Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weekend Quickies

Great Car Stories - Just A Car Geek Reader, Alden, posted this in the comments section of Wednesday's post about the Ford Cortina. The imagery is great, so I thought I'd post it for all to see... Thanks, Alden!

Mine had the automatic transmission that had very worn detents for Park, so if you left it idling in Park (like the night I was helping someone jumpstart their car) the tranny would slowly slip into reverse and the car would trundle away gathering both speed and spectators. First the jumper cables went taut, then the clamps on the battery posts went *poink*.....*poink* and then the cable clamps began to drag along the ground as though the car was trolling for potholes. The car moved briskly away with the hood up and drivers' door still open. Next was the 100 Meter Freestyle Automobile Chase to try to get far enough behind the retreating car to get around the swinging door and stomp on the brakes. Afterwards, right next to the jumper cables in the trunk was a hefty homemade pair of wheelchocks as part of my Good Samaritan Kit.

Most of us have some sort of weird, interesting, amusing, pathetic, sad, great, etc., car story. If you'd like to see yours on Just A Car Geek, e-mail it to me at (replace "AT" with @ - I'm a little over-cautious these days after my computer got the virus from hell a couple of weeks ago.)

1968 BMW / Glas 3000 GT - Whoa! This is a serious restoration project. Given the number of missing parts, I'm not sure it's feasible.

As the seller states, this is a rare car. I was lucky enough to see one at the Lime Rock Park Vintage Fall Festival in 2006. I had never seen one before. I mention that because this is one of those cars that doesn't photograph well. The proportions seem wrong. However, in person it's a gorgeous car.

The listing includes a pretty good history of the 3000 GT. Click here to see it.

I'd love to see this car restored. Hopefully someone has the time, talent, money and parts it takes to do that.

1963 Renault Caravelle - I've said this so many times... The French just never understood the US market. From the 50s through the 80s, we bought just about any European roadster that was sent to us. Reliability and price didn't concern us. If it was a 2 seater, looked sporty, handled well and was relatively quick, we bought 'em.

With the original Caravelle (called the Floride outside of the US), Renault met the first 3 requirements, but early ones had a 35HP, 845cc, engine and it was excruciatingly slow. By the time this car was built in 1963 the engine had been enlarged to 948cc, making this car only painfully slow. (0-60 came in around 19 seconds)

The styling was done by Ghia. It is rumored that the front end was used as inspiration by BMC when designing the MGB. There certainly is some similarity.

Rust, mechanical failures and lack of interest doomed most Caravelles to junkyards in the US. Very few remain on the road. This one seems to be a nicely restored example. More of a curiosity than a practical daily driver, click here to see the ebay listing for this car.

There is a really well done website dedicated to these cars. You can find it here.

1976 Audi 100 LS
- When was the last time you saw one of these? These were not great Audis. They had some real reliability issues. Overheating, electrical issues, brake problems, fuel delivery problems and much more afflicted these cars when they were new. The ones that weren't disposed of early were usually destroyed by rust. (I vaguely remember friends of my parents buying one of these new. I also vaguely remember them complaining about it a lot.)

But, they got somewhat better as time went on and this one, being a 1976 (the last year for the 100LS), is the best of the bunch.

This may be the rarest of the VW / Audis. Sure, there were many more built than say, the UR-Quattro, but not many remain. A 4 cylinder, trouble plagued sedan didn't seem like something worth keeping around.

Like so many other cars I've written about, owners and the aftermarket have figured out how to cure many of its ills, and the 100LS is a better used car than it was a new car. The listing for this one has few details, but the car appears to be sound, with just a small amount of rust.

The 100LS is not the most exciting old German sedan you can buy, but its a piece of history. Click here to see the eBay listing for this car.


Max Power said...

I think that the 1976 Audi 100LS was the next to last year for the car in the US...I remember my first Edmunds US Price Guide (ahh those pre-internet days) was a 1977 issue and it had this car. I am also pretty sure that the 5000 followed it in 1978

Just A Car Geek said...

Hey Max -

You are correct. My mistake.

Thanks for the input!