280z

1975 Datsun 280Z: Daily Driven

It’s not uncommon to see the words “daily driven” on eBay listings for classic cars. It boosts the car’s credentials, in some ways, that it’s in good working order and hasn’t been relegated to garage storage with a trickle charger. This 1975 Datsun 280Z is listed here on eBay with a Buy-it-Now of $13,888 and the option to submit a best offer. The seller claims it’s been used as a daily driver, and with much of the original components still attached, from the hubcaps to the factory A/C, that’s an impressive accomplishment. Of course, with only 115K miles accumulated since 1975, it’s clearly been used sparingly or as a summer car, so a pampered life is not out of the question. Personally, I like cars you can use without having a mountain of deferred maintenance to tackle, so this 280Z speaks to me. The lack of the factory badging, however, screams repaint so some additional homework will have to be done to determine just how honest this car is.

1975 Suzuki RE5

Rotary Bike: 1975 Suzuki RE5

As many of you already know, my daily driver is a Mazda RX-8. Well I’ve had an on again, off again relationship with rotary powered sports cars since I bought my first RX-7 at the age of 15. The rotary engine is possibly the most fascinating motor I’ve ever dealt with, which would explain why this Suzuki RE5 that Jim S, sent in caught my interest. You see, rather than being powered by a conventional piston engine, it gets its power from a 497cc rotary engine. And if you are thinking that isn’t much displacement, remember rotary engines don’t work like piston engines. This screamer was rated at 62 horses with 55 pounds of torque. It’s not the most powerful bike engine, but it had its strengths! Reviewers of the RE5 gave it top marks for handling and smoothness, but complained about hesitation. If you’re like me and want to experience this rotary powered bike, you can find it here on eBay in Cleveland, Ohio with bidding just over $500. Thanks to Jim for the tip!

Woodland Treasures

Jeff In The Junkyard: Woodland Treasures

I had to find some new territory recently. It was bittersweet, in a way, because this latest yard represented the last of my “new” places on a list of six yards I identified over the winter. So, I’ll need to find some new stomping grounds to keep things fresh, but this particular yard has so much hidden in the woods that I’ll likely go back for multiple visits. The big score of the day: a set of very clean factory Recaro sport seats! Now, onto the finds! Read more »

Mazda RX4

Wankel Wagon: 1974 Mazda RX4

No, it’s not an RX2, 3, 7, or 8! This unusual RX4 wagon is currently in Sanford, Florida and is for sale here on eBay, where the buy-it-now is $4,000, but the opening bid is only $2,500. Let me start by saying I’m biased here; I like Wankels (rotaries). To a mechanical engineer, the whole idea of drastically reducing the number of moving parts in an engine is a good thing. Mazda struggled for years to find the right market niche for the rotary and finally did so with the RX7 and RX8; where enthusiasts don’t care quite as much about fuel economy but are interested in the performance aspects of the engine. So putting it into what at the time was not-quite-a-compact wagon puzzles me (almost as much as the rotary pickup, but that’s a whole other story). Read more »

Honda S600

1965 Honda S600: Original Screamer

One of my all-time favorite vintage roadsters is the Honda S600, for two reasons: one, it’s the spiritual forebearer to the modern-day S2000 roadster, a true performance car bargain and engineering feat that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And two, it makes the same exhilarating noise as the S2K, capable of being wound out like a sport bike in an era where most cars were designed to operate in a performance threshold of somewhere between 1-3,000 RPMs. This 1965 example here on eBay is RHD and clearly a restoration project, with some bodywork underway but very few details on how far along, or gone, this car truly is. That hasn’t slowed bidding activity, but the reserve is yet unmet on this pumpkin-orange roadster. As project examples grow increasingly scarce, my guess is that this is a car that will be among those we look at and say, “I should have bought one when they were cheap.” Do any of you have any first-hand experience with S600s, or any particular trouble spots to watch out for?

microcar

1981 XK1 Tri-Hawk: Never Seen One

What’s that you say? You’d like to ride a motorcycle but you don’t want to get wet from the rain or bugs in your teeth? Well, have we found a solution for you. Called the XKI Tri-Hawk, this curiosity is listed here on eBay with no reserve and bidding up to $400. Apparently, it is a custom creation by a motorcycle shop on Long Island in the ’80s, used as a functional roadside display for the store. Featuring gullwing doors and a Honda motorcycle engine, this custom creation also has a full interior and a 5-speed manual transmission! It’s like the Reliant Robin, but – cooler? I don’t know how useful this trike would be for anything other than a promotional display, but for short money, it could be fun to keep in the garage for days when it’s too cold for a motorcycle or if your scooter is out of gas. How would you use this mystery machine?

