1974 BMW 3.0 CS – $18000

“1974 BMW 3.0 CS. 4-speed manual, silver grey metallic, red leather seats, low mileage one owner classic.
$18,000 o.b.o. Phone 1-250-729-1334 or 1-604-308-1563”

It is odd how many great cars go almost wholly forgotten by the collective memory of the automotive enthusiast community; truly wonderful cars like the Jaguar Mark X/420G, the Volvo P1800, and the BMW 3.0 CS and Bavaria. Incredibly desirable and possessing plenty of cachet, each of these cars represent an epiphany in their respective manufacturer’s histories. For the 3.0 CS, that epiphany was accompanied by a period of motorsports dominance and critical acclaim that BMW really hadn’t known until then. One of the best looking BMWs arguably ever produced, the E9 (BMW’s internal name for the two door coupe platform) was also largely responsible for rendering the German brand into its modern, driver-oriented image. Offering between 180 and 200 horsepower (180 being the power rating for the carburetor-equipped, 9:1 compression ratio CS, 200 for the fuel injected and 9.5:1 squeezing CSi), and being considered one of the best suspended cars of the time, it was a true pleasure to drive. I can personally vouch for this, having had the pleasure of operating one of these fine vehicles on a few occasions. Sounding glorious, the 3.0L inline six is a real gem of an engine, but for the modern driver, it will be the effortlessly graceful manner in which the car conducts its business combined with the ridiculously excellent visibility afforded by the spidery pillars and huge windows that will really impress.

Of course, that’s only when they’re working… not that they’re terribly unreliable. In fact, if you ever have a chance to delve into the mechanics of one, they’re thoroughly impressive. Again, personal experience tells me that the drivetrains are amazingly robust (I’ve seen one come back to life and move down the road in 10 minutes after sitting untouched for two decades), but the running gear and electrics can be a little finicky as the suspension, steering, and brakes are as complicated as they needed to be to set a new standard for the world. However, that isn’t the bad news: here in BC, these things have a nasty habit of turning to dust. Partly the contemporary steel and partly the stupidly solid way in which they were made facilitates thirty years’ worth of moisture working its way into every nook and cranny without the possibility of drainage. The sills and quarters are particularly targeted by the process of oxidation. Also, any potential buyer should also take a quick gander at the interior, as trim pieces can be somewhat hard to locate. With just two pictures available of this particular silver example, it’s impossible to truly tell its condition, but it looks pretty decent and is just one 267 CS’ to roll off the line in ’74, making it an excellent (and classy) way to jump into the Bimmer club.

1972 Mercedes Benz 280SE – $1500

“1972 Mercedes Benz 280SE for sale. This is a GREAT city vehicle with a tonne of character. 5spd automatic transmission, gasoline engine, sunroof, and power windows. New battery. Has a bit of rust on the front bumper as well. Car runs well, but would run great if someone wanted to put a little elbow grease into her. Currently in underground storage, covered. “

I will confess, I’ve never been a big fan of Mercedes Benz’ automobiles. With the exception of a few of their classic roadsters, I’ve always found their vehicles, both new and old, to be a bit too Germanic for my British-tuned tastes; when you’ve whetted your appetite on lithe Jaguars, there’s little room for a brand that put out a car who’s styling earned it the moniker “Pagoda,” officially. But, regardless, I must admit that they do have an undeniable presence on the road, especially the late sixties/early seventies sedans. This ’72 280SE is exemplary of the most common Mercedes’ of this era; large, luxurious, and stalwart. Among the first Mercedes Benz vehicles to really be manufactured in any great number, they were available in almost innumerable configurations ranging from spry short wheelbase coupes and convertibles to long wheelbase 6.3L V8 powered monsters destined for the garages of third world despots and dictators. This one, being a sedan endowed with the uber-common 2.8L inline six, is somewhere in the middle of the pack, trading the entry level 280S’ dual downdraft carburetors for fuel injection. This raised the horsepower level to 160 and allowed automatic transmission-equipped cars such as this to hit a surprising 185 kilometres per hour (manual gearboxes pushed that figure to an even 190), with 100 kph being surpassed in just over ten seconds.

