It’s been said that there is a fine line between madness and genius. By its appearance alone, today’s Nice Price or No Dice custom Volkswagen Type 3 doesn’t just walk that line, it struts it. Let’s see what this crazy mashup might just be worth.
One of my favorite old Cheap Trick songs is “I Know What I Want,” which is one of the band’s only songs to feature bassist Tom Petersson on lead vocals. In contrast, one of the things all of us pretty much universally despise is when the seller of any item of interest attempts to justify its price via the statement; “I know what I’ve got.”
That tired old trope was dragged out by the seller of last Friday’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz SL600 in support of the work that had gone into the car and its $40,000 asking price. The most common retort offered in the comments was “No. No, you don’t know,” and that was reflected in the massive 93 percent No Dice loss suffered by the modded Benz.
Modded cars are almost always a crap shoot, especially when they are of the backyard variety. But what if we came across a vehicle that had been creatively and amazingly reimagined by a known company?
This 1970 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback 4X4 is claimed in its ad to have been built by McLaren. No, not that McLaren. And no, not that one either. In fact, there’s a discrepancy in the spelling between the ad’s copy and a picture of a ragged and water-stained piece of paper in the car’s window that describes the car as being the handiwork of “MacLaren Motors.”
Let’s not get into the weeds on that (especially since there’s nothing I can find regarding any MacLaren Motors on the Web). Instead, let us marvel at all the disparate pieces that have gone into making this car what it is today. According to that weathered piece of paper on the window, those include:
- A Jeep Commando Chassis
- 1983 V6 Buick 3.8 turbo V6
- 1970 VW Body
- Corvette M21 (Muncie 4-speed)
- Ford Pickup Dash
- Lincoln Tilt Steering Column
- Chrysler Cruse Control (sic)
- Chevy 21 gallon Gas Tank
- Chevy Citation Front Bumper
- Nissan Seats
- AM/FM Deluxe 8-trak Sound System
The paper also describes the car as a “1977 Bujeep Vagon Super Custom Hyper Quadro XL.” I mean, come on, how awesome is that? If Mary Shelley had written about a mad mechanic instead of a demented doctor, this car would have been the result.
As amazing and brand-combining as this kumbaya of a car is, there are a few issues. First and foremost, this is a project car. The seller claims it will run on starter fluid or via a gas can IV drip, but the carburetor is apparently toast. Fixing that, it will also need to be connected to that turbo if it’s still intact and should have a more effective air cleaner than the current shop rag setup.
Other work needed includes a thorough cleaning since, eew, and a good bit of tape to hold the seat and door card covers in place. Additionally, that shifter looks like it could use a knob.
On the plus side, the tires look like they hold air and the car overall seems reasonably solid with no Fred Flintstone floorboards or Swiss cheese at the wheel arches. Does it have a clean title? Who knows? And if it does, what car does that title denote? Amazingly, the ad does claim that the car has just 97,000 miles on the clock. In what form did it make those miles?
Okay, hold on just a sec. Obviously, this is a unique and special vehicle (or many of them) and will require a similarly unique and perhaps even a bit crazy individual to buy it. I realize it’s not for most of you. In fact, I’ll bet a few of you are coming down with a case of tetanus mixed with Hantavirus just looking at the pictures of it.
I’m asking that you all move beyond that and consider that crazy car nut for whom this is manna from mix-and-match heaven. Then consider whether it would be nutty to pay the $5,000 the seller is asking for ownership of the car(s).
Is that a crazy price tag for this zany 4X4? Or, does that seem like a fair deal when the volume of combined brands is taken into account?
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