Attracted to All-Trac

March 20, 2013 at 12:02 am

So, my daily finds for project cars have little rhyme or reason to them; really, it’s about what I find within a few minutes of searching that strikes me as the perfect project at that moment in time. Today we have Japan’s answer to Subarus with a snail; none other, of course, than the Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo.

I know, I know – a Japanese car? A dreaded appliance??! But really, I don’t consider this what one might label today’s bread-and-butter people haulers that have about as much character as a cup of Earl Grey tea paired with a piece of rye bread and lukewarm butter. Or something. So please, leave your Avalon references at home – this car comes from an era when the tiny country that is today known for global dominance of all things green and economical actually gave a damn about performance.


There’s a lot I love about this Craigslist listing for what appears to be an ’86-’87 Celica All-Trac Turbo. The seller says don’t bother asking what’s wrong with it, because there’s nothing to tell! A few bumps to the bumpers and nothing a bit of spit and polish can’t fix. JUST DON’T BOTHER HIM WITH YOUR SILLY QUESTIONS ABOUT MECHANICAL INTEGRITY. Harumph.

The seller might consider trades. In fact, he even lives in a town from Connecticut that is famous for accepting swaps (at least according to his information under ‘Location’). And don’t worry – although this is described as a project car, it can be daily driven with ease! Don’t ask its current owner if there’s anything stopping you from driving it anywhere, ’cause there ain’t. So quit the interrogation – can’t you see men are working here, trying to buy his All-Trac?


I don’t mean to chastise the guy, but since when does 1980s + turbocharged + all wheel drive + manual transmission + pop-up headlights + an actual professional rally driver who drove a near-identical car on the world’s greatest stages (in other words, hoon impressions likely) = Camry reliability? I think not. But I still want it.

Hell, according to Mr. All-Trac, all I need to worry about is a cracked mirror.

The Sun Sets on the Solar Yellow Xterra

March 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm

offroad166Similar to a British Racing Green Jaguar or a Red Chevrolet Corvette, the Solar Yellow Nissan Xterra is a unique color which distinguishes the Xterra from most SUVs.  However, after being to numerous automotive shows over the recent years, I have noticed that as of 2009, Nissan has decided to discontinue Solar Yellow as a color option for the Xterras.  As an owner of a 2000 Solar Yellow Nissan Xterra, I was quite disappointed to find out this decision.  At first, my thoughts were that Nissan chose not to display this color in brochures, as it isn’t the most popular color among the Grey, White, and Red Xterras.  However, after some observation and researching the website, it appears that 2008 was the last year which Solar Yellow was an option.  Not only is this color unique to the vehicle, but the Xterra is one of the few vehicles that looks acceptable in yellow.  Also, rumor on Xterra forums is that Nissan is considering discontinuing the Xterra in red.  What do our readers think?  Was it a poor choice for Nissan to discontinue the Xterra in Solar Yellow, or was it one of their best decisions?

What to do next?

March 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm
In the summer of 2013, this car will be all mine

In the summer of 2013, this car will be all mine

Sometime this summer, my beloved Legacy GT will officially be mine; after almost five years of payments I will be the full owner of the car that’s taken me all over the Northeast, created millions of snow doughnuts and made me curse the electrical quirks of Subaru.

I’m going to pause for a moment and admit something some of you might find fairly lame. I’m 30 years old and the Leggy is only the second car I’ve owned. I bought my never forgotten Grand Prix GT in 2003 and kept it until the transmission decided to quit after many miles of fighting me with torque steer and replaced it with the car I have today. I plan on keeping with my M.O. in regards to anything in life with the Leggy; run it until it’s beyond economical repair or in the ground.

So with the lack of a car payment I will start to have a few hundred bucks or so sitting in my pocket every month. I could do the sensible thing and put it in savings or an IRA; which I probably will do with some of it. Keeping with sensibility, some will be allocated to house needs and the fund for a new Macbook Pro.

Then there is the car guy in me, wanting to put the funds toward a fun second car. The question: what to buy?

I’ve thought about this long and hard, I want something fun, cheap and not a total basket case.  I’ve always been a fan of Camaros. Except for the white trash/mullet stereotype, a 3rd or 4th generation Z28 would fit the idea of a second car that is fun, fast, and easy to acquire parts for. Then comes one of my other loves; Datsun  510’s. I’ve been trolling ebay for about two years now checking out stock 510’s and 510’s with various SR20 engine swaps and dreaming of painting one up in BRE colors and pretending I’m John Morton. The negatives of this being the car being a rust bucket after a year in New England weather or getting either a stock 510 in need of much love or a half completed project car.

