Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars and motorcycles and telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. Since I’m shopping all of the time, I always have an evolving list of vehicles for sale. Here’s what I’m obsessed with lately.
Now that I’m finally feeling better from weeks of sickness, I want to take a motorcycle ride. In a cruel twist, my part of Illinois is currently getting blasted by snowy weather. And next week we’re going to drop into negative temperatures. Oh, come on! I guess I’m staying inside and looking at some cars.
Here’s what I’m looking at this week!
1950 Dodge B-4-D126 – $21,500
I’ve highlighted a number of Ford and Chevrolet trucks in this series, but looking back, not too many Dodge trucks. I will change that today with another sweet classic truck, but in Dodge flavor. Sold from 1948 to 1953, the Dodge B series trucks replaced the automaker’s prewar trucks. B series trucks were available in a range of body styles from pickups and flatbeds to panel trucks and even a woody wagon. Dodge called them “Job-Rated” trucks for their durability and the cab was marketed as a “pilot-house” for its good visibility.
This B-4 has been restored and is said to run and drive well. Under the hood is a 218 cubic inch L-head inline six making 96 HP. That feeds the rear wheels through a four-speed manual. It’s $21,500 from Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown, Pennsylvania.
1990 Nissan Pulsar GTI-R – $15,000
The Nissan Pulsar was first produced starting in 1978. Here in America, you’re probably most familiar with the Nissan Pulsar NX, which is based on the third-generation Pulsar. That little funky car was somewhat modular, offering a single body style with multiple panels to change the vehicle up. The ’80s were a weird time.
Once the hangover from that decade was over, Nissan took the Pulsar rallying. The automaker took the fourth-generation Pulsar and souped it up for the World Rally Championship’s Group A competition. Under homologation rules, Nissan had to build roadgoing versions of its racer, and according to Bonhams, Nissan cranked out 14,600 GTI-R examples. It never took home a WRC title, but these road cars are still pretty awesome. Power comes from a 2.0-liter SR20DET turbo four making 227 HP and 209 lb-ft torque, delivered to all four wheels. That’s good for a 60-mph sprint in 5.4 seconds.
This one looks to be in good shape, with what appears to be minor cosmetic work needed to make it perfect. It’s $15,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Byron Center, Michigan with 60,273 miles.
1990 Fiat Panda 4×4 Sisley – $6,995
Are you looking for a four-wheel-drive vehicle but are not really interested in a truck or SUV? Well, this cute Fiat Panda is an option. Unlike many imports, I’ve noticed that Pandas stay cheap, so you can get your import fix without going bankrupt!
Our friends at the Lane Motor Museum have a little story about these cars:
The Fiat Panda was introduced in 1980, and was meant to be a city car for the masses; simpler but in the spirit of Citroën’s 2CV. It was a no-frills utility vehicle designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. Giugiaro compared the Panda to a pair of jeans – simple, practical, and without frills. For practicality, it featured cheap, flat panes of glass, removeable and washable seat and door panel covers, and a multi-configurable, removable rear seat. The base model had a modest 2 cylinder 652cc engine that drove the front wheels.
In June 1983 Fiat introduced the 4×4 Panda, developed by the Austrian company Steyr-Puch. It was the first small, transverse-engined production car to have 4-wheel drive. The Panda 4×4 had a larger engine than the standard Panda, and a 5-speed gearbox with a very low first gear for off-road use.
The first-generation Panda is such a tank that it was in production for 23 years. And getting a Sisley like this one got you a Panda with a bit more kit. You get a velour interior, an Alcantara headliner, an inclinometer, headlight washers, and more. This one is said to come from Italy and is rust-free. Power comes from a 965cc four making 48 HP. It’s $6,995 on Facebook Marketplace in Denver, Pennsylvania.
Hat tip to martywit!
2000 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage – $28,500
By the early 1990s it was obvious Aston Martin would need to increase production in order to survive. Victor Gauntlett suggested that a new, smaller Aston Martin should be built alongside the big V8 Astons, a car that could be sold in all markets and that would be less expensive. The advent of the Ford Motor Company and the appointment of the late Walter Hayes as Chief Executive of Aston Martin not only provided new funding, but brought with it access to some of the best vehicle engineering facilities in the world.
The new design, code named NPX, was styled by Ian Callum and engineered in conjunction with Tom Walkinshaws TWR group. Aston Martin revealed the DB7 at the Geneva Motorshow in 1993, with production starting in 1994 at a new factory in Bloxham, near Banbury in Oxfordshire.
In 1999, Aston Martin would unleash the Vantage into the world. These replaced the six-cylinder engines found in the original DB7s with a 5.9-liter V12 making a blazing 420 HP and 400 lb-ft torque. And that’s what you’re getting here. That engine is driving the rear wheels through an automatic transmission, and it’s a convertible, so you don’t have a hard roof blocking your ears from that sweet soundtrack.
This one is said to be a one-owner car from California. It’s $28,500 on Hemmings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with 83,000 miles.
1992 Suzuki GSX1100G – $1,500
The Suzuki GSX1100G was a short-lived anomaly in motorcycle history. Have you ever wanted the power of a replica race motorcycle, but in a far more relaxed package? As Cycle World wrote back in 1991, that’s pretty much what you got with a Suzuki GSX1100G.
Cycle World explains that the engine is essentially the one from a GSX-R1100 sportbike, but with notable changes like a secondary balancer shaft, different rocker arms, different cams, and a few other small changes. These changes make the engine a bit better suited to a standard-style motorcycle. But more than that, it also offered that power in a simple package, like the motorcycles of decades past.
Another departure from the GSX-R1100 is a shaft drive. Cycle World concluded that it was a good all-rounder, while Rider Magazine says that you could spend all day on this machine, racking up hundreds of miles.
Power comes from a 1127cc inline-four making 98 HP. That’s good for a top speed of around 140 mph if you can find a straight enough road. This 1992 example is said to run well, but will need a carburetor synchronization. It’s $1,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Franklin Park, Illinois with 18,833 miles.
1957 Volvo 445 Duett – $32,900
The Duett holds a place in Volvo’s history as being the predecessor to the brand’s famous wagons that we all know and love today. I’ll let Volvo explain:
In 1953, the famous Duett (variant DH) was introduced, based on the PV445, the bare chassis version of the PV444. This became legendary, and is the ancestor of today’s exclusive, comfortable, safe and powerful Volvo estate cars. From 1949 to 1953, the PV445 had formed the base for pickups, vans, estate cars and a few beautiful convertibles. None of these were built by Volvo; rather, they were built by independent coachwork firms.
The P210 Duett was the continuation of the PV445. The model designation was changed in the autumn of 1960, when the car was given the same curved windscreen and new dashboard which had been used in the PV544 since August 1958. The production of the Duett chassis for special versions ceased in 1962. Over the years, people’s interest in building special versions had declined and the cost had skyrocketed at the same time. However, the P210 was still available as a van or a more flexible estate.
The P210 Duett was a car that was sold primarily on the Nordic markets. The last car in this series was built in February 1969.
Power in this 1957 Duett comes from a 2.0-liter four making 115 HP, driving the rear wheels through a four-speed manual. This particular example is believed to be a former California car, and to speak about how it drives, the selling dealership says that it was driven for over three and a half hours on the highway at 70 mph to the dealership.
For $32,900, you get the vehicle, plus a thick stack of maintenance records. It’s for sale by GR Auto Gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan with 9,726 miles.
1954 Kaiser Darrin – $129,998
The Kaiser Darrin holds an interesting spot in automotive history. While the Chevrolet Corvette beat the Darrin to market as America’s first production convertible fiberglass sports car, the Darrin was actually shown to the public before the Corvette. As Hemmings writes, the Darrin made its appearance at the 1952 Petersen Los Angeles Motorama, two months before the Corvette made its debut in New York City.
Formed in July 1945, Kaiser-Frazer combined the strengths of shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser and auto executive Joseph W. Frazer. As Hemmings notes, Kaiser-Frazer saw early success in providing vehicles across a range of price points, but by 1949 the Big Three’s competition started hurting Kaiser-Frazer sales. While the automaker struggled, designer Howard “Dutch” Darrin thought that the automaker’s path forward was an American sports car. Darrin spent his free time building this car on the chassis of a Kaiser Henry J two-door economy sedan. Darrin–a prior part owner of a Paris coachbuilding firm–came up with a wild sports car that had a three-position top and doors that didn’t swing open but slid on a track.
Kaiser reportedly wasn’t pleased about the vehicle and chastised Darrin for developing a vehicle without permission. However, Kaiser’s wife loved the vehicle, and eventually, Kaiser’s mind was changed. In 1953, Kaiser-Darrin bought Willys-Overland and a year later, the Kaiser Darrin (or Kaiser Darrin 161) was born.
Production Darrins have a 161 cubic inch Willys F-head six making 90 HP and a curb weight of just 2,175 pounds. The Darrin had respectable performance but was ultimately more expensive and slower than its Corvette competition. Kaiser Motors was also in a poor financial state at the time, and Hemmings notes that perhaps buyers didn’t want to buy a vehicle from what appeared to be a dying brand. Just 435 were constructed for a single year, and Kaiser had so much trouble selling them that they just sat at the factory.
This 1954 Kaiser Darrin is being offered by the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois for $129,998 and is said to have been restored to new condition.
2007 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Cabriolet – $24,990
We’re not done with high power in pretty packages for amounts of money within reach for some enthusiasts. As Mercedes-Benz explains, first the SLK (R 170) came in 1996, then the CLK (208) came the year later, marking winds of change within the automaker. Mercedes says that the CLK was about breaking into new segments and attracting new buyers. The CLK was targeted at younger car buyers and joined the A-Class and M-Class in the brand’s worldwide product expansion. This was also right around the time that the first Smart City Coupes (later named the Fortwo) would hit the road.
This particular CLK is in the second-generation (209), which made its debut in 2003. And what’s special about this one is that AMG has had its way with it, creating a drop-top with a thunderous soundtrack. Car and Driver’s review of the CLK63 paints this vehicle as a wild animal. It drifts, it challenges you to push the throttle further, and it’ll do it with a soundtrack having you beg for more.
This car had an MSRP of $92,575 before options. Today, it’s just $24,990. It’s for sale in Milford, Connecticut with 83,000 miles on Hemmings.
1992 TVR Griffith – $44,995
Toward the end of the 1980s, TVR’s wedge-shaped Tasmin sports cars nearing their limits of development. The newer TVR S Series was beginning to outsell the Tasmin, and TVR decided it was time for something new. And what TVR produced would put TVR, as some said, into the performance car big leagues. The TVR Griffith made its debut at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show and according to the TVR Club UK, was such a hit that orders came in every eight minutes. And who can blame these people? TVR packaged a 4.0-liter Rover V8 making 240 HP under a curvaceous body.
The UK’s RAC (basically their version of AAA) has this to say about the Griffith:
The Griffith embodied all of the innovation, design flair and sheer bloody-mindedness that TVR has come to stand for. Ferociously quick and hairy of chest, the Griffith is a car that doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Although TVR boss Peter Wheeler won’t thank us for reminding him, TVRs of the early nineties had a mixed reputation for reliability, but there are legions of Griffith owners who can attest to miles of trouble-free motoring.
Despite its fearsome reputation, the Griffith can easily be driven around using the vast torque the V8 engine generates. In this mode, it’s a relaxed, if loud cruiser. That would be wasting the huge performance that’s on offer, and with a rest to sixty time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 167mph, a Griffith 500 will want to party. Unleashing that power is at first terrifying, then exhilarating and finally ends up being addictive. The Griffith will goad you into prodding that accelerator pedal into the carpet, listening to that fantastic bellow and watching the bonnet rise like a powerboat as the rear tyres struggle to deploy the sheer grunt.
This 1992 Griffith has seen a total nut and bolt restoration from top to bottom. The restoration included upgrades from headlights and wiring to Cerbera calipers and more. The car is currently located in the UK, but the seller’s $44,995 asking price includes shipping, fees, and taxes to an east coast port.
That’s it for this week, thank you for reading!
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