Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Quickies, November 10, 2013

1954 Kaiser Manhattan - While I'm not a 1950s American car aficionado, there is something about the Kaiser Manhattan that fascinates me. It's not the way it rides or drives - I've never ridden in one, let alone driven one - it's the styling.

Howard "Dutch" Darrin designed this car. The chrome dip below the rear side window was known as the "Darrin Dip". The roof above the windshield had a similar dip. The taillights go up the top of the fender. It's insane and intriguing styling. Somehow, in a 1950s US car way, it all works. It works well.

While not very technically advanced, these cars did come with a supercharger, which help the ancient L-Head 6 produce around 120 HP.

This car runs. It is said to be in good condition, but needing "TLC."

Located in Pittsburgh, PA, click here to see the eBay listing.

1994 Alfa Romeo 164 - I've wanted to post one of these for the past couple of weeks, after taking an impressive ride in one. It was a 5 speed with a slightly tweaked 24 valve engine. Even though I spent the entire ride in the passenger seat, it took several hours for the smile to leave my face. There is nothing quite like the Alfa V6.

This one is an automatic. In the US, Alfa sold a lot of 164s with automatic transmissions. Yes, it takes a lot of the fun out of driving the car, but an Alfa V6 mated to an automatic is still more fun than many cars with a standard transmission and a lesser engine.

By Alfa standards, the 164 was reliable. A common - very common - problem was the climate control stepper motor. While not an extremely expensive part (although these days, no Alfa part is cheap), replacing it can labor intensive. Ask the seller if the stepper motor on this 164 has been replaced. Negotiate a lower price if it hasn't.

With the proper maintenance and some common sense, the 164 can be a great everyday Alfa.

Located in Palm Springs, CA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

A big thanks to JaCG reader, Chris, for sending me the link to this car.

1974 VW Westafalia Camper Bus - I have no desire to ever drive this. VW vans in general are not fun to drive, and this one screams, "Pull me over and search me."

However, if you owned a store that sells, let's say, vintage vinyl records, this would look cool as hell parked out front. :-)

The "Buy It Now" price is $29,500.00. I'm not sure what kind of drug you'd need to be doing to fork over that kind of cash for a VW van. Art has its price, I guess.

Located in Shokan, NY, click here to see the eBay listing, dude.


steve in podunk said...

That supercharger wasn't standard on the Kaiser but an extra cost option and a fairly rare one at that. And yet, this car seems almost cheap for how special it is; Not a big following for Kaisers.

Larry said...

I'm pretty sure I saw this van at a nearby VW show recently. It was hand painted, had a lot of "character" and was drawing a lot of curiosity interest. However, good luck to the seller on finding a buyer who has thirty grand worth of appreciation for this one (assuming such a buyer exists).

By the way, the 164 is very appealing - except for the automatic, of course. The appearance might be conservative (albeit attractively conservative), but the engine is extraordinary. The later 164LS models - like this one - benefited from the same 3-litre 24V V6 as the 164Q, but without the tacked-on body kit (not one of Alfa's better looking body kits, in my opinion).