Project Car Hell, Malaise Custom Edition: Corvette or Jaguar XJC?

With the cheapskates showing a slight preference for the free Musclecar Era Impala over the free Malaise Nova in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, you might think that we don't have a place for Malaise in our Hell Garages. Far from it, we're coming right back with a pair of machines from the middle of the 1970s- and not just any machines! What we've found is a pair of prestigious cars that have been treated to some tasteful customizing touches, applied by the hands of artists who appreciate the spirit of the Malaise Era. Thanks (and a PCH Tipster T-shirt) to bzr for the tip!


How can you tell if you're looking at a really good car on eBay? Some folks think you should do boring stuff like look at the seller's feedback, or maybe pick a car with really good photographs, but we think it's best to judge a car by the number of punctuation marks in the description. Oh yes, and you want the entire thing to be in capital letters, because that shows a seller with a point to make. With that in mind, take a gander at this 1976 Corvette. It's allegedly a "Duntov," but no elaboration on that claim is given by the seller... and why elaborate, when he or she knows "IF I HAVE IT LONG ENOUGH ILL FINISH IT ???? THEN IT WOULD BE WORTH BIG $$$$$$$$ DOLLARS !!! It's got the side pipes, the C5 taillights, and the primer hood; you'll just need to add the Lambo doors and the TV antenna and you'll be ready for Malaise-style action. Well, almost ready; you probably shouldn't assume it's ready for driving right now (although the seller does claim it will "YARD DRIVE"), because it needs brakes, the fuel tank is a gas can, and... well, who knows?

When you're talking Malaise, Detroit cars really need to stand aside for the products of British Leyland; since some say the KGB had infiltrated the trade unions building Jaguars in the 70s, the claim could be made that the legendary British Leyland lack of reliability was actually a communist plot! So let those Brezhnev stooges know where you stand, by defying their fiendish plan and buying yourself a Malaise Jaguar and customizing it in a manner that tells that mean ol' KGB to take their gulag and shove it! We suggest this customized 1975 XJC as the starting point for your project. It's got the requisite Chevy 350 swap (complete with some unnamed type of 5-speed transmission and Holley double-pumper). It's got Centerlines with spinners. It's got what appears to be the front spoiler from a Japanese 17-year-old's Dekotora Debonair crudely riveted onto the front. It's got scoops on the sides and vents on the hood. What it doesn't have is an interior, but that's actually a good thing; imagine the mink-and-burgundy-pleather custom upholstery job you could put in this thing! Upgrade the engine to a 406 with all the goodies and you'll be snapping axles burning up the quarter-mile in style!

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