Eighties Vehicles at the 2020 Mecum Dallas

Mecum’s Dallas auction in October 2020 provided some interesting fodder for commentary. It’s important to remember that Mecum auctions are not “no reserve” auctions—a yellow 1982 Toyota FJ-45 Land Cruiser SUV with a black bench seat was a no-sale bid up to $42,500. I’ll concentrate on the at least reasonably stock 1980s vehicles that sold and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 7% of the 529 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, October 15th:

  • 1982 Silver Metallic Chevrolet Corvette coupe with silver gray leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 36,000 miles—$12,000 hammer price
  • 1985 silver Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a blue interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$7,500
  • 1980 red Jeep CJ-7 SUV with tan bucket seats, a 119 bhp 5.0 liter/304 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—at $18,000 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.
  • 1985 yellow Cadillac Eldorado coupe with a yellow vinyl top, tan leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$6,000
  • 1981 red/white two-tone Ford F150 Explorer pickup truck with a plaid cloth bench seat, a 120 bhp 4.9 liter/300 ci inline six with a carburetor, an automatic, and 51,000 miles—$20,000 for this truck with it’s original “big six.”
1981 Ford F150 Explorer, linked from Mecum’s website
  • 1986 red/white two-tone Dodge Ramcharger Royale SE SUV with red cloth seats, a 150 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,500
  • 1985 red Chevrolet K10 mild custom pickup truck with a red cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$38,000
  • 1987 Black Buick Regal Grand National coupe with black/silver cloth bucket seats, an LC2 235 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection, turbocharger, and intercooler, and an automatic—$27,500
  • 1989 black Ford F150 custom (engine, wheels/tires) pickup truck with gray cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 87,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1986 Dark Cordovan Chrysler LeBaron convertible with a tan top, cordovan vinyl bucket seats, an unknown inline four (could be a 2.2 liter or a 2.5 liter), an automatic, and 26,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1989 dark green/beige two-tone Chevrolet Blazer mild custom SUV with beige cloth bucket seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$11,500
  • 1989 white with woodgrain Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon with a dark sapphire blue 55/45 cloth seat, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 42,000 miles—$9,000

Friday, October 16th:

  • 1980 Carousel Red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with dark camel cloth bucket seats, a W72 150 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$23,000
  • 1986 Light Regatta Blue/Colonial White two-tone Ford F250 XLT mild custom pickup truck with a blue cloth bench seat, a Lima 7.5 liter/460 ci V8, and an automatic—$17,000
  • 1988 Black Ford Mustang convertible with a black top, medium gray cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 38,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1989 Medium Red Toyota SR5 custom (engine) pickup truck with gray cloth bucket seats, a 3.4 liter V6, and a five-speed manual—$14,500
  • 1987 black Chevrolet Silverado custom (exterior, suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a red interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, an automatic, and 87,000 miles—$30,000
  • 1982 yellow Chevrolet Corvette coupe with camel leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, and an automatic—$13,000
  • 1981 Red Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe with red vinyl bucket seats, an LM1 175 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 36,000 miles—$22,000
1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, linked from Mecum’s website
  • 1988 gray Dodge Ramcharger mild custom SUV with red cloth bucket seats, an LA 170 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 38,000 miles—$8,500
  • 1986 red Chevrolet K10 custom (engine, suspension, exterior, interior) pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat, a 427 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 27,000 miles—$40,000
  • 1984 Le Mans Blue Chevrolet K10 custom (engine, suspension, exterior, interior) pickup truck with blue cloth seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$25,000
  • 1981 orange Jeep CJ-5 custom (just about everything) SUV with black seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$15,000
  • 1981 black Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck with black bucket seats, a 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 47,000 miles—$24,000
  • 1984 Light Blue Metallic/Silver two-tone Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with blue cloth bench seat, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$24,000
  • 1986 Bright Red Chevrolet Corvette convertible with medium gray leather seats, an L98 235 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$18,000 is substantial money for a C4 Corvette convertible without a lot of provenance.
  • 1981 white/black two-tone Chevrolet Blazer SUV with blue cloth bucket seats, a V8, and an automatic—$22,000
  • 1986 red Dodge SLE pickup truck with a red cloth bench seat, a 5.8 liter/360 ci V8, and an automatic—$20,000
  • 1988 Medium Blue Metallic Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a black top, blue leather seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,500

Saturday, October 17th:

  • 1980 Black Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe with red cloth bucket seats, an LM1 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 37,000 miles—$22,000
  • 1985 black Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a burgundy cloth bench seat, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$13,500
  • 1984 red Chevrolet Silverado custom (body, engine) pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$28,000
  • 1987 amber/cream two-tone Chevrolet Silverado custom (paint, engine) pickup truck with a tan vinyl bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$29,000
  • 1985 orange/white two-tone Chevrolet Silverado custom (paint, engine) pickup truck with a chocolate vinyl bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$30,000
  • 1985 red with flames Chevrolet Silverado custom (just about everything) pickup truck with bucket seats, an LS V8, and an automatic—$40,000
  • 1984 gray/white two-tone Chevrolet Silverado custom (paint, engine, suspension) pickup truck with an olive green bench seat, an LS V8, and an automatic—$40,000
1984 Chevrolet Silverado custom, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1984 green/cream two-tone Chevrolet Silverado custom (paint, engine, suspension, interior) pickup truck with a tan bench seat, an LS V8, and an automatic—$43,000
  • 1988 red Chevrolet 2500 custom (paint, engine, suspension, interior) pickup truck with a red bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$24,000
  • 1980 black Land Rover Defender 110 custom (paint, engine, interior) SUV with black leather bucket seats, a V8, and an automatic—$85,000

This particular auction contained many Chevrolet trucks—most from the Hill’s Hot Rods Square Body Collection. This profusion of bowtie trucks meant that Chevrolets were 55% of the eighties vehicles sold. Other prevalent marques were Ford, Dodge, and Jeep. What do you think?

Eighties Vehicles at the 2020 Mecum Summer Special

Mecum’s “Summer Special” auction in Kissimmee provided some interesting fodder for commentary. It’s important to remember that Mecum auctions are not “no reserve” auctions—a red 1986 DeTomaso Pantara GT5-S coupe with black bucket seats and 7,300 miles was a no-sale bid up to $120,000. I’ll concentrate on the at least reasonably stock 1980s vehicles that sold and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 9% of the 461 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, August 27th:

  • 1989 Black Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z hatchback coupe with red leather bucket seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 58,000 miles—$14,000 hammer price
  • 1982 Silver Beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1984 Black Chevrolet El Camino custom (engine) pickup with the SS Choo Choo Customs package, a red cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1981 Beige Jeep Wrangler custom (engine) SUV with tan bucket seats, a 5.9 liter/360 ci V8, an automatic, and 86,000 miles—$11,500
  • 1987 Black Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 442 coupe with tan seats, a 170 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 77,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1987 red/white two-tone GMC 1500 custom (engine, suspension) pickup truck with a tan interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$18,000
  • 1988 white Chevrolet custom (body) pickup truck with a gray bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1982 Light Gray Buick Electra Limited sedan with a dark blue vinyl top, blue velour seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 8,000 miles—$9,500. Who saves these cars?
  • 1986 bronze/tan two-tone Dodge Ramcharger Royale SE SUV with tan bucket seats, a 150 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 71,000 miles—at $15,500, 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.
  • 1986 silver/gray two-tone Mercury Grand Marquis sedan with silver seats, a Windsor 150 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 19,000 miles—$9,750
  • 1981 Cotillion White Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham sedan with red Heather knit seats, the L62 6.0 liter/368 ci V8-6-4 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$4,500
  • 1987 white/blue two-tone Dodge Ramcharger SUV with blue bucket seats, a 145 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,500. Two Ramchargers on the same day?
  • 1987 Scarlet Red Ford Mustang convertible with a black top, medium gray bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 26,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1986 black with woodgrain AMC Eagle Limited station wagon with a tan interior, a 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six, an automatic, and 69,000 miles—$17,000
1986 AMC Eagle, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1987 yellow Jeep Wrangler custom (engine) SUV with black bucket seats, an unknown V8, an automatic, and a salvage title—$8,000
  • 1986 white Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with burgundy leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$12,000 for this unusual (for a Mercedes) color combination.
  • 1983 blue Jeep CJ-7 custom (paint, suspension, transmission) SUV with black bucket seats, an unknown engine, and an automatic—$12,000
  • 1989 Midnight Black Lincoln Town Car sedan with a midnight black carriage top, currant red 50/50 seats, a Windsor 150 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 4,000 miles—$24,000 is almost (but not quite) what a 1989 Town Car originally went for.
  • 1986 burgundy Chevrolet Corvette custom (just about everything) hatchback coupe with a saddle bucket seats, an unknown V8, a four-speed manual, and 4,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1989 Dark Blue Metallic Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a saddle top, saddle leather bucket seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1989 blue Cadillac Brougham limousine with blue cloth seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 27,000 miles—an ouch! at $1,750

Friday, August 28th:

  • 1982 Silver Beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 68,000 miles—$11,500
  • 1981 merlot Chevrolet custom (interior, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a gray bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$18,000
  • 1987 burgundy/white two-tone Dodge Ramcharger SUV with burgundy cloth bucket seats, a 145 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,000
  • 1985 brown/tan two-tone Chevrolet C10 Silverado pickup truck with a tan cloth bench seat, a 160 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 79,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1984 Silver/Black two-tone Nissan/Datsun 300ZX 50th Anniversary Edition hatchback coupe with black bucket seats, a VG30ET 200 bhp 3.0 liter/181 ci V6 with fuel injection and a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual, and 80,000 miles—$11,000
  • 1986 yellow Toyota pickup truck with tan cloth seats, a 22R-E 105 bhp 2.4 liter/144 ci inline four with fuel injection, an automatic, and 84,000 miles—$14,000
1986 Toyota pickup truck, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1987 Black/Silver two-tone Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 442 coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a 170 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 11,000 miles—$29,000
  • 1989 Scarlet Red Ford Mustang GT convertible with a white top, white leather bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 7,000 miles—$29,000
  • 1987 red Chevrolet Corvette custom (exterior, wheels/tires) convertible with a white top, black leather bucket seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 63,000 miles—$15,000
  • 1981 maroon Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe with tan cloth bucket seats, a 150 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 28,000 miles—$25,000
  • 1987 Scarlet Red Ford Mustang ASC/McLaren convertible with gray bucket seats, a 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$13,000
  • 1980 Blue Green Metallic Mercedes-Benz 450SL convertible with a black soft top, tan leather seats, a 160 bhp 4.5 liter/276 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$27,000
  • 1984 black/silver two-tone Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$28,000 for this truck, restored in reasonably stock fashion.
  • 1981 black Toyota SR5 Hilux pickup truck with tan cloth seats, a 22R 97 bhp 2.4 liter/144 ci inline four with a carburetor, and a five-speed manual—$20,000
  • 1984 white Johnson Phantom coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 190 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$11,000 for this Camaro-based “neo-classic.”
  • 1980 blue Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser SUV with gray seats, a 2F 4.2 liter inline six, and a five-speed manual—$34,000
  • 1989 blue Cadillac Brougham limousine with blue cloth seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 27,000 miles—a Thursday sale gets resold on Friday for $2,000, $250 more than a day before.

Saturday, August 29th:

  • 1984 Black Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with graphite leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 205 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, the Doug Nash 4+3, and 1,400 miles—$17,000. This amount is almost #1/Concours condition money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
  • 1985 orange Cadillac Fleetwood very custom (just about anything) coupe with orange vinyl seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$23,000
  • 1986 Guards Red Porsche 944 Turbo hatchback coupe with black leather bucket seats, a 220 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with fuel injection and a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$27,000
  • 1989 Bright Red Jeep Grand Wagoneer custom (engine) SUV with light tan bucket seats, a Hemi 707 bhp 6.2 liter V8 with fuel injection and a supercharger, an automatic, and 52,000 miles—$115,000
  • 1987 red BMW M6 coupe with white leather bucket seats, an S38 256 bhp 3.5 liter/211 ci inline six with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 53,000 miles—$59,000 made this handsome car the highest sale of a stock eighties vehicle at this auction.
1986 BMW M6, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1980 Bright Red Toyota FJ-45 Land Cruiser custom (just about everything) SUV with gray/tan bucket seats, a 2F 4.2 liter inline six, and a five-speed manual—$71,000

This particular auction contained the usual suspects (Chevy trucks, Corvettes, Mercedes SLs, Mustangs, Toyota FJs) but also some rarely seen cars—the AMC Eagle, Buick Electra, and Mercury Grand Marquis stood out to me. Of course, there were also those three Ramchargers. What do you think?

The Posts That Attract Interest, Part 5

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Last week, my post on the 1987 Mercury Lynx XR3 hatchback coupe went over 1,000 views. The four other 1,000 view posts that have preceded it are on the 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe, the 1985 Buick Somerset Regal coupe, the 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe, and the 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Sport Hatch.

I have various theories—and almost no real data—about what makes a particular post more popular than others on Eighties Cars. One belief is that the key to the popularity of an individual post is generally the rarity of the other coverage available for that particular vehicle or variant thereof. That theory works for the Sunbird Sport Hatch, the Berlinetta, and the Somerset Regal. It doesn’t work for the Caprice Classic—that’s discussed in another post.

The “rarity of other coverage” theory definitely seems to apply to this sportiest of Lynxes, with my post often showing up on the initial page of an XR3-related Google search (I probably would not have done as well with the more popular Ford Escort GT). Wikipedia’s coverage actually groups the Lynx in with the Escort.

There are two other interesting things about the XR3 post’s success. First, it’s the first 1,000 view post that isn’t about a General Motors product. Second, it’s gotten to this total rather quickly compared to the four other 1,000 view posts, all of which were created between March and May in 2014. In contrast, the XR3 post was published in July 2018.

As always, I am grateful for the views—and our readers.

Eighties … Colors?

For almost eighteen months, I’ve been working on an automotive book independent of Eighties Cars, with only 28% of this vehicle’s history occurring in the 1980s. One of the parts of the book that I’ve been working on recently is color charts of the exterior paints, which will likely be in an appendix.

One of the many ways to describe a particular color is the HSB color space—Hue, Saturation, and Brightness. Also named as HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Lightness), HSB is a different way of measuring the RGB color space. The key here is that it nicely separates hue from other color factors over 360 degrees, with the red in ROYGBIV starting at about 345 degrees. So, I’ve been using the Hue in HSB to build all the color charts once I get past the blacks, grays, silvers, and whites.

Sixth-generation Buick Riviera color chart
Draft sixth-generation Buick Riviera color chart

To dive a little further down the rabbit hole, HSB was initially conceived as a way to add color information to black-and-white television transmissions without changing the signal that the black-and-white sets were receiving. It has been around for quite a while—French engineer Georges Valensi invented it in 1938, pre-dating the first consumer color televisions by 16 years. Those first color televisions were astoundingly expensive—the Admiral C1617A’s $1,175 price (about $11,200 in 2020 dollars) gives a hint of why substantial color television adoption would take almost 15 years.

I recently completed the basics of a chart of the sixth-generation (1979 to 1985) Buick Riviera’s colors. Though I have not yet calibrated the color reproduction to my satisfaction, some eighties color trends are readily apparent. There’s a lot of brown and beige, with reds, greens, and blues also notably represented. Rivieras also featured three extra-cost Firemist paints each year (four in 1985).

The charts also show examples of the somewhat confounding color naming inconsistencies that prevailed throughout the Riviera’s life—and in many other cars. A color can keep the same marketing name (i.e., Red Firemist), but be a different painting formulation (changing from PPG 3437 to PPG 3532). Another color can alter its marketing name (Light Blue becomes Medium Blue) but remain the same paint formulation (PPG 3310).

Eighties Vehicles at the 2020 Mecum Indianapolis, Part Two

As usual, Mecum’s huge auction in Indianapolis provided much interesting fodder for commentary. I’ll concentrate on the at least fairly stock 1980s vehicles that sold (remember that Mecum auctions are not “no reserve” auctions—a Rossa Corsa 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi coupe with tan leather bucket seats and 8,400 miles was a no-sale bid up to $250,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 8% of the 1,191 vehicle lots sold in this auction—this post covers the final four days of automotive sales.

Wednesday, July 15th:

  • 1981 red Chevrolet Corvette coupe with an unknown interior, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$16,000 hammer price.
  • 1988 White Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Edition hatchback coupe with white leather bucket seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 43,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1987 silver Pontiac Firebird Formula hatchback coupe with a gray/black interior, an unknown 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1984 White Chevrolet Corvette custom (exterior, wheels/tires) hatchback coupe with a red interior, an L83 Cross-Fire 205 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 75,000 miles—$5,500
  • 1988 white Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with gray leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 79,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1988 black Ford Mustang Saleen hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$18,000
  • 1985 light brown Cadillac Eldorado coupe with a dark brown vinyl top, tan leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$6,000
  • 1980 Dark Claret Metallic Chevrolet Corvette coupe with claret leather bucket seats, an L48 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$13,500 for this good-looking ‘Vette.
Chevrolet Corvette coupe photo
1980 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1985 black Ford Bronco XLT custom (period-correct modifications) SUV with tan cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, and an automatic—$21,000
  • 1983 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (KITT replica, convertible) convertible with tan cloth bucket seats, a Cross-Fire 175 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 70,000 miles—$27,000
  • 1982 blue GMC custom (lift kit) pickup truck with a 5.7 liter/350 ci engine and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1986 blue Chevrolet C10 custom (body, paint, engine, suspension, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a 425 bhp 7.4 liter/454 ci V8 and an automatic—$18,000
  • 1984 blue/silver two-tone Chevrolet K20 custom (engine, suspension) with a blue cloth bench seat, a Vortec 6.0 liter V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$16,000
  • 1987 red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with black leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$16,000
  • 1984 brown Jeep Wrangler Renegade SUV with tan bucket seats, a 112 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor, and a five-speed manual—$20,000
  • 1989 White Pontiac 20th Anniversary Turbo Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with saddle leather bucket seats, a 250 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection, a turbocharger, and an intercooler, an automatic, and 9,400 miles—$27,500
  • 1980 Cameo White Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with oyster gray cloth bucket seats, an LU8 205 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and a turbocharger, an automatic, and 18,000 miles—$30,000
  • 1980 blue Chevrolet C10 pickup truck with a blue cloth bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, an automatic, and 20,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1987 black Buick Regal Grand National coupe with black/silver cloth bucket seats, an LC2 235 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection, turbocharger, and intercooler, an automatic, and 23,000 miles—$37,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 15th.
  • 1988 white Ford Mustang Saleen convertible with a white top, gray cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 cubic inch V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 14,000 miles—$20,000
  • 1985 red Chevrolet Camaro Z28 hatchback coupe with red cloth bucket seats, an unknown 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic, and 29,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1989 black Chevrolet custom (engine, suspension) pickup truck with a 468 ci V8 and an automatic—$14,000
  • 1981 red Chevrolet Corvette coupe with a red interior, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1981 green Chevrolet custom (exterior, engine, suspension) pickup truck with black interior, a 402 ci V8, and an automatic—$16,000

Thursday, July 16th:

  • 1989 Bright Red Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a black convertible top, black leather bucket seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$6,500
  • 1985 blue Chevrolet Corvette custom (paint, wheels/tires) hatchback coupe with gray leather bucket seats, an L98 230 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, the Doug Nash 4+3, and 83,000 miles—$6,000
  • 1985 Doeskin Tan Chevrolet C10 Silverado pickup truck with a saddle tan Custom cloth bench seat, an LE9 160 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic, and 11,000 miles—$26,000
  • 1983 white Jeep Scrambler very custom (just about everything) pickup truck with a Vortec 345 bhp 5.3 liter V8 and an automatic—$42,000
  • 1989 gray Nissan Skyline GT-R custom (engine, suspension) coupe with gray leather bucket seats, a 2.6 liter inline six with twin turbochargers, and a five-speed manual—$48,000
  • 1985 Midnight Black Chevrolet K5 Blazer Silverado SUV with slate gray cloth bucket seats, an LE9 160 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic, and 11,000 miles—$26,000
  • 1989 red Dodge Shelby Dakota pickup truck with red/silver cloth seats, a 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 5,900 miles—$27,500
  • 1980 Black/Gold Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with black cloth bucket seats, an LU8 205 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and a turbocharger, an automatic, and 10,000 miles—$60,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 16th. Remember when even the nicest late second-generation F-cars were inexpensive?
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe photo
1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1987 White Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a black convertible top, black leather bucket seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 56,000 miles—$7,500
  • 1986 silver Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe Richard Petty Edition with charcoal cloth bucket seats, an LG4 165 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,750
  • 1985 Midnight Black/Frost White two-tone Chevrolet K5 Blazer Silverado SUV with slate grey cloth bucket seats, an L05 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$30,000 for this loaded SUV.

Friday, July 17th:

  • 1981 white Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler pickup truck with tan bucket seats, a 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, and a manual transmission—$17,500
  • 1986 cream Zimmer Golden Spirit coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, and an automatic—$22,000
  • 1986 red Zimmer QuickSilver coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 140 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$12,500. Out of four (!) Zimmers at this year’s Mecum Indy, this was the only Fiero-based one.
  • 1981 red Dodge Colt/Plymouth Champ custom (wow!) sedan with red/black bucket seats, two 1.6 liter inline fours, and at least one functioning four-speed manual—$18,000
Dodge Colt/Plymouth Champ "double-header" custom photo
1982 Dodge Colt/Plymouth Champ “double-header” custom, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1981 Bright Red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with medium red bucket seats, an LG4 145 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 3,700 miles—$28,000
  • 1989 silver Toyota Supra Turbo hatchback coupe with gray leather bucket seats, a 7M-GTE 232 bhp 3.0 liter/180 ci inline six with fuel injection and a turbocharger, an automatic, and 39,000 miles—$16,000
  • 1987 burgundy Chevrolet C10 custom (just about everything) pickup truck with a black bench seat, a 6.2 liter V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$17,500
  • 1986 red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with cream leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1989 blue and white Ford Mustang SSP police car with blue bucket seats, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, and a five-speed manual—$22,000
  • 1982 stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 coupe with gray leather seats, a 130 bhp 2.8 liter/173 cubic inch V6 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 165 miles—$62,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 17th.
  • 1984 Red Pearl Rolls-Royce Silver Spur sedan with a saddle top, tan leather bucket seats, a 6.75 liter/412 ci V8, an automatic, and 36,000 miles—$8,500

Saturday, July 18th:

  • 1986 black Chevrolet C10 custom (body, wheels/tires) pickup truck with a black vinyl bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$15,000
  • 1986 white Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham sedan with red leather seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 79,000 miles—$9,000
  • 1986 Light Blue Metallic/Midnight Blue two-tone Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a blue Custom cloth bench seat, an unknown V8 engine, an automatic, and 16,000 miles—$18,000
  • 1985 dark red Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with tan bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$14,000
  • 1982 white/red/yellow March 82C racing car with a 3.3 liter V6 with fuel injection —$72,000
  • 1989 Rosso Corsa Ferrari Testarossa coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 380 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V12 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 105 miles—$210,000
  • 1984 Rosso Corso Ferrari 512 BBi coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 335 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci flat 12 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 8,000 miles—at $340,000, the highest eighties vehicle sale of July 18th and of this auction.
Ferrari 512 BBi coupe photo
1984 Ferrari 512 BBi coupe, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1988 Imperial Red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with tan leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 36,000 miles—$27,500

In this strangest of all Mecum Indy auctions, some things stayed the same. Cars from Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, and Mercedes-Benz dominated the eighties vehicle counts, with those four marques accounting for almost two-thirds of the total.

Eighties Vehicles at the 2020 Mecum Indianapolis, Part One

As usual, Mecum’s huge auction in Indianapolis provided much interesting fodder for commentary. I’ll concentrate on the at least fairly stock 1980s vehicles that sold (remember that Mecum auctions are not “no reserve” auctions—a Rossa Corsa 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi coupe with tan leather bucket seats and 8,400 miles was a no-sale bid up to $250,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 8% of the 1,191 vehicle lots sold in this auction—this post covers the first four days of automotive sales, and another will follow with the rest.

Friday, July 10th:

  • 1987 Silver Metallic Chevrolet Corvette convertible with graphite bucket seats, a black convertible top, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,000 hammer price
  • 1984 black Ford Mustang SVO hatchback coupe with charcoal cloth bucket seats, a Lima 175 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with turbocharger, intercooler, and fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$8,500
  • 1989 blue Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce convertible with a black top, tan leather bucket seats, a 115 bhp 2.0 liter/120 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 31,000 miles—$1,500 for this beat-up looking Alfa.
  • 1985 Medium Sand Beige Metallic Mercury Cougar coupe with a sand beige vinyl top, a sand beige interior, an Essex 120 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—$5,000 for this base (non-XR7) sixth-generation Cougar. How many are left?
  • 1980 Platinum Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with black vinyl bucket seats, a W72 150 bhp 4.9 liter/301 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$14,500
  • 1983 cream Zimmer Golden Spirit coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, an automatic, and 14,000 miles—$15,500 for this Mustang-based “neo-classic.”
  • 1981 Astral Silver Metallic Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 69,000 miles—$8,000
  • 1985 Anthracite Gray Metallic Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with gray bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 27,000 miles—$27,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 10th.
  • 1983 brown Zimmer Golden Spirit coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a Windsor 4.2 liter/255 ci V8, an automatic, and 8,000 miles—$17,000
  • 1984 blue Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with brown bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 70,000 miles—$18,000
  • 1985 red Toyota Celica convertible with a black convertible top, a gray interior, a 22R-E 112 bhp 2.4 liter/144 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 69,000 miles—$10,500
Toyota Celica
1985 Toyota Celica convertible, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1987 Doeskin Tan/Apple Red two-tone Chevrolet K5 Blazer Silverado SUV with tan cloth bucket seats, an L05 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and 64,000 miles—at $15,000 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.
  • 1983 maroon Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with tan cloth bucket seats, an unknown 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic, and 99,000 miles—$5,000
  • 1980 white Chevrolet El Camino custom (paint) pickup truck with maroon vinyl bucket seats, an LG4 155 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1984 Black Ford Mustang GT convertible with a black convertible top, canyon red bucket seats, an unknown Windsor 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, a five-speed manual transmission, and 87,000 miles—$7,000

Saturday, July 11th:

  • 1985 Apple Red Chevrolet K5 Blazer custom (engine) SUV with gray cloth bucket seats, a 7.4 liter/454 ci V8, and an automatic—$18,000
  • 1987 black/gold two-tone Dodge Ramcharger SUV with tan cloth bucket seats, an LA 143 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$15,000
  • 1985 charcoal Ford Bronco II SUV with red cloth bucket seats, a Cologne 115 bhp 2.8 liter/170 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$8,500
Ford Bronco II
1985 Ford Bronco II SUV, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1989 blue Ford Ranger custom (exterior, engine, wheels/tires) pickup truck with tan cloth bucket seats, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8, and a five-speed manual—$8,000
  • 1984 silver Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with gray bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$5,250. Bidders evidently saw a wide variety in the quality of SLs available at Mecum Indy.
  • 1988 red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic, and 38,000 miles—$9,500
  • 1985 Walnut Metallic/Polar White two-tone Ford Bronco SUV with tan cloth/vinyl bucket seats, a Windsor 210 bhp 5.8 liter/352 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$18,000
  • 1985 Apple Red/Frost White Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a burgundy cloth bench seat, an L05 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci v8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$44,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 11th.
  • 1989 Black Ford Mustang LX convertible with a tan convertible top, beige bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 32,000 miles—$14,000
  • 1989 Black Ford Mustang ASC/McLaren convertible with gray bucket seats, a 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$11,500
  • 1980 Red Chevrolet Corvette coupe with oyster leather bucket seats, an L82 230 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$10,000
  • 1989 gray/white two-tone Dodge Ram W250 very custom (just about everything) pickup truck with a gray cloth bench seat and a 5.9 liter Cummins diesel V8 with a turbocharger and an intercooler—$25,000
  • 1985 gunmetal Land Rover Defender custom (exterior, interior, wheels/tires) SUV with a 2.5 liter/152 ci diesel inline four and a five-speed manual—$23,000

Sunday, July 12th:

  • 1986 Black Ford Mustang SVO hatchback coupe with charcoal/gray leather bucket seats, a Lima 200 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with turbocharger, intercooler, and fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 31,000 miles—$12,500
Ford Mustang SVO interior photo
Ford Mustang SVO interior, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1985 Black Mercury Capri ASC/McLaren convertible with a tan convertible top, tan leather bucket seats, a 180 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 33,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1987 black Buick Regal Grand National coupe with black/silver cloth bucket seats, an LC2 235 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection, turbocharger, and intercooler, an automatic, and 74,000 miles—$22,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 12th.
  • 1980 yellow with flames Chevrolet C10 custom (paint, exterior, engine) pickup truck with a tan cloth bench seat, an unknown V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$13,500

Tuesday, July 14th:

  • 1982 White Buick Riviera convertible with a white convertible top, maple 45/45 leather seats, an unknown engine, and an automatic—$6,500
  • 1984 black GMC mild custom (suspension) pickup truck with maroon cloth bucket seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$15,000
  • 1985 white GMC S15 Jimmy mild custom (exterior, wheels/tires) SUV with gray cloth bucket seats, a 2.8 liter V6, and an automatic—$3,000
  • 1985 gray Dodge W150 pickup truck with gray bucket seats, an unknown engine, and an unknown manual transmission—$10,000
  • 1989 Oxford White Ford Mustang GT hatchback coupe with scarlet red cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 23,000 miles—$11,000
  • 1989 light blue/medium blue two-tone Dodge Dakota pickup truck with a blue cloth bench seat, an LA 3.9 liter/239 ci V6 with throttle-body fuel injection, an automatic, and 56,000 miles—$5,500
  • 1981 blue Cadillac Sedan DeVille with blue cloth seats, an L62 140 bhp 6.0 liter/368 ci V8-6-4, an automatic, and 25,000 miles—$9,500
  • 1984 red Chevrolet K10 mild custom (engine, suspension) pickup truck with a black interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$14,500
  • 1987 Lemon Yellow Porsche 944 hatchback coupe with black bucket seats, a 150 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 43,000 miles—$20,000 for the only eighties Porsche that actually sold at this auction. This is almost exactly #2/Excellent condition money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
Porsche 944 hatchback coupe photo
1987 Porsche 944 hatchback coupe, photo courtesy of Mecum
  • 1981 red Chevrolet Camaro custom (engine, wheels/tires) coupe with red bucket seats, a 383 ci V8, and a four-speed manual—$18,500
  • 1987 Light Brown Metallic Chevrolet Caprice Classic station wagon with beige cloth 50/50 seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 75,000 miles—$7,000
  • 1987 silver Monte Carlo SS custom (engine, suspension) coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$8,000
  • 1983 Rosso Corsa Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole coupe with tan leather bucket seats, a 230 bhp 2.9 liter/173 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 28,000 miles—$50,000 made this the highest eighties vehicles sale of July 14th.
  • 1982 Silver Beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather bucket seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 23,000 miles—$17,500

The Posts That Attract Interest, Part 4

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Earlier this week, my write-up on the 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Sport Hatch went over 1,000 views. This degree of interest is relatively rare for Eighties Cars—the three other posts that have preceded it to greater than 1,000 views are on the 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe, the 1985 Buick Somerset Regal coupe, and the 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe.

I have many theories—and almost no real data—about what makes a particular post more popular than others on Eighties Cars. One belief is that the key to the popularity of an individual post is generally the rarity of the other coverage available for that particular vehicle or variant thereof. That theory works for the Berlinetta (all of the attention is on the Z28 and IROC-Z versions of the eighties Camaro) and for the Somerset Regal—though most of the interest in that particular post is because of a Jalopnik Meh Car Monday write-up that referenced this site. It doesn’t work for the Caprice Classic, but that’s a discussion for another post.

The “rarity of other coverage” theory definitely seems to apply to these first-generation Pontiac Sunbirds, with my post often showing up on the initial page of a Sunbird-related Google search (I probably not have done as well with the more popular Chevrolet Monza). Autopolis did have an interesting article on all five years of the first-generation Sunbird several years ago. There’s always the Wikipedia article, which covers both Sunbird generations—I’ve also written about the second-generation cars.

As always, I am grateful for the views—and our readers.

A New Reference Arrives

American Light Trucks book cover
Cover of American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles

Eighties Cars has been somewhat weak when it comes to the trucks, vans, and SUVs of the decade. Sure, there have been a few posts, including a recent one about the 1985 Chevrolet Suburban, but there certainly isn’t a representative amount.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that I simply don’t feel as familiar with trucks and SUVs as I am with automobiles. Another is that references are sparer for trucks and SUVs than for cars—at least American ones.

That second reason was at least partially ameliorated today with the arrival of J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr.’s latest opus. American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989 is exactly what it says—every model of truck, van, and sport utility vehicle, year by year. It’s a weighty tome, running 1,461 pages. I sourced it from Powell’s Books, and it arrived quickly.

Kelly Flory is familiar to folks who use automobile references. I already have his three American Cars volumes—1946 to 1959, 1960 to 1972, and 1973 to 1980, which combine for 2,950 pages. These books give a different view of any particular car model by placing it within the context of the overall marque and the rest of the American automotive industry for each model year. American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles follows the same format.

For Eighties Cars, this new resource will mean two things. First, there will be more posts about trucks, vans, and SUVs. Second, I will revise previous truck and SUV posts where data was spare or imprecise.

