Showdown: LeMons Oddballs Edition

1966 Mercury CometHonda civic wagovan

It’s been so long since our last Showdown, but I finally finished installing my damn floor and I’ve got LeMons on the brain (it’s as painful as it sounds). While firmly convinced that the next LeMon I build will be a Pinto (or Mustang II), I’ve gotta pass along these gems to the Hooniscenti. Oddly enough, one has twice the cylinders as the other, the other twice the gears and drive wheels. In one corner, we’ve got a rusty, long-parked ’66 Mercury Comet with a three speed stick and 289; the other, a Honda Wagovan, rocking four wheel drive and a “5+1” transmission.

1966 mercury comet

The ’66 Comet shares its chassis with the Fairlane, which in turn shares much with the contemporary Falcon and Mustang, meaning there’s no shortage of crafty cheats aftermarket support to bring that suspension and chassis close enough to the 21st century that the 289 can make up the rest. The rust? Bah! Pre-lightened, I say. The price is high, but the seller’s probably motivated to be rid of the thing and there’ve gotta be a few classic metal bits worth selling. The trickier part is a theme…Vomit Comet covered in fake barf? Team Hale Bop, with matching outfits and sneakers tucked away in your pit? Something involving winged sandals and insufficient clothing?

Right, so let’s pretend you want to run something actually interesting. The Comet’s bitchin’ and all, but it doesn’t quite have the same dork appeal (remember who the LeMons judges and participants mostly consist of) that a dorkified Honda does. Tall roof, awkward proportions, and a goofy 4wd drivetrain. It’s got a blown headgasket on its EW1 motor, but Hondas (Civics in particular) are basically Japanese Lego, meaning any number of Craigslist or junkyard sourced motors will just drop right in…right? Maybe just yank the 4WD stuff and sell it to make up a couple hundred bucks of over-budgetness. What to do with a theme for this one? There’s the obvious Shuttle connection, or maybe a miniature VW van spoof (complete with micro-Westy pop top)? What say you…American Iron(oxide), or a Soichiro’s forgotten child? [poll id=”93″]

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