Home » USCGC Point Brown, Smart Crossblade, Chevrolet Cruze RS Diesel: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

USCGC Point Brown, Smart Crossblade, Chevrolet Cruze RS Diesel: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

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Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars, motorcycles, and campers, and then telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. I’m always looking for the next deal, but most of the time, I’m left empty-handed. At the same time, I love building a list of cars, trucks, and motorcycles that I would buy if I had the money.

Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness turns the long list of vehicles I’d love to buy into something for you all to enjoy. Some of them are cheap and some of them are not. Some of the vehicles I find are purely window shopping for everyone other than a collector like Beau or Myron.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

This week, I’ve decided to go a little crazy. My list of saved vehicles currently includes a lot of silly stuff I couldn’t buy and I wouldn’t know what to do with if I did. I mean, you’ve seen the headline and topshot already. So, let’s unleash the oddballs from my Marketplace lists. There’s no price ceiling this time and most of these picks are just for fun. That is unless you want to own a former Coast Guard ship!

Here we go!

1959 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile – $29,988

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Facebook Seller

Here’s an adorable little car that you aren’t likely to see at your local vintage show. I’ve featured a variant of these before, but this time, it’s already in the United States! Here’s some history from our friends at the Lane Motor Museum:

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The principal derivative of the Fiat Nuevo 500 was the Autobianchi Bianchina. A chic, upmarket product conceived in parallel with the Fiat 500, the Autobianchi firm was part-owned (and later fully-owned) by Pirelli and Fiat.

The Autobianchi Bianchina was presented to the public on September 16, 1957 at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. Initially, the car was equipped with Fiat’s smallest engine, an air-cooled 479 cc twin, producing 15 hp. In 1959, the engine power was increased to 17 hp.

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Facebook Seller

The Bianchina was available as a Berlina (sedan), Cabriolet (roadster), Trasformabile (convertible with roof bars), Panoramica (wagon), and Furgoncino (van). The car before us today is one of those partial convertibles and it looks to be in decent condition. It’s described as having new paint and chrome, but an original interior. The car is said to have 22,000 miles and power comes from a 499cc twin good for 17 HP.

Get it from the seller in Bardstown, Kentucky for $29,988.

1955 Studebaker E7 – $40,000

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Hemmings Seller

If today’s trucks are too tall and too angry for you, look to the elegant lines of the past. This Studebaker would look pretty in a driveway or in the field. Here’s a blurb I’ve written about Studebaker trucks:

Studebaker was founded as a wagon builder in 1852. The marque would expand into electric cars in 1902 before assembling gasoline cars in 1904. In those formative days, Studebaker had partners in the Garford Company and Everitt-Metzger-Flanders and sold their vehicles. Studebaker would finally start marketing its own cars in 1912. Its first commercial vehicle was a delivery car and between 1914 and 1915, the company began building trucks and buses.

By the mid-1950s, Studebaker’s truck line was a known name thanks to trucks that had proven themselves over the decades. For example of Stubaker’s market position back then, the company once competed with the likes of Mack and provided trucks to the U.S. military. Studebaker’s trucks also led highway-building expeditions and convoys in Alaska and with allied nations in the UK and the Soviet Union.

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Hemmings Seller

As Hagerty writes, the 2R series launched in 1948 for the 1949 model year. Penned by Bob Bourke, the highlight of the 2R was its styling. The 2R was a leap forward with its large cab and expansive greenhouse. Bourke’s design also did away with running boards, helping the truck earn a look that was arguably ahead of the times. The Studebaker truck was also more than a looker, as it had a double-walled bed and a fuel tank outside of the cab.

Over the years, the 2R and subsequent 3R would receive minimal updates, largely in styling. By 1955, the truck evolved into the E series, and a V8 came into the picture. The E7 is a half-ton truck bearing a 224.3 cubic inch V8 under its hood. That’s pumping 140 HP to the rear wheels through a manual transmission. The seller says this example was restored and then lived a pampered life after. It was displayed in a heated building and occasionally driven in parades. The seller wants $40,000 for this 66,954-mile truck out of Roscoe, Montana.

