Sunday, October 21, 2018

1985 BMW 325e Mercedes Diesel Pickup - What The...?

I'm not sure if this is an abomination or a really brilliant piece of backyard engineering. Maybe it'a a bit of both.

I'm not going to write about this car. I'm just going to copy and paste the complete ad. It says everything we need to know. (Unless you want to know why he did this. That's not really explained...)


This vehicle started it's life as a 1985 BMW 325e with a funny idle and weird smells. I drove it for about 5 months before the fuel pressure regulator caused a fire and burned most of the motor and the center portion of the original hood. I was able to save it, and decided to turn it into a few different things since then.

It went to a Ford 302 mated to a Borg Warner T5 from a 1985 Mustang. I drove it for about a year and sold the engine but kept the T5. Around then I cut the rear portion of the roof off and installed an ex-chump-car cage from a fellow e30. I proceeded to fab up a bed, bedrails bulkhead/cab and tailgate and fuel system holder in the following year, including removing the front of the car.

I found someone online making Mercedes OM617 to T5 adapter kits for Broncos so I ordered one.. and the rest is just history. Here are some things including a lot more that I can't even think of:

Paint: Eastwood Battleship Grey
1985 Mercedes 300TD 5 cylinder turbo diesel (and now intercooled) with boost turned up
Monark injectors, new seals, valve adjustment and ALDA + rack limiter mod/delete
Custom intake manifold to enable intercooling.
Clocked the K26 Turbo to adjust boost through the inside fender (cool)
New fuel lines to RCI baffled cell
New brake lines and rebuilt calipers + newer brake system.
Arrow Racing Steelies (7 wide?) 0 offset
Custom engine mounts and poly filled motor mounts.
Custom front bumper for the intercooler and signals/lights.
Custom radiator mount to a 318is radiator? I forgot. 12" electric fan
Custom made AN adapted hydraulic power steering lines to an adapted BMW e46 Club sport rack (purple tag)
Custom transmission crossmember (needs fixing)
Custom driveshaft to poly bushing and reinforced rear subframe.
3.73 LSD rebuilt Julyish 2015
Wilwood Pedal Box adapted with Garagistic mount. Tilton resevoir under dash (manual brakes)
Sparco Pro2000 and Sparco Corsa seats with sparco harnesses.
Silly wooden radio box and some etc.

I'll answer any questions. Street passable, currently registered and insured. Sale comes with registration and bill of sale. It's not a daily driver, I want to make that Super Clear. The radio works, it makes amazing noises but it has a resonating vibration around 40-60 MPH after a few launches. My suspicion thinks it's the transmission cross-member needs new eyes.

It has potential, but it just doesn't make sense for me to keep anymore. I had an insane amount of fun with this vehicle, and I'm glad I got to enjoy it with friends and family. I'd rather let someone either finish it, part it out, blow it up, trade it, whatever. Bring it somewhere and tell them it's a rare prototype. It has a lot of money in parts if you drift an e30, and a somewhat OK shell if you want to LS swap a pickup BMW.

I'll trade you for a super boring yet reasonable daily driver if you have one, or anything around the same range.


If you don't have anything to trade, the seller is asking $3500.00. That seems pretty reasonable given the amount of work that must have went into this thing.

Located in Cromwell, CT, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Friday, October 19, 2018

1980 BMW 323i With Alpina Upgrades - The M Sport Package Of Its Day

The Alpina E21 to have is the B6 with its 2.8 M30 engine. However, just over 500 were built and when they go up for sale these days they aren't cheap. One recently sold on Bring A Trailer for $80,000.00.

This is a BMW E21 323, with a lot of the Alpina goodies added. While it doesn't have the killer 2.8 liter engine the B6 has, it has a lot going for it.

The E21 BMW 3 Series was introduced to the world in 1975. We didn't get it here until 1977. It was only available only with a 4 cylinder engine (initially a 2.0 and later a 1.8) in North America.

This is a top of the line, Euro-spec 323i. The 323 came with a fuel injected 2.3 liter 6. The U.S. 320i engine made 123 hp and 129 lb⋅ft of torque. The 323 made 141 hp and 140 lb⋅ft of torque.

You could look at the Alpina C1 upgrade kit - which is what this car has - as being the M Sport Package of its day. (The BMW M Sport Package doesn't give the engine performance upgrades you would get in an M car, but it gives a lot of the other fun pieces.) This car has Alpina Turbine wheels, Aplina / Recaro seats, Alpina gauges, an Alpina / Momo steering wheel, a wood Alpina shifter knob, an Alpina differential cover and Bilstein shocks. It has a really good look to it.

This car looks to be in great condition. The seller has owned it for 8 years and kept up on the maintenance. The seller says the previous owner had the car "restored," which included "a high quality paint job, professional wheel refinishing and a top-end engine rebuild."

For many years the E21 was given little respect. It was looked at as a bridge between the legendary 2002 and the later E30. That's slowly starting to change, but they are still under-priced. This car, despite it's excellent condition and having the 6 cylinder engine and the Alpina kit, is selling for a reasonable $11,000 (or best offer).

Located in New Hampshire, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

1973 Austin Marina

I've written about these in the past. I've taken some of the text from a 2009 post.

