LuxDriver

Favorite cars of the 70s-80s? Like to hear what the general thoughts are..

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That Celebrity wagon is interesting.  People might overlook it,

but when was the last time they saw a Chevrolet Celebrity wagon--

anywhere?  John, don't even think of using it as a "knock-around wagon"--

that's how all the other station wagons were treated and abused before they 

met their ends.  Carefully preserve it!

 

To me, that wagon is more interesting than a '65 Impala SS.

The latter are all over the place and are almost common today;

your wagon is a rare piece that just needs some time to be appreciated.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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In the 1970s I purchased a new 1973 Chevelle SS with the 350ci eight, auto trans and the cool swivel bucket seats. I was a victim of the poor metal used back then and rusted away way too fast. In 1977 I traded the SS on a new 1977 Chevrolet Nova 2 dr With the Rally option which was stripes, rally wheels, wide tires, and sport suspension. It was a lot better car than the Chevelle. It had a 305 eight and auto trans. That car ran and handled great. The new car bug struck again in 1983 and the Nova was traded for a new 1983 Camaro Z28 equipped with the 5.0 engine and a 5 speed stick this time. After these cars, the ones that followed were dull boring regular drivers.

Terry

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In the 1970s I purchased a new 1973 Chevelle SS with the 350ci eight, auto trans and the cool swivel bucket seats. I was a victim of the poor metal used back then and rusted away way too fast. In 1977 I traded the SS on a new 1977 Chevrolet Nova 2 dr With the Rally option which was stripes, rally wheels, wide tires, and sport suspension. It was a lot better car than the Chevelle. It had a 305 eight and auto trans. That car ran and handled great. The new car bug struck again in 1983 and the Nova was traded for a new 1983 Camaro Z28 equipped with the 5.0 engine and a 5 speed stick this time. After these cars, the ones that followed were dull boring regular drivers.

Terry

Don't blame the metal Terry, what was used to protect it was the problem. I would much rather have that gauge metal on my new cars if I could, sans the extra weight.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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That Celebrity wagon is interesting.  People might overlook it,

but when was the last time they saw a Chevrolet Celebrity wagon--

anywhere?  John, don't even think of using it as a "knock-around wagon"--

that's how all the other station wagons were treated and abused before they 

met their ends.  Carefully preserve it!

 

To me, that wagon is more interesting than a '65 Impala SS.

The latter are all over the place and are almost common today;

your wagon is a rare piece that just needs some time to be appreciated.

 

John, I agree 100%, I even forgot about the car sitting in the garage until she mentioned it to me. I did not mean knock around as a "beater" I only use a car here at the Florida house to go to Publix to get my newspapers and food, maybe the bank. I have an 85 Caprice I bought 5 years ago that I use now just for those trips, easier then climbing into my 2500 Sierra (should have gotten 2WD!) For now the Celebrity is sitting in my temperature controlled building, and there it will sit. Let my sons figure it out when the time comes. It was painted in 1991 after my Father-in-Law had an accident, the work was done by the Chevrolet dealer that sold it to him. They told him it would be best to paint the entire car and that it would not cost that much more. It takes some time to absorb that it is a 28 year old vehicle, and.......it even  has the third row pop up seat.

 

Ironically the Caprice I own belonged to the family behind my Mother-in-Law since new and was sold by the same dealer. If I put 500 miles on it year is a lot, There are more of these around then the Celebrity, but no comparison in the two cars as far as luxury.post-87247-0-55746300-1455818502_thumb.j

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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I guess this group is aging into the trap of collecting luxury cars.  I like them too, but they're expensive to keep pristine or repair. 

For the 70'& 80's, I have to agree with other posters, the El Camino & Caballero are hard to beat.  Stylish, functional, easy to get parts and are usually appreciated in stock condition. The gentleman's pickup is desirable from 1964 to 1987.  I have a great 1981 that I'd trade only for a 1957 Ford Ranchero.

Another great automobile is the Datsun/Nissan 240 Z, 280 Z, 280 ZX and the first 300 ZX.  For 20 years, 1975 -1995 I drove them every day (4 in row).  All were Z-Barted and didn't rust or have many mechanical problems. My favorite one was the 1979 280 ZX.

Both these suggestions have a large following of  devoted fans, which makes replacement parts available to keep them a regular

driver type cars.

not sure where you are but there has been a 1957 ranchero sitting along the highway just south of greewood delaware, looks like it might be both restorable and for sale. it's been there for 10 years or so

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Well my favorite of that period was my 78 Sunbird that dominated Texas and later south Florida F/Stock autocrossing (car was better than the driver). 305 V8/4 speed/Posi/AC.

Fortunately 13x6 Vega wheels were plentiful because I cracked at least one every weekend (once broke the whole center out of one). Also kept Vega four speed Saginaw transmissions around (was fastest starting in 2nd) and tried to keep at least one spare 7 1/2 posi. EVERYTHING (shock towers suspension mounts, clutch mount on firewall) broke or cracked. But it was fast.

ps that 93 followed me home this week. Less than 50 built. But is another decade.
 

post-76431-0-06877900-1456024267_thumb.j

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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Awesome to see this post resurrected ... I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying reading all of the replies & seeing the photos.  Talk about bringing back some memories along the way.....

 

 

Cort > www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

pigValve.paceMaker.cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (needs new owner)
"Something inside has died" __ Carole King __ 'It's Too Late'

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I'm very much into 70's-80's cars. They are lots of fun and far more affordable than older ones. Even the lowly Cordoba is welcome to my fleet.

 

I could fill a whole garage with 1970's cars.

(Actually, I have!)  But I appreciate all eras of cars.

 

It's just that the 1970's-and-up versions are easier on the wallet---

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I'm happy with my 1989 Camaro convertible. Parts are reasonable and they are making repro parts now. If you get a 3rd Gen Camaro, make sure it has the 5-speed manual transmission. Makes it a truly fun car. 

 

Can still get them cheap, but prices are starting to go up. 

 

 

post-76940-0-80435000-1456105759_thumb.j

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I agree with much of what has already been said. I too love the big Lincolns, Cadillac and Imperials. I would also like to add the Checker Marathon (especially the wagon) to the list of my favorites. I have always liked the styling of the 72 Mercury Montego. Oddly enough I always thought the sedan and wagon were better proportioned than the two door models.

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My favorite 70's car would probably be a '76/'77 Toyota Celica GT Liftback.  I had a '77 with some leftover circle track parts (big cam, high compression head, holley carb/intake, side exhaust) and it was a blast.  Looked like a mini-Mustang fastback.  I hope to own another one day.

 

00505_jgRpc7M7zSP_600x4501.jpg

 

 

And for 80's cars it would have to be a widebody '86-89 Mitsubishi Starion/Chrysler Conquest.  I had an '87 in great shape for a little over a year and drove the wheels off of it.  Great handling cars.

 

Chrysler_Conquest_TSI_1989_Mitsubishi_St

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My favorite 70's car would probably be a '76/'77 Toyota Celica GT Liftback.  I had a '77 with some leftover circle track parts (big cam, high compression head, holley carb/intake, side exhaust) and it was a blast.  Looked like a mini-Mustang fastback.  I hope to own another one day.

 

00505_jgRpc7M7zSP_600x4501.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

It sure does, with its home-market bumpers!!  'Exactly how it was SUPPOSED to look without those ghastly 5-mph things at each end mandated by the Feds at the time!

 

Craig

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As I had recently posted, I've been fortunate enough recently to grab onto one of my favorite 70's cars - the 71 Riviera. Can't wait for better weather to get it back on the road after 25 years of storage.

 

post-153309-0-08658100-1456280269_thumb.

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And don't forget the headlight laws that meant every low car with fixed headlights had to be raised. Did bring back hidden headlights- popups met the height standard.

 

Must admit I always liked the H-bodies of the 70's.

 

2intx.jpg

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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8E45E, on 23 Feb 2016 - 8:06 PM, said:

It sure does, with its home-market bumpers!!  'Exactly how it was SUPPOSED to look without those ghastly 5-mph things at each end mandated by the Feds at the time!

 

Craig

 

Definitely, the chrome "smiley" bumpers really transform the look of the car.  First thing I did when I got mine home was to rip off the hideous US market bumpers and start looking for Japanese spec bumpers.  They would have cost as much as I paid for the car for a nice set.  I keep an eye on craigslist and ebay and there haven't been any 76-77 liftbacks for sale in the last few months.  I only know of one locally that's parked in a yard with "keep out" and "no trespassing" signs so I'm reluctant to stop and ask about it. I'd sure love to find another in good shape, seems that they're all out west though.  

 

This is the one I owned for a few months.  I registered it on a Thursday, drove it to work on Friday, and it started knocking on Saturday. Tore it down Saturday night and found that it had trashed the crank and the pistons were hitting the valves- previous owner installed a high lift cam without notching the piston tops.  That was the second engine I'd blown within a few months so I got aggravated with it, put it on craigslist, and sold it within a day.

 

53BAD3C9-1807-46F4-A894-E5A1E76A5EA2.jpg

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Another neat and very overlooked car of the '80's is the Ford Festiva (Mazda 121).  They absolutely suck with the stock 12" wheels and overly soft suspension- tire squeal at normal cornering speeds around town :huh:.  But throw a set of coilovers from a MK2 VW Jetta/Golf and a decent set of wheels/tires and they go around a race track or autocross like nothing else.  Mine is carbureted so it has the lower 58 horsepower engine and I'm running the same times autocrossing as the new Fiesta ST's.  I can't wait to swap in a DOHC 1.6 from a Miata and get a stickier set of tires, should be in the top 5 of the day easily.

