The vast majority of “Official” Indy 500 Pace Car’s you’ll find on the street are Chevrolet Corvette and Camaros. Not only did Chevy sponsor the event many times over the years since the first pace car in 1911 (52 times to be exact), but they’ve had the “Official” pace car in back-to-back-to-back years since 2002. However, Chrysler got into the fray a few times, the last of which was in 1996 when they put Maximum Bob Lutz in a Dodge Viper in front of the pack of Ford Cosworth boosted speed machines hit a 239.3mph average lap speed (a record that stands to this day 25 years later)..no, not the Dodge Viper, but the actual IRL cars — anyway this next car is one of 2800 Dodge Ram Pace Trucks that were built by Chrysler to celebrate the event. Find this 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 Pace Truck offered for $7,395 in Willow Glen, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I know what you are thinking. You need this next item. You need these sneakers to go with your ’91 Camaro, Members Only jacket, and mullet. Ignore the fact that your size 11 feet will spilling out of the sides like a pound of strawberry jelly between two pieces of Wonderbread. Just don’t get them dirty…but if you do, tie them together and toss over the nearest telephone wire like its 1999. Find this 1990ish Pair of Chevrolet Heartbeat of America Sneakers Size 6.5 with starting bid of $25 in Arrington, TX via eBay with 2 days to go.
Voice of the world’s most interesting man; I don’t always drive an El Camino, but when I do, it should have a big stonkin modified V8, a Muncie 4-on-the-floor, a gigantic cowl induction hood scoop, and matte-black paint. Drive thirsty, my friends. Find this 1986 Chevrolet El Camino offered for $13,000 in Danbury, CT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
If you wanted a fun 2-door from Ford in 1973 you had a few options. You could get a little junky Pinto, a larger junky Maverick, a plus sized Mustang, a gigantic Torino or a XXL Thunderbird (which was a 5000lb two-door, no joke). But there was another Skywalker. There was a hidden gem, built in Germany by Ford, badged as the Mercury Capri, and it handled better than anything from the Americas. Oddly enough, the American public loved the Capri and at its peak the Capri was the second most imported car into the USA (first was the Beetle, of course). However, you don’t find many Capris driving around on the street today and this next example is about the top of the market…and wowza, that is some groovy paint. Find this 1973 Mercury Capri bidding for $17,000 in Charlotte, NC via eBay.
Tipper Rock On sent in this next car with the note; There is always a lot of talk on DT of high mileage Mercedes-Benz diesels. Check out this Maverick’s mileage! Yes indeed, 469k miles is a boat load for any car, particularly one as basic and underappreciated as the Maverick. Anyway, I’d buy this car just to make it hit that 500k mile mark if I had a commute these days. Find this 1973 Ford Maverick offered for $5000 in Yorba Linda, CA via craigslist.
I saw the photos for this next car and was enchanted by the deep red paint. And I was truly hoping from the deepest pit in my heart that the interior pics would reveal a stick shift…but alas…this second generation Taurus SHO was one of the few that left the factory without a pedal for your left foot…and I don’t see why you’d want to drive this thing. It is slower and less reliable than something like a late model Acura TSX sedan or any number of other front-drive sedans with slushboxes and basic accommodations…but the manual transmission version brings with it all the charisma, joie de vivre and analog goodness that comes with life with a manual. Why do all the clean ones have to be slushbox? Find this 1993 Ford Taurus SHO offered for $5500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
It is funny that you can’t buy a convertible pickup from a new car dealer today (at least since the SSR went out of production in 2006) because the convertible pickup has been a common form of transportation for the better part of human obsession with the wheel. Remember Ben-Hur? Charlton Heston’s chariot (technically a quadriga), was basically a Roman equivalent of this next car. What? Yes, it had wheels, a spot for the driver, and place for junk. Because to do work with a vehicle (regardless if that work is to transport someone places, or move stuff, or wreck someone else with spinning wheel spikes) what you really need is a propulsion system, a spot for the driver, and a work bed. Everything else — flappy paddle gearboxes, touchscreens, massaging chairs, rear seats, electric windows, opera lights, landau roof, any roof, 4-wheel-drive, airbags, cigarette lighter, ashtray, warranty, navigation, bluetooth, 8-track, et al — are simply luxury items. Get back to basics with this 1926 Ford Model T Pickup offered for $5,200 in Opelousas, LA via craigslist. Tip from Ramjet.
I wonder if people who purchased the touch screen equipped ’89 Riviera thought that they were living in the future. iPhones and touch screens might be commonplace today, but back in 1989, only NASA and Hollywood studio sets had touch screens, so buyers of the Buick Riviera and Reatta were living in the future with a touchscreen CRT display that controlled the stereo, AC, fan, and heater. Unfortunately, the future was very uncomfortable because the touchscreen was buggy and prone to sticking the heater full on or full off exactly when you didn’t expect or want it…not exactly desirable, but as an automotive oddity, I love to have one. Find this 1989 Buick Riviera offered for $2500 in Woodstock, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
I wouldn’t normally recommend you own and daily drive a big malaise era boat, but in these times of working from home and covid-traffic, it might be the only chance. On the days that this things decides to not start up, you just call in and work from home. Worry about overheating that old low compression hunk of iron in stop-and-go traffic…not a concern, traffic is light, you’ll be fine. So get a machining white/red mask, drive a classic, and take advantage of the odd times we live in before everything is back to normal and the pod-mobile can wait. Find this 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix offered for $9,800 in Palm Desert, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I’ve driven a vintage 60s sedan with manual drum brakes all the way around and I would have said it was terrifying to drive except that the single-barrel carb equipped inline-6 barely made enough horsepower to get you into mildly excited speeds, much less so to sphincter clenching speeds. But upgrading to dual-power brakes is easy, and swapping to Mustang spindles with disc brakes is a weekend project, and swapping in a mildly tuned V8 is just another few days, and soon you have a Super Sammy. Why do I feel like all of my automotive project planning ends with a car that needs wheelie bars? Anyway, maybe grandma’s car should stay stock. Find this 1965 Ford Falcon offered for $6,500 in Ft Lauderdale, FL via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.