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Project Car Hell, End Of The World Edition: Fairlaneborghini or 1956 Lagonda 3 Litre Saloon?

Illustration for article titled Project Car Hell, End Of The World Edition: Fairlaneborghini or 1956 Lagonda 3 Litre Saloon?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! We took it easy on you last time, but we're getting into some serious Hell Projects today.


Taking on the Citroën CX Pallas that won the last Choose Your Eternity poll would be akin to dragging a washing machine through a 100-yard gauntlet of meth-crazed chimps armed with tire irons... in other words, a walk in the park compared to the projects we'll be contemplating today. Adopting either one of today's exquisite machines would feel much like donning a wetsuit stuffed with Asian Giant Hornets and climbing into a Drum Debarker filled with burning creosote-soaked railroad ties and radioactive dioxin bottles packed with selenium tetra-azide. But, dammit, they're totally worth the pain!

Much as we love the Fieroborghini, bolting some Italian-looking plastic body panels on a Fiero isn't all that heroic a project (though installing a Cadillac 500 engine and front-drive transaxle out of an Eldorado does get our respect). No, your Fauxborghini needs more sweat, more blood, and a Nile's worth of tears. We're talking about a quasi-scratch-built backyard Countach here, based on a Detroit family car from the 1960s. That means something along the lines of this 1967 Ford-based Lamborghini project (go here if the listing disappears), which could obliterate drop into your life with megaton force for $795 or "an interesting trade option." Why, that price is down in 24 Hours Of LeMons territory (and I can guarantee a great deal of judicial slack when examining the budget of any team with the guts to bring this vehicle to a LeMons race), but we think it would be even more fun on the street. Now, this Fauxborghini- which appears to be have some '67 Fairlane DNA- lacks a few of the features you'd find on the real deal. We're pretty sure that Ferrucio Lamborghini never installed front drum brakes on any of his cars, and the same goes for the leaf-spring rear suspension. As for the drivetrain, it appears to be a Ford Windsor V8 mounted backwards and driving... well, we're not sure. Maybe a V-drive of some kind? A shaft coming off the front of the crank and driving a flipped-over Porsche 944 transaxle? Or maybe this project is meant to be a mid-engined front-wheel-drive car, which would be so completely wrong that it's just perfect! Thanks to Josef for the tip!

You'd be a Project Car Hell God or Goddess for sure, were you to get that Fairlaneborghini into daily-driver condition, but we understand that sometimes you need a generous helping of classic British luxury in your project. No, we don't mean yet another Jaguar, or even a Bentley or Rolls. We're talking Lagonda here! That's right, an Aston Martin-built updated version of the W. O. Bentley-designed prewar Lagondas, a car you have no hope in hell of ever obtaining. But wait! A miracle has occurred, and it has become possible to buy this 1956 Lagonda 3 Litre Saloon in a no-reserve eBay auction. Even better, the current top bid is only $1,000. Really! We're forced to admit that a few flies have found their way into the ointment here; in fact, the ointment is pretty much entirely flies. First of all, the incredible Lagonda Straight Six engine that propelled Aston Martin to glory in the 1950s... well, it's as gone as D.B. Cooper, and probably just as difficult to find today. The seller himself states that this project is "Broken down, incomplete and a restoration project only for the relentlessly ambitious or deranged." But come on, how hard could it be? Just start by getting yourself an appropriately powerful inline-six engine- say, this 2JZGTE/6-speed combo deal, for example- and then start casting and/or machining all the missing trim pieces from scratch. As for the interior, you'd be amazed what $500 will buy you at a Tijuana upholstery shop. No problem!


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I was thinking about voting for the fake Lambo... but then I thought that given it's already a kit, you won't torture yourself with trying to keep it original.

You could always bang it together, give it a paintjob and have a fun vehicle to hoon.

So my vote goes to the Lagonda... given how nice it looks and the difficulty of getting parts (basically you'll probably have to buy a share into a local machine shop because custom fabrication will likely be the only option for many parts), it will likely be a true hell of a project.

And when you finish, you'll have something rare/valuable enough that you won't want to drive it, but not quite worth so much to cover all your costs and hours of labour.