Jump to content

Ridiculous Cars From Your Past


Recommended Posts

I was sharing with an old high school buddy my chumpcar antics and he said, "too bad you don't have your 'Cuda Volare anymore, that would be awesome to race".   Thus the idea for this forum thread was born.  What's the most ridiculous car from your past that was probably pretty awesome but would have no business being a Chumpcar?

 

I'll start.  In high school my winter car was a 1980 Plymouth Volare. After throwing a rod in the original straight 6 I ran across a rusted out Cuda that had a 340 looking for a new home.  A welder, some donor motor mounts, and a few busted knuckle later, a sleeper I affectionately referred to as Cuda Volare was born.

 

What's your story?

cuda volare.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Technical Advisory Committee

My first car.....

Duster1.jpg

The story..... (I copied an old Polaroid pic just for this story...)

In my junior year in High School (17 years old), I worked at a gas/service station learning the ropes of being a mechanic. One of my co-workers lived out of state, but was enrolled in Motech, Chrysler's old mechanic trade school. He bought this 1973 Duster with a blown slant 6 w/3 speed on the tree. He picked up a 360 two barrel engine from an junkyard Detroit police car, along with a "Hemi 4 speed." (No such thing you say, well the hemi transmission used a larger input shaft, and was unique for that engine, so yes, it was called a "Hemi 4 speed.") He also had a steel blow proof bellhousing, with a 3600# Kennedy clutch. Now, trying to fit all that in the 6 cylinder Duster was an obstacle that he never did figure out. When his year of school was done, he had no way of getting all these pieces back home, so he sold me everything for $800. This was back in 1978, so it was only a 5 year old car with a pretty decent body (read: no rust - here in MI, that's rare!)

The new drivetrain was bolted together, and sitting on the motor mounts, but the trans. would not rise up into position because the tunnel was built different for 4 speed cars. I got out the tin snips and cutting wheels and proceeded to make the trans. fit. I then took some 3/8" rod and a torch and bent up/fabricated my own shift linkage to go to the Hurst Pistol Grip shifter I had. Next came some galvanized sheet metal, and sealer to rebuild the tunnel. Then out came the bench seat and carpet to install some buckets form a '68 Cougar, with some colorful shag carpet. (Hey man, that was the style in those days...) Oh, yeah, and don't forget the 8 track player, and 6 x 9's in the rear.

The small rear end got swapped with an 8.75" unit from the local junkyard, along with a steering column from a 4 speed car. A 3/4 race cam (haha), some headers, an aluminum intake and a Holley 600 4 barrel ended up yielding me the fastest car in my school for my senior year. Most of my football and track teammates didn't have a clue what the heck I was doing, but the gearheads, gumbies and gels all thought it was pretty cool!

I eventually sold the car, but my friends and I kept track of it as it passed from owner to owner. Just last year, one of my old buddies, who I haven't seen in years, who loved that car even more than I did, asked "Do you think the old Duster is still around?" I had to laugh, and say "No, Kevin, as much as you liked it, I'm sure it's long gone..."

I could fill another page telling you about all the great times, and street racing we did with that car - yeah, I let all my friends drive it - but we'll save that for when we sit and have a few beers... Oh yeah, I had to convince my dad that this wasn't a "racecar" as he termed it - or he never would have let me buy it. "No dad, just something to work on and learn..." The first time he took it for a ride, after stalling it twice and then smoking the tires cuz of that 3600# clutch, he came home and boy, was he pissed at me!!

Long story short, I think it would be super cool to find a similar car, and build a Chumpcar with it.

The search continues.....

Edited by mcoppola
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

The first new car I ever purchased was in 1984, and was a 1985 Toyota Corolla GT-S. Within six months it was carb'ed and cam'ed. Within the year it was stripped and my EP AutoX'er in the Valley of the Sun. If you autoX'ed in the Arizona region or the San Diego region in the 80s, you may have seen this. 

I still think it would have made a fun, though underpowered ChumpCar.

I graduated to a much faster Shelby Charger GLHS #572. Now that would be a fun toy to run in ChumpCar

 

corolla1.jpg

corolla5.jpg

corolla7.jpg

corolla4.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Hi_Im_Will Haha, I remember reading that article!  Ive currently got something similar - in principal at least (Big engine - long roof: B6 S4 Avant with 6 speed)

 

I wish I could have brought this home from my time in Chile.  No idea how well it would tow (2.5 Turbo Diesel, 5 speed manual, 4x4 with low gear), but sure would be sweet towing the chumper around with it!

 

delica.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hi_Im_Will said:

IMAG0196.jpgw8.jpg

 

Even wrote an article about this one, took off on Jalopnik for a day:

http://oppositelock.kinja.com/daily-driving-a-w8-1700696614

 

IMAG0521_1 (1).jpg

I spy a second gen RX7...

 

Also, couldn't you get a W8 wagon, manual Passat from the factory? Was this a factory car or a built one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I spy a second gen RX7...

 

Also, couldn't you get a W8 wagon, manual Passat from the factory? Was this a factory car or a built one?

 

The FC was my first track car.

 

There were manual W8 wagons from the factory, but there were only 103 imported to the US, and they are generally abused and overpriced, with transmission problems.  Mine was an automatic, with transmission problems.  Mostly unmodified, I just put wheels and tires on it and used it as a daily/winter beater/junk hauler. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Hi_Im_Will said:

 

The FC was my first track car.

 

There were manual W8 wagons from the factory, but there were only 103 imported to the US, and they are generally abused and overpriced, with transmission problems.  Mine was an automatic, with transmission problems.  Mostly unmodified, I just put wheels and tires on it and used it as a daily/winter beater/junk hauler. 

yea, I actually read the link you posted after I posted.  Cool cars!

 

Scary to own.  I had a 1998 A4 2.8 Quattro.  All of the electronics stuff did whatever and whenever it wanted to....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1979 Mercury Cougar #813CHI For Sale

 

Not mine but it could have been.  1979 Mercury Cougar XR7, still the coolest car I have ever owned. 

 

Had to park at least 6 feet from anything else if you wanted to get the doors open.

 

Worst deal I ever made.... 

Traded it in on a Ford Tempo after I got married.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly Mopar ... here's one. This is a 67 supercharged Coronet 440 One of a few I have owned.

68 Ford Fairlane 500 Fastback, 1969 Charger (440), 1968 383 SuperBee, 1969 Dart 270, 1987 Forumla 350, 1968 Dart GTS 383 car, 1967 Cornet (318), 1967 GS 401 Convert, 1967 GTX, 1967 Coronet (pictured), 1970 Charger S/E 383 4 speed (FY1), 1995 Dakota sport 5.2 5 speed, 1969 Charger S/E #'s match 383 magnum car, 1972 340 swinger, 1970 Charger 440-6 clone (J5), 1951 B3 Dodge Pickup, Current Project is a pro-street 67 GTX.

coronet11.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My tow vehicle for the Formula Ford:

4078769971_22f1aace6e_b.jpg

I added a Buick 455 and switch-pitch TH400, plus Monte Carlo SS sway bars and steering box. For the drag strip I took the hubcaps off (yes, just like those in the picture) and for autocross I put on the 15x8 TA snowflakes with 245/50/15 Gatorbacks. Ran 14.63 @ 95 mph (3000 ft ASL) with a 2.56 gear (for fuel economy) and quick enough on the autocross to better a 300ZX TT. Did a hillclimb and was quicker than a Pantera and a big block Cobra for all but the final runs (those cars needed better drivers :P). Surprised a few people while towing the FF as well.

 

Another tow vehicle, this time for the oval track car:

plymouth-fury-suburban-3.jpg

360 with a moderate cam, LD340 intake, and Holley 600. Over 20 mpg (Cdn) and enough moxie to almost run over a couple of posers at a light. They both did brakestands, I told my wife that they were going to race and that I would try to keep up so she could see who won. The light turned green, we all stomped on the gas and I had to let off because they were so slow. I was embarrassed for them.

 

When we towed the oval car to the track and had the pit laid out, we'd open the tailgate, flip open the rear-facing third bench seat and watch the warm-up races from what we called the balcony.

 

And one of these as my university car:

ebay375849.jpg

I also owned two R12s (one was an ice racer), an R30 and a Fuego. No accounting for taste apparently!

 

I've owned just under a hundred cars and still have my first vehicle. Like Mike said, need a spare afternoon just to get started on the stories!

Edited by mender
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

'79, bought it for $200, put a half dead battery in it, boosted it and drove it home. Drove it for a couple of months with the lame 267 (burnt exhaust valve) while I redid the suspension and such, then swapped in the 455 and TH400. Hooked it up to the puny stock single exhaust and laughed at the horrible hissing noises coming out the back, then took it to the strip to baseline it before the dual exhaust update (2.5" with Sonic Turbos; more names from the past!).

 

16.05 @ 80 mph with the single, changed only the exhaust and got the 14.63 next time out shifting at 4200 rpm (cam had several flat lobes). It got 18 mpg with the 267 and 23 mpg with the 455. Changed the cam, ported the heads and installed an Edelbrock intake but didn't take it back for a retest. Probably would have been low 14s. Fun sleeper.

 

I'm down to 10 11, no place to store stuff since my dad sold his acreage. 3 MBs, 3 Fiero GTs, 2 trucks (Duramax and '54 Chev 1/2 ton with the very rare Hydramatic 4 spd auto - my first vehicle), '76 Cosworth Vega, and my '69 Firebird convertible that I got in high school.

 

 

Edited by mender
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Technical Advisory Committee
2 hours ago, mender said:

My tow vehicle for the Formula Ford:

4078769971_22f1aace6e_b.jpg

 

plymouth-fury-suburban-3.jpg

I've owned just under a hundred cars and still have my first vehicle. Like Mike said, need a spare afternoon just to get started on the stories!

 

Sweet! It's the Family Truckster from the Chevy Chase "Vacation"movie. Just after I got married at 21, my wife's family took me on a vacation to Las Vegas and then rented an Oldsmobile Woodie wagon that looked like this. I got to sit backward in the jump seat with a couple of my wife's cute 18-19 year old cousins, while we visited Death Valley, LA, San Diego, Yuma, Old Tucson, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Laughlin, NV, and back to Vegas. An epic road trip that me and the 2 cuties still refer to eachother as "the back seat crew" when we see eachother. I think we had 9 people in that car for a week long trip. Good thing my wife was way up in the front seat, and didn't see how cozy we were back there!  

Had many laughs along the way, one of them being when 1 of the girls didn't like what we had for dinner, so she wanted to stop at McDonalds. You should have seen the look on the kid's face at the drive-through when the 9 of us pulled up with the rear bumper just about dragging on the ground, and we ordered 1 Big Mac! Told him we were going to split it...

Like Infiniti said, I liked some of mender's terms. LOL, I know my previous story had some words that some of you young guys probably never heard of before...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've only ever sold 3 cars... every one of which I have regular regret.  Everything else I've bought I still own.

 

1983 Rx7 GSL - Chocolate brown and fully loaded.

1998 Isuzu Amigo V6 4x4 - The only 4-wheeled vehicle I've ever done a wheelie in.  Seriously.  Stupid torque, short gearing, even shorter wheelbase :lol:

2007 Subaru STi - 'nuff said.

 

Mine anyway... my wife has had a couple entertaining vehicles, including an S14 240SX and a turbo Saab...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first race car- CRX 1st gen- semi tube frame- Mugen motor- first swapped Honda in Canad- circa 1987- 

Ridiculous- yes, fast....

