Eighties Vehicles at the 2018 Mecum Chicago

Mecum’s three-day 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 black 1989 Land Rover Defender 90 custom SUV with black leather seats was a no sale bid up to $30,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 9% of the 570 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, October 25th:

  • 1989 red Ford Mustang LX convertible with a black top, red cloth seats, a 220 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$12,000 hammer price.
  • 1987 red Pontiac Fiero GT coupe with gray cloth seats, an L44 130 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1984 burgundy AMC Eagle sedan with burgundy/beige patterned cloth seats, and unknown engine (could be an inline four or an inline six, but is likely the six), and an automatic—$3,500
  • 1980 white Toyota Celica hatchback coupe with a beige interior, a 20R 90 bhp 2.2 liter/134 ci inline four with two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$2,500
  • 1987 blue Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA custom (powertrain, body, wheels/tires) hatchback coupe with tan cloth seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,500
  • 1981 tan Toyota Land Cruiser SUV with gray seats, an unknown engine, and a four-speed manual—$14,000
  • 1980 black Chevrolet Corvette custom (engine) coupe with black leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,500
  • 1989 green Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer Edition SUV with ivory cloth seats, a Windsor 210 bhp 5.8 liter/351 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$9,500
  • 1987 gold Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with black leather seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with Bosch fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$14,000
  • 1984 black Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with gray leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 205 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,000
  • 1986 blue Ford F250 XLT extended cab pickup truck with blue cloth seats, a Windsor 210 bhp 5.8 liter/351 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 82,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1983 tan/brown two-tone Chevrolet K20 Scottsdale custom (suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a beige cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and a four-speed manual—$20,000
  • 1983 copper Cadillac Eldorado coupe with light brown tufted cloth seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 79,000 miles—$6,000 for this unusual-colored Eldo also with no vinyl top.
1983 Cadillac Eldorado coupe, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1989 white Cadillac Coupe DeVille with white leather seats, an HT 155 bhp 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—an ouch! at $2,750
  • 1986 silver Chevrolet Monte Carlo coupe with blue cloth seats, a 150 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$4,750
  • 1988 bright silver metallic Pontiac Fiero GT coupe with gray seats, a Tech IV 98 bhp 2.5 liter inline four with fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,250
  • 1987 metallic gray Jaguar XJ-SC cabriolet with gray leather seats, an HE 262 bhp 5.3 liter/326 ci V12 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 51,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1987 red Pontiac Firebird Formula hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, a 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 34,000 miles—$6,500
  • 1980 charcoal firemist Oldsmobile Toronado XSC custom (engine) coupe with tan cloth seats, a 6.6 liter/403 ci V8, an automatic, and 47,000 miles—$5,000. The XSC’s were rare—methinks a hotted up version (the 160 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci was the best available engine for 1980) is far rarer.
  • 1986 black Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 sedan with black leather seats, a 167 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$9,500
  • 1989 red Jaguar XJ-S convertible with saddle leather seats, an HE 262 bhp 5.3 liter/326 ci V12 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 62,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1981 black F100 very custom (powertrain, suspension, body, wheels/tires) pickup truck with black seats, a 460 ci V8 with an Eldobrock four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,500
  • 1986 gray BMW L7 sedan with light gray leather seats, a 182 bhp 3.4 liter/209 ci inline six with Bosch Motronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,500 for the most luxurious BMW you could buy in the eighties, at least until the 750iL came out two years later.
  • 1983 butterscotch Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with both tops, tan leather seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—$8,000
  • 1987 silver Honda CRX Si hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, an EW3/4 91 bhp 1.5 liter/91 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 148,000 miles—$4,000. What is the purchaser’s intent for this car?
  • 1985 red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with red/gray cloth seats, an LB9 205 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 16,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1986 silver Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with black seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with Bosch fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 31,000 miles—$10,000

Friday, October 26th:

  • 1980 red Austin Mini Cooper custom hatchback coupe with black leather seats, a 1.3 liter inline four, and a four-speed manual—$7,000
  • 1981 white/maroon metallic two-tone Chevrolet El Camino custom (engine) pickup truck with a maroon textured vinyl split bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$6,000
  • 1980 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (engine) coupe with black cloth seats, a 400 ci V8 with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$29,000
  • 1984 red Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole coupe with black leather seats, a 205 bhp 2.9 liter/179 cubic inch V8 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$45,000 is between #4/Fair and #3/Good money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole coupe, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1988 black Ford Bronco II SUV with red cloth seats, a Cologne 140 bhp 2.9 liter/179 ci V6 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$11,000
  • 1980 green Mercedes-Benz 450SL convertible with both tops, tan leather seats, a 160 bhp 4.5 liter/276 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, and an automatic—$3,500
  • 1981 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with tan cloth seats, a 150 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 18,.000 miles—at $35,000, the first vehicle in this auction to meet my criteria for serious 1980s collectability of mostly or entirely original cars or trucks: selling for equal to or above its original base list price. I’ll mark these vehicles in bold green.
  • 1987 black Buick Grand National custom (brakes, body) coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 245 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 7,400 miles—$26,000 for this Grand National modified to resemble a GNX.
  • 1989 white Pontiac 20th Anniversary Turbo Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with saddle leather seats, a 250 bhp (at least) 3.8 liter/231 ci turbocharged V6 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 19,000 miles—$27,500
  • 1984 black Ferrari Mondial Quattrovalvole convertible with a black top, black leather seats, a 235 bhp 2.9 liter/179 ci V8 with Bosch fuel injection, and a five-speed—$32,500
  • 1989 black Land Rover Defender 90 custom (body, interior, wheels/tires) SUV with black seats, a 2.5 liter/152 ci diesel inline four with a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$22,000
  • 1985 blue Lincoln Town Car limousine with blue cloth seats, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, an automatic, and 45,000 miles—$5,250
  • 1985 silver/blue two-tone Chevrolet Suburban SUV with blue cloth seats, an LS9 165 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 58,000 miles—$8,500
  • 1983 red Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with a tan interior, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with Bosch fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$5,000 for this first-year 944.
  • 1987 blue Toyota Crown sedan with blue cloth seats, a 5V-EU 190 bhp 4.0 liter/244 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic transmission, and 34,000 miles—$7,000 for this top-of-the-line and very conservative Toyota
  • 1983 black Jeep CJ-7 custom (exterior, interior, suspension, wheels/tires) SUV with tan seats, a 5.0 liter/304 ci V8, and an automatic—$22,500
  • 1988 red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, an LB9 190 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 38,000 miles—$8,500

Saturday, October 27th:

  • 1983 black Datsun 280ZX hatchback coupe with tan leather seats, an L28 145 bhp 2.8 liter/168 ci inline six with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 79,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1989 black Land Rover Defender 90 custom (interior, suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with black seats, a 2.5 liter/152 ci diesel inline four with a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$22,000
  • 1985 silver/black two-tone Chevrolet C10 custom (body, suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$9,500
  • 1981 silver/charcoal two-tone Chevrolet Corvette coupe with charcoal leather seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,500
1981 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, linked from Mecum’s website
  • 1986 blue Toyota FJ45 mild custom (suspension, interior) pickup truck with brown leather seats, an inline six, and a five-speed manual—$40,000

This auction had a lot of interesting and unusual cars, including an AMC Eagle, a BMW L7, an Oldsmobile Toronado XSC, and a Toyota Crown. Among eighties vehicles, Pontiac, Chevrolets, Fords, and Toyotas were heavily represented in this auction—combining for a little more than half of the sold lots from that decade. What do you think of these results?

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