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1994 Bohse Safari – $34,995

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AlphaCars

Here’s another weird ride from a brand you’ve possibly never heard of before. Bohse Automobilbau was founded in 1987 in West Germany by blacksmith and agricultural entrepreneur Johann Bohse. Bohse didn’t create its own cars. Instead, it built convertibles out of cars from other brands. Its convertibles were built out of such cars as the Lada 2105, the Volkswagen Golf MkI, and the Lada Samara.

The Boshe Safari is one of the convertibles built from a Lada Samara with a sort of beach car theme. Unique to these cars was a removable sunroof panel and a canvas top over the rear of the vehicle. Reportedly, only a few hundred of these were built and Boshe itself didn’t even reach the year 2000. The selling dealership says the car is totally original and has just 6,000 miles.

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AlphaCars

Power comes from a 1.1-liter four good for 54 HP, delivered to the front wheels through a manual transmission. One fun fact is that Porsche’s engineering department helped develop the base Lada’s engine. It’s $34,995 from AlphaCars in Boxborough, Massachusetts.

2018 Chevrolet Cruze RS Diesel – $11,500

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Facebook Seller

For a glorious sliver of time from the 2000s through the first half of the 2010s, it seemed diesel cars were really catching on in America. Diesel cars offered the efficiency of a hybrid but without batteries and in enjoyable form factors such as wagons, hatchbacks, and mid-size SUVs. Then Volkswagen changed everything.

That didn’t stop General Motors, which continued to churn out diesel passenger cars long after Dieselgate spoiled the idea. Here’s some information from my retrospective:

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Starting with the 2014 model year for $25,695, the Cruze became available with a 2.0-liter LUZ turbodiesel making 151 HP and 264 lb-ft torque. This powertrain comes from an engine family developed jointly between General Motors and Fiat. With this diesel engine, the Chevy didn’t just destroy the Honda Civic and Ford Focus competition with fuel economy, but it even then took on the king of diesel cars in America: Volkswagen. A Volkswagen Jetta TDI scored up to 42 mpg in 2014. But the Cruze? It scored 46 mpg highway in its testing.

This was General Motors’ first diesel car in America since 1986. Back in the late 1970s and into the mid-1980s, General Motors experimented with cramming diesel engines into passenger cars. As Diesel World magazine writes, these engines were allegedly rushed into production and had corners cut, sometimes leading to serious reliability issues. GM ironed those issues out, just in time for buyers to get turned off from diesel. GM then killed off its diesel cars for 28 years. Amazingly, the Cruze diesel survived the Dieselgate era, and continued to be sold until the Cruze itself was discontinued in America in 2019.

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Facebook Seller

The second-generation Cruze, which we’re looking at here, was available with a 1.6-liter turbodiesel four making 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft torque. And it continued to beat Volkswagen at its own game, getting an estimated 48 mpg on the highway. This particular example is special because it also has a 6-speed manual transmission. It’s also pretty rare thanks to the fact that these were sold for just a couple of years. The seller claims to get 52 mpg on the highway.

It’s $11,500 from the seller in Napa, California with 82,000 miles.

1998 Honda HR-V – $11,495

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Adrián Frausto

The Honda HR-V is a fine little crossover, but did you know it used to be seriously cool? Long before the HR-V ever graced our shores, it was a neat people carrier sort of thing. It even caught Jason’s attention back in 2014:

The original HR-V, which began production in 1998 (as a 1999 model) was based on the supermini Honda Logo platform, and came with two basic engines, 1.6L fours making about 103 HP (123 HP if you paid extra to have VTEC kick in, yo).

The HR-V started life back in 1997 as a Honda concept car called the J-WJ. The name was supposed to suggest “wild and joyful wagon,” though it’s not clear why there’s two J’s and only one W, when you’d think the reverse would make more sense. Who knows. It was the 90s! We were all doing designer drugs or ketamine or something.

