Project Car Hell, Ass-Engined Edition: Caravelle or Corvair?

Yesterday's Choose Your Eternity matchup was just about as close a race as the Zagato versus Javelin choice, with the Rolls edging out the Bagheera by a slim margin. We're going to ease back down into low-buck territory with today's choices, going with a couple of budget heroes for your eternal wrenching enjoyment...


For those who love the Bagheera's incomprehensible Frenchness but feel intimidated by the price tag, we've found this 1962 Renault Caravelle just for you. Itching for the Dien Bien Phu-style quagmire satisfying challenge of fixing up a French sports car, with a price of admission of a mere $450? Why, imagine how sharp you'll feel as the passersby do big "what the hell is that?" doubletakes when you drive by in your Caravelle. Of course, you'll have to make it run first; the seller says, cryptically, that the engine is "out of the car." Does that mean it's a nice running engine just awaiting reinstallation, or is is a rusty heap of bent rods and burned valves sitting in the chicken coop? Hell, we sure don't know! What we do know is that the body is complete and both removable hardtop and convertible top are included in the deal. Not only that, but the seller will throw in a "Poss Del," whatever that is.

For those who crave the special feeling that only an automobile sporting an ass-mounted engine can deliver but prefer a Detroit product over foreign steel, this 1962 Corvair Monza 900 could be yours for the amazingly low price of $500. The Monza 900 was the top end of the Corvair line for '62, including all sorts of nice standard features and an 80-horse pancake six engine. Nitpickers might point out that this car doesn't run (the seller states that the engine has been "messed with") and that there's no registration paperwork of any sort (imagine your surprise if it turns out to have been stolen in 1979), but these are the same nitpickers who told you that windshield washer tubing won't work for brake hoses! It includes some vintage-looking mags and the body looks straight; the interior is completely trashed, of course, but large sums of money can readily be turned into new upholstery!


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