1980 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport coupe

At Barrett-Jackson’s 2018 Northeast auction, a bright blue metallic 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport coupe with black vinyl seats, a 3.8 liter/229 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 45,000 miles crossed the block. The hammer price was $4,700 for this honest, reasonably original car that no one ever tried to turn into something resembling a Z28. I find these non-top of the line cars interesting because they are rarely saved, leading to something like what we have with 1957 Chevrolets, where you’d think 90% of them were Bel Airs.

“It’s an escape from the ordinary.”

For 1980, Chevrolet featured four versions of the Camaro. The base model was the Sport Coupe, followed by the Rally Sport, the Berlinetta, and the Z28. This post is about the Rally Sport, which cost $5,916 (about $19,800 in today’s dollars) and got a few changes in the final year of this particular iteration. A new blacked out grille and a new three-tone striping package were visible, while inside sat a new standard V6.

Rally Sport and Sport Coupe pages from the 1980 Chevrolet Camaro brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures pages.

That new standard powertrain on the 1980 Rally Sport was the LC3 115 bhp 3.8 liter/229 ci V6 with a Rochester M2ME two-barrel carburetor paired with a three-speed manual. EPA fuel economy was 20 city/26 highway by the standards of the day—with a 20.9-gallon gas tank, a Camaro owner could expect to go 430 miles with a 10% fuel reserve. The trade-off was performance that belied the Camaro’s sporty looks: 0-60 in a little under 13 seconds with a top speed of 112 mph.

Optional powertrains included two V8s, both of which required power brakes ($81): the L39 120 bhp 4.4 liter/267 ci with a two-barrel carburetor ($180) and the LG4 155 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci with a four-barrel carburetor ($295). An automatic ($358) was available with all three engines, while a four-speed manual was only available with the larger of the two V8s. The LG4/four-speed combination yielded notably better performance than the base powertrain: 0-60 in about 10 seconds. It didn’t make mileage that much worse—16 city/24 highway by 1980 standards.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on all Rally Sports included High Energy ignition, power steering, front stabilizer bar, sport mirrors, rear spoiler, concealed windshield wipers, front disc/rear drum brakes, and 205/75R14 steel-belted radial ply tires (a size still available thanks to Hancook and Kumho) on 14-inch color-keyed Rally wheels. Inside, flow-through ventilation system, contoured full-foam vinyl bucket seats, a “centre” (as spelled in the brochure) floor console, and cut-pile colour-keyed carpeting were included.

Exterior and mechanical options included removable glass panels ($695) and 14 x 7 aluminum wheels ($337). Inside, air conditioning ($566), intermittent windshield wiper system ($41), electric rear window defogger ($107), automatic speed control ($112), power door locks ($93), power windows ($143), a Custom interior ($68), gauge package with tachometer ($120), Comfortilt steering wheel ($81), and an AM/FM stereo radio with stereo cassette tape ($272) were all available.

Though the Z28 wasn’t the most popular Camaro, the Rally Sport did not hold up its end of the bargain (likely why it was gone in 1981). The leading seller remained the entry-level Sport Coupe (46% of production), followed by the Z28 (30%), the Berlinetta (16%), and the Rally Sport (8%).

According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1980 Camaro Rally Sport with the LG4 V8, a four-speed, and T-tops in #1/Concours condition is an astounding $21,600, with a far more typical #3/Good car with same equipment going for $12,800. Values slide down substantially with the base equipment—a base V6 Rally Sport in #3 condition is only worth $7,600.

This generation of the Rally Sport maintains some presence in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors—as I write this in August 2018, there’s a beige/metallic brown 1979 with 78,000 miles for sale asking $29,000.

Make mine bright blue metallic, please.

1980 Plymouth Volaré station wagon

“Value were it counts.”

For 1980, Plymouth’s Volaré got a new grille but was otherwise little changed aside from a few new options. 1980 would be the Volaré’s last year—the Reliant would replace it in 1981.

The Volaré’s standard engine for 1980 continued to be Chrysler’s evergreen 3.7 liter/225 ci Slant Six with a Holley one-barrel carburetor, making 90 bhp and giving a 0-60 time of a little over 16 seconds. Optional power was (of course) the 5.2 liter/318 ci V8 with a Carter two-barrel carburetor, making 120 bhp and costing an additional $211. A three-speed manual was standard with the six, but a TorqueFlite automatic was required with the V8. Mileage with the three-speed manual and the six was (ooog) 16—with the 18-gallon fuel tank, a Volaré driver could expect a 260-mile range with a 10% fuel reserve.

