Posts from ‘craigslist’
So, I have been watching Craigslist like a hawk, looking for (among other things) perfect wheels for the ’76 Camaro. She is nice enough at this point that I am determined to find just the right set. . . something polished alloy to match the bumpers, period correct for the mid 70s, and ideally something different than the Craiger SS and AR Torque Thrust that everyone else has.
I have been set on a nice set of Hurricane/Vector/Turbine wheels. . . but then I saw what looked like a perfect set of Appliance snowflake wheels on CL at a giveaway price. . . So, after a short call during which I was assured that there was no curb rash and no damage to the lug holes, I got some cash and drove way out into the burbs. As you can see in the pic below, they looked pretty darn nice. . .
Well, when I got there, I discovered that the spokes near the lug holes were covered with enormous gouges from some dumbass beating them half-to-death with a tire iron.
He hadn’t lied about the lack of curb rash, and the Lug holes were solid. . . but I wish he had mentioned the other damage before I spent an hour driving in the rain.
Well, I guess I’m still looking. Anyone got a nice set of hurricanes they are using?
I ran over my Neighbor.
Well, not yet anyway. . . But, seriously, today I sealed the deal on the new hotrod project: a 1976 Camaro — one of the last years of the metal bumpers, and one of my personal favorites of the second generation despite the low factory horsepower ratings. . . this was the first year of the “Q code” 305 cubic inch V8 which had a somewhat pathetic 140 HP but a much more respectable 245 foot lbs of torque.
My girl is the “Sport Coupe” model black on black with the above mentioned 305 V8, stick shift, rally wheels, sport mirrors, gauge package (factory tach!!!) and spoilers (which will be decorating a dumpster soon). She is the perfect candidate for a resto-mod –a straight, rust free original un-restored daily driver survivor — and dead stock to boot. Literally zero rust in the fenders, floorboards or trunk (she came from Eastern Oregon). And, the interior is near perfect — just need to reupholster the driver’s seat base and put in a new headliner . 102k original miles(!!!) and lots of choice extras like the original manual and original build sheets(!!!). Hell, she even has collector plates already.
She is a little rough around the edges now, mostly due to the fact that she is still wearing her original paint, which is showing its age. But, I expect that she will be getting pretty damn hot pretty soon — I already have an appointment at the hotrod shop to get her stripped, have the small parking lot dings remedied and put in coat of fresh paint — matte black, of course.
As of now she is running the original un-rebuilt numbers matching engine, and so smooth and easy starting (despite 102k on the clock) that I’m seriously considering running the stock powerplant instead of dropping in a monster. Then again, a 350 crate engine would drop right in. . . and there is also the issue of the exhaust which is quite quiet as of now. . . and whether to go with rally stripes or not. . . decisions decisions. . . Stay tuned. . .
Now all I need is a Punk Rock girl. . .
When the project phase is finished, I invariably get bored, no matter how sweet the finished product is. It is beginning to feel inevitable. . . so the following should come as no surprise.
My ’69 Mustang Hotrod has apparently sold to a VERY excited young man. His Father came to look at it for him (he is active duty military), and I took him for a ride and showed it off a little. The father had bought a brand new Mustang Coupe off the dealer’s floor in 1969 (for $2600) and was excited to help his son acquire the very same car 42 years later.
His reaction to the power of the Black Beast was telling — apparently his new one had had nothing on the neck-snapping acceleration of the 400+ HP built balanced and blueprinted 302w in my Beast. I wish the new owner nothing but the best with my old Hotrod. May he spank all comers, impress his dates, and never see flashing lights in the mirrors.
So, I guess I’m shopping for a hotrod project. Will it be a Corvette? A Cougar? A Nova? Another Mustang? Or something completely different. . . time will tell.
in the meantime, here is a video I took before I sold her:
I love motorcycles, but I can’t ever seem to find the perfect bike — there are so many great designs out there. As a result I have owned perhaps 40-60 different bikes over the years (depending on how you count such things) — everything from 60s era cafe racers, to crotch rockets to metric cruisers to fancy Euro Marques. In so doing I have spend a lot of time buying and selling ‘em on CL, and done pretty well by it — I always have a nice bike, and I have met some pretty cool folks to ride with along the way.
The following is what I have learned about decoding the ads — I posted it once on CL, but it was flagged off immediately. . . I wonder why. . . Anyway, here is my Patented Guide to Understanding Craigslist Motorcycle Ads
- “GREAT DEAL” = bad deal. Priced just below some imaginary bluebook price. Generally, if they feel the need to tell you its a good deal, it aint.
- “Priced below Bluebook” = Priced so high that the seller needs to justify his action. Remember, the Bluebook doesn’t buy bikes, and they don’t track actual sale prices, just listings many of which get re-listed for many many months and never sell.
- “Custom Harley” = 99.9% of all Harleys not still on the dealership floor. No one runs Harleys stock because most stock Harleys are total dogs and get spanked by entry level Japanese bikes. Without significant (and in most cases illegal) aftermarket upgrades, not even the Harley Hardcore would be caught dead on one.
- “small scratches on one side” = crashed.
- “Perfect condition” = average condition.
- LOOK/L@@K/!!!!!!/[POST IN ALL CAPS] = the seller is an idiot
- “Duel Sport” = The seller is a redneck
- “dealer” = asking 1.5-2 times actual market price
- “racing/raced/racing parts/track days” = the bike is beat to shit — used hard and put away wet.
- “Tough/badass/hardcore” = seller is a middle aged man who bought the bike to reassure himself that he did indeed still have testicles. The bike then starred in a short lived pretending-to-be-an-outlaw-biker phase, until the poseur found something else to pretend to be. Often these bikes have barely been used – the archetype is a highly customized Harley, or chopper that is about 5-10 years old with under 5k miles on it. Usually these bikes are victims of fantasy pricing, but sometimes they can be a great way to get a basically new bike at a used price.
- “barely broken in/all highway miles/lots of life left” = very high miles
- “like new” = overpriced. Usually, the seller is asking just below the original selling price, which is a terrible deal because new bikes come with warrantees and service contracts, which are almost always expired by the time the bike is sold.
- “XXX invested” = the seller bought thousands of dollars worth of chrome after-market crap and bolted, stapled and glued it on the bike. Now he is selling the monstrosity, and wants you to pay him back for his “investment.”
- “streetfighter” = crashed sportbike with salvage title and the fairings removed — sometimes you can see the frame damage even in the low-rez pictures.
- “cafe racer” = usually a stock 70s era Japanese standard or UJM bike with clubman bar and bar-end mirrors — maybe the seller has gone so far as to put a cowl seat on it.
- “trades considered” = seller is has tried unsuccessfully to sell for months and is now desperate.
- “lowered price” = seller is has tried unsuccessfully to sell for months and is now desperate, and stupid enough to tell you.
- “project” = Rusty hulk left under a tree since the mid 70s.
- “the parts are worth more than I’m asking” = Rusty hulk left under a tree since the mid 70s.
- “collectable/rare/vintage” + “needs work” = Rusty hulk left under a tree since the mid 70s.
- “need room in my garage” = hasn’t been ridden in at least 6 months, and will probably need a carb rebuild
- “ran when parked” = Hasn’t been started in years. Probably needs a total engine rebuild.
- “will run”/ “can run” = Sure, it could run, If I dumped a couple thousand into it. So could any piece of trash.
- “Must Sell” = Seller is both desperate and stupid enough to tell you about it.
- “trade for X” when X is very similar bike = major undisclosed problem the seller wishes to become your problem.
- “2010 model, less than, 500 miles, damage on one side.” = Some dumb kid bit off more than he could chew.
So Ever since I helped my buddy Dale find a really nice specimen of a ’02 BMW 325i, he has been more than enthusiastic to participate in road trips to look at vintage cars. For my part, I’m more than happy to take advantage of his willingness to drive me to remote locales with a less-than-stellar chance of finding a diamond in the rough. . . Besides, Dale likes to “test the suspension” by taking the twisties at 100+mph, which makes otherwise boring journeys quite a bit more amusing.
Anyway, on Memorial Day Monday I found two vintage roadsters which had the possibility of being worth picking up. One was a ’68 Datsun 1600 and the other was a ’71 Volvo P1800s. Both potentially beautiful cars, and either one could scratch my vintage roadster itch, if, of course, it was a good specimen.
The Volvo was pretty close in — near the PDX airport, and owned by a self-described ”hobbyist with a dealer’s license.” That should have been enough to scare me off, but the sun was shining, and I had a head full of memories of riding shotgun in a p1800 one of my friends owned back in college. They are unique and beautiful little cars.
No so this specimen. What might not be clear from the pics is that the entire interior was missing, and significant portions of the engine were living where the seats should be. The shell had issues — mangled trim, rust, damage, poor old bodywork, etc — more issues than I was looking to cure. And, the pitch and psyche tactics of the “dealer” weren’t making the car any more attractive.
Then, to show us the potential of the car, he showed us a restored p1800 that he was selling and everything became clear. The little white one on the trailer had obviously been purchased to strip parts from for the restore project — the good parts now all lived on the finished p1800, and the one he was trying to sell me was literally a collection of the worst parts between the two.
The ’68 Datsun was much further afield — the owner told me on the phone that he was in Sweet Home Oregon, just a bit past Salem. Well, as it turned out, Salem was the halfway point. It was a hour-and-a-half drive, and that was with Dale playing boy racer in his Beemer the whole way down. For the entire afternoon the weather had improved steadily –when we left the sky in Portland was overcast, but by the time we left the poor shell of a p1800 behind us the clouds had broken and the sun was shining, making the drive a nice experience.
But, as we approached Sweet Home, the sky began to darken. And, literally the moment we turned down the street where the little Datsun lived, the sky broke open and we were pelted with sheets of honest-to-god hail and sleet. I cannot overstate how insane this was — it battered the car like we were being sprayed with a fire hose. The Sky God was clearly opposed to the Datsun, and was sending an old-testament-style message.
Well, we were already there, so I braved the wrath of the gods and ran the 20 yards from where we parked to the open garage where the Datsun and it’s downtrodden owner waited. The hood was popped open and the engine was still hot.
And the hot engine was covered with fresh oil, as was the inside of the hood.
“So, you started her already?”
“Yeah, I took her around the block a few times. Crazy weather, eh?
“Its the wrath of god out there. Too, bad — I wanted to see it start from cold.”
“The water pump started leaking while I had it out — never did that before.”
“Are the oil leaks new too?
“what oil leaks?”
It continued on in that vein, as he “discovered” a dozen issues that he failed to mention to me over the phone — the headlights “suddenly” stopped working, the hardtop attachments stopped working, the exhaust manifold started leaking at the engine block, the tires became bald and rotten, and generally what had been presented to me as a road-worthy minor cosmetic project became a total-resto job. I went through the motions of listening to the poor, tired motor start and run — pretty darn rough for one which had been “rebuilt”. Meanwhile the insane weather contnued.
The owner encouraged me to test drive it in the apocalyptic weather, nevermind the lack of headlights, and the fact that the hardtop was secured by only one of the six clips. No thanks. I made some noise about thinking it over and said that I’d have to come back with a trailer if I decided to buy it, as I was not as confident as he was that it would make the drive back to Portland.
Now here is the crazy part. The whole time we had been in this guys garage looking at the wretched old Datsun the weather had been insanely bad. But, literally the moment Dale and I got into his little Beemer and drove away it started getting better. By the time we were back on the highway it was clear and sunny again, and it stayed that way for the rest of the drive home. I’m not superstitious, but I’m not blind either, and the auguries were pretty dark for that sad neglected little Datsun.
All hail the Sky God! And, thanks for looking out for a Brother.
So, I wanted to ditch the old vinyl tire cover which has uglified the backside of my otherwise pristine ’79 shorty van. Problem was that under the cover was pretty ugly as well — nuts, bolts, and a crusty weather-checked old hockey puck of a tire.
So I craigslisted some rare-ish matching hubcaps, and scrubbed down the old steel wheel. Looks much better methinks. $15 well spent, eh? And I have three spare hubcaps for when I inevitably loose one. . . All I need now is a replacement tire that would be roadworthy in the event that I somehow blow one of my new matched Hanooks.
I do. I always liked the products of the “van craze” of the late 70s and early 80s. The concept of a slick mobile living-room without the excesses of a modern “Class B camper van” or the spartan cookie-cutter cheapness of a VW Westfalia. A trick custom ride that was also very practical and versatile. But, having owned a few “full size” American vans, I can attest to how cumbersome they are to drive in the city. And, lets not even talk about trying to parallel park one. . .
For me the sweet spot was the shorty van. That unusual creature which was effectively a full size van with a shorter wheelbase and about 5′ of the ass-end chopped off. Shorties were only made for a brief period — they were effectively superseded by today’s minivans (van shape on a car chassis — your basic soccer mom rig) and midsize vans (built on light truck chassis and exclusively powered by v6 endines: Aerostars, Astros, and the like). If you want a short van with full heavy truck running gear and availability of a 350 ci V8 engine and serious towing ability, you’re shopping for an older vehicle.
