ArthurDent New Reader
April 19, 2010 9:55 p.m.

A friend of mine has a large collection of low dollar odd ball cars and I think he'd be happy if you took one off his hands cheap. I'd like a odd ball classic for kick around with the kids this summer. Strictly in town sort of thing. I've initially narrowed it down to either

Capri II or late 60s or early 70s Renault 4 or a Plymouth Cricket (nee Hillman Avenger)

The Capri is missing a gearbox is apparently good otherwise. Comes with a parts car that has a good gearbox. I have a set of Superlight (Minilite clone) wheels in the 108mmx4 bolt pattern that could go on it too. Anyone own one? Weak points? I believe the parts situation is better than it used to be with the internet. The 2.8L V6 was used in Pintos and Mustangs so basic bits should be ok to source. Might be tempted to go with either a 4.0L V6 (they are related to the 2.8L right? Same bell housing maybe) or a full hob 5.0L V8 swap over the winter if I like the car.

The Renault 4 appeals since its really odd over here plus its simple as anything. This one ran and drove when parked but he's lost the key since. Shouldn't be a big deal to get on the road assuming no terminal suspension rust. Parts might be more of an issue and I don't speak French.

Plymouth Cricket is a Hillman Avenger with the funky rear lights. Has the same 108mmx4 bolt pattern so I could use my Superlight wheels. Supposed to quite fun to do drive and its not like I'll see another one coming the other way.

here is pics of most of the cars in the yard (I didn't want to repost all the pics) -

EvanB HalfDork
April 19, 2010 10:02 p.m.

They're all so awesome I can't decide. I would have to say Renault 4 in 1st place, Plymouth 2nd and Capri 3rd.

nutherjrfan Reader
April 19, 2010 10:11 p.m.

I'll take the Avenger, sorry Cricket, if it's still there at the end of the year.

lewbud Reader
April 19, 2010 10:15 p.m.

I'd so rock the Capri. Good thing I'm broke, in Texas and no tow vehicle.

aussiesmg SuperDork
April 19, 2010 10:19 p.m.

Oh my, Arthur....Vauhall Cresta, Jaguar 420G wow, I would have either.

CarKid1989 HalfDork
April 19, 2010 10:22 p.m.

i say you tell us where the cars are so we...i mean i can get in on this!

Kia_racer Reader
April 19, 2010 10:31 p.m.

I'm diggin' the Volvo wagon and the Rover SD1.

ArthurDent New Reader
April 19, 2010 10:32 p.m.

Its in Calgary, Alberta. These belong to a friend of mine. They'd probably want to hang onto the Vauxhalls but would likely sell any of the others for the right price / good home / etc.

I believe there are two 420Gs. They had a fire damaged V12 Jag - might still be kicking around. There was a TR6 too and some other random stuff.

96DXCivic Dork
April 19, 2010 10:53 p.m.

Cricket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the Avenger but they are hard to get.

aussiesmg SuperDork
April 19, 2010 10:55 p.m.

Those 420Gs would make a great addition to my oddball collection

Appleseed SuperDork
April 19, 2010 11:24 p.m.

Having to make a decision like that is like deciding which one of your children to shoot.

(Sorry, Clarkson moment. I just watched Top Gear.)

pres589 Reader
April 20, 2010 12:09 a.m.

I'd vote Capri since I still technically own a mk1 (it hasn't moved since 2002 and is dissolving as we speak). Here's what you need to know;

Team Blitz in Ohio is an excellent parts source. Anything you can think of they have or can source. There is a decent list-serv hosted by Yahoo for these cars. The bumpers from '74 on around here are really stupidly heavy. A 460 will fit without beating on anything to make clearance so the sky is the limit for engine choices; the mk2 over here carried either the 2.3 or the "car" 2.8. Not truck, there is a difference, but it's mostly in the camshaft setup. The rear axle is pretty strong as stock but LSD's are not at all cheap. 2.3 turbo setup could be quite fun, 2.8's are a nice all around motor, and then there's 5.0 swaps that have been done the world over (and even done by the S. African factory).

