1982 Ford EXP hatchback coupe

“Two-seat excitement in a world class coupe.”

Ford’s EXP two-seat coupe was new for the 1982 model year and introduced early in April 1981. Ford’s first two-seat car since the 1957 Thunderbird, the EXP was designed for a far different purpose. Built on the same platform as the Ford Escort/Mercury Lynx twins and closely related to the Mercury LN7, the EXP was marketed as a car for buyers who wanted an efficient and decently-equipped vehicle somewhat sportier than the Escort.

The design language of the EXP resembled that of the contemporary Fox-body Mustang. However, front-wheel-drive and a different platform made the proportions different, which some observers saw as ungainly. I remember thinking that it was different-looking, but not unattractive.

Ford’s new two-seater was a small car—a length of 170.3 inches makes the EXP more than half a foot shorter than the 2020 Honda Civic coupe. However, the EXP’s length was almost seven inches longer than an Escort hatchback coupe, while its height was over 2.5 inches shorter. Because Ford made the EXP fairly well-equipped, it’s weight was about 125 pounds greater than the spare base Escort.

The EXP’s standard powertrain was a CVH 70 bhp 1.6 liter/98 ci inline four with a Motorcraft 740 two-barrel carburetor paired with a four-speed manual. An automatic transmission was optional for $411. EPA fuel economy ratings with the manual were 29 city/46 highway by the standards of the day. With an 11.3-gallon gas tank, an EXP owner could expect a range of between 345 and 380 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

What the EXP wasn’t was anything approaching quick. Figures are hard to find, but the EXP’s 0-60 time was likely about 14.5 seconds. Late in the extended 1982 model year, an HO version of the same engine became available, with 80 bhp. It likely dropped the EXP’s 0-60 time by more than a second, but in this case, HO did not mean fast.

1982 Ford EXP brochure cover
1982 Ford EXP brochure cover

Standard equipment on the $7,387 EXP included front-wheel-drive, a four-wheel independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, power front disc/rear drum brakes, and P165/80R13 tires (a size now hard to find) on 13-inch wheels. Inside, a Sport steering wheel, reclining high-back bucket seats, a console, and an AM radio were included.

Exterior and mechanical options included tinted glass (initially $82 but standard later in the model year), a flip-up open air roof ($276), power steering ($190), and cast aluminum wheels ($232). Inside, options included an air conditioner ($611), fingertip speed control ($151), leather/vinyl reclining low back bucket seats ($138), and a few different stereo choices.

The optional TR Performance Suspension Package included special handling tuned suspension components (a thicker stabilizer bar, stiffer shocks, and stiffer springs) and P165/70R 365 Michelin TRX tires (still available!) on a choice of either TR Sport aluminum wheels ($405) or Sport steel wheels ($204).

First-year sales of the EXP were decent: 98,258 in a model year that extended from April 1981 through September 1982. Following 1982, sales dropped precipitously—only 19,697 for 1983, 23,016 for 1984, 26,462 for 1985, 30,978 for 1986, and 25,888 for the EXP’s final year in 1987.

I have not seen an EXP on the road in over a decade. EXPs rarely show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors—in fact, they seem to have virtually vanished.

Make mine Bright Red, please.

I have previously written about the 1981 Escort hatchback coupe and the 1987 Mercury Lynx XR3 hatchback coupe. Perhaps someday I shall write about the short-lived Mercury LN7.


1982 Renault Fuego hatchback coupe

A friend of mine mentioned recently that he once owned an early Renault Fuego Turbo. As good a reason as any to finally complete this blog post—one I’ve had “in the hopper” for years.

After some sales success in Europe, Renault’s Fuego hatchback coupe became available for sale in the United States in 1982. Based on the Renault 18 sedan and using its floorpan and drivetrain, the Fuego was a different approach to a sporty coupe from what most manufacturers offered in the early eighties. Designed by Michel Jardin, the Fuego’s exterior looked like nothing else on the market, though some saw faint echos of the Porsche 924 and 928.

Two versions of the Fuego were available on its debut in the USA: the base Fuego coupe and the line-leading Fuego Turbo. The coupe came with an 81 bhp 1.6 liter/101 ci inline four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection mated with a five-speed manual transmission. The Turbo featured an A5L 107 bhp 1.6 liter/96 ci inline four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection and a Garrett T3 turbocharger paired with the same five-speed transmission.

