Cruising craigslist has gotten me in trouble again. This time I was searching for any ol' busted Dodge 2.2 Turbo, motor or whole car, for a swap into the blue Simca 1204. I stumbled upon a Shelby CSX-T that looked like a perfect parts car, advertised as a running and moving for $750. The Shelby CSX-T was essentially a turbo Dodge Shadow built exclusively for Thrifty rental cars, a similar concept to the Shelby GT350-H Hertz Rent-a-Racer car but a bit gaudier. I went to look at it and found it far too nice to part out, even though it had the Turbo I motor and 5-speed that I was looking for. Since the car could not be started upon arrival even after an hour of fiddling, my interest was waning quickly. Sensing this, the exasperated owner offered it to me for $200 on the condition that it still couldn't be started the next day. The offer was accepted and I returned the next morning with my Dad to take another stab at driving it home but ended up dragging it on the trailer. Talk about mission creep from the original Simca plot.
Upon getting the car home, some fiddling with the Hall sensor on the distributor, cleaning out some of the corrosion on the wiring loom connectors, reading and resetting the fault codes all helped to bring it back to life in a few hours. In addition the car had no brakes but this was remedied with a new master cylinder and a quick bleed. The auto parts store also hooked me up with some hatch struts and other bits for a grand total of about $84. A trip to the junkyard got me a sweet cassette deck (with mini-joystick balance and fade) from a New Yorker and some interior pieces for around $18. Mysteriously, the car was advertised as not being driveable due to a failed clutch but I have yet to experience any trouble with it, even when doing burnouts in my hood.
Fast forward to 24 hours after purchase: I got a CSX-T plus all of the parts to make it now in running, driving, and stopping condition for a grand total of $314.28. There are still a couple of annoying things to fix like a non-existent headliner and a sticking brake caliper but a trackable daily driver is only a couple hundred dollars away. A few hundred more could get me the correct Shelby decals to make it fully presentable as well as provide some good used tires for CMP track days.
Check back for further updates.