The Truth About Cars » 1987 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:39:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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 » 1987 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru XT GL http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1987-subaru-xt-gl/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1987-subaru-xt-gl/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=844169 The Subaru XT is a car you won’t see often in most parts of the country, but Denver junkyards have tremendous quantities of old Subarus and so I see them on a regular basis here. So far, this series has had this ’85 XT Turbo, this ’91 XT, this ’91 XT6, and now today’s ’87 […]

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10 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin
The Subaru XT is a car you won’t see often in most parts of the country, but Denver junkyards have tremendous quantities of old Subarus and so I see them on a regular basis here. So far, this series has had this ’85 XT Turbo, this ’91 XT, this ’91 XT6, and now today’s ’87 XT.

I shot a bit of video of the tilt wheel/instrument cluster in action. Since I have developed an unhealthy obsession with 1980s Japanese digital instrument clusters, I bought the one out of the ’85 XT Turbo. Today’s XT had the regular analog cluster, so I left it in the car.
01 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf you like 1980s design, this car is full of good examples. I was in college in 1987, and I remember thinking very clearly at the time that nobody will ever be capable of feeling nostalgia for this era. Now that Tears For Fears plays in supermarkets and Members Only jackets are making a comeback, I have been proved wrong about that embarrassing decade once again.
20 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMulti Point FI!
18 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were full of weird little touches like these door-latch cover panels. Sure, more stuff to go wrong (and with 1980s Subarus, much did go wrong), but it was still cool stuff.
09 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis example is the ordinary front-wheel-drive version.
16 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeday I will be unable to resist the lure of the Alcyone, and I will buy a nice XT Turbo or XT6.

01 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Plymouth Horizon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1987-plymouth-horizon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1987-plymouth-horizon/#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=529337 Chrysler did pretty well selling Mitsubishi-derived products in North America, but the only platform from their European operations that was a hit over here was the Simca-based Omnirizon. These cars had a lengthy production run and you still see a fair number in wrecking yards these days; in this series so far, we’ve had this […]

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11 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler did pretty well selling Mitsubishi-derived products in North America, but the only platform from their European operations that was a hit over here was the Simca-based Omnirizon. These cars had a lengthy production run and you still see a fair number in wrecking yards these days; in this series so far, we’ve had this ’78 Horizon, this ’83 Dodge Rampage Prospector, this ’84 Turismo, this ’85 Shelby Charger, this ’86 Omni, and this this Shelby-ized ’86 Omni GLH. I’d really like to find a final-year-of-production 1990 model Omnirizon, but so far this ’87 is the newest example I’ve seen in the wrecking yard.
05 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMost European and Japanese cars of this era had gone to six-digit odometers, but Detroit stuck with five-digit tradition until the 1990s.
07 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Omnirizon could be had with a Simca 1.6, a Volkswagen 1.7, or the Chrysler 2.2 originally developed for the K-car platform. By 1987, the 2.2 was the only engine available in these cars.
04 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one appears to be pretty well optioned. Automatic transmission, to siphon away some of those 96 Chrysler horses.
03 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAir conditioning on a mid-80s econobox is an uncommon sight.
06 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe factory digital AM/FM radio probably pushed the out-the-door price of this car well into Aries-K territory, but how else could the buyer listen to the greatest hits of 1987?
01 - 1987 Plymouth Horizon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Sentra, Civic, and Corolla (not to mention the Excel) were really stomping sales of Detroit subcompacts by 1987, but the Omnirizon (and the newly-acquired-from-AMC Jeep line) helped improve Chrysler’s bottom line a bit.


The pride is back!
JudgesAnimatedAs you’re reading this, three of your beloved TTAC writers are participating in the 24 Hours of LeMons race at MSR Houston. Sajeev and I are judging, Jack is racing. This one runs a straight 24 hours. What could possibly go wrong?

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Conversion Van http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-conversion-van/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-conversion-van/#comments Sat, 31 Aug 2013 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=504057 The last time we saw a Toyota Master Ace Junkyard Find was when I discovered this super-elaborate ’85 Space Van art car in Northrn California last year. I’ve always admired these mid-engined machines, with their unkillable pushrod fours and goofy Mars Base looks. Here’s one I spotted in a Denver wrecking yard a couple weeks […]

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11 - 1987 Toyota Master Ace Conversion Van Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe last time we saw a Toyota Master Ace Junkyard Find was when I discovered this super-elaborate ’85 Space Van art car in Northrn California last year. I’ve always admired these mid-engined machines, with their unkillable pushrod fours and goofy Mars Base looks. Here’s one I spotted in a Denver wrecking yard a couple weeks back.
01 - 1987 Toyota Master Ace Conversion Van Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis is the first Toyota Master Ace I’ve seen with the full conversion-van treatment. With rear-wheel drive and the engine under the front seats, space is a bit limited in these things. Still, it was probably fairly nice back when it was new.
06 - 1987 Toyota Master Ace Conversion Van Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust 132,619 miles on the clock. Just getting broken in!
08 - 1987 Toyota Master Ace Conversion Van Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou’ll find one in every car, kid. You’ll see.
33 - Spirit of LeMons Racing Cessna - RaceWhen 24 Hours of LeMons legend Speedycop decided to turn a Cessna 310 into a road-race car, he used a Toyota Van chassis as the basis of the project. Short wheelbase, mid-engined, and reliable.

