Project Car Hell, Malaise Import Edition: Scirocco or 280Z?S

We've talked a lot about the Malaise Era recently, with the hyper-Malaise '76 Mustang DOTS car earlier in the week and everything, so it's only right that we do a couple of performance-oriented imports of the era. Specifically, from 1977, the year of Never Mind The Bollocks. You'll be able to choose between the cars of the two toughest Axis powers, front- or rear-wheel-drive, four or six cylinders, and "running but not drivable" versus "running when parked years ago" in today's Choose Your Eternity poll. Both are from not-so-rust-free Washington State, and both are dirt cheap.



But before we get started, let's get in the mood with a little tune that reminds us how the future promised nothing but suckiness during the Malaise Era.

The Datsun Z was quite the hot seller back in the mid-70s, and for good reason: it was reasonably quick, looked good, and was way more reliable than its Detroit competitors. Sadly, some of them got driven into ditches and then abandoned for a decade. Such as, for example, this 1977 Datsun 280Z, which could be yours for only 500 bucks. Actually, it wasn't exactly driven into a ditch- it was eased into a ditch. Eased so gently into that ditch that the driver hardly felt no more than a mild bump, like a speed bump in a suburban cul-de-sac... although the seller's statement "Needs Right front A-arm to get running again" tends to give one the impression that there was at least some hoonic grunching of metal involved. The seller mentions that the fenders are dented, but "it looks worse than it is," so we're probably talking about a one-weekend project to get it back in shape, right? No mention of drivetrain condition, but we'll assume it still has one. Interior... OK, it's bad. But they're getting crazy horsepower out of those Datsun sixes these days, and if that isn't enough you can always drop a V8 in it.

We were all mega-bum-tripped when we got the news that Volkswagen wouldn't be bringing the new Scirocco to the US, but some of the sting is taken out of that bad news when you realize how $550 will get you this 1977 Volkswagen Scirocco. It's got "new right and left floor pans" (which might lead suspicious minds to wonder about rust in other places). It runs but "doesn't drive yet" (probable translation: engine makes noise; brakes, electrical system, and suspension all broken). And, speaking of engines that make noise, this one is from an '86 Cabriolet. Sure, the body needs lots of work, and the interior is probably shot, but you get a "crack free" windshield as part of the deal. We have a motivated seller here, folks ("To many bills need to sell it"), so head out to Spokane and start living the Scirocco Dream!

Speaking of the Scirocco Dream, every time I see a Scirocco I'm reminded of the following couple of frames from Robert Armstrong's brilliant Mickey Rat #4:

Project Car Hell, Malaise Import Edition: Scirocco or 280Z?S

Project Car Hell, Malaise Import Edition: Scirocco or 280Z?S



Right, now on to the poll!

Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you're viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.