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HomeAutoHunterDiego’s AutoHunter Picks

Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

Another quartet to suit your moods

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Today’s AutoHunter Picks target different segments of the old car hobby . . . wait, what’s this? Two muscle cars? Sue me. Yet, truth be told, the Plymouth and Oldsmobile catered to different segments of the performance market. It could be said the Plymouth’s reason for existence is due to the Oldsmobile, so it may come down to personality.

And maybe it comes down to transmission as well, as both muscle cars have an automatic, while the pickup and sports car feature manuals. Will your favorite come down to that?  

1961 MG MGA
If you’re a seasoned reader of these AutoHunter Picks, you know I’ve rarely warmed up to little two-seat sports cars. However, there’s no denying the MGA has nice proportions and curves. While a desirable-to-me Corvette had a 283 V8 (4.6 liters), the MGA made do with a 1.6-liter inline-four. I guess a Jaguar would be a better comparison to the Vette, but I reckon channeling a Miata would reveal the MGA’s charms.

This 26,289-mile MGA is a reportedly rust-free California car that has received $38,000 in restoration work, including new paint and rebuilt engine. I spy an aftermarket stereo that features a cassette player, luggage rack, and a proper set of gauges. Old-school charm with room for your BOC cassettes as you drive to the Bridgehampton golf course almost sounds like fun.

1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
Nineteen seventy-one was the year General Motors lowered compression on all its engines. For years they were the red-headed stepchildren of the muscle car world but, today, they’ve been able to push through the derision and strut their stuff, including the fact that the horsepower hit was not as bad as people thought. Plus, many love the 1971 styling updates.

This 1971 4-4-2 is painted in Nordic Blue, which you don’t see as often as the ever-popular Viking Blue. The 340-horsepower 455 still has the torque to characterize it as a monster, though I imagine some will be turned off by the bench seat and column-shifted TH400 automatic. The W25 hood, W35 rear spoiler, and Super Stock III mags handle the eye candy for those who are slave to that. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it is a pretty car.

1979 Chevrolet K10 Scottsdale Pickup
Honestly, I can’t believe how many old pickups exist. Weren’t they supposed to be ridden hard and put away wet? Yet there’s always a good selection of pickups on AutoHunter, so clearly there is collector interest beyond my paradigm. And why not? There are so many customizable variations that they all seem different from each other, especially with the 1970s.

So, though I’m admittedly not a truck guy, this short-bed Chevy 4X4 half-ton has some visual appeal, almost like a leggy fawn, if you will. I imagine the pale yellow hue is a take it/leave it affair for some, but the 350 four-barrel and the four-speed are plusses in its favor. Scottsdale trim is definitely a step up in luxury from what was standard too. I wonder if Chevy had a 1970s stripe kit for this? Would set it off nicely.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner
I’ve always leaned towards the 1969 Road Runner: nicer grille, available air induction, no crappy Inland shifter, bright colors a checkbox away, and the mid-year A12 package that created what arguably is the ultimate muscle car. But the 1968 template has started to grow on me, especially when it’s lacking in options other than those for high-performance driving.

This 1968 Road Runner is a hardtop, a $38-more-expensive mid-year companion to the coupe. Hardtops came standard with the Décor Group, which included several interior upgrades (like carpet) and trunklid trim. No bucket seats in 1968, so the column-shifted automatic is not so much a downgrade as much as suiting the Road Runner’s purpose. The 383’s upgrades during rebuild has street fun and reliability in mind.

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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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