Project Car Hell: 510 Wagon Or Famous Gremlin?

Illustration for article titled Project Car Hell: 510 Wagon Or Famous Gremlin?

Yesterday, we had our closest Choose Your Eternity poll yet, with the '58 Rambler just barely edging out the Buick-chassis '54 Packard by a couple of percentage points. Today we've decided to take a break from the 50s stuff and look at a couple of low-cost-of-admission project cars hailing from the Malaise Era.

It's hard to find a car freak who doesn't have a soft spot for the Datsun 510, with its independent rear suspension and sap-enhancement-friendly engine, so the appeal of a '71 510 wagon for only $650 can't be denied. The serious 510 obsesso-purists might sneer at a wagon, but we know better; station wagons, like, totally rule! This car doesn't run (no hints as to the cause, of course) and it's cursed with an automatic transmission, but both those problems are easily remedied. Just be sure to ask the seller about back registration before you sign on the line that is dotted!

A nice reliable Datsun- preferably updated with SR20DET power- would be fun and all, but let's say you need to be different. How about a car boasting a healthy serving of Kenosha Quirkiness, with a quasi-famous pedigree to boot? Here's a '77 AMC Gremlin that the seller claims was featured on the History Channel's Full Throttle series. It's a six-banger car, but it comes with a neat-o 4-barrel intake and custom-made header. Just because the seller likes the cut of your jib, this fine piece of AMC history has a price tag of a mere $600! Smog compliance might be a problem if you keep it in California, though.


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How can you not vote for the Gremlin? Not only is it mechanically challenging, it's aesthetically challenging, as well! How many cars can claim that, huh? Build that straight six and paint it orange, pea soup green, and brown and you've got a Super 70s mochine.