Eighties Vehicles at the 2017 Mecum Louisville

Mecum’s September auction in Louisville 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 green Toyota FJ-43 Land Cruiser SUV with gray interior and 11,000 miles was a no sale bid up to $29,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 8% of the 196 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, September 21st:

  • 1981 blue Toyota Trekker mild custom (lifted) pickup truck with blue cloth seats, a 22R 97 bhp 2.4 liter/144 cubic inch inline four with a single-barrel carburetor, and a five-speed manual—$7,000 hammer price for this proto 4runner built in collaboration with Winnebago (!).
  • 1986 bright red Chevrolet Corvette convertible with white top, red leather seats, an L98 235 bhp 5.7 liter/350 cubic inch V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,000
  • 1989 red Chevrolet Silverado custom pickup with a red cloth interior, a 7.4 liter/454 cubic inch V8, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1985 red Chevrolet C10 custom pickup with a black interior, a Vortec 5.3 liter V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—11,500
  • 1984 light blue metallic/medium blue metallic Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with blue leather seats, a Cross-Fire 205 bhp 5.7 liter/350 cubic inch V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, and an automatic—$8,250
  • 1985 blue/white two-tone Ford F150 mild custom (lifted) pickup truck with a 4.9 liter/302 cubic inch V8 with fuel injection and an automatic—$12,500

Friday, September 22nd:

  • 1989 white Cadillac Coupe deVille coupe (natch!) with white leather seats, a 155 bhp 4.5 liter/273 cubic inch V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 48,000 miles—at $4,000 an ouch! for a car that started at $25,285 when new.
  • 1980 black Chevrolet Corvette coupe with black leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 cubic inch V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,500
  • 1982 silver beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 cubic inch V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 64,000 miles—$7,500 is below #4/Fair money according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
  • 1980 carousel red Pontiac Firebird Esprit coupe with red cloth seats, an L37 140 bhp 4.9 liter/301 cubic inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 59,000 miles. At $12,500 this rarely seen Firebird model was the first vehicle in this auction to meet my criteria for serious 1980s collectability of original cars or trucks: selling for equal to or above its original base list price. I’ll mark these vehicles in bold green.
1980 Firebird Esprit, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1984 white Jeep CJ-7 Renegade SUV with gray seats, a 115 bhp 4.2 liter/258 cubic inch inline six with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$13,000
  • 1983 white Chevrolet Camaro Z28 hatchback coupe with dark blue cloth seats, an LG4 150 bhp 5.0 liter/305 cubic inch V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 19,000 miles—$11,500
  • 1982 bronze metallic Jeep CJ-7 Renegade SUV with nutmeg seats, a 115 bhp 4.2 liter/258 cubic inch inline six with a Carter 2-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed—$15,000
  • 1985 yellow Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler mild custom (lifted) pickup truck with black seats, a 115 bhp 4.2 liter/258 cubic inch inline six with a Carter 2-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed—$23,000

Saturday, September 23rd:

  • 1981 blue/silver two-tone Datsun 280ZX hatchback coupe with blue/gray cloth seats, an L28 145 bhp 2.8 liter/168 cubic inch inline six with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, and a five-speed—$8,500 for perhaps the most interesting eighties vehicle at this auction.
1981 Datsun 280ZX, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1981 silver Chevrolet Corvette coupe with red leather seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 cubic inch V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 61,000 miles—$15,000

Eighties Chevrolets were heavily represented in this auction—almost 50% of the lots from that decade. What do you think of these results?

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