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $5,422 Volaré station wagon (about $18,200 in today’s dollars) included power front disc/rear drum brakes, a torsion bar front suspension, and P195/75R14 glass-belted radial-ply tires. Inside, a heater, a defroster, a three-spoke steering wheel, an all-vinyl bench seat, and an AM radio were included.

Exterior and mechanical options included halogen headlamps ($37), a power liftgate ($24), a luggage rack ($91), a rear wiper/washer system ($64), and cast aluminum road wheels ($287). Inside, air conditioning ($543), automatic speed control ($106), electronic digital clock with a fluorescent display ($55), carpeting in the rear ($69), lockable storage bins ($24), and a range of stereos were available.

A Premier package ($831) added woodtone trim on the body sides, rear gate, instrument panel, and glove box door, along with a hood ornament, deluxe wheel covers, and 60/40 individually adjustable vinyl seats. You could also get (but few did) the $721 Sport Wagon package, which included fender flares, front air dam, tape stripes, black grille highlights, dual sport mirrors, Tuff three-spoke color-keyed steering wheel, and eight-spoke road wheels with trim rings. Finally, the Handling/Performance package ($385) included heavy-duty shocks, Firm-Feel power steering, and FR70x14 Aramid-belted radial tires.

Station wagon pages from the 1980 Plymouth Volare brochure, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures pages

Like almost every Chrysler product in 1980, sales of the Volaré station wagon were not good. At 16,895, they were well less than half of 1979’s total of 44,085. Sales would recover substantially with the release of the Reliant station wagon in 1981.

Plymouth Volarés and Dodge Aspens were once common on American roads, but have virtually disappeared by now. You do occasionally see them for sale in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors, but there are no Volaré station wagons out there as I write this in August 2018.

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.

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

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%.

1985 Chevrolet Citation II hatchback sedan

“One car that does it all.”

1985 was, mercifully, the last year for the Chevrolet Citation. It was also, in a sad General Motors tradition, the best Citation (the 1985 Citation had no recalls after the nine that the 1980 had). Half-heartedly renamed Citation II in 1984, the X-car would be replaced by the Nova in 1986. There were some changes: new colors were available, and the dashboard was revised, allowing the “normal” horizontal radios.

For 1985, the Citation II’s standard powertrain remained the LR8 “Iron Duke” 92 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with throttle-body fuel injection paired with a four-speed manual (the Citation never got a five-speed). With the standard powertrain, 0-60 came in a little under 12 seconds in the 2,500-pound car with a theoretical top speed of 101 mph. Mileage was competitive: 24 city/34 highway by the standards of the day (21/31 by today’s standards).

Powertrain options included two different 2.8 liter/173 ci V6’s (why?): the LE2 112 bhp version with a two-barrel carburetor ($260) and the LB6 130 bhp type with fuel injection ($435). A three-speed automatic was (of course) available ($425). The V6 in general, and especially the fuel injected version, made the Citation II substantially more spritely: 0-60 times of about 9 seconds and a top speed of about 118 mph. You paid a mileage price for that performance: 19 city/26 highway by the standards of the day (17/24 by today’s standards).

Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $7,090 Citation II hatchback sedan (about $17,000 in 2018 dollars—about what base Chevrolet Cruze sedan goes for) included halogen headlamps, rack-and-pinion steering, front disk/rear drum brakes, and P185/80R-13 radial tires (now a trailer size) on 13-inch by 5.5-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers. Inside, sliding door locks, a lockable glove box, a folding rear seat, and an AM/FM radio with two speakers were included.

Exterior and mechanical options included tinted glass ($110), two-tone paint ($176), power brakes ($100), power steering ($215), and the F41 sports suspension (acknowledged to be a bargain at $33). Inside, a quiet sound/rear decor package ($92), air conditioning ($730), cruise control ($175), comfortilt steering wheel ($110), an electric rear defogger ($140), and an electronic-tuning AM/FM stereo radio with cassette, clock and seek/scan ($319) were all available.

1985 Citation II brochure cover, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures pages.

The 1985 Citation II did not sell—overall sales in this last year fell to 8% of the first year sales. At an average Chevrolet dealership, you could expect it to be outsold by the Chevette, the Cavalier, the Camaro, the Celebrity, the Monte Carlo, and the Caprice Classic.

