VW-Powered Weirdness: L’Automobile Ventura

Here’s a rare one. The L’Automobile was a Brazilian-built, VW-powered coupe which allegedly used some parts from the previous VW do Brasil SP2 and, of course, used a VW chassis, engine and transaxle.

The seller says this car runs and drives well and only has a few minor needs. The key here is that it is complete and the L’Automobile-unique parts are there. Given the VW mechanical bits, mechanical issues should be easy to manage.

The reserve hasn’t been met, but we can’t imagine it’s too much higher. This could be a great little oddball for Cars and Coffee and occasional commuting!

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Hallieford, Virginia, USA
$3,150 with 18 bids, reserve not met and four days to go

If you saw this on the street, would you know be able to identify it?

Here’s a profile, possibly shot through jail bars (?).

We feel a Tatra vibe here.  Quad headlights look pretty good here and lack of flip-up means this has aged better than many 80s cars.  Hood bump is interesting, but there’s no engine there.

Profile is not offensive, but brings to mind many other cars.

Rear looks pretty good for a kit-type car.  Obligatory VW quad tips may give away the power source.

A hatch is present, but the floor is high for reasons that are likely obvious.

Frunk appears to be very large.

Interior looks nice enough and appears to be in really good shape.

The engine sits under the hatch floor.

Here’s a better look.

Here’s documentation that this is indeed a real “L’Automobile.” Surely, the Frenchness adds something.

Ad text:

Nice odd ball air cooled VW. Attractive hand built Brazilian lift back coupe. Looks like a Ferrari insures and drive like a bug. Runs and drive very well , could be an every day driver, but more of a fun weekend driver. Current owner had plans to use for car shows.
New Virginia inspection, engine looks and sounds right, no smoke or leaks pulls strong,not slow, fitted with single choke webers with K and N filters. Clutch action is smooth and 4 speed shifts without any issues. Steers and brakes properly. Electrical is all good, everything works ,charges fine no battery drain issues. Paint has a few minor stress cracks but will polish up and is very presentable. Glass and misc. trim is in good order. Tires are in good shape, front are new. Floor pans are solid. Interior has no rips and dash pad is excellent. New wipers, battery,tires, turn signal switch

Minor issues:
Cassette player is out junk.
Has minor play in steering column bushing (minor).
Speedo reads in kilometers works fine but does not record mileage.

804 xxx-xxxx Carl

car titled a 1989 but ebay would not take the vin number so it a 1989 not a 1980!!!!!!!!!!

Bond Minicar 250 G

No, the infamous Reliant Robin was not the only three-wheeled, British microcar.  About 25 years before the Robin, there was the Bond Minicar.  Today’s feature car is the best of that breed – at least in terms of being a complete car – the Mark G.  It also represents the end of a nearly twenty-year run.

The Mark G is a fully-enclosed car, vs. some of the very early versions.  It is also the only variety to feature a twin-cylinder engine – double the cylinder count of earlier versions!  Of course, it’s still a 250cc, two-stroke engine putting out a whopping 12 horsepower (give or take).

The big news with the Minicar was the combined engine and front wheel unit, which means the engine steered with the wheel.  The seller has included a video which beautifully illustrates this, as well as the resultant turning radius, which is quite amazing!

This Bond appears to be in great overall condition and this is certainly a rare find in the US.  We hope it goes to a great home!

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$5,755 with 42 bids (!), reserve not met and 3.5 days to go
Granite Falls, WA, USA

Viewed in profile, this design is an odd combination of unique in front and pretty typical for the period in the rear.  Of course, the bizarre front proportions are dictated by the odd front wheel layout.

The actual front end and grill fit well with the classic rear design.

You know this is a later one, given the 50s fin design.  This was designed around the same time that Sunbeam included American fins in its Alpine design.

The Minicar features a large hatch opening with a relatively small cargo area.  However, we suspect the rear seat folds, which would open up quite a bit of space.

Front doors are front-hinged and, of course, the layout is left-hand drive.

Interior is simple and, apparently, the top is fiberglass.


Here’s the Bond money shot – the engine mounted atop the front wheel.  Yes, that whole mass turns.

Chain drive is always a great car feature!  Note that the exhaust “exits” in the front.  We recommend making sure the firewall is well sealed and/or driving with windows open for good venting!

Ad text:

Very unusual and very rare especially here in the USA is this Bond Minicar. It’s in very nice running and driving condition and has an extremely unusual drive train arrangement.

 This car features a 2 stroke 2 cylinder 250cc villiers engine that drives the front wheel through a chain. The entire drivetrain including the exhaust turns with the steering. It can turn nearly 90 degrees each way making it turn extremely sharp. 

 The frame is in great condition and the fiberglass body and paint are also in very good shape. There are minor imperfections here and there but overall it presents extremely well. The glass is all in good shape. Some of the window moldings look quite old and dry rotted but still working. It currently has a plastic back window fitted but the original glass window is included (would need new seal to install). 

This car features a dynastart combination starter and generator which works very well. It starts easily and runs great. The brakes work well although the pedal travels a bit far. The front brake is hydraulic and the rear brakes are mechanical. All the electrics work good including the horn although the horn button is missing. 

The Interior is quite nice with no rips or splits in the seats. 

 The original fuel tap had failed so it currently has a modern tap that you have to open the hood to turn on and off. You also access the fuel tank from under the hood.

Driving the car is quite a different experience. It features a column shift that ratchets through the gears by moving up and down. Although it is quite slow we did manage to get it up to 45mph on a level road. 

It has a clear Pennsylvania title.

Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs and arrangements. 
I highly recommend and encourage a personal inspection.
The Bond can be viewed by appointment in Granite Falls Wa (near Seattle).
 I reserve the right to end the auction at any time.
 Must be picked up within 30 days after end of auction.

 Please feel free to ask any questions and be sure to watch the video of this car in action:


Omna Auto Bug Box: Beetle Conversion

As a follow up to our recent Vandetta post, here’s a more old school Beetle van-ish conversion.  This one has a lot of needs, but it looks like it’s all there.  This was done using a “Bug Box” kit from Omna-Auto back in the day.

The seller says this needs pan repair and a starter. If a started is truly all it needs to run, this could be a good deal.  The next owner will need to decide whether to repaint or embrace the “patina.”

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Spiceland, IN, USA
$500 with one bid, reserve not met, $3,000 BIN price and two days to go

This really is a box grafted to the front half of a Beetle, but that’s probably what you expected. We like the overall shape.  Note missing running board.  Does the block mean the emergency brake doesn’t work?

The passenger side running board is also trying to part ways with this car.

Front is all Beetle and faded, but solid.  Chicken in background is a nice touch and we wonder what’s up with that truck.

Rear is about as simple and square as it gets.  Quad tips are a nice touch!

Interior appears to be in better shape vs. the oxidized exterior.

This has a rear bench seat, rather than an open cargo area, though one could surely remove this.

The carpet lining the top is amazing!  It could only be better it made of shag.

Things are dirty but serviceable under the hood.

Stock 1964 engine is in place.  If truly stock, it’s a 1200.

Ad text:

64 beetle with bug box kit. Original conversion with full Custom interior.
Original motor and transmission
Not a one of a kind. But the only one of it’s kind !!
Car is in need of pan repair and a starter. Other than that the car is in great shape. Never wrecked never any damage to fiberglass kit. Other than the pan work there is only one spot of rust. It’s at the bottom of the passenger side door posts. The interior is nearly PERFECT!!
 FIX this car up and be the only one with anything like it.

1971 Honda Vamos

Here’s one we’d never heard of! The Vamos was based on Honda’s mini-truck, the TN360, and was a mini-Jeep competitor (think Suzuki).

The interwebs consistently indicate that about 2,500 of these were built; so this is rare outside the Lane Motor Museum (surely they have one).  The seller of our subject unit provides almost no information, other than to say this features a manual trans and a clean title.

Given the relatively high asking price, we hope this runs and drives and is in very good shape.  The photos don’t show any real issues.

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Somewhere in SoCal, USA?

We love just about everything about this!  It features right-hand drive, a spare mounted on the body AND beautiful, plaid seats.  Also, is that a bar that lifts to act as a “door”/driver retainer??

