Saturday, June 2, 2012

Weekend Quickies, Saturday, June 2, 2012

1969 Austin America - I've always been fascinated by these cars. I even bought one once with the intention of restoring it. Unfortunately, that never happened.

On paper, the America was a brilliant little car. It was FWD, roomy, and had BMC's Hydrolastic suspension, which gave it a smooth, comfortable ride. It should have given VW - it was being sold as a competitor to the Beetle in the US - a run for its money back in the 1960s.

Sadly, we don't drive on paper. In the real world the America had more than its fair share of problems. Relatively few were sold here.

This America is a true survivor. The interior, most of the paint and the drivetrain are original. It had been sitting since 1985 and the seller replaced many of the parts that tend to fail from lack of use.

The only downside to this car is the transmission. It's an automatic. The transmissions in these cars (both automatic and manual) share their lubrication with the engine. The automatic is especially sensitive to dirt and tiny metal filings. Failure is quite common. As the seller mentions, it's extremely important to keep clean oil in these cars. Change the oil and filter every 2500 - 3000 miles.

Located in Louisville, KY, click here to see the eBay listing.

One of my favorite Austin America stories is this one. Anyone who has ever bought an old British car can relate to it.

1968 MGC GT - Another piece of interesting BMC history. Essentially, the MGC was created to replace the Austin Healey 3000.

MG encountered 2 big problems with this car. First, even though MG did a considerable amount of work to the basic MGB to create the MGC, it was still perceived as just an MGB with a bigger engine. Secondly, it was not really a sports car. The 3.0 liter 6 had little torque. It had a top speed of 120 MPH, but took over 10 seconds to get to 60. The 3.0 liter engine was also heavy which gave the car a tendency to understeer.

On the plus side, the MGC could cruise all day long at highway speeds and was extremely comfortable compared to the MGB.

In total, 4,457 MGC GTs were built. (MG also built 4,542 roadsters.) Roughly half wound up in North America.

This MGC GT needs some work. The interior is shot, but the body looks good. In one of those very common used car "I know what you mean, but the way you said it is amusing" lines, the seller states, "it was running when it was last used." (Kind of stating the obvious.)

Located in the "Concord / Pleasant Hill / Martinez" area of California, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

1973 Pontiac GTO - This was a one year only car. The GTO was an option package on the new for 1973 "A- Body" LeMans. In 1974 the GTO package became an option on the Pontiac Ventura, a Chevy Nova clone.

This car will remind no one of the great GTOs of the 1960s. However, compared to most cars of the mid-1970s, it has some power. The 400ci V8 put out 230 hp and got to 60 MPH in under 8 seconds.

This car has a 3 speed manual transmission. It has been completely restored. There are plenty of great cars you can buy for $13,000.00, but if you're a Pontiac buff and are looking for a fairly rare piece of Pontiac history, this car might be worth checking out.

Located in Elkin, NC, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

No comments: