Classic Car Watch
Late Model Classics

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

April 1, 2009
By Scott Lewis

I graduated high school in 1981. That means a late model car was a late seventies or early eighties car. Smokey and the Bandit Trans Ams and the Z-28 that came out of moth balls in 77. I really liked the 79 TA and the Z-28 got a lot better looking in 78 with the molded bumpers.

I also remember admiring Buicks Grand National, which was the fastest car in a straight line for a brief time in history. Yes, it was faster than the Corvette and almost all imports. Oldsmobile tried to revive the 442, but it was the Hurst/Olds that got the attention for the Doctor. Chevrolet jumped on the bandwagon with the Monte Carlo SS. All these G-Bodies were made in the mid eighties. No, I did not forget the Pontiac Grand Prix Aero edition... I just didn't like it.

This month we take a look at these "late model" classics.

1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 - $16,995

Description: Here is a rare T-Top Camaro with a fresh ZZ4 crate motor and a rebuilt TH350 transmission. Almost everything new including interior, paint, strips, Flowmaster exhaust, a/c compressor, weather-stripping, etc. All with only 400 miles since restoration.

Source: Street Side Classics

Found: 3/17/2009

Comments: We start the list with a 81 Z/28 since I am a Chevy Guy. This is not much of a collectible car with the crate engine but it would make a great driver.

1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am - $10,500

Description: Black paint w/gold T/A decals on black buckets, console, automatic, 6.6 liter, ps, pb, A/C, AM/FM/CD, front disc, correct honeycomb wheels, this is a classic Smokey and the Bandit style Firebird T/A, the right car, the right color, and it runs and drives nice, perfect cruiser to match your perfect mullet, these cars are skyrocketing in value, don't miss this one, a decent car at a very decent price!

Source: Austin's Pro Max Performance

Found: 3/9/2009

Comments: This is not the original Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am, but I like the 79 look better than the 77. The 6.6 liter was actually an Olds 403 engine. That would effect collectability, but as a driver this car is perfect.

1986 Ford Mustang SVO - $8,495

Description: Rare Turbo model Mustang.. nice interior.. low miles (54M.).. runs Great.. FAST !!priced to sell.

Source: USA of Yesterday

Found: 3/11/2009

Comments: Let's not leave Ford out. I used to love these cars. I remember when they were new and knowing that they were significantly more expensive than the Mustang GT with the 302. Performance was about the same on a track, but on the street the V-8 was the car to have. I still liked this car for what it was. It was a more sophisticated Mustang. I believe this started four wheel disc brakes for a Mustang, plus it had 5 bolt wheels and a better sorted out suspension. I could see driving one of these today.

1987 Oldsmobile 442 - $9,250

Description: You are viewing a beautiful 1987 Oldsmobile 442. This car has great styling and was a real collector item for that year. Power Steering Power Disk Brakes, 4 speed automatic transmission, 4 barrel Carb, Dual exhaust, 307 V8, This is one fast car and it is a comfortable ride to top it all off. They just don't make them like this anymore. 2 tone paint black and gray. Gray cloth interior. Nice carpet. Center console. Don't miss your chance to get this great 442 at a bargain price.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 2/6/2009

Comments: I listed this before showing a Hurst/Olds to show the affordability of these cars. I listed this 442 first because the paint scheme is almost the same as teh Hurst/Olds. If you are looking for a driver this car is just fine. It is a bit heavy, but it is a full frame car and you could always add more horsepower. Plus the suspensions on these G-Bodies have a lot of aftermarket support.

1983 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds - $12,500

Description: 1983 Oldsmobile Hurst 15th Anniversary model, black and silver trim on a straight body, hood scoops, rear spoiler, red accent stripes, t tops, special black and silver interior, bucket seats,console,307 engine, Hurst Shifter Lightning Rods, auto trans, power disc brakes, power steering, air conditioning, correct chrome rims. 1 of 3001 made, one family owned car. Very sharp!

