Eighties Vehicles at the 2018 Mecum Kansas City

Mecum’s three-day December auction in Kansas City usually provides much fodder for commentary and this year was no exception. 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 beige 1980 Toyota HJ-45 Land Cruiser SUV with gray seats was a no sale bid up to $28,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 9% of the 307 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, December 6th:

  • 1987 red Chevrolet El Camino custom (engine, interior, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a red bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 31,000 miles—$10,000 hammer price.
  • 1989 red Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a black top, black leather seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$6,500
  • 1988 pearl white Cadillac Allanté convertible with a hardtop, tan leather seats, an HT-4100 170 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 72,000 miles—an ouch! at $3,750
  • 1980 maroon Triumph TR7 convertible with a black top, black vinyl seats, an 86 bhp 2.0 liter/122 ci inline four with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$3,000 is #4/Fair money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
  • 1983 black Jeep CJ-7 SUV with black seats, a 112 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 59,000 miles—$6,500
  • 1989 beige Nissan Pao hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, a MA10S 51 bhp 1.0 liter/61 ci inline four, and a five-speed manual—$3,500
  • 1982 maroon/silver two-tone Chevrolet El Camino custom (engine, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a maroon cloth bench seat, a 355 ci V8, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1981 diamond mist metallic/medium blue metallic two-tone Datsun 280ZX hatchback coupe with blue/gray cloth seats, an L28 145 bhp 2.8 liter/168 ci inline six with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$5,000 implies that the 280ZX is not yet getting the love from the market that the earlier Z cars get.
1981 Datsun 280ZX hatchback coupe interior, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1982 green Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck with black seats, a 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with Carter BBD two-barrel carburetor, and a five-speed manual—$13,500
  • 1987 black Jaguar XJ-S coupe with tan leather seats, an HE 262 bhp 5.3 liter/326 ci V12 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$6,500
  • 1988 red/white two-tone Ford Bronco SUV with red seats, a Windsor 210 bhp 5.8 liter/351 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$12,500

Friday, December 7th:

  • 1986 midnight blue Chevrolet C10 Silverado pickup truck with a blue custom cloth bench seat, an LE9 160 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and automatic, and 3,900 miles—at $34,000, 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.
  • 1989 dover gray metallic with woodgrain Jeep Grand Wagoneer SUV with cordovan seats, a 144 bhp 5.9 liter/360 ci V8 with Motorcraft two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$20,000
  • 1989 white Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais coupe with blue cloth seats, an Iron Duke 110 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with fuel injection, an automatic, and 12,000 miles—$3,250 for perhaps the most unusual eighties vehicle at this auction. Who buys this car? What are their intentions for it? Should I do a blog entry on this car?
1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais coupe, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1988 red Dodge Ramcharger SUV with tan vinyl seats, an unknown V8 (could be the 5.2 liter/318 ci or the 5.9 liter/360 ci), and an automatic—$14,000
  • 1989 black Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a black top, black leather seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, a six-speed manual, and 74,000 miles—$11,000
  • 1985 white Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with red leather seats, an L98 230 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,000
  • 1987 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 24,000 miles—$30,000
  • 1989 red Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with red leather seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, a six-speed manual, and 61,000 miles—$6,000
  • 1987 red Ford Bronco II SUV with brown cloth seats, a Cologne 140 bhp 2.9 liter/179 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,000
  • 1980 white Pontiac Firebird Turbo Trans Am Pace Car coupe with oyster seats, a 210 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor and turbocharger, an automatic, and 8,600 miles—$17,500
  • 1987 black Chevrolet Corvette custom (Greenwood body kit, wheels/tires) convertible with a black top, black leather seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 19,000 miles—$13,500

Saturday, December 8th:

  • 1980 red Chevrolet K10 pickup truck with an unknown V8 and an unknown manual transmission—$13,500
  • 1986 blue GMC Sierra custom (engine, interior, exterior, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a blue/white bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$17,000
  • 1983 stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 coupe with a gray interior, a ZMJ-159 130 bhp 2.8 liter/174 ci V6 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 2,100 miles—$25,000
  • 1980 red Chevrolet Corvette coupe with red leather seats, an L48 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$13,000
  • 1980 dark claret metallic Chevrolet Corvette coupe with claret leather seats, an L48 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 74,000 miles—$13,000 for this handsome late shark.
1980 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1980 beige Toyota FJ-43 Land Cruiser SUV with gray seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter inline six, and a four-speed manual—$40,000

Among eighties vehicles, Chevrolets dominated this auction, with 39% of the sold lots from that decade. Jeep, Ford, and Datsun/Nissan also had notable representation. What do you think of these results?

