196? NSU 110 – $1500

“Early sixties I think, runs good, needs clutch pedal repair. Call Jack: 604-723-4934”

Well, apparently karma has come knocking on my door in the form of a completely fried clutch that has left one of (newer) family vehicles completely devoid of the ability to make forward progress. Such is the price of not updating the blog for a week. So, lest a vehicle I feel slightly more strongly about take a liking to its friend’s immobile status, I best bring CYSB back to the fore of my priorities! And what better to do that with than something from good old West Germany that hails from the era of the commie threat, Rusky movie villians, and a socio-political movement that saw the youth of a nation tearing walls down rather than putting tents up. Although undetermined in actual age, this NSU Type 110, by nature of its very existence, must have been made sometime in the short (er… one year) span between  1965 and 1967, as the car hadn’t been created in 1964, and underwent a formal name change in 1968, becoming the NSU 1200. Slightly larger than the better known Prinz, the 110 was NSU’s earlier take on a bigger format of automobile, with the only other (and subsequently hereafter known as “later “) take being the Ro 80 of 1967-77. Powered by a downrated version of the same engine that would find its way beneath the trunklid of the peppy NSU Prinz 1000 TT, the 1,085 cc four cylinder that motivated the NSU 110 produced an advertised 52 horsepower, but certainly won’t be the most interesting feature of the car for any potential owners. No, it’ll probably be the fact that just like the Prinz and wildly successful Beetle of the same era, the engine in the 110 is to be found within the trunk. An attempt to increase traction by locating the engine squarely over the drive wheels, the move led to the car being lauded as a pretty good performer, but criticized as particularly vulnerable to high speed cross winds such as those found on the autobahn.

Now, this particular one certainly won’t suffer from that particular problem because A) it, nor we, are in Germany and B) it doesn’t look like it’s going to be seeing high speed anything for a while. Certainly one of the roughest cars we’ve seen on CYSB, I’d not have featured it if it weren’t for the undeniably alluring combination of the car’s relatively low price, obscure manufacturer, bizarre layout, and, believe it or not, undying reputation for reliability. Although parts are probably nigh impossible to source, NSU’s have enjoyed an almost Eastern Bloc-like status as some of the toughest and longest-lived little cars on the planet due to both their excellent design and ridiculously stoic manufacture. Take, for example, the car’s underside. Typically one of the most rust-prone areas you’re liable to find on a car made of mid-sixties steel, NSU’s are usually nearly rust free thanks to an a zinc coating that nearly amounts to galvanizing the entire underside. Likewise, the mechanics of the cars are both simple and robust, with NSU once claiming that a clutch could be changed on a 110 in just 30 minutes. When it comes to this particular car, however, I’d be more concerned with how long it would take to find interior door panels and new seat covers as it looks as if the interior will need some TLC. But, if you’re the type that wants something truly different, but preposterously Teutonic in nature, this might be just the car.

1965 Plymouth Valiant 200 – $900

“I am selling Jim; he is a ’65 Plymouth Valiant 200 four door. It has a 273 V8 and 904 transmission. It has good tires and a four barrel carb. I drive it everyday. It needs some bodywork. It’s been lowered three inches in the back and two in the front. I would maybe trade for a 4×4 full size or a Jeep…. maybe a Mustang or Fairmont or a Toyota of some kind. Just tell me what you have.”

If there’s one brand that really didn’t deserve the ignominious fate it endured, it’s got to be Plymouth. Sure, Pontiac is equally easy to mourn over, having produced their fair share of cool automobiles, but at least Pontiac got to go out with a bit a bang in the form of the ultra-cool Solstice, Solstice Coupe, and G8. Plymouth, on the other hand, went out with a silver Neon. But, long before that accursed car ever infected the Chrysler Corp., or rather DaimlerChrysler, Plymouth got to build cool cars, like the Valiant. Kissing cousin to the Dodge Lancer and later Dart, the even more stylish Plymouth product filled the same compact car niche that goddamned Neon later would, and was credited by contemporary scribes at Road & Track with being one of the best domestic automobiles of the day. In its second generation by 1965, the Valiant made big news in 1964 as a result of the introduction of the solid-lifter 273 cubic-inch V8 engine engineered specifically for use in the diminutive Chrysler compact cars. Churning out 180 horsepower, the V8-powered 1964 Valiant was the most affordable V8-powered car in the world at the time, and followed that act up with a particularly potent Commando 273 for the following year. Making an almost ridiculous 235 horsepower, the Commando version of the 273 cubic-inch motor introduced a four barrel carburetor, higher compression, better exhaust, and a performance camshaft to the Valiant lineup, and made the little car quite the performance machine.