The concept was a very clean, purposeful-looking, high-riding two-box wagon. It was boxy, but not overly tall, and had something similar to traditional shooting-brake proportions. The detailing and design vocabulary sort of suggested a Land Rover of the era as well. It was handsome. Happily, the production version remained pretty close to the original concept. The production model had a lot of advanced features, including ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, and used the hydraulically-actuated 4WD system found on the larger CR-V.

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Adrián Frausto

Power comes from a 1.6-liter four rated for 103 HP or 124 HP if it’s equipped with VTEC. Sadly, the seller doesn’t say. The listing does say that you do get four-wheel-drive, a five-speed manual transmission, and just 27,000 miles. It’s $11,495 from Adrián Frausto, an importer working out of Athens, Tennessee.

2003 Smart Crossblade – $58,500

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Vantage Auto

This little car right here is one of the coolest and weirdest Smarts to ever reach production. Why did Smart build a Fortwo without any sort of roof and a totally useless windscreen? The Crossblade started off as a concept and the concept was loved so much that Smart decided to build it as a limited-run production car. What I really love is how faithful the Crossblade is to the concept. Aside from minor lighting and panel shaping changes, you’re looking at the concept car!

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From my retrospective:

Since this is an open-air vehicle without any kind of roof, Smart gave the Crossblade unique interior parts not found in other Smart vehicles. The seats are water-resistant and the gauges and interior equipment have weather seals. In addition, this is a car that you could actually hose out as the floor has water drains. Smart even kept the HVAC system but moved the vent under the dash.

Should you not desire to come back to your Smart Crossblade and sit in a wet seat, these cars had a cover that snapped in place that kept the interior dry.

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Vantage Auto

Power comes from a 600cc Mercedes-Benz M160 Suprex turbocharged triple mounted under the trunk. Normally, these make 60 HP in other Smarts. For the Crossblade, Smart went to Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus to give it an additional kick of 10 ponies and 79 lb-ft torque.

Around 2,000 examples exist in the world and sometimes they pop up for sale in America. The Crossblade was never sold in America and for most people, the soonest you can import one is sometime in 2027. Or, you can pay $58,500 for this one. As high as that price is, it’s about right for a clean example with just 9,050 miles. This example has a title and a correct VIN, so you could drive it on the road. Get it from Vantage Auto in Moonachie, New Jersey.

1967 USCGC Point Brown – $60,000

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Facebook Seller

Have you ever wanted to own surplus government equipment? Is your desired form of transportation on the water? Well, I have a treat for you! Lady B., formerly USCGC Point Brown (WPB-82362), can be your privately-owned Point class cutter today! Weirdly, I found this one while looking for a Volkswagen Eos VR6, and I haven’t stopped laughing since.

Don’t worry, the United States Coast Guard has everything you’ll need to know:

The 82-foot patrol boats have mild steel hulls and aluminum superstructures. Longitudinally framed construction was used to save weight. These boats were completed with a variety of power plants. 82301 through 82313, 82315 through 82317, and 82319 through 82331 were powered by two Cummins 600-hp diesels. Boats 82318 and 82332 through 82379 received two Cummins 800-hp diesels. The 82314 was fitted with two 1,000-hp gas turbines and controllable-pitch propellers. The purpose of this installation was to permit the service to evaluate the propulsion equipment. All units were eventually fitted with the 800-hp diesels. Units remaining in 1990 were re-equipped with Caterpillar diesels. WPB 82301 through 82344 were commissioned without names; at that time the Coast Guard did not name patrol craft shorter than 100 feet. In January 1964 they were assigned names.

