In a post-modern world running with a global economy, it was only a matter of time before seeing a late-sixties compact Ford Falcon wearing eighties-era Toyota Supra wheels at the boneyard. This Falcon sedan was missing its drivetrain, but still wearing the alloy Supra wheels, which evidently share the same four-lug spacing with jet-age Fords. The Falcon also packed a few extra 1157 light bulbs, one broken square tail light assembly, and two features we would like to see return to the world of economy automobiles – bench front seating and column shift. Perhaps the former Ford Falcon owner saw a few images of an Australian Ford Falcon GT Super Roo sedan, and bolted up the Supra hoops in place of the stock pizza cutters on the way to constructing a 351-powered American road-going approximation of the Bathurst-winning Australian muscle car.
Archive for August, 2010
Modern and more luxurious cars than the 1982 Toyota Starlet have equally modern conveniences such as self-parking guidance systems and electrical windows. The Starlet has a small high-impact plastic crank that is turned to open and close the window. The plastic crank is attached to a simple and durable device known as the window regulator. The window is in turn attached to one arm of the scissor-like regulator. Turn the crank clockwise and window goes down. Counter clockwise and window goes back up. Presto. The window regulator is one of those things like a refrigerator, that you never think too much about until it quits. Removing and replacing a broken window regulator is one of the most reviled tasks in all of old or classic car ownership and maintenance. In older econoboxes like the Starlet, just finding the working replacement part can be an adventure in itself.
Read the rest of this entry »
This late eighties front-wheel drive Oldsmobile Cutlass Calias may or may not became a collectors item or the stand as the greatest car ever made. Under the hood is what counts. The General Motors Olds division special, shown here on its final road trip, packed the first production dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine GM ever produced in house. The year? 1987. The engine? The now-legendary GM Quad-4. The first generation Quad-4 engines kicked out about 150-HP – more than some GM small block V8 engines of the same era. A distinctive visual feature of the Quad-4 are the twin camshaft towers, which mirror the configuration of the most legendary of American four-cylinder engines – the Offenhauser. With exception of the Oldsmobile Aerotech, only in an alternate early 90′s universe did GM put a turbocharged Quad-4 into a rear-wheel drive car with fully independent suspension and fully-integrated quad laser. Over half of the boneyards in our world are overflowing with acres of GM front-wheel drive mediocrity as a testament of an era when Detroit well and truly forgot what they did best.
Special to Clunkbucket by Peter Peter Hughes
Interstate 81 northbound, between Binghamton and Syracuse. Leaving New York City that morning I’d subconsciously registered a hint of additional depth to the Saab’s normally throaty exhaust note, but it isn’t until a fuel stop somewhere in Pennsylvania that I think to actually look underneath the car, and discover the exhaust just aft of the catalytic converter rusted nearly clean through, hanging by a thread. Worrying, but not exactly surprising: months earlier, returning from a trip to Chicago, the exhaust just ahead of the cat had failed — as luck would have it, a mere five-minute tow from what had to have been the best Saab shop in Indiana. Would I be fortunate enough, I wonder, to make it the couple hundred miles home this time? Read the rest of this entry »
Mike Streets could have crammed one of many and readily available Ford V8 mills into the engine bay of his 1974 Pinto Wagon. Instead he chose to transplant a 2.3-liter single overhead cam turbocharged four-banger from a 1988 Ford Thunderbird in place of the aspirated stocker. Why? “A V8 would have been too easy”, said Mike – who is a former SCCA Pinto road racer and current owner of the now legendary Boss Pinto. Mike drives this wagon-in-progress whenever possible, running the boost at around 9 or 10 psi through the stock turbo for road going amusement. What you see here is only the beginning, or perhaps the late middle of an ongoing project that will eventually result in the turbocharged Boss Pinto panel wagon Ford never made. Read the rest of this entry »
We first encountered this Ferrari in true Clunkbucket fashion. The owner, Scott Isquick of Pepper Pike, Ohio, was having a little trouble getting it started outside the post-show banquet at the 2008 Greenwich Concours. Finally, the 4.0 liter V12 caught, interrupting the sharp mechanical shriek of the starter. The ‘67 motored off into the Connecticut darkness, leaving a dark hole where its rather inexplicable aura — something beyond mere Ferrari-ness — had held us rapt. The drive back to Manhattan in our borrowed ‘05 Rolls-Royce Phantom felt a little less special after the encounter with the one-of-99 330 GTS. In fact, we recall positing at the time that we’d gladly trade three of the Anglo-Teutonic brutes for that particular Italian droptop.
From the I could have been a contender department comes this bone stock all-original survivor 1978 Fiat 128 Sport from the 2010 Concours d’Lemons. The plucky Fiat did not take home a prize of any kind. It stands as the first of a few coming contraptions that for reasons not understood went home sans trophy. Owner Steve has driven the Fiat occasionally and on the weekends since acquiring the dust-covered compact several years ago from a man with a possible top secret past. This is the first time Steve took the Fiat to any sort of show, and the farthest the Fiat had ever gone from its Santa Clara, California home. Read the rest of this entry »
From the California mythology department of our broken dreams division comes this Toyota FJ-60 Land Cruiser in Vermont. This rusted through example of one tough 4X4 truck serves as a reminder of what to look for before purchasing that old rust bucket restoration project. While the rust is somewhat obvious here, peeling up a carpet or two and looking for hidden rust is a good idea before any old automobile purchase. This FJ-60 appeared to be part of the 500-dollar car and truck vortex, apparently created by the Concrete Ape in Vermont. The FJ was directly in the shadow of the mighty ape. A frozen Volkswagen Beetle was also seen not far from the aggregate and reinforced steel primate. Asking price? 500-dollars. Travelers be advised. Thanks to the impressive powers of genuine Vermont road salt and salt-filled slush, this Toyota had an added feature not found on non-rusted desert climate examples. Look closely and marvel at the handy driver side rear fenderwell road flare dispenser, an unique option available free of charge on this Toyota Land Cruiser.