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Nissan Stanza Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1987-nissan-stanza-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1987-nissan-stanza-wagon/#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2013 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=501297 Chrysler scored big in the North American market with their K-car-based minivan in the early 1980s, and the Japanese automotive manufacturers wanted to cash in on the demand for front-wheel-drive (or four-wheel-drive) small van-like machines. Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi brought over the Master Ace, Vanette, and Delica, respectively, and you could get all sorts of […]

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11 - 1987 Nissan Stanza Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler scored big in the North American market with their K-car-based minivan in the early 1980s, and the Japanese automotive manufacturers wanted to cash in on the demand for front-wheel-drive (or four-wheel-drive) small van-like machines. Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi brought over the Master Ace, Vanette, and Delica, respectively, and you could get all sorts of little Japanese wagons as well, but nothing seemed able to pry many sales away from the Caravan. So, Nissan took their top-heavy-looking Prairie, slapped some badges from the unrelated Stanza on it, and shipped a bunch across the Pacific. Few bought the Stanza Wagon, which makes them very rare Junkyard Finds. Here’s one I found in Denver a couple weeks back.
03 - 1987 Nissan Stanza Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one has just 151,369 miles on the odometer. Practically new!
04 - 1987 Nissan Stanza Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Stanza Wagon was a pretty good vehicle for its time, but it was funny-looking and didn’t have as much interior space as Chrysler’s minivans.
LWV12-Winners-HeroicFixIt turns out that the Stanza Wagon does acceptably well (relative to expectations, which are quite low) on the race track, as the Sputnik Racing Stanza proved in the 24 Hours of LeMons.
09 - 1987 Nissan Stanza Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith 102 horsepower, the Stanza Wagon wasn’t the slowest thing on the road in the late 1980s.


Such a happy little crypto-van!

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Volvo 740 Turbo Art Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1987-volvo-740-turbo-art-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1987-volvo-740-turbo-art-car/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=491436 Since I’ve built (and daily-driven) what I consider to be an art car, I’m not against the concept of an art car. The problem is that you get 100 random-beater-with-army-men-hot-glued-all-over art cars for every brilliant Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. Because affixing random crap all over a cheap car is an accepted route to a certain segment […]

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08 - 1987 Volvo 740 Art Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSince I’ve built (and daily-driven) what I consider to be an art car, I’m not against the concept of an art car. The problem is that you get 100 random-beater-with-army-men-hot-glued-all-over art cars for every brilliant Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. Because affixing random crap all over a cheap car is an accepted route to a certain segment of San Francisco Bay Area artistic circles, I’ve found a fair number of these things in Northern California wrecking yards. Here’s the first turbocharged art car I’ve seen in my travels.
25 - 1987 Volvo 740 Art Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis is the same Oakland yard in which we saw the 1985 Toyota Master Ace art car last year, and today’s Volvo is the latest in a series of forlorn-looking art cars that broke something expensive and/or racked up too many parking tickets in revenue-crazed cities such as Berkeley or San Francisco. There was the semi-famous Groovalicious Purple Princess of Peace Ford Taurus wagon and the skull-bedecked ’69 Mustang before that car, and I’m sure that a fair number wash up at junkyards on the route between San Francisco and a popular art-car destination in Black Rock Desert.
29 - 1987 Volvo 740 Art Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinStrangely, no effort was made to incorporate the TURBO INTERCOOLER emblems into the decor.
13 - 1987 Volvo 740 Art Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinLots of beads, lots of feel-good messages (why don’t any art cars have big Nietzsche Family Circus graphics?), the usual stuff.
30 - 1987 Volvo 740 Art Car Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car will be getting crushed soon, but— even as I write this— somebody is gluing 10,000 mirror fragments on a Mercury Topaz, continuing the infinite spiral of art-car life.

