One thing I really love about writing up these 10K posts is a odd combinations pricing allows me to come up with. For today’s post, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of maximizing the budget, I decided to look at it from the perspective of what was a classic 1980s car that you could buy and maintain well under $10,000. Obviously, if you’re willing to shill out much more, there are countless classics you can jump in to turn-key; but under $10,000 means with almost certainty that the car you’ll be getting in to today will be at least in part a bit of a project. Is there anything wrong with that? No, I think there’s an inherent appeal to trying to save and resuscitate a car that was in part neglected or just needs attention. Certainly I’ve tried to do that several times with 1980s cars – with mixed results. Today, I grabbed one classic from the 1980s (give or take, we’ll see…) from each of the major manufacturers – which is the one you’d like to save?
All posts tagged 1980
I’m going to get a bit gushy for a moment, if you’ll allow me. I love the original Scirocco. Considering I’m a huge fan of the similarly Giugiaro designed Audi Coupe, that should come as no surprise. Both the GT and the Scirocco have some odd angles, and arguable aren’t the prettiest designs ever to be penned by the Italians. However, it’s that awkwardness that adds to their appeal for me – they stand out not because they’re perfect, but because simply they stand out and not in a bad way. It’s something that the second generation Scirocco wasn’t able to pull off, in my mind. The short and squat original model, though it lacked the performance of many of the top-tier Volkswagen products, has to go down as one of the prettiest Volkswagens ever made. While they were a popular coupe and in many ways helped to spawn the sedan-based 2-door market that was the rage in the 1980s and early 1990s, not many of the original Sciroccos remain thanks mostly to rust and electrical issues. To me, the best looking of the original models are the infrequently seen “S” models, such as the 1980 which popped up this week for sale. The S was mostly an appearance package but featured a front spoiler, some cool stripes and Recaro seats; it was also only available in three colors in 1980 – black, Mars Red or today’s Alpine White:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco S on eBay
Pablo from flüssig magazine has checked in with us once again, evaluating this 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo for sale in Denver that was sent to us from our reader Duncan.
Porsche’s plan in 1980 was to keep the 924 Turbo’s price under twenty grand. Now if I were to tell you that in the face of a weakening dollar against a strong Deutsch Mark that USD $20,000 has the same buying power today as USD $57,115, you’d not only have to pick your jaw up off the floor, you’d wonder why the hell Stuttgart decided it a savvy move to wipe the 5-stud hubs and rear disc brakes clean off the build sheet replacing them with four lugs and a pair of drums for Turbos destined to the US to stay under that price. Let me explain.
Porsche was still a small company 35 years ago compared to, say, their neighbors at Daimler–Benz. And when you’re a David, you do what have to in order to keep that needle millimeters away from the red lest A: you get consumed by Goliath, or B: you close up shop. Simple as that. So in order for Stuttgart to continue selling its relatively new entry level product at a far from entry level price in a market that was allotted 50% of its Fahrzeug (incoming CEO Peter Schutz would change that in 1981 to lessen dependence on the US market), costs had to be cut somewhere. Unfortunately, the rear binders were it. The way they saw it, if the 50 states version was detuned to put out 143bhp @5500 RPM and 147 lb-ft of torque at 3000 RPM further crippled by a smaller turbo, catalytic converter, and oxygen sensors, a front disc/rear drum set-up like that found on the normally aspirated 924 would be more than adequate.
The 924 Turbo made its appearance on our shores in July of 1979 as a 1980 model (easily distinguished by an exposed fuel filler cap) in a limited batch of 600 cars in an effort to keep dealers and journalists from screaming like spoiled little brats since Porsche had already started production of the 1979 model year in the summer of ’78. When you figure in that the European/ROW version got 170bhp, 180 lb-ft of torque, a larger KKK K26 turbocharger with a wastegate, and disc brakes all around, who can blame anyone for throwing a tantrum? Matter of course.
