Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2022 Mecum Indy

Mecum’s annual Indy auction finished on May 21st. In the middle of last year, I gave up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at any particular auction—there’s often an endless sameness to them. So, I now only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction—and those that sold (a black 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet with 47,000 miles was a no-sale at $180,000). Here are ten that attracted my eye, described in a little more detail than usual.

1988 Buick Reatta, linked from Mecum’s website

[J185] 1988 Buick Reatta coupe. Bright Red with tan leather bucket seats. 3800 165 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 112,000 miles. $4,000 hammer price for this first-year Reatta—one of the more interesting domestic cars of the eighties. Why do I have no Reatta-specific blog entry?

1989 Cadillac Fleetwood interior, linked from Mecum’s website

[K17] 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood Coupe. White with a white formal cabriolet top and red Dual-Comfort split front leather seats. HT 155 bhp 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 59,000 miles. $12,000 for this big front-wheel-drive Cadillac that someone kind of saved.

1982 AMC Spirit, linked from Mecum’s website

[K142] 1982 AMC Spirit DL Liftback. Olympic White with brown Deluxe Grain vinyl reclining front bucket seats. 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor, a three-speed automatic, and 16,000 miles. You see a reasonable number of Eagles of the same era at auction, but not many Spirits. $17,000

1980 Lincoln Versailles, linked from Mecum’s website

[L69] 1980 Lincoln Versailles sedan. Medium Turquoise Metallic with a coach vinyl roof and turquoise leather Twin Comfort Lounge front seats. Windsor 132 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, a three-speed automatic, and 9,900 miles. $20,000 for this final-year example of Lincoln’s putative Cadillac Seville competitor.

1989 Dodge D250, linked from Mecum’s website

[L112] 1989 Dodge D250 pickup truck. Platinum Silver Metallic/Exotic Red two-tone with an unidentified red interior (the base interior included a vinyl bench seat). LA 145 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with fuel injection, a three-speed automatic, and 49,000 miles. $14,500 for an eighties pickup truck that isn’t a Chevy or a Ford.

1983 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, linked from Mecum’s website

[G172] 1983 Chevrolet Caprice Classic sedan. Dark Blue Metallic with a dark blue cloth 50/50 split front bench seat. LG4 150 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci v8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed automatic, and 74,000 miles. $8,000 for this rather clean looking (no vinyl roof!) Caprice.

1984 Subaru BRAT, linked from Mecum’s website

[W68] 1984 Subaru BRAT GL pickup truck. Lightning Silver with a stripe and vinyl and cloth front bucket seats (and, of course, those rear-facing vinyl seats in the bed). EA-81 73 bhp 1.8 liter/109 ci flat four with a carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 101,000 miles. $30,000 indicates that at least two bidders didn’t find the mileage that discouraging.

1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, linked from Mecum’s website

[F89] 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 convertible. Red with a black convertible top and black/gray cloth front bucket seats. LB6 125 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with fuel injection, a three-speed automatic, and 12,000 miles. $19,000 for this loaded J-car lacking only a five-speed manual.

1987 Ford Escort GT, linked from Mecum’s website

[F200] 1987 Ford Escort GT hatchback coupe. Medium Red Metallic with medium gray cloth front bucket seats. H.O. 115 bhp 1.9 liter/113 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and unstated mileage. $6,000 buys what has to be one of the nicest 1987 Escort GT examples that remain.

1988 Lamborghini Countach, linked from Mecum’s website

[S213] 1988 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole coupe. Black with black leather bucket seats. 420 bhp 5.2 liter/316 ci V12 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 10,000 miles. $545,000 is almost #1/Concours money, according to Hagerty’s Valuation Tools. Remember when you could buy a really nice LP5000 for under $100,000?

Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach

Barrett-Jackson‘s Palm Beach auction recently completed. In the middle of 2021, I gave up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at any particular auction—there’s often an endless sameness to them. So, I now only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction. Below are five sold at Palm Beach that attracted my eye, described and discussed with a little more detail than usual.

1989 Mazda RX7, linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[Lot 47] 1989 Mazda RX7 convertible. Noble White with a black convertible top and blue leather front bucket seats. 13B 160 bhp 1.3 liter/80 ci two-rotor engine with a five-speed manual. $15,000 hammer price for this second generation RX7 with undeclared mileage—which makes me assume it’s high. The eternal question; what are the new owner’s intentions for this car?

1982 Checker Marathon, linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[82] 1982 Checker Marathon sedan. White with a red vinyl front bench seat. LC3 110 bhp 3.8 liter/229 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor, a three-speed automatic transmission, and 374 miles. $19,000 is evidently what it currently costs for a brand new Checker. The funny thing is that a typical movie shoot would want a Checker that is a little more beat up and that is yellow.

1980 International Scout, linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[134] 1980 International Harvester Scout II SUV. Copper with a russet plaid front bench seat. IH 148 bhp 5.7 liter/346 ci V8 with a carburetor, a three-speed automatic, and 16,000 miles. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, the $25,000 paid for this final year Scout was between #4/Fair and #3/Good money. The Scout factory in Fort Wayne, Indiana closed on October 31, 1980.

1983 BMW 320i, linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[317] 1983 BMW 320i coupe. Bronzit Beige Metallic with beige front bucket seats. M10B18 101 bhp 1.8 liter/108 ci inline four with fuel injection and a three-speed automatic. You see a lot of eighties 6-series coupes up for auction, along with various examples from the M specialty line. You typically do not see many eighties base 3-series cars. $7,500

1987 Buick Regal, linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[342.1] 1987 Buick Regal Limited coupe with T Package. Dark Gray with a dark gray vinyl top and a gray split bench seat. LC2 245 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and a turbocharger, a four-speed automatic, and 33,000 miles. $50,000 for the most civilian-looking of Buick’s three different performance versions of the Regal for 1987.

What did you think of this year’s Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach?

Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2022 Mecum Glendale

Mecum’s annual Glendale auction completed last Saturday. In the middle of 2021, I gave up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at any particular auction—there’s often an endless sameness to them. So, I now only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction—and those that sold (a red 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi coupe with 13,000 miles was a no-sale at $225,000). Here are five that attracted my eye, described in a little more detail than usual.

1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria, linked from Mecum’s website

[Lot W111] 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria sedan. Oxford White with Luxury rear half vinyl roof and a midnight blue cloth reclining split bench front seat. Windsor 150 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 35,000 miles. $9,000 hammer price for a car that once seemed everywhere and has now essentially disappeared.

1989 Mercury Colony Park, linked from Mecum’s website

[W138] 1989 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. Medium Almond with woodgrain with light sandalwood cloth front seats—I can’t tell if this wagon is a GS or an LS, but I do know that I’ve now written about two Panther platform cars in a row. Windsor 150 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection and a four-speed automatic. $13,500–I wrote about the 1984 LS last year.

1989 Toyota Corolla GT-S, linked from Mecum’s website

[W289] 1989 Toyota Corolla GT-S coupe. Super Red (that’s the actual color name) with gray cloth front bucket seats. 4A-GE 115 bhp 1.6 liter/97 ci inline four with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 27,000 miles. $16,000 for the highest performance Corolla available in 1989—and one that stood out from the better-selling front-wheel-drive examples.

1985 Lamborghini Jalpa, linked from Mecum’s website

[T276] 1985 Lamborghini Jalpa P350 GTS coupe. Bianco Polo Park (white) with red leather bucket seats. 250 bhp 3.5 liter/213 ci V8 with four two-barrel carburetors and a five-speed manual. This “entry-level” Lamborghini sold for $90,000 despite having the engine size listed in the docket as 3.0 liters. This Jalpa’s base price when new was about $65,000 and they are rare cars—Lamborghini built a total of 410 over eight years.

1985 Excalibur Series IV, linked from Mecum’s website

[F34.1] 1982 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton. Tan (the actual paint color was not stated) with a light brown convertible top and tan leather seats. 155 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci Chevrolet V8 (perhaps an LG4?) with a four-barrel carburetor, a three-speed automatic, and 11,000 miles. $32,000 for the most respected (the AACA judges them) of the neo-classics.

Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

Barrett-Jackson‘s signature Scottdale auction recently completed. In the middle of 2021, I gave up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at any particular auction—there’s often an endless sameness to them. So, I now only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction. Below are eight out of the 1,800 or so sold at Scottsdale that attracted my eye, described and discussed with a little more detail than usual.

1983 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta,
image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[Lot 113] 1983 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe. White with removable glass roof panels and gray Custom cloth front bucket seats. LG4 150 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a five-speed manual, and 12,000 miles. The five-speed is unusual in a V8-equipped Berlinetta, but is correct. I have often stated that you don’t see many Berlinettas at auction. After this particular sale, you may see a few more—if many nice ones remain out there. $25,000 hammer price

1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota,
image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[125] 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota pickup truck. Bright White with a red vinyl bench seat featuring Shelby charcoal cloth inserts. LA 175 bhp 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection paired with a four-speed automatic—and that V8 is crammed in the engine compartment. $17,500 bought this moderately fast but slightly nondescript one-year-only Shelby (I think I prefer the Exotic Red version) with un-stated mileage.

Interior of 1985 Chrysler LeBaron,
image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[151] 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country convertible. White Crystal with elm/teak woodgrain trim, a white convertible top, and light/medium tan leather front bucket seats. Turbo I 146 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection and a turbocharger mated to a three-speed automatic. I always liked the seats in the Mark Cross package that was optional for these convertibles—and this example has them. $12,000

1985 Isuzu Impulse, image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[305] 1985 Isuzu Impulse hatchback coupe. Light Topaz Metallic with tan cloth front bucket seats—I’d prefer Claret Red or Slash Black, but the color is correct and certainly of its age. G200Z 90 bhp 1.9 liter/119 ci inline four with throttle-body fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 22,000 miles. With its Giorgetto Giugiaro “Ace of Clubs” styling, the Impulse can be thought of as the nicest Chevette ever made—it shared the same global T-platform. An eternal and obvious question: if you’ve been looking for an Impulse, where will you find another one? $8,500

1981 AMC Concord DL,
image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[314] 1981 AMC Concord DL station wagon. Cameo Tan with woodgrain side panels with beige Deluxe Grain vinyl front individual reclining seats. 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor paired with a three-speed automatic. You see the related and concurrent four-wheel-drive Eagles with some degree of regularity, but a Concord is rare, rare, rare. At $8,000, what are the buyer’s intentions for this car?

1985 Cadillac Seville Commemorative Edition,
image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[315] 1985 Cadillac Seville Commemorative Edition sedan. Cotillion White with a vinyl top delete and white Dual Comfort tufted leather 50/45 front seats. HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 42,000 miles. Commemorative Editions were available in either Cotillion White (like this example) or Commodore Blue, and they all came loaded. 1985 was the final year for the polarizing second-generation Seville—the following generation would merely be bland. $20,000

1985 Toyota Celica GT-S,
image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[385] 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S convertible. White with a black Cambria cloth convertible top and gray cloth front bucket seats. 22R-E 116 bhp 2.4 liter/144 ci inline four with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 4,500 miles. 1985 was the final year for the rear-wheel-drive Celicas. I believe I miss every Celica generation—Toyota was a different company in those days. $25,000

1987 Ferrari 328 GTS, image linked from Barrett-Jackson’s website

[1007] 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS coupe. Rosso Corsa with tan leather bucket seats—this is the clichéd color combination, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look good. Tipo F105CB 260 bhp 3.2 liter/195 ci V8 with fuel injection and four valves per cylinder paired with a five-speed manual. Hagerty believes that a rising Ferrari tide is lifting all boats of eighties and newer cars. That evidently includes this 328 that is about 2,000 miles post-restoration. $150,000

What did you think of this year’s Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale?

Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2022 Mecum Kissimmee

Mecum’s huge Kissimmee auction recently completed. In the middle of 2021, I gave up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at any particular auction—there’s often an endless sameness to them. So, I now only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction—and those that sold (a black 1982 Mercedes-Benz SL race car was a no-sale at $200,000). Here are ten that attracted my eye, described in a little more detail than usual.

1983 Lincoln Mark VI Bill Blass Edition, linked from Mecum’s website

[Lot E140] 1983 Lincoln Mark VI Bill Blass Edition coupe. Light French Vanilla/Midnight Black two-tone with black cambria carriage roof and leather/cloth french vanilla Twin Comfort Lounge front seats. Windsor 130 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 16,000 miles. A $22,500 hammer price shows that even these remarkably unsuccessful cars now have a following.

1985 Dodge Shelby Charger interior, linked from Mecum’s website

[E142] 1985 Dodge Shelby Charger hatchback coupe. Santa Fe Blue Metallic with silver stripe with blue/silver cloth front bucket seats. Turbo I 146 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection and a turbocharger paired with a five-speed manual, with the turbo being in its first year for the Shelby Charger. With unstated mileage, this good-looking example went for $12,000—I likely should write a blog post soon about these interesting cars.

1989 Buick Regal, linked from Mecum’s website

[E222] 1989 Buick Regal Custom coupe. Sparkling Black Metallic with red notchback cloth front bench seat. LH0 140 bhp 3.1 liter/191 ci V6 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 54,000 miles. Sometimes the first few days of Mecum Kissimmee look like a used car sale, but I do wonder how many 1989 Regals remain in this kind of shape—and how many will likely be saved. At $4,000, the eternal question—what are the new owner’s intentions for this car?

1985 AMC Eagle, linked from Mecum’s website

[J51] 1985 AMC Eagle station wagon. Autumn Brown Metallic (I believe) with honey Highland Check individual front seats. 115 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor, a three-speed automatic, and 67,000 miles. Someone paid $9,000 for a well-preserved later example of this segment-creating wagon.

1988 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, linked from Mecum’s website

[J235] 1988 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Copper Beige with a dark brown full cabriolet roof top and tan Dual Comfort leather front seats. 155 bhp 4.5 liter/274 ci V8 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 29,000 miles. You see far more eighties Eldorados and Allantes at auction than Coupe de Villes. $8,000

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300 CD, linked from Mecum’s website

[J286] 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300 CD coupe. Signal Red with blue leather front bucket seats. OM617 3.0 liter/183 ci diesel inline five with fuel injection and a four-speed automatic. Coupes are the least seen of the three W123 models Mercedes sold in the United States—though I saw a 1985 version at a local supermarket a few years ago. $6,000

1985 Pontiac Parisienne, linked from Mecum’s website

[K146.1] 1985 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham sedan. Black with a black vinyl top and a tan velour 55/45 split front seat. LG4 165 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed automatic, and 5,900 miles. $26,000 bought a nice example of Pontiac’s badge-engineered version (dig those taillights!) of Chevrolet’s Caprice Classic.

1980 Pontiac Firebird Esprit Yellow Bird, linked from Mecum’s website

[L116] 1980 Pontiac Firebird Esprit Yellow Bird coupe. Yellow Bird Yellow (natch!) over yellow accent with camel tan Hobnail Cloth front bucket seats. LD5 115 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor paired with a three-speed automatic. Trans Ams are all over the place at most auctions, but Esprits are now rarely seen—and this final “color bird” is even rarer. $15,000

1985 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe, courtesy of Mecum

[G115] 1985 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe. Bordeaux Red with sandlewood leather front bucket seats. HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with throttle-body fuel injection mated to a four-speed automatic. Eighties Eldorados aren’t uncommon at auction, but Eldorado Touring Coupes sure are—and Bordeaux Red is a stunning (and rare) color. $18,000

1985 Ford Thunderbird, linked from Mecum’s website

[W144.1] 1985 Ford Thunderbird coupe. Black with Oxford Gray cloth front bucket seats. Windsor 140 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 6,200 miles. You sometimes see both Turbo Coupes of this generation and the later Super Coupes for sale, but you don’t see many of these base coupes anymore—especially with such low miles. $16,000

End of the Year Review: 2021

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2021 was another positive year for Eighties Cars. Though I had a major medical issue in the spring that involved surgery and meant no posts for four months, we still managed 16 new or substantially revised blog entries—one every 23 days on the average. Posts counts were divided into nine featuring a specific car, three covering auctions, and four miscellaneous posts.

Just one marque made its first appearance in a specific post in 2021, and that was Bentley. 2021 was by far the best year for page views since I started the blog—we were up a frankly astounding 144% over 2020.

Every year, I look at the end of the year results for the blog’s most viewed posts. For 2021, it once again looked like the key to an individual post’s popularity was often in the rarity of the other coverage available for that particular vehicle. It also didn’t hurt to be a Buick, a Chevrolet, or a Mercury. This year, there was one more obvious pattern—fully half of the top ten posts were for vehicles that had not previously been present in the top ten. In reverse order, we’ll discuss the top ten most viewed posts of this year.

10) 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic coupe—this elderly (April 2014) but evergreen post is about the last of the big Caprice coupes. For the eight years Eighties Cars has been around, it’s the fifth most viewed post overall, but it slid down four spots in 2021. Chevrolet sold a mere 3,110 coupes in the 1987 model year.

9) 1985 Buick Somerset Regal coupe—this post has been picked up by other websites a few times, including a couple of years ago by Jalopnik. Hilariously, I don’t think I would have ever gotten around to writing about the Somerset Regal if I hadn’t seen one on the streets of Philadelphia back in 2014. Sharply down from its #1 spot in 2020, but still the second most popular entry all-time.

8) 1987 Mercury Lynx XR3 hatchback coupe—this post dropped from #2 in 2020 and is now the fourth most popular all-time. Mercury is, of course, an orphan make, but this blog entry has been viewed almost five times more than my write-up on the related 1981 Ford Escort hatchback coupe.

7) 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport coupeRally Sports are given short shrift by most late second-generation Camaros followers, with the Z28 getting far more attention. Despite this, Hagerty does track them—seeing them as worth $17,600 in #1/Concours condition and $10,600 in #3/Good condition with the best available LG4 V8. Up from #10 in 2020.

6) 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7 coupe—the first new entry for this year is another Mercury and another car that Hagerty does not track (though they do track eighties Thunderbirds).

5) 1989 Buick Electra Park Avenue Ultra sedan—another new entry, the Ultra replaces two other Buicks that were in last year’s top 10.

4) 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible—the most expensive Eldorado since the early 1960s was the only post written this year that made the 2021 top ten. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, values are sliding up—a 1984 Eldorado convertible in #1/Concours condition is $34,400, with a far more normal #3/Good condition version going for $9,500.

3) 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe—the Berlinetta is rarely written about, with almost all the attention to eighties Camaros going to the Z28 and the IROC-Z. Nevertheless, Hagerty tracks these cars, currently at $19,900 in #1/Concours condition, $12,000 in #3/Good condition for the version with the optional V8. This post held at #3 in 2021 and remains the all-time most popular entry.

2) 1985 Chevrolet C20 Suburban Silverado SUV—this is the first eighties SUV to make any year’s top 10. According to Hagerty, all the money for a 1985 C20 Suburban Silverado in #1/Concours condition is $28,600, with a more typical #3/Good condition example going for $13,400.

1) 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe—a new entry in the yearly top ten and the new top dog, this post is already #3 all-time. It kind of makes sense—Cutlass Supremes were hugely popular in their day. Popularity evidently does not equal collectability, as Hagerty has yet to track eighties Cutlass Supreme values.

