No I'm not talking about a Mustang or a Chevy Truck that was particularly difficult to restore. This post is for everyone who's owned a car made of unobtainum technology, for cars of limited production and/or limited appeal (i.e. they are all crushed by now, probably for good reason) and for cars that are extremely difficult to diagnose/repair.
Here's mine: 1989 Lincoln Continental Signature Series. The last owner actually paid my local mechanic to rebuild the awful transmission, replace the head gaskets + deck the block/heads, convert the air suspension to coils...so I paid $900 for it and "invested" over 10 times more to make it where it is today. I love the stupid Taurus-Continental, can't stop driving it.
At least it wins awards for being the nuttiest thing in a car show. 😂
There's no need to be as insane as me, but tell us what car you'd own if you had the love, the motivation, and most importantly the 💰💰💰to keep it running.
I am midway through a restoration on a Mazda GTX. Mazda, in their infinite wisdom, made most of the suspension components totally specific to this model, of which only 1243 were ever imported. Needless to say my Japanese is getting better.
I removed the engine by systematically dismantling it while still in the car, much like one would unpack a bag of groceries. The most useful tools for that process were all of my oddball stubby wrenches and expletives I didn't know that I knew. If there's ever a next time I'll gladly spend all of my money on a 20ft tall garage, hydraulic table and a lift, because this drivetrain is not designed to go out the top.
At this point I've determined that whoever designed the brake rotors and wheel hubs was doing so under duress or masochistic automotive sadism towards the fools who actually like these cars. The rotor sits behind the spindle/hub which is pressed into the knuckle. In order to remove the rotor you need Mazda SST (special tool) 49 B026 102 to remove the pressed in roller bearings, which then have to be shimmed and the rolling resistance has to be within a certain spec (1.18nm) of resistance. The last time this special tool was publicly available to purchase was 1995.
However after a year and a half of working on this car, after much rumination and reflection, I've determined that the worst part of working on this oddball Japanese machine is the fact that I come from the BMW world, which does things very much differently. The fact that I know that the grass really IS greener on the other side is the most challenging part.
I gave it to my daughter as her first car. We showed it at The Quail in Carmel, last year, 2019, and we have another Ferrari slated for this year, but The Quail has been postponed until August 2021 due to COVID-19.
I owned several Renaults (I'm a slow learner). My favorite was a 1971 16TS. It was as quirky as they came, with a 4 cylinder hemi, 4 on the tree,and different wheelbases left and right.
It had headlights that could be adjusted up or down with a big knob under the dash, in case you were carrying an engine block in the generous cargo area.
The biggest issue was rust.It had no inner fenders and after only two years, it rusted out right where the main wiring junction box was located, causing endless shorts.
It was a great highway cruiser,with comfortable naugahyde seats and good performance. Just don't get it wet !
I have a long wish list, but the few on the list made of unobtanium are the Aston Martin Lagonda, Citroen SM and a Tatra T700. https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/classic-cars/a9984649/the-bittersweet-joy-of-driving-the-la...