End of the Year Review: 2019

2019 was a decent year for Eighties Cars. We managed 23 new or substantially revised blog entries—one every sixteen days. Posts were divided up into fifteen featuring a specific car, seven on auctions, and one announcing a change: Eighties Cars Is Slowing Down For A While. Despite, this 2019 was the best year for page views since I started the blog—we were up a substantial 62% over 2018.

Every year, I look at the end of the year results for most viewed posts. For 2019, it once again looked like the key to the popularity of an individual post was generally in the rarity of the other coverage available for that particular vehicle. It also didn’t hurt to be a Chevrolet, a Buick, or a Pontiac—our readers seem to be GM-centric. In reverse order, I’ll look at the top ten most viewed posts of this year.

10) 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe—these late second-generation Z28s have been sliding up in popularity and value ($34,600 in #1/Concours condition, $15,600 in #3/Good condition for the 5.7 liter/350 ci engine versions), which marks a hole in my overall thesis on what posts are popular. This post’s ranking did drop from #4 to #10 this year.

9) 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe—this very old (April 2014) but evidently evergreen post is about the last of the big Caprice coupes. For the six years Eighties Cars has been around, it’s the third most viewed post overall, and it moved up one spot in 2019. A mere 3,110 coupes were sold in the 1987 model year.

8) 1984 Buick Riviera T-Type coupe—one of my first posts on this blog gets continued interest on a car that Hagerty does see as collectible ($15,100 in #1/Concours condition, $5,100 in #3/Good condition). Dropping two spots this year.

7) 1980 Pontiac Grand Am coupe—another rarely discussed 1980 Pontiac makes the list. This entry was the most viewed post in 2017, so it’s been consistently popular, though it dropped from third to seventh this year. 1,647 Grand Ams were sold in the 1980 model year.

6) 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Sport Hatch—now this is a rarely discussed car, so I understand why the portion of the internet that cares is coming here. They also seem to have vanished entirely from the streets of America. Dropping down one spot from last year.

5) 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity sedan—I doubt there are a ton of articles being written about any of the A-body cars. This August 2016 article inspired by a work colleague’s Celebrity continued to get a substantial number of page hits this year and moved up from #9. 162,462 sedans were sold in the 1989 model year; Chevrolet sold over 2.1 million Celebrities in the 1980s.

4) 1987 Buick LeSabre T Type coupe—a new entry for 2019 is the T Type many don’t know about. A good number seem to be looking as this page received a lot of hits. 4,123 LeSabre T Types were built for 1987.

3) 1985 Buick Somerset Regal coupe—this post has been picked up by other websites a few times, most recently by Jalopnik. Hilariously, I don’t think I would have ever gotten around to writing about the Somerset Regal if I hadn’t seen one on the streets of Philadelphia a few years ago. Down from #2 in 2018, but still the second most popular entry all time.

2) 1987 Mercury Lynx XR3 hatchback coupe—a post that was fast rising at the end of 2018 makes it all the way to #2 in 2019. Mercury is, of course, an orphan make, but this blog entry has been viewed five times more than my entry on the 1981 Ford Escort hatchback coupe.

Berlinetta pages from the 1985 Camaro brochure

1) 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe—the Berlinetta is rarely covered, with almost all the eighties Camaro attention going to the Z28 and the IROC-Z. In spite of this, Hagerty does value this car, currently at $13,400 in #1/Concours condition, $6,200 in #3/Good condition for the version with the optional V8. It repeats as my most viewed post and is the all-time most popular entry.

Posts that no longer made the cut in 2019 that were more popular in 2018 include 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible and 1981 Toyota Celica Sport Coupe. A post on the rise in the final quarter of 2019 was 1980 Buick Riviera S Type coupe.

Thanks to all who viewed this blog in 2019!

1984 Pontiac 2000 Sunbird S/E hatchback coupe

“One of the world’s most advanced production turbos”

For 1984, Pontiac’s top-of-the-line Sunbird gained a new turbocharged motor along with some other minor changes.

The S/E‘s new engine was an LA5 150 bhp 1.8 liter/110 ci inline four with a Garrett turbocharger and fuel injection. It was paired with a standard four-speed manual gearbox, with a three-speed automatic optional for $320. With the standard powertrain, 0-60 came in about nine seconds. Fuel economy ratings were 25 city/36 highway by the standards of the day (20/26 by today’s standards). The Sunbird’s 13.5-gallon gas tank meant that owners could expect a range of 280 to 370 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $9,489 S/E hatchback coupe (about $24,200 in 2019 dollars) included two-tone paint, clear fog lamps, power steering, power front disc/rear drum brakes, a WS6 performance suspension, special chassis tuning, and Goodyear Eagle GT P205/60R14 tires (a size now only marginally available) mounted on attractive 14-inch “hi-tech turbo” cast aluminum wheels. Inside, fully adjustable reclining front seats, a folding split back rear seat, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, rally gages, and a Delco-GM AM radio were included.

Exterior options included a power glass sunroof ($300) and a louvered rear sunshade ($199). Inside, custom air conditioning, electronic cruise control, and Lear Siegler bucket seats($400) were available.

2000 Sunbird S/E pages from the 1984 Pontiac brochure, linked from Hans Tore Tangerud’s lov2xlr8 website.

1984 Sunbirds sold well, but most of them were the base coupes and sedans, not the LE or the S/E. Sunbirds of this generation (1982-1994) are now almost completely vanished from the nation’s roads, and models other than the convertibles rarely show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or eBay Motors.

I wrote about the last of the previous-generation Sunbird’s here. Other J platform cars I have covered this blog include the 1982 Cadillac Cimarron sedan, the 1988 Cadillac Cimarron sedan, and the 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 coupe. I will not ignore Buick and Oldsmobile forever.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette coupe

“Corvette is a rolling showcase of new technology …”

For 1981, Chevrolet’s Corvette gained a new standard powertrain—the L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor combined with a four-speed manual transmission (a three-speed automatic was a no-cost option). The new engine featured Computer Command Control, which automatically adjusted the ignition timing and the fuel/air mixture. Chevrolet engineers also managed to remove 167 pounds of curb weight from the Corvette by reducing the thickness of body panels, using aluminum for more parts, and replacing the steel rear leaf spring with a fiberglass one in cars with the automatic.

With the four-speed manual, 0-60 came in about 8 seconds—quick for a 1981 model year car. Fuel economy was 14 city/20 highway by the standards of the day with either transmission. With a 23.7-gallon gas tank, one of the 40,606 proud new owners of a 1981 Corvette could expect a range of 365 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

For the $16,258.52 base price at the beginning of the model year (about $49,300 in 2019 dollars), Corvette buyers got T-tops, four-wheel power disc brakes, power steering, dual sport mirrors, and P225/70R15 tires (a size still readily available) on 15 x 8 inch rally wheels. Inside, air conditioning, power windows, a tilt-telescopic steering column, an AM/FM radio with dual front speakers, a quartz clock, and a choice of either cloth/vinyl or leather/vinyl bucket seats were all standard.

Exterior and mechanical options included aluminum wheels ($428) and power antenna ($55). Inside, buyers could add power door locks ($145), cruise control ($155), and a rear window defogger ($119). 1981 was the first year that the AM/FM stereo radio with a cassette player ($423) was more popular than the AM/FM stereo radio with an 8-track player ($386). A power driver’s seat was a new option and cost $183.

1981 was the first year Corvettes were produced in two factories at one time. The new Bowling Green, Kentucky plant produced its first Corvette on June 1, 1981, while the St. Louis plant was producing its last Corvettes—the final St. Louis Corvette was built on August 1, 1981. All St. Louis Corvettes were painted with lacquer paints while the new Bowling Green plant had a brand new paint facility and used enamels with clear top coats.

Cover of the 1981 Corvette brochure, linked from Hans Tore Tangerud’s lov2xlr8 website.

One of the two 1981 Corvette brochures has what I think of as one of the best visual expressions of the “shark” Corvette as its fold-out cover. A silhouetted 1981 is in the foreground, with the image of the curving path it has just traversed carved with a time-lapse of its taillights.

There is strong club support for the 1981 Corvette, as there is for all Corvettes. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1981 Corvette in #1/Concours condition is $29,900, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $12,200. 1981 Corvettes often show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors—as I write this in December 2019, there’s a White one with a Medium Red leather bucket seats and 92,000 miles available on Hemming’s for $19,000. Make mine just like that, please.

Other Corvettes I have written about in this blog include the 1980 coupe, the 1982 coupe, the 1986 convertible, and the 1988 35th Anniversary Edition hatchback coupe. I also wrote about traveling long distances in an eighties Corvette.

1984 Oldsmobile Omega sedan

“… comfort and value you can feel good about …”

In its final year, Oldsmobile’s Omega variant of GM’s X-car received few changes. The grille now consisted of horizontal stripes with vertical park/signal lamps, and there were new bumper treatments.

The Omega’s standard powertrain continued to be an LR8 “Iron Duke” 92 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with electronic fuel injection paired with a four-speed manual transmission. Powertrain options included the LE2 112 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 ($250) and a three-speed automatic transmission ($425). Mileage with the 2.8 liter V6 and the automatic was 21 city/33 highway by the standards of the day (17/24 by today’s standards). With a 14.6-gallon fuel tank, an Omega’s owner could expect a range of between 270 and 350 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard equipment on the $7,832 (about $19,900 in 2019 dollars) Oldsmobile Omega sedan included front-wheel-drive, power front disc/rear drum brakes, P185/80R13 steel-belted radial tires (now a trailer size) on 13-inch wheels, deluxe wheel discs, custom bench seating, and a fold-down center armrest.

Moving up to the $8,104 Omega Brougham added a stand-up hood ornament, lower bodyside moldings, and a deluxe steering wheel.

Omega Brougham page from the 1984 Oldsmobile brochure, linked from Hans Tore Tangerud’s lov2xlr8 website.

The $675 ES package (RPO W48) remained available in 1984 as an upgrade for the Brougham, but only 224 were ordered. By far the sportiest version of the Omega, the ES included a suspension with higher-rate front and rear springs, firmer front and rear shock absorbers, and thicker stabilizer bars. In an attempt to appear more European, the ES2500 was the version with the 2.5 liter inline four, while the ES2800 was the version with the 2.8 liter V6. Both versions got a blacked-out grille.

Exterior and mechanical options on all Omegas included a glass-panel sunroof ($300), power steering, and high-capacity cooling. Inside, cruise control, power windows, and a four-season air conditioner were available.

