Project Car Hell, King Of LeMons Edition: Bristol 408 or Beetle Limo?

Illustration for article titled Project Car Hell, King Of LeMons Edition: Bristol 408 or Beetle Limo?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! Yesterday, the "get out of jail free" supercharged Beretta edged out the "must stand 100 feet back to take the photo" Mazda Millenia in the Choose Your Eternity poll, in a 54:46 split vote. For today, we're going with a couple of cars suggested by 24 Hours Of LeMons-loving readers who were inspired by the Corvair and Peugeot 505 Turbo racers to look for even better LeMons entries…

When you think about a Chrysler-engined British car, the Jensen Interceptor is probably the first thing that comes to mind. While the Interceptor makes a fine Project Car Hell candidate, its perceived value to Jensen masochists aficionados is such that you'll never find one for anywhere close to the 500-buck 24 Hours Of LeMons limit. Hold on, though- what about the Bristol 408? Powered by the good ol' reliable Chrysler 313, the Bristol combined British style with Mopar drivetrain reliability… but is it possible to find one with a LeMons-legal price tag? Better hitch up the trailer and head for Wisconsin, because this 1966 Bristol 408 Coupe (go here if the ad disappears) has an asking price of just $500! The engine is bad, but there must be sufficient eBay-worthy pieces you can sell off this thing to score a running Chrysler small-block and Torqueflite transmission. Then just knock the suspension and brakes into quasi-functional shape and you'll be raceworthy. You can make it happen! Thanks to Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey Bret for the tip!
That Bristol would make you an instant LeMons legend, all right, but where's the absurdity? Sure, you'd have to be insane to run such a car, but you want members of other teams to stagger back in a mixture of awe and horror when they lay eyes on your racin' machine. A limousine would accomplish that, but there's the troublesome 4,000-pound weight limit to contend with. Unless… unless, of course, you were to get this 1974 Super Beetle limo (go here if the ad disappears), which has a bait-n-switch price of $8 but will likely go to the first buyer who waves a $100 bill under the seller's nose. There's no engine and transmission, but Pick Your Part is always chock-full of Beetles and Transporters, and any lawnmower mechanic armed with $9.98 worth of Brazilian replacement parts can get a Type 1 engine working just fine. Handling on the race track might be a little odd, since the pendulum with the big rear weight is now longer, but you won't be perturbed by the spinouts once you've got that Index Of Effluency and/or Organizer's Choice trophy in your shaky hands! Thanks to LeMons Supreme Court Justice Loverman for the tip!


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Rob Emslie

There once was a Bristol from Wisconsin

that needed a total restoration

Not the daughter of Palin

nor from Tennessee was it hailin'

this parts car that someone thought lacked sin

A 313 hemi, now that's quite a perk

Though a errant rod made it stop with a jerk

Parts for it will be dear

And your neighbors will sneer

as you noisily engage in late night bodywork

As project cars go

This one damnable you know

Your money it will devour

in a real golden shower

and you'll never reap what you did sow

So this is a car of which you should steer

a path that is dodging, evading and clear

Avoid this temptation

and realize with elation

that a VW Limo is nothing to fear