Once again, ‘tis the season for short days, cold nights, and at least in the vicinity of Hemmings World Headquarters in Bennington, Vermont, snow. For those lucky enough to have heat in the workshop, or to live in warmer climes, it’s the perfect time of the year to tackle a restoration or preservation project ahead of next year’s show season.
This time around, we’re digging deep to find an eclectic collection of vehicles without a single unifying theme. A few need little more than a good cleaning (and perhaps a tune-up), while others need enough work to keep the buyer busy past the spring thaw. Two are blank canvases, limited only by the next owners imagination, needs and bank account. Which one would you be most eager to make room in the shop for?
A rare car even when new, Buick reportedly built less than 2,500 examples of its aeroback Century Turbo Coupe during its two years (1979 – ’80) in production. Powered by a turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6 rated at 170 horsepower, the mid-size Buick delivered a sensible blend of performance and fuel economy, but consumers failed to warm to its styling. The shape looks far less controversial today, and this example appears to be particularly well-cared for and documented. As an added bonus, it’s extremely unlikely the next owner will encounter another on the street or show field, and we’d call the $3,999 asking price reasonable.
Viewed in today’s light, this Ford’s diamond-pattern, button-tuft custom interior is too much of a good thing, but at the right moment in time this may have been considered kool. Today, it’s a blank slate for the next owner, who can opt to restore the car to its original threads, or continue the full-on custom approach with potentially more… refined materials and techniques. Externally and under the hood, little has changed, and once the engine is freed up, there’s no shortage of hop-up parts for flathead V-8s. In any case, this survivor is worthy of salvation, for an asking price of $3,800.
From 20 feet away, we imagine this car is a stunner, and from 10 feet closer, we’ll bet it still looks very, very good. That overall condition makes the body rust described by the seller worth addressing, and the same can be said about the worn seats and headliner. The current owner is upfront about the car’s high-mileage (about 300,000 miles, though the odometer quit at 169,000 miles), but despite this the stalwart German has no trouble passing the annual Connecticut state inspection. Once its needs are addressed, the next owner will likely enjoy a distinctive import sport sedan with a unique back story, and with a bit of work, this BMW can be a serious show trophy contender. The asking price? $4,950.
In 1977, Chrysler billed its full-size Newport models as “a lot of Chrysler for the money.” The same can be said about this disco-era survivor, offered with its original paint, interior, and 400-cu.in., 190-horsepower V-8. The big sedan isn’t flawless, and its current owner cites minor leaks from the engine and transmission, a small tear in the vinyl top, a bit of rust in the driver-side quarter panel and a few dents and scratches as areas that need to be addressed. The front seats could use reupholstering, too, but overall there’s no reason the Newport couldn’t serve as a weekend driver while the various issues are addressed. The asking price? $3,600.
The seller describes this 1 ½ ton Ford F5 as a “barn find survivor” with “great patina,” and since being reawakened the truck has received new brake shoes, wheel cylinders and a master cylinder. It’s got a new fuel pump as well, which is a good indication that the truck is in a drivable state, at least for short distances. With a bit more mechanical sorting, this magnificent beast should be more than capable of handling heavy-duty weekend chores, or with a bit of restoration, would serve as a great way to promote a small business, or as a unique show vehicle. The asking price? $5,000.