Think Small

Amongst my many tried and tested work avoidance techniques is trawling eBay for things I can’t afford or don’t need. This morning I hit a cool seam of small cars in the classic car section.

$_57It started with this a “Mini EL” electric trike, which has a sort of ’80s vision of the future’ vibe to it. A more practical (but still single seater) Sinclair C5. Needs work to get running, and then lots of forms filling out to register to drive on the road.

lambrettavanThe Mini EL led me to this Lambretta micro van, which looks just like a yellow version of Postman Pat’s van. Ugly but endearing, and sort of practical.

vespamicroThe micro car theme continued with this Vespa, which has the cutest little face and rear opening ‘suicide’ doors. It needs a lot of work, with the floor all but gone and engine seized, but it’s just begging to be lowered a little, painted a deep glossy red or blue and powered by a new bike engine.

goggoThis Goggomobile isn’t as cute as the Vespa, but it’s in better condition. Again, it needs a new engine, but if you’re already on eBay, that shouldn’t be a problem.

So, that’s how I waste time on a Sunday morning. These are just the cars I looked at that I could string together a theme about. I expect one of you with more money, space and mechanical ability to take one of these and produce an awesome miniature kustom car. Or wait until I’m selling enough books to afford to do the project myself.

(All images taken from the relevant eBay listings, therefore belong to the sellers. I’m sure there’s some version of fair use I could cite if I knew more about that sort of thing.)

If I did buy a car, I wouldn’t use it very often

…so it wouldn’t have to be practical.

At least, that’s the excuse I give myself when I skim through the eBay classic cars section looking for things I’m not really going to bid on, like this dragster inspired Mk1 Ford Cortina. When I was a kid our neighbour ran a Lotus Cortina lookalike in local rallies, so I’d be more inclined to that look than the gasser, but it’s still cool.

I still lust after a Citroen DS, and they’re still available at sensible prices. I’d rather like a Traction Avant as well, but this one needs a bit of work.

A World War 2 era Jeep would be cool, but that machine gun on the back of it is obviously fake.

I think I need to own a hot rod, such as this model A pickup or this 1932 Model B at some point in my life, even if it was only used for a few days at the height of summer.

If I wanted to scare other drivers, this 1978 Ford Thunderbird could be the right vehicle. I think it looks like the eponymous demon possessed automobile from The Car. Alternatively, I could try to play the hero and pretend to be Starsky (or was it Hutch) in this Ford Gran Torino.

I could spend the rest of the day doing this, but I’d better stop, and think about something nearer my price range and expertise- like an old Raleigh Twenty shopper looking for restoration.

Cloud 9, Messerschmitts and other silliness

Time for another trip through eBay’s Classic Car section. A boy can dream.

Having grown up in the country the “Cloud 9” Rolls Royce appeals to me. The description’s disappeared since I first found it but this beauty is a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud atop a four wheel drive Mitsubishi chassis so you can go almost anywhere in style. The temptation would be to put chunkier tyres on it and take the newlyweds across the fields.

But now I live in the city and find off roaders (or their sad, spoilt offspring- “soft roaders”) pointless and annoying on the roads I regularly use. So a smaller car is in order for day to day travel. Like this Messerschmitt bubble car, which is located somewhere in South Manchester. It is, however, in the sort of fine condition that would make you think twice about taking it out often, so how about this pile of bits, from which could be built a bubble car rat-rod?

Slightly more practical than the previous two cars is this Ford Anglia retrofitted with a two litre Vauxhall engine which is just the sort of car I’d love to own if I could afford to own a car. This low riding Volkswagen 1600 also appeals, I could even use it to shift bikes and bits. A Morris Minor van would be another sweet way to shift stuff as well. Or how about a Morris Marina van in a very seventies colour, which claims to be gold but could better be called something like “baby shit beige”.

Back into fantasy territory with this ex-military Land Rover, which has been built to withstand more winters like the last two. Or perhaps this quarter million pound E-Type Jag.

If this Cosworth engined Ford Escort looks familiar, it’s because I asked for £25,000 to buy it back in March. Bids are currently at £7,962.69, with the reserve still to be met.

£2,500 is teh starting bid for this tasteful “Godfather” VW Beetle. More expensive, but far more tasteful, £11k seems to be the asking price for Mk2 Jags and Daimlers, with a Jaguar in British Racing green and a Daimler in Old English white.

