Tom Flanders Stuff

Don't Hate Anyone

Austin Fixable on eBay

Austin fixableThe picture of this fixable Austin makes it look like a refugee from a Walton’s episode.

No word warms the cheapskate motorhead’s heart more than fixable. It means that all may not be right in the world be the potential for correction is there. More importantly the money collectors are almost always removed from the chase.

I love Austin 7s and its descendants but so do many other people. Thanks to the laws of supply and demand that means I will never be able to afford one in good or better condition.

My only hope is to find one that needs enough work that is scares people off but not too much work that it is beyond my mechanical ability. Of course right now I am garageless so this is mostly fantasy.

Fantasy aside, I don’t see anything on this car that can’t be fixed.

With three and a half days to go the current bid is $5,402. The just-lowered reserve is unmet but I don’t imagine that it’s too much higher. (Unless the seller is truly delusional.)

See the full listing: Austin Bantam Roadster

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: April 20, 2016

Vintage 1960s Dodge Drivers Education Car

drivers education carThere’s nostalgia, then there’s “Oh yes, I need a drivers education car!”

If I had a man cave, rec room or even a half-decent garage I too would need a drivers education car. It’s like a game console from an alternate universe. An educational carnival ride. A Kodak moment looking for a home.

Unfortunately I grew to driverhood when these beauties had long since been proven useless but before advances in technology fulfilled their potential. Gone are the projection screens and rivers of wires and relays which punished non-conformists teens by flashing red lights at them.

The modern equivalent is much more advanced but has zero personality. Take a look at the pictures in the full listing. This is a work of automotive art. I also found a nice page on Pinterest showing vintage driver ed photos.

See the full listing: Mecum Auctions

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: April 10, 2016

Evolutionary Dead End on eBay

evolutionary dead end carThe 613 is the evolutionary dead end of the rear-engined V-8 Tatras.

Tatra started building big rear-engined cars in 1934 with the 77. Just over twenty years later is reached it design zenith in the 603. Twenty years after that we arrive at this car, the 613, the evolutionary dead end.

The model number alone should be a give away. In the first twenty years it went from 77 to 603. An increase of 526. In the next twenty years it only incremented by 10.

The biggest problem is that while the 613 is better technologically better than the 603, it just doesn’t have the style or heart. That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to own this example, though I’m not sure it’s worth the $12,500 opening bid.

I should mention that the 613 wasn’t actually the last big Tatra, but was the last successful big Tatra. The 623 was the Czech version of our Indy Pace car. It served well but was eventually replaced by a Skoda Octavia.

Then there was the 700, which looked exactly like the 613 but was even bigger. It was introduced in 1996 and was a complete flop mostly due to the fall of the iron curtain.

If you want to see a unique image, take a look at the pictures in the listing. The view of what’s under the front hood is something you aren’t likely to see in any other car.

See Full Listing: Other Makes Sedan

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Tags: ,,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 27, 2016

Faux Renault R5 on eBay

faux renault r5 turboThe Faux Renault evokes the image of the Killer B’s, if not the speed.

The Killer B’s were the greatest of all rally cars and the Renault R5 Turbo was one of the greatest of the greats. This Faux Renault captures that era wonderfully.

The car is greatly detailed but unfortunately there is a back seat where the engine should be. Of course the standard Renault 5, or Le Car as it was called here, is quite a bit fun to drive as is. The biggish tires should make for spirited motoring.

According to the seller the car, “…walks very well..” Hopefully that’s an error in translation. My personal favorite thing about the car is the license plate in the front window which is identical to the one on the front bumper. There’s a story there.

The advantage to replicas is that most people will never know the difference and they cost 1/10th of a real one. With 4 days to go the current bid is $860, with the reserve unmet. I imagine that will go up considerably.

See the full listing: Renault R5 Turbo


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Tags: ,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 13, 2016

The lowliest Rambler

The Lowliest Rambler - the 220The 220, AKA the lowliest Rambler, is the Rambler that other Ramblers make fun of.

Even though it is the lowliest Rambler, we love it just the same. Really the only difference is trim level. The 440 and 880 had a few extra bits and baubles, but what really matters is the stylistic charm and legendary engine.

Ramblers have been on my mind since Mit Romney did his anti-Trump speech last week. If you’re an auto history trivia buff you will know that Mit’s dad was the man behind the Rambler’s success. I try to not let that interfere with my love of Ramblers.

This car in particular caught my eye because it’s perfect for a daydreamy story I’ve been working on about a man who heads across America but gets into trouble everywhere he goes only to be saved by some kind local. Kind of like the Route 66 tv show in reverse.

The old Rambler is perfect for this because it will probably break down alot but is easy to fix.

The opening bid of $1500 is higher than I would go, but there may be a Ramblerfile out there willing to go that high.

See the full listing: Rambler American

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 7, 2016


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