Archives for August 2015

1978 Saab 99 EMS: Well Loved

This 1978 Saab 900 EMS is a great candidate for a project car, given its versatility whether used as a rally-x build or as the basis for a survivor-grade restoration. Available in sunny California here on craigslist for $3,500, it’s mostly rust-free and is for sale by a Saab enthusiast who has a good grip on the car’s assets and needs. The best part about this spunky 99 for me is its adherence to pulling from the OEM parts catalog, from the Inca-style wheels to the original (and rare) accessory steering wheel found in the cockpit. The seller notes the EMS comes from a long-line of Saab fanatic owners, and it shows. While the paint may be rough and the interior starting to show its age, this 99 benefits from sensible maintenance that swapped some key Saab 900 parts in for easy future servicing – upper and lower control arms, brake rotors, hubs, pads, master cylinder, axles, radiator core, and fan among them. Potentially one to buy, with the vanity plate being the icing on the cake. Thanks to CCC reader MJ for the find!

1991 Volkswagen Corrado: Unfortunate Auto

The Corrado has always been one of my favorite cars. To this day, the styling is among the best I’ve ever seen come out of Wolfsburg, and clean Corrados still look surprisingly new when you see them on the road. This example here on eBay is a 1991 G60 model, supercharged from the factory. Sadly, it is saddled with an automatic transmission which is less than ideal for a car that relies on boost to make speed. It’s a shame, because this car appears to be a survivor-grade example when many have been extinguished from the roads either due to abuse or excessive repair costs. Of course, it could be that slow-shifting auto that kept it from such fates. The seller doesn’t offer much in the way of detail, which you’ll want before committing to buy – but for $3,900, you could likely make most of that money back by parting it out if it turns out to be a dog.

1984 Pontiac Trans Am: Get In Early?

The Firebird and Camaro of the early 1980’s have long sat at the bottom of the price scale, largely for being a bit of a black eye in the history of a celebrated American muscle car. Low on power and somewhat shoddily built, these were not heirloom vehicles. This 1984 Trans Am here on craigslist is needy and doesn’t possess any rare features, but it might be the cheapest way into a stock, unmolested car – especially if the market ever reverses after realizing these big coupes have been cheap for many, many years. The car is a claimed barn find that runs and drives but will need both tires and interior work. Although the seller states that it has Ram Air, I suspect he is referring to the factory cowl induction system used on this generation of Trans Ams, which is a neat period piece. For $1,800, I might still bargain down a bit – but the day could be coming when this looks like a steal.

1982 VW Rabbit Truck: Clean Interior

Don’t judge this VW Rabbit pickup by its exterior. It absolutely has one of the best interiors I’ve yet seen on a VW of this generation, and rarely do you find these old work trucks with clean accommodations. Listed on craigslist for $4,000, the owner has worked on it for the last 3 years to make it a reliable daily driver and the interior a place you won’t mind spending some time. The drivetrain has received some significant attention, from a new headgasket, glow plugs and a transmission from a 60K mile example. Some fresh paint to address the primered areas that are merely controlling some surface rust spots would make this truck shine. And the MPGs can’t be beat!

1985 Dodge Daytona: Turbo’d Z

The Dodge lineup in the 80s would seem like a tuner’s dream come true: liberal use of turbocharging, Carroll Shelby was a product planner, and the emphasis on air dams and wider wheels made for some sexy shapes. But rumor has it that build quality was nothing short of abhorrent, making even pocket rockets like the Shelby GLH a fairly miserable place to spend time. This 1985 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z found here on eBay is listed as a survivor-grade car for $4,900 and does look largely original. The 16″ wheels from the later Daytona Shelby edition are a nice OEM+ upgrade for this car, which thankfully is equipped with a manual transmission. The aero kit underneath the front lip and along the side sills looks pretty rough, so I’d probably strip that off and then get to extracting whatever is left of the engine’s 160-lbs. ft. of turbocharged torque!