Problem areas include somewhat weak stock brakes and issues sourcing front wheel bearings. The brake issue can be solved without re-inventing the wheel, I think, but the bearing issue could be "fun" to deal with.

ZOO Dork
April 20, 2010 5:04 a.m.

That looks more like a mid-seventies Capri (I am guessing '76 or '77), just before they became Fox bodies. It should be a hatchback if that's the case. I'd take the Capri.

Luke SuperDork
April 20, 2010 5:37 a.m.

What a cool collection. The VW Thing would be my pick of the lot.

Of your three, I'd go for the Avenger. It'd probably look the best on those Superlites. Although, a friend of mine has a Renault 4, and it's a pretty fun little car, too. Slow, but fun.

EvanB HalfDork
April 20, 2010 6:37 a.m.

After looking through all the pictures I would pick the Citroen DS.

Raze HalfDork
April 20, 2010 6:40 a.m.

Why have one when you can have 3 at thrice the price?

ZOO Dork
April 20, 2010 6:40 a.m.

Lots of cool cars in the thread. You could buy that version of the Innocenti in Canada with a turbo motor (I think it may have been a three-cylinder turbo, but I can't recall the details). I am partial to the Capri, and the Amazon wagon.

Jay Dork
April 20, 2010 6:44 a.m.

Out of those three the Capri is probably the best car. It's also the most common still (wonder why?) If you want a good, fun driver, go for it. If you want a goofball that attracts loads of attention, can't beat the Renault - I can't remember the last time I saw one of those even here in Europe. I guess the Pillman would be somewhere inbetween. I haven't looked through the rest of the pics yet (site is down) - is everything up for grabs?

April 20, 2010 7:03 a.m.

I vote for the Capri

jrw1621 Dork
April 20, 2010 7:21 a.m.

Certainly, the Capri.

integraguy HalfDork
April 20, 2010 7:22 a.m.

Sorry(?) but I'd vote for the Capri, too, unless you are looking for a space filler for the garage or driveway. Like others here, I once owned a Capri (a '73) and they are sweet little cars. Besides, they are 2 door coupes, which neither of your other 2 choices are, an easy tie-breaker point. Since you don't mention it, a big negative with Capri II's is the rusty rear hatch, I'll assume it's not an issue with this car. Also check lower front fenders on the Capri and Hillman....I don't know about the Capri II, but the early Capris were notorious for rusting behind the front fender and into the cowl (hard to see with the fenders in place) and the front fenders, at least on early Capris, were WELDED ON.

7pilot New Reader
April 20, 2010 7:25 a.m.

All that history in one photo.

I'd take the Capri. I'd avoid the cricket as some one may confuse it with a Morris Marina


pres589 Reader
April 20, 2010 7:38 a.m.

Capri's were notorious for rusting everywhere. Check the A pillar, the cowl panel at the base of the windshield, and the floors. Then check the trunk floor, the rear subframe, the front lower fenders, basically anywhere the factory used metal really. That car is a mk2 and is a hatchback, only the mk1 had a trunk instead.

oldeskewltoy New Reader
April 20, 2010 9:50 a.m.

another Capri person here...

Things I remember that suck about it though... lower control arms-sway bar mounts really poor design

If you keep the V6 you want to find Sven Pruett's book

Oh... there is a sweeeeeet manifold available to let the little 6 breath....

$650 NEW... but if you are patient... you can find them at flea markets and swap meets

RossD Dork
April 20, 2010 10:12 a.m.

I'd vote Capri II but I'm bias too: '77 Capri II

The front wheel bearing were a struggle to source at first until I found the dimensions out and cross referenced them to stock bearings. They had them on the shelf at the local bearing shop for $12 IIRC. Feel free to ask questions since I'm still working on the car, I can poke around and see if I can answer it for you.

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