Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
SAmadei

The "Smart" Rod

19 posts in this topic

Since I figure it will only be a matter of time before I have to cope with big city parking and BS, I have continued to search for a city car.

I really want something that is short, wide, cheap, RWD coup and can keep up with the taxis.

I considered the Smart, but it was too slow, too expensive (for what you got) and until lately, unobtainium.

I've also considered Festivas and Metros, but they are too beat up for the desired price range. I thought about CJ5s or CJ7s, but most of them are also very pricey for whats out there.

I also thought about doing a Frankenwagon... a GM wagon, shortened to two doors and a snub nose and the drivetrain relocated to the rear, a la Fiero. Too much cutting and rewelding.

This brings me to my next thought... the old hot rods are fairly short... and I did the true Tudor (two door wagonish creations) cars. I thought a '32 Ford Tudor with a 3.8 SC FWD setup in the rear would be cool... the nose could then be shrunk down... Of course, this is crazy talk, and I realise this would be work, but I think it would be kinda interesting. Any thoughts?

Has anyone ever seen a rear engined '20-'30s hot rod?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This brings me to my next thought... the old hot rods are fairly short... and I did the true Tudor (two door wagonish creations) cars. I thought a '32 Ford Tudor with a 3.8 SC FWD setup in the rear would be cool... the nose could then be shrunk down... Of course, this is crazy talk, and I realise this would be work, but I think it would be kinda interesting. Any thoughts?

Has anyone ever seen a rear engined '20-'30s hot rod?

Hot Rod magazine around 1980-82 had an article on a 32 Ford roadster w/ a rear mounted Citation engine and transaxle, IIRC.

Here's one w/ a Aurora engine.

Mid Engined 32 Ford

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember one built with a rear transaxle too...

Alternative: Hunt for a well-preserved Fiero GT.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it doesn't have to be RWD, get a Cobalt coupe or a Focus or an Escout.

IIRC, you are 6'5. Future of GM is like 6'11 and drives a Focus. The Focus has nice tall doors and the seats go back pretty far. I have a friend who has a Focus, and you can haul 6'5 people in the car with ease.

Start there.

Or...a really bad suggestion but...look for a TDI VW New Beetle. Seriously. Comfotable for tall people, great seats, slow, cheap to insure, 50 MPG...and did I mention slow...

Chris

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hot Rod magazine around 1980-82 had an article on a 32 Ford roadster w/ a rear mounted Citation engine and transaxle, IIRC.

Here's one w/ a Aurora engine.

Mid Engined 32 Ford

Ah! Thats the one. I knew I had seen one somewhat.

If it doesn't have to be RWD, get a Cobalt coupe or a Focus or an Escout.

Those are too long. I'm shooting for something in the 120~130 inch range. City car is all about parking. In fact, if I was building something, I'd try to equip it with a sideways driving parking setup.

The Focus is interesting, due to the Roush bolt in V8 conversion kit... but that is real pricey.

IIRC, you are 6'5. Future of GM is like 6'11 and drives a Focus. The Focus has nice tall doors and the seats go back pretty far. I have a friend who has a Focus, and you can haul 6'5 people in the car with ease.

Or...a really bad suggestion but...look for a TDI VW New Beetle. Seriously. Comfotable for tall people, great seats, slow, cheap to insure, 50 MPG...and did I mention slow...

6'4", but all torso. However, I'm not looking at size... as long as its not a tiny 4-door, I can get by with small 2-doors.

Wish I could find a cheap fiberglass '32 Tudor body. I would really like to rat rod my city car.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a nice idea, but probably impractical as a city car.

MINI, perhaps?

Hate to say it but...first gen Scion xB? Wife drives one, uses it as a city car, it parallel parks well and has good interior room.

Focus should still be a good city car. I would think. How is it too long?

Chris

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I really want something that is short, wide, cheap, RWD coup and can keep up with the taxis."

You realize you are describing perfectly... the AMC Pacer, right?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had an issue in large cities with larger cars (i.e. LA, Chicago, Phoenix)--was always able to park in garages w/ cars at about 200-215" overall length.

You must be talking about street parking in NYC or something? Some place w/ undersized parking spaces?