Five posts that did not make it into the top ten in 2021, after doing so in 2020 were those on the 1987 Buick LeSabre T Type coupe, the 1980 Buick Riviera S Type coupe, the 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity sedan, the 1980 Pontiac Grand Am coupe, and the 1980 Pontiac Sunbird Sport Hatch. The best performing Chrysler product post was on the 1980 Plymouth Horizon hatchback coupe (17th), while the best performing foreign car was the 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet (14th). The highest-ranking Japanese car post was on the 1986 Honda Accord sedan (37th).

A post on the rise in the final quarter of 2021 was written about the 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe. Finally, eight vehicles cleared the all-time 1,000 Views count in 2021: 1980 Plymouth Horizon hatchback sedan, 1989 Buick Electra Park Avenue Ultra sedan, 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport coupe, 1985 Chevrolet C20 Suburban Silverado SUV, 1987 Buick LeSabre T Type coupe, 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity sedan, 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 coupe, and 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe. Once rare, exceeding 1,000 views is now common enough that I no longer write a post about it when it happens.

Thanks to all who viewed this blog in 2021!

My Eighties Car Departs

In the spring of 2021, I had a major medical issue that involved lower back surgery. Close followers of this blog might have noticed the paucity of posts between late January and late May.

When I returned home from not one but two hospitals, one of the first things that came to mind was what to do with my 1985 Chevrolet Corvette coupe. With its hard-riding Z51 sport suspension and challenging entry/exit, this car is not for someone who has had back surgery—and I don’t believe in keeping cars around that we don’t drive.

After thinking about it for a while, I decided to auction my Corvette on Bring a Trailer at no reserve—there was nothing that would want me to keep the car. I chose Bring a Trailer in part because I wanted to reach a wide audience: I figured that my 1985’s Light Blue Metallic color was a love it or hate it deal, and I wanted potential bidders to be able to self-sort.

I filled out the vehicle submission form, and the next step was to get the car photographed. Bring a Trailer‘s assigned professional came out in mid-July on what must have been the hottest day of the summer. He took many both accurate and complimentary photos of the car.

In late August, the auction began. Like most Bring a Trailer auctions, it ran for slightly over a week. I was eager not to misrepresent the car but equally interested in putting its best face forward. This desire meant that I spent a lot of time in the comments section.

The 1985 leaves

Three days after the auction ended, the winning buyer sent one of his employees out to pick up the car. He loaded the car onto an open trailer (very on-brand for the purchase venue) in the light rain. A few minutes later, he drove away, and my life with a 1985 Corvette ended.

I was sad to see the Corvette go, but not unhappy. My view is that the car owed us nothing—we enjoyed it for seventeen years and it was our ticket to many interesting experiences. I hope the new owner has as much fun with this C4 as we did.

Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2021 Mecum Orlando

I’ve given up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at any particular auction—there’s often an endless sameness to them. So, we’re going to only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction—and those that sold (a Venetian Blue Porsche 911 Cabriolet with a blue top and coupe with blue leather bucket seats was a no sale at $45,000). Here are ten at the 2021 Mecum Orlando that attracted my eye, described in more detail than usual.

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, linked from Mecum’s website

[Lot W67] 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. Medium Canyon Red with scarlet cloth front bucket seats. Lima 190 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with fuel injection and a turbocharger mated to a five-speed manual. $9,000 hammer price for this somewhat faded example of the expensively facelifted ninth-generation ‘bird.

1985 Ford Bronco II, linked from Mecum’s website

[W149] 1985 Ford Bronco II SUV. Light Regatta Blue/Wimbledon White two-tone with regatta blue cloth front bucket seats. Cologne 115 bhp 2.8 liter/170 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor paired with a five-speed manual. $15,000 is a lot for a Bronco II, but the rising Bronco tide seems to be lifting all boats.

1988 Mazda RX7, linked from Mecum’s website

[T81] 1988 Mazda RX7 convertible. Sunrise Red with a black top and gray cloth front bucket seats. 13B 146 bhp 1.3 liter/80 ci twin-rotor with fuel injection paired with a five-speed manual. Second-generation RX7’s are rare at auction—at least in the US. At $10,000, what would you do with this non-Turbo car with unstated mileage?

