Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Gingermobile?

The ongoing search for the ultimate Gingermobile is in its final furlong.

Beneath this snow is a '78 Cadillac
On the one hand, I might have found it. In fact, it might be sitting in my driveway right at this moment (albeit covered in snow.)

In December of last year, I was given a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Custom Classic and it ticks pretty much every box that my prior "Gingermobile" front runner had (that was a 1978 Lincoln Contential Mark V.)

This is a truly stunning car - and features almost everything I am looking for in an automobile.

It's a luxury car - in it's day, as expensive as a contemporary Bentley or Rolls Royce. It's got four full seats - and they're beautiful two-tone leather. It has a gurgling 7-liter V8 engine and two long, low doors with windows ample enough to clamber in an out of - much like the General Lee (another inspiration for the Gingermobile.)

But today, while idly sorting through the classifieds on Craigslist, I saw something else that caught my attention; and captured my imagination. An Avenger

The stunning Avenger kit car
A kit car, modeled after the stunning Ford GT40, it remains one of the most truly stunning vehicles on the road - and one of the most affordable.

The model I saw today was just $3,500 with registration and inspection; but easily looks like a car that costs a hundred times that.

One of the most exciting things about an Avenger is the opportunity to totally customize it - from a paint job in keeping with the Gingermobile ethos (red, or maybe two-tone red and cream like the Hirondel) to a roaring V8 engine.

One model I've read about generated 720bhp. The one on sale today had a much more reasonable 90bhp flat four.

From a Gingermobile perspective, it ticked some of the essential boxes - including having a manual transmission and being a real head-turner.

It also delivered a practical 25mpg or more - as opposed to the 3.5mpg of a Lincoln Mark V. The mechanics - mostly VW Beetle derived - are also simple and straightforward enough for me to handle on my own.

The Locomotive remains the de facto Gingermobile
Yet I have some hesitations. Firstly, it's got only two seats (although an enormous boot) which means I'd have to keep The Locomotive on staff for ferrying the Militants about.

Secondly, a poised and nimble sports car is about as far from the rough and ready aesthetic of the General Lee or The Bandit as it's possible to get. 

Only time will tell which direction I end up going it. Getting the title for the Cadillac is turning into a bit of an administrative nightmare, so it will be a while before even that beast hits the highway - and by then, who knows what fate will have in store for us.

But one thing is for sure. This is the year the new Gingermobile is crowned. Stay tuned!


Andy said...

Roland, I shall certainly stay tuned.

As a guy that grew up when Lincolns & Caddies were cool, I've been following this with interest.

I don't know so much about the "kit" cars. Really don't know so much about cars period. I'm not turned that way.

But, I did see a modern day Shelby yesterday in front of me at an intersection.


Hearkens me back to the old High School days when all I could manage was a Dodge Coronet with "push button on the dash" gear shifting. Don't remember the model...probably a '63. It was ugly...but it was "freedom."

A couple of months later, I managed a '73 Dodge Dart "Swinger" edition.

Probably TMI, but that's where I first got lucky.

Drove The Mrs. away from the Church in it on our wedding day, too.

I am an honorable man...

Continue on in your search, my friend! Mrs. Right will plop on your doorstep. I'm sure of it.

MisYahd said...

What can I say? You're an automotive genius, Roland. A regular old grease monkey.
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