As one might expect, performance was notably different for the two models. With a 2,372-pound curb weight, owners of a new Fuego Turbo could expect a 0-60 time of little over 10 seconds. A base Fuego was about 3.5 seconds slower, putting it in the same category as other slow sporty coupes for 1982, such as Lima-powered Mustangs and Capris and Iron Duke-powered Camaros and Firebirds. Mileage ratings were impressive for either version—the Turbo registered 26 city/39 highway mileage rating by the standards of the day. With a 14.8-gallon fuel, a Fuego Turbo owner could expect a range of 390 to 435 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

1982 Renault Fuego advertisement
1982 Renault Fuego advertisement

Standard equipment for the $8,654 base Fuego included front-wheel-drive, rack-and-pinion steering, front disc/rear drum brakes, and P185/70R13 tires on 13-inch wheels.

Standard equipment on the $10,704 Fuego Turbo included power rack-and-pinion steering, 190/65 HR 365 (metric) Michelin TRX radial tires on 14.4-inch cast alloy wheels, air conditioning, and an AM/FM stereo. An electric sunroof was a $400 option.

Despite their success in Europe, Fuegos did not sell well in North America, which was Renault’s evident lot in life. Peak sales of 33,229 in 1982 declined every year going forward—by 1986, the Fuego’s last year in the US, they were a mere 4,152.

Those who did buy a Fuego reported that they were generally happy with their choice. A January 1983 Popular Mechanics Owner’s Report found that owners liked the handling and styling, but wanted more power.

According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 Renault Fuego in #1/Concours condition is $5,400, with a more typical #3/Good condition example going for $1,700. For unclear reasons, Hagerty only has values for the base version and not the Turbo. Fuegos rarely show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors—in fact, they seem to have basically vanished. There was an interesting write-up on the Fuego in OldMotors last year.

Make mine Silver Poly, please.

This post is another first—my first Renault. I should probably cover the Alliance I spent a portion of the early nineties in sometime soon …

1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck

One of the many Hallmark vehicle ornaments my loving wife has purchased for me over the years is a 1982 Jeep Scrambler—with a Christmas tree in the bed, of course. It’s part of their All-American Trucks collection.

“… America’s first small 4×4 pickup …”

1982 was the second year for Jeep’s CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck. For 1982, the Scrambler gained a substantially wider front and rear tread but otherwise was little changed from its debut year.

Based on the Jeep CJ-7 SUV, the Scrambler filled a requirement for a reasonably compact truck in the AMC’s Jeep line, as it was more than 16 inches shorter and almost a thousand pounds lighter than the smallest of Jeep’s J10 Pickup offerings. Its wheelbase was 9.5 inches longer than the CJ-7s, which brought a smoother ride. Of course, the Scrambler had that slightly over five-foot-long truck bed, which some found deficient compared to the more common six-foot bed.

The Scrambler’s standard powertrain continued to be an 86 bhp Iron Duke 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with a two-barrel carburetor paired with a four-speed manual. The Iron Duke was, of course, sourced from General Motors. One optional engine was available—a $145 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor. Either engine could be paired with a five-speed manual, which added $199 to the price and was newly available for 1982, while the inline six could also be mated with a $409 Torque-flite automatic. All Scramblers came with Quadra-Trac part-time four-wheel drive.

The performance of Jeep’s small truck wasn’t exactly sparkling—Car and Driver measured a 0-60 time of 17 seconds with the inline four and the four-speed manual. The inline six gave better—though not great—performance, with 0-60 times in the 12 to 14 second range depending on transmission. Fuel economy ratings for the standard powertrain were 23 city/28 highway by the standards of the day but a chastening 17/19 by today’s more realistic standards. With a 15-gallon gas tank, a Scrambler owner could reasonably expect a range of 245 to 265 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

The Scrambler’s base price was $7,588—about $28,800 in today’s dollars or slightly under what a base 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck costs. Standard exterior and mechanical equipment included dual outside rearview mirrors, a drop down tailgate, skid plates for the fuel tank and transfer case, front disc/rear drum brakes, and H78 x 15 Suburbanite XG tires on 15-inch wheels. Inside, linen grain vinyl bucket seats and a color-keyed vinyl mat were included.

Exterior and mechanical options included a polycarbonate top ($695), a soft vinyl top ($280), halogen fog lamps ($90), power brakes ($95), variable-ratio power steering ($229), a Heavy-Duty cooling system ($103), and a 20-gallon fuel tank. Inside, air conditioning ($650), a tilt steering wheel ($90), and an AM/FM stereo radio ($224) were available.

Sport packages page from the 1982 Jeep Scrambler brochure

Two Sport packages were available. The first, Sport SR ($799), included Scrambler hood lettering available in three different colors, a spare wheel lock, and high back forward pivoting bucket seats trimmed in denim-look vinyl. Goodyear Tracker P/G OWL L78 x 15 tires sat on 15 x 6 inch white styled steel wheels. Convenience Group was part of SR, featuring an 8-inch day/night mirror, an under hood light, and courtesy lights. Finally, the SR include Decor Group, which included rocker panel protection molding, sports steering wheel, front frame panel, and instrument panel overlay.

The second package, Sport SL ($1,999), included everything in the Sport SR package, with various replacements or additions, the most visible of which was a half-cab hardtop or soft-top. Outside, the SL added two-color Scrambler hood lettering, beltline and door inset pin stripes, and additional chrome trim. Mechanical changes in the SL included hood insulation and heavy duty shocks, while P235/75R15 Wrangler OWL tires were mated with 15 x 7 inch chrome plated styled steel wheels. Inside, the SL included Special high back forward pivoting vinyl bucket seats, Special console and trim panels, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, a clock, and a tachometer.

Scrambler sales for 1982 were … okay, with 7,759 produced, making it 12% of overall Jeep production in a down year for the marque where only Cherokee sales increased. The Scrambler did outsell the larger Jeep J10/J20 Pickup for the second straight model year—but that wouldn’t last.

Scramblers have a devoted fanbase, and their values reflect that. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 CJ-8 Scrambler Sport SL in #1/Concours condition is $33,500, with a more typical #3/Good condition example going for $16,400. Scramblers frequently show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. As I write this post, there’s an Olympic White 1981 Scrambler with brown bucket seats, the 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six, and a four-speed manual for sale on eBay, asking $22,900.

Make mine Deep Maroon Metallic, please.

This post is the first on Eighties Cars to be informed in some way by my recent acquisition of Flory’s American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989. Allpar and Hemmings also were valuable sources as I completed this blog entry. Astoundingly, this is the first Jeep I have covered in a specific post, though Jeeps frequently show up in auction coverage and I wrote about the 1980 Eagle early on. Can a Grand Wagoneer post be far behind?

1982 Porsche 924 Turbo hatchback coupe

“… one of the fastest production two-liter cars in the world.”

1982 was the final model year for both the Porsche 924 Turbo and the base 924. The 924 S would return in 1987 and 1988, but the 944 would take over as the entry-level Porsche from 1983 to 1986, with the 944 Turbo coming in 1986.

The 924 Turbo‘s engine was a 154 bhp 2.0 liter/121 ci inline four with a single turbocharger and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. 154 bhp isn’t that impressive almost forty years later, but in the early 1980s, it marked a significant upgrade from the base 924’s 110 bhp—enough to drop 0-60 times by about two seconds. Fuel economy ratings were 20 city/33 highway. With a 17.4-gallon gas tank, a 924 Turbo driver could expect a range of about 415 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

1982 Porsche 924/924 Turbo advertisement

The $21,500 924 Turbo was about $59,000 in today’s dollars or just about exactly what a 2020 718 Caymen costs. Standard exterior and mechanical equipment included tinted glass, a four-wheel independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, power four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, and 185/70VR15 tires (a size still available thanks to Pirelli and Vredestein) on 15-inch light alloy wheels. Inside, air conditioning, power windows, and an electric rear window defroster were included. Upholstery features included reclining bucket seats, full carpeting, and a leather-covered steering wheel.

Options for the 924 Turbo included headlamp washers, a limited slip differential, an electric rear window wiper, an alarm system, leather sport seats, a digital cassette radio, and a power antenna.

There is good club support for the Porsche 924, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 Porsche 924 Turbo in #1/Concours condition is an astounding $36,000, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $10,300. Porsche 924s frequently show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. However, when I checked in May 2020, there were no attractive 924 Turbo examples.

Make mine Diamond Silver Metallic, please. The 924 always looked good in silver.

Other eighties Porsches I have written about include the 1982 928 hatchback coupe, the 1986 944 Turbo hatchback coupe, the 1987 911 3.2 Carrera coupe, and the 1988 944 hatchback coupe.

1982 Pontiac Phoenix SJ coupe

In this post, we’re once again revisiting interesting versions of mass-market eighties vehicles that just about nobody bought. This one is a sporty version of Pontiac’s X platform entry and means I have now treated every GM marque’s X car entry at least once.

… for people who absolutely love to drive.

For the 1982 model year, the sporty SJ version of Pontiac’s Phoenix compact became its own model, instead of the trim option it had been for the previous two years. Aside from being a specific model, the biggest news was almost certainly that the 2.8 liter High Output V6 was standard for the SJ.

That new standard engine was the GM corporate LH7 135 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with a Rochester E2SE two-barrel carburetor. It was paired with either a standard four-speed manual or an optional three-speed automatic. With the manual, 0-60 came in about 9 seconds—respectable for 1982.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on all Phoenix coupes included body-color front and rear bumpers, front-wheel-drive, single rectangular halogen headlamps, rack-and-pinion steering, front disc/rear drum brakes, and 185/80R13 tires on 13-inch wheels with hubcaps. Inside, Pontiac included a full-width front seat, a Deluxe steering wheel, and a Delco-GM AM radio with dual front speakers.

The mid-range LJ coupe included custom wheel covers, additional acoustical insulation, a Luxury cushion steering wheel, and a full-width luxury notchback front seat with center armrest.

1982 SJ pages from the Pontiac Phoenix brochure
SJ pages from the 1982 Pontiac Phoenix brochure

For $8,723 (about $24,100 in today’s dollars), the top-of-the-line SJ coupe added two-tone paint and specific graphics, a front air dam, power brakes, power steering, a special suspension, and 205/70R13 tires (now essentially unavailable) on 13-inch cast-aluminum wheels. Inside, additional standard features for the SJ included gauges (rally cluster, clock, tachometer, and trip odometer), a Formula steering wheel, and bucket seats.

Exterior and mechanical options for the SJ coupe included a removable glass sunroof, tinted glass, and a rear deck spoiler. Inside, Custom air conditioning, an electric rear window defogger, power door locks, power windows, a six-way power driver’s seat, a tilt steering wheel, and a Delco-GM AM/FM stereo with a cassette stereo tape player were among the many options available.

Of course, the SJ designation had been around a long-time and not just for Pontiac. Duesenberg had used SJ in the early 1930s to describe the supercharged versions of their spectacular cars. By 1969, Pontiac had started (shamelessly—no surprise) using SJ for the top-of-the-line version of their Grand Prix coupe. The SJ designation for the top-of-the-line Grand Prix continued through the 1980 model year.

Despite Pontiac’s evident efforts to market the Phoenix SJ, it simply did not sell. With 994 produced, it was less than 6% of Phoenix coupe sales, with the vast majority going to the base version. Obviously, Pontiac has other things going on in 1982, including the introduction of a brand new Firebird and Trans Am. Front-wheel-drive Phoenixes of any sort are now almost completely vanished from the nation’s roads, and they rarely show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or eBay Motors.

Other X platform cars I have written about include the 1980 Chevrolet Citation hatchback sedan, the 1981 Chevrolet Citation X-11 hatchback coupe, the 1983 Buick Skylark T Type coupe, the 1984 Oldsmobile Omega sedan, and the 1985 Chevrolet Citation II hatchback sedan.

1982 Porsche 928 hatchback coupe

“the finest Porsche ever built”

1982 was the final model year for the first-generation Porsche 928, which would be replaced by the slightly more powerful Porsche 928 S for 1983. Despite the aerodynamic look of Wolfgang Möbius’ exterior design, the 928’s drag coefficient was a middling 0.41.

The standard powertrain remained the 228 bhp M28 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with Bosch L-Jetronic port fuel injection mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a Mercedes-Benz sourced three-speed automatic. To the eternal horror of many enthusiasts, the automatic was ordered about twice as often as the manual.

In a car that weighed 3,197 pounds with the manual transmission, 0-60 mph came in approximately 7 seconds, with a top speed of just over 140 mph. Fuel mileage was rated by the EPA at a class-competitive 16 mpg—with a 22.7-gallon gas tank, the proud new owner of a 928 could expect a range of about 325 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

1982 Porsche 928 advertisement

The 928 came well-equipped—a good thing considering it had a base price of $39,500 (about $109,400 in today’s dollars or a little more than a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrara 4 costs). Standard exterior equipment included halogen headlamps, a headlight washing system, and a rear window defogger with a rear wiper. Mechanical equipment included power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and P225/50VR16 tires (a size still readily available) on 16 x 7 inch wheels.

Inside, automatic cruise control, adjustable pedals, power windows, a central door locking system, and automatic full climate control were all standard. Bucket seats with a driver’s side power seat, a partial leather interior, a leather-covered steering wheel, a steering column that adjusted along with the instrumentation, and an AM/FM stereo radio with a cassette player and four speakers and a power antenna were also included.

Exterior and mechanical options included an electrical sliding roof, protective side moldings ($195), and pressure-cast alloy wheels ($795). Inside, options included a front passenger power seat, sports seats (either leatherette/cloth or leather), an alarm system ($300), and a Hi-Fi sound system with eight speakers.

There is excellent club support for the Porsche 928, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 Porsche 928 in #1/Concours condition is $48,300, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $18,500. Porsche 928s frequently show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. As I write this in April 2020, there’s a Medium Metallic Blue 1982 with dark blue leather seats, an automatic, and 36,000 miles available on Hemmings for $36,500.

Other eighties Porsches I have written about are the 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo hatchback coupe, the 1987 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera coupe, and the 1988 Porsche 944 hatchback coupe. Other sports cars from the 1982 model year that I have written about include the Chevrolet Corvette coupe and the Fiat X1/9 coupe.

1982 Fiat X1/9 coupe

“Nothing moves you like a Fiat Sportscar.”

1982 was the final model year that the X1/9 coupe that had debuted in 1974 was sold under the Fiat name—after that, it would be marketed under the Bertone name as Fiat withdrew from the United States. The X1/9 was small; at 156.3 inches in length, it was more than three inches shorter than today’s Fiat 124 Spider.

1982 Fiat X1/9 advertisement.

With its wedge shape, the X1/9 was part of a design trend in inexpensive sports coupes that included the Triumph TR7/TR8, the Pontiac Fiero, and the Toyota MR2.

The only powertrain available on the X1/9 continued to be a 75 bhp 3.5 liter/91 ci inline four with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection paired with a five-speed manual. An X1/9 owner could expect a 0-60 time of a little over 11 seconds in a coupe with a curb weight of 2,209 pounds.

Mileage wasn’t as good as you would think: rated at 26 city/37 highway by 1982 standards (20/26 by today’s calculation). With a 12.7-gallon gas tank, the driver of an X1/9 could expect a range of between 265 and 360 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard equipment on the $10,900 X1/9 (about $29,400 in today’s dollars or about what a 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth convertible goes for) included pop-up headlights, a removable targa roof, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and Pirelli Cinturato P3 P165/70R13 tires (a size still available thanks to Vredestein) on 13 x 5.5 inch wheels. Inside, bucket seats, a four-spoke padded steering wheel, a lockable glove box, and full instrumentation were included.

Options included metallic paint, tinted glass, air conditioning, and an AM/FM stereo radio.

The X1/9 has a following in both its Fiat and Bertone versions. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 X1/9 in #1/Concours condition is $19,800, with a more normal #3/Good car going for $6,300. X1/9s come up for sale every once in a while in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or on eBay Motors. As I write this in February 2019, there’s a 1979 Black Metallic X1/9 with tan/black vinyl seats and 83,000 miles available for $10,500.

1982: What Cars Are Collectible?

The question always arises: what cars are considered collectable? One way is to look at what Hagerty tracks with their valuation tools. For 1982 cars, the full list is below—I have added a few comments.

question mark graphic

Alfa Romeo; GTV-6 hatchback coupe, Spyder convertible

Alpine; A310 coupe

Aston Martin; Lagonda sedan, V8 coupe and convertible

Avanti; Avanti II coupe

Bentley; Corniche convertible, Mulsanne sedan

Bitter; SC coupe

BMW; 320i coupe

Bristol; 412 convertible

Buick; Regal coupe, Riviera coupe and convertible

Cadillac; Cimarron sedan, DeVille coupe and sedan, Eldorado coupe, Fleetwood coupe and sedan, Seville sedan (yes, Hagerty really tracks the Cimarron)

Checker; Marathon sedan

Chevrolet; C10/K10 pickup truck, C10/K10 Blazer SUV, C10/K10 Suburban SUV, C20/K20 pickup truck, C20/K20 Suburban SUV, C30/K30 pickup truck, Camaro hatchback coupe, Corvette coupe, El Camino pickup truck

Chrysler; Imperial coupe

Clenet; SII convertible. SIII coupe and convertible

Datsun; 280ZX hatchback coupe

Delorean; DMC-12 coupe

DeTomaso; Deauville sedan, Pantera coupe

Dodge; Ramcharger SUV

Duesenberg; LaGrande convertible

Excalibur; Series IV convertible

Ferrari; 308 GTBi/GTSi coupe, 400i coupe, 512 BB coupe, Mondial coupe

Fiat; X1/9 coupe

Ford; Bronco SUV, F-100 pickup truck, F-150 pickup truck, F-250 pickup truck, F-350 pickup truck, GT40 coupe and convertible, Mustang hatchback coupe, Thunderbird coupe

GMC; C1500/K1500 pickup truck, C2500/K2500 pickup truck, C3500/K3500 pickup truck, Caballero pickup truck

Jaguar; XJ-S coupe

Jeep; Cherokee SUV, CJ-5 SUV, CJ-7 SUV, CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck, Wagoneer SUV

Lamborghini; Countach coupe, Jalpa coupe

Lancia; Beta coupe, convertible, and station wagon, Gamma coupe and sedan

Lincoln; Continental sedan, Continental Mark VI coupe and sedan, Town Car sedan

Lotus; Esprit coupe

Maserati; Quattroporte III sedan

Matra; Murena coupe

Mazda; RX-7 hatchback coupe

Mercedes-Benz; 240D sedan, 300CD coupe, 300D sedan, 300SD sedan, 300TD station wagon, 380SEL sedan, 380SL convertible, 380SLC coupe

Morgan; 4/4 convertible, Plus 8 convertible

Panther; DeVille convertible and sedan, Kallista convertible

Peugeot; 504 convertible

Pontiac; Firebird hatchback coupe

Porsche; 911 coupe, 924 hatchback coupe, 928 hatchback coupe

Puma; GT coupe, GTC coupe and convertible

Renault; Fuego hatchback coupe

Rolls-Royce; Camargue coupe, Corniche I convertible, Phantom VI sedan, Silver Spirit sedan, Silver Spur sedan

Stutz; Bearcat convertible, Blackhawk coupe, IV-Porte sedan

Subaru: BRAT pickup truck

Toyota; Celica hatchback coupe, Land Cruiser SUV

TVR; 280i coupe and convertible

Hagerty casts a wide net, except when they don’t. Coupes are dominant—32% of 117 models listed with an additional 9% being hatchback coupes. Unsurprisingly, the rarest body style is a station wagon, at 2%.

1982 Cadillac Cimarron sedan

Hemmings Motor News published an extended discussion on the Cadillac Cimarron in their always interesting Hemmings Daily blog, so I figured I’d bring one of my first posts up to a more current location.

“A new kind of Cadillac for a new kind of Cadillac owner.”

Ah—the poor Cadillac Cimarron, rushed to market for CAFE and other reasons without much thought as to who would actually buy it. When released in 1982, it was just a nice as possible, relatively well equipped Chevrolet Cavalier.

Inside page from the 1982 Cadillac Cimarron brochure

The only engine available for 1982 was the 88 bhp L46 1.8 liter/112 ci inline four with Rochester Varajet II two-barrel carburetor. When paired with the standard four-speed manual transmission, mileage was an impressive 26 city/42 highway by the standards of the day (about 21/31 by modern standards), but the car was slow—0-60 mph took a little under 14 seconds. A three-speed automatic transmission was optional and likely even slower (estimates come to about 16 seconds). The 13.7-gallon fuel tank gave a range of between 330 and 420 miles with a 10% reserve.

The $12,181 base price (about $32,900 in today’s dollars—just a little under what a base 2018 Cadillac ATS sedan costs) included standard exterior and mechanical features such as power brakes, power steering, power mirrors, intermittent windshield wipers, and P195/70R13 tires on 13-inch aluminum wheels. Air conditioning, leather seating areas, a leather steering wheel, a tachometer, and an AM/FM stereo radio with four speakers were all standard in the interior.

Options included a sunroof ($261), cruise control (about $150), power door locks ($12—why bother making them an option?), power windows (yes, the base 1982 Cimarron came with roll-up windows—power windows were an extra $216), six-way power seats ($366), tilt steering wheel ($88), and an AM/FM stereo radio with cassette ($153). It wasn’t hard to load a Cimarron up to almost $13,500—real money in 1982 and about $36,400 in 2018 dollars.

In typical General Motors fashion, the Cimarron improved each year (sometimes significantly). However, the stench of that horribly failed initial release stayed with the car until Cadillac finally stopped selling them at the end of the 1988 model year. By that point, the Cimarron had upgraded from the fairly awful four-cylinder to a decent (and standard) V6 and had exterior styling that was at least somewhat more differentiated from Chevrolet’s.

So, the Cimarron remains a spectacularly easy target—routinely making those “worst ten cars of all time” lists and suchlike. I have yet to see a Cimarron at a serious classic car show, but I’m betting some intrepid soul will save one and bring it back.

Surprisingly, Hagerty does track the Cimarron with their valuation tools—according to them, all the money for a 1982 in #1/Concours condition is $6,100, with a far more typical #3/Good car going for $1,600. I can’t remember ever seeing one for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds—they’re treated by Cadillac folks like Ford folks treat the Mustang II from the 1970s. You do occasionally see them on eBay Motors.


1982 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham coupe

Barrett-Jackson’s second Northeast auction at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut in late June 2017 included a 1982 black Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham coupe with a tan interior, a 5.0 liter/307 ci V8, an automatic, and 12,000 miles. It sold for $10,000. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen an eighties Toronado up for auction, though the “sister” Buick Riviera and Cadillac Eldorado are often present. Time to write a blog entry, methinks.

“Nothing ordinary”

For 1982, Oldsmobile gave up on the (slightly) sportier XSC variant that they had offered for two years and made the Brougham the only available version of the Toronado. Changes included a new chrome/argent grille with more horizontal bars, a new memory seat option with two memory positions, a revised instrument panel, and a new optional radio.

The standard engine was the LC4 125 bhp 4.1 liter/252 ci V6 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor. Optional power included the LV2 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor at no additional charge and the (don’t do it!) LF9 105 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci diesel V8 ($825). A four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive was standard with all three engines. The Toronado was not light—curb weight was 3,705 pounds—so even with the more powerful V8, 0-60 mph took about 13 seconds. With the gasoline V8, mileage was rated at 16 city/27 highway by the standards of the day; with the 21.1-gallon fuel tank, Toronado owners could expect to travel about 400 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment included in $14,462 base price (about $38,000 in today’s dollars) included power disc brakes and P205/75R15 tires (still readily available) on 15 by 6-inch steel wheels. Inside, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, and divided cloth seats were standard. Options included Twilight Sentinel ($57), Tempmatic air conditioning ($50), power Astro Roof with sliding glass panel, and leather seats.

Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham page from the 1982 Oldsmobile full-line brochure

Oldsmobile sold 33,928 1982 Toronado Broughams, down from over 42,000 the previous year. In 1982, Buick sold 42,823 Riviera coupes along with another 1,246 convertibles while Cadillac sold 52,018 Eldorado coupes, so the Toronado was not holding up its end of the E-body platform bargain.

Third-generation Toronados from 1979 to 1985 have a following, though (a little strangely) models after 1980 are not rated in Hagerty’s valuation tools. These Toronados sometimes show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. When I wrote this blog entry in July 2017, Hemmings was listing a 1983 Toronado Brougham with a champagne exterior and red cloth seats for $9,900.

I like these big front-wheel-drive coupes, though I think the Toronado may have too closely resembled the Eldorado for its own good—something that had not been true in the 1960s. Make mine Medium Slate Firemist, please.