Project Car Hell: One Longchamp or Three Bitters?

We had our second two-thirds majority vote in a row for yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, with the Infiniti Q45 using its V8 to pound the V6-powered Mazda 929 into submission. We went Japanese yesterday because it's Japan Week here, and also because we needed to give you a little breather after the terrible punishment of an all-French L'enfer des Projets-Voitures. Today we're turning up the temperature a bit, with a return to the tried-and-true Hell Grab Bag option.


You want a Cleveland-powered De Tomaso machine, but the Vince Neil stigma has you firmly in the No Panteras camp? Ever considered a Longchamp? Yes, a luxurious Ford-powered Italian coupe that will have heads a-turnin' and jaws a-droppin' wherever you go. You're in luck, because here's a nice '76 on eBay, bid up to a mere 15 grand at the time of this writing. The seller claims this one is in "very nice" condition, with a recent engine rebuild and 10-year-old paint and interior. So you figure, hey, this car ain't no project- it's ready to go! Thing is, any Italian car is a project the minute it rolls off the assembly line; just keeping this thing drivable and looking presentable is going to be an endless, wallet-emptying task. For one thing, how could you tolerate a flawed 10-year-old paint job in such a beautiful car? And what right-thinking Jalopnik reader could look at that 351C and not want to get, oh, 600 horsepower out of it (with associated broken parts)? See, it's already dragging you down!

But why get one car nobody has ever heard of when you can have three? Would you believe three '85 Bitter SCs for just $22,000? The Bitter SC was based on the Opel Senator chassis, so maybe you'd be able to find some of the mechanical parts (better start learning German). Thing is, one of the cars has the original Opel running gear, and another has a Chevy LT-1 with a claimed 305 horsepower (the third car has no engine, so maybe it's an ideal recipient for the Nissan 4.5 V8 from yesterday's Q45). Was the Chevy swap done correctly? Can the Opel suspension and differential handle it? How about those flaky Opel electrical systems? Oh, there will be surprises aplenty for the lucky winner of this stable of German thoroughbreds!

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