wheel-drive Cadillac party over here in the DT offices and…well…if you’ve got to collect the whole set, then you’ll need to get a 6th generation DeVille which was the first time the full sized DeVille sedan transitioned from rear to front drive. This transition did make some difference in performance, but not the way you might have expected — the front drive version lost 500 lbs of weight (give or take), 10 inches of wheelbase, and picked up rack-n-pinion steering. To say that it is a more driver centric car is the same as saying that skunk smells better than burning hair…it’s all in the nose of the beholder. Find this 1992 Cadillac DeVille offered for $3,500 in Tucson, AZ via craigslist.
As the fuel and emissions crisis hit automakers in the early 1970s they had a few options to maintain performance on their vehicles. One was to downsize the vehicle like Ford did with the Mustang II, another option was to add technology like fuel injection or turbochargers like Porsche with the 911 Turbo…or you could go down the Oldsmobile route and pray the suspension and tires were crappy enough to make the car feel fast and add some gaudy stickers to make the car look fast. Add the swiveling captain’s ejector seat and you are gonna have a smash success…except that Olds didn’t sell 10k of these cars in 1976…so…yeah. Anyway, 45 years later, this thing looks wicked. Find this 1976 Oldsmobile 442 offered for $12,500 in Denison, TX via craigslist.
Nissan never exported their retro-styled ’80s/’90s Pike Series cars (Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, K10-Micra) into the USA, but you wouldn’t know that based on the number littering craiglist and eBay. Or maybe I’m just always on the lookout for offbeat cars that put a smile on your face while not running roughshod through your bank accounts. Today’s example is a Figaro that is a little rough around the edges, but maybe cute enough to pickup as a rescue. Find this 1991 Nissan Figaro offered for $6,500 in Port Charlotte, FL via craigslist. Tip from Dascpcu
The first car to wear the Oldsmobile 88 badge was a car introduced wayyyy back in 1949. It was a Olds Rocket 88 that was the car to beat in NASCAR back in the day…but by 1988 the 88 was on its ninth generation and lived on the front-drive H-body shared with the Buick LaSabre and Pontiac Bonneville. Something had to be done to save the 88 because the optional voice alert system wasn’t doing it…but the marketing geniuses at Oldsmobile at the perfect solution — change the name to the Eighty Eight. Sigh. At least today’s example is equipped with the sporty FE3 performance package. Find this 1989 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight offered for $3,200 in Lansdale, PA via craigslist.
This next car comes from a time when steel was cheap, gasoline was plentiful, and trucks were beasts. I’ve really been impressed with the way modern trucks drive on the road because there was a time when trucks (like this International) were uncomfortable, clunky, bumpy, and terrifying to drive. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting an old truck…because with all of that beefy mass comes ruggedness, easy repairs, off-road prowess, and go-anywhere fun that won’t be matched with a new car that you are afraid to scratch with a tree branch or bash with a boulder. Good luck changing the starter in a 2019 F-150 without some specialized tools and a free weekend, but you could swap the starter on a Scout with a cresent wrench in a muddy field on the way to work. Find this 1975 International Harvester Pickup offered for $6000 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist. Tip from MikeD.
The third generation “global” Ford Focus (2012-2018) is known for a few things — primarily it gets a bad rap for its dual-clutch automatic “powershift” transmission, which has dry clutches that judder and shudder like Elvis’ hips, and the 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine is known to cause fires when coolant isn’t circulating properly…but this next car will have neither of those problems because it has had an engine/transmission swap from a Focus ST hatchback. More power, more fun, less shudder, less fire. Win win. Find this 2013 Ford Focus ST offered for $16,500 in Mason, OH via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
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.