PCH, Fly Me To Italy Edition: Cadillac Allante or Chrysler TC By Maserati?SWelcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Last time we screeched up the corroded roll-up door of the Hell Garage and crawled inside, we saw the pair of Fiat 1200 Spiders stomp all over the Fiat 124 Coupe. We still love Italian cars, of course, and we don't want to leave Italian Hell yet… so, after all the discussion about today's Nice Price Or Crack Pipe $12,500 Chryslerati, we pretty much had no choice but to go with a Detroit-Italian matchup today. Yeah, you know what's coming: TC versus Allanté!

The Cadillac Allanté was status-symbol priced ($54,000, or 87 grand today), had a Pininfarina-built body, and V8 power, yet was a red-ink-hemorrhaging financial disaster for The General? How could that be? Well, it looked great, but the (non-Northstar) V8 was a dud and it was driving the wrong wheels, plus the average age of Cadillac buyers back then was approximately 106. You know what we say, though? We say "Who cares about all that noise?" You can get steals on these gorgeous Pininfarina machines today, meaning you'll have enough money left in your Hell Project budget to get some real, torque-steeringly fun power into your project. We suggest you start with this one (go here if the ad disappears), which is priced at a Depreciation 101 textbook $1,500. For that price you have to figure on some blemishes, and we're sure you'll find 'em… but the seller's "137k black needs work" description spans quite the range of potential headaches. Does it run? Is there rust? Is the paperwork clean? Hell, we can't answer those inconsequential questions, buddy, but we can promise quite the adventure when you try to coax 500 horses out of an HT4500 engine.
Does labeling an engine's valve cover with a big MASERATI emblem make it a Maserati? Maybe so, but that only applies to the 2.2 with Cosworth head and other goodies; the V6 Chrysler TC By Maserati came with a not-so-Italian Mitsubishi V6. Still, all TCs were made in Italy, which means you know you'll get that famous Italian build quality- coupled with good ol' Detroit marketing engineering- when you whip out $1,250 for this Chrysler TC (go here if the ad disappears). We don't know the year, because the seller doesn't think you'd care about that meaningless detail, but the V6 engine means it's a '90 or '91. As is the case with the Allanté, the seller needs college tuition, and that means cheap price… which means you'll have the money in your budget to build a Chrysler 2.5 Turbo engine with enough boost to create metallic hydrogen in the cylinders. And go ahead- put a big Maserati emblem on the valve cover! In fact, tattoo it on your forehead! All we know about this car is that it "RUNS GOOD" and that the seller has "PINK SLIP IN HAND" (which, given the incredible flakitude of so many Craigslist sellers, is actually a pretty powerful selling point).