Classic Car Watch
Odd Ball Classics
|NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.|
September 1, 2013
By Scott Lewis
I came across some of these car and just had to find a way to put them together. Nothing from below is a car I would go out searching for. I came upon them all by change.
This is a collection of odd ball cars. Well, at least they are odd balls to me. There is anything wrong with any of them, just that none of them are what you would call mainstream classics. Everything here is odd in that regard.
1981 Buick LeSabre Coupe - $8500
Description: 1981 Buick LeSabre Limited with less than 14,000 original miles. Traditional American luxury at its finest, to be sure. You don't often see 2-door LeSabre coupes, usually 4-door sedans. The body lines on the coupe, while similar, are different enough to give the car an entirely unique look. The proportions of the hood and deck are slightly different, giving the car a long, low appearance that belies its luxury car mission. Sporting a non-OEM coat of metallic navy blue paint, this car looks spectacular in the sunlight, and the dark color really emphasizes the formal nature of the car. The Panel gaps are good, and I can't see any evidence that this car has ever had any significant body surgery anywhere. Under the hood you'll find Buick's own 4.1 liter (252 cubic inch) V6 engine, the 3.8's bigger brother which was designed to power the big luxury cars for buyers who didn't feel like feeding a thirsty V8. No, it's not show, but it is very authentic and original, and again, the overall condition proves that this car has led an easy life. The pillow-topped bench seat is all-day comfortable, with plenty of stretch-out room fore and aft. The material is in excellent condition with no major wear, and retains its deep, rich coloring (which proves that this car was stored indoors and away from the sun).
Comments: This car is about as far out in left field as I have ever gone. Really! An early eighties big, slow Buick. Come on , it has velour interior.
The source for this car is Craigslist, but I came across it with a link from The Truth About Cars. TTAC had this to say, "Full-sized coupes disappeared a long time ago. I’m sure many TTAC readers don’t remember ever seeing one in a new-car showroom. Conventional wisdom says the market for them is long gone. And yet… people still buy ‘em. The appeal of rolling in a monstrous automobile with limited access to the rear seats still sells. It just doesn’t sell to the little people out there."
When I read that I got it... and I do get it. If I had the money I would think carefully about buying this car. Seriously! The only concern I have is that for a car with only 14K miles, it has been repainted with a "non-OEM coat of metallic navy blue paint." If you are going to buy a well preserved, low mileage car... you really want it to have the factory paint. After all... a car can only be original once.
1972 Imperial LeBaron - $8,900
Description: This 1972 triple-black Imperial LeBaron is a clean
Northern California example with rare, 4-wheel Bendix ABS (anti-lock
braking system), an industry first by Chrysler and a rarely ordered
option due to cost. Only 2 other cars known to exist with this system
according to specialists at www.imperialclub.com (see the coffee-can
sized ABS unit in the passenger-side front of the engine compartment
photos). Powered by a strong and original V8 440 engine, this car has no
rust and is wearing most of its original factory paint. It drives like
new and has had been meticulously maintained by its previous owners. The
seller says that “it comfortably holds five people from Iowa, or eight
people from Europe.” Price was reduced form $11,500.
Source: Bring A Trailer
Comments: I love this. I imagine Jay Leno with a car like this... with a super rare ABS option. I could see him spending more money than this car is worth to restore it and get that ABS working properly. Unfortunately I do not have Jay Leno's deep pockets. I would still love this car. At the current price it seems worth it. However, it could cost a small fortune to get that ABS working again. How would you even be able to price a repair on an option so rarely sold. You may never be able to get a part that is necessary to make it work. For that reason I might have to pass on getting it working. But that could be a dream later in life. I like the amount of originality in this car, and could see driving it to Saturday morning cruise ins, or taking it on Hot Rod Power Tour.
1966 Chrysler New Yorker - Buy It Now = $16,500
Description: 1 "lady owner" for some 45 years!! Immaculate and super
original. This is an amazingly brilliant condition Chrysler New Yorker
which is 99% original in all aspects. Finished in a light Sage green
metallic ("Haze Green") with dark green fabric interior, it is the
quintessential definition of a "time-warp" find. With the interior
literally like new and the outside sporting mostly original paint, it is
like we are looking at this well kept 1966 New Yorker and the year is
Source: eBay Motors
Comments: I don't remember if the mileage was listed for this car. But the price seemed reasonable for the condition, so I thought I would show you. Also... this is very similar to the Imperial of the day that the Green Hornet's Black Beauty was based on. In fact, I have been watching old episodes of The Green Hornet from the 60s, and Chrysler clearly provided a lot of the cars used in that show. This car looks like it easily could be Britt Read's daily driver... when he is not driving a convertible. It would be better if this car had air conditioning.
