PCH, Bad Things Like You Done In Weed Edition: Triumph TR3A or Alfa Romeo Duetto?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Bad Things Like You Done In Weed Edition: Triumph TR3A or Alfa Romeo Duetto?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! In yet another PCH Superpower Showdown, Italy triumphs over Britain with the Fiat X1/9 beating the MGB-GT in the Index of Effluency Edition poll. That means Fiat has the honor of displaying the PCH Superpower trophy today (better put a drip pan underneath it, and keep the kitty litter handy)… but the Italians will have to give it back to the British tomorrow if they don't make it two in a row, because we're returning with another UK-versus-Italy matchup!

Only one of these cars is located in Weed, California, but when you get a chance to use an Of Mice And Men reference in a headline, you take it. This particular Bad Thing in Weed (go here if the ad disappears) is a project car with "basket case" right in the title… followed by a price that must be a typo, right? Right? Come on now, when a nicely restored TR3A goes for a princely 15-20 grand, $3,000 is a steal! This one has been sitting for at least 30 years, casting a pall over the seller's visions of a happy retirement, but don't think it's hopeless- hey, "Most parts are complete" according to the seller, who helpfully adds that "those that are missing like the windshield are available from other collectors." It's a California car, but it's clearly been sitting outside for decades, which means there will be rust in the areas rainwater collects. But damn, it would be a blast to have a TR3 to call your own, especially if you upgraded from the original 100-horse engine to something Japanese with lots of cams and boost.
Wouldn't it be great to have an example of the last car Battista 'Pinin' Farina designed? Yes, the Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto, a car so heartbreakingly beautiful that you've always assumed you could never afford one. But wait! What about this 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider (go here if the ad disappears), priced at a totally reasonable $3,450? The seller's statement "Parts in the trunk!" pretty much sums it up, though some weaker souls might find the statement "some rust here and there, mostly on trunk, hood, lower doors, and some underneath, and inside floor pans" disquieting, but how bad could it be? More importantly, what kind of insane engine could you fit in it? Don't try any funny stuff with the seller, though, because he or she has included the very effective "Scammers Stay Away" magic spell in the listing (we especially like the clever circumventing of CL's anti-keyword-spam rules via the use of the word "not" followed by a bunch of other car makes in the title).


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Rob Emslie

Triumph. It is located in Weed California. Weed is a small town about dead center between Mount Shasta (a dormant volcano) and Lake Shasta, just north of Black Butte. You'd have to drive out there with a couple of friends in an old flat-bed truck, and in honor of the location you'd be suckin' down Shasta cola, smoking some reefer, and would stop off for a little R&R along the way with an African American prostitute.

Now something you should know about Weed is that it is very windy there. Abner Weed founded the town at that location because of the constant wind, and its ability to dry the wood at his lumberyard business. But you don't know this. All you know is that you're gonna' get yourself a cool project to while away the hours on those cold winter nights. It's cold right now, as you pull away from the seller's house with your prize strapped to the back of the truck, and snow flakes are doing whirligigs in the breeze as you are rocked from side to side by the blasts.

Whoa, your friend exclaims as one particularly strong gust shifts the blue brit over to the side of the flatbed. Not cool dude and he lights up another blunt as it starts to get dark outside. Your other friend, sitting in the "bitch-seat" is whining to him not to bogart it, and you have to elbow him to shut up. You start to wish you had left him at home. He'd always been one of your second-tier friends and you invited him to come because you knew he'd chip in for gas.

Looking for the 97, you get lost in the deepening gloom and make a wrong turn on a narrow, twisting two-lane, just as the storm really kicks into high gear. The snow is now thick, and coming straight at the windscreen and dancing crazily in the headlights. Dude, we should have stopped for some tasty snacks before setting out on our triumphant return trip. Get it? Triumphant-Triumph? Yeah, you say, you get it. You're having a tough time seeing two feet in front of the bonnet and your arms are already fatigued from fighting the wheel as the wind tosses you back and forth and saws it in your hands. There's no place to turn around and you haven't seen a sign or any indication of habitation along this road for over two hours. You're thinking that it may be a good idea just to stop when you hit a patch of black ice, and your friend in the center seat lets out a scream that makes you damn-near wet your pants. It's so jarring that you are too distracted to counter the slide, and the wind finishes the job of pushing you off the road and down the steep embankment. Conifers flash by on either side and you can hear the straps holding down the TR3 snapping from the force of jolts from the uneven terrain under you. The brakes seem to do little good, and only a large rock striking the pan and gutting the big six like a fish slows you appreciably. Dead ahead you see a large pine looming in the headlights and fortunately you manage to slow the truck before hitting it, throwing you and your two friends into the dash and then back into the indian blanket-covered bench. Whoa your friend says, all wild eyed and crazy-haired.That was the most intense ride of my life. Your other friend - the screamer - is thankfully silent. You turn to look out the back glass to check on the car, but all you can see is piled up snow, the storm having erased all trace of your load and melding the wreck into the scenery. Realizing that you are stuck for the night, you all three hunker down and try and get some sleep.

