You’ve heard the term “trash panda” as a derogatory term for our friend the raccoon — but I’ve got a new one for ya; The “dumpster unicorn.” That is a car that is indeed a rare thing, but should be recycled into fridge magnets. Or it is a pipe of parts in a bin that could be turned into a rare mythical beast. This next car is a 4th generation Buick Century — I’ve probably not seen one on the road for a good 20 years (for good reason?) but this next version is the rarest of the rare because it has a turbo V6. Find this 1979 Buick Century Turbo Coupe offered for $3,500 in Catskill, MA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Prices for the 2nd generation Chevrolet Camaro (1970-1981) have been all over the place in the past few years, probably as the wheat gets sorted from the chaff. Is this next one a sheep or a goat…I’m not sure, but I am sure that it has a newer Vortec small block V8 put in place of the original small block (or it could have come with a 250 inline-6) but it is fed with a carburetor instead of fuel injection. Find this 1977 Chevrolet Camaro offered for $4,200 in Chico, CA via craigslist.
In the early 1970s the automotive world was reeling from the twin crises of new smog laws, safety laws, and increasing fuel prices…whoops, that’s three crises. Anyway, this meant that the performance of the late 1960s was gone and so Chrysler did what any reasonable domestic OEM would do…and that was the replace performance with slap-on gaudy cosmetic pieces of trim and pray that people didn’t realize that European and Japanese auto makers were building better product. What you see next is a resurrection of the Road Runner name on a Plymouth Volare, which was a rebadged Dodge Aspen. Find this 1977 Plymouth Volare Road Runner offered for $11,500 in Rockville Centre, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Honda has sold the Civic since 1972, but in that time Chevrolet changed the name of their compact car from the Nova to Citation to Cavalier to Cobalt to Cruze and now Bolt. Changing the model name was (is?) a feeble attempt to wash the taste from the last pile of junk out of your mouth, but this next car is different. This Citation is one of the few that survives and has only 19,000 miles on the odometer. But….best of the breed, is still a dog. Find this 1980 Chevrolet Citation offered for $6,500 in Parker, SD via ebay.
This next car was a bit of a puzzle when I first opened the pics. It appears that someone thought a Lincoln Continental would be better with side pipes…which is like putting three Mercury outboards on the Queen Mary. It won’t go any faster, but it’ll make lots of noise and look sweet. And then I recognized the sticker on the back window — LeMons Rally. A Rally is an automotive event where people drive their cars together and geek out, and LeMons is the cool race for $500 beaters…and LeMons rally is like a rally for pirates, but in the 21st Century. Find this 1977 Lincoln Continental offered for $6,900 in Commerce, GA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I know that an ’85 Eldorado is going to be a largely horrible car to drive around from a handling perspective, and performance from the 4.1 “High Technology” V6 is going to be painful, but I still am enamored by the idea of daily driving one of these. And this one has only 37638 miles on the odometer and is finished in a fantastic shade of prosthetic limb tan. Find this 1985 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz offered for $5,500 in Oakland, CA via craigslist.
The metal door vin plate on this next car has one of the most awesome inscriptions I’ve ever seen on a door plate — it says; AMERICAN MOTORS ADVANCED UNIT CONSTRUCTION; Advanced Unit Construction combines body and frame into a single all-welded structural unit, deep-dip primer paint, galvanized steel sections, plus lustre-gard baked acrylic enamel protect against body rust. It just sounds amazing. It sounds like a car that will last for a hundred years with just regular maintenance…until you remember that American Motors is AMC…and this car was built in 1977, which has been scientifically proven to be the worst year of all time for cars to be manufactured, but paradoxically the best year for a movie to be made (Star Wars, A Bridge Too Far, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Jabberwocky, Saturday Night Fever, Speedtrap, The Spy Who Loved Me, and last but not least Slap Shot). Find this 1977 AMC Hornet AMX offered for $6,500 in Colfax, WI via craigslist. Tip from Picklefork.
In the past few years, there has been an interesting shift in where you can find the cheapest used/abused cars on the internet. Craigslist was, for years, the gold standard for finding cheap junk, but they made a small change to limit spammers by charging a few bucks for a listing (back in 2019) and many of the cheapest cars migrated to free-to-list sites like OfferUp and Facebook’s Marketplace. This wasn’t a problem, per se, but I noticed that most Facebash listed cars had very limited info from the seller — just a few sentences usually, a factor driven by the facebook algorithms that convince people to hate their neighbors and feel better about themselves (probably). However, this next car has a long and complete description by the seller AND is offered for a good price. Find this 1977 AMC Pacer X offered for $4000 in Punta Gorda, FL via facelist marketbook. Tip from John W.
This next beast is just about extinct. You just don’t see 80s vintage AMCs driving around anymore — except maybe the occasional Pacer/Gremlin or Eagle 4X4. But the Concord was their compact entry-level sedan offering and you can’t even find these things in junkyards anymore. And if you are going to pick a Concord to save, one with the 258cubic inch inline-6 is the proper one to keep on the road. Find this 1983 AMC Concord offered for $3800 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Sometimes in the morning when I get up, I feel old. My joints are stiff and my head is pounding for a cup of coffee — which is something that didn’t happen a decade (or so) ago. But that’s okay, because being old has its advantages. You get to say things that you felt as a younger person, but didn’t say. You get to dole out your experience to young whippersnappers and tell them how easy they have it these days. But the best part, is that you get to drive a comfortable car. No more stiff, low, sporty cars, no…we don’t need them to get to church on time on Sunday morning or to get your latest prescription filled at the pharmacy at 10am on a Tuesday…no. But what we do need is a car that drives like a 5000 lb marshmallow and has a seriously sweet throwback radiatoresque grill. Now, get off my lawn. Find this 1989 Lincoln Town Car offered for $5500 in East Windsor, CT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.