1996 Jaguar XJR with MT Swap

We love sleepers, and Jaguar’s XJR models have often qualified.  We’re particularly partial to the original version, what with its supercharged XJR6 inline six cylinder.  The usual issue is that essentially all of them came with automatic transmissions.  This seller decided to fix that.

A five-speed manual has been swapped into this example, supposedly using factory parts.  Given that and the torque one should get from this engine, we think they’ve created the ultimate sleeper and, needless to say, we want it.

This car has about 132K miles; so you’ll have to ponder what it might need.  Still, it seems to have been well cared for from a cosmetic standpoint and we hope that carried over to the mechanical bits.  Asking price is claimed to be firm; but we’ll see whether the seller really wants to part with it.  The price is above typical for the model, but buying a nice one and performing the swap would likely cost a lot more.

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Chicago, IL, USA
$14,999

Proportions look funny in the image, but this is a classic – and classy – Jag.  Stock wheels have a custom “black chrome” finish.

Jaguar would use mesh grills on “R” cars for years; but this is where it all started.

Here’s the money shot for this car. The interior seems to have aged pretty well.

Okay, money shot #2 is the supercharged inline six.

Ad text:

1996 Jaguar XJR in excellent condition with OEM (Getrag) 5-speed manual swapped for the GM 4 speed automatic. It is low miles for a car its age and can be driven regularly. All new tires on original 5 spoke rims treated with a black chrome process have a stunning effect. The XJR has the period AJ16 straight 6 cylinder engine with an Eaton supercharger added increasing horsepower to 322 bhp. The XJ series is a luxury sedan—the XJR was marketed as one of the high performance options available (the other being the 12 cylinder XJ12). Jaguar produced these X-300 body styles between 1994 and 1997, which are known for remarkable durability and safety. Jaguar produced 6,547 XJRs (most going to the US market), with only 268 5-speed manuals produced at the factory. Jaguar documented the XJR with a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds for the manuals.

The interior has normal wear for a car of this age, including some leather fading on the left side of driver’s seat and a 6 inch seam tear on the front bottom right side passenger’s seat. The original floor mats come with the car, in addition to a set of custom made Coco mats with red piping accent. There are no scratches on the interior wood trim, door panels, or plastic accent surrounds; all air vents and seat heaters work well. All electronics, such as the left/right mirror controls, map lights, sunroof, auto dimming rearview mirror, and driver’s seat memory, are in good working order. The OEM pedal box and a custom built dead pedal make long trips very comfortable. The engine bay is clean, and the engine has been well maintained. There are no major engine oil or component leaks. The trunk surrounds are complete with the original spare and toolkit; there is no rust here or on any of the sub floor panels. A Harman Kardon Stereo and a six CD changer are in full working order.

An electric shutoff switch (conveniently located on passenger side of trunk) has been installed that fully disengages the battery so the car can be safely and easily stored. A custom made California car cover is included as well as the original owners’ manuals and two sets of original keys and FoBs.

I am selling this car for US $14,999 and can assist with international shipping. Serious inquiries only please. +1-312-xxx-xxx or [Email Seller] .

Price: $14,999 firm 

Forbidden Fruit: 1973 Opel Commodore GT/E

The Opel Commodore was an executive sedan which was never sold in the US. We don’t know how this one found its way to the high desert of California; but we do know it’s the most desirable variant: a two-door GT/E with a four-speed manual.

The GS/E was the top sport trim level and came with a 2.8-liter inline six with about 160HP.  For 1974, the engine was detuned a bit; so one could easily argue this is THE GRAIL!  Well, at least the Grail of period Opels.

Unfortunately, the ad for this car lacks any history and any information or pictures related to the interior.  Based on the whopping three images with the ad, this looks like a somewhat rough, but complete, project.

This is a really interesting, really rare car that will never be particularly collectible; so we hope just the right buyer comes along to get this back on the road.  Also, we’re tempted to call on this car just to see the seller’s collection.

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Perris, CA, USA
$6,500

Styling looks interesting for the period and condition looks solid.  If that was a vinyl top, it’s clearly peeling! We also see enough here to be jealous of the seller’s land and car collection!  Note the Opel GT right in front of this one…

Front has prominent GS/E badge and perfectly period driving lights.  Aside from that, it looks like this car’s front end previewed Buick styling that would arrive ten or more years later!

