Monday, September 21, 2020

1987 Suzuki Samurai - It's Been A Long Time Since I Have Seen One This Nice...

In an earlier post about a Suzuki Grand Vitara, I mentioned that the Suzuki Samurai was becoming a sought after vehicle. They are incredibly good off-road vehicles.

But what if you don't want to use it off-road? Clean, unmolested, Samurais are getting very hard to come by.

Here's one with just 27,415 miles on it. Based on the pictures, it looks close to new.

Yes, the Samurai was great going through mud and snow, over rocks, etc. But, they weren't especially great on the road. They were slow and didn't handle very well. (Although they were not as bad as Consumer Reports claimed they were. Like many high center of gravity / short wheelbase vehicles, you could tip it, but you had to work hard to do it.) But they are relatively reliable and a lot of fun in the old-school put the top down (or take it off in this case) and cruise on a summer day way.

The asking price for this Samurai is $9,500. That's a lot of money for an old Samurai. But, when was the last time you saw on in this condition? If you have the money and are looking for a road-going Samurai, this one may well be worth the asking price.

Located in Stratford, CT, click here to see the Facebook Marketplace ad.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

When You Really Want An Amphicar But All You Have Is An Old Morris Minor And A Dinghy...

I spotted this a few days ago while driving through Clifton Park, NY.

This is at the same place as the Snyder 600C I posted a little while ago.

I really need to hang out with this guy for an afternoon.

Friday, September 18, 2020

1972 Renault R17 - Ex SCCA Car - Ready For LeMons?

Just because I post any R17...

This thing popped up on Facebook Marketplace.

A former SCCA racer, its best days are behind it. It now has no engine and more rust than metal.

I'm pretty certain no one is running an R17 in the 24 Hours of LeMons. Do some welding, drop a Fuego Turbo engine or a 2.2 in it and you're ready to go! ;-)

Yeah, I know. This is a basket case. But, boy, would I love to see this on a track again...

Located in Troutman, NC, click here to see the Facebook Marketplace ad.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

1999 Callaway HSE Range Rover - A Restoration Project

Usually a rough 1999 Range Rover is something I would advise everyone to stay away from. As Range Rover HSEs get older, mechanical things start failing at an alarming rate. Rust sets in. Parts are very expensive.

Range Rovers of this vintage in decent / good condition don't sell for much. There is no really good reason to restore a rough 1999 Range Rover.

But, there are exceptions to every rule and this Range Rover is one of those exceptions. This is a 1999 Range Rover Callaway.

In 1998 Range Rover commissioned Callaway Cars to do a limited run of Range Rover 4.6 HSEs.

Callaway ultimately created 220 of these vehicles, each one receiving a numbered plaque on the dash. (This Range Rover is # 73.)

Not turbocharged as many of Callaway's cars are, Callaway instead modified the engine by increasing the compression ratio from the stock 9:35:1 to 9:60:1, increasing airflow through the cylinder head, tweaking the ECU and much more. The result was that the Limited Edition Callaway Range Rover 4.6 HSE produced 240 bhp and 285 lb. ft. of torque, an increase of over ten per cent from the production 4.6 liter V-8. 0-60 times dropped from 9.7 seconds to 8.6 seconds. Very nice for such a big, heavy vehicle. You can find all the modifications Callaway did here.

This particular Callaway Range Rover needs work. The seller is calling it a "project or parts car." He says it is drivable and has has new head gaskets, a radiator and has had some brake work done. On the downside he states that it has electrical issues, rust, and a "converted suspension" (I don't know whether that means it has had the coil conversion done or he's saying that it should be done.)

This will most likely not be a cheap restoration. But, with only 220 made and Callaway doing the work, this may become valuable as time goes on. Even if it doesn't, it's still a cool, rare car that is worth saving. The asking price is $3000.00

Located in Minneapolis, MN, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

1990 Rouge Collection Jaguar XJS

This is a "Rouge Collection" XJS. Not a lot is written about the Rouge Collection cars and what info is available is often contradictory. What is fact is that all Rouge Collection cars came painted red, which makes sense. They all had a cream colored interior with red accents on the seats. They all had red paint-accented basketweave wheels. They all had Rouge Collection badges. Somewhere around 200 were built.

After those above facts things get a little vague. Many say that all were 1990 model year cars. Some say that all came with dark burled Walnut trim and matching dark - possibly brown - carpeting. Based on this car, all of that seems true. But, then there's this... A 1989 XJS Rouge Collection that sold on Bring A Trailer in 2019. Besides being a 1989, it has lighter wood trim and a light carpet.

The Rouge Collection was strictly an appearance package. All the mechanical bits, suspension, etc. are stock XJS. I think it looks great in red and I like the interior. I'm not so sure about the wheels.

Of course you can't talk about an XJS without talking about reliability. The truth is that while these are certainly not Toyota-like reliable, they are not the complete nightmare they are rumored to be. The V12 engine is very strong. But, it's a lot of engine stuffed into a relatively small area and keeping it cool was often a problem. Upgrade the cooling system - you can find kits online - and do a coolant flush and fill every couple of years and you should be fine. The transmission is a three-speed GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400. Not exactly a sporty transmission, but it's damn near bombproof. As with many older British cars, you can count on experiencing some electrical issues and should budget for that.

About this car... It appears to be in decent condition. It has 46,000 miles on it. The seller states that it "doesn't need much to be show quality. It is not perfect. It is beautiful and can be driven every day with period maintenance such as oil changes etc. It is turn key and drive home." But he also states "The Jaguar has 46,421 original miles on it. It has been in dry storage for years. It runs and drives great. Since 2008, The car has been driven only 116 miles." That's not a selling point to me, that's a red flag. Yes, keeping it tucked away for 12 years has kept the mileage down and prevented any additional wear and tear from happening, but cars need to be driven. The gaskets and rubber parts are quite possibly dried, cracked and in need of replacement. But, then again, if it was stored properly and maintained during storage, it may not need much. The bottom line is that this is a car that needs to be checked by an experienced Jaguar mechanic before purchasing.

The seller is asking $7950.00. That's a reasonable price for a low mileage XJS. The "Rouge Collection" parts add a little to the value of the car, but not much.

If this car checks out mechanically, this would be a cool car to own. Especially if you like the color red.

Located in Knoxville, TN, click here to see the Craigslist ad.