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Need expert help. What 80's / 90's cars are starting to be restored


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Rare in the case of that TDI PASSAT WAGON only equates to one thing. No future parts support in this country if any to speak of now. No future as a potential restoration vehicle. Actually no future at all beyond the cruncher when it dies like it or not!

Jim

Tons of aftermarket parts are still available for the car and will be for a long long time (and most VWs going way back). In Europe you can get just about any part NOS or Ebay. These cars are basically Audis and you have that network as well.

I also give it kudos for uniqueness and versatility. I have driven on 100% U.S. made waste veggie oil biodiesel since 2003. My city range is 950 miles @ about 36-39 mpg.

One guy uses one to power his home using a wheel spun generator.

Alternative fuel cars may be a new type of collector car. An alternative fuel wagon that can do pretty darn well on an autocross course I might add.

:D:D

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Rare does not equal valuable or collectible, IMO.

No words are truer than these above!!!

For the record, I personally think VERY few 80's or 90's cars will have any real collectibility in the future.

Here are a few which I believe will be or will somewhat be.

1. 1987 Buick Grand National GN, and GNX (I actually own a mint, original 16k mile, unmolested GN)

2. 1982 Corvette Collector's Edition

3. 1989 Turbo Trans Am (Same engine as a Grand National)

4. 1989 Mercedes SL560 (Last of the classic styled Benz's)

5. 1987-89 BMW M6

6. 1993-97 Toyota Supra Turbo

7. 1993-95 Mazda RX-7

8. 1991 GMC Syclone, and Typhoon

And honestly not much else. There are probably a few more here and there, but I'm certainly not missing many.

Here's a couple of pics of my 87 GN. It's a true time capsule. 100% as delivered from the factory, including the paint and tires. The only thing that has ever been changed has been the lower radiator hose. I keep it in an AC'd garage, covered.

87GNand65Riv007.jpg

87GNand65Riv024.jpg

87GNand65Riv022.jpg

87GNand65Riv029.jpg

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................

And honestly not much else. There are probably a few more here and there, but I'm certainly not missing many.

Rob, you need to attend an AACA Meet to see what this club is really about. We have show cars that many would not consider rare, 4 door sedans and the like, that have spectators reminiscing about what they grew up with. The AACA is not about "rare" antique cars. It's about "all" antique cars.;)

There are lots of cars being made today too, that will be on an AACA show field in 25 years. I guarantee it. :)

Wayne

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Wayne is absolutely correct. Your list is way way too narrow. There are young kid tuner groups for a lot of these newer cars. There are people 47 years old like me that were too poor to buy some cars new or off-new that can now afford them.

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Rob,

You should attend an AACA National Meet. Here is a list of the 1980's cars that were on the Showfield in Homestead, right down the road from your hometown recently:

1985 Chevrolet...........................................M. Roy Kahn, Boca Raton, FL

1980 Porsche.......................................Eugenio A. Tormes, Jr., Miami, FL

1986 Porsche.................................................Guy A. Lewis, Pinecrest, FL

1982 Ford.....................................................Eddie Bibb, Birmingham, AL

1984 Cadillac Eldorado..........................................Ed Nieves, Miami, FL

1986 Pontiac Fiero................................Andrew Leavy, Coral Springs, FL

1981 Chevrolet Corvette...............................Guy A. Lewis, Pinecrest, FL

1981 Chevrolet Corvette.......................Manuel G. Rodriguez, Miami, FL

1986 Chevrolet Corvette.......................Robert E. McMullen, Apopka, FL

1983 Oldsmobile......................................Gary A. Shanock, Pinecrest, FL

1981 Oldsmobile..........................R. Wayne Burgess, Millers Tavern, VA

You might want to add a few to your list. These are just the cars already being collected and shown at just one meet. This is a small sample of the cars of the 80's that are already being collected.

I should also add that, while I did not take it to Homestead, I also own a 1984 Buick Riviera. So, you can add Riviera's of the 80's to your list too.

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Yes, there will always be some people whom will collect any and all types of cars.

I think with my list, I was referring more to mainstream collectibility. Let's face it, some people may like an 81 or 83 Olds, but the reality is, very few people overall will really care. My point stems more to the fact that I don't feel as many 80's and 90's cars are going to be collected, restored, ect. as say 60's and early 70's cars overall have been. Just my opinion. And that very few 80's cars will gain mainstream collectibility when compared to 60's, 70's and older cars. Let's face it, the reality is the 80's and early 90's were dark days for US automakers. Most cars they made were junk.