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Ford LTD Country Squire http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1987-ford-ltd-country-squire/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1987-ford-ltd-country-squire/#comments Sat, 01 Jun 2013 13:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=490126 Will the faux-woodgrain Country Squire Junkyard Finds never stop? Not if I can keep finding them! We started this sequence with this ’76, then followed up with this ’77 and this ’86. Today’s Squire is another Panther platform “woodie” wagon, Detroit’s traditional rear-drive family hauler for the late 1980s. This car couldn’t carry the staggering […]

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01 - 1987 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWill the faux-woodgrain Country Squire Junkyard Finds never stop? Not if I can keep finding them! We started this sequence with this ’76, then followed up with this ’77 and this ’86. Today’s Squire is another Panther platform “woodie” wagon, Detroit’s traditional rear-drive family hauler for the late 1980s.
04 - 1987 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car couldn’t carry the staggering volume of cargo that its gigantic 1970s predecessors did, but it still made the Taurus wagon seem cramped.
08 - 1987 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith an EFI-equipped 302-cubic-inch V8 and overdrive automatic transmission, these cars got pretty good fuel economy for the time. Yes, the Taurus was a lot more frugal.
14 - 1987 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis example, which I spotted in Denver a couple of weeks ago, seems pretty solid except for the bashed-up left front corner.
11 - 1987 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt drove to the accident, but nobody wants to spend $1500 to fix a car that’s worth— at best— a grand. Next stop, Crusher!
10 - 1987 Ford Country Squire Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSuch class!

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Dodge Raider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1987-dodge-raider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1987-dodge-raider/#comments Sun, 02 Dec 2012 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=468731 Remember the Raider? No, you don’t. Nobody remembers the Raider, because this one that I found yesterday at a self-service wrecking yard near Denver was the only Raider Dodge ever sold. All right, Chrysler probably moved a few more rebadged first-gen Mitsubishi Monteros out of the showrooms, but it’s hard to think of an example […]

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Remember the Raider? No, you don’t. Nobody remembers the Raider, because this one that I found yesterday at a self-service wrecking yard near Denver was the only Raider Dodge ever sold.
All right, Chrysler probably moved a few more rebadged first-gen Mitsubishi Monteros out of the showrooms, but it’s hard to think of an example of Japan/Detroit badge engineering that vanished into more complete obscurity than this one. Maybe the Toyota Cavalier comes close, but supposedly there are (dozens of) avid fans of the Cavalier in Japan.
Anecdotal evidence (from everyone I’ve ever known who has owned or worked on a Montero) suggests that these trucks weren’t quite as reliable as, say, Blazers and Broncos. In fact, the expletive-heavy anecdotes that I’ve heard about the first-gen Montero suggest that the world would be a better place if they’d all been driven directly from the assembly line into the jaws of The Crusher. Members of the Pajero Jihad, feel free to tell us about your 900,000-trouble-free-mile Raiders.
This truck was powered by the 2.6 liter Astron engine, the same one used in the Plymouth Arrow and (in turbocharged form) the Mitsubishi Starion.
My shot of the odometer didn’t come out, but this truck’s life ended with about 175,000 miles on the clock.
Such a macho name!
It seemed appropriate that F-16s from nearby Buckley AFB were screaming low overhead as I contemplated the warlike name of this piece of automotive history.

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Isuzu I-Mark http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1987-isuzu-i-mark/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1987-isuzu-i-mark/#comments Sun, 30 Sep 2012 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=461840 North Americans bought the post-Chevette Isuzu Gemini under several marques. There was the Spectrum, sold as a Chevrolet, a Geo, and a confusing Chevrolet/Geo. In Canada, you could get a Gemini badged as a Pontiac Sunburst. And, of course, there was the Isuzu I-Mark, a destined-for-China’s-steel-industry example of which I’ve found in a San Francisco […]

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North Americans bought the post-Chevette Isuzu Gemini under several marques. There was the Spectrum, sold as a Chevrolet, a Geo, and a confusing Chevrolet/Geo. In Canada, you could get a Gemini badged as a Pontiac Sunburst. And, of course, there was the Isuzu I-Mark, a destined-for-China’s-steel-industry example of which I’ve found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.
These things were cheaper than a Corolla, had front-wheel-drive, and… they were cheaper than a Corolla.
The 1.5 liter four delivered 90 horsepower, which wasn’t so bad in 1987, and the I-Mark proved more reliable than, uh, the Hyundai Excel?
All in all, a forgotten commuter appliance that now serves as a reminder of The General’s musical-marques efforts of the 1980s and 1990s.


Who can forget the “Joe Isuzu” ads of the 1980s? Let’s watch a few for the I-Mark.