1986 Buick Century sedan

For the last few weeks, there’s been a white Buick Century sedan parked outside one of my local supermarkets. Followers of Eighties Cars know that is likely to generate a blog entry.

“… truly satisfying motoring in the European tradition.”

For 1986, Buick’s Century gained a new slanted grille along with lower profile headlamps. The other major news was the T Type coupe had been discontinued, though the sedan version remained alive. Both the sedan and the coupe were available in Custom (base) and Limited trim, while the wagon was available in Custom (base) and Estate versions. We’ll concentrate on the sedan in this post.

Standard power on the Century remained the Iron Duke 92 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with throttle-body fuel injection. Two different V6 engines were available: a $435 112 bhp 2.8 liter/181 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor and a $695 150 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with sequential fuel injection. A three-speed automatic transmission was standard with the 2.5 liter inline four and 2.8 liter V6, but buyers could add a four-speed automatic for an additional $175.

With these three engines, two transmissions, and curb weights in the 2,750 to 2,850-pound range, there was a wide variance in performance. 0-60 mph with the inline four/three-speed automatic combination was about 13.5 seconds, while 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 owners with the four-speed automatic could expect to get from 0-60 in about 10 seconds.

Mileage with the base four and three-speed automatic was 22 city/32 highway (19/29 by today’s standards) while owners of the top-of-the-line V6/four-speed automatic combination could expect 19 city/29 highway (17/26 by 2018 standards). With a 15.7-gallon fuel tank, Century V6 drivers could expect a range of between 305 and 340 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard equipment on the $10,228 Century Custom (about $23,800 in 2018 dollars—just slightly under what a 2019 Regal Sportback goes for) included front-wheel drive, power rack-and-pinion steering, power front disc/rear drum brakes, and 185/75R14 tires (a size still available from Hankook) on 14-inch wheels. Inside, a cloth notchback front bench seat and a Delco AM radio with dual front speakers and a fixed antenna were included.

Moving up to the $10,729 Limited (about $25,000 in today’s dollars) added 55/45 notchback velour seats and a hood ornament.

The relatively rare $13,714 T Type (about $31,900 in 2018 dollars) included the 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 and four-speed automatic combination, along with a Gran Touring suspension and 215/60R14 tires on 14-inch aluminum wheels. Inside, a sport leather-wrapped steering wheel, a full length storage console, and reclining cloth bucket seats were included.

Century buyers had many choices to personalize their sedan. Optional exterior and mechanical equipment included aluminum wheels ($199), tinted glass ($115), and engine block heater ($18). Inside, air conditioning ($750), cruise control ($175), Twilight Sentinel ($57), power windows ($270), and six-way power driver’s seat ($225) were available.

Century page from the 1986 Buick full-line brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures pages.

The 1986 Buick Century sedan sold rather well—sales inched up slightly from 1985 as Buick moved about 232,000, with 5,286 being the T Type version.

I think of these A-body cars as basic and honest. Centurys sometimes show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds or on eBay Motors. Make mine dark blue metallic.

Other A-bodies I’ve written about in this blog (I guess I owe the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera some attention):

1983 Pontiac 6000 STE sedan

1989 Chevrolet Celebrity sedan

1980 Buick Riviera S Type coupe

I’ve been on a Riviera kick recently, brought on (no lie!) by the appearance of a 1965 model in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie a couple of days ago. I covered the 1984 T-Type a few years ago—here’s the 1980 S TYPE.

“… an impressive road car.”

In its second year, Buick’s sixth-generation Riviera gained little but revised body mounts and new side mirrors with a notably more integrated look. Buick continued to offer Riviera fans a slightly more sporty S TYPE version, returning to a theme first present with the 1965 Riviera Grand Sport.

The S TYPE‘s standard powertrain was the LD5 170 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with turbocharger and a Rochester M4ME four-barrel carburetor paired with a Turbo Hydra-matic automatic transmission. The LG4 155 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester M4ME four-barrel carburetor was optional (it was standard on the base Riviera). The S TYPE was spritely for a big (3,633 pound) coupe by 1980 standards, but not fast: 0-60 came in about 11 seconds, which compared well with the Cadillac Eldorado, [Chrysler] Imperial, Lincoln Continental Mark VI, and Oldsmobile Toronado. Fuel mileage was rated at 16 city/23 highway by the (rather unrealistic) standards of the day—with a 21.2-gallon fuel tank, range was about 305 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

The $11,823 S TYPE (about $39,800 in 2018 dollars, or about what a 2019 Buick LaCrosse Sport Touring sedan goes for) came with amber front park and turn signal lenses, tungsten-halogen high-beam headlights, dual remote black mirrors, and GR70-R15 tires (equivalent to P225/70R15, which is still a readily available size) on 15-inch wheels with Designer’s Sport wheel covers. Inside, cloth or vinyl bucket seats, sport steering wheel, storage console, and black-trimmed instrument panel were all standard. The 1980 S TYPE also included a Rallye ride-and-handling suspension with larger front and rear stabilizer bars and stiffer shock absorbers.

Standard exterior and mechanical features on all 1980 Rivieras included front-wheel drive, four-wheel independent suspension, automatic level control, Soft Ray tinted glass, power steering, and power front disc/rear drum brakes. Inside, every Riviera had air conditioning, electric door locks, power windows, driver’s-side 6-way power seat, and an AM/FM stereo radio with automatic power antenna.

Exterior and mechanical options included four-wheel disc brakes ($222), electric rear window defogger ($109), and the Astroroof ($1,058). Inside, automatic air conditioner ($150), Cruise-Master speed control ($118), Twilight Sentinel ($51), passenger-side 6-way power seat ($179), and leather with vinyl bucket seats ($360) were all available. You couldn’t get the tilt and telescoping steering column on an S TYPE, but you could get a tilt only steering column ($83).

Sales of the S TYPE were decent in 1980—with 7,217 made, it accounted for about 15% of overall Riviera sales. For 1981, the Riviera S TYPE was supplanted by the T-Type.

S TYPE pages from the 1980 Buick Riviera brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures pages.

Folks are collecting the sixth generation Rivieras—there’s robust discussion and support on the AACA’s Buick Riviera page. S TYPEs also come up for sale every once in a while in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or on eBay Motors, though there aren’t any right now. As I write this in November 2018, there is a “civilian” 1980 with a white exterior, burgundy leather seats, a V8, and 19,000 miles for sale on Hemmings, asking $11,500.

According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1980 Riviera in #1/Concours condition is $11,800, with a more normal #3/Good car going for a mere $4,000. Make mine the extra-cost ($186) Gray Firemist, please. I love those Buick color names and believe everyone should have at least one Firemist.

Eighties Vehicles at the 2018 Mecum Las Vegas

Mecum’s three-day November auction in Las Vegas 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 white 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster with tan leather seats and 31,000 miles was a no sale bid up to $150,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 5% of the 577 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, November 15th:

  • 1981 silver Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with blue seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$9,000 hammer price.
  • 1984 silver Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with black seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with Bosch fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$5,000
  • 1989 green Jaguar XJ-S convertible with a black top, saddle leather seats, an HE 262 bhp 5.3 liter/326 ci V12 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 18,000 miles—$13,000
  • 1985 bluish green Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with a tan convertible top and a hard top, tan seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1981 black Chevrolet Camaro custom (paint, exhaust, wheels/tires) coupe with black seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and a four-speed manual—$10,000
  • 1989 red Ford Mustang GT convertible with a white top, red cloth seats, a 220 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 9,100 miles—$13,000
  • 1982 black Chevrolet K20 Silverado custom (engine, suspension, paint, interior) pickup truck with a blue cloth split bench seat, a 7.4 liter/454 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$18,500
  • 1989 white Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z hatchback coupe with gray custom cloth seats, a 230 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1988 maroon Toyota Celica ST coupe with red cloth seats, a 2S-ELC 2.0 liter/119 ci inline four with fuel injection, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—$6,250 for this generation of Celica rarely seen at auction.
1988 Toyota Celica ST, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1980 black Chevrolet Corvette coupe with black leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1982 lime green Chevrolet C10 custom (engine, suspension, paint) pickup truck with a black vinyl bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$6,000
  • 1989 red Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with tan leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 89,000 miles—$3,000
  • 1987 silver Chevrolet Corvette custom (exterior, interior) hatchback coupe with black leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,000