1986 Lincoln Town Car, linked from Mecum’s website

[T134] 1986 Lincoln Town Car Cartier Edition sedan. Crystal Clearcoat Metallic with a Dove Gray vinyl top and oxford gray leather seats with cloth inserts. Windsor 150 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, a four-speed automatic, and 22,000 miles. $16,500. I now like these cars—especially the special editions—much more than I did when they were new. In 1986, the Cartier Edition cost about 22% more than the base Town Car.

1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, linked from Mecum’s website

[F209] 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 coupe. Burgundy Metallic/Silver Metallic two-tone with maroon cloth front bucket seats. LG8 170 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor paired with a four-speed automatic. $12,500. The rear-wheel-drive Cutlass was fading away by 1987, with the Calais name already moved to the newer front-wheel-drive car. 1987 was the final year for the rear-wheel-drive 442, whose lineage stretched back to 1964.

1987 Ferrari 328 GTS, linked from Mecum’s website

[F228.1] 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS coupe. Rosso Corsa with tan leather bucket seats. F105B 260 bhp 3.2 liter/195 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, 51,000 miles, and a recent major service. $80,000 is slightly over #2/Excellent money for a 328 GTS, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.

1983 Jeep J10 Laredo, linked from Mecum’s website

[F261] 1983 Jeep J10 Laredo pickup truck. Olympic White with tan/brown cloth/vinyl front bucket seats. AMC 175 bhp 5.9 liter/360 ci V8 with a two-barrel carburetor and an automatic. $29,500 doesn’t come close to matching the J10 Honcho that sold at this year’s Mecum Indy—but it’s still good money.

1983 DeLorean DMC-12, linked from Mecum’s website

[S86] 1983 DeLorean DMC-12 hatchback coupe. Stainless Steel (of course) with gray leather bucket seats. PRV 130 bhp 2.8 liter/174 ci V6 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 22,000 miles. $50,000 is solid money for a DMC-12.

1987 Porsche 930 Turbo, linked from Mecum’s website

[S93] 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo coupe. Guards Red with champagne leather front bucket seats. 282 bhp 3.3 liter/201 ci flat six with fuel injection and a turbocharger, a four-speed manual, and 46,000 miles. $260,000 for this “factory custom” with many unusual touches created by the first iteration of Porsche’s Sonderwunsch (Special Wishes) program.

1984 Aston Martin Lagonda, linked from Mecum’s website

[S131] 1984 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2 sedan. Gold with creme leather front bucket seats. 200 bhp 5.3 liter/327 ci V8 with four two-barrel carburetors and a three-speed automatic. $100,000 for this car once owned by Mike Tyson. When I was a teenager, I loved the Lagonda’s exterior design. Now, it seems a little overwrought—and those at-the-time bleeding-edge interior electronics are not easy to keep functioning. Still, you won’t see yourself coming and going.

Interesting Eighties Vehicles at the 2021 Mecum Indy

I’ve given up trying to chronicle every eighties vehicle sold at auction—there’s an endless sameness to them. Mecum’s Indy auction in May was so large that it made this especially obvious. There were a profusion of Chevrolet/GMC pickup trucks (20 sold at Mecum Indy), Chevy/GMC SUVs, Camaros, Corvettes, Fox-body Mustangs, Mercedes SLs, and Pontiac Firebirds/Trans Ams. Beyond that, we also saw quite enough AM General SUVs, Buick Grand Nationals, Dodge pickup trucks/SUVs, Ford pickup trucks/SUVs, Jeep SUVs, Toyota SUVs, and random neo-classics.

So, we’re going to try something new here and only write about the cars and trucks that are less seen at auction—and those that sold (a Suffolk Red 1985 Aston Martin V8 Volante convertible with tan leather front bucket seats and 21,000 miles was a no sale at $120,000). Here are ten that attracted my eye, described in more detail than usual.