11 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Isuzu I-Mark Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Cressida http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-cressida/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-cressida/#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2012 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459261 How long does the typical Toyota Cressida last? Based on my recent surge in wrecking-yard Cressida sightings (this ’92, this ’84, this ’89, and this ’80) after decades of the Cressida being a once-every-six-months junkyard catch, I’m going to say that your typical Cressida lasts about 25 years, give or take a half-decade. Part of […]

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How long does the typical Toyota Cressida last? Based on my recent surge in wrecking-yard Cressida sightings (this ’92, this ’84, this ’89, and this ’80) after decades of the Cressida being a once-every-six-months junkyard catch, I’m going to say that your typical Cressida lasts about 25 years, give or take a half-decade. Part of this longevity is due to the fact that few Cressidas are driven by leadfooted hoons (and those few have all had manual-trans swaps done by drifter types) and part is due to Toyota’s frighteningly good engineering and build quality during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Here’s a California Cressida that just made it to the quarter-century mark before its last owner gave up on it.
These cars weren’t exactly exciting to drive— for that, your best Toyota choice in 1987 was the manic little Corolla GT-S FX16— but they were very competent.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the labeling on controls of 1980s Toyotas; it’s clear that engineers and not focus groups made the call on, say, the font for this MIRROR HEATER button.
For how many years did Toyota go with the overdrive-button-on-shifter-handle/ECT-button-on-console setup? Many.

Is it pronounced “CRESS-ida” or, as in this Australian-market ad, “Cress-EE-da?”

13 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1987 Toyota Cressida Down On The Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Chevrolet Nova Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1987-chevrolet-nova-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1987-chevrolet-nova-sedan/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450426 The fifth-gen Chevy Nova was built at California’s NUMMI plant for the 1985 through 1988 model years, prior to becoming the Geo and then the Chevrolet Prizm. The Nova was really a rebadged AE82 Corolla, and so most of them managed to survive into the turn of the 21st century. By now, however, a NUMMI […]

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The fifth-gen Chevy Nova was built at California’s NUMMI plant for the 1985 through 1988 model years, prior to becoming the Geo and then the Chevrolet Prizm. The Nova was really a rebadged AE82 Corolla, and so most of them managed to survive into the turn of the 21st century. By now, however, a NUMMI Nova is a rare sight; we saw a trustifarian ’87 hatchback in California last winter, and now this well-preserved sedan has appeared in a Denver self-service yard.
Just over 100,000 miles on the clock, which comes out to a mere 4,000 miles per year. The car doesn’t have That Distinctive Dust-and-Rodent-Whizz Smell™ that usually accompanies cars that sat for decades before getting scrapped, so perhaps this was just an around-town transport appliance that was driven very sparingly. Or maybe it spun a rod bearing in 1994 and has spent the last 18 years in a climate-controlled garage.
One difference between the Nova and the Corolla is the Delco stereo that went into the Chevrolet. In 1988, Novas and Corollas went down the same assembly line together at NUMMI.
Another example of the workhorse 4A engine, which powered everything from AE86 Corollas to MR2s.
Like the Corollas we dread renting today, this was a perfectly competent refrigerator-white vehicle with bland semi-comfortable interior and a low Fun Quotient. Still, a significant piece of automotive history.

Chevrolet’s marketers made the connection between the ’77 Nova (of the same sort that I once drove) and the ’87 in this ad. The tone of the ad is (non-GTS-grade) Corolla soporific, which seems appropriate.

19 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-corolla-gt-s-fx16/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-corolla-gt-s-fx16/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=448495 Rear-wheel-drive AE86 Corolla GT-Ss are worth bucks these days, and you won’t see them in low-priced self-serve wrecking yards. The AE82 front-wheel-drive Corolla GT-S hasn’t held its value so well, and so examples do show up on The Crusher’s doorstep. We saw this white ’87 in California last year, and now I’ve found this silver […]

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Rear-wheel-drive AE86 Corolla GT-Ss are worth bucks these days, and you won’t see them in low-priced self-serve wrecking yards. The AE82 front-wheel-drive Corolla GT-S hasn’t held its value so well, and so examples do show up on The Crusher’s doorstep. We saw this white ’87 in California last year, and now I’ve found this silver ’87 in Colorado.
I’ve never owned an FX16, but it’s one of those classic 80s cars that I keep meaning to shop for.
Built at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, the FX16 was a worthy competitor to the Civic Si and VW GTI.
It was more awkward-looking than the VW and the Honda, what with its Toyota-stolid angular lines, but the 4A engine (shared with the MR2 as well as the AE86) made up for the already-dated-looking-in-’87 lines.
So, another FX16 GT-S about to leave the planet. I’m hoping a few solid examples will still be around when I decide to buy.

19 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Jaguar XJ-S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1987-jaguar-xj-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/junkyard-find-1987-jaguar-xj-s/#comments Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:49:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438844 Wait, straight, unrusted XJ-Ss get crushed? Yes, indeed, I see solid examples of Jaguar’s V12 statusmobile at self-service junkyards all the time. This car listed at $39,700 when new (nearly 80 grand in 2012 dollars), but couldn’t even fetch above scrap value at an auction today. That’s why we see quite a few XJ-Ss in […]

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Wait, straight, unrusted XJ-Ss get crushed? Yes, indeed, I see solid examples of Jaguar’s V12 statusmobile at self-service junkyards all the time. This car listed at $39,700 when new (nearly 80 grand in 2012 dollars), but couldn’t even fetch above scrap value at an auction today.
That’s why we see quite a few XJ-Ss in LeMons racing, and why we always believe the car was built under the required $500 budget.
The idea of getting a cheap XJ-S runner and driving in V12 luxury for a while always has great appeal, but dealing with any mechanical problem tends to be expensive, time-consuming, or both.
So, it’s 1987. You can get a base 911 coupe for $38,500, a Corvette coupe for $27,999, or an XJ-S for $39,700. Without knowing that the Porsche and Chevy would hold on to a double-digit percentage of their initial value while the Jaguar would be worth 1% as much in 25 years, would you still have bought the Jag? Hell, even buying one XJ-S worth of new ’87 Chevettes (i.e., seven Chevettes), you’d have held on to more of your investment today (scrap value of a Chevette is about $250 nowadays).

17 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - 1987 Jaguar XJ-S Down on the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Corolla FX16 GT-S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-corolla-fx16-gt-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-corolla-fx16-gt-s/#comments Sat, 31 Mar 2012 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=437267 Just a few years after Toyota confused American car shoppers by badging the early Tercel as the “Corolla Tercel,” they offered two very different vehicles as the 1987 “Corolla GT-S.” One was the AE86 coupe, based on the older rear-drive Corolla platform and much beloved by present-day drifters, and the other was the front-drive FX16 […]

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Just a few years after Toyota confused American car shoppers by badging the early Tercel as the “Corolla Tercel,” they offered two very different vehicles as the 1987 “Corolla GT-S.” One was the AE86 coupe, based on the older rear-drive Corolla platform and much beloved by present-day drifters, and the other was the front-drive FX16 hatchback, built in California and equipped with the same 16-valve 4AGE engine as the AE86. The FX16 was sort of goofy-looking, with sharp angles and cheezy-looking plastic panels, but it was a screamin’ fast competitor to the VW GTI and held together much, much longer than its Wolfsburg rival.
I found this example in a California self-service yard just a few freeway exits away from its NUMMI birthplace.
Related to the Sprinter-based Chevrolet Nova and the later Geo Prizm, the FX16 was quite a hit in California. You still see them around, though the rear-drive Corollas are much more popular among racers and restorers.
I’ve seen a few of these cars compete in 24 Hours of LeMons races, and they’re definitely top-level competitors in the hands of a good driver, certainly much quicker around a road course than the rear-drive Corollas. The GTIs can be about as quick, but tend to be much more fragile.
There’s no telling why a not-particularly-thrashed sub-200,000-mile Corolla got junked; my money is on vast quantities of parking tickets and indifference from buyers at the subsequent towed-cars auction.

14- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 01- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 02- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 03- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 04- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 05- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 06- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 07- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 08- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 09- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 10- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 11- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 12- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden 13- 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S FX16 Down On the Junkyard- Pictures Courtesy of Phil 'Nummi' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Nissan Pulsar NX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/junkyard-find-1987-nissan-pulsar-nx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/junkyard-find-1987-nissan-pulsar-nx/#comments Sat, 24 Mar 2012 13:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=435810 We saw an ’83 Pulsar not long ago, but it wasn’t until later in the 80s that Nissan’s semi-sporty commuter got really weird. Yes, interchangeable rear body panels! I believe the wacky “Sportbak” wagon option was built on a different body than the regular Pulsars (but I could be wrong); this type of Pulsar could […]

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We saw an ’83 Pulsar not long ago, but it wasn’t until later in the 80s that Nissan’s semi-sporty commuter got really weird. Yes, interchangeable rear body panels!
I believe the wacky “Sportbak” wagon option was built on a different body than the regular Pulsars (but I could be wrong); this type of Pulsar could be purchased with this coupe attachment or a hatchback shell. The T-top style roof panels could be removed; they didn’t leak as much as their GM counterparts (which isn’t saying much), but there’s a reason that T-tops went out of fashion.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell why a rust-free 25-year-old car got scrapped, but that’s not the case here.


To understand the oddball styling on this car, it is necessary to understand its era. Now does it make sense?