Omega sales were significant, but not great, and they had been dropping steadily from the 1981 peak of almost 148,000 (including over 101,000 sedans). Oldsmobile produced 41,874 Omega sedans in the 1984 model year—small potatoes compared to all the other Oldsmobile sedans available (Firenza, Cutlass Ciera, Cutlass Supreme, Delta 88 Royale, and Ninety-Eight Regency).

I haven’t seen an Omega on the streets in well over a decade and they rarely show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or eBay Motors. I’m also pretty sure I’ve never seen one shown, though I’m not betting against that happening at some point.

Other X-cars I have written about include the 1983 Buick Skylark T TYPE coupe, the 1980 Chevrolet Citation hatchback sedan, the 1981 Chevrolet Citation X-11 hatchback coupe, and the 1985 Chevrolet Citation II hatchback sedan. For some reason, I have yet to write about Pontiac’s Phoenix.

1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo

This early (December 2013) blog entry was recently revised and extended enough to consider it a new entry.

“Low, sleek, ultra-competitive.”

The 1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo finally brought the performance that the original Esprit’s supercar looks had promised over half a decade before.

Horsepower was up to 205 bhp from the 140 bhp that had come with the debut of the Esprit in 1977. The engine was still the type-910 2.2 liter/131 ci inline four with a carburetor, but a Garrett AiResearch turbocharger making 8.0 psi of boost was attached along with an intercooler. Other engine technology included an aluminum block, aluminum heads, and four valves per cylinder.

Performance for the almost 3,000-pound exotic substantially improved with the turbo: a 0-60 time of about 6.5 seconds was about 1.5 seconds quicker than the original naturally aspirated car. The Esprit Turbo’s top speed was about 140 mph. From the perspective of 2019, mileage wasn’t so great for a small turbocharged four with a five-speed manual transmission; 14 city/25 highway by the standards of the day and 11/18 by today’s standards. A 22.7-gallon gas tank helped with range, which was likely about 295 to 400 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

The Esprit’s looks were updated in the same way that many 1970s designs were as they headed into the 1980s. Ground effects were added to the original Giorgetto Giugiaro design, and of course there were huge Esprit Turbo logos on the rear quarters.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the Esprit Turbo included a four-wheel independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and 195/60R15 front tires and 235/60R15 rear tires, all of them Goodyear NCT‘s riding on BBS 15-inch alloy wheels. Inside, air conditioning, power windows, and Connolly leather bucket seats were included.

A few years ago, Car and Driver reprinted their story on the Esprit Turbo from the November 1983 issue, and it is interesting and instructive to read—though it is notable that they put the Nissan/Datsun 300ZX Turbo on the cover that month instead of the Lotus. They believed that the car would find a hole in the exotic market even at a relatively dear price of $47,984 (about $122,000 in 2019 dollars).

1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo, linked from Car and Driver’s website

For reference, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1983 Esprit Turbo in #1/Concours condition is currently $38,900, with a more normal #3/Good car going for $17,700. There is good club support for Esprits on LotusTalk and they regularly show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds—as I updated this blog entry in December 2019, there’s a red 1986 Turbo with tan leather bucket seats and 17,000 miles available on Hemming’s for $55,000.

1988 BMW M3 coupe

Earlier this month, my wife and I visited the small but excellent BMW Zentrum Museum in Greer, SC. Of course they had a first-generation M3 on display—time to write a blog entry about this game-changing little coupe.

“Created for the race track, destined for the road.”

It took the M3 two-and-a-half years to make it to the United States following its debut in Europe, but most agreed that it was worth the wait. Reviews were enthusiastic; Car and Driver exclaimed that “This is a car for us.”

The powertrain was the thing: an S14 192 bhp 2.3 liter/141 ci 16-valve inline four with four valves per cylinder and Bosch Motronic fuel injection mated to a five-speed manual. In a car with a curb weight of 2,734 pounds, this meant impressive acceleration—0-60 times were in the seven-second range. Given this, fuel economy wasn’t bad: 17 city/28 highway on premium gasoline by the standards of the day (15/26 by today’s standards). With a 14.5-gallon gas tank, the proud new owner of an M3 could expect a range of 265 to 295 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard exterior equipment on the pricey $34,000 M3 (about $75,500 in 2019 dollars or a little over what a base 2020 M4 coupe goes for) included boxed-out fender flares, a unique front bumper, and a cap over the C-pillar which helped to feed air onto the large for the day rear wing. Mechanical features included a limited-slip differential, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and 205/55VR15 tires on 15 x 7 inch cast light alloy BBS wheels.

Inside, the M3 was comfortably equipped; leather sport seats, full instrumentation, power door locks, power windows, cruise control, air conditioning, a trip computer, and an AM/FM stereo cassette were all included.

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1988 BMW M3 advertisement

Over the last decade or so, the first-generation M3 has become one of the definitive eighties collector cars. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1988 M3 in #1/Concours condition is an astounding $142,000, with a more normal #3/Good car going for $59,700. Some M3s come up for sale in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or on eBay Motors, but many are now sold at auction.

Make mine Salmon Silver Metallic, I think.

Eighties Vehicles at the 2019 Mecum Chicago

Mecum’s late October auction in Chicago provided some fodder for commentary. I’ll concentrate on the at least reasonably stock 1980s cars (and a few trucks) that sold (remember that Mecum auctions are not no reserve auctions—a cream 1985 Excalibur convertible with tan seats was a no sale bid up to $40,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 8% of the approximately 660 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, October 24th

  • 1989 white Maserati Biturbo Spyder with tan leather bucket seats, a 225 bhp 2.8 liter/170 ci V6 with fuel injection and twin turbochargers, and a five-speed manual, and 17,000 miles—$5,000 hammer price.
  • 1989 blue Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce convertible with a black top, tan leather bucket seats, a 115 bhp 2.0 liter/120 ci inline four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 31,000 miles—$5,500
  • 1984 red Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL sedan with tan leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$3,000
  • 1989 red Dodge Dakota convertible pickup truck with a black top, a red cloth bench seat, an LA 125 bhp 3.9 liter/238 ci V6 with throttle-body fuel injection, and an automatic—$2,500 for this ASC conversion
  • 1981 burgundy Chevrolet Corvette coupe with silver leather bucket seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 83,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1987 silver Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio convertible with gray leather bucket seats, a 115 bhp 2.0 liter/120 ci inline four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$10,000
  • 1983 gray Mercedes-Benz 380 SEC coupe with black leather bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1980 Midnight Black Chevrolet pickup truck with a camel tan custom cloth bench seat, an LS9 175 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—at $12,500 the first vehicle in this auction to meet my criteria for serious collectability of 1980s cars or trucks in stock condition: selling for equal to or above its original base list price. I’ll mark these vehicles in bold green.
  • 1989 white Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, an LB9 225 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$7,500
  • 1989 red Ford Mustang LX custom (engine, suspension, wheels/tires) convertible with a black top, red cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$7,500
  • 1985 Guards Red Porsche 928 S hatchback coupe with black leather bucket seats, a 288 bhp 5.0 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 77,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1989 Exotic Red Shelby Shadow CSX -VNT sedan with gray cloth bucket seats, a Turbo IV 175 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection and a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$6,500
  • 1989 black Bentley Turbo R sedan with tan leather bucket seats, a 308 bhp 6.75 liter/412  ci V8 with Bosch Motronic fuel injection and a turbocharger, an automatic, and 58,000 miles—$12,000
1989 Bentley Turbo R engine compartment, linked from Mecum’s website
  • 1986 silver Pontiac Fiero SE coupe with a 140 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with fuel injection, a four-speed manual, and 11,000 miles—$4,500
  • 1987 black Pontiac Fiero GT coupe with a 135 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,500. Lots of Fiero choices at this auction.
  • 1989 white BMW 325is coupe with red bucket seats, an M20B25 168 bhp 2.5 liter/152 ci inline six with Bosch Motronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1989 red Cadillac Eldorado coupe with red leather bucket seats, an HT 155 bhp 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 86,000 miles—$3,500
  • 1980 black Jeep CJ-7 SUV with black vinyl seats, a 112 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 60,000 miles—$8,500
  • 1987 silver Pontiac Fiero coupe with gray cloth bucket seats and an automatic—$2,000
  • 1983 tan two-tone Lincoln Continental Mark VI sedan with tan seats, a Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 43,000 miles—$9,000

Friday, October 25th

  • 1987 silver Porsche 924 S hatchback coupe with tan bucket seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 68,000 miles—$4,000
  • 1983 white Buick Riviera convertible with a white top, burgundy leather seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 78,000 miles—$6,000
  • 1986 red Ford Bronco II XLT SUV with red cloth bucket seats, a Cologne 140 bhp 2.9 liter/179 ci V6 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 86,000 miles—$7,000. People are starting to collect these Bronco IIs.
  • 1980 black Ferrari 308 GTSi coupe with camel leather bucket seats, a 205 bhp 2.9 liter/173 ci V8 with a Weber two-barrel carburetor, a five-speed manual, and 7,600 miles—$48,000 just brings this Ferrari over its original base price.
  • 1985 Dark Red Metallic Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z convertible with saddle leather bucket seats, an LB9 215 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 18,000 miles—$14,500
  • 1986 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, an LD5 235 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 13,000 miles—$32,500
  • 1983 green Toyota FJ-45 Land Cruiser custom (engine, suspension) SUV with brown seats, an unidentified 6.0 liter engine, and a four-speed manual—$37,400
  • 1986 red Nissan 300ZX hatchback coupe with black bucket seats, a VG30E 160 bhp 3.0 liter/181 ci V6 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$2,500
  • 1983 green Honda Civic custom (everything) wagon with plaid bucket seats, a B18B1 140 bhp 1.8 liter/112 ci inline four with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$9,000
  • 1982 blue Chevrolet C10 custom (body, paint, interior, wheels/tires) pickup truck with gray leather bucket seats, an LE3 115 bhp 4.1 liter/250 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 58,000 miles—$11,000. It’s unusual to see one of these customs with the engine untouched, especially when it’s the six.
  • 1980 yellow Chevrolet Camino custom (body, paint, engine, interior) pickup truck with tan bucket seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$12,000
  • 1987 red/dark gray two-tone GMC High Sierra pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 35,000 miles—$12,000
  • 1989 White Pontiac 20th Anniversary Turbo Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with saddle leather seats, a 250 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci turbocharged V6 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 18,000 miles—$29,500
  • 1982 blue/orange two-tone Chevrolet Suburban custom (everything) SUV with blue/orange seats, a small block V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$4,000
  • 1984 white Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible with red tufted leather seats, and HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,000. These convertibles, so expensive when new ($31,286, or about $80,000 in 2019 dollars), have yet to catch on as collector cars.
1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, linked from Mecum’s website
  • 1980 green GMC custom (paint, interior, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a tan cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1984 yellow Chevrolet Camino custom (body, paint, engine) pickup truck with brown cloth seats, a V8 with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$12,000

Saturday, October 26th

  • 1987 Linen Gray Metallic Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with fuel injection, and an automatic—$3,000
  • 1987 black Buick Grand National custom (engine) coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 55,000 miles—$21,000
  • 1984 white Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS coupe with blue cloth bucket seats, a B4V 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 16,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1982 black Chevrolet Camaro Z28 hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a Cross-Fire LU5 165 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 45 miles—$19,000
  • 1982 black Chevrolet Camaro Z28 hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a Cross-Fire LU5 165 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 4,500 miles—$15,000
  • 1983 green Toyota FJ-45 Land Cruiser SUV with brown leather seats, a 130 ci inline six, and a four-speed manual—$40,000
  • 1983 tan Toyota FJ-45 Land Cruiser SUV with brown leather seats, a 130 ci inline six, and a four-speed manual—$37,000
  • 1982 blue Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser SUV with tan leather seats, a 4.2 liter inline six, and a four-speed manual—$15,000
  • 1987 Ivy Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a black soft top, palomino leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 67,000 miles—$13,500
  • 1982 red Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck with gray bucket seats, a 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, and a manual transmission—$16,000
  • 1987 black Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe with burgundy cloth bucket seats, a B4V 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$20,500
  • 1981 gold Mazda RX7 hatchback coupe with brown leather bucket seats, a 12A 100 bhp 1.1 liter/70 ci rotary engine with a four-barrel carburetor, a five-speed manual, and 53,000 miles—$5,500
  • 1988 blue with woodgrain Jeep Wagoneer Limited SUV with tan leather seats, a 177 bhp 4.0 liter/241 ci inline six with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,500. You rarely see Wagoneers up for auction versus Grand Wagoneers, but here was one.
1988 Jeep Wagoneer, linked from Mecum’s website
  • 1982 Charcoal Chevrolet Corvette coupe with silver gray leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 36,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1981 stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 coupe with gray leather bucket seats, a ZMJ-159 130 bhp 2.8 liter/174 ci V6 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 16,000 miles—$33,500
  • 1989 green AM General Humvee M998 SUV with a green interior, a 6.2 liter diesel V8, an automatic, and 17,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1989 red Mazda RX7 convertible with a black top, a black interior, a 13B 146 bhp 1.3 liter/80 ci rotary engine with fuel injection, an automatic, and 54,000 miles—$4,000
  • 1983 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (KITT replica) convertible with tan cloth bucket seats, a Cross-Fire 175 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 70,000 miles—$15,000

Mecum Chicago had the usual profusion of Chevrolets, along a plethora of Pontiacs and Toyotas. What do you think of these results?

1984 Audi 5000S sedan

1984 was the first year for Audi’s new aerodynamic design for their biggest sedan. At the time, the exterior design was differentiating—though many would follow, Audi’s was first. Despite being the top-of-the-line, the 5000S was not a large car by modern standards—every dimension was smaller than Audi’s current A6 sedan.

The standard powertrain on Audi’s new sedan was Volkswagon’s corporate 100 bhp 2.1 liter/123 ci inline five with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection mated with a five-speed manual transmission. An automatic was available with the standard engine. The automatic was the only transmission available with the upmarket Turbo option—the same engine with a KKK turbocharger that made 140 bhp.

Period road tests showed 0-60 times of 10.6 seconds for the Turbo, making it not much quicker than the base 5000S but almost 20 mph faster. Fuel economy ratings for the Turbo were 19 city/28 highway by the standards of the day (15/20 by today’s standards). With a 21.2-gallon gas tank, the driver of a new Turbo could expect a 335 to 445 mile range with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $16,840 5000S (about $42,800 in today’s dollars—approximately what a 2019 A5 costs) included halogen headlamps, flush-mounted window glass, power rack-and-pinion steering, power front disc/rear drum brakes, and 185/70SR14 tires (a size still readily available) on 14 x 6 inch aerodynamically styled lightweight aluminum wheels.

Inside, standard features included Electronic Climate Control, cloth bucket seats, a center console, and power windows. Features that look strange to our modern eyes included an illuminated ash tray and a “radio prep kit with power antenna” and four “high-quality” speakers.

Exterior options for the 5000S included an electric two-way tilting/sliding sunroof, power heated mirrors, and metallic paint. Inside, leather seats, heated seats, and a trip computer were all available.

In addition to more power, the Turbo package included an electric two-way tilting/sliding sunroof, a slightly tighter suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and 205/60HR15 tires (also still readily available) on 15 x 6 inch aluminum wheels. Inside, power seats, power door locks, a trip computer, and a “fine-sounding” Audi Design/Blaupunkt AM/FM stereo radio with a cassette player and four speakers were included. The Turbo‘s $5,570 additional cost brought it up to about $56,900 in 2019 dollars—more like today’s A6 pricing.

1984 Audi 5000 S advertisement

Reviews of the new design were quite good, and sales reflected that. Then, of course, things all went horribly south with the unintended acceleration controversy. Sales would crater, and it would take Audi many years to recover.

5000S’s sometimes show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and eBay Motors, but there’s not a lot of activity. As I write this in September 2019, there’s a Nautical Blue Metallic 1987 5000S with gray velour bucket seats, a five-speed manual, and 59,000 miles being advertised on Hemmings and asking $7,000.