1986 Nissan 300ZX, linked from Mecum’s website

[Lot J59] 1986 Nissan 300ZX hatchback coupe. Hot Red (that’s the real color name) with t-tops and gray cloth front bucket seats. V3G30E 160 bhp 3.0 liter/181 ci V6 with fuel injection and an automatic. $12,000 hammer price for a generation of the Z cars that have yet to attract substantial collector interest.

1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC, linked from Mecum’s website

[K167] 1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC coupe. Medium Driftwood Clearcoat Metallic with a moonroof and sandlewood leather front bucket seats. Windsor 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 57,000 miles. There are folks collecting LSCs, but this one went for only $12,000. Did the color hold it back?

1987 BMW M6 coupe, linked from Mecum’s website

[G103] 1987 BMW M6 coupe. Cinnabar Red with tan leather front bucket seats. S38B35 256 bhp 3.5 liter/211 ci inline six with fuel injection and a five-speed manual. $50,000 for one of these gorgeous coupes—which doesn’t quite equal the original cost.

1980 Plymouth Volaré Road Runner, linked from Mecum’s website

[W150] 1980 Plymouth Volaré Road Runner coupe. Formal Black with a t-bar roof and cashmere vinyl front bucket seats. 90 bhp 3.7 liter/225 ci Slant Six with a one-barrel carburetor and a three-speed manual. $18,000 would seem to be all the money for the last of the Road Runners—at this point, a $586 package available for the Volaré. How much more would one with the 318 ci V8/TorqueFlite combination have fetched?

1985 Buick Riviera, linked from Mecum’s website

[T133] 1985 Buick Riviera coupe. Dark Blue Metallic with a blue heavily padded vinyl top, an AstroRoof, and tan prima cloth 45/45 front seats. LV2 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 70 miles. $37,000 for yet another car purchased and saved by a dealer.

Photo of 1982 Jeep J10 Honcho pickup truck
1982 Jeep J10 Honcho, linked from Mecum’s website

[F61] 1982 Jeep J10 Honcho pickup truck. Orange (special order color?) with correct graphics and grey/black cloth/vinyl bucket seats. 110 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a two-barrel carburetor and a five-speed manual. Restored and mostly stock except for the wheels and tires. $100,000 is bonkers for a Honcho—but the whole collector truck market is currently bonkers.

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, linked from Mecum’s website

[F179] 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. Oxford White with a moonroof and raven charcoal cloth front bucket seats. Lima 190 bhp 2.3 liter/140 ci inline four with a turbocharger and fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 45,000 miles. $20,000. These Thunderbirds felt like important cars in the eighties—is the market finally catching on?

1987 Ferrari 328 GTS, linked from Mecum’s website

[S154] 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS coupe. Rosso Corsa with tan leather bucket seats—the “correct” color combination according to many Ferrari fans. 260 bhp 3.2 liter/195 ci V8 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 33,000 miles. $82,000

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster, linked from Mecum’s website

[S175] 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster. Guards Red with cashmere leather front bucket seats. 217 bhp 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 299 miles. $275,000 is almost #1/Concours money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools—Speedster values have always been strong.

The Posts That Attract Interest, Part 6

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Last week, my post on the 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe went over 1,000 views. Ten other 1,000 view posts have preceded it, with the first being the 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta hatchback coupe (now at around 2,300 views) and the most recent being the 1987 Buick LeSabre T Type coupe. All but one of these posts has been on a General Motors product—the exception was the 1987 Mercury Lynx XR3 hatchback coupe.

I have various theories—and almost no actual data—about what makes a particular post more popular than most others on Eighties Cars. One belief is that the key to the popularity of many individual posts is generally the rarity of the other coverage available for that particular vehicle or variant thereof.

The “rarity of other coverage” theory definitely seems to apply to the fourth-generation Cutlass Supremes, with my post often showing up on the initial page of an 1981 Cutlass-related Google search. Among eighties Cutlass’s of any type, Hagerty only tracks values for the 1983 and 1984 Hurst and the 1985 to 1987 4-4-2. One other interesting thing about the Cutlass Supreme post’s success is that it’s come on recently—despite being written in 2015, 85% of its views have been in the last year.

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