The one single important factor that Chevy’s Citation lacked during its production run was… well, pretty much everything. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe X-11 tries to address at least part of that with a hot injection of Caddy V8. Will its price however, be low enough to ensure that’s the cure?
Before we dive into that, let’s turn back the clock, many beers ago all the way back to last Friday. There, you might remember we had what was possibly the most beautiful unmolested 1986 Toyota 4Runner imaginable. It also had the rare turbo 22R/slusher combo which proved to the the yin and yang of hard core Jalop lust.
What proved to be that truck’s most vexing aspect however, was its buzz-killing theft-recovery salvage title, a black flag (not the band) in most people’s books. That quashed much of the enthusiasm for its price, and while tears were shed, it came away with an RCH-narrow 51% Crack Pipe loss.
We’re going to leave that primo stock example of a desirable model in the red wash of our receding tail lights because today we’re going for something that was never all that - to enthusiasts at least - desirable, and which is now has been made far from stock to perhaps overcome its original stigma of craptitudity.
This 1981 Citation did start out as the marque’s most engaging model - the X-11. That badge imbued the FWD mid-sizer with a heavy duty suspension, full instrumentation, and a two-barrel carb for the 2.8-litre V6 under the bump-it equipped hood. The 135-bhp engine, when mated to the standard 4-speed stick, would move the X-11 to sixty from a standstill in a not half-bad eight and a half seconds. Isn’t that nice?
For the builder/seller of this X-11, that just wasn’t nice enough. Out came the Little Engine That Could V6, and in its place was dropped a Caddy 4.9 crate motor. That’s the L26 which, when hauling blue-hairs around, was good for 200-bhp at 4100 rpm, and 275 lb-ft of torque at some other rpm I can’t be bothered to look up.
Those 65 extra ponies don’t come at a significant weight penalty as the aluminum Caddy mill tips the scales about the same as the iron block 2.8 V6. The bell housing bolt pattern for the Muncie 4-speed is the same for both to so the matchup is pretty dirt simple too.
Getting all the gauges to work might not be as simple, but the seller has bypassed that issue by going the VDO route. Here’s a video that shows those bad boys working it, as well as a taste for what the fat-cat dual exhaust-equipped engine sounds like.
The seller says the car goes like a bat out of hell and that much of the remaining mechanicals were upgraded or updated at the time of the engine switch, which was about 12K ago.
That’s plenty of time for anything that could go wrong related to the switch to go wrong. It’s also plenty of time to clean up the body - find a new pair of plastic rear bumper snoods, and fix whatever rust issues it may have - but none of that seems to have been a priority. The interior looks like it would be okay if you do a lot of night driving, while the ad notes that the exterior needs some love from a good rust and paint expert. You know, the Earl of Scheib.
I don’t know, considering the $2,500 price tag, I would would just leave it as-is. I mean, unless it’s got like Fred Flintstone car levels of rust-through, I wouldn’t invest anything more than I needed to in it and just drive it like it is. After all, it’s a lot more fun shutting people down in something clapped out and crappy than something they’d expect to be quick.
What’s your take on this car and its price? It’s a rare loggerhead of pocket change price vs. the standard maxim not to buy someone else’s project. At that $2,500 price, which side of the fence do you think this Citation sits?
H/T to poohsan for the hookup!
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