Illustration for article titled PCH, Clash Of The Superpowers Edition: Clown-Owned Panhard Dyna Z-16 or Lotus Esprit Turbo?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and most hellish! Last round, PCH Superpower Britain crushed PCH wannabe Germany, but today it's an all-Superpower affair.


You see, while it's fun to see Germany or Japan or the USA take on (and occasionally defeat) a member of the Unholy PCH Trinity of Britain, France, and Italy, the real Hell Garage battles take place between the Superpowers. France won the last cross-Channel PCH matchup, with a Simca Aronde edging out a Humber Sceptre, and today we're having the rematch!

We fear French cars, of course, but we also worship them… but clowns? It's straight-up fear, unalloyed with worship. So what do you get when you buy a weird orphaned French car that was once owned by Emmett Kelly Jr, the World's Most Famous Clown? You get a great deal, that's what you get! This 1959 Panhard Dyna Z-16 is being sold by the late Emmett Kelly Junior's mechanic- yes, the World's Most Famous Clown had a thing for French cars- and the top bid of $2,225 failed to meet the reserve price. How much is that reserve? We're willing to bet Monsieur Clown Mechanic will pay attention to the sound of rustling Benjamins, were you to shoot him an email right now! It might even run; the engine "starts eagerly at a tug of the start knob," but it hasn't been driven in years. The interior is completely fried by the Arizona sun and no doubt every component that ever touched fluid will need replacing/rebuilding, but it's a reasonably complete car. How hard could it be? Imagine the joy of cruising your town in this suicide-doored beauty! Thanks to Mark for the tip.

That Panhard definitely gets the drool flowing, no doubt about it, but the Dyna Z sent only 50 horsepower to the front wheels. What if you want to die in a flaming high-speed wreck do some spirited high-performance driving? A British car you can afford, with crazy turbocharged power and tarmac-grabbing handling? Well, then, it comes down to pretty much one choice: Lotus Esprit Turbo! Before the Financiapacolypse, you couldn't get a running example for less than five figures, but the ticket to Lotus agony glory is now far cheaper! How much cheaper? Get ready for this: a 1985 Lotus Esprit Turbo (go here if the ad disappears) for only $6,500! You can find more details on this super-steal here. Much like the Panhard, the engine can be started, but it's not in "running/driving" condition. Oh yes, and it was "involved in a theft" and the center console was damaged… which means those high-quality Lucas electrics are likely to be even shakier than usual. Dim, Flicker, and KABOOM! We won't lie to you- this thing is scary even by Hell Garage standards; it runs well enough to give you hope, yet it's fully equipped with everything it needs to crush your spirit… forever! Still, having your own Esprit Turbo- just imagine how great that would be! Thanks to Adam for the tip!

Project Car Hell's Greatest Hits

Share This Story

Get our newsletter