Rear reveals a massive, curved backlight and wide tail lights.  We see some clear Mercedes influence here.

Ad text:

1973 Opel Commodore GT/E. very rare 6 cylinder. 4 speed manual. factory sunroof. gray market car. only one in the US. $6500. ask for Todd…

L28 Powered 1955 Rambler Wagon

Here’s an odd swap: A 1955 Nash Rambler wagon with a Nissan/Datsun L28 inline six.

While the combination of brands is genuinely odd, this Nash would have had an I6 from the factory; so we assume this was a relatively easy fit.  Good news is this L28 should put out nearly twice the power of the original unit. So-so news is this is hooked up to an automatic trans. Still, anyone buying this is interested in a unique cruiser, so the slushbox may not be so bad.

The seller states this is a running and driving project in need of unspecified interior work and wheel balancing.  If it really is ready to run, the asking price of $3,550 seems pretty reasonable for something so interesting. We’d want to see the extent of the interior work needed – as only one pic is provided – and take a test drive to assess the supposed balance issue, however.

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Riverside, CA, USA
$3,550

You just don’t see these anymore, especially in wagon form.  Prior model years had big fender skirts, but this year Rambler lifted up its skirt to reveal more wheel.

We love Nash’s interpretation of the classic wagon shape.

Front end is very, very Rambler.

As with all wagons, the rear 3/4 is something of a money shot.

Front the angle the major items in the interior seem to be complete, but carpet is needed.  If the needs are limited to carpet, upholstery and headliner, the cost to fix shouldn’t be too bad.  Apparent open head restraint hole may mean that’s a more modern bench seat.

Here’s the Datsun 280Z L28.  An Edelbrock four barrel feeds it now, instead of the original electronic fuel injection. We can understand that change in this swap, both in terms of easing the process and actually fitting the car’s image better. Of course, three big-ass Mikunis would work better.

Ad text:

1955 Nash Rambler station wagon, rare model, low mileage Datsun 280Z six cylinder engine, Nissan automatic transmission, 8 3/4 Ford rear end,oversized radiator, no overheating, new: Muffler, electric fuel pump, rear leaf springs, brake hoses,fuel cell, etc. Edelbrock carburator, Bob Sharp racing intake manifold, fuel regulator; aftermarket gauges,good body, personalized plates, chrome wheels, luggage rack on a cool factory humped roof, cool chubby body style, Needs Interior,wheel balancing; easy running/driving proyect;2017 registration, clean/clear Ca. title on hand, sacrifice! $3. show contact info ERO49.

Why So Bitter, Senator?

Sure, this post has a weird title, but it’s because today’s feature is a particularly weird car.  I remember the Bitter SC from an exotic car book my dad had in the 80s.  Basically, it’s an Opel Senator with a custom body (which looks remarkably like a period Ferrari 400) and spruced-up interior.  This particular example also has a stroked version of the Opel inline six.

Bitter technically sold cars in the US – at Buick dealerships, no less – for a very short time; so some are actual US market cars and some are grey market.  These presented a strange proposition: Ferrari looks with a very luxurious interior and performance nowhere near Ferrari level.  Still, the modified Opel I6 in this version put out over 200HP at the time, which means this might have been reasonably competitive with a basic 6-Series at the time.

Today, as in the 80s, these are unique oddballs with nice styling.  So, if you want to be the only one at your local Cars and Coffee, a Bitter SC might be for you.  That being said, today’s feature car might need a lot of work.  There’s rust at the bottom of the windshield and at least one side window; so, at a minimum, the glass is coming out for metal work and paint.  The car also hasn’t been started in two years and didn’t idle well last time it ran.

Given its Opel roots, basic mechanical parts shouldn’t be hard to find in the scheme of things (though you might have to search outside the us), but most cosmetic parts and much of the interior are Bitter-specific and we must assume they’re not available.  Good news is the interior appears to be in good overall shape on this car.

So, with bidding at about $1,000, is this worth it to you?

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Spring, TX, USA (Houston area)
$1,001 with one bid, reserve not met and nine days to go

Here’s the almost-unmistakable profile.  Is it a Bitter or a Ferrari?

The front end has a mean look.

Almost menacing…

The seller didn’t – or couldn’t – even push the car out to get rear pics, so we get shots through a chain link fence.

