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Weekend Reader Finds: March 31, 2014

Reader Finds 3-31-2014

This weekend we had lots of great reader submissions, with an impressive amount of variety. You guys sent in everything from pickups to oddball sports cars and just about everything in between. On the oddball front, there is a Fiberfab Banshee, a McLaren ACS Mustang, an AMC Pacer DLX Wagon, and a VW Ventura. The seller of the Fiberfab claims it is one of 12 built, so we would assume that means it is one of the few factory built cars. The Mustang and Ventura are both newer than what we typically feature, but are both such unusual finds that we thought we could over look their ages. If you didn’t get your Pacer fix after the last one we featured, this one should do the trick. It was recently serviced and had about $5k put into it, so it should run great! If none of those are quirky enough, be sure to check out the Volvo 445. What’s more unusual than a Volvo two door wagon? There is also a very nice Studebaker Lark that we think would make for a great daily driver. We also like the ’40s Cadillac and Ford Sedan, both are bright blue and wearing some interesting patina. Of the two we would rather have the Cadillac, but the Ford might be a better buy for those on a tighter budget. Speaking of patina, the Studebaker pickup is rusty, but it appears to primarily be surface rust and it gives the truck a nice look. If you’d like a truck that’s not as rusty, be sure to check out the Ford F100, which still wears it’s original paint. And for those that want something with a bit more muscle, let’s not forget the AMC AMX. We love the diversity, so keep them coming guys!

1946 Ford Sedan

1946 Ford Sedan here on eBay with $7,950 BIN (Josh M)

1966 FIberfab Banshee

1966 Fiberfab Banshee here on craigslist (Robert Janca)

1963 Studebaker Lark

1963 Studebaker Lark here on eBay (Jim S)

1972 AMC AMX

 1972 AMC Javelin AMX here on craigslist for $3,500 (Robert J)

1940 Cadillac Lasalle

 1940 Cadillac Lasalle Coupe here on eBay (Josh M)

1959 Volvo 445

1959 Volvo 445 here on craigslist for $2750 (Robert J)

1978 AMC Pacer DLX

1978 AMC Pacer DLX Wagon here on eBay with $5,300 BIN (Jim S)

1974 Ford F100

1974 Ford F100 Shortbed here on eBay (Jim S)

1980 VW Ventura

1980 VW Ventura here on eBay with $5,200 BIN (Robert J)

1985 McLaren ACS

1986 McLaren ACS Mustang here on eBay (Brayden S)

1948 Studebaker Truck

1948 Studebaker Truck here on eBay (Josh M)


  1. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    The AMX looks good, altho the debris in the grille and the flat tires in the mud might mean that it’s been neglected. The 511 gears might mean that’s it’s led a hard life on the street or strip, which could be the reason for the non-operating engine. Will probably be difficult to sell on CL in small town Idaho. eBay would be a better bet.

    That beautiful F100 is sure to sell, unless the reserve is crazy, which maybe it has a right to be since it’s so nice. I don’t recall seeing such an appealing pickup recently, even if it is yellow.

    The VW Ventura looks really good. Ducking while I say this—-I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that with pancake VW power it might have trouble keeping up with its good looks. The upside would be the lack of exotic overhead cams and big overhaul bills. But for something so uniquely good looking it would be hard to beat at the price.

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    • Avatar photo RollerD

      I’m thinking that 5:11 gear might be a 4:11 and the poster made an honest mistake. A good buy for someone that wants one.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      I only skimmed the ad, so I am assuming the engine and drivetrain are sourced from a Beetle? If so, you can alway make a VW engine go fast on the cheap. Even if, for some weird and crazy reason, it did have 5:11 gears, that would be easy to fix. I know it’s just a matter of taste, but that front end really spoils the look of that car for me! It does have a very traditional look for its time, though. Are those Datsun tail light lenses?

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      • Avatar photo Robert J

        That’s what I thought too Brian, especially when you see the other cool looking VW’s that came out of Brazil during this period. If it were more unusual looking, I would have put a bid in on it.

