Archive for October, 2009

It’s Spitting in Washington – Triumph Spitfire x2

October 30, 2009

Triumph Spitfires have always held a certain attraction to me since I lusted over a very sad looking one parked in a neighbor’s side yard when I was a kid. His was also an earlier model, so while the later 1500 cars redone by Michelotti are a cleaner, better-looking design, these are special in their own right. And while they’re not terribly powerful, their simplicity and lightness makes them a pretty compelling sportscar. Swing axles might make for an interesting driving experience, but again, you won’t be going too fast in one of these.

Check out this example with much recent work and the bidding at $1400 with 3 days to go. The reserve has not been met, but can’t be much higher than the current bid price.

1968 Triumph Spitfire rear

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1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde

October 22, 2009

The first time I truly paid attention to one of these was when I saw a red one parked out in front of a used car dealer in Mountain View, CA in the early 90s. At the time, the bright red wedgy design with sporty Recaro interior and that funky u-shaped handbrake seemed pretty wild. Needless to say, the car was too expensive for a high school/college student, so I put up with admiring from a distance. More recently, a friend of mine had a 40K-mile example that was a fantastic drive, but with a mortgage and the state of the economy, they’re still out of reach for mere mortals. But not this one!

You can find it here on eBay in Park City, UT with a Buy-It-Now of $2500 and bidding currently at less than that. This car actually only has 102K miles on it, and looks pretty decent. It has some of the wear issues you’d expect of an older car with that mileage, but seems like a bit of work would put it on par with some pretty tidy examples.

1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde front

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Faster than a 1980 Camaro! 1987 Chevy Sprint Turbo

October 15, 2009

Okay, so I’m making that claim out of the blue, but I’d guess it’s a pretty close race between a stock Camaro from a few years earlier and this car, with less than half the displacement, cylinders, etc. Before I decided to buy a new car (and ended up with my ’97 Golf), I was test driving some “sensible” used cars and saw one of these on a dealer’s lot. Hey, it’s Japanese, economical, and at the time was only about 10 years old. Even though I realized it was a turbo, I was amazed at how readily it would spin its wheels in second gear. Much like any earlier turbocharged car, the power was only available in a short band and quite explosive when it came on, so I probably would have gone through a lot of clutches trying to accelerate with the turbo spooled up. That said, with its size in mind, it was a real kick to drive.

Check out this specimen on eBay in Fontana, CA, at $1775 with the reserve not yet met. This car actually looks remarkably good, as most of these have been beaten to death in the last 22 years. I’d almost suspect the seller of photochopping the color on the pictures, since the red looks so saturated in some pics, but overall the condition makes it look like the color is really that shiny. Looking at the picture, you can also see he’s got the original wheel covers, spoilers, and turbo sprint graphics on the car, and that the panels all look straight.

1987 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo right

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