I'm getting a hankering for an 80's head turner

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
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I don't know where its coming from. I thought maybe I'd buy one and drive for a year or two and then pass it on. Maybe $10,000-$20,000. Maintenance cost isn't an really issue as long as it's not insanely high.

Two that have been in my mind:

1) Mercedes 560SEL coupe (the "Road House" Benz). Such an awesome looking car. It would fit the "head turner" bill for sure. I was pretty shocked at how high the prices are on some of these. They seem to be headed to collectible status. You can still find crap ones for cheap but I'm looking for a car that doesn't need immediate work. I'd have to hit the jackpot to find one in good condition for a decent price, I think.

2) Shark nose BMW. M versions are probably out of the picture, but regular classic 6ers seem to be fairly reasonable.

I was considering a 928 but those have skyrocketed in value the past few years. I think they've been caught in the classic Porche appreciation wake.

Late 80's Lotus Espirits seem to be priced a little higher than I want to spend. I'm not sure I'd go that direction even if they weren't. I've heard they're extreme maintenance headaches. I don't think I'm interested in a car that could blow up every time I put it in gear.

Plaeas shoot any other candidates my way. I'm not sure what American 80's car would fit the bill for me. I'm certainly not interested in a Corvette from that era.
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
38,107
433
136
560 SEC is what came immediately to mind. Not a huge fan of them in sedan form but I have always liked the coupe.

AMG versions are apparently spectacularly expensive so that is out but the regular ones appear to be in your price range.

Viper GTS
 

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
2,543
488
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Yeah, you're right. The coupe is SEC not SEL.

One of the most beautiful cars ever made. I don't think those lines have ever been recreated.

Mind you - I'm still in the "looking" stage right now. But if I saw one for the right money I'd be hard pressed to turn it down.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
9,133
5,072
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I don't know where its coming from. I thought maybe I'd buy one and drive for a year or two and then pass it on. Maybe $10,000-$20,000. Maintenance cost isn't an really issue as long as it's not insanely high.

Two that have been in my mind:

1) Mercedes 560SEL coupe (the "Road House" Benz). Such an awesome looking car. It would fit the "head turner" bill for sure. I was pretty shocked at how high the prices are on some of these. They seem to be headed to collectible status. You can still find crap ones for cheap but I'm looking for a car that doesn't need immediate work. I'd have to hit the jackpot to find one in good condition for a decent price, I think.

2) Shark nose BMW. M versions are probably out of the picture, but regular classic 6ers seem to be fairly reasonable.

I was considering a 928 but those have skyrocketed in value the past few years. I think they've been caught in the classic Porche appreciation wake.

Late 80's Lotus Espirits seem to be priced a little higher than I want to spend. I'm not sure I'd go that direction even if they weren't. I've heard they're extreme maintenance headaches. I don't think I'm interested in a car that could blow up every time I put it in gear.

Plaeas shoot any other candidates my way. I'm not sure what American 80's car would fit the bill for me. I'm certainly not interested in a Corvette from that era.

Neighbor is on his second Espirit. First one was an 89 and he replaced it with a Espirit V8 a couple of months ago.
They still have an great presence on the road.
However, the engine note on the old turbo 4's is a bit underwhelming. It's like the muffler fell off an old toyota tercel.
https://jalopnik.com/at-23-500-is-this-1989-lotus-esprit-turbo-the-one-to-1828022819

928's....Back when they were still common I remember them to be a pain in the ass. Electrical issues should be expected. I've been loser passenger in one. They do have something about them ...

Old BMW's from the 80's? (shudders). Not unless it has tons of receipts and it was recently refreshed. I think the rule for 80's BMWs is that full restoration is good for 3 years then you better get rid of the car. Even when everythinng is running perfectly, there is always something stupid that pops up that will eventually drive you nuts.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
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I wish I had bought an 80's 911 back when they were around 10k. They're appreciated past the point it makes sense anymore.
 

SearchMaster

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2002
7,792
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Not as exotic but I'd probably lean toward an MR2 or 300ZX. I've always liked the looks of the Fiero as well (though its execution was poor).

My nephew bought a 944 with only about 35000 miles that was absolutely babied...I don't know what he paid for it but he's a pretty poor kid so I doubt it was too expensive.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
26,069
1,552
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Not as exotic but I'd probably lean toward an MR2 or 300ZX. I've always liked the looks of the Fiero as well (though its execution was poor).

