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Gucci AMC Hornet or Cartier Lincoln Continental Town Coupe

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you must choose between two horrific yet tempting project cars. Last week, we offered a fabulous opportunity to choose between three projects a V8 Pinto, a V8 Vega, and a V8 Colt and all of us in the Hell Garage felt a deep sense of satisfaction for a job well done.

After a few days, however, those downscale economy cars (quadruple the stock horsepower or not) made us feel a little grimy, so we vowed to find a pair of genuine designer edition cars of the decade that brought us the greatest selection of designer edition cars in history: the 1970s. Back then, oppressive government regulations meant that engines were no longer free to spew ocean liner quantities of carbon monoxide out their tailpipes, and so American automakers opted to ink deals with famous fashion design houses. We had a Bill Blass versus Mark Cross convertible shootout a couple years back, but this time we're going all out with a pure Gucci versus Cartier matchup.

The AMC Hornet was, in most cases, a sensible and fairly uninteresting American compact car of the 1970s but in 1972, AMC hired Gucci to add some style to the Hornet Sportabout hatchback, and the Gucci Edition Sportabout was born. Featuring gorgeous beige, red, and green upholstery and door panels, fewer than 5,000 Gucci Sportabouts were sold during the car's two year production run.

Where, you ask, could we ever find one today? Why, in Topeka, that's where; here's a genuine 1972 AMC Hornet Sportabout Gucci Edition with a $1,200 asking price (go here if the listing disappears). We're pretty sure that you won't need the entire $1,200 to drive away with this car, based on this statement from the seller: "Make me an offer, you might be surprised!" That's good, because restoring the brightly colored seat upholstery to the correct Gucci standards is going to require a few bucks. Then there are the other details: "Needs front end repair and interior work. Has some rust. Engine has a little top end noise on the right side." Still, AMC V8 running gear is still easy to find, thanks to all the Jeeps that are still around, and the end result will be worth all the time and money and more time and money.

1979 Lincoln Town Coupe:The car is so big that the photographer couldn't get all of it in the frame!

Beatiful car, that Gucci Sportabout, but it's still just an AMC compact. What you need for your personal Project Hell is, of course, a Lincoln Continental! The good news is that Ford partnered with several high line designers during the 1970s, and they created some incredibly luxurious Continentals. The 1970 79 Continental Town Coupe, a vast two door with expansive crushed velour interior sneered at lesser cars, and of course the Cartier Edition Town Coupe stood at the very top of the pyramid.

We've scoured the continent for a good project Cartier Town Coupe, and this 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe Cartier Edition (go here if the listing disappears) just leaped right out at us. According to the seller, this car "been in storage" and appears to be in fairly decent condition. Does it run? Well, no specific mention of running condition appears in the description, but it does have "75150 original miles, 400 V 8, power windows, locks, seats, mirrors, retractable headlamps, very good tires, crushed velour interior and landau top in very good condition." And, of course, the Cartier clock!

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