Here’s a badge few will ever see.

We don’t know the Opel Senator interior well enough to know what’s unique here.  Do you?  Regardless, it’s a nice overall look.

Dash has sun damage.  That could be an issue.

We presume ivory gauges were unique to the Bitter.

Seats remind us of a Maserati Biturbo’s.

As always, the back seat is in great shape visually.  We wonder how brittle it might be.

Let’s have a look under the well-insulated hood.

Here’s the modified Opel inline six.  Supposedly, this put out about 200HP when new.

Have YOU ever seen the ID tag from a Bitter?

Ad text:

YOU ARE VIEWING A VERY RARE 1985 BITTER 3.9SC COUPE – THERE WERE A TOTAL OF ONLY 461 CARS EVER BUILT!!!

I PURCHASED THIS VEHICLE 3 YEARS AGO IN HOPES OF RESTORING IT HOWEVER HAVE NOT HAD ANY TIME TO GIVE IT. WHEN I PURCHASED IT, IT WOULD START AND DRIVE BUT IT DOES NOT IDLE SMOOTH SINCE IT HAS NOT BEEN DRIVEN IN 10+ YEARS. I DID DRIVE IT AROUND THE BLOCK A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND THE TRANSMISSION SHIFTED WELL. IN THE LAST 2 YEARS, IT HAS NOT EVEN BEEN STARTED.

THE BODY IS IN DECENT SHAPE, THE ONLY RUST I NOTICED IS ON THE LOWER EDGE OF THE WINDSHIELD ON BOTH SIDES AND ON BOTH QUARTER GLASS WINDOW EDGES (SEE PICS). THE INTERIOR HAS LOTS OF WEAR – PLEASE CAREFULLY LOOK AT ALL THE PICTURES FOR DETAILS.

THIS VEHICLE IS BEING SOLD AS-IS WHERE-IS. YOU ARE WELCOME TO COME BY AND HAVE A LOOK AND I CAN HOOK UP A BATTERY BOOSTER AND ATTEMPT START IT UP FOR YOU.

Homemade VW/Chrysler/Ford/Chevy Hot Rod

There’s not much else we can call this because it’s part VW, part Chrysler, part Ford, part Chevy and perhaps others.  It’s definitely unique and it’s definitely not boring.

The seller claims to have built this from about nine other cars, though it seems it has more VW parts than anything else.  Power comes from a Chevy I6 with twin carbs.  Actually, the seller claims “duel” carbs, which is one of our favorite misspells.  If this isn’t TOO much larger than a Beetle, that should motivate it pretty nicely.

The work appears to be well done; so, is $15K reasonable?  There are a lot of toys available around – or under – that price, but you certainly couldn’t reproduce this without spending close to that and years of your own labor.

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Fountaintown, IA, USA
$15,000 BIN with offers considered and one day to go

The cool thing about this would be having people try to guess what it is.  Sure, we see bits of VW, but the engine’s in the wrong place and it’s relatively big – well, long, at least.  The hood seems to be intentionally incomplete in order to show off the engine.

Folks might guess “homemade” more often from this angle?

Here’s a glimpse at the “bed”, such as it is.  The wood looks nicely done.

This is the only interior shot available and shows some Vietnam memorabilia.

There’s a theme here.

Here’s the old school Chevy 250 I6 with its twin carbs.  That’s not something we see in hot rods much these days.

Ad text:

THIS IS A REAL HOME BUILT CAR

This Car has about 9 Different Car And Other Parts

This is a one of Kind Car you will be the only one to have this car and nobody can say

 I know someone that has a car like this one       NOT

It’s Name is Schrott-tile That is German for Scrap Parts Because it started as a VW Bug

1973 VW Custom Body , Lots of Custom Parts , Runs Good

List of Parts

Chrysler Rear fender

1935 Ford Front Bumper

VW Hood For a Grill

Custom Windshield

Custom Running Boards

Custom Intake

1948 Ford Hood Top

250 Chevy 6 Cyl

Duel Carbs

700 R Automatic overdrive

1940 Ford Front Fenders

No Power Steering

Manuel Brakes Drum

1957 Chevy Truck Dash

Have some Harley Davidson Parts

Painted 3 Years ago

Cedar Wood From Mother-In-Law’s Barn

Have enjoyed going to Car Shows