Illustration for article titled Project Car Hell: Auto Union 1000 or Shorty Corvair Van?

In a rare upset, a French car actually lost a Choose Your Eternity challenge! Not only that, front-wheel-drive triumphed over a rear-engined machine. Yes, the Fiat 128 Rally beat the Simca 1000GL in our last Project Car Hell! Today we're going to look at a pair of vehicles that do interesting things with the concept of scale: a tiny German Thunderbird or a huge Seattle Hot Wheels car.


Anyone who doesn't like the idea of a 50-year-old front-wheel-drive German car that looks like a Thunderbird and gets its motive power from a three-cylinder two-stroker... well, you've come to the wrong website! And since the rest of you presumably want to walk the walk in addition to talking the talk, we've got just the project to fill that empty space in your garage and create an even emptier space in your wallet: this 1958 Auto Union 1000 SP, which is currently sitting at a nice friendly sub-$2500 price, with no reserve. This is one of the most complete 1000 SPs you're going to find in North America, but as the seller says: "There are likely many missing parts." But haven't you always wanted to take a parts-shopping trip to Germany? Travel tip: airport security personnel frown on brake drum and carburetors in your carry-on baggage. The engine doesn't run (of course), and there's rust, and the upholstery has "exploded" from sun damage, so you'll never run out of things to work on! Thanks to MadHungarian for the tip!

It's tough to out-cool an Auto Union, but a Corvair van with a 70s custom job might do the trick... especially if it's a chopped, shortened Corvair van like this one from 1963. And the price- why, it was only $366.01 at the time of this writing, and that's with no reserve! It's hard to tell from the photos, but this thing may be designed for the driver's head to protrude through the sunroof, Rat Fink style (which means it needs a 5' long gearshift lever for the full effect). Now, the same busybodies who bleat about games of Midnight Drunken Lawn Darts being unsafe will no doubt point their bony puritanical forefingers at this van and tell you that a vehicle with super-short wheelbase and a six-cylinder engine in the back is a deathtrap. Pay them no mind- what this van needs is more power, preferably courtesy of an engine that will make Corvair purists hate you even more than they hate R***h N***r! How about the hairest, most hyperboosted Subaru six possible? Before you can get to that point, however, you'll need to deal with the rust. Lots of rust. Then you'll need to get custom glass made, because it seems to lack a windshield and (probably) door glass. And, of course, you'll need to get the most bongtastic 70s black-light interior money can buy, for reasons too obvious to get into here.


Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you're viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter