Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, working with cars is a dream, and it’s helped me amass a collection of weird cars and write fun stories. Somehow, my high-maintenance rides haven’t driven me to madness. And since I’m shopping for cars all of the time, I always have an evolving list of vehicles for sale to share with you.
This week, I’m continuing my theme of dream vehicles that I want to buy. I have a little bit of everything here from a fantastic bus to America’s best motorcycle and even a couple of classics.
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.
1968 Buick Riviera GS – $19,500
As the Henry Ford writes, Buick created the Riviera to compete in the personal luxury car space with the Ford Thunderbird. At the time, the Riviera name had been used on different versions of existing Buicks since 1949. In 1963, the Riviera would become its own model, and was notable for the fact that its body wasn’t shared with other GM vehicles. The Henry Ford notes “General Motors’ design vice president Bill Mitchell wanted a car that combined the aggressiveness of a Ferrari with the elegance of a Rolls-Royce. The result was this razor-edged classic.”
The Riviera was redesigned in 1966, and given a longer, wider, and heavier body. 1968 models like this one have new bumpers and recessed windshield wipers, among other changes. Power comes from a 430 cubic-inch V8 making 360 HP gross.
This one is said to be very original, save for a repaint and a new vinyl top. It’s $19,500 on Hemmings in Overland Park, Kansas with 86,000 miles.
2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo – $45,000
This next one is pricey, but I absolutely adore how it looks. I’ve written about how the world was graced with the Cayenne:
In the early-1990s, Porsche faced slow sales and dwindling cash reserves. With a 240 million Deutschmark loss in 1992 alone, the company wasn’t in great shape. A later analysis concluded that the 911 and the then new Boxster did not have the staying power to keep the brand afloat. Porsche believed that in the long run, it would be trending downward again. It needed a vehicle to pump much needed cash into the brand to help secure its future. And to do that, Porsche looked to build a vehicle that wasn’t a sports car.
Porsche considered a number of concepts, including one that was a minivan, but the brand decided that an SUV was the way to go. The marque tried to buddy up with Mercedes-Benz, envisioning the Porsche SUV being the high-performance version of the M-Class. That didn’t work out, and Porsche ended up joining forces with Volkswagen, then run by Ferdinand Piëch.
When the Cayenne launched, it was a super SUV that purists hated, but many are recognizing today as an off-road sleeper. When configured for off-roading, the air-suspension provides 10.6 inches of ground clearance, an approach angle of 31.8 degrees, departure of 25.4 degrees, and 24.7 degree breakover. There’s a center-locking differential, an optional rear locker, and an optional kit with underside protection. It also gets a low range as well as off-road traction control.
You get all of that with this 2008 Cayenne Turbo and more, including a 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 making 500 HP. This one has been lifted two inches and the subframe dropped half of an inch. It also got tubular control arms, tube bumpers, 33-inch tires, and more. That’s to say that it’s a beast. The seller says that the work was done by a certified Porsche technician and it even has a low 59,000 miles. It’s $45,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Portland, Oregon.
1964 Renault Caravelle Convertible – $22,000
The Renault Caravelle, also known as the Floride in some markets, was Renault’s effort in capitalizing on the success of Volkswagen’s entries in North America. Hyman LTD., a classic car dealership with a focus on history, tells the Caravelle’s story like this:
In the late 1950s, Renault was locked in a battle with Volkswagen for superiority in the burgeoning import car market in America. Affordable foreign cars were just starting to find their footing among U.S. buyers, who still clung loyally to their large and luxurious barges from the big three, but even in the 1950s, fuel efficiency was becoming an increasingly important issue, as was maneuverability in urban environments, where these compact and lightweight cars were at their best. Renault had been playing second fiddle to Volkswagen was looking to up their game in this competitive and fast-growing new market. On paper, the Renault Dauphine actually shared many characteristics with the Beetle, namely the rear engine layout, basic construction, and styling that leaned toward the quirky and cute. The Dauphine offered perhaps greater practicality with its four-door body, but Volkswagen seemed to have a stranglehold on the market thanks to strong marketing and an ever-growing cult-following.
While at a business meeting in Florida, Renault bosses Pierre Dreyfus and Fernand Picard were inspired to enhance Renault’s image with a sporty little coupe based on the humble Dauphine. Mimicking VW’s own Karmann-Ghia, the new car was based on a bog-standard Dauphine platform but dressed in a pretty new two-door coupe and cabriolet body. And just like their German rivals, Renault turned to Carrozzeria Ghia to design the new car, which would be called the Floride in Europe and Caravelle in the US.
Other sources note that the reason for the differing names is because Renault felt that potential U.S. customers in states outside of Florida wouldn’t want to buy a car called Florida. And a potential target demographic for this vehicle was women drivers.
This Caravelle comes from a collector and is said to be in show car condition. It certainly looks the part! It’s powered by a 1108cc four making 55 HP transmitted through a four-speed manual. It’s $22,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Sarasota, Florida.
2019 Indian FTR 1200 S – $9,000
Launched in 2019, the Indian FTR 1200 is inspired by Indian Motorcycle’s winning Indian Scout FTR750 competition bike used in flat track racing. But more than just a motorcycle that looks like a racer, this might just be the best American motorcycle on sale today.
I’ve gotten to ride one a few times, and honestly, the exhilaration that I felt riding one was similar to my first time riding a motorcycle on the road. It sounds great, it rides great, and you can sit in a patio chair and stare at it all day. Power comes from a 1,203cc V-twin making 120 HP and 87 lb-ft torque. From my experience in its saddle, it reminds me of my old Buells, but newer, more energetic and just as agile. This bike can make the worst days better.
Getting the FTR 1200 S like this one nets you a color instrument display, adjustable suspension, traction control that can be turned off, wheelie control, and more. The cool display alone is worth it.
Buying a new FTR 1200 S today would set you back $15,000. Heck, even a base model is $13,000. This 2019 FTR 1200 S is just $9,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Amery, Wisconsin with 2,000 miles.
1956 Packard Patrician – $17,750
When the Packard Patrician first hit the road in 1951, it replaced the Custom Eight as Packard’s top-of-the-line vehicle. As Hagerty Canada explains, the John Reinhart-designed Patrician 400 ditched the rounded, two-box design of its predecessor with a modern three-box design. These cars featured lots of chrome and a hood ornament. The car saw small visual updates until 1955, when the vehicle was given an extensive update. That’s the car that you see here.
The listing says that this car was owned by its previous owner for over 60 years and is original, save for the two-tone paint. The 374 cubic-inch V8 is said to have a new oil pump and was rated at 290 HP. It’s not perfect, but it looks really nice. It’s $17,750 on Hemmings in Gordonville, Texas with 80,600 miles.
1963 International Harvester Travelette – $16,500
The International Harvester Travelette is sometimes regarded as the first American pickup with four doors and able to carry six passengers. Indeed, International Harvester was one of the pioneers in concepts that are common today. The New York Times once went as far as to say that IH invented the modern SUV with the Travelall. The publication’s reasoning is that the Travelall offered four-wheel-drive before its competitors and wasn’t spartan like a Jeep.
Based on the then new A-Series pickup, the Travelette launched in 1957 and at first had three doors. Like an early minivan, that door was just on the passenger side. In 1961, the Travelette moved to the new C-Series and gained a fourth door. These trucks are reportedly very roomy inside, with plenty of space for your crew and their gear in the cab.
This 1963 Travelette looks to have served with the United States Marine Corps stationed out in California. It still bears its military paint job, including a checkered roof and door lettering. It’s in an unrestored state, and shows the dents, bruises and a little bit of corrosion from a long life. The frame of the truck has lost most of its paint and what looks to be surface rust is building up, so you’ll probably want to clean that up. Power comes from a 266 cubic-inch V8 making 155 HP delivered to the rear wheels through an automatic.
The price is too rich for my blood, but I would absolutely daily drive this thing. It’s $16,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Vernon Rockville, Connecticut with 53,199 miles. Listing courtesy of Obscure Cars for Sale.
2010 Tesla Roadster 2.5 – $109,990
Before all of Tesla’s current models and before all of the company’s headline-generating drama, there was this, the Tesla Roadster. And this remains one of my unattainable dream cars.
