The second generation Camaro lives in the shadow of the iconic first generation, which is what GM modeled the new retro-styled Camaro after.
That's a shame, because the second generation is arguably the coolest of them all.
It debuted in 1970, benefitting from a development process that wasn't rushed and all the lessons learned from the first-generation. The body and chassis were all-new. A range of 6 and 8 cylinder engines were available.
The best second-generation Camaro are the earliest ones like this, which have classic styling and more powerful engines and.
The seller says this is a real LT1 Z28, although they don't know if it's a matching numbers car due to inability to read the serial numbers, but they say that's besides the point because it's not a perfect anyways and is still fun, fast and reliable.
They also say the engine has been rebuilt, and everything looks decent and correct in the photos.
They also mention that a numbers-matching car might command double what they are asking. That also might be true, so this could be considered a nice way to save some money on a very similar car.
Available here on craigslist for $24,999.
What a qt...get it? This little Yamaha is great for people looking for fun, frugal and low-maintenance transportation in urban areas.
I love (older) cars. But let's face it. Cars suck! Too often they are big, inefficient money pits. One way to get around cars but still get around physically are mopeds.
Yamaha introduced the QT50 in 1979 and ran it until 1992. The '50' denotes a 50cc two-stroke reed valve engine that could propel the moped to a top speed of 30 miles per hour.
The beauty of these is in their extreme simplicity. The drivetrain is weatherproof. The shaft-drive is contained in the single-sided swing arm and eliminates chain maintenance. The drive has a centrifugal clutch but just one gears speed, making wheel changes easy. When operating, the QT50 can average almost 100 miles per gallon.
The seller says this example has just a mere 77 miles and would consider trading it for other motorcycles or fancy watches.
This is a sweet little thing for getting around town, and the low mileage and good condition is pretty unusual.
Available here on craigslist for $1,999.
This E23 has a nice summery feel about it, with the light blue paint and general feeling of these cars kind of like being on permanent vacation.
The other thing about the E23 is that it was replaced by a totally different car - the larger an heavier E32. This makes the E23 more interesting for collectors because it represents distinctly old-school design and engineering that was really never quite replicated.
Make no mistake though, these are cushy still people-carrying saloons. We had an exclusive on one a couple years ago that I got to inspect in person. My first impression was being surprised at how small they are. The current 3-series is now the size of this 7-series. And even then, this thing wears tight, clean, minimal sheet metal that maximizes interior space. German cars always photograph larger than they actually are, so this really classifies as a small or mid-size car today.
What makes this example really interesting is that it's being offered by the original owner who purchased it new in 1979 from Helmut BMW in Connecticut and have kept it in pretty good shape all these years. Cosmetically, they say it still wears the original paint and nifty blue leather interior. They do note one small area of rust but speculate it shouldn't be difficult to fix and say they don't see any other problem areas.
Underneath the hood is BMW's venerable straight-six. It will provide a healthy dosage of power, boosted by the 4-speed manual transmission on this one. The seller has provided a very detailed account of everything they have done and yet to do. They say it will need new struts and an injector. These aren't deal breakers and when addressed will make for a very sweet vintage ride in unusual original condition.
Available here on craigslist for $3,500.
If you were to ask me, "Are there any Subaru classics?" I would respond with a resounding, "Yes!" And then I would ramble on and on about the XT.
The 80s were a pivotal time for Japanese automakers. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of World War II, the Japanese rebounded remarkably and excelled at making cars. But when it came time to infiltrate the American market, they had stiff competition from both Detroit and Europe.
One way to buck both was to offer cars that were well-made (which American cars weren't) and affordable (which German cars weren't). This way, they appealed to consumers best instincts: thrift, value and quality.
Subaru had already made an impression with their compact all-wheel drive sedans and wagons. To take on the compact sport coupe, they introduced the all-new XT in 1985. Like other Subaru, it was a simple, uncomplicated front-wheel layout with the option of all-wheel drive. But unlike Subaru's existing models, it wore a radical wedge-shaped body of laser-straight lines, blackened pillars and hidden headlights, looking like a Syd Mead-designed prop for the set of Blade Runner.
The futuristic vibes continued into the interior with an asymmetrical steering wheel, digital layout and stalks of vital buttons and controls housed in two pods flanking each side of the steering wheel for access within finger-reach.
The only initial complaints about the XT were lack of power, especially in the naturally aspirated 4-cylindr. Fortunately, this is the much more desirable turbocharged 4 mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. It put out just 115 horsepower, but with the stick shift, aerodynamic body and relatively light weight, could easily feel sufficient and nimble.