Make mine Sapphire Metallic, please.

1986 Mercury Capri hatchback coupe

Hemmings is making a go at auctions. One of their first offerings is a white 1982 Mercury Capri RS coupe with red vinyl bucket seats, a Windsor 157 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with a Motorcraft 356CFM two-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 33,000 miles. That’s enough to get me to generate an update to this four-year-old post about the later 1986 version.

“Proof that getting there can be a fun experience in itself.”

Mercury made three attempts at the Capri. The first was an imported version of the European Ford Capri and was sold from the 1970 to 1978 model years as first the Capri and then the Capri II. The second was Mercury’s version of the Fox body Mustang and was sold from 1979 to 1986. The final version of the Capri was an imported version of the Australian Ford Capri and was 1991 to 1994. Sense a trend here?

For 1986, Mercury’s Capri had three engine choices and two transmission choices. Standard on the GS was the Lima 88 bhp (aargh!) 2.3 liter/140 ci in-line four with a Carter YFA one-barrel carburetor mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Power options for the GS included the Essex 120 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and the (wonderful) Windsor 200 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with sequential fuel injection that was standard on the 5.0L. All three engines could be paired with a three-speed automatic transmission for an additional $510 (the V6 required the automatic while the 5.0L came standard with a five-speed manual transmission with overdrive).

Mileage ratings for the various configurations ranged from 23 city/28 highway (21/26 by today’s standards) for the four-speed manual/in-line four combination that I’m not convinced that anyone bought to 17/25 for the “big daddy” five-speed manual paired with the V8.

Performance with the 2.3 liter four paired with either transmission was ghastly. 0-60 came in about 15 seconds, which meant a Capri driver with the Lima engine would see only the taillights of Iron Duke powered Camaros and Firebirds (such a sad competition!). Moving to the V6 paid significant performance dividends, dropping the 0-60 time by about 3.5 seconds. Of course, the V8 was by far the best: even the automatic was in the 7 second range, while the manual could do 0-60 in about 6.5 seconds.

The base price for a Capri GS was $8,331 (about $19,700 in 2019 dollars). For that money, the Capri came relatively well equipped by mid-1980s standards. External features included halogen headlamps, tinted glass, and the distinctive bubble-back rear hatch with rear-window defroster. Mechanical equipment included power steering, power brakes, and P195/75R14 tires (still available thanks to Hankook and Kumho) on 14-inch wheels with turbine wheel covers. Inside, power windows, interval wipers, tilt steering wheel, and an AM/FM stereo radio were standard.

Page from the 1986 Mercury Capri brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures section.

The more sporty Capri 5.0L stickered for $10,950 (about $25,800 in today’s dollars) and added the V8 mentioned above, dual exhaust, and P225/60VR15 tires (a size still readily available) on cast aluminum wheels.

Exterior options for both the GS and the 5.0L included a flip-up open-air roof ($315) or a T-Roof ($1,100). Inside, buyers could add air conditioning ($762), power door lock group ($182), speed control ($176), and an AM/FM stereo radio with cassette ($300).

Sales for the last of the second generation Capris were not at all good, but Capri sales had not been good for years—Mercury’s traditional problem wedged between Ford and Lincoln. By 1986, Capri sales were about 9% of Mustang sales.

MercuryCapriSales

Fox body Capris sometimes show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and eBay Motors, but there’s not a lot of activity. I’ll say they are uncommon rather than unloved. Make mine Smoke Metallic, please.

Updated September 2019.

Eighties Vehicles at the 2019 Mecum Harrisburg

Mecum’s late July/early August auction in Harrisburg provided some fodder for commentary. I’ll concentrate on the at least fairly stock 1980s cars (and a few trucks) that sold (remember that Mecum auctions are not no reserve auctions—a black 1984 Land Rover Defender 110 custom pickup truck with brown leather bucket seats was a no sale bid up to $65,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 11% of the 776 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Wednesday, July 31st:

  • 1989 burgundy Cadillac Sedan deVille with burgundy leather seats, an HT 155 bhp 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 19,000 miles—$6,000 hammer price.
  • 1986 Dark Red Metallic Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a black top, medium gray leather bucket seats, an L98 235 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 39,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1986 Silver Beige/Medium Bronze two-tone Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with medium gray leather bucket seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,750
  • 1984 white with woodgrain Chrysler LeBaron convertible with still lovely Mark Cross brown leather bucket seats, a Mitsubishi 4G54 99 bhp 2.6 liter/156 ci inline four with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—an ouch! at $1,000.
  • 1987 beige Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a black soft top, brown leather seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1986 Yellow Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with medium gray cloth bucket seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,500
  • 1986 silver/gray two-tone Dodge D150 pickup truck with a red cloth bench seat, an LA 5.9 liter/360 ci V8, an automatic, and 42,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1987 silver Lincoln Continental Mark VII coupe with gray leather bucket seats, a Windsor 150 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$3,000
  • 1983 black Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with a brown convertible top, a hard top, gray bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 78,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1989 red Ford Mustang LX convertible with a black top, red cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$7,500
  • 1987 burgundy Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS coupe with a burgundy interior, a 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1981 Seaspray Green/Neptune Aqua two-tone Cadillac Seville sedan with an LF9 105 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci diesel and an automatic—$2,000 for this car, striking in this color combination but stunningly slow.

Photograph of 1982 Cadillac Seville sedan
1982 Cadillac Seville, linked from Mecum’s website.