After looking at every shorty van to be craigslisted in the greater PDX area for many many months, I was beginning to resign myself to restoring a dilapidated beater. The notion of rejuvenating a once gloriously trick ride does have some appeal, but I must say it is nicer to find a cherry old vehicle which has clearly been loved and well taken care of.
After lots of looking and a few misfires, I think I finally scored such a rig — to my eye the perfect camping/car-show/festival rig. She is an old school custom shorty van which has been lovingly cared for. She is a 1979 Chevy G20 (3/4 ton) short wheelbase van w/ 350 V8, a turbo 350 transmission & a tranny cooler. This was a special order vehicle — she came from the factory in beautiful “Charcoal Metallic” paint and black high back vinyl bucket seats. Soon thereafter she was give a full custom interior by local van customization shop: wood paneling, wrap around bench seat which can become a bed (of course), custom rear windows, roof vent, and an icebox. Not the most lavish trick van, by any stretch, but simple, classy, comfy and very functional.
I am the third owner. She came with records going back many years — I even have the original dealer window sticker! She has 120K original miles on the vehicle and about 20k on a fresh engine. She got a very high quality repaint of the original color a few years back and the exterior is a perfect match with the painted interior portions. Even has the original bow-tie hubcaps in perfect shape — the paint on the hubcaps is perfect! She is so damn clean I might just have to show her this summer. . . everywhere I have driven her people want to talk to me about how nice she is. I have gotten as much attention on the road with the “little” van as with the ’69 Stang, and that is saying something!
So I acquired a rare OEM intermittent wiper switch from a mid 70s Ford truck. It was an option back then, a real Motocraft part, and consists of a big old box wired into a modified version standard wiper knob switch.
Why is this relevant you ask?
Because the late 60s Mustangs used a similar wiper knob and switch assembly. So, I was able to wire it into the ’69 Mustang and now have intermittent wipers (which I’m fairly certain weren’t a factory option that year. And, I can still use the matching stock mustang knob, so it looks good.
Intermittent wipers are pretty important to me ’cause the RCI race harnesses I put in the Black Beast last month have make it pretty hard to reach the wiper knob to do “manual intermittent” in the lovely constant Portland drizzle. Hell, I have to unbuckle to reach the lights knob. . . but those harnesses are literally my only modern safety feature, so I’m dealing.
Unfortunately, it looks like intermittent wipes are ‘gonna come in handy a lot sooner than I had hoped it would. Damn PDX “spring” weather is killing me. . . the biker in me is bleeding out a little bit every day.
So, I was looking back through the various entries here and I realized that I never broke down all the awesome that is the Black Beast. So here is a relatively complete build/spec list, although I’m sure I’m forgetting something.
1969 Mustang GT coup which has been *built* into a pro-street drag racer. She is probable cause on 4 wheels.
Engine/exhaust: original 302 has been blueprinted, balanced and re-BUILT (.30 overbore), should be good for an estimated 400+ HP:
- aggressive roller cam
- roller rockers
- forged pistons
- Windsor sr. 200 cylinder heads
- Edelbrock intake,
- Demon Carb
- Milodon 7qt oil pan
- Full MSD ignition system (MSD box, rotor, distributor cap, coil, wires, etc)
- large aluminum radiator
- matching CNC machined billet aluminum vave covers and arifilter
- VERY LOUD high-performance true dual exhaust system with full long-headers connecting to dual Flowmasters exiting to street sweepers just in front of the rear axle. She ROARS like the beast she is, shakes the gound, makes babies cry, and sets off car alarms across the street — no joke.
Transmission/ Running gear:
-TCI C4 racing transmission with a transmission cooler mated to a B&M Megashifter (w/ ratchet mode for drag racing)
- 8.8″ rear with new gears
- “Detroit Locker” no-spin racing differential
- a new set of real American Racing Torq Thrust wheels w/ fresh matched set of Kelly Charger tires
- Adjustable air shocks on the rear
- An “Export Brace” and “Monte Carlo bar” to firm up the front end
- Burly front anti-sway bar for better cornering
- Old school traction bars
“Safety” features: n/a
- Seatbelts were optional that year so I put in some modern race harnesses [/jk]
- low back seats [for increased whiplash]
- drum brakes [for poor stopping]
- heavy gauge sheet metal body [airbags and crumple-zones are for pansies]
- loud as hell [so people know I'm coming and get out of the way]
- fast as hell to outrun trouble
- “probable cause” was a dealer installed option that year, and she attracts the heat like nothing else, so you’re always sure to have a friendly police officer around if you were to need one.
Other than that, she’s bone stock