I’ve given up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at auction—there’s an endless sameness to them. Mecum’s Indy auction in May was so large that it made this especially obvious. There were a profusion of Chevrolet/GMC pickup trucks (20 sold at Mecum Indy), Chevy/GMC SUVs, Camaros, Corvettes, Fox-body Mustangs, Mercedes SLs, and Pontiac Firebirds/Trans Ams. Beyond that, we also saw quite enough AM General SUVs, Buick Grand Nationals, Dodge pickup trucks/SUVs, Ford pickup trucks/SUVs, Jeep SUVs, Toyota SUVs, and random neo-classics.
So, we’re going to try something new here and only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction—and those that sold (a Suffolk Red 1985 Aston Martin V8 Volante convertible with tan leather front bucket seats and 21,000 miles was a no sale at $120,000). Here are ten that attracted my eye, described in more detail than usual.
[Lot J59] 1986 Nissan 300ZX hatchback coupe. Hot Red (that’s the real color name) with t-tops and gray cloth front bucket seats. V3G30E 160 bhp 3.0 liter/181 ci V6 with fuel injection and an automatic. $12,000 hammer price for a generation of the Z cars that have yet to attract substantial collector interest.
[K167] 1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC coupe. Medium Driftwood Clearcoat Metallic with a moonroof and sandlewood leather front bucket seats. Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 57,000 miles. There are folks collecting LSCs, but this one went for only $12,000. Did the color hold it back?
[G103] 1987 BMW M6 coupe. Cinnabar Red with tan leather front bucket seats. S38B35 256 bhp 3.5 liter/211 ci inline six with fuel injection and a five-speed manual. $50,000 for one of these gorgeous coupes—which doesn’t quite equal the original cost.
[W150] 1980 Plymouth Volaré Road Runner coupe. Formal Black with a t-bar roof and cashmere vinyl front bucket seats. 90 bhp 3.7 liter/225 ci Slant Six with a one-barrel carburetor and a three-speed manual. $18,000 would seem to be all the money for the last of the Road Runners—at this point, a $586 package available for the Volaré. How much more would one with the 318 ci V8/TorqueFlite combination have fetched?
[T133] 1985 Buick Riviera coupe. Dark Blue Metallic with a blue heavily padded vinyl top, an AstroRoof, and tan prima cloth 45/45 front seats. LV2 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 70 miles. $37,000 for yet another car purchased and saved by a dealer.
[F61] 1982 Jeep J10 Honcho pickup truck. Orange (special order color?) with correct graphics and grey/black cloth/vinyl bucket seats. 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor and a five-speed manual. Restored and mostly stock except for the wheels and tires. $100,000 is bonkers for a Honcho—but the whole collector truck market is currently bonkers.
[F179] 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. Oxford White with a moonroof and raven charcoal cloth front bucket seats. Lima 190 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with a turbocharger and fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 45,000 miles. $20,000. These Thunderbirds felt like important cars in the eighties—is the market finally catching on?
[S154] 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS coupe. Rosso Corsa with tan leather bucket seats—the “correct” color combination according to many Ferrari fans. 260 bhp 3.2 liter/195 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 33,000 miles. $82,000
[S175] 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster. Guards Red with cashmere leather front bucket seats. 217 bhp 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 299 miles. $275,000 is almost #1/Concours money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools—Speedster values have always been strong.