 

Wish I had a better picture of it and I didn't have a VW doing endos beside me at the time- yeah he had a scary crash

3 crash.jpg

Edited by bbqman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/12/2017 at 11:48 AM, Hi_Im_Will said:

IMAG0196.jpgw8.jpg

 

Even wrote an article about this one, took off on Jalopnik for a day:

http://oppositelock.kinja.com/daily-driving-a-w8-1700696614

 

IMAG0521_1 (1).jpg

 

 

I had a W8, also a wagon with manual and the sport package which if I recall consisted of slightly different suspension and the BBS wheels like on yours. It was a light metallic blue and it was gorgeous. Regrettably I don't believe I have any pictures :( 

 

Anyway, after owning it for a couple of years it had just expired the factory warranty, but I had researched and paid for an aftermarket warranty for it given the rarity and complexity I figured repair expenses would be extortionate. Anyway, it was about 6K miles after the factory warranty expired when something in the valve train broke and trashed the engine. Of course the warranty people wanted to screw me over even calling me to tell me the oil change receipt I had provided looked fake (it wasn't). They sent an engineer to examine the engine who thankfully could find no issues with it. About a week later I got a call from the warranty company and they told me they were going to have to write the car off, the estimate from VW for the repair was around $15k for a rebuilt motor that would need to be flown in from Germany, and a nearly 7k estimate for doing the install because nobody at the local dealer had any clue about the W8 and they wanted to ship an engineer over from VW in Germany to do all the work. About two days after that they called to tell me they had found a 23k mile engine from a rear ended W8 and that the VW dealership had agreed to do the work with access to the engineer in Germany if needed. They repaired it, it ran great, but given the issues, I immediately sold it.

 

It was a truly wonderful vehicle though. Plenty of power from the half a Bugatti Veyron engine (minus turbos too..). Decent handling and very luxurious ride. I still miss it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My all time favorite car was this Ford Escort RS1600i I owned in the UK before I moved stateside. A homologation special for Gr.A racing with only around 2000 of them available in the UK and a total number of just over 8k worldwide I believe. Engine was a detuned race unit version of the 1.6 cvh that employed higher compression, solid lifters and a pretty advanced electronic ignition system. It was relatively easy to tunes these to around 160bhp for very little money. The suspension was bespoke to this model and the car easily out handled and out performed the venerable hot hatch leader at the time which was the Golf GTi. A fast appreciating classic in Europe, I wish I still had one.

 

Sorry for the crappy pic, but this was the early to mid 90's (car was a 1983 model). Its a cell phone pic of the original pic.

 

WhqSPxwMETqxPI9Cfc5HjINota5N7lIZfPuF_d1g

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Least liked car that I've owned:

3284990001_medium.jpg

 

I was a driver/owner for a driving school, had started with an '82 Reliant with the 2.6 and HD suspension and Arrivas that was all but unstoppable in snow (my first FWD), two years of good service from the K-car with decent fuel economy, great heater and a track session at Edmonton International Speedway where I lapped it at the same rate as a couple of Alfas and a Trans Am. Changed driving schools, they were using Tempos so I traded in my Reliant on a new '84 black 2 dr with the 2.3. Figured it would be about the same as the K-car and was in a hurry to get back to making money so I didn't do much of a test drive; big mistake as it was not even close. To think that I trusted Jackie Stewart:

One can only imagine the confict in Jackie's mind as he decided on the verbiage to use in describing the car. Ever since then I've changed his statement in my head to "I've driven the Tempo as fast as I dared ..." Rumour has it that he flipped one during the dry testing so they moved on to wet testing. Pause the video at about 0:10 and look at the front tires ... terrible. Also notice how much positive camber the curve has to keep the car on a relatively even keel for the camera, and that's with the special handling package as seen by the aluminum wheels and Michelin TRX tires.

 

The ignition module went and stranded me on the 50 mile drive home from the dealership,  front end was flimsy enough to flex severly even with the junk Corsa tires and bent when I went over a tiny curb to avoid a drunk, took 22 seconds to get to 60 mph (K-car was 13), pushed like a dumptruck in a steady state corner but tried to swap ends in transient maneuvers (notice the lack of that in the video), 15% less fuel economy under the same conditions as the K-car, etc, etc. 

Edited by mender
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...