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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

The cream of the crop


It’s an exciting day at AutoHunter! It’s awesome when there are several cars that rise to the top, raise their hands, and yell, “Oh! Oh! Pick me!” for my AutoHunter Picks. Makes things so much easier. So, here, we have a nice mix of muscle, GT, hot rod, and late-model muscle (yes, 25+ years is late-model to me). Which moves you the most?

1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Holiday Coupe
Out of the three General Motors brands that introduced the hardtop, only Oldsmobile persisted in using a name that aged poorly over the years. Holiday? Not the type of word that invokes images of high-performance terror with 500 lb-ft of torque, but Olds could be forgiven because the 1970 4-4-2 was arguably one of the best all-around cars of the era in terms of performance, handling, styling, and comfort.

This Astro Blue 1970 4-4-2 has an interesting history as it originally was purchased by a chief of the Los Angeles Police Department at the time. Looking at the factory invoice, it was spec’d out in a very adult manner: Azure Blue, power windows, four-way power bucket seat, air conditioning, automatic on the column, Deluxe steering wheel with tilt column, and wire wheel covers, among others.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod
When I was developing my automotive chops, I was never interested in customs and hot rods. And, then, one year at Meadowbrook, the concours show had several seminal 1950s examples on display, giving them equal footing with pre-war classics. It was at that moment that I figured out what was so great about these vehicles, though I never have developed the acumen to know what’s good styling and what’s not.

When I see a hot rod like this 1931 Ford Model A, I always do a flashback. Thankfully, it’s powered by a vintage Oldsmobile 394 with the classic J2 intake with 3x2s. I’ll give the 700R4 four-speed automatic a pass since most enthusiasts prefer easy living these days, but the 1932 Pontiac grille, and burgundy and cream paint job with matching interior (plus, dig the Art Deco dashboard!) really set off this vintage-looking hot rod.

1979 Porsche 928
I remember riding my bike in Dewey Beach and stumbling upon one of these when they were new. I later told my friend about it, and he asked, “Is it the one that looks like an egg?” It was my favorite Porsche of the era, though it disappoints me that it never has been embraced by the Porsche cognoscenti because the engine is in the “wrong” place.

On the other hand, this 1979 Porsche 928 is the perfect example of a gran turismo during the Malaise Era – yes, it was possible to have fine performance and V8 rumbles in the late 1970s. This black and tan example features the very desirable five-speed transaxle, sunroof, leather, and that certain brio that can only come from a Teuton aside of the fact I don’t know what that’s called in German.

1997 Pontiac Trans Am Comp T/A
I once was headed from the Finger Lakes to Ohio for a Pontiac show. We stopped somewhere to meet several Pontiac fans. I hopped in with the guy who was driving a new Comp T/A and quickly found myself going sideways. What fun! Comp T/As were basically 1995-97 Pontiac Firebird Firehawks that were created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of BFGoodrich’s Comp T/A tire.

This completely stock 27,910-mile 1997 Trans Am Comp T/A is one of 47 built, of which only 17 were built with the automatic. Of course, power comes from a 5.7-liter LT1 with Ram Air. Features include T-tops (40 built), gray leather interior, Delco audio system, SLP-upgraded suspension, limited-slip differential, and plenty of original SLP literature and paperwork regarding the build of this car. A fine F-body to have before Pontiac threw in the towel.

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 the Southwest.



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