15 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 01 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 02 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 03 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 04 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 05 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 06 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 07 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 08 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 09 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 10 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 11 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 12 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 13 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 14 - 1987 Nissan Pulsar - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Sportbak' Greden 1987-Nissan-Pulsar-Pictures-courtesy-of-Phillip-Sportbak-Greden- Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Chevrolet Nova http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1987-chevrolet-nova/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1987-chevrolet-nova/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=431899 When the GM Fremont Assembly plant took on Toyota managers and became NUMMI in 1984, the same supposedly inept lineworkers who hammered together sub-par Buick Apollos suddenly started building Corollas that were at least as well-made as the ones made by their Japanese counterparts (you are free to draw your own conclusions about GM management […]

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When the GM Fremont Assembly plant took on Toyota managers and became NUMMI in 1984, the same supposedly inept lineworkers who hammered together sub-par Buick Apollos suddenly started building Corollas that were at least as well-made as the ones made by their Japanese counterparts (you are free to draw your own conclusions about GM management in the 1980s). The initial round of GM-badged Corollas were given the Chevrolet Nova name, prior to becoming the Geo Prizm; you still see Prizms around, but the 80s Nova has become a rare sight on the streets and in the junkyards. Here’s a Nova I spotted in an Oakland, California, self-serve yard earlier in the month.

I had a summer job in a warehouse specializing in pumps and filters in 1989, and one of my duties was a weekly run to deliver boxes of paint filters to NUMMI. The place just smelled efficient, nothing like the horror stories I’d heard about Camaro abuse at GM’s Van Nuys Assembly plant, and I was impressed by the orderly ranks of new Corolla FX16s and Prizms. Every time I see a NUMMI-built car (which is frequently, given that I look under a lot of Toyota hoods during 24 Hours of LeMons inspections), I am reminded of my visits to the plant.
This Nova’s final owner was, apparently, a student at Mills College, an extremely expensive private university for women, located on the edge of a hardcore donks-and-drive-by-shootings neighborhood of East Oakland. I lived in this neighborhood during the height of the early-90s crack wars, and it was disconcerting to have this beautifully landscaped college campus, with its famous Julia Morgan architecture, side-by-side with homies getting cold blasted over disputed prime cavvy-dealing turf.
This car’s owner, who was either a slumming trustifarian gaining hipness points through use of a last-legs cheapo car or an honest-to-god broke student racking up vast amounts of student-loan debt, clearly moved in the same social circles as the owner of the East Bay Gig-Rig Ranchero we saw a few months back.
Then, one sad day, the reliable old Nova (which I’m guessing had an affectionate nickname, as such cars do) broke down and wasn’t worth fixing. Or perhaps it racked up $10,000 in parking fines from the Suede Denim Secret Police who run parking enforcement in San Francisco and Berkeley and wasn’t worth rescuing from the impound yard after getting towed.
Either way, this Corolla-by-another-name ended up in The Crusher’s waiting room. Perhaps GM will revive the Nova name once again, but for now this is the final one.

29 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 01 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 02 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 03 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 04 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 05 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 06 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 07 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 08 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 09 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 10 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 11 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 12 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 13 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 14 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 15 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 16 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 17 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 18 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 19 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 20 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 21 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 22 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 23 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 24 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 26 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 27 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden 28 - 1987 Chevrolet Nova Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'NUMMI' Greden nova Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Hyundai Excel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1987-hyundai-excel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1987-hyundai-excel/#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2012 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=430174 Would you believe that the first-generation Hyundai Excel is now one of the rarest of Junkyard Finds? It’s true! The 1985-1989 Excel was so incredibly terrible— in my opinion, even worse than the Yugo— that just about every example in North America was dead and crushed by about 1995. In fact, in recent years I’ve […]

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Would you believe that the first-generation Hyundai Excel is now one of the rarest of Junkyard Finds? It’s true! The 1985-1989 Excel was so incredibly terrible— in my opinion, even worse than the Yugo— that just about every example in North America was dead and crushed by about 1995. In fact, in recent years I’ve seen more Crusher-bound Mitsubishi Cordias than early Excels. The closest I’ve come was this ’91 Hyundai Scoupe, based on the second-gen Excel and nowhere near as wretched as its predecessor.
With just over 100,000 miles on the clock, this car proved to be one of the most reliable first-gen Excels ever built.
Lesson to struggling automakers: If Hyundai can go from building excrementally bad cars to building very good ones in a mere 20 years, there’s hope for you!

10 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 01 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 02 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 03 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 04 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 05 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 06 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 07 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 08 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden 09 - 1987 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Yugo Envy' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru GL Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1987-subaru-gl-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1987-subaru-gl-wagon/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2011 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=422094 You didn’t start seeing Subarus in large numbers in North America until the third-gen Leone showed up. Even so, most of these quarter-century-old veterans are gone now, even in regions they once dominated (e.g. New England, Colorado). I found this more-80s-than-Wang Chung example in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks back, and I had […]

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You didn’t start seeing Subarus in large numbers in North America until the third-gen Leone showed up. Even so, most of these quarter-century-old veterans are gone now, even in regions they once dominated (e.g. New England, Colorado). I found this more-80s-than-Wang Chung example in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks back, and I had no choice but to document this soon-to-be-rare piece of Subaru history.
You want concentrated essence of 80s? Right here.
Japanese car designers really lost something when they decided to listen to American focus groups and killed off these Mars Base-style futuristic interiors.
When did fuel injection stop being special?

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1987-honda-civic-4wd-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1987-honda-civic-4wd-wagon/#comments Sun, 04 Sep 2011 20:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=410260 Living in Denver gives me a great perspective on the history of the four-wheel-drive car. Nowadays, it’s pretty much an all-Subaru affair around these parts (an observer who never left Denver would make the extrapolation that Subaru is one of the top-selling— if not the top-selling— marques in the world), but there was a time […]

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Living in Denver gives me a great perspective on the history of the four-wheel-drive car. Nowadays, it’s pretty much an all-Subaru affair around these parts (an observer who never left Denver would make the extrapolation that Subaru is one of the top-selling— if not the top-selling— marques in the world), but there was a time when Eagles and 4WD Tercels and many others slugged it out with the machines from Fuji Heavy. Here’s an example of Honda’s nearly-forgotten four-wheel-drive wagon, finally heading for The Crusher’s cold jaws after nearly a quarter-century of work.
By 1987, Honda had pretty well cemented its popular reputation as a builder of sensible, well-built cars. The Civic 4WD Wagovan seemed like a good bet to sip gas, run 200,000 miles, and crunch through the Colorado winter snow without getting stuck pulling out of the driveway.
The “Real-Time” four-wheel-drive system was just another way of saying “We know you stupid drivers can’t figure out when to engage four-wheel-drive, so we’ll just leave it going at all times.” Sure, it cost a few miles per gallon and added complexity, but it made the car an easier sell.

The Tercel 4WD wagon (which was much more this car’s competitor than anything from Subaru) had a lever that enabled four-wheel-drive, and its lack of a center differential meant that you’d beat up the drivetrain and/or tires if you drove it on dry pavement in 4WD. In addition, the Tercel had an archaic longitudinal-engine-above-front-differential arrangement that jacked up the center of gravity and made the car less aerodynamic. However, you couldn’t kill the Tercel with a Blue Steel missile, and the Civic suffered from the same weakness that afflicted all Hondas of this era: overheat it once and you’ll blow the head gasket.
With just 76 horsepower under the hood, the Civic Wagovan still managed to be more fun to drive than the competition (although you could still get the AMC Eagle, which was way more fun for mud-soaked off-road madness, in 1987).
I haven’t seen one of these things on the street, even in Denver, for quite a while. Several live on in 24 Hours of LeMons racing, however, and their teams are waiting for the race when it pours rain from start to finish… at which point they’ll get their doors blown right off by the Audi Quattros and 90s Subarus.

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-tercel-4wd-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/junkyard-find-1987-toyota-tercel-4wd-wagon/#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2011 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=401334 When we think of Japanese four-wheel-drive station wagons these days, we immediately picture a Subaru product. We often forget that, in the 1980s, most of the Japanese automakers made four-wheel-drive versions of their small wagons. Honda had the 4WD Civic Wagovan, Nissan had 4WD Stanza and Sentra wagons, Mitsubishi had the Mirage and Colt 4WD […]

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When we think of Japanese four-wheel-drive station wagons these days, we immediately picture a Subaru product. We often forget that, in the 1980s, most of the Japanese automakers made four-wheel-drive versions of their small wagons. Honda had the 4WD Civic Wagovan, Nissan had 4WD Stanza and Sentra wagons, Mitsubishi had the Mirage and Colt 4WD wagons, and so on. Of all of the non-Subaru 4WD wagons from that era, however, the only one you see with any frequency these days is Toyota’s Tercel 4WD wagon. These things are about as common as the AMC Eagle in Colorado, i.e. you see them all the time.

I’ve owned quite a few of these things, though most of mine were the more economical front-wheel-drive versions. For a couple of years, I had a job near the location of the weekly San Francisco towed-car auctions, and I’d drop by and pick up ’83-87 Tercel wagons for 100 bucks, fix a few things, and then turn them around for a grand. I never bought one that couldn’t be persuaded to run at the auction (in the “Wild West” era of City Tow, bidders weren’t allowed to try to start the cars before bidding, so you never knew what would happen when you attempted to fire up your new purchase), and I ended up keeping a couple for daily-driving use. Absolutely bulletproof little wagon, able to haul ridiculous loads, and very easy to work on.

With no center differential, you can’t use four-wheel-drive on dry asphalt without (allegedly) beating up the car’s running gear. I never attempted any serious off-roading in mine, but I would think that serious mud/grades/etc. would be beyond this car’s capabilities. Snow and ice, sure.

The good old Toyota 3A engine: not a lot of power, but will survive the apocalypse. I do love these cars (and Toyotas of the mid-1980s in general), but we’ve still got enough Tercel 4WD wagons on the street that I don’t worry when I see them in the wrecking yard. I do feel sad when I see a Mazda 323 GTX in the junkyard, which has happened several times now, but they seem to have become collectible enough that the few survivors should be well cared for.