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Facebook Seller

The Point Brown was stationed at Little Creek, VA, from 1967 to 1981. She was used for law enforcement and search and rescue operations. On 7 January 1968, she escorted the distressed F/V Avalon to Hampton Roads, VA. On 14 March 1969, she provided escort following the collision between F/V Endeavor and M/V African Neptune off Virginia. On 5 March 1970, she towed the disabled F/V Our Lady of Fatima 60 miles east of Cape Henry to Hampton, VA. On 21 April 1970, she towed the disabled F/V Sea Queen to Hampton. On 4 July 1970, she helped fight a fire in an oil-storage tank, Sewells Point, VA. On 7 October 1970, she medevaced a crewman from the Argentine M/V Rio Dulce off Cape Henry. On 22 November 1970, she towed the pleasure craft Nita Bee to Little Creek, VA. On 7 January 1979, she towed the disabled F/V Faith to Hampton, VA. On 23 February 1979, she assisted F/Vs Triton 7 and Margery Snow that were aground on Little Cobb Island.

From September 1981 to late 1988, she was stationed at Oregon Inlet, NC. On 23 July 1980, she towed a disabled naval skiff. On 24 April 1984, she seized the pleasure craft Sport Fishing northwest of the Windward Passage with 2,5 tons of marijuana on board. From late 1988 to 1991, she was stationed at Atlantic Beach, NC.

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Facebook Seller

In short, this vessel has seen some action in its heyday. Nowadays, she lives a slower life as a private boat. The seller of the Lady B. says she was donated to a New York college as a research vessel, then later served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for another 20 years. The current owner purchased the vessel in 2020.

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Power comes from a pair of 800 HP Cummins VT800 engines. Sadly, I could not find specifications regarding displacement or cylinder count. Fuel capacity is 1,840 gallons and water capacity is 1,550 gallons. The vessel has air-conditioned interior spaces, can be operated by a single person, and motors at 16.8 knots. Range varies from 577 at 14.1 knots to 1,271 nautical miles at 10 knots. If you’re crazy enough to want her, the Lady B is $60,000 from the seller in Staten Island, New York.

1936 Sunbeam Model 8 – $7,500

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We Sell Classic Bikes

I love a classic British motorcycle. Heck, I enjoy all motorcycles, regardless of their origin. To me, there are few activities more fun than storming down country roads with a gorgeous machine between your legs and some wind in your helmet.

This Sunbeam Model 8 is a smaller motorcycle, featuring a 346cc thumper. I have not found power figures, but this motorcycle was advanced for its day. According to Bonhams, Sunbeam began experimenting with overhead valves in the early 1920s. The Model 8, which launched in 1924, was among Sunbeam’s first OHV models. Other advancements include a crankshaft supported by three ball bearings and dry-sump lubrication.

The selling dealership, We Sell Classic Bikes of the UK, says the motorcycle runs and rides well. It’s $7,500 plus shipping of roughly $1,500 to $2,500 to the United States. The listed odometer reading is 10,000 miles.

1959 Peerless GT II – $47,995

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Here’s a classic car so rare you might not have known it existed. According to the Peerless and Warwick Owners Register, James Byrnes was a successful hotelier and restaurateur in the UK in the 1950s. He was also a racer, and by 1956, Byrnes wanted a racecar built to his specifications. To facilitate this, Byrnes worked with constructor and tuner Bernie Rodger to make the vehicle a reality. As the British Transportation Museum writes, the Board of Directors of Standard Triumph were customers at Byrnes’ restaurant, and Triumph could supply the racer’s parts. Rodger mated a custom tube frame with an aluminum body and the drivetrain from a Triumph TR3. Eventually, the men figured they could make a business out of selling sports cars.

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Hemmings Seller

On the vehicle’s way to production, the Warwick, which was renamed to the Peerless, lost its aluminum body. Reportedly, aluminum just wasn’t feasible for a production vehicle due to tooling costs and the high cost of aluminum post-World War II. Input was also provided by Byrnes’ friend, John Gordon, who would end up assisting Peerless with promoting the vehicles. The car also earned a wider track with more interior space. James Whitson Ltd., a coachbuilder, would handle the fiberglass body. Later, this would be the responsibility of the Wincanton Transport and Engineering Company. Remember, this was the 1950s, when fiberglass was still a novel material for cars. However, cars like the Kaiser Darrin and the Chevrolet Corvette proved what was possible.