I haven’t seen a Citation in years—the last one was an X-11 in early 2014. They rarely show up in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds or eBay Motors. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one shown, though I’m not betting against that at some point.

Eighties Vehicles at the 2018 Mecum Harrisburg

Mecum’s August auction in Harrisburg provided some fodder for commentary. I’ll concentrate on the at least fairly stock 1980s cars (and a few trucks) that sold (remember that Mecum auctions are not no reserve auctions—a red 1981 Toyota BJ42 Land Cruiser SUV with black seats was a no sale bid up to $50,000) and add some of my opinions. Eighties vehicles were about 10% of the 694 vehicle lots sold in this auction.

Thursday, August 2nd:

  • 1986 silver Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe with gray cloth seats, an LG4 165 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$7,000 hammer price.
  • 1988 white Chevrolet Corvette hatchback coupe with red leather seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, the Doug Nash 4+3 transmission, and 52,000 miles—$7,750
  • 1989 red Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX hatchback coupe with gray seats, a Turbo IV 175 bhp 2.2 liter/135 ci inline four with fuel injection and turbocharger, a five-speed manual, and 73,000 miles—$6,500
1987 Dodge Shadow Shelby CSX, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1984 blue Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham coupe with blue cloth seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with Rochester four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 24,000 miles—$3,000 bought this attractive car
  • 1988 red/white two-tone Ford Bronco II XLT SUV with red cloth seats, a Cologne 140 bhp 2.9 liter/179 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$3,500
  • 1982 black Chevrolet El Camino custom (paint, wheels, seats) pickup truck with maroon seats, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$4,500
  • 1985 black Pontiac Fiero GT coupe with gray cloth seats, an L44 130 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 65,000 miles—$5,000
  • 1982 silver beige Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition hatchback coupe with silver beige leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, an automatic, and 69,000 miles—$12,500
  • 1981 white Chevrolet Corvette coupe with medium red leather seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—$15,000
  • 1985 white Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz coupe with blue tufted leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 38,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1980 red Chevrolet Corvette coupe with black seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$9,000
  • 1982 bright blue Chevrolet Corvette coupe with charcoal leather seats, an L83 Cross-Fire 200 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with throttle body fuel injection, and an automatic—$15,000
  • 1987 signal red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a hard top, palomino leather seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 57,000 miles—$23,500
  • 1988 bright red Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a white top, red leather seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci inch V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 8,300 miles—$6,700
  • 1987 midnight blue Chevrolet Scottsdale regular cab fleetside pickup truck with a charcoal deluxe cloth bench seat, an LB4 160 bhp 4.3 liter/262 ci V6 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1987 black GMC Sierra Classic regular cab fleetside pickup truck with a maroon interior, an L05 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—at $18,000, the first vehicle in this auction 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.
  • 1988 brown Dodge Ram 250 regular cab flatbed truck with a beige cloth bench seat, an unknown engine, and an automatic—$8,000
  • 1989 signal red Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible with a hard top, black leather seats, a 227 bhp 5.5 liter/338 ci V8 with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 88,000 miles—$8,000
  • 1988 black Ford Mustang ASC/McLaren convertible with a black top, red leather seats, a 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 80,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1987 flame red Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, an LB9 190 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 26,000 miles—$11,000
  • 1984 blue Porsche 928 S hatchback coupe with blue leather seats, a 288 bhp 4.7 liter/285 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1985 white Chevrolet C10 custom (engine, body, suspension, wheels) regular cab step side pickup truck with a maroon bench seat, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with a carburetor, and an automatic—$12,500
  • 1980 green Jeep CJ-5 custom (engine, suspension) SUV with black seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and a four-speed manual—$13,500
  • 1984 gray Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham coupe with tan cloth seats, a 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with Rochester four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 97,000 miles—$2,000. Eighties Toronados are showing up at auction, but they sure aren’t getting any money.
  • 1985 black Buick Regal T-Type coupe with gray cloth seats, a 200 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, and an automatic—$7,000
  • 1981 gray metallic Buick Riviera coupe with a gray interior, an unknown engine, an automatic, and 67,000 miles—$2,000
  • 1984 blue Chevrolet C10 Scottsdale regular cab fleetside pickup truck with a blue custom cloth bench seat, an unknown engine, an automatic, and 54,000 miles—$6,500
  • 1981 yellow Jeep CJ-5 custom (engine, body, paint) SUV with gray vinyl seats, a 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with Weber carburetor, a four-speed manual, and 120,000 miles—$7,500
  • 1989 blue/white two-tone GMC Suburban with blue cloth seats, a 210 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$14,000
  • 1985 bright blue metallic Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z hatchback coupe with gray cloth seats, a 215 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 107,000 miles—$3,500
  • 1981 red Pontiac Grand Prix custom (engine, transmission, body, interior, wheels) coupe with red cloth seats, a 6.6 liter/400 ci V8 with dual four-barrel carburetors, and an automatic—$3,500
  • 1987 black/gray two-tone Chevrolet K5 Blazer with a gray interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$20,000
  • 1983 burgundy Mercedes-Benz 240D sedan with brown seats, a 67 bhp 2.4 liter/147 ci inline diesel four, and an automatic—$5,000
  • 1983 silver BMW 633 CSi coupe with black seats, an M30B32 181 bhp 3.2 liter/196 ci inline six with Bosch Motronic fuel injection, and an automatic—an ouch! at $1,000