Let’s shift the subject to a more positive note and discuss more noteworthy attributes of the US spec 931. Labeled engine version M31.02, these lumps were built in Zuffenhausen and not at VW’s Salzgitter plant sporting a completely redesigned head with inlet valves that were 3mm larger (36mm) than the 924 normal allowing the engine to suck a combustible mixture of larger volume while platinum tipped spark plugs were moved closer to the inlet valves as opposed to the exhaust valves as in the 924 normal. It must noted that the normally aspirated 924 used a head of Heron design meaning that the underside of cylinder head was machined flat since the combustion chamber was recessed in the piston crown providing a “swirl effect” to the fuel/air mixture on the upstroke whereas the turbo would have the combustion chamber in the head itself. Compression ratio remained the same on all versions at 7,5:1 that increased geometrically to 10,8:1 when the turbo was spooled up to full song at 0,7 bar (9.87 lbs) beginning at around 2800 RPM. The bottom end remained the same for both the blown and unblown version, save for the new Mahle pistons, as it was robust enough to cope with the power increase.
The clutch size increased from 215mm to 225mm control hydraulically this time, cable operation was left to the normally aspirated group. Power went through a larger 25mm diameter driveshaft spinning on three bearings mating to a Porsche designed G31.02 gearbox with a revised final drive ratio of 4,71:1 used in the normally aspirated European 924 while the 0,706 5th gear was swapped out for 0,60:1, this in the name of better compatibility for our roads. While all of this may not matter one whit to one of little technical aptitude, the driver will most certainly find the Turbo’s appeal a fortiori when engaging the dog-leg first borne of racing pedigree.
Now that I’ve lain before your feet a small primer on what the 924 Turbo was about, I’d like focus your attention to this superb little brick draped in L90E Alpinweiß. The toolkit, that’s when I knew this 931 would be worth a bother…perhaps a flight in from somewhere farther. Universal pliers, rim wrench, spark plug wrench, operating rod for rim wrench, operating lever for spark plug wrench, handle and Philips/Flat head insert, and a double-ended 10mm/13mm spanner in the original tool roll pouch speaks volumes of what to expect in terms of completeness and originality with this example.
Click for details: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on Denver’s Craigslist
It would be easy to credit the BMW M5 as the first super sedan, and in many ways, it is. With a motorsport-derived twin cam 24V inline-6 under the hood good for over 280 horsepower in Europe, the E28 M535i and M5 were nothing to trifle with. However, well before the Motorsports division of BMW had their way with the E28, they built the prototype for what would become the definitive sports sedan in the E12 M535i. Granted, the E12 didn’t have the super M1 motor under the hood. However, like the later M5 would, the E12 had upgraded brakes, a re-tuned suspension featuring unique springs and Bilstein shocks, a deep front air dam and rear spoiler and BBS mesh wheels. Because this was basically still the 1970s, they also received some spectacular Motorsports stripes outside to help differentiate them as something special. Inside you got special Recaro seats with a unique corduroy fabric and an M1 steering wheel – not a bad touch. All of that was coupled with the uncatalyst M30B34 seen in several other BMWs, good for 218 horsepower. It was in just about every way the stepping stone to creating the M5. They were even produced in similar numbers to the M5, with only around 1,400 made – 450 of them being right drive like this 1980 example for sale today:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW M535i on eBay
These are the cars I love coming across. Not just that it’s a 911 Turbo, but the exterior color and the contrasting interior – basically everything about the appearance of this car makes me stop in my tracks. This is about as period correct a color combination as we’re likely to come across, and as I’ve noted in other features of similarly-colored cars it is extremely rare to see a modern car, from any marque, produced in these shades. This particular Turbo seems to have taken that period correct color scheme to another level. The metallic paint with a slight golden hue flashes and sets it apart from many of the other brown shades I’ve seen. It’s earthy and smoky, while also vibrant. There’s definitely some very nice photography at work here, but still this car looks pretty great! Here we have a Tobacco Metallic 1980 Porsche 911 Turbo with around 53,000 miles on it, and as the ad notes this color was only available in 1979 and 1980.