1974 Chevrolet Vega GT Hatchback - $7,995
Description: 72,000 Actual Miles On This Immaculate Unrestored Survivor. Original Bright Orange Exterior Finish With Black GT Stripes And Accents. Original Bucket Seat Interior With Fold Down Back Seat. In-Dash Tachometer And Rally Gauge Package. Uncut Woodgrain Dash With Original Am Radio. Stock 140 cu in 4 Cylinder Engine With A Floor Shifted Three Speed Automatic Transmission. Power Steering And Manual Front Disc/Rear Drum Brake System. Whitewall Radials On The Factory Rally Wheels. Extremely Well Maintained Original Condition Throughout. Runs And Drives Like New.
Source: Memory Lanes Motors
Comments: Why do I like this car. For one... I love old cars with low mileage. 79K original miles on a car that is almost 40 years old is impressive. What's more impressive... is that a Vega made it to 79K miles at all. That is a lot of miles for a Vega to survive without the motor falling to pieces and dropping out from under the car.
At less than 10K for an original... I would be tempted to do a modern day V-8 swap on this car. Think about it. Back in the mid-70's to mid-80s V-8 Vegas were one of the most popular engine swaps. But today? What if we took the smallest LS engine from GM that was all aluminum. It would be light, and not super powerful. We want to put that engine in this car and make it look like a factory install. Super clean and nearly stock. Just 300 or so horsepower is more than enough to make this car plenty fast. Then just add enough suspension and brake bolt-ons to make this car is fun to drive.
I like it.
1977 Chevrolet Nova - eBay Buy It Now - $14,975
Description: This is a great little "sleeper" Nova in base trim. It
has 454 power, a 4-speed transmission, power steering, bench seat and
five "period correct" dog dish hub caps. The dual "police" exhaust is
fairly quiet so the monster lurking under the hood remains a secret. It
has a Hurst "short throw" shifter, 11" clutch and Corvette intake
manifold. Bigger radials on rear. Runs and drives great. Paint,
interior, glass, headliner and dash are excellent.
Source: eBay Motors
Comments: Now this is an odd-ball in a list of odd-balls. A big block swap into a mid-70's Nova. I wish I had the money when I saw this car, I would have bought it. I love it. And I am not a fan of this era of Nova. Hot Rod magazine did a build up of a similar car and called it the Disco Nova. I like this better. I love the big block and 4 speed. It is a genuine sleeper. And it is done so well that it gets me to forget that I am not a fan of the car.
1965 Chrysler 300 - $16,250
Description: Matching numbers 413ci 4bbl engine with only 69,500
actual miles. Nice! This car is a rare find and draws immediate
attention with its rare Royal Turquoise exterior and beautiful white
interior. Factory center console, factory AC blows COLD, power windows,
power bucket seats, power steering & power brakes. All work beautifully.
This 1965 Chrysler 300 has been in California since new and is 100% rust
free (body, chassis and frame). It runs extremely well, drives straight
and stops perfectly. Dual exhaust has a real nice throaty sound.
Original California Black Plates prove it's California heritage and come
with the car. The acceleration is second to none. The condition of the
transmission is A+. Everything on the car is as it was in 1965. This 300
would be hard to duplicate at this price and is absolutely gorgeous
inside and out. Chrome and trim are in excellent unrestored condition.
The interior is gorgeous. The seats have no tears or crack and are in
near perfect condition. All of the interior chrome, console and accents
are A+. The original radio does not work. Overall this Chrysler runs,
looks and drives like a new car.
Source: Fiore Motor Classics
Comments: Another car for Britt Reed. This car goes along with the New Yorker above. A low mileage, unrestored survivor. I love it. It's just different enough to be perfect in this company. And it has air conditioning. I would love to try and take this car on the Hot Rod Pour Tour.
1964 Chrysler Newport - $10,950
Description: Stunning recent ivory finish, only 98k
actual miles, stock V8, rare push button drive and works well. Power
steering, power brakes, newer working power top, very attractive new
correct white and black interior, excellent period correct tires, very
solid top to bottom body. Great chrome, very interesting dash and
rectangular stock steering wheel, detailed motor, motor bay, and trunk.
Runs, performs, and looks elegant. Very low production and few survived.
Source: Midwest Wholesale Auto & Classics
Comments: Nothing about this car stick out. It is not popular, and I can't remember ever seeing one like it before. But, it is a clean old convertible. And the price is nice.