Friday, December 16th:

  • 1989 maroon Chrysler TC by Maserati convertible with a hard top, tan leather seats, a Turbo II 160 bhp 2.2 liter/134 ci inline four with turbocharger and fuel injection, an automatic, and 9,700 miles—$8,500
  • 1989 red Lotus Esprit Turbo SE coupe with tan leather seats, a 264 bhp 2.2 liter/134 ci inline four with turbocharger and fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$27,000
1989 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1986 white Spartan II coupe with a gray leather seats, a VG30 160 bhp 3.0 liter/181 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic transmission—$21,000 for this “neo-classic” based on a Datsun/Nissan 300ZX chassis.
  • 1989 blue Porsche 928 S4 hatchback coupe with tan leather seats, a 320 bhp 5.0 liter/302 ci V8 with Bosch fuel injection, an automatic, and 61,000 miles—$19,000
  • 1986 silver/maroon Chevrolet C30 custom (suspension, exterior, interior) pickup truck with maroon cloth seats, a Cummins 12V diesel inline six, and an automatic—$16,000
  • 1981 red Toyota Land Cruiser SUV with gray vinyl seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—at $45,000, 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 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe custom (just about everything) with a tan interior, an LS2 6.0 liter/364 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$14,000
  • 1981 brown Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo coupe with camel tan seats, a 200 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a turbocharger and a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,000

Saturday, November 17th:

  • 1989 black Land Rover Defender 90 custom (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
  • 1986 black Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with red leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 63,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1982 red Porsche 911 SC Targa coupe with tan leather seats, a 180 bhp 3.0 liter/183 ci flat six with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$35,500
1982 Porsche 911 SC Targa, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1980 white Chevrolet Corvette Duntov Turbo convertible with red velour seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a turbocharger, an automatic, and 15,000 miles—$28,000 for this rare car.
  • 1980 gray Chevrolet Corvette custom (just about everything) coupe with blue leather seats, a 535 bhp V8 with a Paxton supercharger and Edelbrock fuel injection, and an automatic—$17,000
  • 1983 black/silver two-tone Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Hurst/Olds 15th Anniversary coupe with maple red seats, a 180 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester 4MV Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic attached to that famous lightning rod shifter, and 37,000 miles—$16,000

Among eighties vehicles, Chevrolets dominated this auction, with 42% of the sold lots from that decade. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota also had notable representation. What do you think of these results?

1988 Cadillac Eldorado coupe

“… a bold styling statement.”

For 1988, Cadillac’s Eldorado gained a new 4.5 liter V8, along with a power dome hood, a revised grille, a reshaped rear window treatment, and an extended trunk. Length increased by three inches, and the 1988 Eldorado looked a little bit more like the Eldo people had grown to expect.

The Eldorado’s powertrain was Cadillac’s 155 bhp HT series 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration improved notably—the Eldorado’s 0-60 mph time was now under 10 seconds for the first time since the early 1970s. Fuel economy was 17 city/24 highway by the standards of the day (15/22 by today’s standards). With an 18.8-gallon fuel tank, an Eldorado owner could expect a range of between 315 and 345 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

So, what did those buyers get with their $24,891 (about $52,600 in today’s dollars or about what a loaded 2019 ATS coupe goes for) 1988 Eldorado? Standard exterior and mechanical equipment included front wheel drive, a four-wheel independent suspension, power-assisted rack and pinion steering, power four-wheel disc brakes, and 205/70R14 tires (a size still readily available) on 14-inch aluminum wheels. Inside, six-way front power seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with tilt and telescope adjustment, cruise control, power side mirrors, power windows, power door locks, electronic climate control, Twilight Sentinel, and an AM/FM stereo radio with power antenna were all included—the Eldorado was pretty well equipped.

Moving up to the Biarritz (almost always the top if the line Eldorado since 1956) added wire wheels, two-tone paint, nicer front seats with power lumbar support and power recliners, and real walnut trim on the instrument panel, console, and door trim plates.

Options included anti-lock brakes, touring suspension with 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, Astroroof, a nicely integrated cellular phone, and Delco/Bose Symphony Sound System.

