Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! If you’re new here, I have to tell you that I have a problem with searching for and ultimately buying too many vehicles. I’m currently sitting on 20 of them (I think?) and I can’t seem to get rid of them. The upshot of this is that I have a huge list of cars that I find each week. You’ll get to see some of them right here.
This week, I’m letting my trip out to help host the Autopian Meetup And Car Show influence a few of my finds, and we have a few picks from the west coast! We have a little bit of everything from a big classic truck to forgotten cars and motorcycles.
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, join me in looking at some fun cars, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles.
2000 BMW Z3 M Coupe – $31,000
This performance coupe is nicknamed the “clown shoe” and really, the picture above should perfectly explain why.
The M Coupe is the work of engineers who built the car in secret before presenting it to management. The man running the Z3 roadster program, Burkhard Goeschel, thought the car deserved to be more than just a cushy convertible. So he and the rest of the engineering team added a roof, creating a car 2.6 times stiffer than the roadster.
Power normally comes from BMW’s 3.2-liter S52 straight six making 240 HP and 236 lb-ft torque. However, this clown shoe has some upgrades from tuner Dinan. Those upgrades include a little bit of everything from a strut brace to an engine tune, lowering springs, an intake, exhaust, and more. It’s said to run well, but could use refinishing on the front bumper in the future. It’s $31,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Novato, California with 116,680 miles.
1997 Oldsmobile LSS – $3,300
“Think of it as a prizefighter in a well-tailored suit.” That’s how the brochure for the 1996 Oldsmobile opens. “It’s got the power, agility and reflexes you’d find in an all-out sports coupe. But it also features the roominess of a full-size sedan.”
The Oldsmobile LSS launched in 1992 as a trim level for the Eighty Eight. The LSS–an abbreviation of Luxury Sports Sedan–was the high-performance version of the Eighty Eight. Oldsmobile pitched the LSS variant as an Eighty Eight with the performance of a sports sedan, but with the luxury of a full-size sedan. The automaker’s goal? Pull customers away from import brands selling sporty luxury sedans. And it would do it with a big boat of a sedan powered by Buick’s venerable 3800 V6. Early on in the LSS’ life, this engine made 170 HP before getting bumped to 205 HP.
My future wife owned one of these, but without the supercharger. While I don’t quite see why Oldsmobile thought that buyers would want this over a BMW or Mercedes, it is a wonderful highway cruiser. The seats are La-Z-Boy comfortable, the air suspension soaked up Chicago’s worst bumps, and it even scored over 30 mpg. The Buick 3800 got the car to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. Considering the age of the vehicle, that’s not bad!
Later model years of these had an optional supercharger. When equipped, power bumps up to 240 HP and acceleration to 60 mph drops to 6.9 seconds. Again, these aren’t going to win races. But if you’re a fan of 1990s GM, I think these are a solid choice. The seller of this 1997 tells me that it does have a supercharger and it drives well. It’s $3,300 on Facebook Marketplace in Sacramento, California with 108,145 miles.
1962 Morris Minor Traveller 1000 – $28,000
As Hagerty notes, the Morris Minor marks an important part in British motoring history. Production began in 1948 and ran until 1972, selling over 1.5 million units in the process. The Sir Alec Issigonis-designed car is notable as Britain’s first car to surpass a million sales.
What we’re looking at here is a Morris Minor Traveller 1000, a wood-trimmed wagon that the seller says is in original condition. It’s a member of the Minor 1000 family, which originally launched in 1956. Power comes from a 948cc British Motor Corporation A-Series four making 37 HP.
This example is notable for its apparent stack of documentation. The seller says that it was imported to America in the 1980s and has spent its time in climate-controlled storage for much of the time since. It comes with original paperwork and logs for everything, including when the original owner put gas in it. If true, that’s some pretty incredible record-keeping on top of maintenance. It’s $28,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Conway, South Carolina. Listing courtesy of Obscure Cars For Sale.
2014 Honda Valkyrie – $7,800
In 1996, Honda did something wild with its Gold Wing tourer and put its engine into a cruiser. The resulting bike, the Valkyrie, was a true muscle bike sporting 1520cc of Gold Wing flat six power coupled to enough brightwork to make a Harley-Davidson blush. These originals made 100 horses at the rear wheel and sped on to a top speed of 131 mph.
Production lasted until just 2003, and prices for originals are actually pretty affordable. I’ve wanted to purchase an original Valkyrie, but haven’t because I have no desire to mess with a rack of six carburetors.
Honda decided to give the Valkyrie another shot in 2013. This time, its Gold Wing-borrowed flat six is 1832cc and making 118 HP. In a departure from the old Valkyrie, the new one sports bodywork that gives it a futuristic look. Ultimate Motorcycling praises the Valkyrie for its seemingly endless power and good handling for such a big cruiser. Unfortunately, the revived Valkyrie ran for just two years in the States.
This 2014 is said to be in good condition. It’s $7,800 on Cycle Trader in Arlington, Washington with 12,154 miles.