Eighties Vehicles at Two Online Auctions in May 2020

The first completely online auctions from Barrett-Jackson and RM-Sotheby’s in May 2020 included a few vehicles from the 1980s—6% of the (85+193=278) lots offered between the two events. I’ll concentrate on the at least reasonably stock 1980s cars and trucks and add some of my opinions—I’ll leave the automobilia, boats, motorcycles, and tractors to others. Where I have covered the specific year and model of a car in this blog, I link to it.

Barrett-Jackson

  • 1984 Oxford White Ford Mustang GT350 convertible with a white top, canyon red cloth bucket seats, a Windsor 175 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with a Holley 4180 four-barrel carburetor, a five-speed manual, and 4,800 miles—did not meet reserve.
  • 1986 Victory Red Chevrolet C10 custom (engine, wheels/suspension, exterior, interior) pickup truck with a black bench seat, a Vortec 4.8 liter/293 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—did not meet reserve.
  • 1985 Guards Red Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with black leather bucket seats, a 207 bhp 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six with Bosch Motronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 9,900 miles—$45,000 hammer price. That price makes this the first vehicle in this auction review to meet my criteria for serious collectability of 1980s cars or trucks in stock condition: selling for equal to or above its original base list price. I’ll mark these vehicles in bold green.
  • 1984 Blue Gunmetal Dodge Daytona Turbo hatchback coupe with checkered cloth bucket seats, a Turbo I 142 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection and a turbocharger, a five-speed manual, and 5,200 miles—$18,500. Almost certainly the most unusual eighties vehicle at this auction—who saves these cars?
1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo
1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo, courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
  • 1985 Black Porsche 911 Carrera custom (cabriolet and slant nose conversions) with black bucket seats, a 207 bhp 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 35,000 miles—$30,500

RM-Sotheby’s

  • 1985 Midnight Blue Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with royal blue leather bucket seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$13,500 hammer price.
  • 1986 black Rolls-Royce Silver Spur limousine with gray leather seats, a 6.75 liter/412 ci V8, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—did not meet reserve.
  • 1988 Midnight Blue Metallic Porsche 928 S4 with marine blue leather bucket seats, a 320 bhp 5.0 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$16,500
  • 1981 Silver Metallic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am coupe with gray cloth bucket seats, a 145 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, an automatic transmission, and 10,000 miles—$21,000
  • 1985 camouflage AM General Humvee M998 SUV with tan bucket seats, a 6.2 liter diesel V8, and an automatic—$12,000
  • 1987 Signal Red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a black convertible top, black leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 36,000 miles—$33,000
  • 1980 Sky Blue Toyota FJ43 Land Cruiser SUV with gray vinyl bucket seats, a 2F 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six, and a five-speed manual—$26,000
  • 1989 Astral Silver Metallic Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a black convertible top, black leather bucket seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 31,000 miles—$42,000
  • 1989 Guards Red Porsche 911 Speedster convertible with a black top, black leather bucket seats, a 217 bhp 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 41 miles—$200,000
  • 1980 beige Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser custom (mechanical, exterior, interior) SUV with beige leather bucket seats and a five-speed manual—did not meet reserve.
  • 1981 Grigio Alfa-Romeo GTV6 2.5 hatchback coupe with tan bucket seats, a 154 bhp 2.5 liter/152 ci V6 with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 35,000 miles. This Alfa originally owned by Mario Andretti did not meet reserve.
  • 1985 Rosso Ferrari 288 GTO coupe with black leather bucket seats, a 394 bhp 2.9 liter/175 ci V8 with fuel injection and twin turbochargers, a five-speed manual, and 15,000 miles—$2,100,000
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, courtesy of RM-Sotheby’s
  • 1989 Grand Prix White Porsche 911 Carrera coupe with blue leather bucket seats, a 207 bhp 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six with Bosch Motronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 47,000 miles—did not meet reserve.

What do you think of these auction results?

The Posts That Attract Interest, Part 3

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Earlier this week, my write-up on the 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe went over 1,000 views. This level of interest is relatively rare on Eighties Cars—the two other posts that have proceeded it to greater than 1,000 views are on the 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe and the 1985 Buick Somerset Regal coupe.

I have many theories about what makes a particular post more popular than others, at least on Eighties Cars. One thought is that the key to the popularity of an individual post is generally the rarity of the other coverage available for that particular vehicle. That theory works for the Berlinetta (all of the attention is on the Z28 and IROC-Z versions of the eighties Camaro) and definitely for the Somerset Regal—though most of the interest in that particular post is probably because of a Jalopnik Meh Car Monday write-up that casually referenced this site.

However, the Caprice Classic coupe doesn’t quite fit into the category of the Berlinetta and the Somerset Regal—aside from being a General Motors product. B platform cars were and are well-respected; only a few years prior to 1987, the Caprice had been on Car and Driver‘s inaugural 10Best Cars list. They also have a current following, though many that remain are at least somewhat modified.

So, the short form is I’m not quite sure why this last of the Caprice coupes has garnered so much interest—but I am grateful for the views.