By on June 10, 2019

Vehicles from plucky AMC are always welcome here at Rare Rides. Thus far, the series has featured a Metropolitan, a concept Van, a Matador Barcelona, and a very tasty Sundancer. The latter is a cousin of today’s relentlessly beige Concord two-door sedan.

Ready for some malaise?

(Find Out…)

By on June 7, 2019
  1. After our most recent Rare Rides post, your author perused The Big List of BDB Ideas and discovered a suggestion commenter Sgeffe made many moons ago. He suggested the most basic coupe A-bodies on offer in 1979. Feeling cheap? Let’s get weird.

(Find Out…)

By on June 6, 2019

Hearing the Cutlass name inspires visions of 442, of color-key rally wheels, or perhaps thoughts of tacky aftermarket ruination and glittery paint.

This grey fastback sedan doesn’t often come to mind, but perhaps it should. Presenting the 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. Likely, Olds called it Salon because you can fit big hair into it.

(Find Out…)

By on June 4, 2019

In an interesting case of historical marketing, this very yellow Rare Ride seems to have adjectives applied to it which are, in fact, false. Today we have a look at a 1979 Ford Pinto European Sports Sedan.

(Find Out…)

By on June 3, 2019

In between the homely and the punitively sensible , the folks at Dearborn provided North Americans with the and its Mercury sibling, the Zephyr, as reasonably modern rear-wheel-drive compact commuter machines. For those car shoppers wanting to get a bit devilish with their selections, Ford dealers offered the Fairmont Futura coupe, while your local Mercury store had coupe.

Here’s a tan-beige-brown Zephyr Z-7 in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard. (Find Out…)

By on May 28, 2019

Back in the early 1980s, when I began my junkyard-crawling career in , I would find examples of on a depressingly regular basis. , in about the same quantities; the only difference is that now they’re 40 years old instead of six years old.

Here’s the latest: a black ’79 without a speck of corrosion, spotted in my old East Oakland junkyard stomping grounds (though at a yard that didn’t exist in 1982). (Find Out…)

By on May 20, 2019

After the , Chrysler didn’t have the resources needed to design and build a subcompact economy car from scratch. Fortunately, Chrysler’s Japanese ally, Mitsubishi, was willing to ship over plenty of cars to be sold as Dodge and Plymouth Colts (we will not discuss the wretched at this time). The Colt didn’t get front-wheel-drive until 1979, though, so Chrysler USA turned to Chrysler Europe for the Simca-designed Horizon platform and began selling in 1978.

Here’s an early Horizon in a Denver self-service yard. (Find Out…)

By on May 14, 2019

A short while ago, we ran a QOTD post about special branded editions, gauging our readers’ desire to see them return in 2019. Today’s Rare Ride is one of the special designer brand editions of yesteryear (the Eighties), which represented luxury, taste, and wealth.

Grab your wide-lapel blazer. It’s time for Bill Blass and the Lincoln Mark VI.

(Find Out…)

By on May 3, 2019

You read the title correctly. There’s a Triumph TR8 for sale in the urbane and international city of Tampa, which is in Florida. Miraculously, the sporty convertible has traveled just 90 miles since 1981.

It’s beige, malaise, and showroom fresh, so let’s have a look.

(Find Out…)

By on April 29, 2019

BMC and then British Leyland churned out and near-identical Austin-Healey Sprites for 20 years, with the final example coming off in 1980. Because project-grade Midgets still clutter garages, driveways, yards, and fields throughout the land and they’re not worth much, the clock runs out for many of them every year.

The next stop, usually, is at a self-service wrecking yard. Here’s a forlorn ’79 I spotted last week in California. (Find Out…)

By on April 22, 2019

Finding a Malaise Era Cadillac is interesting, especially when at a cylinder-deactivation engine. Those cars don’t make me sad, though.

A nicely customized show-car Cadillac with metalflake paint and pro-applied airbrush work in a junkyard — that makes me sad, even if it did suffer from . I found this once-glorious Cad in a Denver-area yard last summer. (Find Out…)

By on April 8, 2019

After the first-generation Mustang went from to , Ford transferred the name over to an economy car based on . This proved to be a wise move, in light of that took place right around the time the first Mustang IIs began rolling into showrooms, but most of the old Mustang magic was lost during the Pinto-ization process.

Ford created a bunch of flashy trim packages for the car, and I spotted one of the more unusual ones in a Denver self-serve yard a couple of weeks back: the Stallion. (Find Out…)

By on April 5, 2019

Rare Rides has featured a couple of Plymouths before, both of which were sporty and boasted two doors. Today’s Plymouth also has two doors, but is perhaps not quite as performance oriented as its brethren on these pages.

Hailing from 1980, it’s a super Malaisey Champ hatchback.

(Find Out…)

By on March 18, 2019

Because my very first car was , I always when I see them in wrecking yards. Sadly, Toyota stopped selling in North America in 1982, which means that I might see one every couple of years these days. Here’s a luxurious, fully loaded 1981 Toyota Corona wagon in a Denver self-service yard. (Find Out…)

By on March 1, 2019

1979 Dodge Truck Brochure, Image: ChryslerTTAC Commentator Nate writes:

I’m working on a  with 360CID V8 4BBL carbureted engine, automatic trans, , EGR valve, and charcoal canister for the fuel tank hydrocarbons. The underhood factory decal says “California Medium Duty Emissions” and it has no catalytic converter from new. So here’s my situation:

  • All hoses, pipes etc. are there and all valves etc. are working .
  • The A.I.R. pump works but the diverter valve has failed (vacuum diaphragm leaks) and is in the open position so it’s always blowing fresh air into the exhaust manifolds.

Is it likely to pass the emissions test like this? I took my Ca. smog tester license training in 1984 and honestly only remember bits and pieces. So far I’ve not been able to find a new or good used diverter valve. Please advise!

(Find Out…)

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