The seller says this survivor is rust free, and the paint shows just some oxidizing. Mechanically, they say it not only has a rebuilt engine but a suspension transplanted from an '03 WRX! Whoa! Not surpassingly they say it handles amazingly. Always nice to find older cars with sweet sleeper upgrades like this, and the seller isn't passing down the cost of the swap, either.
These are flying totally underneath the elite collector radar, despite Subaru restoring one for their museum recently and Gen-X car fans looking back on them with nostalgia. But to those in the know, these are a best kept secret, blending outrageous styling and fun, economical performance.
Available here on ebay for a $5,000 Buy It Now.
How things have changed! Volvo abandoned their trademark boxy styling with their S60 sedan, but they had long abandoned rear-wheel drive before that. This 142 is from Volvo's late 20th century glory days when their cars were both boxy and RWD.
The 140 series debuted in 1966 and was basically the car that helped put Volvo on the map, and in middle class garages around the Western world. The 140 was available as a 2-door, 4-door sedan or 4-door wagon.
The design is a slice of heaven. The 1970s were a terrible time for auto design in the United States, but it was a great period in Europe, setting the template for the next two decades. The key is functionality. The stylists understood that good design follows function. As such, the Volvo is simple, clean and handsome with a high waistline, huge greenhouse and long front and rear decks for ample engine and storage space.
Power came from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Like a lot of engines from the 1970s, it won't be fast, but should offer decent economy. This one is strangled with an automatic transmission, but a stick shift swap is always a possibility for the talent and time-inclined.
The exterior looks charming in flat green and the interior seems remarkably well-preserved. The seller says it was 121k miles and they drive it regularly so it hasn't sat. I do see some rust near the rear wheel well, so be sure to look into that.
Otherwise, these 2-door versions are sweet deals and great alternative to the pricier BMW 2002, which are a similar idea.
Available here on ebay for $5,999 or the Make Offer option.
Remember the notchback? This kitschy American styling cue was briefly borrowed by the Japanese in the 80s on cars like the 200SX.
Outside North America, this was called the Silvia and followed a long line of compact rear-wheel drive coupes from Nissan.
In 1984 the S12 generation debuted, featured an all-new small, tightly styled body...and a notchback, along side a more traditional hatchback.
It's classic Rising Sun 80s, all hard angles, straight lines, off-center front logo, hidden headlights, and huge red plastic taillights. Americans are fond of this design because it was when Japanese cars were making their first impressions on us, and those impressions were mostly good. These cars were decent looking, handled well, sipped gas and were affordable. They were the perfect answer in between American and German cars.
Power could have come from either 4 or 6 cylinders, and this is the 4-cylinder option. Thankfully, it's mated to a 5-speed stick for optimal performance and efficiency.
The interior looks remarkably clean and tidy for the age, and is a yuppie nerd's dream, outfitted with what the seller calls the optional Digital Package Upgrade, a fantastic period accessory that gives the full effect. The odometer reads just 76,039 miles and the seller says it's a one-owner car that runs great, was meticulously owned, garaged, never smoked in, never in an accident and has a title ready.
Finding one in this condition is getting extremely difficult, as most are rusted out, parted out or slammed into ground by now.
These don't get much respect on the fancier corners of the web, but Japanese cars of the 80s and 90s are the hot new classics, and this is a remarkable survivor.
Available here on ebay for $6,300 or the Make Offer option.
Fiat have made a big splash returning to the US market with their retro-styled 500. But back in the late Malaise Era they were slogging it out with this econobox.
The 128 was basically their entry-level family car. It debuted in 1969 and revolutionized the small car market with its front-wheel drive layout that contrasted with Volkswagen's aging rear-engine platforms.
To make a front-wheel drive car more affordably and efficiently than previous industry examples such as in the British Mini, Fiat designed the engine and transmission so that they did not have to share lubricating fluid while an electronically controlled fan supplied cooling. To do this, they mounted the engine transversely with the transmission mounted beside the engine driving the front-wheels through an offset final-drive and unequal driveshafts.
It was such a good engineering solution that eventually most entry-level car manufactures would follow suit, including Volkswagen themselves. The 4-cylinder won't light the street on fire but should work well against the car's small proportions and relatively low weight.
The 128 was wrapped in clean, simple, appliance-like sheetmetal evocative of the efficient mechanicals underneath.
Production ended in 1985. This is a US market example that the seller says has been mechanically restored to working order, and the exterior remains rough but original. We say keep 'er as is and get in and go.
