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						Winter Projects 2

Five Winter Projects on Craigslist Right Now

By Dean Larson

Photos: Sellers, Craigslist

Howell Craft Buggy

"Restoration project! Rare Howell Craft / Manx-style buggy. Sitting for a few years but easily restorable."

This vintage Howell Craft buggy is everything and more that you could want in a winter project. It’s cheap at just $3,000, and getting it up and running should be a breeze over the winter months. You’ll have to source an engine, but that should be pretty easy to find compared to all the parts that come with the buggy, including some usable interior parts, exterior trim pieces and lighting, and a transaxle.

The buggy will require some mechanical and cosmetic work throughout, but it's a perfect DIY project, and a better-than-average Manx-style Buggy. Expect to strip down the majority of the buggy and probably overhaul the transaxle and suspension before reassembly with a new engine. The level of cosmetic restoration is up to you, but the buggy is an interesting piece as-is.

Find the Howell Craft Buggy here on Northwest Georgia Craigslist.

Mystery Cobra Kit

“Frame and body with all parts. No engine and transmission.”

So admittedly, this one pushes the bounds of the whole “winter project” idea, but the beige bodywork on this unnamed Cobra kit invite you to give it a shot. The seller makes no mention of the Cobras origins, or what “parts” may, or may not, be included in the deal. There is a chassis present, but it’s hard to comment on, other than the use of coil springs in the rear and four-lug axles all around. The bodywork shows nicely in the photos, and I’ll admit, my brain is filling in the details to finish the build. A pair of Guardsman Blue stripes, FIA-style wheels, a budget-friendly 302 and T5 transmission, etc…

The seller is asking $8,500 for the Cobra kit, but you’ll likely investing more than that to finish the build. Is it a worthwhile venture if you could finish the car for $15,000? I guess that depends on what’s underneath the skin.

Find this mystery Cobra kit here on North Jersey Craigslist.

​1969 Baja Bug

"Doesn't need much to be roadworthy, just drop the the motor and trans back in, couple little odds and ends. Drive it."

Another off-road VW? We’d apologize, but we’re not really sorry — these air-cooled off roaders offer thrills and great future potential for cheap. This example is a 1969 VW Beetle that offers the perfect base for a full Baja Bug build. At $3,000, this Beetle is as cheap as they come, and the car appears solid and unmolested. The Bug has a body lift currently, which is pretty standard procedure for a budget Baja when paired with raised spindles and rear torsion adjustments.

The seller reports that the included 1,904cc engine will require a tune-up before installation with its Type 3 transmission. Front disc brakes and a functional roof basket with off-road lighting have been added.

With dirt-cheap VW parts available from sources like EMPI, there’s no reason you couldn’t have this Beetle turned around before the warm weather arrives. Personally, I’d enjoy it for a year, and then go back to the drawing board with more power, suspension modifications and the right Baja body mods.

Find this Baja Bug here on Las Vegas Craigslist.

MG-Based AC Cobra

“AC Cobra replica built on a MG chassis, 350/350 power … runs and drives, has a clean AZ title.”

All the big Cobra replica manufacturers have moved to non-donor builds these days, but it’s important to remember that’s not the only way. Getting back to kit-car basics, there are still nice Cobras to be had that are based on donor cars. Instead of the usual Fox- or SN95-platform, this AC Cobra replica is based on an MG chassis, not unlike the MGB-based Hawk Cobra in our fall ’18 issue.

Surprisingly, the seller has indicated that this replica is actually an Everett-Morrison Cobra. These Cobras are well respected in the community, but we were unable to dig up any info on MG-based Everett-Morrisons, so interested buyers should definitely do their homework.

There’s actually a nice little Cobra here, but it’s currently hiding under some ill-advised aerodynamic mods and bumpers. Clean up those items and the car is actually pretty well proportioned. The interior could also use a bit of work to put it lightly. In terms of mechanicals, the Cobra is powered by a Chevy small block with a Turbo 350 automatic, and has disc brakes and a tilt column.

Is out of the question to ask $11,500 for the MG-based AC? That’s for the market to decide, but we’ll make this case for it. What was the original AC Cobra if not an American powertrain in an old English donor?

Find the MG-based AC Cobra here on Phoenix Craigslist.

75-Percent-Completed FFR Daytona Coupe

"Selling because I got a great deal on vintage race car and not enough room for both!"

How’s that for a change of pace? While this Factory Five Daytona Coupe costs more than everything else on our list combined, it has some solid potential as a winter project.

To start, this is the new Gen 3 Coupe from Factory Five, meaning the chassis is 7.5-times stronger than the Gen 2 car in terms of torsional rigidity. The builder of the car has also done much of the work to complete the car and sourced some solid components. Installed under the hood is a 460-hp Ford 347-ci stroker hooked to a TREMEC TKO600 transmission. The Coupe also was ordered with independent rear suspension, and the seller has installed 13-inch disc brakes. All the work appears professional and textbook-correct — definitely better than your average incomplete Craigslist kit — but you’ll still want to double check all completed work in person.

At $43,000, you’re probably wondering if the math adds up here. We broke down some of the major components ourselves for your musing. If you value the seller’s labor and the nickel-and-dime parts at $0, the price is a few thousand too high, but we’re also leaving out some quality parts, such as tires, gauges, brakes, etc.

$21,990 — Complete Gen 3 kit

$10,000 — Approximate cost for an engine of this spec

$2,600 — TREMEC TKO600

$2,500 — Optional IRS

$2,000 — Halibrand-style wheels

= $39,090

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