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      • Avatar photo Brian

        @Robert. I ended up googling these cars after I made the post. After flipping though about 30 photos of Pontiac Venturas, I saw a few photos of some earlier models that had round headlight which I thought looked abit better, but still no Puma!

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  2. Avatar photo jim s

    both the seller of the vw and the studebaker truck have other interesting ebay listings. the studebacker truck is at $510 with no reserve. do not think i have ever seen a VW ventura before so i am still learning. if the F100 have a 300ci/3 on the tree my bank account and plans for 1990 miatas would be in trouble. great finds

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    • Avatar photo rancho bella

      Jim S,
      up until last weekend, I had not heard of a VW Ventura either. My buddy informed me he has one sitting in the backyard of his moms house………I’ve know this guy for fifteen years and this is the first I’m hearing of this?
      I have been doing cars for decades and have never known about these either.
      As a side note. There was a company in Brazil making 356 coupes out of fiberglass. They were good, very good as in I had a hard time telling the difference between one from Brazil and one from Germany, and I am a Porsche guy

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      • Avatar photo jim s

        yes they sure made a lot of interesting cars in Brazil.

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  3. Avatar photo Brian

    The 63 Studebaker Lark looks like a true survivor! If I read the ad correctly, it’s amazing that it hasn’t even broken 30,000 miles in 51 years. Although not as exciting as a Daytona or a Cruiser, it sounds like it’s had some work done on it and it’s road ready! In the end, I predict that someone’s going to have a lot of fun this summer with their sub $7,000.00 purchase!

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    • Avatar photo Kristi Evans

      I’m bidding on the Lark… thanks to Barn Finds. There is no way I am going to win that auction, though. I hear that he has 100 watchers on the car. The current owner recently had some very prosaic, but clean, low-mile cars sell through eBay. One in particular was an ’80 Pontiac… I hadn’t seen one of those without huge rust issues in a couple of decades, but his was 100% original and without a ding. He got $2 grand for it!! He’s just a retiree who likes old cars and is cleaning out his garage in order to retire. All are running, inspected, the whole nine yards. Surely hoping that I come out a winner on that mint little beauty. I love Stude’s and I think it’ll be a great deal.

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      • Avatar photo Brian

        Best of luck in bidding, I sincerely hope your able to win it. Keep us informed!

        I’ve been into Studebaker Larks since I was 13 years old and I have had my current car, a 63 Cruiser, for 20 years. I couldn’t imagine life without one!

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    • Avatar photo Kristi Evans

      I got it at $3,600, which seems like a solid bargain to me, from afar – but I haven’t started it yet. First drive is from Angola, Indiana to Barberton, Ohio, so seems like a good, local test. I bought a ’79 Fiesta a few years ago and drove it about 2,300 miles – found that I had to turn on the heater full blast in the middle of Arizona and all the way home to (then) Seattle in order to keep it from overheating. I thought I was going to die. Lark should be a WAY more comfy situation even if I’m on the side of the road waiting for a tow.

      Thanks for the well-wishes, Brian. I’m excited.

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      • Avatar photo Brian

        Glad to hear you won the bidding! I was cheering for you. When you said you felt like you wouldn’t be able to get it for your price, I really felt like you had a good shot at it! I felt like somebody was going to pick up a bargain on this one! Anyway, I hope you enjoy it in the best of health. Advice from a nearly 30 year Lark veteran (yikes!) is to store it inside when not in use and keep it clean to preserve the paint and body. These cars can go down quick, really quick, when left sitting outside. Happy Motoring!

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  4. Avatar photo Brian
  5. Avatar photo Jim-Bob

    The Javelin is an interesting find. I wonder if it is a true AMX though because the 304/3 speed was the base V8 setup in a Javelin and I think the AMX package required at least a 360. The hood, rear spoiler and back wheels are correct for a Go-Pack car, but without any interior pictures I can’t say any more for sure. A real AMX would have engine turned panels in place of the normal Javelin’s wood grain pieces on the dash and doors. It’s also missing the AMX grille insert (all 1971-74 Javelin/AMX’s used a base 1971 “Twin Venturi” grille with the mesh inset installed over top of them and the turn signals screwed to the grille instead of being beneath the bumper in the front valance panel.)

