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.

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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!

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.

1969 Mazda 1500 – $1700

“Moving, must sell! Any reasonable offers accepted, cash sale. Vintage Mazda 1969 model 1500. The car was originally designed by Italian design-house Bertone. It is a very gorgeous little car, in excellent original condition. All lights original in working order. White with black interior , one small tear in back seat at windshield. 4 cylinder, New Voltage regulator, new rebuilt water pump–well maintained DAILY DRIVER. Minor body rust on front hood. As with all vintage vehicles, will need ongoing work.”

It’s always a little odd when you stumble across old Japanese cars. I mean, when it comes to cars from the summer of love, you always expect to find a Blue Oval or Bowtie on the hood… not a Mazda emblem. Subsequently, they make for intriguing and interesting collector cars that, to be honest, aren’t without their own challenges. And so it is with the Mazda 1500. One of the largest sedans Japan produced during the period, the 1500 served as a good stop gap measure between the smaller import cars like the Mini, and the bigger American-made six-cylinder sedans like the Falcon and Nova. Available in two trim levels, the 1500 could be had in standard and deluxe trims, with the deluxe models receiving folding armrests, a power antennae, and a clock in the dashboard. Performance was middling from the 82 horsepower four cylinder, but the car curried favour with drivers looking for a true mid-size sedan with reasonable fuel economy and good safety features.

Being a very uncommon car, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when walking up to one such as this. Undoubtedly, being made of Japanese steel circa Creedence Clearwater Revival, there’s going to be some concerns of rust, as evidenced by the ad’s admission that the hood is apparently rusty… although that’s a pretty weird place for rust to appear. However, if the car is indeed used as a daily driver, there shouldn’t be all that much wrong with it… but my concern would be fixing what is wrong with it. Like so many other little known Japanese classics, parts and support will prove the largest hurdle for any potential owner, and all that one can really hope for is to find at least a couple good suppliers. Then again, if the running gear or suspension is one its last legs, perhaps it would be a great vehicle with which to experiment with Miata/rotary parts swaps?