The five-second rule says that's how long before something dropped starts picking up the nasties. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Buick does the quarter in 13 seconds, but even though it's kinda' nasty you can still pick it up.
There's an old adage that's brought out and dusted off in times of drought- if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down. Well, yesterday's 1990 300ZX Fairlady, despite its mellow yellow paint job, caused a brown out here at NPOCP and it circled the bowl to the tune of a 55% Crack Pipe loss.
That 20-year old Nissan's longevity was suspect, and with 150K already showing on its odo, the worry was that part failure - expensive part failure - was just a bill of sale away. If that was the case with a car from the World's quality capital, then what will you make of today's candidate- which hails from one of the darkest eras of American auto manufacture?
This 1979 Buick Regal comes at less than a third of the cost of yesterday's Nissan, and despite that, it has 100,000 fewer miles on its clock. Of course it should be made clear that a number of those miles have been put on one-quarter at a time.
Remember in the original Star Wars how Han Solo's ship - the Millennium Falcon - looked like crap but could be boasted to have made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs? Well, this 305-powered Regal is kind of like that, only without the otherworldly stench of Wookie farts. A cross-dresser, it comes with a set of rims for the street which are off of a Monte Carlo, and a set for the strip, which come from a Camaro. Atop those wheels, the body has more surface character than the entire Molokai Leper Colony. Inside, the glove box holds a tach instead of gloves, and a six-way power seat remains the last vestige of its previous life, sort of like Robocop's noggin.
But on the strip it's not looks that get the job done, it's brawn, and in this Regal's case that's provided by NOS. The Chevy V8 drinks the stuff through a Holley 600 and NOS plate over an Edelbrock manifold. Headers (not hedders) and dual pipes keep the gasses flowing. Helping keep the small block cool is an oversized radiator, and when the hammer is dropped, the frenzy gets fed through a newly rebuilt TH350 with a Fairbanks TC and a shift kit. The 7 1/2 inch rear end boasts 3.23 gears and a mini spool full of spiders.
The seller claims the Buick - dubbed the Field Car - has been in Car Craft twice (as well as having won three burn-out trophies from them), and while the ad is picture poor, it's YouTube rich, so you can see the Regal in action for yourself.
So it lights up its tires and smokes more than the cast of Mad Men, it's still not going to win any beauty contests. But beauty is in the eye of the pink slip holder, and a sub 13 quarter time could win a few contests of another kind.
The seller says he need to unload the Field Car so he can concentrate on his other ride, and his $2,000 asking price seems to be set at a point to encourage a sale rather than just notoriety. The 43K claimed on the clock mean little in the context of its current life as a drag queen, even though the seller goes as far as to say it still drives like stock on the street. That street-ability may be of little consequence however, as it's had all its emissions equipment yanked making it a strip-only car in many a state.
Depending on the state you are in - confusion, denial, panic - this car and its $2,000 asking price may be the best thing since sliced bread, or it may just be a shit sandwich. Where do you fall on two grand for this 13-second rule Regal? Is that a price that'll drag your wallet out? Or, does the price make this Field Car something you'd just as well leave in the field?
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