Archive for the ‘Bad Ideas’ Category

Rusty, Not Trusty – 1964 Innocenti S Spider

May 16, 2016

The Innocenti Spider is a great example of something the Italians did really well – put a fancy frock on a set of plain mechanicals. In this case, you get the greasy parts from a Mark 2 Sprite/Midget – a 1098cc A-series inline four cylinder and four speed transmission. In the 1950s and 1960s, Innocenti was best known for its Lambretta scooters and a bunch of rebadged BMC products, but this car can drop the names of some very influential people and companies in the Italian car business – it was designed by Tom Tjaarda for Ghia and built by OSI. The original Spider did not include the S in its model designation, featuring the 948cc engine of the bug/frogeye Sprite, while the S got the larger engine and front disc brakes. The car sold well in Italy, but couldn’t compete well in foreign markets due to price, and as demand waned, Innocenti transformed the car into a hardtop. But for today, we’ll have to be happy with a folding roof, or perhaps no roof at all – check out this 1964 Innocenti S Spider for sale for $2500 in Annandale, VA.

1964 Innocenti S Spider left rear



The Fire’s Gone Out – 1983 Renault Fuego Turbo

February 29, 2016

Have you ever wanted to come into the turbo zone? There aren’t many 1980s sports coupes left that would take you there – VW’s Scirocco, Toyota’s Celica and Nissan’s 200SX didn’t offer turbo power, and few of those survive. The only car in the Fuego’s class to offer a turbo was the Subaru (Leone) coupe, and not many of those have survived. And even with a turbo, performance went from slow with the stock naturally aspirated four to decent – comparable to many other naturally aspirated cars – with the turbo. That said, it was remarkable for several other things, like fuel injection, a low-for-the-time coefficient of drag, and in the European market, the first remote door locking system and audio controls on the steering wheel. Check out this 1983 Renault Fuego Turbo for sale for $1000 in Beverly, MA.

1983 Renault Fuego Turbo left front


FREE! – 1970 Opel Ascona

February 11, 2016

Opel’s Ascona could be seen as a Manta with 4 doors, sharing its underpinnings and (in the North American market) the 1900 CIH engine. When new, the Ascona and Manta were pretty competitive in sedan racing, so at this point they should be seen as a rarer alternative to the popular BMWs, Alfas, and Datsuns. They were also successful in rallying, and Steinmetz built a twin-Solex version good for 125hp. So, with all the noise around increasing prices of fun classic cars, even previously overlooked ones like Alfa Berlinas and BMW Bavarias, this site tries to be a counterpoint in exposing some of the better values in the collector car world. Even then, it’s not easy to find something interesting for the low, low price of free. Occasionally it does happen, so let’s take a look at this this 1970 Opel Ascona for free in Longview, WA.

1970 Opel Ascona left rear