Back in the 1980s the product planners at GM decided they needed to be more competitive in NASCAR, so they followed what they had done with the 1977-78 Impala Coupe with double bent tempered rear glass, and created a number of “aerodynamic” shared cars for the corporate fleet, including the Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe, and what we have here today, which is a Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe. It isn’t conventionally pretty, but it’s pretty awesome. Find this 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe offered for $17,500 in West Babylon, NY via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.
sporty version of the Alliance called the GTA. Think about it — Boys of the Hood — just look at that hood, it is the flattest, most gangsta hood I’ve ever seen. And the lyricist even talks about his friend trying to steal his Alpine, which was the Renault Alpine GTA — a totally different car, but it all makes sense if you look at it from a 10,000 ft view. Find this 1987 Renault GTA Convertible offered for $3,800 in Sioux Falls, SD. Tip from Rock On!
ver dreamed about driving a car that is simple and reliable, gets mad attention at JDM car shows, but would be totally invisible to other commuters…this is it. The butterfly door equipped Toyota Sera was never sold new in the USA, but with those doors closed it could pass for a compact Toyota/Honda from the 1990s. Performance with the 1.5 liter 5E-FHE inline-4 won’t be superb, but with only 2050 lbs of curb weight the little Sera shouldn’t be a total penalty box. Find this 1990 Toyota Sera offered for $9,999 in Orlando, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I hate to ask this rhetorical question yet again because I know the answer…but I have to do it. Why…oh why are all of the preserved low mile equipped classics equipped with nausea inducing slushbox autotragic transmissions? We know the answer. It is simple. If the car had a manual gearbox, the owner would have driven it more than 2 miles a day because it would have been enjoyable to do it. But…here is yet ANOTHER sloppy slushbox survivor from the 80s. Find this 1987 Honda Accord DX Coupe offered for $5,800 in Old Saybrook, CT via craigslist.
one weird family down the street with the Plymouth Colt. Their youngest kid got caught sniffing glue in the 5th grade and their older kid wore a trench coat when it was 100 degrees outside and both parents would stare at you like they’d never seen a human being before and their neural connection to the space hive was getting interrupted by a meteor shower — but that Colt was the strangest thing about the family. Who would drive such a strange combination of minivan-and-wagon, Japanese-and-American…what is it? Find this 1991 Plymouth Colt offered for $3100 in Huntington Beach, CA via craigslist.
This next tip comes from David who writes: Ach zo! – hey you need to lay ocular orbs on this Nippon spacecraft: I lived in a Japanese town once upon a time known for its retired Yakuza (look for the missing pinkie finger) and a burgeoning subculture of Bosozoku numbnuts who liked to ride around in motorcycle gangs and block the roundabouts. Oh the stories I could tell. Anyway, this van was very much the style of the Yakuza’s son or wealthy Bosozoku who wanted to flex. As I cycled through the photos I had no idea that there was a door to a WC … Find this 1993 Toyota HiAce offered for $14,850 in Oldsmar, FL via facebonzai marketzuck.
A few years after Malcolm Bricklin made a decent amount of money importing small Subarus into the USA, he launched his own auto company, which made the DeLoreanesque SV-1. The SV-1 was a cool car, but was an total financial failure, so Mr Bricklin went back to doing what he did best: importing cheap cars for the US economy car market. Except for the next project he didn’t find a reliable Japanese partner and instead partnered with the Serbian based Zastava Automobiles….and the rest is a punchline to every automotive joke from the 80s/90s. Find this 1990 Yugo Koral 55 offered for $7500 in Chardon, OH via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
If you see a 90s vintage BMW 5-series with a 30i suffix on the badge you might assume it has one of BMW’s sweet sounding 3ish liter inline sixes…but you’d be wrong. For the E34 generation of BMW’s 5-series they started with the 530i with a M30 inline-6 in 1988, but in 1992 they changed over to a 3.0 liter M60 V8. That’s right in 1992 you could get a 535i with a inline-6 making 208 horsepower and 225 ft-lbs of torque or a 530i with a V8 making 215 horsepower and 214 ft-lbs of torque. The M60B30 was a small displacement version of the M60B40 found in the 540i and with a 3.31inch bore and 2.66 inch stroke and 10.5:1 compression ratio it should been capable of making lots of power, but it was under cammed and held back from the factory with a 6500 rpm rev limiter. Here is what you need to do –take the engine apart, coat every rotating component with space age coatings and get a custom ground cam (or four) and some fancy valve springs — open the exhaust and revv it to 8900 rpm. Boom — screaming V8 that nobody else has — and today’s example is one of the few 5-speed equipped 530is I’ve ever seen. Find this 1995 BMW 530i offered for $3,500 in Franklin Hills, CA via craigslist.
The E30 generation BMW 3-series was introduced in 1982, but this one comes from the post ’87 facelift, and has smaller integrated bumpers, removed chrome trim around window, and re-designed rear lights (among other things). BMW also gave the 3-series a number of engine upgrades over the course of production, but that doesn’t matter with this next one because it’s been given an injection of American V8 power courtesy of a Ford 5.0 liter V8 from a Mustang. Find this 1990 BMW 325i with V8 offered for $8995 near Baltimore, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
When I first received this tip with a rave review from DT regular Art C, I thought perhaps Art needed his CO2 detectors checked for function…but then I spent some more time examining the curves of this appliance white Escort and decided that I like it. Perhaps I got a computer virus from the tip? Anyway, some words of wisdom from Art: I don’t know why, but I want to buy this. I think it’s the blue interior combined with a manual wagon that is making me a little hot and steamy…Seriously though, this thing looks to be in GREAT shape! It’s a shame that motor is a dog and ford 90s build quality left something to be desired. Guaranteed to be the only one in your neighborhood though. Find this 1994 Ford Escort LX Wagon offered for $3,450 in Bristol, CT via craigslist.