Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you all know, I have an affliction that involves drooling over and buying too many vehicles of all kinds. And unlike my friend and editor David, my collection just keeps building. But hey, you get a peek into what kind of cars I like because I keep a list of ads on my computer.
This week, I’m featuring a number of vehicles that may make you scratch your head. One of them in particular doesn’t seem to make sense, but at least it’s dirt cheap!
I’ll warn you right away, some of these may be downright stupid or crappy cars. Some of them are questionably modified. Some of them may be suspiciously cheap. And some, unfortunately, may be a bit too expensive for many enthusiasts. But it’s ok to window shop! So let’s take a peek under the covers of my long list of the cars and motorcycles that I’ve been pining for lately.
1972 Ford Country Squire – $15,000
This old Ford has the distinction of being one of the coolest cars that I’ve seen to have so few details in its ad.
Before crossovers, SUVs, or even minivans ruled the land as the family hauler, the wagon reigned. Back in the 1970s you could buy a land barge long enough to fit the whole family and their gear, complete with tens of feet of fake woodgrain. For Ford, the Country Squire sat at the top of the wagon range and it lasted through eight generations and 41 model years.
This Country Squire is a bit different than usual. It’s riding on a 1966 Ford F-250 chassis and sports dually rears and a 390 V8 up front. That V8 is fed by a Edelbrock carburetor and power is sent to the Dana 60 rear through an automatic. The exterior is complete with airbrushed woodgrain graphics.
[Editor’s Note: That airbrushed woodgrain is incredible. Somehow an imitation of imitation wood = better than actual wood. – JT]
This build won its Rust Belt American Junk class in the Concours d’LeMons California 2016, too. Today, the wagon resides in Indiana with a different owner. It’s $15,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Highland, Indiana.
1950 Ford F1 – $21,500
The radical Ford pickups of today owe their existence to trucks like this blue F1. These trucks were an immediate success, and Ford says it helped the company pull itself out of its financial struggles of the period. FoMoCo even says that the F1 brought people into showrooms to buy things that weren’t trucks.
This particular truck lives in California, free from the rust of the Midwest. There is a 226 cu in Flathead straight six under the hood, which should be making 95 HP. It’s unclear if this truck is restored or not, but it’s definitely very clean. It’s $21,500 on Hemmings in Westlake Village, California with 46,000.
1950 Mercury Eight Coupe – $38,500
In 1939, the Mercury division of Ford launched with its first car, the Mercury Eight. It came in a bunch of different body styles and was marketed as a big car that was also economical. The vehicle was a success, and eventually Mercury became a popular brand.
As Hagerty writes, after World War II, Mercury was tasked with reopening its lines and updating its cars. The first to get a new design was the Eight. The new car had flowing lines and a low, sleek roof. It wasn’t long before the new Eight became a star. Sam and George Barris created an incredible custom Eight for Masato Hirohata. The Hirohata Merc [Editor’s Note: A certain Autopian partner may just own that very car now, just saying. – JT] , as it’s called, featured a cut roof, deleted excess chrome, filled in the headlights and even created a custom grille. The Eight also showed up in the James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause. Today, these cars are perhaps best known for the lead sleds that modders turned them into.
This Mercury Eight is not a lead sled. Instead, it’s described as being original, but “redone.” It’s unclear what that means, but it’s a gorgeous vehicle. I love how the interior is a cherry red to match the paint. Power comes from a 255 Flathead V8 making 110 HP. You can get it for $38,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Manassas, Virginia.
Corvair-Powered Trike – $1,150
Have you ever wanted a Can-Am Spyder but wished it looked like something out of Mad Max? Well, a seller in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin has just the vehicle.
[Editor’s Note: This looks like it could be an exciting euthanasia option, if your moral code includes such things. – JT]
I’ve been looking at (and considering buying) this contraption for the past few days and honestly, I can’t quite make out what’s going on here. Up front is a flat six from a Chevrolet Corvair. Which one isn’t stated, but you’re looking at an output of at least 80 HP. That’s a reasonable amount of power even for a regular motorcycle.
That is bolted to a Frankenstein monster of a frame that features two car wheels up front and a motorcycle wheel bringing up the rear. Steering is accomplished through a yoke, which drives a chain that leads somewhere. Your floorboards are corrugated metal that wrap around the trike’s exhaust. There isn’t a seat, so maybe you’re supposed to stand on this thing? Maybe it’s unfinished?
I reached out to the seller for questions and I have not received a response back at the time of writing. Either way, if this appeals to you it’s just $1,150 on Facebook Marketplace.
1965 Airstream Globe Trotter – $25,000
Airstream’s Globe Trotter trailers were inspired by an adventure taken by the company’s founder. In 1948, Airstream founder Wally Byam and a friend painted ‘Globe Trotters’ on an Airstream then toured Europe. When he got back, the company launched the Globe Trotter line, which were said to “go anywhere an automobile can go and still have the facilities of comfortable living.”
This 1965 Globe Trotter slots into Airstream’s Land Yacht trim, which denotes the most amount of luxury. Getting a land yacht meant you got all of the luxuries of home like heat and a bathroom, but on the road.
This trailer was given an update in 2009. It now has modern equipment like a roll-away air-conditioner, a new bathroom, updated cooktop, and a newer fridge. What’s neat is that this remodeling didn’t turn the trailer into something else entirely. Inside, it still very much looks like it’s very old.