Eldorado page from 1988 Cadillac brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures pages.

The exterior redesign and the new engine definitely assisted sales—they were nearly double what they had been in 1987, though still not close to the salad days of 1985 and prior.

According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1988 Eldorado in #1/Concours condition is $9,800, with a far more typical #3/Good car going for a mere $3,500. Eldorados of this age come up for sale often in Hemmings Motor News, so folks are saving them. As I write this in November 2018, three 1988 Eldorados are for sale, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $11,900.

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?

Eighties Vehicles at the 2018 Mecum Dallas

Mecum’s four-day October auction in Dallas 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 red 1988 Porsche 930 Turbo Cabriolet with black leather seats was a no sale bid up to $77,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 9% of the 714 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Wednesday, October 3rd:

  • 1984 black Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance coupe with black leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$12,500 hammer price.
  • 1984 black/silver two-tone Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Hurst/Olds 15th Anniversary coupe with maple red seats, a 180 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester 4MV Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic attached to that famous lightning rod shifter, and 11,000 miles. At $25,000, 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.
  • 1983 black Chevrolet El Camino mild custom pickup truck with gray cloth seats, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1989 blue Cadillac Brougham sedan with blue tufted leather seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 68,000 miles—$5,000
1989 Cadillac Brougham, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1981 blue Chevrolet Corvette coupe with silver leather seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1989 red Subaru Samber fire truck with a gray bench seat, an unknown two-cylinder engine, and a three-speed manual—$4,750
  • 1989 white Toyota TownAce pickup truck with a gray interior and an unknown diesel—$6,750
  • 1985 medium blue/dark blue two-tone GMC Suburban mild custom SUV with a blue interior, an unknown V8, and an automatic—$13,500
  • 1984 white GMC 3500 Olympic Edition crew cab pickup truck with a blue/white checked cloth bench seat, a 7.4 liter/454 ci V8, and an automatic—$5,750
  • 1988 black Ford Mustang ASC/McLaren convertible with red leather seats, a 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 80,000 miles—$12,250
  • 1984 white Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible with a white top, white tufted leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 85,000 miles—$6,500
  • 1987 black/red two-tone Chevrolet Silverado custom (paint, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a black cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$9,000
  • 1983 black/tan Zimmer Golden Spirit coupe with a black/tan interior, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$9,500 for this Mustang-based “neo-classic.”

Thursday, October 4th:

  • 1982 red Ford Mustang GT custom (engine, wheels/tires) hatchback coupe with red vinyl seats, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 49,000 miles—$4,000
  • 1987 red Ford Mustang GT custom (engine, wheels/tires) hatchback coupe with a gray interior, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, a manual transmission, and 21,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1986 silver beige/black two-tone Chevrolet Corvette Malcolm Konner hatchback coupe with graphite leather seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, a Doug Nash 4+3 transmission, and 41,000 miles—$12,500 for 1 of 50 cars built in honor of what was once the highest selling Corvette dealer.
1986 Chevrolet Corvette Malcolm Konner, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1984 red Chevrolet C10 pickup truck with a red cloth bench seat, an LE9 160 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$14,500
  • 1989 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (KITT replica) hatchback coupe with a black interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$27,000
  • 1982 silver beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 53,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1980 copper/tan two-tone Chevrolet K5 Blazer SUV with patterned tan/white cloth seats, a 170 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$13,500
  • 1984 red Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible with white tufted leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 75,000 miles—$8,000
  • 1989 blue Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer Edition SUV with tan cloth seats, a Windsor 185 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 99,000 miles—$12,500
  • 1987 red Chevrolet pickup truck with a red interior, an unknown V8, and an automatic—$8,000
  • 1981 charcoal/silver two-tone Chevrolet Corvette custom (reversed two-tone) coupe with silver leather seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 41,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1980 red Chevrolet Corvette custom (engine) coupe with red leather seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 50,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1987 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 245 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, and an automatic—$31,000
  • 1982 black Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck with black seats, a 112 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with Carter BBD two-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$26,500
  • 1985 magnolia Rolls-Royce Corniche II convertible with navy blue leather seats, a 220 bhp 6.75 liter/412 ci V8 with Bosch fuel injection, and an automatic—$28,000
  • 1986 black Buick Regal custom (engine, wheels) coupe with gray cloth seats, a 7.4 liter/455 ci V8, and an automatic—$13,000
  • 1985 blue/silver two-tone Chevrolet C10 Silverado pickup truck with a blue cloth bench seat, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic, and 31,000 miles—$20,000
  • 1987 black Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe with a burgundy cloth interior, a 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 16,000 miles—$20,000
  • 1981 gray Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with both tops, blue leather seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci fuel injected V8, and an automatic—$10,500
  • 1987 blue/silver two-tone Chevrolet Blazer SUV with a blue interior, an unknown V8, and an automatic—$18,500
  • 1988 white Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Edition hatchback coupe with white leather seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 72,000 miles—$9,500
  • 1983 white Chevrolet Blazer custom (engine, interior) SUV with red seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$10,500
  • 1982 silver beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, and an automatic—$10,500

