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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

Four for the 1960/80s


If you like British sports cars like this meticulously restored MG, you may be disappointed that I did not select it for my AutoHunter Picks. It certainly would have added to the variety of cars I’ve chosen below, but some others crossed my radar first. After all, it’s difficult to beat the appeal of an Endura-nosed Goat, or a classic Mopar ragtop, or several cars from the 1980s that would have more mass appeal if it weren’t for lackluster power ratings.

C’est la vie, eh?

1968 Pontiac GTO
When I was a kid, the older folks preferred the 1964-67 Goats, while the younger folks preferred the second-generation ones. What defined older and younger? Probably the Baby Boomers who bought them new versus the Boomers who bought them used when the gas crisis hit. Today, I would bet most GTO enthusiasts prefer the post-1967 cars.

This 1968 GTO should have mass appeal across several generations. The turquoise hue is a color that looked good then and now, and the seller claims this car was equipped from the factory with the 400 HO upgrade, though (s)he doesn’t provide PHS documentation so be sure to ask questions. The TH400 paired with the console means it’s equipped with the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter. Tilt column, power windows, and air conditioning are all desirable options that add to the appeal.

1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe
In high school, this is what the rich kids would drive, though probably not with the Aero Back backlite, a nod to NASCAR homologation. There were 200 built in 1986, then 6,052 in 1987, putting them on the same historical plane as the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and Ford Torino Talladega. At the time, a 180-horsepower High Output small-block was hot stuff, though it was a shame the Camaro’s 350/230 never ended up being used.

This White over Maroon 1987 Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe is a nice representation of American muscle for the era. Standard equipment included gauges, 15×7 aluminum wheels, Sport steering wheel and mirrors, and 3.73 performance axle. Beyond that, this Bow Tie features bucket seats and console, air conditioning, tilt wheel, and AM/FM/cassette – all fine options to have back in the day. Gold or red stripes were available with White, with this one having the latter.

1965 Plymouth Belvedere II Convertible
When Plymouth’s B-body began to be marketed as a mid-size car, the company created a new hierarchy of models: Belvedere I, Belvedere II, and Satellite. The Satellite featured standard bucket seats and console, playing the role of the former Sport Fury. For a bit less wampum, the Belvedere II gave you a front bench seat but the brightwork and quality of interior materials didn’t feel like a downgrade. “A sense of adventure and fun in the air” was part of driving the Belvedere II, Plymouth claimed.

This 1965 Belvedere II convertible has the best of both worlds, now featuring the Satellite’s buckets and console. Another welcome upgrade is the 440 backed by the trusty TorqueFlite automatic. American Racing Torq Thrust mags make the B-body more appealing to the eye, and power steering and brakes make it easier to manage modern driving conditions. Best of all, a matching 1959 Glass Magic boat is also being peddled by the seller.

1982 Volkswagen Scirocco
This is a pleasant surprise because the other day I was scanning Sciroccos on to write for our Pick of the Day. I wouldn’t have guessed the second-generation Scirocco went this far back, but the Quantum-like taillights should have given me a hint. Horsepower had yet to be a thing with the Scirocco, but fine design and good handling chops made it a desirable coupe during the Malaise Era.

This  92,079-mile 1982 Scirocco has been in the same family since new. Isn’t it hard to believe that’s 40-plus years already? To its favor, this VW is equipped with a five-speed manual and, in more recent years, it’s acquired several tasteful mods that include 15-inch Rial wheels and an H&R lowered suspension. Though there’s only 74 horsepower on tap, it’s probably the most fun you’ll have with so few horses.

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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