Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.
In the most regrettable way, I’m back in the market for a car. Suffice it say that flash floods, deceptive standing water and a hurried morning commute do not mix. (More specifically, buckets of rainwater and the engine of my now dead 2002 BMW 325i.) Could I have taken a different route? Taken my time? Not assumed it was a fordable depth for a sports sedan? Yes, yes and… duh. Hence, “regrettable.”
So this week’s Found is, admittedly, a bit selfish. The best catharsis I can manage right now is to share my next-car search. In the long run, these are wildly impractical, but at the moment seem fun enough actually to pull the trigger on. Would any of these turn into their own source of regret after, say, a month of daily use? Perhaps, but they’re pretty tempting right now.
Modified 1984 Porsche 944
Mileage: 29,000 (TMU)
Location: New Hill, North Carolina
What I like: Most of the car is refurbished, replaced or rebuilt to look like what you’d get if Porsche had built an ‘R’ version of the 944 (which they should have done). It reminds me of the Cayman GT4 — one of my favorite cars of all time.
From the seller: “This 1984 Porsche 944 was purchased by the seller five years ago and subsequently built into a street-legal track car. The 2.5-liter inline-four was rebuilt to stock specs and sends power through a torque tube to a five-speed manual transaxle. A new clutch was also installed, much of the suspension was rebuilt, the brakes were gone through, a repaint in a custom color was conducted, and a four-point roll bar was installed.”
What to look out for: Like you should for any car this age, keep an eye out for bad seals and leaking fluids. In regards to the 944 specifically, there have been a few recalls worth noting.
1952 Willys M38
Mileage: 462 (TMU)
Location: Comstock Park, Michigan
What I like: I’ve recently come to admire snorkels.
From the seller: “This 1952 Willys M38 was purchased as a military-spec example by the seller in 1996 and subsequently underwent extensive refurbishment to its exterior sheet metal, tub, frame, brakes, steering, exhaust and 24-volt electrical system. Modifications include a new old-stock military deep-water fording kit as well as modern gauges, lighting, and wheels.”
What to look out for: Typically, the electrical systems on old Willys are the main headache, but this particular lil’ guy under went a full refurbishment, including an electrical system swap.
1989 Honda NSR250R
Location: Richmond, Virginia
What I like: The late-’80s styling is hard to resist and even though it’s a two-stroke, with the electronically contorlled PGM-II system I wouldn’t have to mix my own gas everytime I fill up. Plus, a 249cc 90° V-twin with an 11,500 rpm redline is a pretty fantastic and rare sound this side of the pond.
From the seller: “The NSR is powered by a 249cc 90° V-twin liquid-cooled two-stroke with crankcase reed valve induction via twin naturally aspirated carburetors. The two-stroke is fitted with a kick start that fires right up and idles nicely. The 11.5K redline comes up quickly with the rev-happy V-Twin.”
What to look out for: The main problem with an imported bike like this is when you do need parts you’ll be waiting for them to ship from the other side of the globe via small mail-order operations. If you spot certain parts starting to show their age, anticipate the worst and order ahead.
2014 Triumph Daytona 675R ABS
Location: Freehold, New Jersey
What I like: I was never a fan of the way 600cc inline fours sound — they’re just too whiny, but the Triumph’s triple gets away with sounding like a bigger engine than it actually is. I’m also a sucker for red trellis frames.
From the seller: “Extras include Triumph painted seat cowl, trickle charger, rear stand, rubber tank grip, R&G rear bobbins, Competition Werks rear fender eliminator and Taylor Made … carbon fiber bodywork [and] racing exhaust system, reducing overall weight by about ten pounds. All stock parts are included. Mechanically and cosmetically flawless, never laid down or tracked. Garaged and covered, professionally maintained with all scheduled services performed and documented.”
What to look out for: Most of what goes wrong on the ’14 Daytona 675R is reconciled by a recall. It’s a fairly young bike to find massive part failures at this point in its life.