PCH, Dead Man's Curve Edition: Stingray or XK-E?S

The "what the hell is that?" field surrounding the Mitsuoka Viewt gave the Nisan March-based machine the edge over the Clenet II in yesterday's 392 Hemi Swap Edition PCH poll. Today seemed like a good day for a Choose Your Eternity matchup with a theme based on a song, since it's been over a month since the Tom Waits Edition PCH. So how about that endlessly-replayed Jan & Dean favorite from 1964, Dead Man's Curve?

Anyone who's been to a car show featuring vintage Detroit machinery has heard this song enough times to know the two vehicular protagonists by heart: Corvette Stingray and Jaguar XK-E. Dead Man's Curve is a real piece of road, by the way; it's a stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles (yes, that Sunset Boulevard).

So if all you want your hapless street-racing opponents to see is your six taillights, you'll need to start shopping for a '64 Corvette Stingray. You can find plenty of painstakingly restored ones for 80 godzillion bucks, but where's the fun in that? Try lowering your budget to just south of $25K and you can pick up this St. Paul Stingray (go here if the ad disappears). Since it's in Minnesota, you have to assume the only thing that isn't rusty is the fiberglass body and maybe the tires. It has "Motor 350 Trans. 4 speed and posi. rearend" so you know it's nowhere near original... which is fine, because you'll need to rip out that dime-a-dozen 350 and drop in an LS9, anyway. Or you could get all obsessive and try to find the exact right 327 for it, down to the date-coded carburetor floats. Either way, you'll be in Corvette Hell, where scary consumed-by-single-interest Corvette fanatics will feel compelled to administer electrical shocks to your genitals as punishment for the Wrong Things you've done to their object of veneration.

Those of you who listen carefully to the song may notice that, even as the Corvette eats shit and wrecks horribly on Dead Man's Curve, the Jaguar "slides into the turn" and, presumably, emerges unscathed. Does this mean that the XK-E had better brakes and suspension than the Stingray? Well, yes, but that's not the point here. The point is that era-appropriate XK-Es are even harder to find at PCH prices than are Stingrays; the closest I could come is this '63 XK-E roadster (go here if the ad disappears) for a gut-wrenchingly steep asking price of $45,000. According to the seller, who claims to be moving the car due to a divorce (probably caused by fighting over this Hell Project), all the car needs is seats, console, and top and it will be "finished." Of course it will! What else could it need? It had "new metal and paint" in 2005, so maybe it's not rusty. Figure on six months just to get the car so that 80% of the electrical components all work on the same day, and then there's the whole carburetor thing. Dead man's curve, it's no place to play!

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