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

Sbsd 6 3

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:

Screen Shot 2022 06 02 At 6.10.12 Pm

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

00w0w 94hjnugxuhkz 0ci0t2 1200x900

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:

20200707 111513

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)

00r0r Lum5tikjqu0z 0x20om 1200x900

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

00j0j 2aaiq92cimfz 0t20ci 1200x900

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!


Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

37 Responses

  1. I can’t believe that old ass van won over the newer one. You pull up to a jobsite in that thing and they’ll tell you the crack house is down the street and send you on your way.

    Voted for the disgraced Brit.

  2. Going with the Ram Van. Wife wants a camper and this would be easy to renovate with TLC and a fresh coat of paint.

    That said, 14 year old me would have a field day knowing I had a creeper van. Just paint “free candy” on the side and have fun driving through the burbs and telling people you have to park 250 feet from the parks. Plus the chance to yell at my kids “get in my goddamn van” when picking them up from school.

  3. I’m still down like charlie Brown for the Bentley! I got a LS sitting ready to go in…some air ride as well…make a sic cheap luxo cruiser to take to shows or just drive around looking posh AF! BENTLEY FTW!

  4. Van for me. I also had a Miata to get the convertible big out of my system and don’t really want another one unless the car is good enough to make it worth it. A third gen Eclipse is not good enough to make it worth it.

    I get the appeal of making some rat rod-esque Bentley but I don’t want to deal with fixing or figuring out custom solutions for it’s mineral oil suspension and braking system.

    The van however, I can (presumably) drive it home today and it has so much room for activities

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. I wish the Doge Van, for I consider myself wise, yet somewhat jaded, like many a Shiba Inu. And the rack is perfect for my canoes, when it’s time to paddle around with my local watershed river conservancy buddies.

  7. No car like a Mopar. Van. Rewire it. RV cam torquebeast LA build. Towing duty with a covered cargo area not to be found in a pickup. Tint if you don’t like the greenhouse.

  8. Definitely the van. That’s the one that I can actually depend on to … you know, work. I’ve run a couple of Gamblers, and I know what people do to those things. It makes buying a used rental car seem like a very sensible idea. The Bentley is just a big yard sculpture, and I’m sorry but it’s very boring to look at.

  9. Given this trio any non Bentley vote is a good vote. I’m not particularly keen on either of the remaining choices, but I went the Eclipse because it’s already running down the “safari all the cars” road and could make for an interesting rally cross beater.

  10. Weren’t there a bunch of people who wanted to use that burned out limo bodyshell for something? Seems the Bentley would at least make an unusual planter/raised bed if its transportation days are over

  11. The van I guess, so I can spray paint “free hugs” on the side… J/K! I voted for the Bentley. I plan to have the garage 54 guys weld for Ford Ecoboost v6’s together and stab it under that hood, errr, bonnet.

Leave a Reply