Amish Country Part 2

Jeff in the Junkyard: Amish Country Part 2

I mentioned in last week’s Jeff in the Junkyard round-up that my trip to Amish Country offered more than enough fodder for a few weeks’ worth of posts. We’ll move onto new territory next week, but for now, I still have plenty of material to work with from this Pennsylvania forest. There are a few more unknowns thrown in, so make your answers known below! I fear my last few quizzes have been a bit too easy, so hopefully these will challenge even our most knowledgeable followers! Read more »

toyotafj55

1974 Toyota Land Cruiser: Dry But Rough

In this week’s edition of Jeff in the Junkyard, one of the vehicles retired to Amish Country included an FJ55 Land Cruiser which a few of you had recollections of being unstoppable off-road. Well, here’s your chance to save one before it ends up sleeping in the forest, rusting away! This 1974 Land Cruiser here on eBay with bidding just over $1,000 and the reserve unmet is rot-free but the interior is a mess and the engine has been removed and disassembled. The seller doesn’t sound too optimistic the original mill can come back to life, but I suspect he’s the one who broke it down and then let it sit, gathering rust. Regardless, it might be an excuse to upgrade to a modern powerplant, and there are even specialist shops that have begun offering these conversions specifically for vintage Toyota 4x4s. Which direction would you choose – try and find a non-matching but original engine for rebuild, or go all-in on a V8 conversion?

Amish Country Junkyard

Jeff In The Junkyard: Amish Country!

Well, the wait is over: today’s installment of Jeff in the Junkyard kicks off a multi-part series of my visit to a junkyard in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. My brother and I plan a few visits each year where we check out different yards in our respective zip codes, and this trip did not disappoint. As always, I’m leaving one of these unnamed so you, the reader, can let us know the year, make and model. Let us know your thoughts and memories in the comments below and tell us which ones are your favorites!
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s800

1968 Toyota S800: Sporting Past

There are days when I’m convinced Barn Finds reader Robert R. and I are long-lost siblings (or at least distant cousins); almost every find he sends in are vehicles I’ve thought about owning at one point in time. Actually, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a Toyota Sports 800 and it’s been ages since I’ve seen one. This 1968 example is listed here on eBay with a hefty $59,500 price tag – yes, you read that correctly. To be fair, these cars are exceedingly rare and many of the ones I’ve spotted were originally shipped home by a service member. With only 300 LHD examples ever made and many having long since disintegrated into a pile of rust-stained dust, a running/driving S800 is always going to fetch a premium. While Toyota may no longer stoke the coals of the enthusiast flame, the S800 is a reminder that, like the Honda S600, the Japanese did build cars that were nothing short of visceral – a quality I’m not sure exists today.

Jeff in the Junkyard

Jeff in the Junkyard: From MA to MD

As we continue our weekly series of junkyard finds (you can find the previous two entries here and here), I’m being a bit lazy this week and combining some remaining finds from the yard that yielded my prized dashboard along with some new discoveries from a yard in Maryland I visited last weekend. Next week’s will be the big unveiling, however, as I uncovered a bonanza in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country last week! For now, though, I’ve left a few more quizzes in store for you to identify some classics sinking back into the earth – and some collector cars that should be rescued instead of recycled. Read more »

1989 Isuzu I-Mark Lotus

1989 Isuzu I-Mark: Steering By Lotus

When I think of Isuzus, the last thing I think of is performance, but they have actually made some interesting and fun little cars! Take this I-Mark, while it is based on the somewhat mundane Gemini, it could be optioned to be a fun little car. This one was optioned with the Lotus handling package, which added a stiffer suspension and bigger sway bars! As you can see, this one has been parked in a bush and is slowly being overgrown. It will certainly be a labor of love to bring it back, but with bidding starting at just $350 and no reserve, it has potential! Find it here on eBay in Crawfordville, Florida. Special thanks to Robert R for this tip! So would you save this Isuzu?