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The Meetzorp Dream Barn

Inspired both by Petrol Blog‘s “dream barn” series and a conversation Joel and I had at dinner the other night, I decided to write up my own “dream barn” scenario. Basically, if I had the space and the money to do so, I’d probably own five or six completely ludicrous cars simply because I like them.

Of course the first car in the barn door will be my longterm project car, the infamous 1959 VW Type 1, last seen looking like this:
Only because this is the Dream Barn, it’s finally fixed up. The rust repairs are done, the paintwork is gleaming, and the interior is installed and smelling nice, like horsehair, jute, rubber matting, and sweetgrass potpourri, which I’ve always liked to stuff in the ashtray.

Next on the list would be a debased and defaced vintage Jaguar. I really fancy a 1970s-era X-type with a Chevy 350 in it. There are two on Craigslist right now, and by god, if I were doing anything other than grocery-store clerking right now, I would absolutely buy the ’74, because I like the color best (it’s a beautiful wine red, as you’ll see below. The ’78 is white, which I just don’t like as much, and if you are pretend-buying a ridiculous car, you might as well buy the one in the color you like!)
74 Jaguar XJ12
I figure this would pass as a sensible car. 4-doors. Chevy reliability. And since the value of a Jag plummets when you’ve installed a non-stock powerplant, this is a car you could drive around without stressing that you’re somehow going to depreciate it further via use. See also Roadkill:

Now moving further into fantasyland, I’d love to have a fairly clapped-out, but mechanically sound-enough late-1970s Porsche 911. Preferably one with a bit of rust and a few parking lot dings, so that I would have no reservations about hooning it. There are three reasons why I’d like to have an older Porsche. #1, they’re just fucking beautiful. #2, as a VW-savvy nerd, I should be able to adapt my knowledge to maintaining it. #3, the engine noise. God above, that exhaust note:

Now the odd-bird selection, which obviously would be a Citroën 2CV. As I’ve mentioned recently, it’s a car that has long fascinated me, and since I’m obviously just daydreaming here, we’ll assume I was able to find one.

I know only the very sad will find this interesting, but I honestly enjoyed watching this video of a bit of a 2CV’s suspension doing its job. Four-wheel independent suspension on an economy car was pretty revolutionary.

And speaking of revolutionary, there’s always the Citroën DS, which is frankly, a lot more stylish than the 2CV. Seriously, isn’t that a swoopy, style-y, pretty little thing? Those indicator lights up in the C-Pillars! I love those little chrome cones they’re mounted in. It’s just so clever.

Now a car I know of that exists locally, and which I admire from sort-of-afar nearly daily is a particularly nice example of a 1948 Ford coupe.
Sure, it’s got some weird dents in the roof, but it doesn’t appear to ever have been over and it certainly looks super-complete.
My Dad had one of these way back in the day, and I have just always liked that body shape. I have no idea how I’d set it up, but I’d imagine it would be a mild resto-rod project. No crazy lowered suspension, no radical big horsepower, no insane, flip-flop paint jobs. Just a nice, functional, basically-driveable, old-fashioned car. Essentially, the Ford version of my Volkswagen, only 10 years older. This engine that likely came in this car originally made about 100 horsepower in a car that weighed around two tons. It was just enough oomph to get it up to about 80mph, which I expect, was plenty exciting, if 80 in the old VW is anything to judge by. One of the things I love about primitive old cars is that you don’t need a lot of speed to get a lot of excitement. If you simply drive it in ordinary conditions, with respect to its engineering limitations, there’s just the inherent challenge in coping with the road to keep you entertained.

I kinda like that sound, you know?

So, as I said, if I had the space, money, and time, I’d have about half a dozen completely impractical and ridiculous cars in varying states of decay or restoration, and people would probably say, “That woman is really an odd bird.”

3 Responses to “The Meetzorp Dream Barn”

  1. Mark says:

    The Ford has air in the tires. Looks like someone is actually caring for it. That’s unusual. Most of the time those old cars sit around, rotting, while the owner plans to restore it “someday”. Of course they are “not for sale”. Years ago a dude who lived the next town over had a Plymouth Superbird http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/Plymouth_Superbird.jpg rotting in his driveway. I stopped to see if he was interested in selling. At the time I still had spare money for hobbies. The owner told me to fuck off. The car continued to rot until the neighbors filed a complaint with the township. The owner moved it to the back yard, where it promptly sank up to the floorboards into the mud. Years later, after the owner died, a tow truck was called to extricate the car. The body was so rotten at that point the car split in half. Restored versions of those cars can bring tens of thousands of dollars today. What a waste.

    As for car restoration, it takes a lot of time and money. When I was 14 my father gave me a Ford Falcon coupe. I like Falcons and Fairlanes because they don’t look like Mustangs, but all the Mustang mechanical bits work, so they are easy to repair and keep going. I started working on that car when I was 14, and completed it when I was a senior in college. Unless I hit the Powerball, and can buy a garage like Jay Leno, I don’t think I’ll be attempting any more car restos.

    Here’s a vid of Jay Leno’s Falcon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYhTQx-NxAU

  2. Meetzorp says:

    Dude, tell me about restos. That grodelated old Volkswagen? I’ve owned it since 1994 and have made incremental progress on bringing it about to a respectable state of affairs intermittently, for this entire time.

  3. Mark says:

    Having actually done a resto, I’ve got a pretty good understanding of the resources required.

    First, you need a proper garage, two bay at the minimum. I did the Falcon in a single car garage. I’d push the car out when I wanted to work on it, and push it back in at night. I was a dumb teen at the time, so pushing cars seemed like fun. I don’t think I’d derive any joy from it now. Garage should have electricity, preferably 220 volt to run a proper compressor.

    You can do a proper restoration using hand tools for the mechanical bits, but if you are going to do body work, you really need air tools. The body work is what took the longest, since I was doing it using electric grinders and sanders. I primed the thing in the garage, but took it to a body shop for the color coat, since it would have collected a shit-load of dust in that old garage before it cured.

    Like I said, I’d enjoy doing it again, provided I a had a good, clean space, the proper tools/equipment, and enough cash to buy parts and supplies as I needed them. Maybe someday……someday after I strangle a bankster or Wall St. grifter.

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