The listings let me list cars by distance from my house, which is neat. 30 miles seems like a good point at which to stop, but I have to step over that just to mention this Datsun Laurel Six lowrider with “hydrolics”. It’s like a little bit of SoCal landed in Barnsley. Not sure it’s something I could live with, but I have to admire the craziness behind it.

Projects- Parts bin single speed

I’ve been wanting to make a single speed bike for a while. So when a batch of old school road bikes came in I grabbed one to experiment on.

Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart

Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart
Love the old school graphics. I’ll either keep them or reproduce them.

Being lazy, I took the one nearest the gate, which may be too small for me. Nonetheless, I set about stripping the components.

Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart
British Made. There were three of these neat cable clips guiding the brake cable along the top tube. Sadly one of them broke as it was being removed.

Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart

After stripping the bike I washed it and cleaned the head tube and bottom bracket before repacking them with copious grease. The bits which were staying on the bike then went back on.

Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart

Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart Parts bin single speed- Taking the bike apart

The new handle bar is one of the parts box bits which this project uses. For proper hipster cred it shouldn’t be tapered, ought to be narrower and needs to be anodised in some pretty colour. But I’m not a hipster, so it’s okay.

Apart from a new chain, the only bought component I plan to use on this build is a single speed conversion kit. I got mine from a company called Superstar Components, who have a competitively priced shop on eBay. I need to get myself a torque wrench so that the everything goes together properly. Once I have that the bike should go together quickly.

Wanna buy a Banksy?

£59,995.00, or a serious offer will get you this piece of authenticated Banksy artwork. You’ll have to collect it yourself, because the postage for a safe is extortionate.


The Banksy is a bargain compared to this nude

The asking price is $21,000,000.00 (approximately £12,835,401.26 by eBay’s calculations), which is a bit much when you can find it listed at Saatchi Online for $5,900. There are a few paintings listed on eBay at stupid prices, is it some attempt to garner attention or play the search engines?

Finally, something for the less wealthy art fan. You can get this image of Frank Sidebottom stencilled on your property and the artist will donate the proceeds towards erecting a statue of the man himself.-


Zombie Barbie

Sadly Ebay won’t let me easily embed the image on here, you’ll have to click through to see it in all its glory. You have one day to buy this unique bust.

Zombie Barbie Bust

“Retro 80’s doll rises from the dead”

This resin bust was inspired by the “Walking Dead – Bicycle Girl Zombie” and has been sculpted, cast in resin and handpainted by myself.

The bust features some amazing detail including – Dead Kens head – with exposed brains, Barbies broken arm and hand, a Severed Barbie doll foot, exposed ribs, torn off jaw, skeletal backbone, torn and wrinkled flesh, Barbie hair, flocked base with swamp effect grass, dirt and sticks.

This is a truly amazing piece and features an outstanding paintjob, including zombie toned flesh, veins and blood splats etc.

Unfortunately the pictures do not do this piece justice as they show up very red for some reason, and also the gloss wet look varnish has a bit too much shine on camera.

This will make a great addition to any Horror Collection and I will only be making a limited number – and this is #1

“This thing is Gross, Get it off the kitchen table” – My girlfriend

“Awesome mate” – Chris from work

“I want one” – Everyone who has seen it so far!!

Bluebird K7

My “Oh wow!” moment of the morning was finding a seller on eBay offering remote control models of Donald Campbell’s last Bluebird boat. They’re available in 1:6th and 1:10th scale.

The South Manchester Model Boat Club get their boats out on Platt Fields boating lake on Sunday mornings. It would be mean to turn up with one of these and blast it around the island.

Let’s add some more to the wishlist

Today is my day to covet cars I find on eBay. I’m watching Top Gear on iPlayer and not being impressed by the supercars, as usual. I’d rather have something like this Ginetta G15, a two seater sports car powered by a Hillman Imp engine. This one’s got a few race inspired modifications, including a rather funky front spoiler. It needs a little work, but at £4,300 it costs less than the wheelnuts from a Lamborghini.

Less sporty, but in its own strange way a bit exotic, is this old Russian Volga. For £1,850 I could see it becoming the basis for a very special lead sled.

Back onto sporty cars, how about a Datsun 260Z, or Sunbeam Alpine?

