Tag: 1980

By on February 14, 2013

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. (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on October 24, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on July 31, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on April 7, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on February 20, 2012

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. (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2012

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. (Read More…)

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