Now, whether or not this particular example is capable of that performance is another matter entirely. Being both German, and one of the earlier examples of fuel injection extant means that this is one complicated car. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate into this being an unreliable car. Typically extremely well designed and beautifully executed, older Mercedes Benz’ like this offer a unique challenge for the tinkerer as they often don’t require the same degree of constant maintenance that many other classic cars do… but can prove difficult when things do go south as parts can require some diligence to find. Look for rust around the doors, both on the body and the complex joins that form the rear doors’ shape around the latch (as well as all the usual places around the trunk, floors, sills and fenders), but if the ad is telling the truth, corrosion won’t be a problem. Finally, considering most people that bought these cars were established older folks looking for a good, reliable car, check for issues stemming from disuse rather than abuse. These aren’t Mustangs and Camaros; many lived in covered garages, were cleaned regularly, and kept maintained, but a lack of exercise has led many of these cars requiring some mechanical exorcisms.

1966 Ford Thunderbird – $2950

“Restoration project car, 1966 Thunderbird, 390, big block, runs great! New carb, rebuilt transmission. She is in good shape, and daily drivable. Needs some work and T.L.C., not show worthy, Please only call if you understand what that entails. $2950, to a good home. Please contact Nick at 778-891-3284, no emails.”

Looking at this particular example of automotive history, it’s hard to believe that this car’s forebears could have ever come out of a desire to compete directly with the Chevrolet Corvette. By 1966, just 11 years had passed since the then-new Thunderbird shamed the Corvette with superior horsepower figures and performance, but those 11 years had not been kind to the Thunderbird. While 1966 saw the mighty 427 big block ushered under the Corvette’s shapely hood, Ford spent the year escorting the Thunderbird’s big, luxurious fourth generation from the premises in order to make way for a newer, bigger, and vastly uglier fifth generation. Marking the last year that the Thunderbird could be called legitimately good looking, the 1966 model year features a trio of V8’s underhood (275- and 315-horsepower 390 cubic inch V8s as well as a 345-horsepower 428 cubic inch) and enough luxury features inside to sink a ship… which was ironic given the ‘bird’s land yacht status. The new Highway Pilot Automatic Speed Control set a new standard for cruise control systems, while the six way power seats ensured complete comfort for the driver and his passenger, and both new features were merely bolstering the already impressive list of amenities that included easy-ingress and egress rotating seats, tilting steering columns, power windows and locks, and a variety of other contrivances.

Of course, the downside to all these relatively complex luxury systems is that ownership of aging Thunderbirds could be a troublesome and trying experience. But, they say nothing unites people like a common foe, and few enthusiast groups are more cohesive and helpful than Thunderbird enthusiasts. With a strong aftermarket to support their penchant for replacement parts and a huge knowledge base, it can be surprisingly easy to keep one of these cars on the road. However, this being B.C., and these being cars festooned with trim and panel joints, it’s extremely important that any potential buyer do their due diligence and inspect for rust. However, if the photos are any illustration, it looks like it’s in relatively decent shape, although it looks like there’s something around the rear wheelarch that might need investigating. Clicking through to the actual ad will demonstrate the benefits of a proper hard top on an old car such as this, as the interior (what we can see of it, anyway) looks quite clean. But perhaps most telling is the inclusion of “to a good home” in the price. After putting in what appears to be a few of his own dollars, obviously the owner still cares about this old car, and that’s a really great thing to see. These are great cars that can still work as reliably as they did when they were new, and they’re extremely pleasant to drive on a daily basis, making this one yet another car you should buy.

1973 Dodge Dart – $900

 

“1973 Dodge Dart Slant 6 – 225, runs well but not aircared at the moment. Low km as I can tell (80,000). Only 1000km on tires. Some spare parts included.”

