Thursday, May 12, 2016

1962 Wolseley 1500 - Think Positive

Back when I was in high school quite a few of my classmates drove British cars. They were cheap, cool looking, fun to drive and economical. They were also unreliable, but that's how many of us learned basic auto repair.

Many of the British cars through the late sixties were positive ground cars. The positive, not the negative, connection of the battery was grounded to the chassis. I have no idea why the Brits did it this way (Ford and a few other US manufacturers had positive ground systems in the 1940s and early 1950s), but I'm sure there was some sort of jolly good reason.

This Wolseley 1500 is a positive ground car. The seller had it shipped from England. Unfortunately, someone at the port in the US didn't know about positive ground. (Probably because he or she was born decades after most positive ground cars had long disappeared from the earth ;-).) While trying to jump start it they hooked up the cables wrong. The electrical system is now somewhat or totally fried. Ooops.

Other than the cooked electrical system, this Wolseley looks to be in nice shape. The seller says that there are only 49 Wolseleys in North America. It would be a hit at any car show.

Despite their reputation for electrical failures, older British cars have fairly simple wiring. If you have any automotive electrical knowledge, getting this car back on the road could be a weekend's job at worst.

Located in Chicopee, MA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

PS - You can convert a positive ground car to negative ground. But, why bother? Keep it original. Just look over the shoulder of anyone trying to jump start it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FREE Saab! (And a Couple of Volvos, too.)

This is by no means the nicest Saab I have ever posted, but it's the first free one.

This does not look restorable, but may yield some usable parts.

The owner also has a couple of free Volvos, which are not pictured.

Located in West Marin, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Phenomenal 1978 Fiat 128 SPORT 3P - 1970s Time Capsule

Wow. Just wow.

I am well into middle age. I remember these cars when they were current. There were a few running around the town I grew up in. After a few years they were gone. Rust and mechanical issues - mostly rust - took their toll.

Go to any car show today and you might spot a few Fiat Spiders and X1/9s from the same era. I can't remember when I last saw a 128 Sport coupé or 3P. They didn't have the cashet of the open top Spider or the mid-engine X1/9 when new. Relatively few sold and it seems that few were saved. Except this one.

With the exception of the upholstery, some mechanical parts and some normal maintenance pieces, this 128 3P is as it was when it drove off the dealer's lot.

This is what the seller has done to this car (quoted from his ad):

Interior - New interior upholstery seats only, remaining original panels, head liner etc in excellent condition.
Rear end - All new rear shocks, brake shoes, rear brake cylinders, brake hoses.
Front end - Front calipers with new master cylinder, new brake rotors, brake pads, brake hoses, new lower control arm, new steering rack ,new tie rod ends, all new motor mounts x 4, top and bottom, new sway bar bushings
Engine - Refreshed with new bearings, new oil pump, new piston rings, new valves, all new seals, new timing belt and tensioner, new water pump, new alt belt, all new gaskets, rebuilt carb, rebuilt alternator, rebuilt starter, converted car to electronic ignition, all new hoses, new clutch cable.
Outer body - Original factory orange paint with stripe on this rare California classic. No rust or accidents with exception of painted hatch for a corner small window rust repair. Minor small dings but amazing condition for its age. 5 mag wheels and 5 original steal wheels no tires, Michelin tires good, 90% . Clear title. All original factory glass.

I'm not going to write much more about this car. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Located in Modesto, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

Someone on the very cool Facebook page, Obscure Cars For Sale, posted this car this morning. It's a Facebook page worth checking out.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Isuzu Bellel - They're Back...

Back in 2013 I wrote about 2 of the 3 cars being offered here. (You can find the post here.)

The Bellel was not exactly a rocket; it took 25 seconds to get to 60 MPH.

But, really, no one would buy a Bellel for it's speed. Its value (not necessarily monetary) lies in its significance in Isuzu's history. It was Isuzu's first independently styled car and their first diesel production car.

The seller is now offering a third, running, Bellel. In his ad he includes some YouTube links to the cars. You can find them here, here and here.

The seller claimed in the earlier ad that there are just 10 Bellels in the United States. I titled my post "Your Chance To Buy 20% Of All The Bellels Left In America." With the third one now being included, you can now own 30%.

The seller is asking $3600.00 (which I assume is for all 3). That's not a lot of money for a car (or two) that would be an instant hit at any Japanese car show.

Located in Oracle, Arizona, click here to see the Hemmings ad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Two Old Friends Are Back... 1985 Alfa Romeo Alfa 6 / 1978 Volkswagen Dasher

Two cars I wrote about in the past are back for sale...

1978 Volkswagen Dasher - I saw this car this morning on a pretty cool Facebook page called Obscure Cars For Sale. I realized that I had written about it a few years ago. I actually wrote about it twice; once quickly in 2012 (find post here), and more in depth in 2013 (find post here).

This is quite possibly the nicest original Dasher in the United States. It is also quite possibly the most expensive. The Dasher was a good, solid family car in its day. Most have long since gone the crusher. This one has incredibly low miles. But, spectacular condition, low miles and rarity don't necessarily make a car worth a lot of money. The seller's asking price of $14,900.00 has probably kept most potential buyers away.

This is a car for a diehard VWhead, or someone who wants to relive the joys of one of their earlier cars. If you're one of those people, you can find the Craigslist ad here.

1985 Alfa Romeo Alfa 6 Turbodiesel - I can't be 100% certain, but I think I wrote about this car in February, 2014. (You can find the post here.) The seller is now saying that it is a 1980 Alfetta, which makes no sense to me. (What are the chances of there being 2 diesel Alfa 6s in the country? Especially 2 in the same color and the service stickers in the same place on the windshield?)

The Alfa 6 never officially made its way to North America. There may be a few privately imported ones here, but I suspect this is the one and only diesel.

If this car had the V6 in it, I'd be drooling over it. The Alfa V6 is an amazing engine. The diesel might be a good engine, too (It's made by VM Motori S.p.A, a well respected builder of diesel engines) but as I wrote in the original post, "The diesel engine makes 107 HP. The gasoline powered V6 makes 156. The diesel sounds like a diesel. The V6 sounds like a symphony." For me, the V6 is the only way to go.

Just as the Dasher above would be a car only a diehard VW fan would buy, this is a car that will appeal only to a diehard Alfa fan. If that's you, you can find the eBay ad here.