Here’s that unique front end.

Passenger side looks much the same as the driver’s side.  Note the occupant retention system is in the deployed position here.  Also, the engine is presumably behind that black door on the lower side of the body.

We can’t see much of the rear, but we like what we see.

Ad text:

very rare truck
honda made just 2500 truck
california clean title

1962 Citroen 2CV Sahara

Here’s one of our favorites, which is basically a Citroen 2CV with dual engine to yield four wheel drive.  This was specifically built four exploring the French colonies in Africa, but we assume it was expensive or not too competitive with the Land Rover, given production under 700 units total.

These are now collector cars and, unfortunately, well out of our price range.  Still, we love ’em and, oddly, we had never featured one!  The seller provides decent information and images here.  Enjoy and drool!

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Fletcher, NC, USA
$99,500 BIN with offers considered and one day to go

From this angle, this may appear to just be a 2CV with an extra spare. Enthusiasts know what it is, though.

Just a 2CV with some odd vents at the rear?  I think not!

Here’s a giveaway that there power in the stern. We’re not sure that’s a stock fan, though.

Interior is 2CV simple.  Note seat frames and gas tank.

Controls are different from a standard 2CV in that the shifter is on the floor, rather than high in the dash.

Here’s that shifter.  No, we don’t know exactly what the lower level does, but it must have something to do with engaging the second engine (?).

This is the closest thing to an engine shot provided by the seller.

Ad text:

the world’s first dual-engine 4×4 vehicle; just 694 were built, and less than 30 survive today

1962 Citroen 2CV Sahara Bi Moteur

Quickly, how many dual engine street legal cars were manufactured in the last half of the twentieth century? You may be hard pressed to find another. The Citroen Sahara was a utility model built to navigate the oil rich North African terrain. It featured identical front and rear engines and could be driven using either engine or both. Unique chassis modifications resulted in durability and off road utility. The cars were hand built by the Panhard division in separate facilities from the main production plants. 694 trickled out beginning in 1958 and few survive today.


After years of looking, uber micro car collector, Dr. Mac Jones, had found his Sahara. A noted broker who specializes in museum acquisitions located a French built car in the Netherlands. It had been owned by a former Citroen employee and had its original engines, transmissions, body and chassis parts. The exhaust system had been replaced. Mac refurbished suspension pieces, cleaned out both gas tanks, replaced the fuel lines and top canvas and enjoyed the car on his farm maintaining it, driving it and enjoying it for 14 years before relinquishing it to us. 

After we acquired it, this Sahara has undergone a sympathetic restoration with parts sourced from Citroen Concours of America (Citroen Pieces) a former Citroen dealer who had purchased an extensive supply of OEM parts. Engine (two) out service was done; carburetors, brakes, and hydraulics were rebuilt. Paint and body panels were preserved. Wipers, brake lines, floor mats, door panels and seat covers were replaced as was a missing driver’s side mirror. Where possible, the originals were saved and will accompany the car.

It’s rare to find a Sahara in this condition, with an original hood for example; most rusted beneath the mounted spare. Most survivors had engine replacements and this example has it’s original matching numbers powerplants. This is a remarkable survivor, able to be enjoyed on road, off road or in a collection of unique vehicles.

February 2016 – Barn find, claimed to have 11,000 original kilometers. sold for €172,840 at Artcurial Paris retromobile auction. I saw this car and it was dusty and crusty and needed a lot of work. 
February 2013 – Nice driver quality car, sold for $80,300 at Bonhams Boca Raton auction
October 2012 – unrestored car, similar to mine, sold for $142,500 Bonhams Simeone sale
August 2008 – Over restored shiny green one, sold for $93,600 Bonhams Quail Lodge


Bonhams Paris February 2017, Estimate $90,000 to $120,000

Westfalia Vanagon Wearing Gulf Livery

VW T3/Vanagons are some of the slowest vehicles one can love.  Trust me, I own one.  Still, these are true enthusiast vehicles which offer a lot of fun in camper form.  Someone decided that today’s feature would be better off with Gulf Livery to give off a racing vibe, for better or worse.