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In the years prior, the pair operated NuvoMedia, where they developed a handheld e-reader called the Rocket eBook. This device was successful enough that the pair sold off the venture for $187 million. Flush with cash, Eberhard decided to buy himself a sports car. His demands were simple: a fast car that still got good fuel economy. Eberhard quickly learned that such a car didn’t really exist. Then he looked into EVs and found that there were no high performance, high range electric cars on the market. And a notable EV, the General Motors EV1, got canceled.
Eberhard also found AC Propulsion in California. There, he fell in love with the company’s tzero, a yellow sports car that hit the mark for what Eberhard wanted. Eberhard wanted the company to put the cars into production. However, as AC Propulsion notes, it’s not in the business of building cars, but drive systems, and told Eberhard that it wasn’t interested.
Eberhard decided that if he couldn’t buy a high performance EV with good range, he’d just build one himself, and he’d use his experience with the batteries used in the eBooks to make it happen. With Tarpenning as Tesla Motors’ CFO, the pair started development. Just a year later, the two went looking for money to fund their venture. Riding off of his own riches from PayPal, Elon Musk pitched in $6.5 million in the first round of funding. Musk would eventually invest around $30 million, convincing others to join in.
Eventually, Tesla revealed Roadster prototypes to the public starting in 2006, and the first deliveries began in early 2008. Tesla struck a deal with Lotus for the latter to produce gliders. And while a Roadster looks like an electrified Elise, less than seven percent of its parts are shared with the Lotus.
The initial cars featured a 248 HP, 211 lb-ft torque electric motor capable of rocketing the car to 60 mph in four seconds. And its 53-kWh, lithium-ion battery pack was good for 244 miles. In 2.0 versions, the torque kicked up to 280 lb-ft. And in 2.5s, like this one, you got 288 HP with 280 lb-ft torque. This one boogies to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Annoyingly, these cars have seemingly only appreciated in value over the years, and lots of listings are well over MSRP. At $109,990, this Tesla Roadster for sale by D&C Motor Company in Portland, Oregon is priced about MSRP.
2005 Royal Enfield Bullet – $2,500
The Royal Enfield Bullet claims to be the longest continually-produced motorcycle on earth. Production kicked off in 1931, and has gone uninterrupted since 1948. That’s an incredible run for a little bike, and riders all over the world have swung a leg over one of these.
These bikes are also known for their slow march of progress. The most advanced thing on this Bullet 500 is an electric start. And when this was made, Royal Enfield wasn’t really known for quality. In a period review of a 2005, a test bike had a sticking carburetor float needle, a tricky choke, and a sticky throttle grip. But the reviewer felt that was part of the experience of such a fun machine. Power comes from a 499cc thumper making 27 HP.
This one is $2,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Port Orchard, Washington with 7,200 miles. If it weren’t 2,100 miles away it wouldn’t even be on this list because it would be in my garage right now.
1974 MCI-5B – $28,000
According to bus resource Bus Conversion Magazine, Motor Coach Industries (MCI) was originally founded in 1932 by Harry Zoltok as the Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works Limited. The Winnipeg, Manitoba company has had Greyhound as a major customer since 1938, and the two went together so well that in 1948, Greyhound bought most of the company. Greyhound then finished buying MCI out in 1958.
Bus Conversion Magazine notes that the MC series of buses began in 1959 with the MC-1. This bus, along with its successors the MC-2 through MC-4, were sold only in Canada in small numbers; just 196 for all of the early generations. When the MC-5 launched in 1964, production moved to Greyhound’s assembly plant in Pembina, North Dakota. Greyhound was the primary customer for these buses and once they were retired from service, many got sold to private owners and converted into RVs.
About 2,255 of these are out there and this one is pretty neat. Whoever converted this coach into an RV had great attention to detail. It looks like a factory job and features a washer, dryer, a dual-mode refrigerator (propane or electric), a central vacuum system, two roof air-conditioners and it even comes with spare, hard to find parts.
These came with either a Detroit Diesel 6V-71N 7.0-liter V6 diesel or a Detroit Diesel 8V-71N 9.3-liter V8 diesel. It’s unclear which one resides in the back, but it does come with a four-speed manual. It’s $28,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Bethel, Maine.
That’s it for this week! Thank you for reading.