As this is me day-dreaming about classic cars I’d usually end the post with a Citroen DS or Traction Avant, but I can’t find any listed today.

Just add these to the wishlist

It’s Sunday, I feel like having a look on eBay for silly vehicles I’d love to own if money, storage and sense were no object.

If the North Pole keeps on warming up and pushing Arctic winds further South for longer periods, then we can expect many more winters like the this year’s and last’s. It may be time, then, to invest in a Snowcat, aka a Volvo BV202 NF1. This funky vehicle, as used by multiple armed forces, exerts a low ground pressure so it can travel over snow and swamps and even float, driven through the water by its tracks. There are two for sale, but they’re both in Romania. If that’s too far, or the price is too steep, and you already have an off roader then maybe you only need to invest in a snowplough attachment. Or you could restore this vintage snowmobile.

Closer to home are two examples of another beloved old military vehicle- the Willys Jeep. One is listed at £2,500, is missing a gearbox and hasn’t run for at least 35 years. The other is at £5,500, but at least runs.

Of course, sometimes you just hanker after the quiet life and want the neighbours and the kids to shut up for a while. If gentle reasoning hasn’t worked it may be time to break out the armoured riot van, as used in Northern Ireland.

If slow and steady is more your style then maybe you need a road roller. Around here I could use it to do a public service and fill in all the potholes.

Buy Bez’s taxi

For as little as £999 you can buy the pimped taxi which formerly belonged to Mr. Mark Berry, AKA Bez. It looks terrible, and only some of the elements are left over from the version that existed at the end of the Pimp My Ride episode that it was on. (You can watch the episode here. I’ve only managed little bits of it, I have a very low tolerance for Westwood.)

Objects of Desire- Original Roy Cross artwork

Currently for sale on Ebay are several pieces by Roy Cross, one of the main creators of box art for old school Airfix. If anyone wants to get me a Christmas present they could, for example, buy me this piece for the SAR Boeing Vertol helicopter. It’s one of a batch being sold, along with several vintage models, here.

Jet engine for sale. One fairly careful owner

Bristol Siddeley Viper 102 Jet Engine

Used Viper 8 Engine as used in Jet Provost T3

1750lbs Thrust

This engine looks complete, the turbine turns freely.

I would not say this would be suitable for aircraft use.

Buyer must know what they are doing with this sort of item, if you kill yourself playing with it dont blame me.

This should be fully services by a suitable qualified person.

Buyer to collect, cash on collection or paypal before collection.

Hurry! The sale ends soon.

In Soviet Bulgaria, model builds you! 1

Here’s some interesting finds on eBay. Soviet era Russian models, of British cars. The Bulgarian seller has listed three 1:18th scale car kits- a Vauxhall of some type, a Jaguar E Type and an Austin Morris. It seems odd that the Soviets would want to make models of Western vehicles, particularly such decadent items as an E Type. The models came with an electric motor, though not all three listed still have theirs. I must resist the temptation to bid and find out more.

Other stuff on eBay

It seems like a good time to list other stuff Harry and I have on eBay.

For anyone looking for a challenge, Harry has a job lot of bikes for sale. You’ll have to collect them, because there’s no easy way to ship them. He also has other bike, vintage and random sales going on.

I have various bits and pieces listed at the moment, and I’ll probably be adding comics, models and art soon as well.

The job lot link should be valid as long as the auction’s running. The other two will be okay as long as we’re selling stuff.

Hung Parliament to be decided on eBay 1

You are bidding for the affections of this man, a Spanish speaking manufacturer and creator of kings. Yes, if you need a king swiftly fabricated, then this is your man! May be interested in part exchange for electoral reform and break-up of financial institutions, WHY – cash either way.

No “buy-it-now” price but make him an offer and he’ll do you a deal!

May be of use to those with an interest in running the country.

Cash on collection.

Those with less than 220 seats, contact me first before bidding. Advertised due to nation of timewasters. Please do not bid if you cannot make up your mind.

Build your own Batmobile

Citizens of Warrington, or anybody else with access to a trailer, you can own your own Batmobile. Okay, it’s only the body, you’ll need to supply your own chassis and running gear. It’s from the Tim Burton movies and whilst that’s still cool as, it’s not a Tumbler.

My surfing of the Ebay classic car pages also turned up this Daimler Conquest/Century which is also a star car, having been in Heartbeat.