Tom Flanders World

Wonderfully Stupid Hot Rod

stupid hot rodMany hot rods for sale on eBay are just plain stupid. This however is a wonderfully stupid hot rod.

This stupid hot rod and the dirt road it sits on makes me imagine that it should star in a movie about a family of quirky rednecks living on the edge of lawlessness.

The star of that movie is Bo Drudges who is this person I invented. Sort of cross between Bo Derek and Beau Bridges. A generically attractive person of unspecified gender. (Yes, I will consider therapy.)

It’s hard to picture this vehicle anywhere but hurtling down country back roads. Seriously, could you cruise the city streets in this? Drive on a highway? Blasphemy! No, this needs to be driven constantly on the verge of disaster.

The fact that it’s a pickup makes it the perfect grocery getter for that family on your block with the Aerosmith flag covering the perpetually broken front window. As Mr. Titus says, “If you don’t have a neighbor like that, you are that neighbor.”

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The nicest car that I just barely can’t afford

The official name is the SSZ Mark 2 Stradale Competizione. I’m not surprised that I can’t afford it, but I’m much closer than expected.

a car I can't afford

It’s not often that I see a listing on eBay for a truly beautiful car that comes even close to my price range. With 5 days to go the high bid is only $4,494.

My will power is instantly stripped. For less than $5000 I could get a wonderful vintage Alfa-powered race car. I could justify that. May be my wife would fall in love with it too. She’s not a motorhead but appreciates things of beauty. It would be like an investment. (…and other such lies.)

Fortunately for my marriage and bank balance I expect the car will sell for much more that its current bid. Let’s hope.

One thing working against increased bids is the pictures used in the listing. The feature picture plus the one above are old pictures of the car in action back in its prime. This throws off potential buyers because they expect to see pictures of the car currently in pieces spread around a garage somewhere.

Happily, this car is not in pieces but it is in a dark garage and we get no engine or interior pictures. Of course the car has been sitting for years and the prospect of bringing an Alfa engine back from the dead is not for the faint of heart.

So, everybody, please bid on this car and put it well out of my price range. Else I’ll have to start researching garage rental in San Francisco.

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At what point is a race car no longer a car?

no longer a carThis formerly Harley-powered 3/4 midget is no longer a car.

Though it could be once again if it comes into possession of a person with unlimited mechanical ability and absolutely no understanding of the concept of fear of failure.

Currently it appears that nature is well on its way to victory over this assemblage of metal bits and pieces.

My special interest in this car is that I’m a huge Crosley fan and back in the day Harley and Crosley 750cc engines battled for supremacy in the 3/4 ranks. So much creativity and engineering went in to squeezing every last bit of speed out of these tiny-motored machines. Which is what makes me so sad to see one in this sad condition.

Unfortunately I don’t have the tools, the talent or the resources to save it. Also, it’s in Indiana so the transportation would cost more than the car would be worth after fixing it up.

With three days to go the current bid is $275 with no reserve so hopefully it will be going to a good home.

I should mention that 3/4 midget continues to this day, often on indoor tracks which creates a wonderful overload of sites, sounds and speed.

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Retro retro Beetle on eBay

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=281920282544&alt=web

retro retro beetleThis retro retro Beetle is an old car made to look like an older car.

VW’s have been made to look like lots of different cars but outside dune buggies this style is my favorite.

The main reason is that it looks so right. The hood, the lights, the sun visor, all look like they belong on the car. There is no disproportion like when the Rolls Royce grill is pasted onto the front of a beetle.

The only problem I have with this example are those rear-view mirrors on the nose. Did any car ever have mirrors that far forward?

From a practical angle, that bulgey hood should allow for quite a bit more luggage space. And if you don’t like the idea of your fancy luggage sitting on top of the gas tank, that roof luggage rack looks like it could handle a trunk or two.

One odd reaction I have to this car is that it looks so right sitting in the snow. Like it doesn’t belong to a sunny day.

I also keep picturing it being driven by a young Julie London with a period-correct David Niven in the passenger seat. (But that’s my problem.)

 

Wonderful Fauxgatti on eBay

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=161954684196&alt=web

fauxgattiThe Fauxgatti holds a unique place in the automotive universe.

While so many VW-based kit cars are sad water-down duplicates of the cars of the gods, most achieve their looks by piling on fiberglass abutments.

The Fauxgatti however stays true to it’s ghost parent by remaining stripped to the core. There are no accommodations to luxury let alone comfort. It’s sort of the VW kit car version of the Lotus 7.

So while it doesn’t have the performance of the original, it does maintain the spirit, without having to orally satisfy Donald Trump to afford it. And for most people, particularly those who have never driven a real Bugatti, the performance and/or funness of driving this car will leave nothing to want for.

With just under four days to go the current bid is $3500 with the reserve unmet. Value is an elusive target with this kind of vehicle. Is the seller trying to recover what they spent or what they wish it was worth?

The great thing about auctions is that the group decides what it’s worth. If that doesn’t match the seller’s belief, no sale, life goes on.

 

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