Friday, August 3rd:

  • 1981 purple Chevrolet Camaro custom (engine, paint, interior, wheels) coupe with blue cloth seats, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$8,500
  • 1980 white Chevrolet Corvette coupe with claret leather seats, an L82 230 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$12,000
  • 1981 blue Dodge Ram D150 regular cab step side pickup truck with a red cloth bench seat, a 3.7 liter/225 ci Slant-Six, a four-speed manual, and 18,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1987 black/silver metallic two-tone Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 4-4-2 coupe with gray cloth seats, a 170 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$16,500
  • 1985 white Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz coupe with red tufted leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$4,000 for this car with period external bling (Rolls-Royce grill, continental kit)
  • 1988 white Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Edition hatchback coupe with white leather seats, an L98 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 49,000 miles—$10,500
  • 1988 white Chevrolet Corvette custom (Greenwood kit, interior) convertible with a white top, red leather seats, an L98 240 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci inch V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1980 cream Ford Thunderbird coupe with a brown cloth interior, a Windsor 131 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with a Motorcraft two-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 222 miles—$7,500
  • 1988 blue Ford Mustang ASC/McLaren convertible with a blue top, blue leather seats, a 225 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$9,500
  • 1988 oxford white Ford Bronco mild custom (wheels, tires, suspension) SUV with blue cloth seats, a 4.9 liter/302 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 25,000 miles—$30,000
  • 1982 gray Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler custom (engine, suspension, wheels, tires) pickup truck with a gray interior, a 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six, and a four-speed manual—$19,000
  • 1985 gold/white two-tone Chevrolet S10 Blazer Tahoe SUV with tan cloth seats, a 110 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with a two-barrel carburetor, and an automatic—$9,000
  • 1984 cotillion white Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, with a white top, dark carmine tufted leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 45,000 miles—$16,500
  • 1989 black Jaguar XJ-S custom (engine, transmission, wheels, tires) convertible with a black top, biscuit leather seats, an 8.0 liter/488 ci V10 with fuel injection, a six-speed manual—$35,000. If a Jag with a small block Chevrolet V8 is known as a “lump,” what is one with a Viper V10 called?
  • 1984 blue Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser SUV with a blue interior, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$50,000
1984 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1986 russet metallic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hatchback coupe with pewter/graphite cloth seats, a 210 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with fuel injection, an automatic, and 30,000 miles—$10,000
  • 1989 orange/black two-tone Chevrolet C1500 custom (body, paint, wheels, tires) pickup truck with an orange interior, a 5.7 liter/305 ci V8, and an automatic—$11,000
  • 1987 black Buick Grand National custom (engine, suspension, brakes, wheels) coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, and an automatic—$30,000
  • 1982 cream Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible with brown convertible top, hard top, brown seats, a 155 bhp 3.8 liter/234 ci V8 with Bosch Jetronic fuel injection, an automatic, and 44,000 miles—$17,500
  • 1981 white Chevrolet Corvette custom (body, exhaust) coupe with black leather seats, an L81 190 bhp 5.7 liter/350 ci V8 with Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 40,000 miles—$17,000
  • 1987 white Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe with a burgundy cloth interior, a 180 bhp 5.0 liter/305 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, an automatic, and 15,000 miles—$15,000
  • 1982 olive Toyota FJ43 Land Cruiser SUV with tangerine seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with carburetor, and a four-speed manual —$50,000

Saturday, August 4th:

