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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

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Comments

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    In my (not so little) town of about 30,000 residents halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs, I saw two cars that were related to one another, by brand and one other circumstance.

    The first was a Cadillac XLR, the second an SRX V6 AWD. Different parts of town.

    "So what?" you're probably asking yourself.

    They were both painted in that ghastly Mary Kay pearlescent pink color!

    I cannot begin to imagine how much MK product one would have to sell in order to qualify for an XLR!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,789
    I saw a beautiful, perfect white convertible. Short. Cute. It's similar to this in the picture in shape.

    link title

    But it had a wide molding along lower part of the door with bright red script lettering on the molding--obviously a specially named model. I couldn't read it and don't know if it was Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler. The driver parked it in the driving lane on the two lane road near the stop sign and was getting out so at first I watched him to see if he was ill or what.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    It was probably a LeBaron convertible. There was a Dodge 600 convertible, but it was dropped after 1986, and never sold all that well. Plymouth was relegated to mainly boring cars by this time, so they never got a version.

    One of my friends had an '86 LeBaron convertible, in that same cream color as the car in the link you posted.

    One other possibility...could it have been a Dodge Shadow convertible, perhaps?
    image

    Or a LeBaron GTC?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,789
    The front grill was white rather than chrome, so it may be a Shadow. Did they write "Shadow" on the plastic white molding along the lower part of the door? The script was bright red.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    The Shadow I posted doesn't look like it has anything written on the molding, but that may have changed from year to year. Also, now that I think about it, the LeBaron convertible and coupe went through a restyle around 1993 that gave it a body-color grille and exposed headlights, like this...
    image

    Some of the fancier models might have had the model name written in the molding in a different color, like the GTC maybe?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Wow....it bid all the way up to $2,025!! I may have to revise my low estimate of this car's worth :P
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    My brother had one of those old Dodge 600 convertibles. nearly got himself killed in it but that wasn't the car's fault. He was behind a truck at a red light. The truck makes a left turn and my brother just assumed that the light had changed. It hadn't. So as my brother pulls into the intersection he got hit by a tanker truck. If there'd been anything in the tank of the truck it would have killed him. The extra steel reinforcing the sides of the convertible actually helped matters.

    It's better than 20 years down teh road and he's still kicking - and still driving convertibles.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    I saw an 80s Volvo 700 series turbo today that was really a blast from the past. Black with tinted windows and period style black and alloy BBS style wheels, and it was pristine, looked brand new. Can't be many left like that.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    BBS wheels - nice period touch. Was the driver sporting the Don Johnson look?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I saw an 80s Volvo the other day---one of those Bertone model coupes---with school bus tail lights attached to the trunk lid with sheet metal screws, a tow hitch with heavy chain wrapped around it, the trunk held down by bungees, gray body with one white door, shredded vinyl roof, and hood held down by a very long black strap attached with hooks to each fender well. Driver was a small bald guy with a huge white beard, next to him a dog that looked like about the size of a bear.

    Be afraid, be very afraid. :surprise:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    A nice pastel suit would have gone well with that car. I actually thought it was pretty cool...I have a little nostalgia for 80s stuff. Although, I'd much rather have a fully kitted 80s AMG.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Sounds like a typical beater Volvo driver...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    I actually thought it was pretty cool...I have a little nostalgia for 80s stuff.

    Now you have me wanting to fire up the Intellivision emulator on my Mac, to pass the time until I can go home and catch the old Newhart reruns I TiVo'ed the other nite. :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Small world...for some unknown reason, I had the Newhart theme song in my head the other day :blush:

    Some of the 80s I don't wish to recapture...I have no plans to ever own a Ciera or a S10 Blazer like my parents had...but I like many German cars of that period, and even a few Japanese cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    Actually I kinda like those Ciera coupes, from around 1987 or so, that had the T-bird style roofline. One of those with the 3.8 V-6 might be kinda fun. I don't know how much effort I'd be willing to put forth to relive that kind of flashback, though.

    For the most part though, with domestics of the 80's, I can usually draw the line at FWD versus RWD. If it's RWD, usually I like it. If it's FWD, not so much.

    I watched an episode of Newhart last night. George had quit his handyman job and gotten a job selling used cars at some sleazy joint. In the showroom they had a 1985 or so Cavalier. For some reason, they referred to it as a Plymouth! :confuse:
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ....about Cutlass Cieras too much, but my friend's parents had one in high school that was quite nice: an '86 International Series sedan, burgandy with matching cloth interior. This was Ciera's 'sport model': had the 3.8 V6 (165hp, which was quite a lot back then), nice contoured bucket seats (6-way power driver's), the FE3 suspension and BBS-looking lacy 15" alloys with beefy tires. That car was quite a lot of fun to drive, great acceleration, nice tight steering, handled well, plus it had lots of room for a reasonably mid-sized, not super heavy car. Of course, no airbags or much other heavyish electronic stuff back then (doubt it had ABS). My mom had an '86 Toyota Cressida at the time (same engine as the Supra), which actually felt sluggish off the line compared to the Ciera, though at higher, speeds I think the Cressida was better.

    Oh yeah, I had hair then too, and weighed about 50 pounds less, but who's counting?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    One of my grandmother's friends had one of those Ciera International Series sedans as well, and I think it was an '86, too. I remember it having the "FE3" badge on it, and my grandmother's friend saying "that means it's sporty" or something along those lines. It was a light silverish gray with dark gray accents, and it was a pretty sharp looking car, I thought.

    She moved down to North Carolina awhile back, and I think Grandmom lost contact with her. For all I know, she could still have the car! Before the Ciera, she had an early 70's Maverick, so she tended to hold on to cars for awhile.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Our Ciera wasn't a bad car, but I yawn when I think about it now. It wasn't a 3.8 or any kind of sport pretentions though - plush velour, wire wheel hubcaps, etc.

    I could live with having a pristine correctly-engined ca. 1980 Eldo or Seville - no vinyl top, wheels instead of hubcaps, nice colors - as an unusual toy, if I had a place to put one after I had the other cars I'd want. Not a lot of 80s domestics are endearing to me. Of course, something like a GNX could be interesting to have around, too. Some 80s T-Birds and Mustangs can be interesting in their own ways too...but they have to be very original and unmessed with.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    That was a period GM trait, wasn't it? Very sensitive throttle that made the cars rocket off the line, but it ran out relatively soon.

    I like the 82-85 Supra, and the Cressidas were interesting, compared to how boring Toyota has become.

    In 1986 I was in 4th grade :P
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Andre, isn't that a 1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88 at the beginning of "Newhart?" My brother used to have a crush on Julia Duffy who plays Stephanie on that show. Trivia: the guy that plays George, (Tom Poston) was married to Suzanne Pleshette.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    Close, I think it was a '73 Delta 88. The one on Newhart still had the peaks between the headlights, but I think that got toned down compared to '71-72. The one on Newhart also had the taillights in a horizontal pattern. Didn't the '72 have vertical lights...one in the bumper and one above?

    I believe Bob Newhart has outlived two tv wives now. Didn't the lady who played Joanne die, in addition to Suzanne Pleshette?
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 2,055
    Yeah, Mary Frann. She died about 10 years ago. A real loss; I liked her on the show, although I thought Bob and Suzanne had better chemistry.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88

    image

    1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88

    image

    You're right. The 1972 model's taillights remind me of what Chrysler did in 1973.
  • mp67rivmp67riv Posts: 14
    I also thought the Ciera coupes were kinda nice...but I probably wouldn't seek one out for restoration. I am trying to decide what to do with my 83 6000STE. I've owned it since 87, and the body and interior are still reasonably good. It was a neat car in its day, even with FWD. After 170K, the 2.8 HO V6 runs pretty good, though it has a few oil leaks. I'm thinking about swapping the 2.8 for a 3800 and making it a restore project with my 11 year old son. But, first gotta finish the 61 Electra 225...
  • mp67rivmp67riv Posts: 14
    Good pictures! IMO, the 72 was much nicer and more consistent with Old's styling cues beginning in the late 60s and continuing into the 90s. I like the stacked tail lights and the peak between the headlights.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ....I always really liked the '71 and '72 Delta 88s, the '73s much less so, mostly because of the taillights. My friend's grandma had a '72 sedan in the mid-80s, I really liked that car....to bad it used so much gas, which is why it was replaced with a Chevette, of all things.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    I like them all, but for some reason, never cared for the peaked headlights. I think my favorite years for style (if not performance) are 1974-76, in no particular order. I like the overall clean-ness of the '74. I also like that funky hardtop coupe roofline they used in '74-76, where they tried to go for that "colonade" look, but still managed to work in a roll-down rear window. I also like the roofline of the '75-76 4-door sedan and hardtop.

    I know it was starting to become a charade by that time, but I like the way GM was still able to differentiate their cars back then. A Delta 88 felt like it was more car than an Impala or Caprice.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,019
    I had a friend who had a loaded '80's Ciera coupe. It was a pretty nice car for the time, I think he bought it new. My now deceased father-in-law had a '73 Delta sedan, he was meticulous about maintenance and got well over 200K out of the car with the original drivetrain. He finally junked it when my MIL was driving it and the suspension pulled away from the rusted frame almost making her crash the car.

    My friend who had the Ciera coupe also had a nice Lebaron coupe before that. The ones that looked like a Diplomat. I don't remember seeing many of those. Were those kind of rare? I'm sure Andre knows... :)
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,568
    y friend who had the Ciera coupe also had a nice Lebaron coupe before that. The ones that looked like a Diplomat. I don't remember seeing many of those. Were those kind of rare? I'm sure Andre knows...

    The Lebaron coupes were somewhat popular from '77-79, less so for '80-81. My old car book doesn't break down 1977 production by body style, but that year they sold about 55K LeBarons...not too bad considering it was a mid-year introduction, and Chrysler didn't have the best reputation by that time. For 1978, they sold about 16K of the base coupe, and 37K of the nicer "Medallion" coupe. In 1979, they sold 11K base coupes, 18K of the midline "Salon" coupe, and 22K of the top line "Medallion" coupe.

    For 1980, the LeBaron and Diplomat were given more squared-off styling, the look that continued through 1989. That year, the coupe models were moved from the 112.7" wb to 108.7", so that they didn't compete too much with the newly downsized Cordoba/Mirada, which were also on the 112.7" wb. In 1980, the LeBaron sold around 8K base coupes, 18K Salon coupes, and 10K Medallion coupe. My book doesn't break out coupe/sedan sales for 1981, but the LeBaron as a whole only sold around 42K units that year, so coupes I'd imagine accounted for maybe 15K.

    Now these sales were nowhere near what the likes of the Monte Carlo, Cutlass Supreme coupe, Regal, Monte Carlo, and T-bird were pulling in. But for a company that was on the ropes, and hanging by a thinner and thinner strand as the 70's wore on, it didn't do too badly. And somehow, they actually managed to get the LeBaron/Diplomat more or less right from the start. The Aspen/Volare was a mess when it debuted in 1976, although by '78 it wasn't too bad. The '78 Omni/Horizon had teething problems as well. The '79 R-body full-sizers were thrown together pretty sloppy. I think the thing that saved them though, is that they were based on the older midsize cars, so while they didn't give a good first impression, they would soldier on, rusting, dropping trim pieces, springing water leaks, etc, long after equivalent Ford or GM products blew an engine, transmission, or something else. The 1980 Cordoba/Mirada were pretty bad, too. Good looking cars, but they rusted, trim pieces fell off, interiors disintegrated, etc.

    Now, like the Aspen/Volare, Chrysler did manage to improve most of these cars after the first year or two. However, you know the old cliche about not getting a second chance to make a good first impression. So predictably, sales fell off quickly once word spread about how bad the first-year models were.

    Those LeBaron and Diplomat coupes were nice. Back in the 1990's, I used to see a '77-79 style Diplomat in the parking lot at work. It was downright luxurious inside...leather interior, nice carpeting, etc. I think Chrysler should get some credit for bringing luxury to the masses. I don't think you could get leather in something like a Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, etc back then.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...rough-looking black 1968 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop with black vinyl roof and Cragar wheels for sale on Rising Sun Avenue a block south of Cottman in NE Philly. If I had the time and money for such a project, I'd replace the Cragars with some nice factory Ralleye (sp?) wheels.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Yesterday evening I attended the local dealer's hoopla for the new E-class, and a few people arrived in odd cars. Someone drove a 70s VW van with wide whites :confuse: , someone had a nice W116 300SD, an 80s 911 Targa, and the highlight was a W112 300SE coupe. It was in very nice condition, but not a high end restoration - maybe an old cosmetic job. The paint was nice and the wood (the cars have tons of it) looked good, but not perfect. Those cars with their air suspension and odd engine are bottomless money pits, so it is a labor of love to get one to even a nice condition.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Today I spotted a TR3 and a 356, both nice restored cars, both driven by older women who didn't look to be enjoying the experience. The Porsche driver looked especially uneasy.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,735
    Today I spotted a TR3 and a 356, both nice restored cars, both driven by older women who didn't look to be enjoying the experience

    I wonder if they'd like me to take those old crocks off their hands. :P

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    TR3 is a devil to restore. Everything unbolts, like a little model car, and getting it all to fit once you've banged it out and painted it is a real pain in the butt. Gutsy big 4-banger of an engine, originally made for a tractor. A TR3B with overdrive would be nice.

    A 356 by comparison seems like an advanced spaceship built by aliens. Also worth double or triple in price.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    I suspect the TR3 lady, in her floppy hat, was a longtime owner and probably has an attachment to the car.

    The Porsche lady however...she had a couple younger passengers in the car, I was guessing they were her kids, and maybe her other half had recently become unable to drive for whatever reason, and they were seeing if she could drive it, or teaching her. She was sitting very close to the wheel, almost over it, and looked unhappy. Maybe she could be convinced to sell :shades:

    The TR3 was baby blue, and the 356 was white (of course) with 1963 year of manufacture plates.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Out and about in my own obscure car today, and all I have seen was a pagoda SL from a distance, and an immaculate early 80s Mazda 626 coupe, driven by a very young looking Asian girl - who almost got rear ended by a distracted yuppie idiot in a Lexus GX. I haven't seen a nice example of one of those Mazdas in a long time.

    I have a memory of those cars...when I was a little kid, maybe around 1982 or so, the neighbor lady had a yellow Fox body Mustang, with T-tops and all of the malaise sport trim. I remember I thought it was an awesome car, and she told me she'd take me for a ride in it with the T-tops off someday, as they interested me. Well, one day the Mustang was gone and in its place was a new 626 coupe, with "Luxus" badging - I remember it clearly. I didn't ever ask for that ride.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 134,147
    In a sort of copper color.. Don't see many Fairmonts, let alone wagons...

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    I saw a Jowett Jupiter. The only one I've seen in my life.
    Now that's a bizarre car.

    I watched a Fiat Jolly go by on a Flat bed today

    And an old blue haired lady crusing PCH in a beautiful 67 e type Jag Coupe.

    A good day over all.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 134,147
    I'm pretty sure it was a '64.. In perfect condition.... in a sort-of-light blue, that looked like a factory color..

    Really, really nice... :)

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The Fiat Jolly is probably worth more, and a hotter item in the marketplace, than the Jaguar E Type coupe if it's a 2+2 coupe, but you said it was beautiful so I assume it's a Series 1 coupe from 1967--the far better looking of the two coupe models for '67. The 2+2 is consider ungainly by most Jag people and is not desired. You can buy these under $15000 if they are automatics.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Wow...are you sure you're not in England? ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    Today's oddity - ca. 1991 Mitsu Galant VR4 - the loaded high tech model that must suffer from both unobtanium parts and mechanical maladies, as they are virtually extinct now. Also saw an early K-car LeBaron sedan and a loud pagoda SL that almost sounded like a small V8 - but I think the exhaust can be tuned that way.

    Edit: A-H 3000 just drove by my window, steel blue, looked pristine.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,440
    a first generation late 90s Audi A8 today. Still a nice car but looks too much like an A4, just larger scale. I think the MB S class and BMW 7 series of that era have more presence.

    boomchek: driven 10,000+ cars, sold 1000+ cars, owned 50+ cars

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...red 1967 Chrysler Newport two-door hardtop with a white vinyl roof.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,081
    Not a classic, but certainly on it's way to becoming obscure. I don't think that I ever saw one on the road before. It just looks weird. Why would you buy one instead of an X5?

    image
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,955
    "Still a nice car but looks too much like an A4, just larger scale"

    Lucky that Audi had a good basic design at the time, the A4/A6/A8 were virtual triplets, except for size. Audi didn't take much grief for it, it seems.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    I thinks it's for the highline SUV buyer who wants to play the "sport" masquerade above the others. It really is an odd thing, and in person it looks like it must weigh 10 tons.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,397
    I bet it's a labor of love to keep one of those going today.

    The SWB versions are especially like a larger A4.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    ca. 1991 Mitsu Galant VR4 - the loaded high tech model that must suffer from both unobtanium parts and mechanical maladies, as they are virtually extinct now.

    I dunno; they're basically the same drivetrain as the AWD turbo Eclipse and there are plenty of DSM parts out there.
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