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  6. Avatar photo Jim-Bob

    Now on to the Pacer (sorry, I should have put this in my first post!). It’s a Pacer DL, not DLX. The Pacer’s trim levels were base, DL, Limited and Pacer X (not all in the same model years). The Limited would have had the leather seats. This DL has vinyl seats incorrectly identified as leather. As far as the seller’s suggestion of it being a “little race car”? Well… I’ll race him (or her) in my 3 cylinder Metro. If you’re making bets, don’t bet on the Pacer!

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    • Avatar photo Don Andreina

      Put me down for $50 on the Geo.

      That Ventura is purdy, even with the zorro mask. Dang there are some nice finds on this site. Second chance for a BF Pacer wagon lads!

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  7. Avatar photo rancho bella

    I think the practical vehicle out of the bunch will be the Ford pickup, boy it sure is nice and original to my eye. Treat em’ right and they will last a life time. I’d be perfect with my Wrangler jeans and pull ons

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  8. Avatar photo Mark E

    That Ventura is strongly reminiscent of the Brazil only SP2 so I’m guessing the speedy looks are backed up by a sad stock VW drivetrain. But the SP2s were metal weren’t they, and this is fiberglass per the seller. Hm… I’d consult my VW expert bro-in-law except he’d undoubtedly snark my head off about how bad they are… :-P

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  9. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    Being an early Ford V8 fan, the ’46 sedan has got my first vote. Being a truck fan, the ’74 Ford comes right in too. I might add that I once owned a ’73 Ford which served me well until I decided that I ‘needed’ a 4×4. Having a fetish for vintage trucks, I have to take a 2nd look at the Stude 3/4 ton. That style has always had a special place in my heart and I often think that if more power was available in the smaller trucks, Studebaker would’ve done a lot better.

    A word about patina: I’ve suspected this but I talked to a body man about patina and he said that about the worst thing one could do is to cover the patina with clear coat and seal it up. Surface rust (patina?) indicates that the oxidation process has already begun. Covering it up alters the decomposition process and sends it inward, becoming the REAL tin worm. He said if you want patina and you want it to last, make it with paint, otherwise leave it open.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      I remember when having a car with patina just meant yor REALLY needed a paint job! No disrespect to the folks that are into this look, but I’ve just never dug it!

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      • Avatar photo geomechs Member

        Brian, I hear ya. I seems that a new fad came in and everybody wants a piece of it. You know, it strangely coincides with those chopper boys building a Caddy Shack bike and making it look like a well-used garden machine. Unless I was hiding under a rock somewhere, that’s the time I noticed patina’d trucks in the magazines. It doesn’t take much to start a fad nowadays…

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  10. Avatar photo z1 rider

    Note the lack of a brake booster on the 74 Ford f-100. I remember test driving a clean used trade-in pickup very similar to this one many years ago and was shocked when I opened the hood afterwards to find no booster. Shocked because the brake effort did not seem to be excessive. I then crouched down to look at the front brakes and saw they were discs just like this one is stated to be. That upset my notion that the lack of self energizing capability meant a disc brake vehicle had to have power assist!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Avatar photo John

    I have to admit that I almost had forgotten Fiberfab. They made some interesting designs, and I suspect that a few actually got finished and driven. But then those were the days when you could still drive things that you had “made” yourself.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      I’ve always thought it would be fun to latch onto one of these unfinished garage dwellers, if the price was right (cheap). As far as the Fiberfabs go, it’a an Avenger for me! I don’t think you’d have much trouble registering it most states, but you probably have to call it a modified whatever year VW Beetle that you used a chassis from.

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  12. Avatar photo Elizabeth

    Fiberfab Banshee
    What a name!

    Wonder how it is to drive one.

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  13. Avatar photo Brian

    I don’t think the Fiberfab owner is going to get too many trade offers for Mustang fastbacks, outside of a possible Mustang II with a four banger!

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