Random Thoughts

Sometimes the muse is an old man with a shotgun counting to three.

It’s taken me more than half a century but I can finally own up to the fact that someday I WILL OWN A STUDEBAKER!

You solved the invention. Here is a gold star.

Sell me your blank pages and I’ll tell you where she’s hiding.

I try to write in black and white.

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The essence of competition

24 Hours of LeMons Renault vs. Humber hand-crank …: http://youtu.be/-VYieR_3AJ8

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Mecum Auction, Harrisburgh, Jul 24 – What I’m Watching

The odd thing is all the cars that catch my eye go up on Thursday. Wonder why?

t57 – 1963 Ford Econoline Pickup
170 CI, 3-Speed
Custom beer keg fuel tank
Twice I almost bought one of these. Both times I backed out because I judged it to be a mostly usesless vehicle. Less rugged than a real pickup truck and less practical than a van. Judging from how few of them were built and sold I’m guessing that I hold a popular opinion. The good thing about useless vehicles is that as time passes they often become rare and cool.
My estimate is about $15,000

t92 – 1976 AMC Pacer 
258 CI, Factory Air
The AMC Pacer was designed and built to be one thing, then was marketed as something that it wasn’t. The end result is one of the most maligned cars ever built. The 258 is one of my favorite engines, powering three of my previous vehicles, but strap on the mid 70′s emissions crap and and air conditioner and your left with no power and worse gas mileage.
On the other hand, it has cool wheels.
Pacers have been doing well at auctions lately and this seems like a nice one.
Estimate: $12,000

t180 – 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible 
Another car suffering from unrealistic expectations. Yes, it’s a British roadster with what was originally an American V-8, but no, this ain’t no Cobra. The wedgie style of the TR-7 was too different from it’s ancestors. It just didn’t have the aura of the traditional sports car. This would have been forgiven if the car was exceptional, but it wasn’t. In an attempt
to boost sales British Leyland stuffed in some of the 3.5 lite V-8′s that had laying around. This engine started life as an early 60′s Buick but was too small for the muscle car era so it got farmed out to England. The end result was a pretty decent car, but again, not amazing enough to spark much interest.
With the low mileage this may go for as much as $15,000

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100 Words – Weeping

Where were they? I needed them and they weren’t there. Or I needed them but I wasn’t there. Why do they weep? I see them now in the mirror of nostalgia and see that I missed them and they me but such is life and we all must move on. Should I weep for them? Is that what the past is? Tears for the ones we should have known? Are they sad because they see me now and wish they knew me then? I wasn’t this me then. I was a previous, inferior me. I had nothing to offer them.

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Russian Redneck Racing

Russian Flying Tractor Racing 2014 – Offroad Race…: http://youtu.be/cE5WDl_YNbU
Americans aren’t the only ones with dumb motorsports

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The purest form of motor sport

24 Hours of LeMons Renault vs. Humber hand-crank …: http://youtu.be/-VYieR_3AJ8

If only I still had the Hillman

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Random Thougts – Early June Edition

Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down, unless they’re near a cliff.

Weekend kid quote #1: Don’t be such a sprout! (sister yelling at brother)

Weekend kid quote #2: Alvin, where are your clothes? (mom to naked boy on a strider bike)

For breakfast I had an awful felafel waffle.

I saw the moose covet his neighbor’s cow.

Creepy dolls in wooden boxes have taught me nothing. You?

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Mecum Seattle June 13 – 14, What I’m Watching (updated results)

Mecum brings its muscle car menagerie to the Pacific Northwest full of the usual suspects
but with a couple oddballs that caught my eye.

Lot F153
1961 Mercury Comet Wagon (No Reserve)
Exterior paint is awesome and has matching mostly original vintage interior (I love the phrase, “mostly original.”)
My grandfather bought a Mercury Comet two-door sedan in 1961 and had it until he died over 20 years later. Straight 6 with a three-on-the-tree, what more could you want. His was grey but had the same red interior.
My estimate: 5-7K
Result: $6000 (Nailed it!)

1980 Plymouth Arrow Pickup
Has all the options I can think of. Old pickups have jumped in value, mostly American but older Toyotas have started to creep up in price. I don’t know know if it’s time yet for little old Mitsubishis to jump on the bandwagon. However, if any are it would be this example.
My Estimate: 4K-6K
Result: Reserve not met at $14,000 (Did not nail this one.)