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BMW 535 Judgemobile Works Great, Except For Entire Electrical System http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/bmw-535-judgemobile-works-great-except-for-entire-electrical-system/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/bmw-535-judgemobile-works-great-except-for-entire-electrical-system/#comments Fri, 20 May 2011 05:53:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=395548 When I rolled into Camden, South Carolina, in preparation for judging at the third annual 24 Hours of LeMons South Spring race, my friend Walker Canada handed me the keys to his rough-but-functional ’87 BMW E28. “Go ahead and use it as your Judgemobile!” he offered. The dash lights and most of the gauges didn’t […]

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When I rolled into Camden, South Carolina, in preparation for judging at the third annual 24 Hours of LeMons South Spring race, my friend Walker Canada handed me the keys to his rough-but-functional ’87 BMW E28. “Go ahead and use it as your Judgemobile!” he offered. The dash lights and most of the gauges didn’t work, but I only had to drive 20 miles to the track. The engine sounded great, the suspension was still tight, and Foghat’s “Slow Ride” was on the radio. What could possibly go wrong?

Then additional electrical systems began fritzing out, culminating in loss of the headlights. Two-lane blacktop road in rural South Carolina, late at night. No problem– I used to drive British Leyland product every day. Put the hazards on and keep going!

When I got to Carolina Motorsports Park at about 11:00 PM, all the action in the paddock was centered around the car the Tunachuckers got to replace their totalled Volvo Amazon: a 1975 Ford LTD Landau.

Two tons, flip-up headlights, and a 400-cubic-inch engine rated at a mighty 153 horsepower. Excellent race car choice, I say.

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/junkyard-find-1987-dodge-daytona-shelby-z/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/junkyard-find-1987-dodge-daytona-shelby-z/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2011 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=393192 174 horsepower in a 2,812-pound car was pretty good for 1987, and Carroll Shelby’s name on the decklid and doors ought to mean something… yet nobody seems to love the Daytona Shelby Z today. Witness this ’87, now moldering in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. At $12,749 (about 25 grand in 2011 dollars), the Shelby […]

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174 horsepower in a 2,812-pound car was pretty good for 1987, and Carroll Shelby’s name on the decklid and doors ought to mean something… yet nobody seems to love the Daytona Shelby Z today. Witness this ’87, now moldering in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

At $12,749 (about 25 grand in 2011 dollars), the Shelby Z wasn’t cheap; you could get the regular Daytona for $9,799… or head across the street to the Chevy dealer and get a new Z28 for $12,819.

I’m tempted to buy that hyper-80s boost gauge, just to frame on my wall.

Someday, the Shelby Chryslers might be the Next Big Thing in collectible classic automobiles. Not yet, though. If only that Lamborghini Jalpa-engined AWD Daytona had gone into production, Things Would Be Different Now.

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Junkyard Find: What The Hell Is a Cordia Turbo? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/junkyard-find-what-the-hell-is-a-cordia-turbo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/junkyard-find-what-the-hell-is-a-cordia-turbo/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=387204 We all remember the Starion, with its TURBO badging on everything from the seat belts to the door handles, but who among us can recall ever having seen the other 80s hot-rod Mitsubishi in the wild? Because TURBO emblems cost extra yen, the ’87 Cordia Turbo didn’t have quite as many as the pricier Starion. […]

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We all remember the Starion, with its TURBO badging on everything from the seat belts to the door handles, but who among us can recall ever having seen the other 80s hot-rod Mitsubishi in the wild?

Because TURBO emblems cost extra yen, the ’87 Cordia Turbo didn’t have quite as many as the pricier Starion. In addition to the usual decklid badge, there’s the one on the steering wheel…

…and the one cast into the valve cover.

Only the 1980s could have produced this door-panel insert fabric. The Cordia (and its sedan cousin) sank into North American obscurity rather quickly. Actually, they started out in obscurity, as Mitsubishi got off to a very slow start as it tried to branch out from its captive-import relationship with Chrysler.

Check out that post-Malaise-Era 140 MPH speedometer! 1987 car buyers were able to drive a new Cordia Turbo off the Mitsubishi lot for $11,329, about the same price as the naturally-aspirated Nissan 200SX hatchback. That got you 116 turbocharged horsepower… but if you went across the street to your Dodge dealer, you could get yourself a Shelby Turbo Z Daytona— with 174 screamin’ turbocharged horses— for $12,749. Worth paying nearly a grand-and-a-half more for an extra 58 ponies? Given the nowhere-near-Toyota-and-Honda build quality of Mitsubishi products at the time, you were probably much better off with the Dodge.

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