What about the modern day classic icons such as e30’s and Miata’s? Those sound right except that they’ve already been done by fellow Son of Taki Jeff Lavery and I don’t want to be seen as a copycat.

That leaves me things such as 944’s, 300zx’s, Viggen’s, WRX’s and a whole boatload of other options.

If you have any suggestions you have a year or so to offer them.


Copart Dreamin’

March 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm

OK. Bad news. The cheaper-than-an-Escort W8 is long gone, replaced by trusty Land Rover Disoveries and Audi TTs. But have no fear – Copart is here.

Copart is the Easter basket of bad ideas. It has a dedicated section just for cast-off projects, cars that were under a tarp in your neighbor’s carport yesterday. Heck, Hurricane Sandy’s victims are a common sight at Copart auctions, so if you’re in the market for a Chevelle littered with salt-cakes, give the Long Island district a call.

But enough chatter. On to Deal of the Day, v 2.OH NO.

A 1980 Saab Turbo. From Arizona, land of prison camps, undocumented citizens and rot-free Swedish goodness. This particular Copart special has a minty interior and the requisite aero bits, like a rear spoiler and those tasty pizza-slicer wheels. Good Lord, I love the 80s. It’s even baby blue!

Salvage title, but who cares. These cars are hard to come by and offer a perfect excuse to invest in rear window louvers and a set of obnoxious Bosch fog lamps. Need I say more?


I just can’t W8

March 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

So, as this blog grows, we’re going to try and sneak in updates whenever we can. In a test of the emergency project car broadcast system, we have breaking news.


An auction company in New Hampshire is seeking a measly $4,500 for a Passat W8. Who among you has the stones to roll the dice on an eight-cylinder project car that makes jumping rope blindfolded while holding a burlap sack up around your waist look like elementary school gymnastics?

I’ll bet you don’t. I’ll throw the link up later for colorful and passive-aggressive commentary.

Give me old or give me death

March 12, 2013 at 1:33 am

So, by way of introduction, my name is Jeff. You can see my ’03 330i ZHP and the project E30, a 1987 Alpine White 325is coupe. I’ve become a bit enamored with the BMW brand over the last few years, and more so, the last of the truly analog cars.

And after this weekend, I want to get rid of the ’03 for something older. Now, not just any old thing – but a 1999-2000 Z3 M-Coupe with the venerable S52 motor. So, not a bad way to go if you’re going deeper into the automotive nursing home.

The strange thing is, the more I see older cars, the more I want to step back in time and buy the antiquated instead of the cutting edge (much to the chagrin of the wife). My ’87 E30 went through hell before I got my hands on it, and still has a long way to go. I look at the E46 and realize what a difference it makes when cars have caring owners who keep the carpets clean and do repairs correctly, bodywise or other. In the E30, I’ll need to invest in repairs to the floor before I put a proper carpet kit in. In the E46, I just needed to buy new floormats with the original mounting tabs still intact for it to be perfect.


Take the photo captured here. I spotted this old Alfa in a field in Vermont this weekend. If only someone had been a bit more sensitive to how much easier it is to take care of a car a little bit now – small projects, a worthwhile investment sooner to stave off major overhauls later – this once viable project car might have more of a chance than it currently does, what with rusty fenders sinking deeper into winter’s moisture-rich blanket.

It’s my mission. Save them now before they succumb to low resale and owners who can barely afford the badge on the hood, let alone synthetic motor oil.

Now, to figure out that latest coolant leak on the E30….

Reason For Being

February 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm
The vehicles of the Sons of Taki

The vehicles of the Sons of Taki


Why did three friends (two being brothers) decide to create an automotive site named after a Grand Prix driver who is more known for being struck by the medical car than his actual racing success?

Simply, we wanted to share our passion for anything automotive with the world. There are things we mutually love and there are things we love individually. You’ll see a little bit of both on Sons of Taki; we’re going against what makes a successful business in somewhat being everything to everyone because we know automotive enthusiasts come in all shapes, sizes, brands and style. We are all united by a common passion.

Just like any new vehicle, bear with us in the beginning as we make some tweaks and make Sons of Taki a fine running machine.



Visit Us On Twitter