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


LuxDriver

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I'm new here but I'll put in my 2 pennies.

I agree with the Turbo Buicks of the 80s. I had one and loved it. 85 Regal T-Type

83 Imperial also

Some that didn't get mentioned though

How about the 71-74 AMC Javelin/AMX? I almost bought one from an original owner years ago. (Wish I had)

I also have a soft spot for the VW Westfalias. If I didn't have all the cars I have now I would be on the hunt for one.

78 79 Dodge Li'l Red Express truck. They always bring a smile to my face. I remember as a kid a local dealership had a row of them new right out front.

I also like the Shelby turbo Dodges of the 80s. I've seen a couple of GLH Omnis make higher end musclecars look slow.

I had an 89 Dodge Shadow ES turbo bought new and it was a little pocket rocket.

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Laugh all you want, but this nasty little chunk of French weaponry is about as cool as the '80s get. Take one Renault 5 (that was the LeCar here in the US), yank the wheezing front-wheel-drive powertrain, stuff a turbocharged and intercooled engine in the back, and go hunting. With the same power-to-weight ratio as a C4 Corvette and a suspension that allows you to go through the corners with your foot on the floor, I've not driven a hot hatchback that's as much fun as this little spud.


Sadly, they were cheap for decades, but the market has caught on that they're red hot. They're trading hands for about 10 times what they were about 15 years ago, and it's hard to find one that hasn't been modified and abused. This one has about 10,000 original miles (still sitting on its original tires!), so it's probably the nicest one in the world, but you can probably still get driver-grade cars under $40K.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Laugh all you want, but this nasty little chunk of French weaponry is about as cool as the '80s get. Take one Renault 5 (that was the LeCar here in the US), yank the wheezing front-wheel-drive powertrain, stuff a turbocharged and intercooled engine in the back, and go hunting. With the same power-to-weight ratio as a C4 Corvette and a suspension that allows you to go through the corners with your foot on the floor, I've not driven a hot hatchback that's as much fun as this little spud.


Sadly, they were cheap for decades, but the market has caught on that they're red hot. They're trading hands for about 10 times what they were about 15 years ago, and it's hard to find one that hasn't been modified and abused. This one has about 10,000 original miles (still sitting on its original tires!), so it's probably the nicest one in the world, but you can probably still get driver-grade cars under $40K.

 

 

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Sold here new? or Gray market?

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Like the Lancia Delta Integrale, Peugeot 205 Turbo, et al., the Renault 5 Turbo could only have been a gray-market car.  They were never certified for sale in North America for emissions, bumper/crashworthiness, etc. 

 

Renault did have some nice designs, even if a bit anemic in the engine department.  The Renault 15 and 17 come to mind.

 

Craig

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55 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Like the Lancia Delta Integrale, Peugeot 205 Turbo, et al., the Renault 5 Turbo could only have been a gray-market car.  They were never certified for sale in North America for emissions, bumper/crashworthiness, etc. 

 

Renault did have some nice designs, even if a bit anemic in the engine department.  The Renault 15 and 17 come to mind.

 

Craig

 

That's true; this one was imported when it was new by Sun International in CA, who did most of the R5 Turbos currently in the US. It's kind of interesting because they put a decal over the speedometer face so it would read in MPH, but the odometer is still in kilometers (it reads about 17,600 original km). I don't see many other changes, even to the emissions controls, to federalize it beyond that. It's a sitting duck when the turbo is asleep, but keep it above 3500 RPM or so and it just lunges forward like it's hungry. I never thought much about these cars, either, but now that I've experienced one, they really are pretty cool little machines.

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ref #160

OK have looked it up as far as I can and at least for Pontiac what they had in 1959-1962 was a gadget they called a "Magic-Cruise" that was essentially a throttle holder and found in the accessory section of the parts book. The device shown had part numbers  989582 (59-60) and 983948 (62) which is odd. It appears to have been a dealer installed option. This was at least two generations before the Perfect Circle used later (RPO in 67) with the button in the turn signal stalk.

 

So I'd need to do a lot more research to determine the "platinum class" criteria but did find this:

 

cruiseautoonly.jpg

 

ps suspect this has gone past sanity for most but am checking with Those Who Know. PM if you would like to know more. This is part of the reason I stopped judging.

 

 

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On 4/26/2016 at 11:29 PM, padgett said:

1) Post 153

2) May have been available aftermarket but GM only put it on cars with automatics until the 80s (and the ones I saw were all automatics). Will admit my knowledge before alternators ('63) is a bit sketchy.

 

 

Mr Padgett's Grandson

As you can see from the above quote (from you) that you said GM, which Chevrolet is part of did not offer cruise control in anything other then automatics until the 80's. I provided enough information to show that yes it was indeed installed in manual shift GM cars as early as 1960. Also enough information to prove It was not aftermarket part. It was produced by Perfect Circle who was the sub-contractor for General Motors to be sold and installed by Chevrolet Dealers on Chevrolet full size automobiles regardless of transmission, however it was not available on 348' or 409 engines.I am not 100% sure (I can check it) but Chevrolet might have been the only GM product to offer it at that time, I can check that if have to. Perfect Circle was also the sub-contractor for the units installed on certain Chrysler Products. I am not talking about the throttle holders, Chevrolet dropped that option in the 1960 production year as well as the speed minder option once the Cruise Control was made available. If you need more information, or if the information is not clear to you that I provided please let me know I have much more of it, I would be more then happy to share with you to further your education on the topic, so you don't offer any more misinformation in the future. By the way this similar unit was used up till 1964 also available on manual transmission. I don't know if the unit was a similar unit in 65, and rather then spread false information on speculation like some other do, I rather not comment on those

 

This time I am not going to be as polite as last time, you are wrong, so please let it go 

GM did offer cruise control on manual shift cars before the 80's

So please lets bring this on topic 

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How many doors did it have ? ' 71 was the last year of the Mark III which was a gorgeous car and *think* (not really a Ford person) the year you could get a sunroof.. The '72 Mk IV was nice but a bit bloated. Had "enough" power but with a typical driver was over 5,000 lbs so a prime example of the Great American Land Barge (GALB). Dean Martin had one in a Matt Helm movie (great series of '60s spy books).

 

ps thought a few R5 Renaults were imported.

 

pps had a Le Car very briefly. However it and a Pontiac Aztec had the honor of being the only cars I ever returned before leaving the airport. I could not see out the back of the Aztec in the rain but the Le Car overheated before we left the grounds.

 

ppps Didn't Fatima Blush (Barbara Hershey) have an R5 in Never Say Never Again (a Bond title that is hilarious when you know what it means...)

 

pppps A hobby is not something to be taken seriously.

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There are lots of interesting 70s cars, although for me most are muscle.   The only 80s car that I have the slightest interest in is the 80 Z28.  Only year you could get the 350/4 speed with the cowl induction hood.

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10 hours ago, padgett said:

In 71 there were two. The Town Coupe

 

 

and the Mark III

 

 

Easy way is the turn signals and rear wheel arches.

 

 

 

How about trying the main design cues, the grille and Continental hump?

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Perhaps the greatest car I've ever had was a 1973 Monte Carlo - 454 automatic, with all smog junk removed, swivel buckets, a/c, special wheel option (ie non-steel wheels from GM) lowering unstrung weight considerably, coupled with exceptionally long wheel/suspension travel ... a real tribute to the design talents of  ...?   Dang, cannot remember his name at the moment ... John  Delorean?   

     Just my 2 cts worth ...

             Bob i

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Perhaps the greatest car I've ever had was a 1973 Monte Carlo - 454 automatic, with all smog junk removed, swivel buckets, a/c, special wheel option (ie non-steel wheels from GM) lowering unstrung weight considerably, coupled with exceptionally long wheel/suspension travel ... a real tribute to the design talents of  ...?   Dang, cannot remember his name at the moment ... John  Delorean?   

     Just my 2 cts worth ...

             Bob i

 

 

John DeLorean and Pete Estes

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19 hours ago, bobcanuck said:

Perhaps the greatest car I've ever had was a 1973 Monte Carlo - 454 automatic, with all smog junk removed, swivel buckets, a/c, special wheel option (ie non-steel wheels from GM) lowering unstrung weight considerably, coupled with exceptionally long wheel/suspension travel ... a real tribute to the design talents of  ...?   Dang, cannot remember his name at the moment ... John  Delorean?   

     Just my 2 cts worth ...

             Bob i

Oh my - goes to show how radically different one's experience can be.  My '73 Monte Carlo has the distinction of being the worst car I ever owned.  I did like the sunroof (leaked though), swivel buckets (sort of, always enough wiggle to feel odd though), etc. and the styling was nice - the round headlights were kind of cool compared to the later cars.  But the one I had was a mechanical dog (transmission linkage, ignition, bog runner no matter what we tried) that you could hear rusting away on a quiet night.  Glad your experience was different - big block and no smog are big differentiators , to be sure!

 

I think for US cars the '79 - '85 Eldo/Riv models are kind of cool cars.  Continental Marks are cool as well.

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I would take a '73 Grand Am over a Monte Carlo of the same year anyday!  All the Chevelle/Monte Carlo 'A'-body line showed a 'built down to a price' look and feel about them, where the Grand Am did not.  Even the wood on the dashboard was actually real.  Above all, the front of the Grand Am was far better looking without those ugly 5-mph bumpers ruining the design.

 

Craig

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AFAIR there were 7 73 Grand Ams built with SD455s (saw some photos from Milford) but fell victim to the EPA decree as did the SD455 in the Grand Prix (GA actually had a GP interior). Am on my third GP and second with a manual trans.

 

Do remember the '73 GA as being better looking in a four door than a 2 door.

 

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I like the 1971 and 1972 Buick Riviera as the most exotic design of the 1970s, and that is why I restored this one for my wife and she took it to a Senior.  I also just purchased a somewhat interesting 1978 Buick Riviera 75th Anniversary Special of which they only built 2,899 of to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Buick.  This particular car is one owner, 37,500 original miles with the original bill of sale from the dealership.  That makes it even more interesting, especially since it is pristine and garage kept. All of these cars were black and silver with a silver leather interior.  Yes, the Buick History says it was actually leather instead of vinyl in this model.Our 1978 Buick Riviera.jpg

1971 Buick Riviera RH front 3.JPG

1971 Buick Riviera RH rear.JPG

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53 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I like the 1971 and 1972 Buick Riviera as the most exotic design of the 1970s, and that is why I restored this one for my wife and she took it to a Senior. 

 

1971 Buick Riviera RH rear.JPG

As I stated in a previous thread, the 1971-'72 Rivieras are more sharply defined at the tail vs. the flatter '73 tail, and much better looking. 

 

Craig

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I am going to unashamedly bring a European flavour to this topic and say that my fave cars from the 70`s and 80`s (well there are two of them) are:- Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Lancia Delta Integrale. If people are not familiar, I could probably find pics.

 

Aston were a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen at the time they were building the all alloy 5.4 litre V8, each with the engine builders name on a plate on the cam covers. 

Lancia won the World Rally Championship a dozen times in succession with the Integrale. A turbocharged and charge-cooled 16 valve four cylinder of 2 litres, with torque sensing 4 wheel drive. The fastest thing over ANY twisty road.

 

Adam..

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45 minutes ago, Alfa said:

I am going to unashamedly bring a European flavour to this topic and say that my fave cars from the 70`s and 80`s (well there are two of them) are:- Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Lancia Delta Integrale. If people are not familiar, I could probably find pics.

 

Aston were a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen at the time they were building the all alloy 5.4 litre V8, each with the engine builders name on a plate on the cam covers. 

Lancia won the World Rally Championship a dozen times in succession with the Integrale. A turbocharged and charge-cooled 16 valve four cylinder of 2 litres, with torque sensing 4 wheel drive. The fastest thing over ANY twisty road.

 

Adam..

Here, we could only drool over them as they were never 'fedralized' for North America, and the ones that were had their engines so detuned with smog equipment which made their performance pathetic.  And the few that were, got those ghastly 5-mph bumpers which obviously appeared like the afterthought it was on those cars. 

 

If you want a European car from that era, go over to Europe and get one.

 

Craig

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5 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I like the 1971 and 1972 Buick Riviera as the most exotic design of the 1970s, and that is why I restored this one for my wife and she took it to a Senior.  I also just purchased a somewhat interesting 1978 Buick Riviera 75th Anniversary Special of which they only built 2,899 of to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Buick.  This particular car is one owner, 37,500 original miles with the original bill of sale from the dealership.  That makes it even more interesting, especially since it is pristine and garage kept. All of these cars were black and silver with a silver leather interior.  Yes, the Buick History says it was actually leather instead of vinyl in this model.Our 1978 Buick Riviera.jpg

1971 Buick Riviera RH front 3.JPG

1971 Buick Riviera RH rear.JPG

Very nice!

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Not being an expert on American cars , love the 70s bmw 328 CSI or even better 80s 635 CSI , performance and drivability superb . American wise love corvettes , anyone love a European cars?

cheers

pilgrim 

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Pilgrim those BMWs will increase in value and are already doing so, nice cars and much more upscale than the early 2002s which are also cool.  For those two decades, most on my want list would be Euro - TR-6 (had one, would not mind another, still a bargain), air cooled Porsche 911 variants, MB R-107 (have one, love it but one is enough) and even the Jag XKS - especially a 6 cylinder car (undervalued I think, for now) would be of interest to me.  One car I missed the boat on is the Ferrari 308,  Not that long ago a Ferrari 308 was a $25,000 car - sometimes less, but the service is $10,000, so the care and feeding kept the values down on these for a long time.  The incredible cost of the older cars has finally driven those values up  dramatically.

 

When one thinks about the 308, air cooled Porsche 911 or for American cars, the Trans Am, it is hard to believe what some of the best examples are going for now vs. 6 or so years ago.  So if it was desirable then, it should appreciate now, usual rules apply, just like with earlier cars.  

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16 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I like the 1971 and 1972 Buick Riviera as the most exotic design of the 1970s, and that is why I restored this one for my wife and she took it to a Senior.  I also just purchased a somewhat interesting 1978 Buick Riviera 75th Anniversary Special of which they only built 2,899 of to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Buick.  This particular car is one owner, 37,500 original miles with the original bill of sale from the dealership.  That makes it even more interesting, especially since it is pristine and garage kept. All of these cars were black and silver with a silver leather interior.  Yes, the Buick History says it was actually leather instead of vinyl in this model.Our 1978 Buick Riviera.jpg

1971 Buick Riviera RH front 3.JPG

1971 Buick Riviera RH rear.JPG

Is the 78 the one for sale in Hemmings?

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Wouldn't mind a 89 Trans Am with the turbo Buick but were never available with a manual trans. Did consider a later Firebird 3800/manual but am at limit for cars now & prefer DOHC.

 

 

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On May 4, 2016 at 6:11 AM, Dynaflash8 said:

I also just purchased a somewhat interesting 1978 Buick Riviera 75th Anniversary Special of which they only built 2,899 of to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Buick.  This particular car is one owner, 37,500 original miles with the original bill of sale from the dealership.  That makes it even more interesting, especially since it is pristine and garage kept. All of these cars were black and silver with a silver leather interior.  Yes, the Buick History says it was actually leather instead of vinyl in this model.Our 1978 Buick Riviera.jpg

 

 

Congrats on your recent purchase!

 

A few years ago, I almost bought a tan-brown 2-tone 1978 Riviera.

 

 

Cort > www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pigValve.paceMaker.cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (needs new owner)
"Gonna make some dreams come true" __ Hoyt Axton __ 'Della & the Dealer'

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On 5/8/2016 at 11:51 PM, ScarredKnightfan said:

 

Congrats on your recent purchase!

 

A few years ago, I almost bought a tan-brown 2-tone 1978 Riviera.

 

 

Cort > www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pigValve.paceMaker.cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (needs new owner)
"Gonna make some dreams come true" __ Hoyt Axton __ 'Della & the Dealer'

 

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12 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

But all 2899 of the 75th Anniversary Editions were black with silver sides and a full LEATHER interior, no vinyl interior.

Again, is your car the one that was in Hemmings?

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I had several 70's cars, when they were just cars, but my fav was a '77 Datsun (Nissan) 280Z 2+2. Quick and a blast to drive. Glad I didn't have that car when I was a teenager or I might not be around to be talking about it. I was still redlining (6,400 rpm) it when it had over 100,000 miles on it.

Keith

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On May 10, 2016 at 9:32 PM, Dynaflash8 said:

But all 2899 of the 75th Anniversary Editions were black with silver sides and a full LEATHER interior, no vinyl interior.

 

Correct ... I mis-typed, my apologies.  It was a 1977 model I almost bought.  Again, sorry for the error.

 

 

Cort > www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pigValve.paceMaker.cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (needs new owner)
"Mistakes become regrets" __ Carolina Liar __ 'Show Me What I'm Looking For'

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