My nephew bought a 944 with only about 35000 miles that was absolutely babied...I don't know what he paid for it but he's a pretty poor kid so I doubt it was too expensive.
my little bro drove his mr2 spyder like he stole it for like 10 years. Drove the hell out of that thing. Was a nice car, though my fat ass wouldn't fit in the seat.
 

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
2,543
488
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I had a Fiero for a few years when I was younger. I went to a party and saw it sitting under piles of garbage in a guy's back yard. I asked the guy about it and he ended up selling it to me for $1000. It had two problems: bad starter and one headlight motor was broken. I used a screw driver to start it for about a year. I got about 50,000 miles out of it before the engine blew up, which ain't bad at all for $1000. I was driving one day and heard a loud THUNK. I could still rev the engine but no more power to the wheels. Bye Bye Fiero.

I read somewhere that the Fiero was originally intended to be a fairly high end sports car, but the bean counters at GM shot the idea down and demand it be a cheap mass marketable toy. I didn't mind it while I had it but I don't needs another one.

I think my heart is still set on the 560SEC but I watched the video on common problems to watch out for on youtube, and holy s%^t - if that's not enough to scare off almost anyone I don't know what is. A few thousand here, a few thousand there, a few thousand everywhere....

You gotta REALLY want it.
 
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_Rick_

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2012
3,934
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I was going to say Z1 (even though it looks more nineties than 80s) but the price on those also shot up. But then BMWs in generally have been going upmarket recently, especially Zs and Ms...

If you like pain, the 80's Maseratis are also quite exciting -- a Khamsin or Merac would probably break you in the process, compared to a 560 Merc.
 
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WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
30,407
8,053
136
This...
https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jaguar-XJS...170145?hash=item33f09d42a1:g:xN8AAOSw3dxbT5dn

s-l400.jpg
 

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
2,543
488
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I have a friend who's obsessed with those 80s Jags. He currently has 3, I believe. Drives his wife absolutely bonkers. lol

I like them, but not in the same ballpark as something like a 560 SEC for me. I've looked at late 2000s XK/XKRs. If the car market doesn't chance drastically those will surely be classics in 20-30 years. Jaguar created the perfect blend of modern and classic with that design imo.

I'm pretty sure I will own one one day, but right now I still have my 650i sitting there not being driven a lot. It's basically the same car.
 
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dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
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I'm sure its a great car but it doesn't quite fit what I'm looking for.

1) nobody outside of car enthusiasts are going to recognize one. Not much head turning there. The body is too generic.

2) Are they really available for less that $20,000?
 

DaTT

Garage Moderator
Moderator
Feb 13, 2003
13,295
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I'm sure its a great car but it doesn't quite fit what I'm looking for.

1) nobody outside of car enthusiasts are going to recognize one. Not much head turning there. The body is too generic.

2) Are they really available for less that $20,000?

To be quite honest, nobody outside of car enthusiasts will turn a head for anything less than exotic...especially from the 80's. Unless you know cars, the 80's were pretty generic and boxy with the odd exception.

Good condition will run anywhere from $15k to $45k
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,459
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Shit, you could buy a 2003 SL55 AMG for that kind of money.

Don’t waste your time trying to find an 80s relic.
 

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
2,543
488
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I already have a 2000's Benz which I really enjoy driving. Don't need another one.

For what its worth - I drove a 500SEC and it was kind of a let down. Nice looking car, but the engine was loud and droney, and I had to mash the gas peddle down to get any acceleration. Even though it only had around 110,000 miles it just seemed like the engine wasn't long for this world. Maybe lack of maintenance.

I got turned on to a guy who's thinking about selling his late 80's 928 so I might check that out.
 

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
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I did look up the SL 55 AMG and they are tasty. Closer to $25000 than 20 though.

SL 500s from that time frame, on the other hand, are pretty reasonable. I've heard to stay away from MB 12 cylinder engines so SL 600 would be out.

The only problem: Beautiful as it is, that is such a "mid-life crisis" car. lol

A nice looking 560 SEC is a potential conversation starter, a nice older early 2000s SL 500 screams "I probably just got divorced, and I'd give anything to be in my 20s again".
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
8,390
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LOL fox body.

i have always liked the trans-am of the era. find a ws6 with a 350 and have some fun.

how about a gti?