Don’t worry, this one’s still slow.  It has dual carbs, but that can only do so much.  These air-cooled versions are generally regarded as being even slower than the water-cooled versions.  This should be good in mild climates, but one has to watch out for overheating when struggling up hills.

We think this is a cool-looking van, but we’re not so sure the paint scheme adds to the value.  We’ll see what the market has to say…

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Seattle, WA, USA
$1,600 with 18 bids, reserve not met and 5.5 days to go

Yes, this even has a Gulf logo to go with the paint.  The lower cladding was taken from a later van.

Top still pops!

This air-cooled Vanagon lacks the lower grill of its water-cooled, younger siblings, but someone installed the later, square headlight grill.  Bumpers were painted to match the scheme.

Rear carries on the paint scheme and wears an RS badge, presumably emulating a Porsche.

Here’s the combination cargo area and bed.

Here’s the cluster in metric.  Basic Vanagons had a clock in place of a tach in some years.

Interior is standard Westy with no AC.  Upholstery has been replaced, however,

Here’s the air-cooled flat four with its dual-carb setup.  Hopefully, it does put out a little more power than stock.

Ad  text:

Nothing says “honey, we need to sell the VW” like “I’m pregnant”.

We thought this would be a fun, adventurous van to tramp around in. Instead, I’m having a kid.

This vehicle Canadian and previous owner had lots of work done it and the receipts to show it, including gas tank (5/2016) transmission (4/2016) dual carburetors (3/2016), double battery system (2011) and a new 2.0L engine (2009).

The mileage and speedometer are in metric, and it has 281,00 km, which comes out to  about 168,600 miles. (Though not sure how many on the new engine.)

This van is a beauty! 

Custom paint job really stands out, and strangers may want to drag race you at stop lights. Could make a cameo in the upcoming Fast/Furious installment (Vin Diesel, I’m awaiting your call). 

Dual carb engine gives it more oomph than the standard air-cooled Westies. 

Canvas is good, interior is nearly immaculate and it all has a cool blue color that matches the exterior. Windows are tinted all around.

Camping gear -stove, fridge- work well.

It has a bunch of other gadgets that I sadly haven’t even gotten to explore, like the interior heater and dual battery system.

In addition to work from the previous owner and have had some minor work done since getting it (fuel pump connection replaced, heater box replaced, propane tank removed.)

Like most 1982 Vanagons, this one has some minor things that you may or may not want/need to address -blower motor fan, faulty gas tank gauge, minor seam rust, etc etc- the things you should expect from a 34 year old vehicle!

Feel free to call, text or email with questions.

Thank you and happy bidding!

Shortened Corvair Hot Rod

The title pretty much says it all!

Yes, this is a hot rod/rat rod built on a Corvair platform and which has been greatly shortened.  What’s left of the car shouldn’t weigh much; so the Corvair flat six should move this pretty well.

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Dana Point, CA, USA

Most would assume this was Beetle-based.  They’d be wrong, but it’s understandable, given the engine location.

Low hood means this has no luggage space, but we’re thinking this isn’t exactly a road trip car.

Rear reveals fuel tank and tall stacks leading to the carbs.

Person for scale.

Here’s the engine, which has received some serious cleaning and polishing.  Hopefully, fuel proximity isn’t an issue (?).

Ad text:

One-Of-A-Kind, mini Rat Rod built on a 1960 Corvair chassis. The all-aluminum body was masterfully fabricated by an aircraft builder. Street legal. 

Runs / handles great and really scoots! Turns heads everywhere she goes! Great for cruising the beach, Coast Highway, or wherever you need to go…in STYLE. Very fast!

$8,500 O.B.O. 

Serious inquiries only, pleases. No trades.

Corvair with “Beach Boys in Hell” Mural

All Corvairs are interesting, given the unlikely idea of a GM with an air-cooled, horizontally opposed six cylinder; but most with automatics aren’t worth a look.  This one’s a bit of an exception, given the “unique” presence of a Beach Boys and flames mural.

