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PCH, Hopelessly French Edition: 1925 Renault Type 45 or 1951 Citroen Traction-Avant?

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We had a bit of an upset in Monday's Choose Your Eternity 3-way Superpower Showdown poll, with the French car coming in last! Yes, the '63 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint won handily, with a 55-24-22 split. That means the Italian car industry can feel the pride that comes from building the coolest- yet most nightmarish- cars very large sums of squandered money can buy! Just to show that we haven't forgotten the special place held by France in the Project Car Hell Pantheon, however, we're going to do an all-French matchup today. Thanks- and a Project Car Hell Tipster T-shirt- go to Hotrodelectric for these tips!


Just where do we draw the line between a project car and a parts car? Always a tough call, but we've found an even tougher question: when does a single part become a car? Because of the near-impossibility of reading the huge, CAPS LOCKED, red-and-blue font used by the seller of this 1925 Renault Type 45, it took me a while to realize that this auction is for just the hood of a Renault 45. This seller deserves the Most Unreadable eBay Listing Ever Award, and there's some tough competition for that prize (those of you who wish to wimp out and attempt to extract information from the description can go here). Once you've got the hood- I mean, the bonnet- you're pretty much home free; as the seller states: "AS THE BONNET IS MOST SALIENT AND DIFFICULT PART TO REPRODUCE OF THE TYPE 45, IT IS AN EXCELLENT STARTING POINT FOR A GROUND UP RECREATION." You see? It's a restoration project, not a hopeless parts chase that will take you from Hanoi to Abidjan. The reserve on this auction hasn't been met, but we can assume it's fairly high, since "ACTUAL VALUE OF THIS ITEM IS $20-40K USD." Don't worry about that stuff, however, because having a finished Model 45 will be worth all the pain.

That Renault would be quite a car, all right, but maybe you're more of a Citroën driver at heart. Admit it, you've been lusting for a Traction-Avant for years now, but perhaps the difficulty of finding one in North America has forced you to give up on your dream. Hey, you'll be doing front-drive French burnouts before you know it, once you buy this 1951 Citroën Traction-Avant (go here if the ad disappears). The seller wants four grand for it, which is quite a deal when you consider you get a "heavily customized" project. First thing is the engine, which came from a Renault 5. Le Car power in a Traction-Avant! Naturally, you'll need to ditch that Malaise boat anchor and install the Maserati V6 out of a Citroën SM- hey, if they can put a man on the moon! The seller says "currently not running, needs clutch, body work, paint, interior etc," and that "etc" part covers a lot of scary ground when you're talking about a massively modified 57-year-old French car. As we say so often here (thanks to Kevin Hoover), what could go wrong?

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