Friday, October 5th:

1981 Pontiac Firebird Turbo Trans Am Pace Car, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 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 16,000 miles—$15,500
  • 1980 white Chevrolet Corvette coupe with black leather seats, an L48 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 27,000 miles—$12,000
  • 1980 white Chevrolet Corvette Duntov Turbo convertible with red seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a turbocharger, an automatic, and 15,000 miles—$10,000 for this rare car.
  • 1984 blue/silver two-tone Chevrolet Silverado K1500 custom (engine) pickup truck with blue cloth seats, a 7.4 liter/454 ci V8, and an automatic—$19,000
  • 1987 silver Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS coupe with a black cloth interior, a 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$19,000
  • 1982 silver beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, and an automatic—$13,000. You had your pick of 82 CE’s at this auction.
  • 1984 black Chevrolet C10 custom (engine, interior, wheels/tires) pickup truck with black seats, a 6.3 liter/383 ci V8, and an automatic—$25,500
  • 1984 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 200 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 26,000 miles—$28,000
  • 1984 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 200 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, an automatic, and 55,000 miles—$23,000
  • 1988 signal red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with palomino leather seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 45,000 miles—$30,000
  • 1989 black/gray two-tone GMC Jimmy SUV with gray cloth seats, a 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$14,000
  • 1980 black Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe with red cloth seats, an LM1 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$29,000 for this handsome car.
  • 1980 black Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe with a gray interior, an LM1 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1981 red Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler very custom (powertrain, suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a black interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$41,000
  • 1988 black Land Rover Defender 110 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—$58,000
  • 1988 gray Land Rover Defender 110 SUV with black seats, a 134 bhp 3.5 liter/216 ci V8 with two Solex 175 CDSE carburetors, and a five-speed manual—$47,000
  • 1982 tan Chevrolet Custom Deluxe stepside pickup truck with a tan bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and a four-speed manual—$19,000
  • 1980 white Toyota FJ43 Land Cruiser SUV with gray seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a five-speed manual —$50,000

Saturday, October 6th:

  • 1987 guards red Porsche 930 coupe with black leather seats, a 282 bhp 3.3 liter/201 ci flat six with turbocharger and fuel injection, a four-speed manual, and 26,000 miles—$77,500 for this Porsche in a classic eighties color combination.
1987 Porsche 930, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1988 dark blue Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer Edition SUV with tan cloth seats, a Windsor 185 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1981 blue Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler custom (engine) pickup truck with blue seats, a 5.0 liter/304 ci V8, and an automatic—$39,000
  • 1987 red Chevrolet K5 Blazer SUV with red cloth seats, a 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$20,000
  • 1981 white Toyota FJ43 Land Cruiser SUV with gray seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a five-speed manual —$27,500
  • 1982 anthracite gray Porsche 930 slantnose coupe with gray leather seats, a 296 bhp 3.3 liter/202 ci flat six with turbocharger and fuel injection, a four-speed manual, and 26,000 miles—at $85,000, the highest eighties vehicle sale of this auction.
  • 1987 gray Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 4-4-2 coupe with gray cloth seats, a 170 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1985 olive Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser pickup truck with gray seats, an inline six, a four-speed manual, and 71,000 miles—$49,000
  • 1985 beige Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser SUV with tan seats, an inline six, and a four-speed manual—$56,000

Among eighties vehicles, Chevrolets, Fords, and Toyota Land Cruisers were heavily represented in this auction—combining for 56% of the sold lots from that decade. What do you think of these results?