 

A buddy of mine races his quite often and has a few videos on youtube of him chasing down Corvettes, Ferraris, etc.  This video is him and his friend's 340 horsepower Miata battling it out. He only has 170 hp in the Festiva.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5F7RWJ7Sro

 

 

CE434EF1-92B2-4898-B444-2868BBE42550.jpg

Edited by theastronaut (see edit history)

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Another neat and very overlooked car of the '80's is the Ford Festiva (Mazda 121). 

Perhaps you are thinking of the 1991-'92 Capri, which was a 2-seat convertible, based on the Mazda 121.

 

The Festiva was based on a Kia Pride.   Don't get me wrong, the Kia/Festiva was a great car, and one still sees them here on the road some 25 years since they've been made.

 

Craig

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My favorite 1970's Car is a Mid 1970's Chevy Nova. 250 CDI 6 Cylinder with a 3 Speed automatic. I have had three driver Nova's in the past and a parts car or two through the years. Those cars were tough as nails and very reliable but here in the not so great North East they rusted away before the drive train ever gave up. I do not have the room now, but would have one again if it was a nice original, and if I had proper storage for it. I do have a 1982 Buick Rivera Convertible in my collection. I really like the way it runs and drives and for the fact that only 1,200 were built that year makes it fairly uncommon. My two cents, Dandy Dave!  

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I always had high horsepower muscle cars in the 60's and 70's (70 SS Chevelle the best), but in the '80's one of my favorites was an '87 Lincoln Mark VII. Not a muscle car, but a very good driver with lots of bells and whistles. Black inside and out, not much chrome and beautiful lines. It was a great highway car for long trips. Traded it in on a Jeep limited edition, what a mistake. Can't keep them all, as much as I'd like to.

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My favorite 1970's Car is a Mid 1970's Chevy Nova. 250 CDI 6 Cylinder with a 3 Speed automatic. I have had three driver Nova's in the past and a parts car or two through the years. Those cars were tough as nails and very reliable but here in the not so great North East they rusted away before the drive train ever gave up. I do not have the room now, but would have one again if it was a nice original, and if I had proper storage for it. I do have a 1982 Buick Rivera Convertible in my collection. I really like the way it runs and drives and for the fact that only 1,200 were built that year makes it fairly uncommon. My two cents, Dandy Dave!

You mean like my 1976 Olds Omega Brougham. I'm the original owner and the cars still has it's original drivetrain, original interior and original paint. See below:

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0124.jpg

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0125.jpg

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Perhaps you are thinking of the 1991-'92 Capri, which was a 2-seat convertible, based on the Mazda 121.

 

The Festiva was based on a Kia Pride.   Don't get me wrong, the Kia/Festiva was a great car, and one still sees them here on the road some 25 years since they've been made.

 

Craig

 

The Festiva was a Mazda design, built by Kia who sold the car as the Kia Pride.  The 121 was Mazda's version.  The Capri shares a lot of parts with the Mazda 323.  I'm actually about to buy a Capri XR2 to use for the FWD parts (oil pan, transmission, etc.) when I swap a Miata 1.6 engine into my Festiva.  All used variations of Mazda's B-series engines so it's easy to swap the parts between the different cars.  

 

mazda-121-05.jpg

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Yeah. That's the one. Dandy Dave! 

 

You mean like my 1976 Olds Omega Brougham. I'm the original owner and the cars still has it's original drivetrain, original interior and original paint. See below:

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0124.jpg
http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0125.jpg

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Other than the obvious (Corvettes, Grand Nationals, certain BMWs and Porsches, Firebirds, Mustangs, Eldorados, boat-tail Rivieras, DeLoreans, etc.) that are already established, if not necessarily universally appreciated collectibles, the most interesting cars of the malaise era in the future are going to be simply clean examples of regular everyday cars.

 

Already there is a kind of indifference among many towards the typical street rods, muscle cars and pony cars that have long dominated car shows and a growing appreciation towards "survivor" little old lady cars that were once passed up by enthusiasts as common. I know that I personally can no longer see the typical muscle car as anything but a "been there, done that", long-since-jumped-the-shark kind of thing, but am still nostalgic to see a nice, well preserved old Matador, Grand Am or Satellite - stuff that was once so common that I wouldn't look twice at it back in the day, but that has long since disappeared from our everyday life.

 

If you look at old photos of car shows, the cars  in the background are now just as antique as the ones on display. Well, today I'd probably be more interested to stroll through a c. 1970s - 1980s parking lot than through that show field. Just as with prewar cars today, just about any one that survives is interesting enough to preserve, even though some are more interesting and/or valuable than others. Any car that defines its era and brings back memories will be collectible in the future, some will just achieve that distinction a little faster.

 

 

Edited by Big Beat (see edit history)
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I always liked the NOVAs (Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo) & almost bought a '77 Pontiac Phoenix (Nova with a Grand Prix interior and the first rectangular headlamps from GM) but bought the V8 Sunbird instead.

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