It’s $25,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Butte, Montana.
2009 Chevrolet HHR SS – $10,500
The Chevrolet HHR was the General’s answer to the then popular Chrysler PT Cruiser. GM even managed to get the PT’s designer, Bryan Nesbitt, to pen its car. I think the HHR is the better looking of the two and more practical, too. I’ve used an HHR as a mini camper during one Gambler 500 season and to date it was the most comfortable car camping I’ve ever had.
General Motors even made a hot hatch version of the HHR, and SS packs some respectable firepower under the hood. That engine is the 2.0-liter Ecotec LNF. This engine is notable as being one of GM’s first forays into direct injection. It also produces 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft torque. I have this engine in my Saturn Sky Red Line and it’s an absolute delight. I can only imagine how silly it is packaged into something like the HHR.
I tried to find an SS Panel for this entry, and after scouring the entire country I came up empty. But seeing as just 216 of those exist, it’s no surprise that I couldn’t find one. This 2009 SS model appears to be a decent example. It has high mileage at 142,500 miles, but it looks clean and appears to be stock. It’s $10,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Enterprise, Alabama.
Auto Union 1000 – $22,470
Our friends at the Lane Motor Museum have a great piece on the history of this car, so I’ll let them take the mic for a moment:
The name DKW comes from “Dampf-Kraft-Wagen” which translates to “steam powered vehicle.”
It carries this name because the first vehicle its Danish designer, J.S. Rasmussen built was a light steam car. Like many other manufacturers, DKW was also famous for motorcycles –in the 1930s they were the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. In 1931, DKW diversified into automobile manufacturing. In 1932, they became part of Auto Union, joining Audi, Horch, and Wanderer. In 1949, DKW was re-established in the Federal Republic of Germany before being taken over by Mercedes-Benz. Sold to Volkswagen in 1965, DKW became part of Audi, and ceased production in 1966.
DKW was known for being a reliable, well-built car. The two stroke engine is small, being under 1000cc, but provided adequate power to move this medium size car along very well. The engine has only 7 moving parts – 3 pistons, 3 connecting rods and a crankshaft. There are 3 coils and 3 sets of points. The distributor is on the end of the crankshaft. The cooling system is a convection type with the radiator mounted higher than the engine so that hot water rises to the radiator while cooled water returns to the engine from the lower radiator outlet.
Apparently, its radiator is so good that it drops water temps to 40° F. That little engine is making just 32 HP and dispatching it to the front wheels through a column-shifted manual. This example is $22,470 at Duncan Imports.
2003 BMW 760Li – $7,995
One of my recent discoveries about cars for sale is that even with today’s market you can still find a cheap V12. I’ve recently been offered a BMW 750iL for almost too cheap, and that set me on a path for seeing what other cheap V12s are out there.
I landed on this 2003 BMW 760Li. It’s a fourth-generation BMW 7 Series, also known as the E65. These cars remain somewhat controversial to this day for their radical styling departure from BMW’s norms. While older 7 Series generations featured subdued styling, the fourth-generation cars were designed under direction from then BMW Design Chief Chris Bangle. These cars brought on a rounder design language and the infamous “Bangle Butt” rear end. I’m probably in the minority when I say that I actually dig what these cars look like in real life.
This car is a long-wheelbase 760Li (E66) and its real selling point is what’s under the hood. Pop it open and you’ll bask in the glory of BMW’s N73 V12. This 6.0-liter monster makes 438 HP, which pushes the executive sedan to an estimated 60 mph sprint in 5.4 seconds.
These vehicles set you back up to about $133,000 when new, but here’s one for just $7,995. It’s had to drive 169,356 miles to get there, but it looks to be in solid condition. You can find it by Pacific Luxury Motors on CarGurus in Santa Monica, California.
1976 Suzuki RE-5 – $13,500
I have a bucket list of motorcycles that I need to own at least once in my life, and the Suzuki RE-5 is on it.
The motorcycle world is chock-full of ideas and attempts to revolutionize how we ride on two wheels. Some motorcycles have been electric, some diesel, and some turbines have even bolted to motorcycle frames. One idea that has been tried a number of times is powering a motorcycle with a rotary engine. In theory, a Wankel makes perfect sense for a motorcycle. These engines are compact, lightweight, and feature fewer moving parts than your typical piston engine.
As our friends at RideApart note, the rotary engine is the invention of German engineer Felix Wankel. He originally patented it in 1929, but kept working on it until the 1950s. In 1959, Wankel was working with NSU when he got a working prototype built. The next year, NSU began licensing the design to anyone willing to take on the challenge.
Suzuki was one of those brands, and the company licensed a 497cc rotary from NSU. Suzuki would then put its own engineering dollars in to resolve problems with heat, backfiring, and smoke. In the end, Suzuku got some patents and the powerplant was placed into a motorcycle designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Cycle World put it on the magazine’s list of the Ten Worst Motorcycles, citing its cost, complexity, and lack of power. In a modern take, Classic Bike Guide believed that without the economic strain of the era’s oil crisis, Suzuki could have had an entire family of rotary-powered motorcycles.
It’s $13,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Hyndman, Pennsylvania with 11,564 miles.
That’s it for this week, thank you for reading!