PCH, Senior Citizen Edition: 1917 Overland or 1938 Traction-Avant?

Was it the Muppets connection that grabbed an overwhelming 80/20 victory for the Studebaker Starlight Coupe over the 1929 Model A in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll? We may never know, because the past is behind us now. And, speaking of the past, how about a pair of cars from waaaaaay back for today's challenge? And just to make things more fun, we've got a couple of project cars that are more idea than they are car!


Do you feel like tackling an 81-year-old car that's so incomplete that the seller isn't even sure what it is? The seller's best guess is that this $500 car (go here if the ad disappears) is a 1917 Overland. If so, that means it's the great-great-great-grandaddy of every Jeep ever made! Now, you figure a price that low for a car this old, well, it might be missing some stuff. You figured right! Still, it's a vaguely car-shaped collection of rusty parts, which could be the start of a staggeringly frustrating and costly restoration project... or a marginally less frustrating pre-WW2-style hot rod project. Get yourself a flathead Ford V8 and start banging on sheet metal, and maybe a few years later you'll emerge from the garage- bloodstained, exhausted, and broke- driving something that would have made every hoon in 1939 stagger back in awe.

There's a lot of anti-front-wheel-drive grumbling around these parts, but how could anybody possibly look at a Citröen Traction-Avant and lump it together with, say, a Hyundai Excel? You may have bemoaned the impossibility of ever having your very own Traction-Avant, due to their rarity and high cost... but never give up on your project car dreams! Here's a 1938 Traction-Avant that's only been bid up to $405 at the time of this writing, and we're guessing the reserve price won't be too crazy. Everything seems to be an ominous red-orange color, but the seller says "No major structural rust," so you'd have some sort of longshot possibility of making a drivable machine out of this collection of parts. You get a "later-model" engine (which we hope means later-model Traction-Avant), and it looks like most of the important parts are included. What kind of project to build out of this thing? Keep it original, or go nuts with crazy modifications? Either way, it's French, it's in pieces, and it's 70 years old! Thanks, and a half-credit towards a Project Car Hell Tipster T-shirt to zweirad for the tip.

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