Lot F255.1

2007 Maserati Quattroporte
This is a tough one because the car is just so cool, and by technical definition is a muscle car, but it just doesn’t seem to fit with its auction surroundings. That could be a good thing. It sticks out. On eBay these go for 30K or so. I’m not sure which way it will go, but I think if the bidding goes past 25K it won’t stop till about 35K.
Result: $37,500 (I was just a bit short on this one.)

Lot S67

1986 Zimmer Golden Spirit
There are cars I like. There are cars I don’t like. Then there are ones like the Zimmer. I become physically ill and weep for the future of humanity when I am forced to realize that there are people with so little taste or self-esteem that they purchase these monstrosities. I don’t even mind that it’s just a mid 80′s Ford piece of crap with shiny bits bolted on. The problem is what was charged and paid for the shiny pieces of crap. I have no idea what this will sell for but I will have a vomit bag and suicide hotline number standing by just in case.
Result: Reserve not met at $29,000 (I weep for humanity.)

Lot S86

1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster
Here in America we think of Triumph as a lower-end sports car maker. Models like the Spitfire and TR7 were capable and fun little cars, but not all that special. However, right after WWII, the Triumph Roadsters were designed to take a bite out of Jaguars market share. It was a good car but couldn’t compete with Jaguar’s design and engineering steamroller. Overshadowing aside, the 2000 is a wonderful little car that couldn’t be bettered for a relaxing ride in the country. Based on recent sales and how nice this red beauty looks, I’m guestimating that it will go for about 40K.
Result: Reserve not met at $42,000 (I guess I think more like a bidder than a seller.)

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Bohnam’s Auction, Greenwich CT, June 1 – What I’m watching (updated)

I’ve not previewed a Bohnam’s auction before becuase they usually have nothing priced under the nosebleed range. I stumbled upon the catalog for Greenwich while researching a car at another auction and found a surprisingly wide range of price estimates, though even the lowest are still above my interest range. With a few exceptions.

pedal car
A Citroën DS 19 Cabriolet pedal car,
circa 1960s, a charming French Citroën pedal car in the style of the Chapron-bodied “Decapotable”. Pressed steel body, bright work and steering wheel intact.
Estimate: $500 – 700

Most pedal cars made to look like real cars end up looking like caracatures. This little beauty however captures the look and spirit of the Citroen DS. Pedal cars aren’t worth nearly as much today as in the pre-eBay era, which removed forever the myth of rarity.
My initial guess on price was $1000, but since I’m in love with it I’m probably over-estimating. So with that in mind, I guess the $700 is closer to reality.

Results: $600 (I just loved it too much.)

c.1970 LeGrand Mk10 Single Seat Formula Ford Racer
This Mk10 is fresh from long term storage. Fitted with the later steel wheels and suspension uprights, this former Scuderia Aeronaut LeGrand includes its original red and
white striped body work. The cockpit includes its original steering wheel and gauge cluster
along with a fitted, padded seat. Offered without a drivetrain, it could is designed to
accept a 1,600cc Formula Ford motor. A fun and inexpensive way to get into motorsports, this Mk10 is an excellent basis for a weekend racer.
Estimate: $8,000 – 10,000 Without reserve

I have no idea how this car made it into this auction. A formula Ford roller hardly seems fitting company for Jags and Alfas. The chassis isn’t all that rare or unusual. That aside, as the listing states, this could be an inexpensive entry into vintage racing. Formula Ford drivetrains are pretty easy to come by, and the maintenance is pretty low as long as the engine isn’t overtuned.

The current price for old FFs on eBay is 7,000 – 12,000 depending on how close to racability it is. With that in mind I wouldn’t expect this car to go for more than 5,000.

Result: $7000 (I guess I didn’t love it enough.)

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Random thoughts

“Slow down and be weird.” – Alfred St. Gerome

It’s amazing how many words rhyme with toast. It makes breakfast-related poetry much easier to compose.

The funny thing about classic car auctions is that all the bidders look exactly alike. The sad thing is that they all look exactly like me.

“Dare to Fail.” – A venture capitalist; “Dare to flail.” – An adventurous two-year old

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