  • 1982 brown/beige two-tone Chevrolet El Camino Conquista pickup truck with a medium doeskin cloth bench seat, a 5.0 liter/305 ci V8, and automatic, and 65,000 miles—$7,000
1982 Chevrolet El Camino, linked from Mecum’s website.
  • 1987 silver/blue two-tone Chevrolet Silverado custom (paint, suspension, wheels, tires) regular cab fleetside pickup truck with a blue interior, a 5.7 liter/350 ci V8, and an automatic—$6,500
  • 1981 martinique blue Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (engine, exterior, interior) coupe with black seats, a 6.6 liter/400 ci V8 with Holley carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$21,000
  • 1985 black Buick Grand National coupe with black/gray cloth seats, a 200 bhp 3.8 liter/231 ci V6 with fuel injection and turbocharger, and an automatic—$30,000
  • 1982 green Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler custom (paint) pickup truck with black seats—$10,000
  • 1988 black Land Rover Defender 110 custom (just about everything) SUV with black seats, a 2.5 liter/152 ci diesel inline four with a turbocharger, and a five-speed manual—$52,000
  • 1982 black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am custom (body, interior) hatchback coupe with beige cloth seats, a V8, and an automatic—$60,000 for this well-done KITT replica.
  • 1981 stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 custom (body) coupe with gray seats, a ZMJ-159 130 bhp 2.8 liter/174 ci V6 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, and a five-speed manual—$70,000 for this Back to the Future replica.
  • 1986 rosso corsa Ferrari Testarossa coupe with tan leather seats, a 380 bhp 4.9 liter/302 ci V12 with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, a five-speed manual, and 13,000 miles—at $120,000, by far the highest eighties vehicle sale of this auction. That’s #2/Excellent money, according to Hagerty’s valuation tools.
  • 1985 yellow Cadillac Eldorado coupe with yellow leather seats, an HT-4100 135 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection, and an automatic—$9,000
  • 1981 beige Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser SUV with black seats, a 2F 135 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with a carburetor, and a four-speed manual—$27,000
  • 1987 camouflage AM General Humvee SUV with a green interior, a 6.2 liter diesel V8, and an automatic—$18,000

What do you think of these results?

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, linked from the Old Car Manual Project’s amazing brochures section.

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 it 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.

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1986 Honda Accord sedan

“Once again, other manufacturers will be forced to return to their drawing boards.”

The Honda Accord was all new for 1986, with a brand new body and upgraded engines—the standard powertrain was the A20A 98 bhp 2.0 liter/120 ci inline four with two-barrel carburetor paired to a five-speed manual transmission (a four-speed automatic was optional). Acceleration was acceptable: 0-60 came in a little under 11 seconds in the approximately 2,400-pound car. Mileage was good: 27 city/33 highway by the standards of the day (about 23 city/30 highway by 2018 standards). With a 15.9-gallon fuel tank, Accord drivers could expect a range of from 380 to 430 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

By modern standards, the 1986 Accord was not a large car: with a 102.4-inch wheelbase and a 178.5-inch length, it was four inches shorter in both wheelbase and length than a 2018 Honda Civic and was classified by the EPA as a subcompact car (the modern Accord is classified as a large car). What’s even more striking is the height or lack thereof: at 53.3 inches, the Accord was only three inches taller than the same year’s Camaro. The 1986 Accord had a six-inch longer wheelbase, three inches more of length, and was almost an inch shorter than the 1985 version.

Standard equipment on the base Accord DX sedan included front wheel drive, double wishbone front and rear suspension, power brakes, variable-assist power steering, pop-up halogen headlights, hidden wipers, and P185/70R13 tires (a size still available) on 13-inch wheels with full wheel covers. Inside reclining front bucket seats, an adjustable steering column, and cruise control were included. The DX went for $9,299—about $21,600 in 2018 dollars.

Moving up to the LX added air conditioning, power door locks, power windows, and an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and power antenna. The top of the line LXi went for $12,675 (about $29,400 in today’s dollars or about what a 2018 Accord EX-L sedan goes for) and added the 110 bhp fuel injected engine, cast aluminum alloy wheels, and a power moonroof.

1986 Honda Accord advertisement.

The 1986 Honda Accord was well received. It was present on Car and Driver‘s 10 Best list and got good reviews. Honda sold 325,000 in the United States, making it the fifth best selling car model that year.

Third-generation Accords were once prevalent on American roads, but have virtually disappeared by now. You do occasionally see these Accords for sale in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors, but there were no sedans out there as I write this in July 2018.