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a nice idea, but probably impractical as a city car.

MINI, perhaps?

Actually, the Mini (142 inches) is high on the list, and some of the earlier ones are getting cheap enough to leave on the street... but they are relatively long compared to the old Minis (120 inches). Of course, old Minis with registerable titles are either rustbombs or way too pricey.

Hate to say it but...first gen Scion xB? Wife drives one, uses it as a city car, it parallel parks well and has good interior room.

Focus should still be a good city car. I would think. How is it too long?

Xb... too long. 155 (1st gen) 167 (second gen) inches. Four doors makes it a real PITA to get out of.

Focus is 168 inches at its shortest.

"I really want something that is short, wide, cheap, RWD coup and can keep up with the taxis."

You realize you are describing perfectly... the AMC Pacer, right?

171 inches. I've already considered it... especally one with a 401. ;-)

I would be more likely to get a Gremlin... 161 inches. I already have a AMC Eagle Kammback, which is an AWD Gremlin. I've often wondered how much length could be chewed off a Gremlin or Pacer without the bumpers.

I've never had an issue in large cities with larger cars (i.e. LA, Chicago, Phoenix)--was always able to park in garages w/ cars at about 210-215" overall length.

You must be talking about street parking in NYC or something? Some place w/ undersized parking spaces?

Yeah, I'm talking about NYC. Parking in LA, Chicago or Phoenix is a breeze. And I've actually parked the Caprice wagon (217 inches) in NYC countless times.

The problem is that NYC doesn't put lines to deliniate the spots, so multiple cars can be parked in a "spot"... the coming and going people tend to leave irregular sized spots and the frigging inconsiderate @$$#0!3$ that park in the middle of two spots are really frustrating. Plus the hydrant rules, cutouts and other BS makes for alot of spaces that are unusable for normal cars. Add to that the alternate side BS for street sweeping that never comes by and its musical chairs. Or you can park in a garage at $$$ an hour... which has its own issues, I'd rather avoid.

They say that 40-60% of the traffic in certain parts of town (West Village, Union Square, etc.) are people looking endlessly for parking.

I'll probably just end up getting a Smart.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is that NYC doesn't put lines to deliniate the spots, so multiple cars can be parked in a "spot"... the coming and going people tend to leave irregular sized spots and the frigging inconsiderate @$$#0!3$ that park in the middle of two spots are really frustrating. Plus the hydrant rules, cutouts and other BS makes for alot of spaces that are unusable for normal cars. Add to that the alternate side BS for street sweeping that never comes by and its musical chairs. Or you can park in a garage at $$$ an hour... which has its own issues, I'd rather avoid.

They say that 40-60% of the traffic in certain parts of town (West Village, Union Square, etc.) are people looking endlessly for parking.

I'll probably just end up getting a Smart.

Ah, hence the advantage to smallest possible footprint. Sounds like the Smart is the most ideal...RWD, 2 seater, available in a convertible..

Article on best city cars

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, hence the advantage to smallest possible footprint. Sounds like the Smart is the most ideal...RWD, 2 seater, available in a convertible..

Article on best city cars

Yeah, too bad the Smart is not the greatest engineering exercise. For 12K, I think I can build something better... cue awful Paint edit:

post-4086-12593841308605.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 words:

Public Transportation

Great. I suppose I'll just put my car in my living room when I'm on the subway.

Public transportation is fine, I've dealt with it for five years... but unfortunately, the NYC subway follows the traffic patterns New Yorkers used in 1910... so getting some places takes WAY too long.

Sure, I can be a civilian and buy a Fit or take nothing but public transportation... but I'm not. I can adapt my car, and I'm willing to try it.

Edited by SAmadei
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds cool, keep us posted!

Chris

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also interested where this goes.

Wow.... this is a tough one! I'm trying to look for something, and I'm finding lots of options in the 150-160 inch category, but that's too long for you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-2966-12594721325694.gif

this 2005 smart is 9800.00 and the listing says No gimmicks actual price.

autotrader

since it only has 24,000 miles you can always put a small turbo on it and really keep up with those cabs.

Edited by eldiablobanshee
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room