  • 1986 red/cream two-tone Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a tan cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, an automatic, and 45,000 miles—$11,000
  • 1980 Frost Beige Chevrolet Corvette coupe with oyster leather bucket seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$3,500. This car paid a brutal price for its period color combination.
  • 1989 black Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a black soft top, cream beige leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 60,000 miles—$23,500
  • 1984 black Ford Mustang SVO hatchback coupe with charcoal cloth bucket seats, a Lima 175 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with turbocharger, intercooler, and fuel injection, a five-speed manual, 73,000 miles, and a rebuilt/salvage tires—$4,500
  • 1981 black Lancia Beta Zagato targa coupe with a black interior, a 108 bhp 2.0 liter/122 ci inline four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 80,000 miles—$5,500
  • 1987 Orange Pearl Chevrolet Blazer custom (just about everything) SUV with gray cloth bucket seats, a 6.3 liter/383 ci V8, and an automatic—$13,500
  • 1981 Dark Brown Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with light sandstone cloth bucket seats, an LG4 145 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,000. A strange car, as most sources believe the LG4 was only available with a four-speed manual in the second-generation’s final year.
  • 1980 Black Chevrolet Corvette coupe with black leather bucket seats, an L48 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$6,750
  • 1983 light brown Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Brougham sedan with a burgundy vinyl top, a red interior, an LV2 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$2,500
  • 1983 red Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with black bucket seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$5,500
  • 1986 white Pontiac Fiero custom (paint, engine, wheels/tires) coupe with gray cloth seats, a V6, and a four-speed manual—$2,000
  • 1987 red/cream two-tone Chevrolet Suburban SUV with a tan interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$5,000

Thursday, August 1st:

  • 1986 red TVR 280i convertible with a black top, black bucket seats, a Cologne 160 bhp 2.8 liter/170 cubic inch V6 with Bosch fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 10,000 miles—$8,000
  • 1984 White Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with red leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 205 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 58,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1980 white Toyota HJ-47 Land Cruiser custom (camper unit) pickup truck with gray cloth bucket seats, a turbo diesel, and a five-speed manual—$14,500
  • 1987 green/beige two-tone Mitsubishi Delica van with gray cloth bucket seats, a diesel inline four, and a five-speed, and 91,000 miles—$9,500
  • 1985 red Nissan Safari fire truck with blue bucket seats, an unknown inline four, a four-speed manual, and 5,700 miles—$7,500
  • 1989 Bright Red Chevrolet Camaro RS hatchback coupe with gray custom cloth bucket seats, an L03 170 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 60,000 miles—$10,000. Not an IROC? Not a Z28? Who saves these cars?
  • 1983 Guards Red Porsche 911 SC custom (body) coupe with a black top, black leather seats, a 180 bhp 3.0 liter/183 ci flat six with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 65,000 miles—$43,000
  • 1989 red Ford F150 pickup truck with a black/red bench seat, a 150 bhp 4.9 liter/300 ci inline six with fuel injection, an automatic, and 54,000 miles—$11,500
  • 1989 light blue metallic Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a blue soft top, blue leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 58,000 miles—$34,000. The really nice eighties SLs are starting to separate from the average ones; $34,000 is between #3/Good and #2/Excellent money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
  • 1987 Dark Red Chevrolet Corvette Callaway convertible with a tan soft top, tan leather bucket seats, a 345 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with twin turbochargers and fuel injection, the Doug Nash 4+3 transmission, and 17,000 miles—$16,000
  • 1982 beige Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with a blue soft top, a hard top, blue bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 70,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1986 red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a dark tan soft top, tan leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 56,000 miles—$45,000
  • 1986 red/white two-tone Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a red cloth bench seat, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic, and 72,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1986 silver Toyota SR5 pickup truck with blue/gray cloth bucket seats, a 22R-TE 135 bhp 2.4 liter/144 ci inline four with a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$17,500 makes thus the first vehicle in this auction to meet my criteria for serious collectability of 1980s cars or trucks in stock condition: selling for equal to or above its original base list price. I’ll mark these vehicles in bold green.

Photograph of 1986 Toyota SR5
1986 Toyota SR5 pickup truck, linked from Mecum’s website

  • 1985 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with pewter/graphite cloth bucket seats, an LB9 210 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 6,100 miles—$17,000
  • 1987 red Chrysler LeBaron convertible with a black top, black bucket seats, a 2.5 liter/153 ci inline four with a turbocharger, an automatic, and 1,800 miles—$8,500
  • 1986 black Dodge Shelby Omni GLHS hatchback sedan with gray cloth bucket seats, a Turbo II 175 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with a turbocharger and intercooler, and a five-speed manual—$17,500
  • 1986 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 235 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 4,900 miles—$33,000
  • 1983 red Aurora convertible with black leather seats, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 13,000 miles—$25,000 for this Shelby Cobra replica.
  • 1984 brown GMC Caballero pickup truck with a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 48,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1986 burgundy Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe with a burgundy interior, a 5.0 liter/307 ci V8, an automatic, and 42,000 miles—$4,000
  • 1985 Blaze Red Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, an LB9 215 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1984 white Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser SUV with black bucket seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$19,000
  • 1985 black Alpha Romeo Spider Graduate Edition convertible with a black top, red leather bucket seats, a 115 bhp 2.0 liter/120 ci four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 58,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1984 red Chevrolet K10 pickup truck with a burgundy interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$19,500
  • 1986 Bright Red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (it’s a convertible!) convertible with tan bucket seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 21,000 miles—$12,500
  • 1982 cream Excalibur Series IV Phaeton with a tan top, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, an automatic, and 34,000 miles—$21,000 for the most prestigious of the neo-classics, now judged by the AACA.
  • 1982 Silver Beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 93,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1988 black with woodgrain Chevrolet Caprice Classic Estate station wagon with light brown 50/50 seats, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 12,000 miles—$12,500
  • 1989 gold Jaguar XJ-S convertible with a tan convertible top, beige leather bucket seats, an HE 262 bhp 5.3 liter/326 ci V12 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—$9,500
  • 1987 red Dodge Ram pickup truck with a red vinyl bench seat, an LA 5.9 liter/360 ci V8, and an automatic—$4,750