At 3 AM, Bitch-Seat wakes you up and says that he's gotta' go pee. You roll down the driver's side window, and are disgusted that he drags his ass across your face as he crawls out the opening. You make a mental note not to ever cal him again once you get out of this mess. You roll up the window, and try to stay awake awaiting his return. When you do awaken, it's light out. A dim, gray light, filling the cab. You look around and realize that Bitch-Seat is not there. You wake up James Blunt and decide that you both should go out looking for him. Rolling the side glass down again, you push away the piled-up snow and shimmy your way out of the cab. The fresh powder is soft under your feet, and you sink in to your hips. Trudging around the other side, you and James Blunt take the most likely path down the hill, and into a grove of spruce. This is where you find Bitch-Seat, standing in front of a tree, his manhood in his hand, a frozen stream emanating from it and splashing in icy yellow waves on the trunk. His eyes are open, and glazed with frost, you realized that he is dead. Part of you is somewhat relieved, but you still know that his mom would appreciate it if you didn't just leave him there so you and James Blunt decide to take him back to the truck. Rocking him back and forth a few times shatters the frozen pee stream and cracks off the bottom of his sneakers freeing him from the snow drift that had entombed his lower half. Holding him around the neck, with Blunt grasping his feet, you carry him back up the hill, his hands still locked at his crotch.

It's hard getting him back into the cab, and you need to use your lighter to warm him enough to bend at the hips and knees so he'll fit in the seat. Looking back at your Triumph, you're saddened to note that the pile of snow representing its outline is firmly against the back of the cab, no doubt crushed to the firewall.

Once the three of you are all back in the cab, you roll up the windows and try to get warm again. Blunt suggests sparking a bowl as a way to get the fires stoked, and reluctantly you agree. After a few hits, your no longer feeling so bad. After a couple more bowls, you and Blunt are all smiles and ready for another nap. You both nod off.

Hours later Blunt wakes you up. Dude, I am like totally hungry, do you have any food? You look around, but there is only empty candy wrappers on the dash, and a few Shasta cola cans rolling around the floor. I got nothing. you tell him. Oh man, I really got the munchies, what are we gonna do? You decide to search Bitch-Seat to see if he has any food on him, but come up with only a business card from the hooker and tube of chapstick, which Blunt promptly eats. Aw, that wasn't enough. he whines. You both look at Bitch-Seat. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? James Blunt asks you. No, No freaking way am I gonna' eat him! You turn and look out your window. Why not? I think he's even kosher. Pretty soon you hear something being sawn and you turn to find Blunt cutting through Bitch-Seat's pants leg. What are you doing?! you shout. I told you man, I'm totally famished, and I'm gonna have a bite of our friend here. I mean, if it were me, I'd totally want you to eat me. The thought of eating Blunt, with his bad skin and questionable history of STDs gives you a shiver. He slices a few inches of flesh from the thawing corpse and quickly shoves them into his mouth. Squinting and turning his head he gives the mouthful a good mastication. Mmm, chewy. he finally says, picking some gristle out from between his teeth. Watching him eat makes you realize just your hungry you are. Give me the knife, you ask, and start to cut off one of the fingers, which seem to be the most convenient, and least revolting part of your friend to try. Dude, don't eat his fingers! Blunt admonishes you, there were touching his dick, and he probably got blow-back on them. This causes you to stop, the finger half-way sawn through, the tiny pecker visible just below. The drive heaves take a while to calm, but eventually you feel like you can continue, and decide to try an earlobe. It cuts off easily and when you plop it into your mouth, you are overcome by the saltiness and rubbery texture. Forcing that down, you tear at the shirt sleeve exposing a thin, but satisfying looking biceps that you start slicing through, remarking that there is very little blood. I know says Blunt wolfing down a couple of toes, and opening the window a crack in order to spit out a tarsal bone.

After gorging for a while you both sit back and close your eyes, ashamed at your actions, but feeling them necessary to ensure your own survival. The effects of the grass are starting to wear off, and you're just about to suggest rolling a J when you hear something to your immediate right- a deep breath of air being inhaled and then let out. opening your eyes, you turn and see your now fully defrosted, and quite incomplete friend start to move. Owwww, wha . . . what happened he mumbles through a lipless mouth. Both You and James Blunt scream in terror as two bony, three-finger hands descend on your knees and dig in. Why didn't you save some for me? the voice croaks, I'm hungry too. he whines, and both you and Blunt grab at the window knobs, your Mary Jane-induced haze now fully gone. The snow has started falling again, even heavier this time, and after a while, the screaming is muffled so much that the Police Bronco passing on the road above you doesn't even slow.