Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender is an unfinished project… from the '60s! It's as idiosyncratic a throwback as Austin Powers and twice as British, but will its price prove to be groovy, baby?
Over in Great Britain, they use the Pound Sterling for moolah, while here in America we tell people we don't like to go pound sand. Not too many of you told yesterday's 1991 Sterling 827 SLi - which is from Great Britain - to go pound sand, and in fact 66% of you felt its price set a sterling example.
The Sterling may be rare Brit here in the States, but today we have an ex-pat from Jolly Olde that I'm pretty sure almost none of you have ever seen no matter which side of the pond you call home. This 1959 Falcon Caribbean is an example of Britain's cottage automotive industry that arose after the war and resulted in brands like Lotus, Marcos, and TVR, as well as an incalculable number of purveyors of bodies for backyard DIY'rs. Today's car comes from that latter group.
This car's creator, Falcon Shells, was founded in 1956 in Essex England by Peter Pellandine. The company produced GRP shells in England and in New Zealand for existing chassis, as well as full-on kits that included the rolling chassis and engine. Similar to Lotus at the time, Falcon Shells produced products for both the street and the track, even taking an unsuccessful stab at Le Mans in 1963.
Falcon offered the Caribbean from 1959 though 1963 and with an estimated 2,000 sold it proved to be the company's most popular model. The bodywork is Italian-inspired, featuring a Ferrari-esque nose that ends in a simple grille and sugar scoop lights.
The fenders leading back from those lights make a jump aft of the doors and finish in pontoons that bracket a simple boot. The coupe roof is light and airy, and a fun game might be to play name that glass, identifying the production source for all the windows. Hint: the windshield is from a Hillman.
This Caribbean's body is set on a 1951 Ford Anglia chassis and the ad claims that the car was initially partially assembled back in the sixties and then left un-finished and in storage ever since. The body in fact has apparently never been mounted to the chassis, nor has work like cutting the dash for instruments ever been done. The gel coat has seemingly held up over the years, the ad noting only a crack on one of the rear wheel arches as an issue.
The Anglia was Britain's cheapest 4-wheel car in the early fifties, making them ubiquitous and an excellent resource for one-off builders. The little Fords however, were pretty rudimentary. This one has been upgraded a bit. Its I-beam front suspension having been converted to an IFS setup. The engine looks to be a Ford 10 and it comes with a rare and desirable Elva IOE head. The pistons are forty-overs and are fed by a pair of inch and a quarter SUs.
Power is sent to the rear axle through a close ratio three speed Ford box and that has the remotest Wooler shifter I think I've ever seen. Drum brakes feature all around, and are fitted with what are claimed to be honest to god Ballamy wheels. Additional parts to complete the car are included in the deal.
This car is perhaps one of the most interesting barn finds of recent memory. Oh sure, the project was started and then shelved before most of you were born, but how much win would there be in finishing it and then being the hit of every car show and concours you entered?
Such rarity of course comes at a price, and in the case of this rare car, that price is $10,500 Canuck bucks. That's about $8,350 American, £5,415 for you Brits, or 7,370 in Euros if that's what floats your European boat. Add to that the cost of the U-Haul rental required to bring the car and its minions in parts home, and that's the whole enchilada. You'd also have to consider what the cost would be to complete the car, and then factor that into the expected value the finished car. I'll leave that all to you as I am bad at the maths.
Now that it's all on you, what's your take on this Caribbean and its $10,500 price tag? Do you think that's a fair price to climb into this time capsule? Or, is that too much for a project that someone long ago must have thought was not worth finishing?
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