Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend Quickies

Nissan Skyline GT-R - I love "true crime" stuff. I read all the stupid paperbacks, watch TV shows like "Forensic Files", all that stuff. Yeah, OK, maybe I'm really not "just a car geek". Maybe I'm an all-around, all purpose geek.

Anyway, JaCG reader, Richard, wrote a comment regarding the 1998 Alfa Spider I wrote about a few days ago. In it he mentioned the company "Kaizo" and the drama surrounding their Nissan Skyline GT-R.

That reminded me of another company that was trying to import Skyline GT-Rs, Motorex. That company also ran into trouble with the law, but it was much more complicated and fascinating than the recent Kaizo problems.

A website called (as far as I can tell) skylinegt-r.wikidot.com, scanned a great article from 0-60 magazine about Motorex and their problems. Whether you're a true crime geek or not, it's pretty interesting reading. You can find it here.

The letter recently sent to people who purchased Kaizo GT-Rs is above (click on it to enlarge it). You can find a little blurb about the situation here. The Kaizo website appears to be down, which is never a good sign for a business.

1985 Honda CRX Straman Convertible - This is one of those cars that was so good you have to wonder why Honda didn't steal the idea and start building it themselves.

The original CRX was introduced to the US in 1984. Honda called it a 2 seater commuter car. In reality, except in HF form, it was an introductory level sports car. The only thing that was missing was a convertible roof. Richard Straman took care of that.

Straman Coachworks had been doing convertible conversions on Ferraris and other exotics for quite a few years before taking on the CRX. They knew how to chop a top and strengthen the body correctly.

Everything that applies to the standard hard top CRX applies to the convertible. It's fun to drive and damn-near bulletproof (the car above has 247,000 miles on it).

The only real downside to a CRX was rust, but this car appears to be rust free.

The Straman convertible looks great and the top is well designed. Had Honda built this car themselves or entered into a deal with Straman to build them in quantity (only 305 Straman CRX convertibles were built), this could have been the MG Midget of the 1980s. There would have been nothing wrong with that.

Click here to see the eBay listing for this 1985 Honda CRX Straman Convertible.

1956 Facel Vega - This isn't so much about the car, although a Facel Vega is a very cool and interesting car, but about the story that goes with it.

From the eBay listing...
One day when I was a kid my dad went to buy a Shelby and couldn't take me with him because the guy was a real recluse and didn't like company - especially kids. When he came home he told me the guy had a car he thought I'd really like to have but the owner would not sell it. He told me it was a Facel Vega. So I found a book on them and immediately got hooked on it's heritage. Well, I had a habit of stopping at the grocery store every Tuesday morning and getting the Auto Trader on the way to school and this car was in there. I begged my dad to buy the car and now over 25 years later I still have not done one thing to it. When we got it home I drove it around the block and the brakes were really bad. I couldn't ever seem to find anyone to help get the parts I needed - and then we decided we wouldn't do anything to it until we could devote the time and money to fully restore it correctly.

The car was in one of my parent's garages until a couple years ago when we moved it to my car-port for a year, then I enclosed the porch with the car in there. There is not any door going into this porch - so we will have to cut a hole to get the car out...


I've always dreamed of having a car in one room of my house. Really. It would be a great conversation piece. If this were my car, I'd probably leave it there. Then again, given what Facels are selling for these days, I might cut a hole in my house and sell it, too. Before I rebuilt the wall though, I'd park another car in the room.

Located in Stockbridge, GA, click here to see the eBay listing.

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