There are few things simultaneously more romantic and idiotic than taking a road trip in a beaten-down heap of a car. Trust us. We know. David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan of Hot Rod Magazine fame recently undertook an epic trip from El Paso, Texas to Los Angeles with the express goal of doing so for under $1,500, including the purchase price of a vehicle, food, lodging, repairs and, most importantly, fuel. With this in mind, the duo settled on a 1972 Pontiac Catalina for a lofty $650. Hilarity ensues.

Realizing that no one actually wants a Catalina sulking around the shop, Freiburger and Finnegan put the car up for auction on eBay Motors the instant they had the title in hand. By the time they rolled into Hot Rod HQ, the vehicle sold for a little over $500.

The video is part of a new series called Roadkill that should document similar adventures. Keep your eyes peeled for more calamity-soaked clips in the near future. In the meantime, hit the jump to check it out yourself.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Richard Goebel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hot Rod magazine is the best .David Freiburger has written some of the best columns in a car mag I`ve ever read. True Hot-Rodders and American car lovers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      What an awesome job.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bought a 1974 Chevy C10 pickup in 2002 for $400, beat to hell, rusted and bondoed to death. The brakes were crap, but I drove it until it quit. The fartheset I travelled in it was a 80-mile round trip to Mississippi with no problems, except I used arm signals to make turns. I sold it to a cousin who plans to make it a project car for his son. Apparently that Pontiac had to pass some sort of inspection in order to be driven in Texas. Alabama doesn't have inspections for passenger vehicles. If it runs and you have proof of insurance, you can get you tag and go.
        • 3 Years Ago
        In Texas we have annual safety inspections (tires, lights, brakes, horn, etc., cost $14.50): plus emissions inspection either ASM (tailpipe and dyno) for 1988--1995 models, or OBD (plug in to OBD-II connector) for 1996 and newer, total cost (safety + emissions) $39.75: Cars with antique or year-of-issue plates are exempt from all inspections, but they can only be driven to club meetings and functions, parades, to the repair shop, or for recreational use (no driving to work and back every day).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Too bad we can't have heavy metal land yachts like that Catalina today.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't understand the problem. You can get a Catalina like that for $500. For less than the cost of a new Taurus, you have it rebuilt better than the day it rolled off the showroom floor. You could take your pick of hundreds of varieties of land yachts in various stages of wear or restoration for under $30K. Want a new car? You can buy an Excursion or an Escalade. Those are pretty heavy. Finally, there's the Challenger or Charger. They may not be body on frame, but they are pretty much the same size as the old beasts. In other words, you have way more options today than ever. There is a whole history of cars to choose from. Only a few of them, like the Mustangs and Camaros, have gotten outrageously priced. The reality is that those cars are piles of crap. They don't stop, go, or turn, and kill their occupants in any serious crash. But don't act like choice has been stolen from you.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Corrections. Cars don't kill people. In fact, no car has ever killed anybody unless an idiot was behind the wheel. How many police reports and accident investigations list a car as the cause of a crash? The idiotic driver(s) involved in the crash kill people. Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Do you work for the tobacco industry, too? Give it a rest -- that "logic" of yours gives manufacturers carte blanche to never be liable for their products. Think about it. imag -- agreed. 70s Pontiacs (like most 70s cars) were pieces of crap. There's too much misplaced nostalgia on cars instead of the era itself. Dudes -- you miss the 70s, not having an overheating, vinyl-seated, lethargic, gas guzzler with 12" tires stuck on the side of the road once a week.
      • 3 Years Ago
      My mom had a 1971 Pontiac Catalina. It was a great car! The car had a smooth ride and a great air conditioner. One thing unique about the car was the half B pillars, you can roll down all four windows and you would have two big openings for a breeze.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like fun to me! I'd have tried to find something a little less beastly, and I wouldn't have wasted money on the ATV rental, but I'd have given that challenge a try!