That's an actual ad for an Austin Marina. If you enlarge the graphic (click on it), you'll see that the first line says, "Because it is comprised of proven components like those in the best of British Leyland, the Marina is one of the most experienced new economy cars on the market today." In other words, this was a parts bin special.

Right up front I'll say that I'm well aware of the horrible reputations these cars have. That hasn't stopped me liking them and wanting one...

The Marina was called the Morris Marina in most of the world. BL, knowing the the Morris nameplate had no value in the US, badged it the Austin Marina in North America.

BL introduced the Marina to the U.S. in 1973. They pulled it from the market in 1975. They sold around 23,000. That's not a great number when you consider that this was during the fuel crisis and we were ditching our land yachts for anything we could find that got decent gas mileage.

There are some good points to the Marina. It was relatively comfortable and smooth riding for a small car. The engine is basically the same engine found in an MGB. While it's no rocket, it's a durable engine that takes well to a certain amount of modifications. A Weber carb and a mild cam will make a world of difference.The body design has aged well.

All 2 door Marinas sold in North America were given the GT badge. GT meant that it had a tach, some fake wood-grain and a body stripe.

This car looks to be in very nice condition. The body looks excellent and it has a set of American Racing Libra wheels, which look spectacular. Unfortunately, the seller didn't post a alot of pictures and none of the interior or the engine bay.

Like many of the cars I have written about, most of its initial problems have been solved by the owners. A Marina now is as reliable as any 45 year old car. Parts are fairly easy to come by and very cheap.

Go to any British car show and you will see dozens of MGs, Triumphs, Jags, etc. if you brought this, it would most likely be the only one. That alone makes it cool.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

1986 Hyundai Pony "Magnifique Hyundai Pony"

There's a pretty good chance that you will never see one of these on the road. Certainly, you will never see one as nice as this one.

The Pony was the first car Hyundai sold in North America. In this case, North America meant Canada. Unable to pass the U.S. emissions standards, it was never sold here.

Hyundai starting building cars in 1967. They were building a Ford Cortina under license. In the early seventies they wanted something of their own. They hired George Turnbull, former managing director at British Leyland to create it. He in turn brought along some of British Leyland's top engineers. The chassis is loosely based on the Morris Marina. Some of the suspension parts came from the Cortina they were already building. The engine was from Mitsubishi. The body was designed by Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. It was introduced to the Korean market in 1975.

In 1982 the Pony got a bit of a facelift, making it look slightly more modern. Hyundai started exporting the car to Canada in 1984. It was a huge success. Hyundai expected to sell 5,000 cars in Canada in 1984. They wound up selling over 25,000.

The Canadians weren't buying this car for its technology or performance, however. They bought it for its price. At $5,795 (Canadian), it was considerably less expensive than the Japanese imports and only slightly more than a Lada.

But, as in most cases, you get what you pay for. The Pony was slow, crude, not very well screwed together and rusted horribly.

That's what makes this car so interesting... It's in remarkable condition.

This Pony is being offered by a dealer in Brossard, Quebec, Canada. They don't give us a lot of information about it. It has just 22,028 Km (13,687 miles) on it. It looks like what I assume a new Pony looked like. (The seller calls it a "Magnifique Hyundai Pony," which sounds so much better than any way we could describe it in English.)

Ah, but the price... The dealer is asking $14,995 (Canadian). That's about $11,500.00 US. No matter what currency you're using, that's a lot of money for this car.

So why would anyone buy this car? History, that's all. Hyundai followed up the Pony with the marginally better FWD Excel, which was the first Hyundai sold in the U.S.. Now, of course, they are a huge player in the North American market. They offer everything from cheap entry level cars to expensive luxury sedans. Whether any of this would have happened had the Pony been a flop is questionable.

This is not something I desire to own. But, if you are a Hyundai collector / aficionado - with a lot of cash - this may be for you.

Click here to see the dealer's ad.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

1977 Jaguar XJ6 C - Just A Beautiful Car

Sometimes I just post a car because it's beautiful. This is one of those times.

I've written about the XJ6 C in the past. You can find one of those posts here.

This car has an interesting "Quarterbreed transmission conversion." I had no idea what that was, so I did some research. Essentially, it's a kit that allows you to replace the antiquated Borg Warner transmission that came in this car with a more reliable, better shifting, GM Turbo-Hydra-Matic transmission. I know there will be some arguments about this. Some people will say you should swap over a manual transmission. That's a valid argument. But, I would argue that A) This car came with an automatic, and B) This isn't a sports car. It's a beautiful cruiser. It doesn't need a manual.

Other folks might say that you should rip out the engine and transmission and drop in a Chevy drivetrain. To that, my argument would be... No. Don't. Never. Ever. If you want something with a Chevy engine in it, buy a Chevy. The Jaguar engine is a gem. Yes, it needs more maintenance than a U.S. V8, but it's worth it.

This car has also had its engine rebuilt. There really appears to be nothing wrong with it. The seller says it is a Jaguar Club of North America National Champion.

The price, $16,000.00, is very reasonable for it's condition.

I don't know what else to write about this car. There is nothing to pick on. I'm just going to shut up and look at the pictures. Damn. This is gorgeous.

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