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March 14, 2019

Pair of Sixes

I recently told my wife that I had too many car projects and needed to stop scanning the local craigslist. I stated firmly to her that there were only a handful of cars that I would buy anyway, and the odds of finding one of those cars locally were slim to none. My wish list included a Sunbeam Tiger, a Datsun 240Z, and a MGC—all very rare cars.

The next Sunday morning we were watching the morning news shows when I couldn’t help myself and glanced at the “cars-for-sale” on the dreaded craigslist. The first ad that popped up was a 1972 Datsun 240Z, about a mile from our house. Most Z-cars are fairly common, but a solid 240Z with its 150hp straight six engine is a rare beast! So I convinced my wife to go look at it after repeatedly whinnying “it’s only a mile away.”

The car was a project; but it was cheap, mainly complete and rust free, so we agree to come back the next day after work to pay and retrieve the new treasure. Unfortunately, we were already packing to leave for a conference at the end of the week, so I had virtually no time to play with my new toy. I did order a few parts before we left and was excited about getting back and tackling the new project.

We spent the whole entire next week in Seattle WA, and I never once looked at craigslist. I did stop at several car-related venues, including a huge bookstore dedicated solely to car books, where we purchased a book about our 240z and even some old license plates. Plus, we went to an awesome car museum. But, I never looked at craigslist!

The next Sunday after our return, I was again watching the Sunday news shows when I thought, well just a glance. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that a 1969 MGC had just been listed in Auburndale. There was no phone number, but there was an address. So I again convinced the wife to make the trip to see another “unicorn” from my list. The car was on blocks and hadn’t run since 1982, but it was also solid, cheap and complete, so we bought this car, too!

Of course, my wife’s first comment was, how are you going to pay for these? Well, I agreed to sell my 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which made both of us happy because there was no money out of our household finances and I was done with the old Jeep. I’m really a sports car guy!

In some ways these cars are very different, they truly came to the US from two different continents. However, these cars have more similarities than differences; they are both two seaters powered by big straight six cylinder engines and dual carburetors. They both reflect the end of an era for sports cars, which is why I love this pair of sixes!