Source: Cool Cars

Found: 3/11/2009

Comments: I remember when these came out. That 307 engine is not fast. This car should be worth more than a 442 of the same years, but how many times will you have to make excuses for the J.C. Whitney style hood scopes and that crazy shifter. The shifter is modeled off of the Lenco shifters of the day. In race cars you have a shifter for each gear. They sort of did that here. Pull all three levers back for first gear. Push the for right forward for second. Push the middle shifter forward for third. Finally, push the level closest to the drive forward to go into 4th (overdrive). Unfortunately, all that did not get you anything. With the 307 rated at below 200 horsepower you could just leave it in drive and just mash the pedal.

I still like them, but if there was a good condition 442 next to it for less money I would probably go for the 442.

1986 Oldsmobile 442 - $8,995

Description: Look at this all original 1986 Oldsmobile 442. This 442 is loaded with options: power windows, lock, tilt, cruise, AC, power seats, AM/FM cassette, T-Tops, and rally 442 wheels. This is a numbers matching car that has been very well taken care of and runs and drives great!

Source: Gateway Classic Cars

Found: 3/7/2009

Comments: Here's another 442, but in a less desirable color combination. Again, this could make a great driver and project car if you want to add power and handling.

1987 Buick Grand National - $17,950

Description: 'Darth Vader...your car is ready'. Named after the NASCAR Grand National Series, the Grand National would become one of the most iconic cars ever built in the 80's. With a 3.8 Liter fuel injected turbocharged V6, and 245HP, the Grand National was a wolf in sheep's clothing that could easily be modified to do sub 13 second quarter miles. This very well preserved 3 owner example drives as good as it looks. Service is up to date with recent service installations of brakes, exhaust, A/C and power steering pump. Very low mileage with just 69,000 miles. Own a piece of American muscle car history!

Source: Beverly Hills Motor Cars

Found: 3/11/2009

Comments: This is the pinnacle of the late model Muscle Car. O.K., there was the GNX, but that was in much lower production numbers. This is close enough and a very fast car for its day. The turbo motor takes to modifications like a fish to water. These cars are is higher demand and the price reflects that compare to the Olds samples above.

1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - $18,995

Description: This totally original car showing 48,860 miles is a real gem. The paint is exceptional for its originality. The interior backs the low mileage as it has little to no wear. The car is all factory equipped including the great working cold blowing A/C. With a High Output 305 V8 and a great running automatic transmission, these were the last V-8 rear wheel drive cars offered by GM in standard production. Values are rising for these original looking Monte Carlos, and one as nice as this car do not last long!

Source: Streetside Classic Cars

Found: 3/17/2009

Comments: And now for Chevrolet's G-Body. I was a little surprised at the price of this car, but with the low mileage it makes sense. I had a roommate with one of these. If I bought this now I wonder if he would make fun of me or congratulate me. I have always like the styling of this car. Even as a driver I would be looking to had some easy horsepower to this car.

1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 - $14,995

Description: A very nice '83 Camaro Z28 with only 19,000 miles!! Owner has the original title from when it was purchased brand new! This car has been in a museum in Charlotte for many years! All original and untouched!

Source: Streetside Classic Cars

Found: 3/17/2009

Comments: I love finding ultra low mileage originals at affordable prices. I could see buying this car and driving it a little or a lot. To save, or to drive. Hmmm.

1988 Chevrolet Camaro - $8,950

Description: 5.0 V8, auto, only 32,000 actual miles, working ac, power steering, power disc brakes, tilt, cruise, power windows, locks, trunk, factory t- tops, am/ fm cass etr , alloy wheels, runs and drives nice, new base clear paint done to a high standard, no rust out issues, owned by older lady since new.

Source: Ultra Automotive

Found: 3/11/2009

Comments: Not quite as low mileage as the 83 above, but blue is my favorite color. That steering wheel has got to go.

1989 IROC Z Convertible - $19,900

Description: You are viewing an extremely nice 1989 Iroc Z Convertible. Equipped with a 215hp TPI 305 this car really runs. This car has 10,945 original miles it has hardly been touched. Red exterior with a red interior makes this car a real head turner. Optioned out with Automatic trans, power win, power lock, am/fm cass, cold working ac, great tires.

Source: Harwell Motors

Found: 2/6/2009

Comments: This is getting expensive for this column. But with the low mileage I just has to show it off. I am sure this will be a convertible that will leak, so it's a good thing that I would only drive this car in nice weather.