Bad-Idea Bentley, Gambler Eclipse, or Earnest Dodge Van: What’s Your Shitbox Of The Week?

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Another week, another Shitbox Showdown Friday roundup. This week we have only three finalists, because Jason and David are nice bosses who gave me Monday off. So let’s find out what yesterday’s winner is, so we can get to recapping:

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Jeez, you guys. I was kidding. Three-fifths of you were wearing your Bad Idea Jeans yesterday, it seems. But hey, I just present ’em. You all pick ’em.

So with that, we have a very strange three-car garage: a derelict British boat, a rattletrap roadster, and a tired old van. Let’s take another look at them just to refresh your memories, and as always, I’ll give my assessments of them.

1985 Dodge Ram 250 – $2,000

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This exactly-scruffy-enough Dodge van beat out a much newer and far more complicated Ford Econoline that needed some mechanical attention. Since Tuesday, this van’s price has been lowered $500, making it an even better deal. Yes, a van with windows is harder to set up for work, but as a substitute for a pickup truck for weekend chores, this could do the trick nicely.

I don’t know what it is about vans; I have absolutely no use for one, but I find myself drawn to them, especially these old Dodge (and Chevy/GMC) ones.  Maybe it’s because sometimes they look like this magnificent specimen I spotted here in Portland:

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I don’t know who Good Lookin’ Sergey the Tattoo Wizard is, but I love his van. Our beat-up old van is my top pick this week, simply by association with this van.

2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder – $1,509 (sold)

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This one didn’t stay on the market long, and I’m not surprised. If you can look past the Gambler involvement, it’s a good deal on a reasonably nice, reasonably economical car that’s a notch or three more interesting than your typical econobox.

This would have been my second choice, though I’d much rather have a coupe; I did the convertible thing for eight years with a Miata and got it out of my system.

1989 Bentley Eight – $2,150

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What interests me about this old Bentley is, how did it find its way to a household just outside Memphis, with an owner who clearly knows virtually nothing about it? Bought at an impound auction, or an estate sale, or something, I imagine. But what about before that? This was an $80-90,000 car when it was new; how does it end up moldering away on someone’s lawn with fewer than 70,000 miles on the clock? Who put those 70,000 miles on it before then? And why did they give it up for dead?

A lot of commenters seemed keen on the engine-swap idea, but it’s not as simple as all that: this car uses a hydraulic system that makes the Space Shuttle look easy to work on. Gotta adapt that to whatever engine you swap in, and make sure it all works, or you won’t have power steering or brakes. I’m sure there are other ways to burn through as much money in a hurry, but they all involve drugs or Bernie Madoff. I had to post it, because it’s a Bentley in our price range, but actually trying to save it is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. And this is coming from someone who owns a British car already (admittedly a much simpler one) and someday wants to own a Jag or an Alfa (or both).

Anyway, that’s our show for this week. Cast your vote for your favorite, and we’ll do it all again next week. I’m not sure what crappy wonders the internet has in store for us then, but it’ll be fun to find out. See you then!

QuizMaker

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37 Responses

    1. Aw man, it’s the old one that was built in Cricklewood, apparently. I shouldn’t have double checked if it was Crewe like I imagined (or at least I should pay attention to what I search for). Still, Crewe-built lawn ornament all the way. I’ll spend whatever costs to clean the interior and get the stereo working, and not a cent more.

  1. I gotta ask, are you talking in the actually-spending-money-on-one-of-these-things context?

    Then no, no, for the love of God NO, respectively.

    Or are we talking about the for-an-online-quiz-at-a-website… wait a minute.

    Bentley. So Bentley. As brown as the Bentley.

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