1996 Mitsubishi Pajero Jr – $8,500
The Mitsubishi Pajero is a SUV famous for off-road domination. It entered the infamous Dakar rally 26 times and won a total of 12 races. Of those 12, 7 of them were consecutive wins. Mitsubishi used to serve up three flavors of its famed Pajero SUV. If the regular Pajero was too big, you could step all of the way down to the kei class Pajero Mini. If the Mini was too slow, you could move a step up a class larger to this, the Pajero Junior.
The Junior was the Mini, but scaled up a little and was given more power, enough power to be too powerful for the kei class. That said, the gains aren’t too large. The 1094cc 4A31 four makes only 79 horsepower, and top speed is 85 mph.
This one caught my attention for its flashy orange paint. Sadly, whoever had this repainted didn’t pay to get the door jambs repainted, and that’s where you’ll find lots of overspray. But if you can live with that you get a cute mini 4×4 that can go down the highway better than a kei car. It’s $8,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Clementon, New Jersey with 75,000 miles.
1936 Nash Lafayette – $9,950
The LaFayette Motors Corporation was founded in 1919 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The luxury marque built cars for just a short couple of years before Charles W. Nash became president of the company. Nash was also president of Nash Motors Company at the time, too. Lafayette was supposed to be the luxury counterpart to Nash. However, in 1924, Nash purchased LaFayette Motors. In the same year, Nash phased out the name and used the factory to build the budget Ajax.
The Lafayette name would return in 1934, but this time as an entry-level car. As Hemmings notes, sales weren’t great, and Nash tried changing the design to see what would work. In 1936, the Lafayette would see two grille designs. This car appears to have the earlier 1936 design.
This Lafayette is said to be in good condition with a lot of original parts from the paint down to the factory heater and radio. You even get the original hood ornament. Power comes from a 217.8 cu-in six making 83 HP. That’s said to be in good running order.
It’s $9,950 on Facebook Marketplace in Massapequa, New York with 56,000 miles.
1956 Ford C-600 – $40,000
The Ford C Series was a cabover truck line that, as Curbside Classic notes, had a lengthy run without major cosmetic updates. How long? It went for 33 years from 1957 until its 1990 retirement without many visual changes. These commercial trucks did all kinds of work from fire engines, tankers, garbage trucks, cement mixer trucks, and many more. You might not find one of these still in service outside of a farm. But you can find them as classics for the kind of person who wants something a bit different than a vintage Mustang.
This 1956 Ford C-600 comes from right before the 1957 redesign. The truck is said to have just 52,000 miles and is powered by its original Y-block V8. It isn’t said which Y-block is under there, but these trucks made 158 to 168 HP and 247 to 260 lb-ft torque depending on a choice of three Power King V8s.
That engine drives the rear wheels through a manual transmission and a two-speed rear. It’s $40,000 by Gateway Classic Cars on Hemmings in Deer Valley, Arizona.
1958 Panhard Dyna Z12 – $5,100
According to our friends at the Lane Motor Museum, Panhard, or Société Anonyme des Anciens Établissements, Panhard & Levassor, has a pretty place in history:
In 1891, Panhard built a batch of four identical cars, followed by series after series of increasing numbers. While Benz and Daimler had built cars earlier, they were individual examples. Chronologically, this makes Panhard et Levassor the world’s first marque of car in continuous, series production. Panhard et Levassor was also the first manufacturer to fit a steering wheel to a car, instead of a tiller. Primarily a producer of large luxury cars, Panhard realized after World War II that they needed to concentrate on lower-priced offerings to stay competitive. The Baroque-styled Dyna X series was a big success, but by 1953, it was due for a replacement.
The Dyna Z model debuted in 1954. Panhard had been using wind tunnel testing for years, and utilized the latest methods to develop the car’s slippery shape. Its drag coefficient is an amazing 0.26, compared with 0.51 for Citroën’s 2CV, and 0.48 for the Volkswagen Type 1.
As the Lane further notes, early Dyna Z cars were built with aluminum bodies. However rising prices for aluminum meant that later Dynas like this Z12 have bodies made from steel. Whether steel or aluminum, you still got a charismatic French car. Power comes from a 850cc boxer twin making 50 HP and driving the front wheels through a manual transmission.
Sadly, this Panhard hasn’t been on the road in 23 years, and that means it’s going to need a revival. It’s $5,100 on Facebook Marketplace in Lancaster, California.
2001 HDT M1030M1 – Auction
The HDT M1030M1 is an off-road motorcycle based on the Kawasaki KLR650 and built by Hayes Diversified Technologies. As the National Motorcycle Museum notes, a number of NATO nations decided that everything should run on multiple fuels. A lot of multi-fuel military vehicles came out the other end of this idea, and one of them is the M1030M1.
It runs on JP-8 jet fuel, diesel, and kerosene. As these motorcycles retire from service, people like you and I can buy them. There aren’t many diesel-powered motorcycles in America, but if you’re like me and love the smell of diesel in the morning this might be the ticket.
The 584cc single saddled in the frame uses the donor Kawasaki’s case and five-speed transmission, but has been modified to deal with the high pressures of a compression ignition engine. It makes 28 horsepower and is good for a top speed of 85 mph. Compare that to the 42 ponies of the gasoline version.
It’s up for auction on GovDeals, where bidding is currently at $5,367.87 with 12 days to go.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading.