The Truth About Cars » 1980 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:21:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » 1980 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1980-volkswagen-dasher-diesel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1980-volkswagen-dasher-diesel/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=817145 The original Volkswagen Passat, which was essentially an Audi 80, was sold in the United States as the Dasher. We saw this two-door diesel Dasher at a Northern California wrecking yard last year, then this first-cousin gasoline-burning ’75 Audi Fox a couple months back, and now we’re heading back to California for a super-rare four-door […]

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24 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe original Volkswagen Passat, which was essentially an Audi 80, was sold in the United States as the Dasher. We saw this two-door diesel Dasher at a Northern California wrecking yard last year, then this first-cousin gasoline-burning ’75 Audi Fox a couple months back, and now we’re heading back to California for a super-rare four-door diesel Dasher.
02 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car was slow even by generous 1980 standards, but diesel fuel economy must have made diesel VW buyers feel smart. I took my driver-training classes in a Rabbit Diesel, and I’m pretty sure the top speed of that car was about 52 mph.
13 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car appears to have been driven down from Alaska, judging from the body rust, moss growing on the trim, and these parking stickers.
14 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is packed with damp Alaska Airlines aircraft shop manuals, probably a couple hundred pounds of them.
15 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI’m sure I could have picked up a Boeing manual for cheap or even free, but I decided that I’d be able to live without it.
09 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWas it still running when it got scrapped? Who can say?
16 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s hard to use up a car this thoroughly.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1980-volvo-262c-bertone-coupe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1980-volvo-262c-bertone-coupe/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=796986 Only 6,622 Volvo 262C Bertone Coupes were built during the Italo-Swedish machine’s 1978-1981 production run, and I’ve found two of them in California self-serve wrecking yards during the last year. We saw this silver ’79 (actually, all ’78 and ’79 262Cs were painted in Mystic Silver) last summer, and now there’s today’s find: a gold […]

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08 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOnly 6,622 Volvo 262C Bertone Coupes were built during the Italo-Swedish machine’s 1978-1981 production run, and I’ve found two of them in California self-serve wrecking yards during the last year. We saw this silver ’79 (actually, all ’78 and ’79 262Cs were painted in Mystic Silver) last summer, and now there’s today’s find: a gold ’80. These cars were weird-looking and something of a puzzling marketing move by Volvo, but you’d think that their rarity would give them sufficient value to keep the survivors out of The Crusher‘s jaws. Nope!
02 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAssembled in Italy!
06 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 262C-specific glass and trim pieces have been pulled, and there’s plenty of typical Northern California upper-body rust in places where weatherstripping failure can let water in. The lower body panels are good and solid.
05 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWe can assume that some project 262C will benefit from these parts.
07 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf I owned one of these cars, I’d ditch the unreliable Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V6 and replace it with a good old B230 (or something more interesting). In the case of this car, though, someone has grabbed the PRV.
13 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinStill a few pieces worth taking left on this car. Let’s hope they get pulled before the car gets crushed.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Ford Fairmont Futura http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1980-ford-fairmont-futura/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1980-ford-fairmont-futura/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=689442 The Fairmont was the Fox platform-based cheap midsize Ford that replaced the Maverick, and nobody ever paid much attention to the Fairmont sedans. However, the sporty coupe version of the Fairmont— the Futura— had a certain style, much like Mercury Zephyr Coupe, and so I decided this ’80 was worth photographing when I spotted it […]

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13 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Fairmont was the Fox platform-based cheap midsize Ford that replaced the Maverick, and nobody ever paid much attention to the Fairmont sedans. However, the sporty coupe version of the Fairmont— the Futura— had a certain style, much like Mercury Zephyr Coupe, and so I decided this ’80 was worth photographing when I spotted it in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard a few months ago.

There’s a little bit of ‘bird in every Futura!

The result of computer modeling!

Buy smart— it makes you look good.
10 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Fox platform was fairly advanced for Malaise Era Detroit, and these cars weren’t bad to drive.
07 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 200-cubic-inch (aka 3.3 liter) straight-six wasn’t the engine of choice for dragstrip domination, but it was reliable.
16 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinAir conditioning!
18 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe horn button was pretty classy.
01 - 1980 Ford Fairmont Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe psychedelic City of Hope sticker is a nice touch.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Mazda B2000 Sundowner Pickup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1980-mazda-b2000-sundowner-pickup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1980-mazda-b2000-sundowner-pickup/#comments Sat, 27 Jul 2013 13:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=497182 Back in the Middle Malaise Era, most of the B-series Mazda pickups you saw in North America were badged as Ford Couriers, and of course we’ve found the occasional junkyard-dwelling Courier. Still, some Mazda-badged pickups were released into the wild, and the longbed version was known as the Sundowner. Here’s a very-much-of-its-time Sundowner in yellow […]

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12 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBack in the Middle Malaise Era, most of the B-series Mazda pickups you saw in North America were badged as Ford Couriers, and of course we’ve found the occasional junkyard-dwelling Courier. Still, some Mazda-badged pickups were released into the wild, and the longbed version was known as the Sundowner. Here’s a very-much-of-its-time Sundowner in yellow with beige-and-brown tape stripes and red-and-brown rust, spotted at a Colorado self-serve yard earlier this week.

Sakes alive, that’s a cheap pickup!
05 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one appears to have spent at least some part of its life in the Midwest, or maybe it just sat with a bed full of melting snow for a couple dozen Colorado winters.
01 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior isn’t so bad, but the 5-digit odometer can’t tell us whether it’s an 84,942-mile truck or a 484,942-mile truck.
07 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust 77 horsepower from the 1,970cc SOHC F engine.
14 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese trucks didn’t have quite the rep for reliability earned by their Toyota Hilux competitors, but they were pretty solid machines for their era.
19 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 26-year-old Colorado State Parks pass is a nice vintage touch.
09 - 1980 Mazda B2000 Pickup Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinTip: if you’re swapping build tags, use rivets instead of screws. Oh, and mount the tag right-side-up.

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Hey Duke, Ever Worked On One-a-Dese Choiman Transmissions Before? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/hey-duke-ever-worked-on-one-a-dese-choiman-transmissions-before/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/hey-duke-ever-worked-on-one-a-dese-choiman-transmissions-before/#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=488649 It wasn’t that many decades ago that imported cars— any imported cars— were considered fairly exotic. I’ve dredged up memories of some very funny 1980 Aamco ads that deal with that subject, and the internet has obliged by providing those very ads for us! The bumbling rubes working in the transmission shop in this ad […]

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TransmissionManOutIt wasn’t that many decades ago that imported cars— any imported cars— were considered fairly exotic. I’ve dredged up memories of some very funny 1980 Aamco ads that deal with that subject, and the internet has obliged by providing those very ads for us!

The bumbling rubes working in the transmission shop in this ad show some brilliant casting by the producers: “I watched a guy fix a Japanese trans-mish-ion!”


Speaking of bumbling rubes, the guy with the hose in this one deserved an Academy Award… but don’t let that brilliant performance eclipse the perfect stonefaced expression of the customer who doesn’t need his car fixed… that bad.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Chrysler Cordoba http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-find-1980-chrysler-cordoba/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-find-1980-chrysler-cordoba/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=483185 It seems strange, but sufficient Chrysler Cordobas still exist to provide a sporadic flow of fresh examples to self-serve wrecking yards. In this series, we’ve seen this ’78, another ’78, this ’79, and now today’s personally luxurious blue ’80. The downsized second-gen 1980-83 Cordobas, which were based on the Volare/Diplomat platform and didn’t differ much […]

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It seems strange, but sufficient Chrysler Cordobas still exist to provide a sporadic flow of fresh examples to self-serve wrecking yards. In this series, we’ve seen this ’78, another ’78, this ’79, and now today’s personally luxurious blue ’80.
The downsized second-gen 1980-83 Cordobas, which were based on the Volare/Diplomat platform and didn’t differ much from their Dodge Mirada siblings, sold very poorly. You aren’t going to find many of these things today, either on the street or lined up before the Crusher’s jaws.
Soft Corinthian Leather was still an option— Ricardo Montalban would have quit in disgust otherwise— but this car has the more affordable soft Corinthian Velour.
With a smog-o-lated 318 under the hood, chopping a few hundred extra pounds out of the Cordoba for the ’80 model year made this car a much livelier performer.
The landau roof and touch-o-plastic-class grille treatment were properly Cordoba-ish, but where did the “gold” medallions go?

Not to worry, Ricardo liked what they did to his car!

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Datsun 720 King Cab 4WD Pickup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/junkyard-find-1980-datsun-720-king-cab-4wd-pickup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/junkyard-find-1980-datsun-720-king-cab-4wd-pickup/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=480958 I see a lot of old, totally used-up Toyota and Datsun pickups in self-service wrecking yards (though any of these newer than about 1984 is a rare sight), so it takes a fairly special one to make me shoot some photos. This extremely Malaise-ated ’80 King Cab 720, with its brown paint, huge “4X4″ door […]

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I see a lot of old, totally used-up Toyota and Datsun pickups in self-service wrecking yards (though any of these newer than about 1984 is a rare sight), so it takes a fairly special one to make me shoot some photos. This extremely Malaise-ated ’80 King Cab 720, with its brown paint, huge “4X4″ door decals, and excrement-inspired tan/yellow/brown tape stripes certainly got my attention last week.
It’s bashed up, the interior is toast, and the rust indicates an origin somewhere east and/or north of Colorado. Must be a million miles on this thing, eh?
Nope, just 155,221 miles on the clock. Either the odometer broke in 1992 or this truck drove a lot of very hard miles.
The full changeover to the Nissan marque was still a few years off at this point, but Nissan was laying the groundwork with these “Datsun By Nissan” badges.
Electronically protected! No doubt the alarm was a variation on the Taiwanese National Anthem theme.
The King Cab wasn’t very kingly. In fact, it would be considered utterly intolerable by present-day truck buyers. You could sort of squeeze a couple of passengers back there, if everyone involved was very motivated, but in practice the King Cab mostly served as a place to store stuff out of the rain.
Some good patina on this thing.
Even though this type of self-service yard charges about the same for a whole long block as for a wheelbarrow full of carefully selected engine innards, whoever pulled this L20 spent a lot of effort grabbing just the parts he wanted.
Here’s an option you don’t see very often on small pickups of this era: air conditioning!

The Datsun Value Phenomenon continues!
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Junkyard Find: 1980 Toyota Corolla Tercel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/junkyard-find-1980-toyota-corolla-tercel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/junkyard-find-1980-toyota-corolla-tercel/#comments Fri, 01 Mar 2013 14:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=479517 Because the Corolla had become such a hit in the United States during the early part of the Malaise Era, Toyota decided to confuse car buyers and parts-counter guys for eternity by adding the Corolla name to the first-gen Toyota Tercel. This would have been like Volkswagen selling a “Rabbit Fox” or Chrysler selling a […]

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Because the Corolla had become such a hit in the United States during the early part of the Malaise Era, Toyota decided to confuse car buyers and parts-counter guys for eternity by adding the Corolla name to the first-gen Toyota Tercel. This would have been like Volkswagen selling a “Rabbit Fox” or Chrysler selling a “Dart Colt,” but it seemed to work fine for Toyota. Here’s a first-year-for-the-US Tercel I spotted in a Denver self-service yard last week.
These things were noisy and tinny and cheap, but they were more reliable than the other crappy little econoboxes of the Middle Malaise Era.
They were also quite slow, thanks to the 60-horsepower 1A engine driving the front wheels. Yes, it looks like a rear-wheel-drive setup, but it’s really an engine-over-transaxle assembly that made a lot more sense once Toyota started making four-wheel-drive Tercels.
5-speed manual transmissions were still somewhat prestigious in 1980.
I’ve long thought that the vaguely finny-looking taillight treatment on this car resembled the setup on some BMC AD016 models.
Cloth seats, gas-sipping engine, no frills. These cars sold like crazy, but they weren’t worth fixing once they got to be 15 years old and now most of them are gone.


When ventriloquist dummies need to urinate, they must ride in Tercels.


“Has a longitudinal engine… unlike any Honda!”


It does pretty well in a crash test, considering its insubstantial construction.

01 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1980 Toyota Tercel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1980-mercedes-benz-450sl/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1980-mercedes-benz-450sl/#comments Thu, 14 Feb 2013 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=477400 The Mercedes-Benz R107 is one of those cars that often has a vast difference between the typical perceived value and the typical price you can get when you try to sell one. I’ve seen plenty of these things in running condition for three-figure prices, and I’ve seen them fetch big bucks when they’re extremely nice. […]

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The Mercedes-Benz R107 is one of those cars that often has a vast difference between the typical perceived value and the typical price you can get when you try to sell one. I’ve seen plenty of these things in running condition for three-figure prices, and I’ve seen them fetch big bucks when they’re extremely nice. Once an R107 gets some blemishes and/or doesn’t run right, its value usually drops down to the scrap range, and that’s why they often show up in wrecking yards and even in 24 Hours of LeMons races. Here’s a Malaise Era 450SL that was an emblem of conspicuous consumption when new and still shows some signs of its former glory as it awaits The Crusher in a Denver wrecking yard.
I might need to go back and disassemble this HVAC control unit, just to see how its analog heart works. Probably a lot to go wrong inside, but odds are that it worked for at least a couple of decades.
Power came from a 180-horsepower, 4.5 liter SOHC V8 engine, which wasn’t bad for the darkest days of the Malaise Era. This car was a bit pokey, given that it scaled in at 3,595 pounds (!), but the luxury was 100% real.

01 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Mazda RX-7, with Incredibly 80s Custom Paint http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1980-mazda-rx-7-with-incredibly-80s-custom-paint/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1980-mazda-rx-7-with-incredibly-80s-custom-paint/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467493 First-generation RX-7s aren’t uncommon Junkyard Finds, even though the youngest ones are 27 years old now. However, not many full-on early-to-mid-80s custom paint jobs show up at junkyards these days. Here’s one I found in Denver last week. Purple, pink, and gold with pinstripes! With a 5-digit odometer, there’s no way of knowing how many […]

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First-generation RX-7s aren’t uncommon Junkyard Finds, even though the youngest ones are 27 years old now. However, not many full-on early-to-mid-80s custom paint jobs show up at junkyards these days. Here’s one I found in Denver last week.
Purple, pink, and gold with pinstripes!
With a 5-digit odometer, there’s no way of knowing how many miles this car traveled during its 32 years on the planet. 88,000? 188,000? 288,000? It seems pretty clean, given its current parking space, so the first figure could be the right one.
It’s possible that this wild paint job got sprayed on while Jimmy Carter was still in the White House, or perhaps it was applied five years ago. So many mysteries with a car like this!

28 MPG in an early RX-7? Ah, for the days when highway fuel economy was calculated at 42 MPH… down a steep grade… drafting behind a line of tractor-trailers.

14 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 Mazda RX-7 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Honda Accord Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1980-honda-accord-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1980-honda-accord-sedan/#comments Wed, 24 Oct 2012 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=464758 We saw a historically interesting but marketplace-irrelevant 1991 Honda Accord wagon Junkyard Find last week, which means that it’s now time to look at the car that made Honda in North America: the first-gen Accord. Here’s a well-worn but still fairly solid ’80 that I spotted in a Denver yard not long ago. This car […]

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We saw a historically interesting but marketplace-irrelevant 1991 Honda Accord wagon Junkyard Find last week, which means that it’s now time to look at the car that made Honda in North America: the first-gen Accord. Here’s a well-worn but still fairly solid ’80 that I spotted in a Denver yard not long ago.
This car seems laughably no-frills by 2012 standards, but this was pretty plush for the Accord’s price. Look, automatic transmission! Bucket seats!
The folks at Honda were very proud of their newfangled power steering system.
I’m sure Honda USA old-timers reminisce fondly about the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Accord buyers stood ten deep to buy Accords and no other manufacturer had anything that even approached the value-per-buck level of this car. Not like now.

Toyota ads of this era were a little more entertaining, but then they had to be.

Japanese-market ads were fun, though. CVCC!

13 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Honda Accord Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Buick Skylark Limited http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/junkyard-find-1980-buick-skylark-limited/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/junkyard-find-1980-buick-skylark-limited/#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2012 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=454779 It took just eight years for the Buick Skylark to go from a big, rear-drive, credibly luxurious and status-enhancing machine to front-wheel-drive compact based on the unspeakably terrible Chevy Citation. Nearly all of the X-Platform cars are gone now, but the pimposity of this first-year Buick’s whorehouse-red interior must have kept it away from The […]

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It took just eight years for the Buick Skylark to go from a big, rear-drive, credibly luxurious and status-enhancing machine to front-wheel-drive compact based on the unspeakably terrible Chevy Citation. Nearly all of the X-Platform cars are gone now, but the pimposity of this first-year Buick’s whorehouse-red interior must have kept it away from The Crusher for more than three decades.
I think the Citation/Phoenix/Omega/Skylark fiasco of the first half of the 1980s did more to damage The General’s long-term fortunes than any other vehicle they have ever built, and that includes the Vega. Millions switched to imports and refused to consider buying a GM car ever again, after getting burned by an X-Platform purchase. If my memory is correct, the only reason the Citation didn’t set the all-time American record for most warranty problems in a single year was that its Phoenix sibling somehow managed to be even less reliable.
The one positive legacy of the X-Platform nightmare is the GM 60-degree pushrod V6 engine, which continues to be produced today. I don’t remember seeing this “Saver V6″ emblem back in this day, but it looks like a factory-issue piece.

Here we see Bill Shoemaker and Magic Johnson pitching the allegedly luxurious ’80 Skylark and the allegedly fuel-efficient ’80 Electra. I know which one I’d have bought!
Finding a Weird Al cassette in the dirt next to this car helped alleviate my depression about GM’s X-Platform-induced downward spiral, by reminding me of how much I enjoyed listening to Dr. Demento during the darkest years of the Malaise Era.

21 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1980 Buick Skylark Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 AMC Eagle Coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-amc-eagle-coupe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-amc-eagle-coupe/#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450472 The AMC Eagle must have sold better in Colorado than in any other part of the world, because I see so many of the things in Denver junkyards that I don’t even bother photographing most of them. This ’80, however, is a hyper-Malaise two-door with vinyl top and purple-and-red tape stripes, and that makes it […]

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The AMC Eagle must have sold better in Colorado than in any other part of the world, because I see so many of the things in Denver junkyards that I don’t even bother photographing most of them. This ’80, however, is a hyper-Malaise two-door with vinyl top and purple-and-red tape stripes, and that makes it special.
See, purple and red stripes! After this ’79 wagon, this ’81 SX/4, this ’82 hatchback, this ’84 wagon, this ’84 wagon, and this ’85 wagon, it was time for a proper Eagle coupe in this series.
Members of the Brown Car Appreciation Society will love this interior.
It was 106 degrees in Denver when I shot this photograph, and even the valve cover looked comfier than this scalding brown vinyl.
The good old AMC 258-cubic-inch L6, the most famous version of a family of engines built from 1964 through 2006. One of the better engines to come out of Detroit, er, Kenosha.
While cars don’t rust much in Great Plains Colorado, what with the single-digit humidity, the high-altitude sun is murder on vinyl tops. Someday I’ll add a selection of Peeling Vinyl Top images to my computer desktop wallpaper collection.
Because most drivers are just confused by the choice between two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, AMC used a center differential in the Eagle and left it stuck in four-wheel-drive at all times (later versions could be purchased with an optional selector that enabled a fuel-saving rear-wheel-drive setting). This is a four-speed car, but it has “Automatic 4.W.D.” according to this dash emblem.
Even by the tolerant standards of 1980, this was a homely-looking car. But try taking your Fairmont or Cutlass up a 45-degree grade in the mud!

The Eagle has landed… on all fours. Huh?

24 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Fiat X1/9 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-fiat-x19/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-fiat-x19/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 13:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=449422 In 1980, Fiat shoppers had the choice of two affordable sports cars: the 124 Sport Spider (examples of which remain quite common in wrecking yards, and the X1/9. The mid-engined X1/9 featured 128 running gear and was a lot more fun to drive than its 66-horsepower (for US-market models in 1980) engine would suggest. The […]

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In 1980, Fiat shoppers had the choice of two affordable sports cars: the 124 Sport Spider (examples of which remain quite common in wrecking yards, and the X1/9. The mid-engined X1/9 featured 128 running gear and was a lot more fun to drive than its 66-horsepower (for US-market models in 1980) engine would suggest.
The message of this TV ad seems to suggest that Fiat learned everything it needed to know about building cars from its successful racing cars of the 1920s, and the claim that the X1/9 gets the best mileage of any two-seat sports car in America doesn’t sound so compelling when you consider the competition.
The X1/9 was once reasonably plentiful on American roads, but most examples disappeared before the turn of the century. You will see the occasional X1/9 in self-service junkyards these days, but not in anywhere near the numbers of the Sport Spider.
It looks like somebody started to work on the body of this car, then gave up.
Is this an air-conditioning compressor? I’m sure the owner’s manual advised drivers to use AC only on long downhill grades.

14 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 Fiat X19 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-fiat-124-sport-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-fiat-124-sport-spider/#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2012 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=447823 In all my years of snouting around in junkyards, one thing has remained constant: a sprinkling of Fiat 124 Sport Spiders. They were fairly common in junkyards in 1983, and they’re just about as common now. Where do these Fiats come from? Will the supply of forgotten project 124 Spiders ever run out? Here’s the […]

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In all my years of snouting around in junkyards, one thing has remained constant: a sprinkling of Fiat 124 Sport Spiders. They were fairly common in junkyards in 1983, and they’re just about as common now. Where do these Fiats come from? Will the supply of forgotten project 124 Spiders ever run out? Here’s the lastest example, a fuel-injected ’80 I found in a Denver self-service yard.
Fiat switched from a carburetor to Bosch fuel injection in 1980. The 1995cc Fiat Twin Cam made 86 horsepower in 1980, which beat the hell out of the final-year MGB’s 62.5 horsepower (I can’t resist comparing all Malaise Era cars to the MGB, because of that hilarious half-horsepower).
This one has a not-so-terrible interior, which means it was stored indoors prior to its final tow-truck ride (the Colorado sun can obliterate a convertible’s interior in a single summer).
I’m assuming these garish stripes were added on after the car’s initial purchase, but you never know with Malaise Era machines.

14 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 01 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 02 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 03 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 04 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 05 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 06 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 07 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 08 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 09 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 10 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 11 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 12 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting 13 - 1980 Fiat Spider Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Marting Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Mercury Capri http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1980-mercury-capri/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1980-mercury-capri/#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2012 13:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438815 The Fox Platform was one of Ford’s biggest postwar success stories; a (relatively) modern, (sort of) lightweight unibody design that could be used for everything from economy commuters to rubber-burning factory hot rods to plush luxury sedans. Sure, Ford kept the Fox on life-support a few years too many, but that’s how they roll in […]

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The Fox Platform was one of Ford’s biggest postwar success stories; a (relatively) modern, (sort of) lightweight unibody design that could be used for everything from economy commuters to rubber-burning factory hot rods to plush luxury sedans. Sure, Ford kept the Fox on life-support a few years too many, but that’s how they roll in Detroit. We often forget about the Fox Capri, since it looked even nearly identical to its Mustang sibling (and because everyone thinks of the earlier Euro-Ford-based Capri when they hear the name), so it took me a second to realize that this inhabitant of a Northern California self-service yard wasn’t a Mustang.
The Fox Mustang/Capri with the 5.0 engine became quite fast by the mid-1980s, but the early ones were much more Malaise-appropriate sluggish.
For the 1980 model year, the Capri could be purchased with the base “Pinto” 2300 (88 horsepower), the 200-cubic-inch I6 (91 horsepower), the 255-cubic-inch Windsor V8 (119 horsepower), or the 150-horse turbocharged 2300. The hood release was busted on this car and I didn’t feel motivated to try to pry it open, so there’s no telling which engine it has (I’m guessing it’s the cheapo NA 2300, judging from the manual transmission and general lack of bling).
Here’s a very nice Field Expedient Ashtray, made from a Vienna Sausages can and some wire attached to the heater controls.

16 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1980 Mercury Capri Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Triumph TR7 With V8 V6 Swap http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1980-triumph-tr7-with-v8-swap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1980-triumph-tr7-with-v8-swap/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 14:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=431680 We’ve seen a couple of “poor man’s TR8” race cars in the 24 Hours of LeMons: you take a TR7 and drop a junkyard V8 out of a junked Land Rover into it. This works better than both the “really poor man’s TR8″ (a TR7 with Buick V6 swap), in the sense that it sounds […]

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We’ve seen a couple of “poor man’s TR8” race cars in the 24 Hours of LeMons: you take a TR7 and drop a junkyard V8 out of a junked Land Rover into it. This works better than both the “really poor man’s TR8″ (a TR7 with Buick V6 swap), in the sense that it sounds a lot cooler, and is (slightly) more reliable than a Triumph Slant Four-powered TR7. Plenty of folks did this swap to their street TR7s as well, and I’ve found an example in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.
For a crash course in the history of the TR7/TR8, check out the latest Ate Up With Motor essay. It’s all there.
Somebody got the intake from this wrecked ’80, but the rest of the engine is still there. The junkyard next door always has several complete V8-equipped Rover SUVs, which no doubt make for easier engine extractions than you’d get with this car.
The interior in this car is in very nice shape, so let’s hope that some TR7 owner grabs the good stuff before the whole mess gets fed to The Crusher. Hey, look— manual tranmission!

Note: As several readers have pointed out, this car does not have a V8 swap. It has a V6 swap. I failed to look closely at the engine, no doubt because I was so preoccupied with mental images of angry, just-got-off-the-picket-line British Leyland workers assembling this car with pickaxes and monkey wrenches.

10 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 01 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 02 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 03 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 04 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 05 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 06 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 07 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 08 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden 09 - 1980 Triumph TR7 with V8 Swap - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Lucas Electrics' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Toyota Celica Coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1980-toyota-celica-coupe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1980-toyota-celica-coupe/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2012 01:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429902 The Malaise Era Celica sold very well in the United States as a fuel-efficient-yet-reasonably-sporty commuter vehicle. They were very reliable (by the not-very-high standards of the time), cheap, and easy to repair. Even so, nearly all of them are gone now, save for a few survivors that hung on long enough to stay out of […]

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The Malaise Era Celica sold very well in the United States as a fuel-efficient-yet-reasonably-sporty commuter vehicle. They were very reliable (by the not-very-high standards of the time), cheap, and easy to repair. Even so, nearly all of them are gone now, save for a few survivors that hung on long enough to stay out of the junkyards until the second decade of the 21st century. Here’s an ’80 that I found at a Northern California self-serve yard last week.
When did Toyota drop the “Celica Dragon” emblem?
I neglected to photograph the 20R engine under the hood, but let’s contemplate the idea of a sporty car with such a truck-ish powerplant. Yes, the R engines were just about impossible to kill, verging on Chrysler Slant Six-grade levels of abuse tolerance, but they were better-suited to dragging a Hilux loaded with a dozen AK-wielding mujahideen through the Khyber Pass than for the smooth-running/high-revving exploits you want for a sports car. At least Celica owners got full gauges.
And this luxurious ashtray!
This car was a runner until very recently, if we are to judge by this not-yet-expired Berkeley parking permit. Perhaps the car was found parked in the wrong residential area and towed away with extreme prejudice; that’s how Berkeley rolls when it comes to parking enforcement.

15 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1980 Toyota Celica Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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The Greatest— and Sexiest— Car Ad of All Time: 1980 Black Gold Datsun 280ZX! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/the-greatest-and-sexiest-car-ad-of-all-time-1980-black-gold-datsun-280zx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/the-greatest-and-sexiest-car-ad-of-all-time-1980-black-gold-datsun-280zx/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 16:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429778 The latest crop of Super Bowl car ads boasted some high-production-value salaciousness, but no car advertisement will ever come close to the perfection of the Quaaludes-and-disco Black Gold Man and Black Gold Woman and their gorgeous 10th Anniversary Edition 280ZX. Yes, many of you have seen this ad before, but I will not rest until […]

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The latest crop of Super Bowl car ads boasted some high-production-value salaciousness, but no car advertisement will ever come close to the perfection of the Quaaludes-and-disco Black Gold Man and Black Gold Woman and their gorgeous 10th Anniversary Edition 280ZX. Yes, many of you have seen this ad before, but I will not rest until all have experienced Black Gold (plus I’ve included a few Bonus Sexy Malaise Era car ads after the jump).

The only 10th Anniversary Edition Black Gold 280ZX I’ve ever seen in person was about to get crushed, and I was still in junior high when this car was new, but I still crave a car so lavishly appointed that there are virtually no options. Driven to the ultimate!

A few years before there was Black Gold, there was a very slinky Farrah Fawcett and her pet cougar taking her ’75 Cougar XR-7 to the beach. Glove-soft vinyl on deeply padded bucket seats! Poised opera window!

For ’78, the Cougar had Cheryl Tiegs in her padded-tire-deck-equipped XR-7… and an appropriately disco soundtrack.

The competition sort of gave up, once Black Gold Man and Black Gold Woman roared into a Martian sunset in their 280ZX; here’s the ’81 Mustang and its white-powder-fueled 90-pound driver heading to the disco.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Chevrolet Chevette http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1980-chevrolet-chevette/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1980-chevrolet-chevette/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2011 14:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=423866 We give GM a hard time over the Citation, but at least the Citation was a big leap into the future compared to the primitive, rear-drive, Opel-designed Chevette. However, it tells us something that more Chevettes than Citations have survived long enough to make it into junkyards in 2011. GM sold Chevettes in the United […]

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We give GM a hard time over the Citation, but at least the Citation was a big leap into the future compared to the primitive, rear-drive, Opel-designed Chevette. However, it tells us something that more Chevettes than Citations have survived long enough to make it into junkyards in 2011.
GM sold Chevettes in the United States through the 1987 model year— no, that’s not a typo— and in South America into the late 1990s. Chevette siblings and cousins roamed the world, with legions of Daewoo Maepsys and Aymesa Cóndors on just every gravel goat path and ring-road superhighway on the planet.
The Chevette was cramped, noisy, and slow, but it sipped fuel and didn’t have much to go wrong. Had GM released it in 1963, it would have been a stunning breakthrough on the order of the Hydramatic or small-block Chevrolet V8. As it was, the Chevette was just a retrograde profit-generator for a company under attack on many fronts.
The historical significance of such Malaise machinery is the reason I’m always glad to find a Chevette to contemplate at the junkyard; I spotted this ’80 at a Denver self-serve yard a few weeks back.

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Toyota Cressida http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/junkyard-find-1980-toyota-cressida/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/junkyard-find-1980-toyota-cressida/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 18:30:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=415972 The Cressida was never a big seller in North America, and the second- and third-generation versions make up most of the examples you’ll see these days. First-gen ones like this ’80 I spotted in an Oakland self-service yard on Monday are just about nonexistent… and the number of survivors is about to be reduced by […]

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The Cressida was never a big seller in North America, and the second- and third-generation versions make up most of the examples you’ll see these days. First-gen ones like this ’80 I spotted in an Oakland self-service yard on Monday are just about nonexistent… and the number of survivors is about to be reduced by one.
Rear-wheel-drive, big 4M engine, and fuel injection made the early Cressida a good driver, but the styling was inscrutably Japanese and Detroit sold bigger cars for much less.
This one is pretty well trashed. The 5-digit odometer shows 54,000 miles, but I’ll bet it’s been turned over at least twice.
I just love the non-focus-grouped look of the controls in pre-1990 Japanese cars. Some engineer probably designed this one during his lunch break.
I had no choice but to buy this Jeco digital clock for my collection of car clocks (now up to 40+ units). I haven’t tested it yet, but it should work.
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Junkyard Find: 1980 Honda Civic 1500 GL http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1980-honda-civic-1500-gl/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1980-honda-civic-1500-gl/#comments Fri, 02 Sep 2011 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=410005 Back in the Malaise Era, why did anyone buy a Corolla (or an Omni or GLC or any other miserable underpowered econobox) instead of a Civic? Somehow, Soichiro‘s little car managed to be economical, reliable, and fun to drive. Most of the second-gen (1980-83) Civics have long since been crushed, not being as solid as […]

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Back in the Malaise Era, why did anyone buy a Corolla (or an Omni or GLC or any other miserable underpowered econobox) instead of a Civic? Somehow, Soichiro‘s little car managed to be economical, reliable, and fun to drive. Most of the second-gen (1980-83) Civics have long since been crushed, not being as solid as their successors and also not attracting a following of collectors willing to do any sort of restoration, so you don’t see many of them in the junkyards these days. Here’s one that managed to hang on for more than 30 years before taking that final tow-truck ride.
I’ve owned a couple of examples of this generation of Civic, and it’s startling how Honda made 67 horsepower (the base 1300 made just 55) feel like (nearly) enough. Even the Chevette had more power than this thing!
Thing is, if anything went wrong with the nightmarishly complex emission-control system on the carbureted CVCC Hondas, you were screwed. This diagram is dirt simple next to the CVCCs of the mid-1980s.
This one is pretty well beat, but should have had a few years left in it. Blown head gasket? Bad suspension?

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Could This Be The Ideal Colorado Winter Car? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/could-this-be-the-ideal-colorado-winter-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/could-this-be-the-ideal-colorado-winter-car/#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 21:30:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=381392 I moved to Denver over the summer and am now experiencing the joys of proper snow driving for the first time in the 29 years since the State of California saw fit to give me my first driver’s license. With just a ’92 Civic and a ’66 Dodge A100 in my personal motor pool, I […]

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I moved to Denver over the summer and am now experiencing the joys of proper snow driving for the first time in the 29 years since the State of California saw fit to give me my first driver’s license. With just a ’92 Civic and a ’66 Dodge A100 in my personal motor pool, I figure it’s time for me to start shopping for something with four driven wheels. In fact, I need something that can do four-wheel burnouts on dry asphalt!
I could do what everyone else in the state— including my wife— did and just buy an Outback, but I was thinking more along the lines of a Scout… or maybe a BMW 325iX… or an AWD Justy. At the top of the list, however, sits the 15-years-before-its-time/the-fools-weren’t-ready-for-it AMC Eagle, a car that came about when the cash-strapped folks in Kenosha decided to drop a Concord body atop Jeep-based running gear. You see quite a few of them around here, but I hadn’t seen one that I needed to buy. That is, until I got tipped off about this excellent ’82 SX/4 (you can go here to see some photos, but do not attempt to install the American Greetings software that allows you to look at full-sized images. Trust me). Why, yes, a rally-ized Eagle coupe with hot-rodded 390, 4.10 gears, and manual-body Torqueflite sounds like a great idea! I’d probably have to cut out at least part of the full roll cage, since whacking one’s dome on a steel bar in a minor fender-bender isn’t my idea of fun, and I don’t feel like wearing a helmet on the street. OK, fine, it’s actually a very, very stupid idea, but still: I must have this car!

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Where Have All The Front-Wheel-Drive Pickups Gone? Crunch, Crunch, Crunch! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/where-have-all-the-front-wheel-drive-pickups-gone-crunch-crunch-crunch/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/where-have-all-the-front-wheel-drive-pickups-gone-crunch-crunch-crunch/#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 19:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=381369 The pickup-truck version of the Volkswagen Rabbit might seem like a terrible idea nowadays, but these things actually turned out to be pretty useful in the real world. You couldn’t haul 1,500 pounds of hog entrails in one, but you couldn’t do that in a Luv, Courier, or 620 either. It’s just weird seeing VOLKSWAGEN […]

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The pickup-truck version of the Volkswagen Rabbit might seem like a terrible idea nowadays, but these things actually turned out to be pretty useful in the real world. You couldn’t haul 1,500 pounds of hog entrails in one, but you couldn’t do that in a Luv, Courier, or 620 either.

It’s just weird seeing VOLKSWAGEN on a pickup tailgate! I was surprised to see this reasonably solid-looking example in a Denver self-service junkyard last week, because the Mk1 Rabbit fanatics worship these things and rescue far rustier ones for their fleets. Maybe that’s just a California thing?

With a mere 62 horsepower, the Rabbit pickup for 1980 wasn’t exactly what you’d call quick (though it wasn’t quite as miserable as you’d expect, due to its sub-ton weight), but you had to plan ahead at freeway onramps. The 48-horse diesel, on the other hand, made for a terrifyingly underpowered vehicle; I took my driver training classes in a dual-control Diesel Rabbit and I still get the shakes thinking about taking that thing on the Nimitz Freeway.
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Great Little Car Now Great Little Source of Scrap Steel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/great-little-car-now-great-little-source-of-scrap-steel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/great-little-car-now-great-little-source-of-scrap-steel/#comments Tue, 18 Jan 2011 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=380887 Not many folks remember Mazda’s Chevette competitor, the rear-drive Mazda GLC. OK, it was more of a Toyota Starlet competitor, but there’s a certain Chevette-ness about its lines. I spotted this super-rare machine at a Denver self-service wrecking yard yesterday. A Great Little Car! We have to wonder what marketing genius came up with that […]

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Not many folks remember Mazda’s Chevette competitor, the rear-drive Mazda GLC. OK, it was more of a Toyota Starlet competitor, but there’s a certain Chevette-ness about its lines. I spotted this super-rare machine at a Denver self-service wrecking yard yesterday.

A Great Little Car! We have to wonder what marketing genius came up with that name for the Mazda Familia.

More shots for my collection of Little Trees In Junked Cars photographs!

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