Available here on ebay.
Alfa Romeo in the 90s is something the US market never quite got to see. The company ceased exporting cars to North America in 1995. The last new car they sold here was the 164, a large, expensive front-wheel drive sedan that left probably left consumers feeling indifferent more than anything.
But in the European market, Alfa offered a much broader spectrum of cars. Perhaps if they had brought something like the 33 over here, they would have sold a lot more cars.
The 33 debuted in 1983 and was basically Alfa's entry-level family car. It was based on the modified front-wheel drive platform of its predecessor, the Alfasud, and featured a range of 4-cylinder boxer engines.
The styling is classic Eurobox, which, if you love them as I do, you just 'get' it. You can see traces of the Milano/75 and even the 164 blood in it, with the downturned front lights, hard angles and thick, high rear boot.
This example has found its way to the US from Holland and currently resides in Florida. Cosmetically, the seller says it isn't perfect but it is rust-free, otherwise a concern on any Alfa Romeo.
Mechanically, they say the engine runs very well and even boasts a performance chip that boosts the 1.7 4-cylinder boxer engine output to 120 horsepower. That's not a lot, but it's a relatively small car, and like most Alfa Romeo it should complement a tight and balanced chassis for superb handling.
The seller says the odometer reads about 87,000 kilometers which is only about 55k miles, and that is has a clear Florida title, a huge plus that should make it transferrable to any other state, except perhaps California where it would not be exempt from smog.
I've never seen one here before, although with cars of the 80s now easily importable under the 25-year rule we may see more. But given this or a 164, I'd take this. It's also a great alternative to a Volkswagen, Saab or Volvo from the same era.
Available here on ebay for $17,895.
You know how I feel about a replica Ferrari. If you don't, here's a brief summary: I love them! Shocking, isn't it? But here's the thing. We live in an era of endless duplication. All new cars look the same. And so a replica of a rare, expensive and fussy old Italian car is actually great idea.
Now, some Testarossa replicas are horrible, like the inane front-engine Corvette ones. This is NOT one of those.
I actually think this is one of the best Testarossa replicas I've ever seen, and definitely the best spider replica. The body is high-quality and the details and overall proportions are excellent. I love the deep-set wheels, which give a nice dose of attitude.
The seller says it's based on a 1986 Fiero. But while some Fiero replicas still have the lackluster Fiero engines in back, this one has a 3.8-liter V8 from a Buick Grand National that pumps out 250 horsepower!
The seller says this car was loved greatly but it doesn't get driven enough. They also say it has high-compression forged pistons, an Alpine audio system and the "stunning, eye-popping, head turning looks of a real Testarossa".
You can say that again. The bidders seem to agree, driving it past $9k at the time of this writing.
Honestly, if I had a big garage and extra time on weekends I would snap one up and drive it proudly. The big engine, beautiful body and rare topless version make this one of the finest replicas I've ever seen.
Hey, when Tarantino starts mining the 80s for material and a character pulls up in one of these (not a real one, mind you), don't say I didn't tell you.
Available here on ebay.
Peugeot has a puzzling legacy in the US. Ask anyone old enough to remember and they'll either scorn or swear by them. Not surprisingly, Peugeot stopped selling here a long time ago. But cars like the 504 were part of the reason why the people who liked Peugeot do so with a great admiration.
The 504 was sort of like a Volkswagen beetle for Peugeot, selling more than 3 million units during its very long production run from 1968-1983.
The formula for its success was simple on the surface: quality construction, efficient and robust engines, inoffensive but pleasing design and that legendary French suspension. It would go on to win the European Car of the Year Award for 1969.
Perhaps the epitome of the 504's rugged-but-refined character is this '80 Diesel Wagon. I often find wagon versions of Euro sedans to be the the ultimate in utilitarianism. If you can have more space but essentially the same driving characteristics as the sedan, why not?
The remarkable survivor has a claimed 42,664 miles on the clock. The seller is a dealer and says it even came with the original tires. Wow. It certainly looks unusually clean inside and out. Check out this awesome lined rear trunk.
Underneath the hood is a 4-cylinder diesel engine. It will be slow, perhaps uncomfortably slow, especially with onramps and highway travel. But it will provide reliability and great fuel economy.
This is a great alternative to that other European diesel wagon we got here during same era, the Mercedes W123. Those are commanding steep prices. Some also have the benefit of a turbo, but it's almost impossible to find them in this condition and low miles.
Available here ebay.