At first, Peerless had more orders than it could handle. The company could build just five cars a week and there was a waiting list spanning five weeks. Prospective buyers were impressed with the performance, even though the vehicle, which cost £990 plus another £500 in tax, was more expensive than the £895 total commanded by the donor Triumph TR3. Peerless entered a vehicle in the 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it finished 16th overall. Unfortunately, Peerless couldn’t keep the good times rolling. Just 325 GTs were produced between 1957 and 1960. Rodger tried to keep the concept alive and produced the car for another two years as the Warwick.

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Hemmings Seller

This Peerless GT II has been modernized with a new Haywire wiring harness, a side-exit exhaust, a custom instrument panel, power windows, heat and sound-shielded floors, a new interior, and more. Other improvements include a rear seat that can be easily removed for service, safety glass, disc brakes, and a total restoration. Some parts look a little odd, such as those door sills.

The original Triumph TR3 four-cylinder powertrain was ditched and in its place is the 2.6-liter straight-six from a Datsun 260Z. That’s good for 139 HP and 137 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to the rear through a four-speed manual. It’s $47,995 from the seller in Greece, New York with 10,529 miles.

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That’s it for this week, thank you for reading! If this list was a bit too off-kilter for you, fear not, for we return to normalcy next week.

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Taxi maniac
Taxi maniac
2 months ago

Market place madness is awesome

Paul E
Paul E
2 months ago

Who’s gonna’ buy that old CG cutter? Cops-players with money? You know, the dudes who roll in Crown Vic PIs, Exploders and blacked out Chargers still sporting spotlights and Punisher logos with the requisite blue stripes… except with a lot more money to burn.

Mike B
Mike B
2 months ago

Old boat in Staten Island?

Paging Colin Jost and Pete Davidson!

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
2 months ago

My MIL owns a Chevy Cruz diesel. Its CRAP. Total, total crap. Under 40,000 miles and the intake had to be removed and cleaned of carbon deposits. Stay away…

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
2 months ago

That Smart car looks like a manga illustration to me.

George Millwood
George Millwood
2 months ago

A boat is a bottomless moneypit.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
2 months ago

For a 60 year old vessel of that size, boat stands for Break Out Another (ten)Thousand.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago

It’s a Cop Boat. It’s got a cop motor, a, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
2 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

Fix the cigarette lighter.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago

You know that any boat named the USCGC Code Brown, must have really been through some $hit in it’s day.

Wait… It isn’t Code Brown? Oh well, it should be.

AlterId
AlterId
2 months ago

I live near where that cutter served much of its tour of duty, and it’s within what’s probably a reasonable floating as-is range. Anything that served its country as it did deserves to be somewhere far, far better than Staten Island. It should come home. I can’t afford it, but the retired Navy woman at the end of my block with a pier on an estuary creek might be able to if there’s enough draft, and it would make a damn fine guest house.

Motorhead Mike
Motorhead Mike
2 months ago

I’ve always tried to live by one adage: “Resist all temptation to buy a boat!” (or the Garlic Corollary: “Resist all temptation to buy a French car.), but I want the boat! I really want the boat. It’s an awful idea, but… Probably 15k to get it back to Milwaukee, and then I’ve got a whole massive freaking lake to park it in, right? Anyway, they’re all great this week, though I would never pay 35k for a Lada with most of the top cut off, but it’s still kind of nifty.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
2 months ago
Reply to  Motorhead Mike

I highly doubt that it’s making it under its own power all the way to Milwaukee. Looks to be a tow job, and it’s gonna cost more than $15k. That part I know for sure.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
2 months ago
Reply to  Motorhead Mike

I thought the “Garlic Corollary” was “never make out with a Vampire.”

ProfPlum
ProfPlum
2 months ago

My brother was on a few of the 82s. They’re a good ship, pretty lively in rough weather. He used to say something like if you can make a tour on an 82 without getting stress fractures, you can sail on anything.

ProfPlum
ProfPlum
2 months ago
Reply to  ProfPlum

I talked to my brother; I guess he did some work on this 82 for one of the owners. I told him maybe he should buy it, and he said something like, “Only if they pay me $60K.”

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