If the Ford Fairlane was the darling poster child of the American sedan before 1970, the Dodge Dart has to be numbered among the same in the post-fuel crisis era of the early ’70s. Currying much favour with American car buyers thanks to its relatively small stature and thrifty, reliable, and famous slant six engines, the ’73 Dart was the perfect car for an America starving for fuel and buried under excessive insurance costs. As if that wasn’t enough hardship for the contemporary car buying public, an increased level of safety awareness led the American government to require all passenger vehicle be fitted with bumpers the size of small boats, and the result was the complete and utter ruination of the entire American auto industry’s various styling departments. A step that would even ugly up the indomitably attractive Jaguar E-type, the poor Dodge Dart never stood a chance. But, even with an overture to safety hanging off the front end, it wasn’t a bad car. Revised disc brakes, electronic ignition, a better starter motor, and a new engine subframe meant the cars were easier to maintain, while a different rear end kept costs down. Under the hood, the 225 cubic inch slant six made an advertised 105 horsepower and 185 foot pounds of torque; figures that were artificially deflated due to the then-new requirement that engines be tested with all ancillary accessories attached. Just two years prior, before the passage of that particular law, the same engine had been producing 145 horsepower and 215 foot-pounds of torque.

Undoubtedly, however, the passage of a few years’ time will have let a few ponies out from this particular Dart’s stable. Looking like one of the lower-spec trim levels (clicking through to the ad will undoubtedly surprise many new car owners who didn’t know seats could look so spartan!), potential buyers shouldn’t be dissuaded by the cars age, these things run forever. The ad doesn’t specify which transmission is behind that little slant six, but the smart money’s on an automatic, which will make for one easily maintained ride. Additionally, as long as rust hasn’t taken a hold in the trunk, floors, or quarter panels, most of these old Dodge’s come with a pretty thick coat of paint that, although typically heavily oxidized, will come up to a pretty good sheen with a little polish and wax. And although it’s once-handsome visage might have been pillaged by the safety police, a cleaned up ’73 Dart sedan would still be a pretty slick looking ride… especially when it’s just $900!

1972 DeTomaso Pantera – $49000

Matching numbers, 50K. I have owned the car for 11 years and have replaced and restored from top to bottom. Car was stripped and painted 8 years ago. Steel flares with mods. 351 Cleveland rebuilt from the ground up. Dyno at 421 HP. Upgrade on brakes, cooling, MSD. ignition. Performance cam, holley carb., Kinesis wheels, Michelin pilots. Too much to list. Don’t miss this beauty.”

The DeTomaso Pantera. Expensive, exotic, and unique; the bizarre and somewhat shortlived ‘70s supercar is just one of many that most car enthusiasts forget about… until they see one. Eye fetchingly low and incredibly aggressive in its design, the Pantera was the cool combination of American Tom Tjaarda’s excellent design skills and the Italian firm’s unhinged sense of realism. After all, launching a small-block, Ford V8-powered, mid-engined, Italian supercar in the midst of the oil-starved early seventies and maintaining it as a viable business through the recession of the 80s wasn’t exactly DeTomaso’s brightest idea. And as a car, it wasn’t exactly stellar. Although brilliant at times, it was famously unreliable, leading to Elvis Presley shooting his personal ’74 Pantera on multiple occasions.

Now, hopefully a few decades’ passage has sorted out the Pantera’s various mechanical and electrical gremlins, because this is one awesome car. Equipped with just 330 horsepower in its earlier guises, the Pantera still managed to sprint to 60 miles per hour in a respectable 5.5 seconds, and one can assume that this one’s 421 horsepower should shave some time off that. Additionally, the upgraded brakes, cooling, and ignition (that last bit, specifically) should work wonders on the car’s ability to run all the way to 60 miles per hour, and beyond, reliably. However, its steep price tag of $49,000 might cause more than a few to balk, especially given the car’s modified nature. But one should remember that it’s nearly as engaging as its contemporary competitor, the eyeball-conquering Lamborghini Countach, albeit more reliable and easier to drive. And even at a grand shy of $50K, it’s still cheaper than a myriad of vastly less impressive vehicles.

