New Project: A Buyers Dilemma

I’m very close to adding a new project car into the Hooniverse garage. Ever since I’ve sold the Civic, I’ve been looking for something to fool around with at least until The Wombat is ready to roll.
I’ve got two choices on my plate this week, and I’m interested in both. One is close to what I’ve been looking for while the other is a total monkey wrench. I’m going to share them both with you, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Now, for those of you who listen to the podcast, you know that I’ve been on the hunt for an old pickup truck. My plan was to find a 65-66 F100, but I am open to other trucks from the era and earlier. That’s how I came across this 1961 Chevrolet Apache.
It’s got a V8 and a four-speed manual gearbox. The interior needs lots of love, but it’s comfortable in there. The exterior is ready for paint, clearly, but it might be fine to run it as is.
When I turned the key, the truck fired right up from a cold start. Going down the road, the carb was coughing a bit under throttle load but relaxed and ran fine when it warmed up. There’s a Low gear that isn’t needed unless I’m pulling stumps, and every other gear was easy to find.
The brakes work, the clutch felt great, and steering was… well, steering would eventually need to be addressed but I’m not going to hit the track with this. (Yet… at least.)
I can walk away with this truck for $2,800.
benz 250
Or… I can spend just a tick more and get the monkey wrench. This is a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 250 that looks damn good in its black paint. The interior is in great shape as well. I’m a sucker for an old Benz, especially when it still has its painted hubcaps.
Our man Jason Connor took it for a test drive over the weekend and reported that the following:
Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.59.43 AM
Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.00.14 AM
Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.00.38 AM
So… I have a dilemma, albeit a good one. Hopefully I get it all sorted this week, and hopefully both vehicles are available once I make up my mind.
What say you, dear reader?
[Lead image source: Alden Jewel/Flickr under Creative Common Attribution License 2.0]

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  1. fred Avatar

    $2800 for that truck in Texas is a bargain. Would need AC to be an ez sale

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Whoa, 61 Chevy? My vote should be self-evident.
    <img src=""&gt;

  3. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I say Chevy. The Benz is nice, but I think it would buckle under the pressure of Hooniverse-style global exposure.

  4. muthalovin Avatar

    As cool at that Merc is (and dead sexy in black), I cast my vote for the truck. Even though it isn't a F100, those Apache's are pretty cool.

  5. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Fun* Fact! The guy sold the Apache today
    *Fact is not fun…
    We're looking at more trucks in the interim.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi
  6. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    am i really the only one here who was rooting for the benz

    1. Alcology Avatar

      I still am!

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        It's still possible… unless I lose out on that one too.

        1. Alcology Avatar

          At least there are better options out west in terms of what to choose and the shape it's in

          1. wunno sev Avatar
            wunno sev

            yeah seriously
            if i found an old W114 looking that clean out here….i don't know that i'd buy it right away, but i'd definitely break down sobbing. too much emotions to deal with, you know.

    2. Andrew_theS2KBore Avatar

      Nope, I'm with you. The truck is cool (and useful), but the Benz is… elegant.

  7. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Somewhat off topic, but DO WANT.
    1988 Subaru SL hatch back coupe 4 wheel drive – $1600 (colorado springs)
    <img src=""&gt;

    1. Alff Avatar

      It will get you anywhere you need to go at a leisurely pace. I believe this was the model that prompted Click and Clack to opine, "You know what Subaru spells backwards? U R A Bus."

    2. Hatchtopia Avatar

      It's magnificent.

    3. FЯeeMan Avatar

      Add a pop-up sun roof, subtract 2 model years and 2 driven wheels, and this is exactly what I drove post-college/pre-kid! (Actually it's what our oldest came home from the hospital in!)

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Funny timing… we're looking at this one:

  8. HycoSpeed Avatar

    I vote truck, it just clicks the boxes for me. And you could get a set of painted dog dish hubcaps for it even!
    Mostly though, this–I’m not going to hit the track with this. (Yet… at least.)–reminded me of some inspiration for you:
    <img src="; width="600/">
    <img src="×462.jpg&quot; width="600/">

  9. Felis_Concolor Avatar

    I'll vote for the M-B just because my father owned one (1965), then sold it after 13 years of service prior to moving to a neighbor island – and whenever someone asked him why he bought it, he simply said "I really wanted a Cadillac, but I was willing to settle for second best." He was a smart man; outer island servicing of foreign automobiles was still iffy up through the 90s. The Volvo turned into a new Zephyr wagon and the Mercedes became a pre-catalyst Chevy pickup truck.
    His '65 was originally painted a soft grey shade, but he had it resprayed to a rich chocolate brown in the early 70s.

  10. Alff Avatar

    If it wasn't for the Wombat, I'd vote for the Mercedes. As it is, the wagon will be far better than this (admittedly nice) appliance. The truck is interesting, but I'd rather it have bad chrome than no chrome. Unless you need a pickup*, I'd keep looking
    *EVERYONE needs a pickup. If we're lucky, we only need it for a couple thousand miles per year.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      That proposition based on need…never bought into it. Now that I own an old house, I have moved to a middle ground. You get far with a van/wagon aand a trailer. But a pickup would be nice.

      1. Alff Avatar

        I haven't been without one for twenty years. It's a bit rusty, guzzles gas and is annoying on the freeway due to its heavily lugged tires… but so much more convenient than hooking up a trailer. Offers a level of stability in snow and mud that is unmatched. I would not buy a new one but I expect to keep this one forever.

    2. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Exactly my thinking

  11. boxdin Avatar

    I'd go for an F100 with the entire powertrain of a late crown vic. A popular conversion now. Makes for quite a sleeper.

  12. OA5599 Avatar

    That Apache looked like a pretty good deal. I've always preferred the looks of the 60's Chevy trucks over the 60's Fords, and I say that as a F100 owner.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      You have an F100?
      We need to chat then… because I have an F100

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Congratulations! Which one? The '65 above?

        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
          Jeff Glucker

          Stay tuned!…or just look at the one I posted above (The red and white one)

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Nice choice. I look forward to seeing more about it.

      2. Sjalabais Avatar

        It's done then?

        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
          Jeff Glucker

          I haven't picked it up yet, but it's pretty much done

  13. Sjalabais Avatar

    Been thinking about it for a day ("forever", in internet speak) and my conclusion would be that none of them excites me too much. Here's why:
    You seem to be a savvy and knowledgeable car guy. Old Mercedes are big everywhere and the pickup would certainly have been the favourite choice for most Americans, at least something they can relate to. But…why not look for something more exciting? A rare Citroën/Sunbeam/Škoda, for instance?
    Which would lead to the next question…is this "project" meant to be a fixer upper, another restomod, a future concours queen or a different driver? "Fool around with" covers a lot. It seems your basic transport need is usually cover by exotic new cars…

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      "You seem to be a savvy and knowledgeable car guy.' ha!
      I've always wanted some big and American, and I've had truck on the brains for some time now. So I'm scratching an itch until my wagon is finished.
      The goal is to have it be a fun cruiser for a year, and then move on. I'll lightly upgrade/fix it here and there along the way.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        You know, always do some itching before you do some scratching. 😀 Or was it the other way around?

      2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        What you need is a truck…that's a car!
        1977 GMC Sprint (Elcamino) – $2500
        <img src=""&gt;