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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

Picking the most interesting cars every week


It’s amazing to think that a regular Ford V8, tuned for reliability and nothing more, only put out 150 horsepower in 1987. But if you look at the beginning of the Malaise Era, the same 302 put out 141 horses, like in the below Mustang. Did the benefit of fuel injection add 9 horsepower? Chances are the engines are much more different than the fuel delivery system but, man, what a long time to have to deal with nada!

The Callaway Corvette was a promise of what was to come. It even was more powerful than the performance car from the muscle car era that’s also featured here. Which of these AutoHunter picks captures your attention the most?

1967 Pontiac GTO Convertible
The GTO featured several updates in 1967 that made it the best of the first-generation bunch. Though it’s possible you may prefer earlier ones, it’s hard to argue with the 400 cid engine upgrade, the addition of the (much-needed) TH400 three-speed automatic, and the regulation-spec dual master cylinder. Rally II wheels also made their debut.

This Linden Green convertible is unusual in that it left the factory with the standard three-speed manual transmission. Even more unusual is that tranny paired with a bench seat. Though the transmission has been upgraded to a four-speed, the engine remains the standard 335-horse 400. The poverty caps go nicely with the extremely basic origins of this GTO.

1987 Chevrolet Callaway Twin-Turbo Corvette  
Back in the Dark Ages, a little company in the Nutmeg State offered this vehicle complete with a Chevrolet invoice. Turbos were beginning to become the rage, but turbo lag was still a thorn on its side for many cars. Nonetheless, the twin-turbo Corvette was rated at 345 horsepower in 1987, which was 105 horses more than a stock Vette. Zero-sixty came in under five seconds, and ETs were in the low-13 range.

In the current collector climate, it seems these super-Vettes are overlooked. Is it because the ZR1 and millennial Corvettes offer so much performance? Yet this one has rarity on its side — it is #142 of 184 produced. As an added bonus, it has a manual transmission though, at the time, the emissions-inspired mechanism wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Combine this with a nice color combo and this one’s a sleeper collectible.

1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria Wagon
Gosh, when was the last time you saw one of these? Ford built 17,562, well down from this generation’s high of 67,887 in 1979. Nineteen eighty-seven was the last year before the update that featured rounded edges, more in line with Ford’s other aero cars. I would guess most of them were the wood-paneled Country Squire, but I cannot find information to confirm.

This 1987 LTD Crown Victoria wagon is powered by a 150-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 with fuel injection — yep, we’ve come a long way since then. This car has everything you’d want in a utilitarian vehicle aside of GPS and Bluetooth, so why not go big? The 74,902 miles on it currently means there should still be plenty of life in the engine, and there’s plenty of speed parts available if you wish it to bring up to modern performance specs.

1973 Ford Mustang Coupe
The last of the “real” Mustangs before the Mustang II was introduced, the 1973 does have its charms, though I personally find the styling and power of a 1971 429 SCJ much more appealing. However, low-mileage cars are to be cherished, and I’m a sucker for a nicely trimmed vehicle, such as red with white “halo” top and matching interior.

This 1973 Mustang coupe has just 19,321 miles. It’s powered by the basic V8 that powered tons of Mustangs during this era, a 302 two-barrel backed by a three-speed automatic. Notable features include standard white bucket seat interior, center console, air conditioning, power front disc brakes, and power steering. Strangely, the stereo is a newer unit but luckily the dashboard hasn’t been butchered to make it fit.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


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