Friday, August 2nd:

  • 1982 Bright Blue Chevrolet Corvette coupe with notably faded dark blue cloth bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 61,000 miles—$13,500
  • 1986 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 245 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 47,000 miles—$24,000
  • 1981 Beige/Dark Bronze two-tone Chevrolet Corvette coupe with camel cloth bucket seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 30,000 miles—$17,000 is solid money for a 1981 Corvette.
  • 1980 Bright Caramel Mercury Bobcat Runabout hatchback coupe with orange cloth bucket seats, a Lima 88 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with a Motorcraft 5200 two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 53,000 miles—$10,500. It’s an auction cliche, but is this the nicest one left?

Photograph of 1980 Mercury Bobcat
1980 Mercury Bobcat, linked from Mecum’s website.

  • 1984 red/silver two-tone Ford F150 pickup truck with a red bench seat, a 122 bhp 4.9 liter/300 ci inline six with a carburetor, an automatic, and 500 miles—$10,000. If you were looking for six-cylinder F150s, Mecum Harrisburg was your auction.
  • 1985 yellow Chevrolet custom (body, engine, suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat, a 6.5 liter/ 396 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$12,000
  • 1980 Red Chevrolet Corvette coupe with oyster leather bucket seats, an L48 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$9,000
  • 1982 silver Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with both tops, blue leather bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 73,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1982 White Chevrolet Corvette coupe with camel leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 63,000 miles—$13,500
  • 1987 blue/tan two-tone Chevrolet S10 Blazer SUV with tan cloth bucket seats, a 125 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 64,000 miles—$4,500
  • 1984 white Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a Rochester E4ME four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 77,000 miles—$6,000
  • 1987 black Jeep Wrangler SUV with black bucket seats, a 112 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a Carter BBD two-barrel carburetor, a five-speed manual, and 48,000 miles—$11,000
  • 1983 Bright Red Ford Mustang GLX convertible with a black top, black bucket seats, an Essex 112 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 29,000 miles—$6,000
  • 1986 red Ford Mustang custom (body, engine, wheels/tires) hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a V8 with a supercharger and a fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$9,000
  • 1988 red Land Rover Defender 110 custom (exterior, interior, wheels/tires) SUV with red/ black seats, a 2.5 liter/152 ci diesel inline four with a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$45,000
  • 1985 Dark Maroon Metallic Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS coupe with maroon cloth bucket seats, a B4V 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 41,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1980 black cherry Chevrolet Corvette custom (paint, engine, wheels/tires) coupe with black leather bucket seats, an L98 5.7 liter/355 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$30,000
  • 1989 blue/gray two-tone GMC Jimmy SUV with blue cloth bucket seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1983 silver Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with a hard top, red leather bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$24,000
  • 1984 red Maserati Biturbo coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 192 bhp 2.5 liter/152 ci V6 with a Weber two-barrel carburetor and twin turbochargers, and a five-speed manual—$4,500
  • 1982 beige Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck with tan bucket seats, a 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$24,000

Saturday, August 3rd:

  • 1980 red Chevrolet Corvette custom (body, engine) coupe with oyster leather bucket seats, a 6.3 liter/383 ci V8, and an automatic—$13,000
  • 1987 white/red March 87C race car with a black seat and a 2.65 liter/162 ci Cosworth DFX V8 with a turbocharger—$40,000 for this piece of eighties CART history.
  • 1981 black/gold Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with light sandstone cloth bucket seats, an LU8 200 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor and a turbocharger, an automatic, and 9,200 miles—$63,000. Remember when nice late second-generation Trans Ams could be purchased for a song?
  • 1980 green Jeep CJ-5 Golden Eagle custom (interior, wheels/tires) SUV with black leather bucket seats, a 119 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Motorcraft two-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$17,500
  • 1982 olive Toyota FJ-43 Land Cruiser SUV with tangerine seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$35,000
  • 1982 silver/gray two-tone Buick Regal Grand National coupe with silver/black cloth/vinyl bucket seats, a 125 bhp 4.1 liter/252 ci V6 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 20,000 miles—$26,000 for this rare proto-Grand National.

Photograph of 1982 Buick Regal Grand National
1982 Buick Regal Grand National, linked from Mecum’s website.

  • 1983 blue Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser SUV with brown bucket seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$35,000
  • 1983 stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 coupe with gray leather bucket seats, a ZMJ-159 130 bhp 2.8 liter/174 ci V6 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 12,000 miles—$31,000

Mecum Harrisburg had the usual profusion of Chevrolets, along a plethora of Mercedes-Benz SL convertibles and a solid amount of Fords, Pontiacs, and Toyotas. What do you think of these results?