1965 Ford Fairlane – $4000

“1965 Ford Fairlane Sport Coupe. 289, Automatic transmission, bucket seats and console. Power Steering. 121,000 documented miles. $4,000 firm. 604-813-9640, after 10 am.”

Well, once again, we find ourselves staring down the barrel (or four barrel) of yet another version of the eminently popular Ford Fairlane, this particular model being a fetching 1965 Sport Coupe. One of the older Fairlanes that have come across CYSB’s browser, ’65 marks the final year for the fourth generation of the popular Fairlane sedan, a generation that saw the Fairlane shrink to become Ford’s intermediate vehicle. Slotting between the new Ford Falcon and the equally new full-size Ford Galaxie, the fourth generation Fairlane offered a wide array of optional extras and varying body styles ranging from faux-wood adorned Squire station wagons to ridiculous 657 horsepower, 7.0L Thunderbolt drag cars.

This particular model, being a 289-powered Sport Coupe, is positioned somewhere in the upper reaches of the Fairlane model lineup. I suspect it is the 2-barrel carbureted, hydraulic-lifter equipped 289 producing 195 horsepower have been informed it’s a factory four barrel, dual exhaust car, making it a prime exemplar of the upper echelon of Fairlane performance in 1965. Producing a healthy 271 horsepower, this engine gives a good indication of just how easy power comes to the ubiquitous Ford small block. Regardless, with just over a ton and half’s worth of American sheetmetal to cart around, neither of the torquey V8s available in ’65 would have much trouble carting it around. However, with just three forward speeds available from the automatic gearbox, don’t expect stellar fuel mileage. But at just $4,000, and looking pretty much flawless, fuel costs might be the only dollars this car needs put into it.

1968 Mercury Ranger – $2000

“1968 Mercury Ranger. Always passes aircare. comes with a locking truck box, aluminum window guard and box rails. CD player, and 8 track. 2″ receiver hitch. Cool looking truck, stock hood scoops.”

Well now… believe it or not, this here is something pretty special. Fleshing out the same bones that underpinned some of the most loved Ford F-series pickups in the world, the Mercury Ranger was Ford’s answer to the unique questions posed by the heavily taxed Canadian market, at least until the Automotive Free Trade agreement was ratified in 1965. Leading to the demise of a few Mercury models, that particular document would prove the final nail in the coffin for this rare Canadian-made pickup truck in 1968, making this particular example one of the last that would ever be produced. A relatively rare and little known version of the world’s most popular vehicle, this particular Ranger model is an example of the most luxurious truck Mercury offered in 1968, coming with everything from optional (and very rare) hood scoops to an eight track to two-tone paint.

But precisely which variant of Mercury Ranger this is remains unknown. Coming in the three same GVWR designations as the F-series (F-150, F-250, and F-350), this could be either an M-150, M-250, or M-350, depending. However, the F-150 being the most common version, my money’s on this being a well-spec’ed version of that particular model, ordered by someone looking for equal measures of road going presence and work capacity. After all, while we take significant styling features such as hood scoops for granted on modern trucks, it would have taken a very special buyer to opt for such a feature in 1968, when trucks were relegated to work duties and little else. As with all Ford pickups of this era, rust in and around the cab supports in of the utmost concern, as are the wheelwells, floors, and the rear seam of the cab. Mechanically, they’re almost industructable, and the 360 is a real trooper of an engine. I’ve owned a slightly newer F-series (1974) motivated by the same powerplant, and the thing absolutely refused to bow to Death, even as the odometer rolled over half a million kilometers. As for replacement parts, although the Mercury-specific trim pieces may be more difficult to locate, the majority of the important stuff is all extremely available.