Maserati have always been a source of automotive pride in their home country of Italy, but they had a tough time in the 80s, especially in the US market. Gone was their riveting, exclusive lineup of fast sports cars from the 60s and 70s. Instead, their only cars were the huge Quattroporte sedan and Biturbo coupes and convertibles, the latter of which has a legacy reduced to a punchline on auto blogs.
There was one other alternative however: the 430, which was essentially a Biturbo with a lengthened chassis and 4-doors.
Despite looking exactly like the Biturbo, it only shares a front end, and everything past it is unique. Neither are a bad thing at all. Maserati from the 60s had always pioneered the angular wedge shape of Marcello Gandini and the 430 continues that trend, but with an 80s twist. I think it's aged just fine, and the sedan actually looks better than the Biturbo coupes and convertibles, which look too short. The length and two additional doors help balance and flesh out the shark-like snout. Things get E30 and W201-ish in the back, which again is a good thing.
Given that the Quattroporte was older and larger, the 430 was a great alternative. Inside is a classic Italian interior, with an array of exotic materials and surfaces, like the suede dashboard, wood accents and gold clock. It's gauche compared to German interiors but more modern than British ones.
The real surprise though is underneath the hood, which houses a 2790 cc turbocharged V6 OHC engine good for a whopping 225 horsepower. The only other comparable European sedans at the time would have been the 231-horspower Mercedes W126 500 and the Audi V8.
The seller says $10k has been invested into this example, including an rebuilt engine and turbochargers, which is good news for everyone except the person who spent $10k. The seller says it is nearly complete and has been driven sparingly since.
The Bitrubo cars have poor reputations, but time usually heals all wounds, right? Today, with depreciation fully set in, this thing represents a bargain sleeper. Given the nature of the engine and availability of parts however, I would recommend purchase only to people who fix their own cars or know an specialist in Italian cars.
Available here on craigslist for $4,900.
The 928 is the unloved child in Porsche history. It was conceived under great turmoil in the 70s. Volkswagen/Porsche assumed European governments were on the way to banning rear engines entirely. They also felt they had perfected the air-cooled 4- and 6-cylinder engine. Volkswagen unveiled the front-engine, front-wheel drive Golf and Scirocco as their solutions. Porsche turned to development of a new front-engine, rear-wheel drive flagship car.
The resulting 928 which debuted at Geneva in 1977 was so impressive that it later won European Car of the Year. The body was a combination of galvanized steel and aluminum. It was styled brilliantly, looking every bit Porsche but more grown up, and roomier, too. I particularly love the rear, which looks like an upscale AMC Gremlin, and I mean that in the best way possible. It's still bold and futuristic looking today.
Underneath the hood was originally a 4.5-liter water-cooled V8 good for about 219 horsepower in US versions. A transaxle helped balanced weight to 50/50 front/rear, ensuring the 928 handled just as well, if not better, as a 911. In 1987, a refreshed front nose and rear taillights made the car slightly longer but smoother looking. A new, larger 32-valve V8 was also added, boosting horses to 288. The earlier engines are said to provide adequate performance but easier to maintain, while the later engine are known to be difficult and expensive. Both are gas guzzlers. That said, the 928's real strength is as a Grand Tourer, eating up long stretches of highway like nothing. I've heard the build quality and ride is Mercedes-Benz-like, too (the four-speed automatics were from MB) which can't be said of the rougher 911 from the same era.
The seller is scant on details but says it has 130k miles and is 'super clean and super fast'. The high mileage is a good indicator, meaning it should be through with most of its major tests. You can't go wrong with the black/black color combo, and the seats look mercifully spared of the usual rips and tears. The exterior also looks good from what the photos show. But the most important question on an any old Porsche is maintenance. Records are really a must. The next pressing thing is accident history. Along with Corvettes these things are often driven irresponsibly and wrecked. Accident damage is a big turn off for me unless the car is heavily discounted. Cars are usually never the same after they are wrecked. The last big thing is rust, although the 928's steel body has held up surprisingly well, the doors and hood are aluminum and sometimes have rust around them.