I'll try to make the next meet with my GN. BTW, I live in Pinecrest, FL. Pinecrest is an incorporated area within Miami.

Rob.

Edited by Rob J (see edit history)
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I will recommend this post as reading for the guys that wonder "why are car clubs dying?"

When I see someone telling another, that the car they are enthusiastic about, is NOT collectable. I see in some cases, another potential member told to take a hike. If you are one of those head in the sand types that say that, shame on you.

Too bad this turned into a rant rather than an answer to the question in post #1.

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My wife recently inherited a 2000 Olds Intrigue from her deceased father with only 54000 miles on it. It's in excellant condition but an electronic nightmare, too many bells and whistles! I'm not sure it will be of a collector value or not some day as they don't make Olds. anymore.

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Rob, you need to attend an AACA Meet to see what this club is really about. We have show cars that many would not consider rare, 4 door sedans and the like, that have spectators reminiscing about what they grew up with. The AACA is not about "rare" antique cars. It's about "all" antique cars.;)

There are lots of cars being made today too, that will be on an AACA show field in 25 years. I guarantee it. :)

Wayne

+1

Well Spoken!

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I will recommend this post as reading for the guys that wonder "why are car clubs dying?"

When I see someone telling another, that the car they are enthusiastic about, is NOT collectable. I see in some cases, another potential member told to take a hike. If you are one of those head in the sand types that say that, shame on you.

Too bad this turned into a rant rather than an answer to the question in post #1.

I don't see it that way at all. It is not telling someone their car is junk. It is a general statement about most cars of that era.

People may want a 1957 Chevy convertible or "Christine" Plymouth Fury or 1957 Bonneville, but many people can't afford those, so they will get the 4 door pillared sedan and take it to shows. It is still a very interesting car they can show that is not all that much different than their dream car, but it is way less money and probably more practical if they have a family they want to take with.

Now look at a 1990 Chevy Celebrity or Olds Ciera. No convertible or hardtop to draw attention. There is nothing distinctive about styling. Performance versions basically entailed blacking out chrome and using a stiffer suspension. Certainly nothing like muscle car versions of 1960's intermediates. So while someone might pick up a low mileage one, I don't think too many people will be seeking one out for a full restoration project that will take years and cost lots of money.

Plus times have changed. Cars used to change every year. Dealers would soap over windows so nobody could get a sneak peak before the new models were officially revealed. Now cars look the same for 5-10 years. Nothing worth soaping a window over when the new model looks exactly the same as last year's.

Many people collect cars based on what they remember from their youth. The family car they rode in on vacations, neighbor's car they envied, car that wowed them when the dealer unveiling took place, or the car they had in high school. Cars simply aren't as important to the average person anymore. Kids sitting in the back are watching their DVD's. Not noticing unique styling or quirky features, of which there probably aren't any anyway. They probably don't even know the make of the minivan they are riding in because it is not as important to them as texting. Getting a first car used to be a big deal. It was all about trying to get a cool car when you couldn't afford one. Now teeneagers just want something to get them to a mall. They don't care what it is as long as they are not stuck with mom's minivan. So when they are of age to buy a collector car, what unique things will there be for them to remember to undertake full restorations, especially when if they did want a car from this era, they can just buy one off Ebay in excellent condition for a few thousand dollars and no effort?

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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..........I don't see it that way at all. It is not telling someone their car is junk.
..........When I see someone telling another, that the car they are enthusiastic about, is NOT collectable. I see in some cases, another potential member told to take a hike.

I think you missed your own quote, Link!????

Telling someone anything with the word "NOT" in it, is a sure fire way to turn that person off.

The AACA's mission is to get new members, not turn them away.;)

Wayne

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First I never said that anyone collecting 80's or 90's cars are not welcome here, or that those cars are junk.

Second, it is no secret in this hobby that '57 Chevys, '59 Cadillacs, Mustangs, and Corvettes are much more highly collected cars than many other vehicles of the same era. That does not mean that all other cars are junk and their owners are being insulted. It simply means they are not as popular. Same deal with most 80's - 90's cars.

When they are not as popular, and not worth as much, fewer people will spend huge amounts of money and time restoring them when you can get one in good shape for 1/3 or less the cost of restoring one.

Offer up a Duesenberg that is little more than a rusted pile of parts, and you will get a bunch of people that will want to buy and restore it. Same deal with a 1957 Chevy. Lots of people will want to restore or customize it. Offer up a 1985 Celebrity or Olds Ciera in that shape, and I doubt if you will get anyone interested in buying and restoring it. That is not insulting anyone that has a nice one. It is a simple fact. I doubt that will change in 5 or 10 years either.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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I will recommend this post as reading for the guys that wonder "why are car clubs dying?"

When I see someone telling another, that the car they are enthusiastic about, is NOT collectable. I see in some cases, another potential member told to take a hike. If you are one of those head in the sand types that say that, shame on you.

Too bad this turned into a rant rather than an answer to the question in post #1.

The wrong quote was assigned to Linc400.

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i'm 60 and easily remember that the cars of the 50s and even late 40s were a dime a dozen in the early to mid 70s. 4 doors were only for parts and there was little interest in post war cars as 'collectable'. how times have changed. maybe the focus will be the cars of the 80s and 90s someday soon.

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i'm 60 and easily remember that the cars of the 50s and even late 40s were a dime a dozen in the early to mid 70s. 4 doors were only for parts and there was little interest in post war cars as 'collectable'. how times have changed. maybe the focus will be the cars of the 80s and 90s someday soon.

Doubtful.

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First I never said that anyone collecting 80's or 90's cars are not welcome here, or that those cars are junk.

Second, it is no secret in this hobby that '57 Chevys, '59 Cadillacs, Mustangs, and Corvettes are much more highly collected cars than many other vehicles of the same era. That does not mean that all other cars are junk and their owners are being insulted. It simply means they are not as popular. Same deal with most 80's - 90's cars.

When they are not as popular, and not worth as much, fewer people will spend huge amounts of money and time restoring them when you can get one in good shape for 1/3 or less the cost of restoring one.

Offer up a Duesenberg that is little more than a rusted pile of parts, and you will get a bunch of people that will want to buy and restore it. Same deal with a 1957 Chevy. Lots of people will want to restore or customize it. Offer up a 1985 Celebrity or Olds Ciera in that shape, and I doubt if you will get anyone interested in buying and restoring it. That is not insulting anyone that has a nice one. It is a simple fact. I doubt that will change in 5 or 10 years either.

Well said. Exactly. I too was not insulting anyone, just stating what was said above.

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Some time in the 1980's a fellow called our shop trying to GIVE AWAY a driveable '59 Cadillac Coupe. I wasn't interested so I offered it to my employees, none of whom were in the least bit interested. i would be very careful making statements about what will or will not be collectible/valuable in the future.

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Some time in the 1980's a fellow called our shop trying to GIVE AWAY a driveable '59 Cadillac Coupe. I wasn't interested so I offered it to my employees, none of whom were in the least bit interested. i would be very careful making statements about what will or will not be collectible/valuable in the future.

X2 hell, times a million. :rolleyes:

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Some time in the 1980's a fellow called our shop trying to GIVE AWAY a driveable '59 Cadillac Coupe. I wasn't interested so I offered it to my employees, none of whom were in the least bit interested. i would be very careful making statements about what will or will not be collectible/valuable in the future.

In the early 1960's, the 1948 Continental was accepted as a CCCA Full Classic at less than 15 years old.

1957 Chevys already had a following in the 1970's, even before they were antiques.

I can see no one wanting a 1959 Cadillac in the early 1970's. It was just a very dated used car then. But that is very surprising for the 1980's. They were already featured in movies, TV shows, magazines, songs, etc. I worked at a housewares/gift store in the early 1980's. Images of 1959 Cadillacs or generic '59 Cadillac-ish cars were on dishes, coffee mugs, radios, towels, ceramics, book ends, salt and pepper shakers, etc., etc. I do not see that happening now with 1989 Cadillacs, Caprices, LeSabres, Tauruses, Celebrities, etc.

Muscle cars being the exception, 1970's full size and compact cars are first starting to be respected as collector vehicles. When they are 32-41 years old! Previously they were called gas guzzling dinosaurs, the compacts were considered jokes, and still don't get much respect. Even on this very forum, there are plenty of people that claim 1970's cars are not "real antiques", they are just used junk. And even though they are getting some respect now, most 1970's cars are not worth doing a full 100 point frame off restoration, when you can buy clean, low mileage examples for a fraction of the cost.

And 1970's cars were the end of an era. 1980's-90's cars are not the end of any kind of era. You were seeing aerodynamic 4 doors. Similar to what is available today. Nostalgia is a big part of the collector car community. A car that doesn't look much different than what is available today is not going to stir up many nostalgic feelings. So I think the majority of 1980's-90's cars, not including a select few muscle or unique examples, will have to wait even longer than the 32-41 years that 1970's cars did. Plus factor in computer parts and complicated electrical systems, and plastic parts that deteriorate without replacements in addition to what is needed for your average restoration, and I think it will be a very long time before restoring (not just collecting) these cars becomes mainstream.

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Linc400 is right on all of the above. I was a teenager in 1980-82 reading Car Exchange magazine and seeing articles focused on musclecars of the 1967-72 vintage--cars only 10-15 years old and already seen as collectors items. "Special interest" was the term of the time. One could already begin to see reproduction parts for Camaro/Firebird/Mustangs.

To sum up I think there is collector interest in clean examples of 1970s & 1980s cars to preserve or refresh, but very little in doing a full restoration, for a number of reasons. Oh, I know it can be done and we have actually seen at least one in the AACA magazine, but due to cost, value, parts complexity and other factors full "ground up" restorations will be very uncommon into the near future IMO. Todd

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All of the Cadillac Eldorados, Buick Rivieras, Reattas, Alantes, Mustang, Camaro, Viper, Trans Am, Prowler, the new Challenger.

The Midsize GM rear wheel drive coupes of the 80s Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Buick Regal, especially the Areo coupes, Monte Carlo and Grand Prix. The cadillac Sevilles, the small Lincolns and the Mk series.

more....

The two passenger sporty versions of the Escort might find some with fond memories.

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The two passenger sporty versions of the Escort might find some with fond memories.

My fond memory, Lee Iacocca's description of the Escort EXP (2 passenger sport model) while introducing the Dodge Daytona/Plymouth Laser in 1984: "a ferret-like mole-car"!

Actually I rather like Escort EXPs, but it was a funny put-down. :)

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I love my '85 Mustang! There is a huge restoration industry devoted to those cars. I have a stack of catalogues that have so many nos parts and reproduction parts you could almost build a brand new one. I wish I still had my '84 olds ciera. It was in great shape when I got it with 60,000 miles on it. It was well made and got well over 30mpgs. The problem if I wanted to "restore" it is that If i was missing any trim pieces or needed body panels, where besides ebay or junk yards would I find those items? I grew up in the 80's and 90's and if I was going to buy and restore a car of that vintage it would probably be for more sentimental reasons and for fun rather than an investment like somthing from the 50s or 60s. Maybe in the future Ill find a ciera like the one I had and make it like new. I would probably take more pleasure in that restoration than any other!

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  • 1 month later...
Originally Posted by Backyardmechanic viewpost.gif

I would hate to try to restore anything from 1980 on as NOS parts would be far an inbetween.As most if not all dealerships sent all there overstock back to the parts depoles for credit or they do not stock many parts ever try to get a trim peice the same day u go there to buy .We are told It'll be here in a few days

Vern.

Right. It's MUCH easier to find NOS parts from the 1950s than the 1980s... :rolleyes:

Today I ran into the problem Vern was alluding to.

My son's car is old, but new enough to have an electric coolant fan from the factory. It has 2 relays that operate it, a "low speed relay" operated by the temperature sensor and a "high speed relay" operated by the a/c unit. When the high speed relay is thrown it overrides the low speed sensor, of course.

Well, the high speed relay went bad. Right now the car has no fan to cool the radiator anytime the a/c compressor is running. He can't run his a/c or the defrosters. The car overheats in VERY short order with either one running, unless it is constantly moving, like on an interstate.

Today I shopped for a new relay.

Ford, and all aftermarket suppliers, discontinued this relay at least 2 years ago. It does not exist in the parts books/databases anywhere (I tried every parts store/chain there is.), and no retail outlet anywhere stocks it. The nearest Ford dealer that still has an old one (NOS?????) in stock is over 100 miles from here, and their price for it is $117.00.:eek: (It's a small, non-rebuildable 20 amp relay with the appropriate connector to the harness. It would fit inside the box a Matchbox car came in.)

I'm now forced to either try and find a used relay in a junkyard, or re-wire the car such that the fan runs on high speed all of the time.

This ancient, exotic car that exists in numbers too small to stock a part so basic to the operation of the car...... a 1996 Ford Escort!:mad:

Pitty the poor guy who tries to authentically restore his favorite Escort to stock condition 10/20/30 years from now.:( I'd much rather be looking for parts for a 1950s car. It is "MUCH" easier already for some items.

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I'd try Mazda, they used the same setup on many of their cars.

You of course know exactly what you're looking for but RockAuto appears to show two completely different radiator fan relays as available.

In any case there's likely a universal relay that'll work. I wouldn't set the fan to run all the time.

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Back in the 70's, I used to say, There no cars that will be collectable,unless it's unique. When the fuel crissis hit everything shrunk. The trend I noticed was pick-up's stayed popular, large and hauling capacity. The auto company's noticed also and started loading them with anything imaginable. And ruined the farm truck market. To bad El Caminos faded away. So my opinion of what would be collectable runs with the pick-up's.

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I'd try Mazda, they used the same setup on many of their cars.

Thanks Roger. I spent 2 hours today touring the biggest U-Pull lot here in Cincinnati. The part my son's car needs turns out to be a 1995/1996 only item for a/c equipped Escorts. If it cross references with any Mazda parts I couldn't find them either physically today or in any book yesterday. I looked in several Mazdas at the U-Pull and couldn't find anything that looked like it.

Out of about 8 Escorts of the right year in the junkyard, 3 still had the relay. I bought all three. At $3 each it wasn't worth going back there again in case the "new" one was bad too. I might also have a bad (high resistance) fan that is causing the relay to blow. (It works fine at the "low speed", but who's to say....?)

It seems I'm not the only one who's run up against this here in Cincinnati.:(

I had a similar issue in 1987 with a 1982 Fairmont dealer-only exhaust part that Ford had run out of nationally. Running the car without it until a new batch could be made killed the engine in a few months. (!t was my PA "state car", and I did what my supervisor told me to do. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:) I never found out if that part ever came in.

Does Ford (& maybe other companies) deliberately short-stock and discontinue early some older parts to discourage vehicle longevity, and therefore encourage new car sales????? :confused::rolleyes: Even if this isn't a deliberate tactic, it certainly bodes ill for finding similar parts for these cars when it comes time to restore them as antiques.

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Dave,

That only seems to happen in the Porsche world, where most parts are factory available. No major manufacturer in the US is interested in the long-term supply end. That's why they license their stuff out to people willing to buy their name.

I stated right from the beginning of this discussion that electronics and electrical will make some cars uncollectible.

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Short stocking (?) isn't limited to cars a few yaers old. That to a mouse, I needed a replacement fuel line for my then nearly new 2007 Chevy HHR, the only place that had one was a dealer in FL, I'm in MN. They said the needed to send it back to the distribution center, and it would have to be sent to my dealer from there.

I had a custom fuel line made at the shop where I take my old cars rather than wait for GM to get the part to me.

I had a similar prissue getting a rear window wiper blade for the car when it was less than a year old.

But I like these cars enough that I bought a 2011 month ago.

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Today I ran into the problem Vern was alluding to.

My son's car is old, but new enough to have an electric coolant fan from the factory. It has 2 relays that operate it, a "low speed relay" operated by the temperature sensor and a "high speed relay" operated by the a/c unit. When the high speed relay is thrown it overrides the low speed sensor, of course.

Well, the high speed relay went bad. Right now the car has no fan to cool the radiator anytime the a/c compressor is running. He can't run his a/c or the defrosters. The car overheats in VERY short order with either one running, unless it is constantly moving, like on an interstate.

Today I shopped for a new relay.

Ford, and all aftermarket suppliers, discontinued this relay at least 2 years ago. It does not exist in the parts books/databases anywhere (I tried every parts store/chain there is.), and no retail outlet anywhere stocks it. The nearest Ford dealer that still has an old one (NOS?????) in stock is over 100 miles from here, and their price for it is $117.00.:eek: (It's a small, non-rebuildable 20 amp relay with the appropriate connector to the harness. It would fit inside the box a Matchbox car came in.)

I'm now forced to either try and find a used relay in a junkyard, or re-wire the car such that the fan runs on high speed all of the time.

This ancient, exotic car that exists in numbers too small to stock a part so basic to the operation of the car...... a 1996 Ford Escort!:mad:

Pitty the poor guy who tries to authentically restore his favorite Escort to stock condition 10/20/30 years from now.:( I'd much rather be looking for parts for a 1950s car. It is "MUCH" easier already for some items.

You could always wire in a toggle switch on the dash that could allow the driver to turn the fan on high when they turn on the AC or defroster..

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You could always wire in a toggle switch on the dash that could allow the driver to turn the fan on high when they turn on the AC or defroster..

How often are you around teenagers?????:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

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