Which, of course, begs the question: does the four barrel under the hood of this Valiant 200 indicate the presence of that infamous Commando V8? Not necessarily, but it does bode well. Lending further credibility to that is the unquestionable presence of a 904 TorqueFlite automatic gearbox, a vinyl roof, and the 200 option package (which included a rear window defrost, seatbelts, carpet, variable speed wipers, and a host of other features), this car was obviously ordered by someone for whom money wasn’t exactly the chief concern… at least not when it came time to tick the option boxes on their Valiant order sheet. Another daily driver, this one’s ad may not be as lengthy and detailed as the Fargo from yesterday, but it’s probably in pretty fair shape, if the photos are any indication. Also, being a damn sight more common than the Fargo and with a pretty strong community behind it, this Valiant should be a pretty easy car for a potential buyer to own as well.

Car Update! ’63 Rambler – $550

Well, this is good news for those of you that haven’t yet finished up your Christmas shopping. One of the first cars to make it onto CYSB, this Rambler sedan (which you can find written up here) is still up on Craigslist, but has a new ad proclaimed a new, and even lower price. Asking the paltry sum of just $550 bucks, it’ll look good underneath the tree this holiday season… and by tree I mean the one out front, not the one you put in your house. Please, don’t try and stick a Rambler underneath your Christmas tree. But if you do, send us pictures.

1960 Fargo Pickup – $4000

“1960 Fargo pickup for sale. Its got 15,000 km on a rebuilt 313 V8; original engine. 108,000 miles on the dash. Tranny was rebuilt August 7th, 2011. Three on the tree. No power steering. Heater works wonderfully and you can roll down the windows if you need to cool down. Built to last with a super straight frame and very clean lines. Runs awesome. Bit of a bumpy ride but it is 51 yrs old so… In the last few months I’ve rebuilt the starter and the water pump, new fuel pump, clutch master and slave cylinder, brake master cylinder, rebuilt distributor ( including plugs and original mopar wires circa 1960 ), new carb, new rear wheel cylinders, and a bunch of other stuff. needs rear axle seals. No need for aircare. This truck is my daily driver and well taken care of. the truck has never been abused. Rubber is good too. Rare truck, the only one in B.C. Hard to find parts for but it comes with a set of shop manuals and a parts catalog for the truck. Also the contact number for a guy who has or been able to find me all the parts i need for it… everyone else has failed in that department. I want $4000 obo for it. Already bought paint for it so it ain’t gonna get cheaper if i get around to puttin’ it on. Give me a call if you want some more details or you want to take it for a drive. Serious inquiries only please. Mr. James 778-240-0381”

Well, we’re already staring down the barrel of what is forecast to be one miserably precipitous winter here in Vancouver, and it might be time to start thinking about trading the sports cars and cabriolets in for slightly more appropriate transportation. And what could be more appropriate than an old pickup truck like this 1960 Fargo. A brand that’s predominantly Canadian in both market scope and manufacture, the Fargo brand gave Canadian Chrysler-Plymouth dealers a viable entry into the truck market at a time when Chrysler’s Canadian structure forced dealers to divide themselves up between Chrysler-Plymouth and DeSoto-Dodge dealers. And although the new trucks could have easily been painted with the broad brush of the Dodge truck line, Chrysler Canada preferred to give non-Dodge dealers their own brand of truck, rather than muddy the waters by making Dodge trucks available at all dealers while restricting Dodge cars to DeSoto-Dodge dealers.

So, suffice it to say that Fargo trucks aren’t exactly common, and ones of this particular era are even less so. Whilst earlier and later examples can be stumbled upon with (actually) surprising frequency, this particular era marked a low point in Fargo sales due in large part to the brand’s somewhat awkward, almost afterthought-like image. However, that image certainly doesn’t diminish from the trucks’ ability, and this 1960 is a prime example of that. Looking pretty decent indeed underneath a surprisingly committed coat of primer grey, this truck boasts no shortage of recently rebuilt parts ranging from the transmission to the engine to the starter motor; all boons on a truck running on some pretty hard-to-find parts. As a daily driver that appears to have a GVWR of over 5,000 kilograms (hereby exempting it from that cash grab otherwise known as AirCare), it’s expected to be in good shape overall, and would make for a great do-it-all classic for someone that needs a workable, practical vehicle but has a better appreciation for automotive history than a modern truck requires.