If it all checks out, you have my sincere envy.
Available here on craigslist for $6k or 'just make me an offer'.
Saab still exists, but their bankruptcy dealt the company and its loyal customers a huge blow and they may never be the same again. Now, Saab's history is divided into three phases: pre-GM, GM, and post-GM. This is one of their pre-GM cars.
The 9000 was a great car for Saab and it came at just the right time. They had been garnering praise from critics and consumers alike for their sporty, practical and yes, that annoying word always used when describing Saab - quirky - 900 series cars. Sure, they were front-wheel drive and only utilized 4-cylinders but they were extremely well built and fun to drive. So, while things still looked up, Trollhattan made a natural move: launch a new, bigger car, not to replace, but to compliment the 900.
The styling was a joint effort by two geniuses: Bjorn Envall and Giorgetto Giugiaro. Together, they created a shape that was modern, simple, likable and still uniquely Saab. COTC particularly likes the pre-1991 facelift models which are true to the original vision of the designers. This one looks exceptionally cool in black with BBS-style crosspoke rims, and flush fog lamps.
The mechanicals weren't entirely unique, however. The platform was shared among several European automakers and was also used for the Alfa Romeo 164 and Lancia Thema. Still, that's not bad company. It turned out fine, and it fit the car's character perfectly. The 9000 did everything the 900 did, but better. It was larger, wider, and roomier. It handled well and was a smooth, refined cruiser. It was also a sales success.
The 9000 was available in a bunch of trims and engines. One interesting addition was the "CD" in 1988 which hacked away the versatile hatchback and replaced it with a conventional trunk. Sure, it may be counter-intuitive, but the body took the new shape really well, looking very adult and business-like, and the rarity of the model alone makes it noteworthy. And, the classy grey felt-lined trunk is STILL enormous. Angular, defined trunk decks are disappearing today in favor of fastbacks.
Inside, occupants are treated to one of the best interiors of all time by any manufacturer. Saab's experience in building airplanes translated into clear, ergonomic, driver-oriented gauges and dashboards. Information glows green, needles are orange and only emergency lights are yellow or red. It also helped those seats were damn comfortable.
For power, this 9000 has a water-cooled, turbocharged, double overhead camshaft, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine good for a healthy 175 horsepower. Later cars were either downgraded with a non-turbo engine or upgraded with a V6, but we like the original turbo 4 for its blend of thrift and speed.
The seller of this example says it's just a two-owner vehicle with 154k miles. That's nothing on these. Most that have been regularly used since new have over 500k by now. These were built for the long haul, provided they didn't rust first or have the faulty automatic transmissions, which this mercifully doesn't.
This really deserves a good home. The brand has been irreversibly altered, and the older pre-GM models are slowly getting their due, if there any are left at all. Still, you know the ones that already departed most likely did their service honorably.
Available here on craigslist for $2,950.
The Caravan was a bright spot in Dodge/Chrysler's 80s lineup. Under Lee Iacocca, it debuted in 1984 as a combination of car and truck: the space and roominess of a van and the ride and handling of a car. It was an instant hit with families and the market has never been the same since.
The mechanicals are less innovative, with front engine and front wheel drive. Fortunately, Dodge was also an another kick in the 80s: turbocharging. I guess they figured the way to beat the front wheel blues was add a turbo boost to everything they sold. As a marketing schtick, turbocharging always looks and seems great. I actuality, it can be a mixed blessing.
So it's perhaps not surprising that a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine found its way into some early Caravans. Even more rare is to find it mated to a stick shift. The engine was good for about 150 horsepower, not bad for the time. In fact, it felt quicker than some of the heavier rear-wheel drive Dodges of the time. Unfortunately the turbo was overshadowed by the more sensible and powerful V6. Sales dropped and 1990 was the last year for the turbo Caravan.
Early Caravans sold in huge numbers but were always driven into the ground, understandably. That means they're hard to find nowadays. The turbo version is even more obscure, but this one survived.
The seller says this one has minor dings, no rust, no roof racks, a new clutch, struts, shocks, tires, windshield, fuel pump, radiator and more. The say it runs good and was being driven 50 miles a day, but don't mention the odometer reading. They do say it needs paint, headliner and a cooling fan.
This is a fun alternative to your usual dull vans and wagons. It's under the collector radar but with some fresh black paint, armor-all and elbow grease this could make a quirky contender at Mopar shows.
Available here on craigslist in Pemberton, New Jersey for $3,200 firm.
Thunderbird is one of those priceless, iconic American names that is sadly not being used by Ford at the moment.
Between 1955 and 2005, however, the Thunderbird saw a total of eleven generations, most very different from each other. There was the original classic that gave birth to the concept of a personal luxury coupe, then the equally classic designs of the 60s, then the 70s gave way to big, bloated, very un-sporty designs, until a drastic rebirth in the 80s resulted in a slight reduction in size and great improvement in aerodynamics, aesthetics and efficiency.
This is the 10th generation that debuted in 1988. Ford changed American auto making with their 1986 Taurus, which was sleek and futuristic but practical. The new Thunderbird followed with similar styling cues: large, flat, smooth planes, a nearly grille less front, and a gently sloping rear. It's a big car, but it's styled so well that you don't realize it.
COTC likes these early Thunderbirds for their presence and style, as the later cars got more rounded and jellybean like and thus detracting of the persona going on here. Relive the American Empire days in all their glory.
These were also mercifully rear-wheel drive in a sea of American front-wheel drive cars in the late 80s and 90s. With the subtle styling, rwd and big V8, these could be sleeper drag racers and a nice alternative to the Mustang of the time.
Unfortunately this is just an early V6 version. But what an example it is. The seller claims it has just 22,501 miles and one previous owner. The car's condition is therefore like new. The exterior paint and plastic trim looks like it just rolled out of the factory.
The interior is also looking great. No dash cracks, clean gauges and buttons and immaculate cloth seats.
While not a collector car, it could easily be someone's daily driver or a great first car for a teenager. It's a big, comfortable boulevard and highway cruiser. Sure, the V6 isn't preferable, but it might save you a little bit of gas compared to the V8. This one makes most sense if the price stays under $5k.
Available here on ebay with no reserve.
Sterling is up there with Merkur as one of those failed 80s brands. The thing about both of them is that they actually made perfectly ok cars. The problem was mostly in their marketing boardrooms.
The Sterling was actually just a Rover, a British car company along the lines of Jaguar. But since Americans had come to detest all the Rovers that had been imported thus far, the company felt their latest offering would have a better chance if it was renamed. Rule number one: honesty is always the best policy. A brand that has a comeback car is better than a brand that nobody knows. This, however, was completely lost on Rover.
Sterling's only car was the 825 which debuted in 1987. In 1989 it was renamed 827, for the Honda 2.7-liter V6 engine under the hood. The idea was that Rover's partnership with Honda would bring out the best of each company in the car; the prestige and class of Rover and the reliability and build quality of Honda. Unfortunately the Sterling didn't have enough of either. Early models were plagued with problems. The engines were good, but the interiors are said to be a weak point. Rust was also an issue. By the time improvements came the public lost interest and sales ended in 1991 in the US.
Another issue is purpose. If it had the same underpinnings as the Acura Legend, why not just get an Acura Legend? Some of that was solved with the super rare hatchback version that is for sale here. Honda sure loved hatchbacks, but they never offered a four-door one, and certainly not under the Acura nameplate. Suddenly, the Sterling is making more sense. Four doors, huge trunk space, spunky V6 power, and good looks. It's a cosy, predicable family cruiser.
The seller of this one is a Sterling fanatic and claim they have gone through no less than four donor cars just to keep this one going. It's got a 183.5k miles, impressive for this car. They also have a huge binder of maintenance. While it's sad to see a dedicated owner forced to sell, I have a feeling this will end up in appreciate hands somehow, somewhere.
Available here on ebay for $3,495.
This is a collector car in the making that nobody is watching, so there are ample chances to snatch one up for relatively cheap now.
Few were made, fewer were sold, and even fewer survive today. But the car's credentials, history and design are impressive and intriguing. It was conceived and engineered by Isuzu, designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro and tuned by Lotus. How many cars boast all that? None that I know of.
The Impulse was known as the Piazza outside North America and was produced from 1981-1990, but only sold here from 1983 onward.
Underneath the sleek two-box styling is a 4ZC1 turbocharged, inter-cooled 4-cylinder engine that powered the rear wheels. The seller of this example says it has a 5-speed manual transmission, cloth interior, sunroof and a "technics" radio. Cosmetically it seems to be missing a front grille and the clear coat is fading. Mechanically, they say the driver's side window and power steering pump have issues, but those could be easy do-it-yourself fixes for the knowledgeable.
In a few years there will be a real appetite for the Impulse. Their pedigree speaks volumes, and numbers of survivors have dwindled. On top of that, the rear-wheel setup and turbo boost also make them fun drivers, so they are usable and practical too.
Available here on craigslist in Des Moines, Iowa for $3,500 or best offer.
The MX-6 was essentially a coupe version of the 626 sedan. Mazda sold only two generations between 1987 and 1997. The first generation was based on the Mark 3 "GD" platform 626, and only lasted until 1992.
Mazda is one of those on again, off again brands that have not been able to steadily build momentum like Toyota and Honda have (although both are currently teetering on the edge of slipping indefinitely). Mazda has had some moments of widespread appreciation in the industry (their refinement of the rotary engine) and in pop culture (the goofy but catchy Zoom Zoom ads), but nothing that has permanently stuck in the minds of consumers enough to make them a huge sales success, and, more importantly, iconic.
That doesn't mean they haven't made some great products however. To the contrary, they have a lot of modern classics under the belts. One of their lesser known gems is this '89 MX-6. In the 80s, Mazda was still competing on a relatively even playing field with Toyota and Honda for the no.1 Japanese car spot. Their 626 was arguably way cooler and better equipped than the comparable Camry and Accords of the time. To stick out from the competition, this MX-6 has a 2.2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine under the hood. The thought of turbo power on an otherwise sedate front-wheel drive car makes it infinitely more appealing, and Mazda understood this.
The seller says a couple of times it's "very fast". They also mention it has a Zombie SS chip and boost controller, but I have no idea what that is or how good it is. What they don't say is whether it has the legendary four wheel steering, which was only offered in the U.S. on 1989 GT models exactly like this one, making it an extreme rarity. Essentially, turning the steering wheel turned all four wheels. The rear wheels were electronically controlled to pivot no greater than 5 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels under 35 miles per hour and in the same direction for any speed faster. This allowed for both agile parking and greater maneuverability changing lanes and taking corners. Honda experimented with this too, before all automakers abruptly pulled it from the market and never offered it again except on a couple other rare and expensive high performance cars. Why this lost but significant technology is being repressed is still a mystery. It could easily have become a standard feature on all cars in the same way that disc brakes and airbags have become.
The body clearly has some flaws and the seller says there is some rust. They also say it needs a wheel bearing and engine mount. Gross over-sized aftermarket exhaust aside, it's good to see the original wheels still intact. This thing is begging for an impeccable restoration. Be the first to do it, then tell me all about it!
Available here on craigslist in Minneapolis, Minnesota for $2,000.
The Impulse was rated "extinct" by Hagerty Classic Car Insurance two summers ago, based on having no examples insured. That's a shame. The Impulse is a really cool car. And if there were very few left in 2011, you can bet there are even less now, as owners desperate for cash in the global recession just end up junking them.
In the 80s, the Isuzu lineup wasn't yet whittled down to cute-utes and econoboxes (in fact today, it's just two ugly General Motors-based trucks). There was actually depth and range. It included the utilitarian P'up, Trooper, compact I-Mark, and the sporty Impulse, known as the Piazza outside North America.
There are several notable aspects of the Impulse, the first being the deliciously sleek body by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro. In the 70s and 80s, Giugiaro was THE go-to auto designer for-hire, lending his touch with several groundbreaking designs for major auto manufacturers like Lotus and Volkswagen. For Isuzu, he created a classic two-box shape with several of his trademark cues: long, flat hood, small narrow headlights and sloped rear. With the Impulse, he manages to make it look both fresh and classic. You just don't see these kind of taught and controlled lines and proportions anymore.
The Impulse was produced from 1980-1990, but only sold here from 1983 onward. In 1988 it received special "handling by Lotus" tuned suspensions with new sway bars, stiffer dampers and new spring rates. The engines were all 4-cylinders, but were offered either normally aspirated or turbocharged. Perhaps best of all, power was directed to the rear wheels.
This particular example is a later '89 Turbo and looks perfect in gunmetal grey, with body-colored trim and spoiler. Note the hyper-extended rear windshield wiper. Although it's mated to an automatic transmission, the seller says it has a rebuilt engine, head, and turbo, and has only 29k miles since the rebuild. Cosmetically, they say the body is in good shape. Other than rust and accident history, this puppy could be good to go. Italian styling, British tuning, Japanese engineering.
Available here on craigslist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for $2,500.
It's really hilarious how Maserati cars from the 1980s have plummeted in value and are staying there. Any given day on ebay, there's at least 3 or 4 Biturbo Coupes with under 100k miles for under $5k. Why? I guess they weren't driven much by their initial yuppie owners, then when they broke (as they usually did) the expensive repair costs (as they usually were) made the notion of storing it in a garage more attractive than fixing it and using it.
What you don't see everyday is the rare sedan version. Even if the rest of the story is the same.
Only 1,000 430 sedans were ever built, making this car an extreme rarity. I think it's better looking than the Bi-Turbo coupes, which were too short and stubby. The four doors of the 430 fill out the length and heighten the sharp edges and clean lines. The grooved taillights recall the Mercedes W116 and R107. This one looks particularly nice in two-tone red and grey and futuristic full-faced alloys.
The real beauty (or should I say beast?) is underneath the hood. Maserati put a 2790cc twin-turbocharged V6 engine that pumped out a very respectable 225 horsepower to the rear wheels. A lot of them were also mercifully given stick shifts as this one has. I really can't quite picture what it must be like to drive, but it's got to be fast, and could have smoked a similarly powered BMW or Mercedes-Benz from the era. Four exhaust pipes peak from the rear. You can picture it hustling the presidente del consiglo to and from court.
The luxurious black leather interior is a nice place to be, although there are some odd details, like a weird brown-burgundy plastic steering wheel and blue-faced instrument gauges. Still, everything is where is should be and it manages to look both comfortable and a little sporting at the same time. Note the trademark ovaloid Maserati clock in between the air vents.
The seller is a dealer and provide absolutely no back story but list the mileage as just 32,116. It could very well be original. The Italians had mastered speed and style but not yet build quality and innovative engineering, so these cars were plagued with electrical and mechanical issues. Ask for any history and maintenance records, then have it checked out by a reputable vintage European car specialist. If it's all set to go, by all means enjoy. You'll have my sincere envy.
Available here on ebay in Longwood, Florida with bidding at $2,280 and a Buy-It-Now of just $4,800.
The Allante was Cadillac's first serious attempt at taking on the Mercedes SL.
After decades of European automakers seemingly trumping America's premier luxury brand, General Motors needed a car that could look and perform with the best of the best. Their answer was the Allante.
The first step to ensuring that goal was hiring an outside designer to craft the body. American auto design in the 1980s was at a crisis point. After the whimsical tail fins of the 1950s, big muscular shapes of the 60s and 70s, they were all but out of ideas by the dawn of the Reagan Bush Era. So they continued to adopt hard edges and angles that were clean and efficient to pump out of a factory stamp but largely uninspiring. At the worst, they were downright ugly.
The designer that GM eventually contracted was the very established and renowned Italian design house Pininfarina. Supposedly, the outsourcing so infuriated GM's in-house designers that they developed the Reatta for Buick to show what could have been. Unfortunately for those designers, the Reatta didn't go so well.
Giving styling duties over to Pininfarina did pay off, however. Their interpretation of Cadillac themes is brilliant. Interestingly, one of my favorite designers, the legendary Bruno Sacco of Mercedes, is quoted as not liking the Allante very much. Perhaps because it debuted in 1987, beating the much-needed R107 replacement, the R129, by a couple of years. Were they genuinely threatened that America had finally caught up?
The design is really good looking though. It's deceptively simple but infinitely pleasing to the eye. The front end wears these handsome flush rectangular headlamps with a wide stretched trademark Cadillac gridded grille and logo. There are no hood tacky emblems, thankfully. The sides are simply streamlined with horizontal lines. The rear wears large, broad taillights that feature what could be the first production use of the frosted "iceberg" look.
The Allante had several major problems, however. The first was production. The bodies were made in Italy, then flown here for remaining assembly, a costly and inefficient process. This was handed down to the consumer with an inflated list price. Secondly, they were front-wheel drive. Since powering the front wheels balances the car least, it is not considered ideal for sporty driving. But since the cars looked sporty, they ran a high risk of seeming like another all-show, no-go kind of car. And for the first few years of production, the Allante was offered with a small and poorly performing V8 engine. Thankfully in 1989 a new 4.5-litre V8 arrived. The stigma of FWD remained, however.
Fortunately, this is a 4.5L model. The seller says the car is mechanically sound, and wears the original paint. Furthermore, they state the digital instrument cluster is working fine and the leather seats have no rips. They state the odometer reads 108, 325. Since the engine and transmission were sourced from GM, parts are plentiful and the cars aren't known for having many mechanical issues. This could be good for another 100k miles.
I would love to bomb around in one of these. Take it to the beach, cruise with the top down at night, goof around with friends. It's not a collector car that people take remotely seriously, but it is fast and good looking. Prices are dropping hard for them. I selected this one because it looks good in black/black (too many are in red) and is really cheap. For under $5k, you can have a interesting and entertaining footnote in Cadillac and Pininfarina history. Only 21, 430 were ever made, with production ending in 1993.
Find it here on ebay with a buy it now of $4,600.
The 'Z' in Z1 stood for zukunft, which is german for 'future'. This was BMW's vision of the future.
Only 8,000 were ever made between March of 1989 and June 1991. They were never sold in North America, probably in large part because the slide-down doors were deemed illegal. The majority of Z1 cars, fittingly, were sold to Germans, where the quirky shape and driving configuration would be literally right at home carving a route along the autobahn or an alpine pass.
Although it shared some parts like the legendary M20 inline 6-cylinder engine and accompanying transmission with the E30 325ix, the Z1 featured a completely new chassis and multi-link suspension. The engine was mounted behind the front axle. Power was sent to the rear wheels. It accelerated from 0-60 mph in just under 8 seconds, not as fast as you'd expect but still acceptable.
The most interesting aspects of the Z1 are design and construction. The seams were continuously welded with zinc. The entire body is composed of removable plastic parts. The sides and the doors were made of high-strength thermoplastic that could withstand 5 mph impacts. BMW actually encouraged owners to buy an additional set of body parts to change the color of the vehicle at any time. The Z1 could also be driven with all body panels removed.
