PCH, Devil You Know Or Unfamiliar Devil Edition: Jaguar XKE or BMW 502?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Last time we took a lung-charringly deep breath of the sulfur-tainted air in the Hell Garage (where the boombox refuses to play anything other than the 1910 Fruitgum Company), we learned that 54% of PCH readers prefer a Chevy-powered MGA to a Chevy-powered TR6. Who knew? Today we're going to up the ante and go with a couple of relatively high-buck projects; one is a type of car we've seen before and the other is plenty obscure.


After seeing that beautiful DOTS E-Type, it's hard not to yearn for a genunine, pre-Malaise XKE. The prices for nice ones are pretty brutal, unfortunately, but an enterprising gearhead such as yourself should be able to find a diamond-in-rough Jag and turn it into an envy-generator in no time! When you get a California car, such as this '67 XKE coupe, you don't even need to worry about rust... oh, wait. All right, this one does have rust, but you can breathe a sigh of relief upon learning that the spare tire well is solid. It was wrecked in the early 80s- that's right, nearly 30 years ago- and has been stored ever since; think of the low miles! Some stuff is missing, it goes without saying that every component involving electricity, fluid, or moving parts will need complete rebuilding and/or replacement, but look at the price tag!

Maybe the XKE just doesn't do much for you, or maybe the long-nosed Jags are just too common. You want something German, by Gott, and you don't want any damn snooty Mercedes-Benz or nobody's-ever-heard-of-it Borgward or Glas. How about an old BMW? Everyone's got a 2002, and those Isettas are just too silly... but hold on a second- what about a BMW 502? V8 power, great lines, and luxury fit for a wealthy postwar-recovery-boom industrialist. They're tough to find in North America, but Murph has helped us out by spotting this '56 BMW 502. Priced at just $11,500, this super-steal bargain will leave plenty of money in your Hell Project for trips to Germany to buy parts. And you'll need plenty of parts, because there's no getting around the fact that this thing is extremely rough. The condition is given as "Used," which- though uninformative- is definitely the truth (we think "trashed" would be more apt, but that's just us), but there's a V8 motor that might even be something other than a small-block Chevy, and it looks like more than 5% of the interior is still there!

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