Tag: 1986

By on March 12, 2014

20 - 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Toyota Cressida is now at its moment of peak junkyard availability, with most examples finally getting to the point at which repairs just aren’t justified by the car’s value. The Cressida was an extremely well-built car by 1980s standards, and a pretty good car even through our jaded 21st-century eyes (which view vehicles that get scrapped before 200,000 miles as suspiciously crappy and/or abused). We’ve seen this ’80, this ’82 this ’84, this ’87, this ’89, and this ’92 in the Junkyard Find Series so far, but today’s Cressida is the first wagon. (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2014

15 - 1986 Dodge Aries Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe quantities of true Chrysler K-Cars in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards have been declining a bit in recent years, though I still see enough of them that I choose only the most interesting to photograph for this series. So far we’ve seen this “Hemi 2.6″ ’81 Dodge Aries wagon, this ’83 Dodge Aries sedan, this ’85 Dodge 600 Turbo, and this ’88 Dodge Aries wagon, and today I’m adding a gold Aries sedan that has special significance for me. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2014

01 - 1986 Nissan Maxima Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYou see some weird stuff in San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yards, from lunatic-with-a-glue-gun art cars to dipped-in-battery-acid rust to chopped, Italianized Swedes. Last weekend, I stopped by a well-stocked Oakland self-serve yard and found this puzzling brake-fluid test vehicle. (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2014

12 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYesterday, we saw a junked Jensen Interceptor that I photographed during a trip to Los Angeles. Today, I’ll follow that up with another rare import from the same yard: a Maserati Biturbo Spyder! This is only the second Biturbo in this series, after this ’84. (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2013

07 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 240SX version of the Nissan Silvia has become something of a cult car among drifter types in the United States, but the earlier (1984-88) 200SX version seems to have disappeared from both the streets and the public consciousness. Still, I see the occasional 200SX in wrecking yards these days, and I spotted this red ’86 in a Denver yard last week. (Read More…)

By on September 3, 2013

1986-dodge-omni-shelby-glhs-instrumented-test-review-car-and-driver-photo-456282-s-429x262

Last Saturday, the Toronto Sun ran a report on the McMillan family, a twenty-something couple with two young sons, who, worried about the amount of control that modern technology seemed to be exerting on their lives, decided to roll the clock back to 1986. They’ve packed away their i-phones, their tablets and their DVD players, disconnected the cable TV and turned off their internet to, according to the family’s father Blair McMillan, parent the kids the same way they were parented. The ban on all forms of modern technology has worked its way into every aspect of the family’s life and they recently completed a trip across the United States using only a paper map for directions and relying upon nothing more than coloring books and games to keep the kids quiet in the back seat. Somehow, they managed to make it home safe, sound and sane.

(Read More…)

By on June 21, 2013

15 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow here’s a car that represents a weird little corner of automotive history— one of Malcolm Bricklin’s many moneymaking schemes. A few years before Bricklin started importing Yugos, but after he started importing Subaru 360s, he took a shot at bringing Fiats into the United States after Fiat fled the market in 1982. (Read More…)

By on June 15, 2013

11 - 1986 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYesterday, we admired this El Camino-ized Geo Metro, which probably got all of you wondering about the badge-engineered Suzuki Cultus that The General sold before the Geo marque existed. Wonder no more— here’s a genuine Chevy Sprint awaiting consumption by The Crusher! (Read More…)

By on May 31, 2013

01 - 1986 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSince we’re on a Country Squire Junkyard Find roll, with a ’76 Squire on Wednesday and a ’77 Squire yesterday, let’s take a look at a Panther Squire today. Yes, Panther Love even extends to Reagan-era woodie wagons! (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2013

In the late 1980s, if you didn’t want to buy your Isuzu Gemini as a Geo/Chevrolet Spectrum, you could get it as a genuine Isuzu. I-Marks are (and were) very rare, though we have seen an ’87 in this series), and so this one with gigantic ISUZU badging has some historical interest for the true connoisseur of cheapo 80s hatchbacks. (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2013

You could buy the Subaru BRAT in the United States until the 1987 model year (though removing the Chicken Tax-loophole jump seats— which made the BRAT a passenger car, legally speaking— meant that it got a lot more expensive in 1985). Thing is, Coloradans love BRATs, which means you can’t even find a total basket-case example for cheap here. What to do? Why, take a beater 4WD Leone aka GL hatchback and apply ingenuity! (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2012

This series has featured a few 1980s Audis in recent months, including a couple of unintended accelerators and this crypto-Audi VW Quantum Syncro wagon. But what about the Coupe GT, which had an interesting-looking Giugiaro design (we’ll forget that Giugiaro did the Hyundai Excel) and offered American car shoppers a German alternative to sporty front-wheel-drive Japanese coupes such as the Honda Prelude and (1986 and later) Toyota Celica? You don’t see many of these things in 21st-century America, but Coloradans love Audis— even the non-Quattro ones— and I knew a Coupe GT would show up at a Denver yard sooner or later. (Read More…)

By on October 8, 2012

Before there was the Geo Metro (a rebadged Suzuki Cultus, there was the Chevrolet Sprint (also a rebadged Suzuki Cultus). U.S. gas prices dropped below a buck per gallon during the middle 1980s, which had the effect of forcing the oil-income-dependent Soviet Union into bankruptcy even faster than predicted, with end-of-Cold-War results. On top of that, cheap gas prices meant that only the most tight-fisted of cheapskates felt that buying a tiny three-cylinder car built by a motorcycle company made any sense at all. Still, enough Sprints were sold that I see them in junkyards every now and then. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2012

The MkII Scirocco never was considered as mainstream cool in North America as it was in Europe, but a fair number of the things still made it to these shores. Nowadays, of course, many months can go by between MkII Scirocco street sightings. In California junkyards, however, it’s still possible to find Sciroccos in high-turnover wrecking yards. Here’s one that I spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area a few weeks ago. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2012

I find more Porsche 928s, Alfa Romeo Alfettas, Buick Reattas, and Datsun 810s than I do first-gen Hyundai Excels during my travels in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, in spite of the 1985-89 Excel selling in tremendous quantities in the United States. You saw these things everywhere on the street until about 1992, at which point the import sections of American junkyards became choked with low-mile Excels that crapped out in not-worth-fixing fashion. I believe the first-gen Excel was the worst motor vehicle you could buy new in the United States in the 1980s, and maybe for the entire fourth quarter of the 20th Century. Yes, even worse than the Yugo. (Read More…)

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