The entire underbody is covered in a flat composite tray to increase aerodynamic flow and decrease turbulence and rear lift. The whole vehicle achieves a drag coefficient of 0.36.
Styling is extremely interesting. It doesn't look like any other BMW, although a lot of small details seem to have inspired subsequent models. The whole shape is wedge like, particularly the down sloping front nose and small twin grille holes which are reminiscent of the later 8-series. The large square taillights might have inspired the 1992 E36. And of course the whole compact two-seater idea eventually led to the Z3.
Despite the good looks and impressive stats, the Z1 was not a big seller. Apparently BMW was unable to manufacture more than 10-20 units each day. The car is in no way seen as a failure however, as it debuted dozens of innovations, but more of an exclusive, low-volume piece. However, one can't help but wonder what would have become of the car had BMW made it slightly more conventional, as it arrived at the same time as the Mazda Miata. The Z1 could easily have beaten it in performance and possibly even sales.
Fortunately, a few examples have since been independently imported here. This is such an example, and it looks terrific in deep green (the seller says the exterior color is black but it sure looks to have a green tone in light) over red and black two-tone interior. A lot of these were painted red, so it's nice to see a dark color that flatters the shape. Red leather interiors were quite rare, but I don't know if this interior is original or modified. It looks good either way.
The seller is a dealer and states the mileage is only 47,246. Since these are the ultimate open-air cruisers, it's not surprising to find them with low miles, as most were used as third cars only on weekends.
They also say it has never been in an accident, and has no visible dents or rust. Since the body was plastic, I wouldn't expect any rust. I would check the undercarriage just in case. Maintenance records (or lack thereof) will flesh out the rest of the story.
Another nice aspect of this vehicle is the removable hardtop that comes with the sale. I'm assuming these are rare (as most removable hardtops are a hassle to store and install and are therefore often not ordered) and it's great to have one with this vehicle. It flows perfectly with the design and looks sharp.
The seller is mum on how it got here but says it is "imported legally and ready for your enjoyment." Cheers to that. This is an extremely rare car that featured a lot of technologies innovative for the time and still intriguing today. It is unknown how BMW intended for the Z1 program to go, but one thing is certain: it's almost guaranteed to be a collector classic soon, if not already.
My friends over at germancarsforsaleblog.com had featured this back in April here.
Find it currently here on ebay in Westchester, New York, with bidding already at $12,445 but reserve not met.
This '89 Volvo is being offered in the kind of condition you really only find in California: immaculate inside and out and rust free.
As a child of a middle class New England suburb, Volvo cars were everywhere. Parents and their (very privalaged) children alike drove sedan or wagon variants. But since these were mostly teenagers tooling around, and since New England has some of the most harsh and radical weather of any region in North America, the Volvos I'm used to are extremely beat.
It's examples like these that remind you what nice vehicles they were, especially in muted blue over grey leather.
The 760 was produced from 1982-1992. It was intended to replace the legendary 200-series, but was instead sold right alongside it. These had mostly four-cylinder engines, although a diesel-powered six was available. Styling is courtesy of Jan Wilsgaard and is a classic by now. Hard angles, an upright c-pillar, big clear headlamps and taillights. These helped earn Volvo the reputation as makers of boxy cars. Volvo has completely abandoned this look, so their older designs are gaining more and more favorable attention as time goes on. Hint: people love boxy cars.
The seller seems to imply they are the second owner, having acquired it from the original owner in July 2009 when it had only 64k miles on the clock.
They say they have all original documentation and service records since new, and also say they have done a number of things to the car since they acquired it.
Mechanically, they state the only known problems are a power window and cruise control not working. Cosmetically, they say it has a small crack in the windshield and the grille. Most importantly, there is no rust. Thank you, Southern California.
Find it here on ebay in Los Angeles, California.