Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! For the past few years, I’ve gotten into collecting dirt cheap and motorcycles, as well as writing fun stories for you lovely readers to read. It’s still sort of weird that the crap I do with cars is now a career, but I love it. I’m always searching for the next thing, even if I don’t need one. Since I’m shopping all of the time, I always have an evolving list of vehicles for sale. So it’s time to share it with you!
I was out last week, and thus wasn’t able to give Autopian readers their weekly dose of cars for sale. That will be rectified this week, and you’re going to be getting some crazy vehicles this time.
I search the entire country for a good balance of price and vehicle condition. But sometimes, some really cool cars end up for sale with really high prices. It’s disappointing, of course, but there’s nothing wrong with window shopping and dreaming. So join me in looking at some fun cars, motorcycles, and neat trucks from the past and present.
1950 Chrysler Imperial – $7,500
In 1926, not long after Chrysler’s founding, Walter P. Chrysler decided to go up to bat against Cadillac, Duesenberg, Packard, Pierce Arrow, Studebaker, and other luxury brands. The first Imperial, the Imperial 80, was advertised for its speed. Back then, Chrysler claimed that its model numbers meant miles per hour, in this case, 80 mph.
Chrysler’s Imperial cars got faster and more luxurious over the years. And in the mid-1950s, Chrysler spun Imperial off as its own brand. This 1950 model comes from before that era. It has modern design from the 1950s and has the Chrysler New Yorker as a close sibling. It even looked like a New Yorker, differentiating itself with a canvas coach ceiling, leather and broadcloth interior. Another selling point was that these features were installed by the Derham Body Company in Detroit.
This Imperial isn’t perfect, but it’s an affordable and stately classic. Power comes from a 324 cubic-inch straight eight making 135 HP transmitted through a manual transmission. It’s $7,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Algonquin, Illinois.
1978 Ford “Mustchero” – $10,000
I told you that this entry will be a little crazy, and this probably takes the cake for the weirdest custom vehicle that I’ve featured yet. As Ford Authority notes, this creation is based on the Ford Ranchero, a coupé utility that ran through seven generations between 1957 to 1979. One of those generations saw the Ranchero based on the LTD II. That’s what we’re looking at here, but Kentucky resident Frank Revlett apparently felt that this 1978 Ranchero GT needed a little more spice. That’s when he fitted New Edge Mustang parts to it, creating the monster that you see here.
There’s a 460 V8 under the hood. The seventh-generation Ranchero didn’t have a 460 as an option, and it’s unclear where this one came from. However, a stock 460 in a sixth-generation Ranchero made 202 HP. The seller isn’t using current pictures for this ad, and notes some fiberglass and windshield cracks. It’s $10,000 in Taylorsville, North Carolina.
1970 Chevrolet K10 Cheyenne – $25,900
The first-generation of General Motors’ C/K line of trucks launched in 1960, replacing the Task Force series of trucks. When it comes to naming, “C” denotes rear-wheel-drive while “K” means four-wheel-drive. The second-generation launched in 1967, and Chevrolet says that these trucks, dubbed the “Action Line,” added comfort and convenience features to make the C/K line to better fit the types of customers that were buying them. The body was given a new design, too. Chevrolet mentions some fun facts from when this line was introduced, like the fact that a gallon of gas was $0.33 ($3.18 today) or that a whole house was $24,600 ($237,252 today).
This K10 Cheyenne looks ready for an off-road adventure. The seller notes that it has power steering, power brakes, a lift kit, and a 350 cubic-inch V8. That should be good for 250 HP and 350 lb-ft torque. It’s $25,900 on Hemmings by Worldwide Vintage Autos in Denver, Colorado with 33,672 miles.
2020 Carver EV – $10,900
The Carver is probably one of those vehicles that you’ve heard about for years, but have never seen in the flesh. Indeed, these aren’t sold in America, but one has made it over here, anyway. I’ll let Carver itself explain its history:
WHY DO WE NEED 2 TONS OF STEEL TO TRANSPORT 1 PERSON?
That is the question Ton van den Brink asked himself in the 1990s in Paris. The Dutch entrepreneur was stuck in traffic jams and surrounded by rows of cars with only one driver,
From then on, Ton began to dream of a compact vehicle. Safe and comfortable like a car, fast and agile like a motorcycle. A mobility solution that had to unite all the advantages of traditional vehicles. Shortly thereafter, a team of Dutch engineers, led by Ton’s son – Chris van den Brink – began designing a new city vehicle: an ultra-small, roofed tricycle. Many times smaller, lighter and more maneuverable than the traditional car. The big challenge with narrow, closed vehicles is to avoid going under. With a two-wheeler, you use your feet. With a covered tricycle, you can’t. So the vehicle itself must be made smarter.
After years of experimentation, Chris and his team discovered the magic solution: Dynamic Vehicle Control (DVC). An innovative tilt system where the tilt angle of the vehicle is directly linked to the driver’s driving behavior. In 2003, after many prototypes, the Carver One came on the market. The first vehicle in the world in which the properties of a car and motorcycle were successfully united. With a 660 cc turbo engine and a top speed of 185 km/h. In the end, 250 examples were produced.
Carver Europe went bankrupt in 2009, but managed to keep one of its subsidiaries out of the bankruptcy. And slowly, the company got back on its feet. Carver began working on prototypes for new trikes and in 2018, that work culminated in the Carver, the next generation of the original concept. This Carver is believed to be a 2020, and was imported from Germany for some unspecified engineering evaluation. Note: This seller also has a Renault Twizy on deck that was imported for the same reason.
Power comes from two 2.6 HP electric motors that propel the Carver to a top speed of 28 mph. It’s fed from a 5.4 kWh battery and has a 62-mile range. It’s said to have the equivalent of 52 miles on its odometer. It’s $10,900 on Facebook Marketplace in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
2008 Saab 9-7X Aero – $9,999
The General Motors GMT360 was one that found itself underpinning a bunch of SUVs. Launched for the 2002 model year, GMT360 platform mates include the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Oldsmobile Bravada, Isuzu Ascender, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, and perhaps surprisingly, the Saab 9-7X.
The first car that I’ve ever driven was a 2003 GMC Envoy XL, which rode on the derivative GMT370. Over the years, I’ve gotten to drive the GMC’s other platform mates and have come out liking the Envoy the most. It’s not nearly as plastic-y as the Trailblazer and doesn’t feel like a parts-bin special like the Ascender. I fondly remember the Envoy XL for having some decent grunt, cushy seats, and a stereo with more bass than my teenage ears were able to handle. But there is one version that I haven’t driven, and it’s simultaneously the best and weirdest of the GMT360s.
General Motors’ ownership of Saab led to some interesting decisions. One that you certainly probably know of is the “Saabaru,” the Subaru Impreza badge-engineered into the Saab 9-2X. But the General didn’t stop there, as the GMT360 platform was used to create Saab’s first-ever SUV. Yes, the 9-7X was a parts-bin special, and it shared tons of parts with its siblings, but the Saab did get a few of its own visual treatments inside and out. We’re not here for that, though, because there’s a version of this SUV that cranks the ridiculous up to 11.
In 2008, the Saab 9-7X Aero released as the fastest version. Under the hood was a 6.0-liter LS2 V8, the same engine found in the Corvette and the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS. In this application, that engine is punching 390 HP out to all four wheels through an automatic. It could hit 60 mph in the mid-five second range, putting it into muscle car territory in acceleration. And sure, while you could get the same experience with the Trailblazer SS, the Saab was the more luxurious one. Besides, you get to say that you own a Saab SUV with a Corvette V8.
Perhaps the weirdest part about this is that the Saab 9-7X was built in America, for Americans, yet some of them actually made it over to Europe. This “Trollblazer” is in Totowa, New Jersey. It can be yours for $9,999 on Facebook Marketplace with 150,000 miles.
2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder – $7,000
Here’s Toyota’s take on the affordable convertible sports car formula. The MR2 keeps its engine behind the driver and has a 43/57 percent front/rear weight distribution for that almost perfect driving feel. That engine is a 1.8-liter four making a modest 138 hp to the rear wheels.
Toyota UK Magazine details the development of the very first MR2:
The history of the Toyota MR2 can be traced all the way back to 1976 when the company officially commenced its landmark ‘middie’ project, but the worldwide oil crisis delayed the project’s development.
In 1980, the project was revived and given a new sense of direction: Toyota would produce another affordable sports car akin to its Sports 800 of the 1960s, spurred on by a hastened desire to launch exciting new models into the rapidly-expanding market in North America. The enthusiasm within Toyota was so great that many engineers famously gave up their summer holidays to contribute to the project.
In case you ever wondered, the name is a contraction of “Midship Runabout 2-seater,” and you can see that printed on the cover for the frunk in this MR2. As Toyota UK Magazine notes, the MR2 had grown to become more of a tourer in its second-generation, and the goal for the third-generation was to bring it back. Toyota wanted everything with the third-gen to be smaller from the dimensions to the engine and dry weight. And sure enough, the brand pulled it off. The third-gen weighs less than a first-gen, with a smaller engine than a second-gen. It even managed to be two inches shorter than the first-gen, too.
This MR2 isn’t perfect. The seller notes that the body isn’t pristine, it has 111,650 miles and there’s a crack in the driver seat. But for the price of $7,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Keosauqua, Iowa, it might be a deal.
1996 Nissan Stagea RS Four GT-R Swap – $60,000
The Stagea was Nissan’s answer to the Subaru Legacy. This car is famous in part for sharing lots of components with the legendary Nissan Skyline, and you can even find converted models wearing GT-R bodywork.
That’s the case here, but there’s so much more. This car started life as a Stagea RS Four with a 2.5-liter RB25DE straight six making 190 HP. It looks like the fabled R34 GT-R, and under the hood is a party. Someone went through the work to transplant a 2.6-liter twin-turbo RB26DETT straight six from an R33 GT-R into this car. The R33 Skyline’s transmission came with the transplant, and it’s driving all four wheels. This car is now making at least 276 HP and is the closest thing that you will find to a real Nissan GT-R wagon. It’s $60,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Huntsville, Alabama with 110,000 miles on the body.
1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 – $26,000
First launched in 1949, the Oldsmobile 88 lived through 10 generations and went on to be Olds’ most profitable model. And some would go as far as to call the 88–a small car with a big V8–an early muscle car. You could get one like the Super 88 above or in its final days like the LSS that my wife used to have. It’s sort of amazing to see how the design evolved over the decades. Production lasted about 50 years, finally ending in 1999 all spelled out as the Eighty Eight.
For this older model, “Super 88″ denotes it as an upscale trim. You get power steering and power brakes as well as more power than a lower level model. Power would normally come from a 324 cubic-inch V8 making 240 HP, but it was swapped out for a 454 big block making unspecified power. Thankfully, the original engine appears to come with the sale if it’s not your jam. This one looks pretty clean for $26,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Polk City, Florida.
2016 Zenos E10 S – $59,995
If you’ve never heard of Zenos before, you’re not alone. This is a company that sprouted up and disappeared in the blink of an eye. Zenos is the work of Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, a pair that first met at Lotus Cars back in 1999. Later, they would work for Caterham together. At some point, the two felt that there was a place in the market for a high-performance sports car that was inexpensive to purchase and inexpensive to run. They founded Zenos in 2012, and its first car, the E10, hit the road in 2015.
The Zenos (which the company says is a combination of “Zen” for purity and “os”, which loosely means vertebra) E10 has two hallmark traits. One is its central aluminum spine. This runs the length of the car front to back and is said to add rigidity. Next is a composite tub which consists of a plastic core between sheets of previously discarded carbon fiber.
The other trick to the E10 is its GRP body panels. Zenos says that the car is built so that these panels are sacrificial, and that a parking lot bump wouldn’t result in expensive damage.
Power in this 2016 E10 S comes from a 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost making 250 HP and 295 lb-ft torque. This is good for a claimed 0-60 time of 4 seconds. Weirdly, this E10 S has fewer than 100 miles, and the selling dealership claims that you will get a factory warranty. But it’s unclear how this warranty would be honored since Zenos itself burned through so much cash went bust in January 2017. These cars appear to be seriously rare, with around 100 units built before the company went under. This one is $59,995 on Facebook Marketplace in Buffalo, New York.
That’s it for this week! Thank you for reading.