This car appears to be in amazingly good and original condition.  The seller notes a few flaws, but this is 52-plus years old.  If it was 100% stock, it would be worth picking up at the bidding price just for flipping; but the mural changes the equation.  This car is looking for just the right owner.  Could that be you?

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Dubuque, IA, USA
$2,500 with ZERO bids and 0.5 days to go
Also on CL with a $4,950 asking price

Yes, folks, that’s a mural on an otherwise amazingly stock 1964 Chevy.  Is it just me, or does this depict the Beach Boys in hell?

Side is all flames.  Even the hubcaps appear to be stock.

The script on the rear says Bozzo’s Limo, which is a limousine company in New Boston, Michigan – far from the seller.  We’re confused, but maybe that was the previous owner?

The seller mentions some minor cracks in the instrument cluster, but it looks to be in good shape for its age, as does the rest of the interior.

Upholstery looks great!  There’s not a lot of support in these seats, however.

Here’s the unusual flat six.  It looks complete and original.  Sadly, there’s no turbo here.

Ad text:

1964 Chevy Corvair

The chrome and bright-work is in excellent condition.  The interior is very nice.  Some wear on the drivers front seat and a door panel coming loose on the passenger side.  There are 2 cracks in gauge panel which are purely cosmetic.  

The paint is in good condition with no major scratches or dents.  Some wear is visible.  The graphics, beach boys mural, and flames are very well done and burried in clear coat.  This is a real attention getter.  

Mechanically, the vehicle is nice.  There is a small oil leak (probably from the pushrod tubes which is a common problem).  The “gen” light stays on so the belt may need an adjustment or something else may be wrong.  There is a new voltage regulator.  

Tires, brakes, etc seem real good.  I have a spare set of brakes to include to the winning bidder.  

Glass is nice.  

Great cruiser for the summer at a very family-friendly price.  

Interested parties are encouraged to see the car prior to bidding.  Any pickup and transportation is sole responsibility of the buyer.  No warranties or exchanges.  All sales are final.  Any questions, let me know.  


This is relisted due to a non-paying bidder.  DO NOT BID UNLESS YOU INTEND TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE TRANSACTION.  I don’t know how to make that more clear.  Car does not leave until funds clear the bank.  $500.00 non-refundable deposit due via PayPal within 48 hours of the Auction Ending.  If this does not happen, I will file a non-paying bidder claim against the winner.  If you want it delivered to Des Moines Good Guys on the dates listed above, deposit must be made before I load the car.  



Non-Gordini Renault R8 in Los Angeles

The R8 is one of the most unusual-looking (or least usual looking?) small sedans, which means we love them!  This example awaits you in Lawndale, CA and has been upgraded with a 1.1L engine.  Yes, that’s an upgrade vs. the base 0.956 liter unit…

French with a rear-mounted engine – what’s not to love?  With the blue paint and driving lamps, this has a semi-Gordini look, with without the price or performance.  Still, this will be the talk of any Cars and Coffee and should be a cool cruiser. It will be up to the next owner to decide whether to go full rally or keep this the way it is.

The seller provides pretty good pics, but not much other info.  The condition appears to be excellent.  Missing are any engine shots – hopefully, the condition matches what we can see.  If all is well with it, we think this is a lot of coolness for $5,500.

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Lawndale, CA, USA

Here’s the face that looks like no other.  We love it!

From other angles, this car is a bit more conventional, although the rear deck is long due to the rear-mounted engine.  It won’t be easy to find a bumper in the US…

The interior is simple and nicely finished to make for a great color combination.  We don’t see a tach, but there are ways to address that.

Split bench front likely means European families of six fit into these. Seats are in great shape, just don’t look for lateral support.

We love the painted and semi-covered doors for the contrast, as well as the utilitarian door pulls.

Ad text:

This very clean Renault 8 has been upgraded to 1100cc. The car is driver quality and has very nice paint, interior, and some nice upgrades. This is a very cute car to drive and has the European rally look.

The previous owner put a lot of time and effort and money into this Renault and it is fun to drive.

There is a video of this particular car up on YouTube so please feel free to search it. We are not asking a lot of money for this Renault 8. It would be a perfect coffee car for the weekends or to keep at your holiday house.