Archives for June 2015

1988 Ford Bronco II 4X4: Mountain Goat

Seeing this survivor-grade ’88 Bronco II on eBay immediately brought back memories of some of my favorite Buddy L toys: I had a Bronco II and Ranger pick-up as part of a matching set, complete with the 4×4 graphics on the side and white-letter tires. Mine are wrapped up in the attic somewhere in my parents’ house, much like this super-clean and well-optioned Bronco II that has been garage-kept for many years. The body flares are a desirable look and the factory 5-speed manual is an added bonus, and with the locking hubs, I’m sure this short-wheelbase 4×4 is a hoot on mountain trails. You’ll certainly have to enjoy the color red if you plan on spending any time in that interior, as it’s covered from headliner to carpet in a shade that’s nothing short of loud; but then again, most things from the ’80s are. It’s too bad this class of vehicle didn’t take off – like the Dodge Raider of the same era, I’d love a two-door, 4-wheel drive rig like this to use for weekend projects and off-road escapes.

1983 Jaguar XJS: Anglo-American

There’s that old saying of loving a car for its beauty but hating the thing for its dodgy mechanics. I’ve always thought the Jaguar XJS of the 1980s was a superb looking car and a great choice for a grand tourer, if not for the fact that its British heritage made for less-than-stellar reliability. This 1983 example on eBay addresses that issue with an engine swap in the form of a small-block Chevy mill, and it says to be a running and driving example for only $2,800. While the seller says it’s in overall good condition, it will need to be trailered – so that leaves some questions as to the extent of this Jag’s needs. With the classic good looks of the XJS combined with reliable SBC power, this appears to be one example of British engineering anyone can turn a wrench on.

1983 Volkswagen Golf GTI: The Rare Spec

While there’s always excitement surrounding the discovery of a GTO or Challenger, some of us get equally excited about the unveiling of an ’80s hot-hatch with an abundance of period-correct tuner goodies. This 1983 VW Golf GTI (eBay calls it an ’80, but the seller labels it correctly in the listing), also known as a MK1, is located in Greece, but can be found here on eBay. It might be a bit out of our typical price range, but it is just too interesting to overlook! Now, for those of you who don’t follow the import circuit, this car is stacked with period modifications from German tuning company Oettinger, which includes lots of cosmetic add-ons and a few engine tweaks, including upgraded camshafts and an engine oil cooler. The Zender body kit is equally desirable as are the Zender Turbo alloy wheels; all in all, this MK1 GTI is a mobile parts catalog for the 1980’s German tuning scene. When done correctly, that’s not a bad thing. I doubt this car will end up stateside, but considering how hard it would be to re-create, you never know.