Best Endorsements: 25 Years Late Edition

Who needs a Carfax?  It's just now broken in!
Who needs a Carfax? It's just now broken in!

We’ve all seen them.  We’ve oft been told, “Run, don’t walk” from them.   We’ve told ourselves this also, as if by instinct.  We’ve experienced the anguished crises of conscience whenever we encounter one along our travels.   Some are landmarks and stomping grounds, old friends on the street; new ones are at once strange yet oh-so-familiar, ever the same as the last.

I’m not referring to your favorite local alleyway’s “sales professionals” (just what kind of guy do you take me for?  Er, uh, wait… on second thought, don’t answer that, for my family’s sake), but those splendid little corner lots where the metal parked thereupon threatens to impart a case of syphilis nonetheless.   Those delightful lots that rip space-time through being not just the cause, but also an effect of the word “decrepit” being used as the corner descriptor.   Those fascinating lots that serve as one of the last wild frontiers of capitalistic free enterprise, where the unwary desperate enough to consider a “Buy Here Pay Here” deal can find themselves out $8,000 total on a 10-year-old-wreck that would be crack-piped at LeMons pricing – and probably wouldn’t run for 5 months, let alone the 5 years for which the BHPH plan works out.
But then I paint with too broad a brush, for not all corner lots are the mob-front variety.  Indeed, some are populated with merely garden-variety scuzz.   That’s small consolation when the object of your desire dares to tantalize despite its shared, cringe-inducing floor plan, but sometimes that’s all you need.   Case in point, via fair disclosure:  my first car, a 10-year-old, oddly-optioned 1988 Ford Thunderbird demonstrator, came from one of those lots.  It proved to be worth every last fiber of soon-to-be-laundered scrip and still survives* today, but would I buy from there again?   It wouldn’t be my first choice.  I remember having to go back to exchange the “new” spare tire for one that had the correct Fox-platform 4-bolt pattern.   Yeah.
Paradoxically, it’s often these very lots that imprison the most interesting cars, dangling them in front of us, urban siren songs of captivity lubricating the gears in our heads, rusty beacons floundering in a sea of the mundane.   Will you dare slay your own common sense to consider rescuing the Jeep Comanche, Torino Talladega, BMW 2002, or Porsche 924 buried behind the rows of $6,000 G-Bodies, 2nd-gen Tauruses and Chryco Cloud Cars?
It probably runs; It needs just minor work; It’s surely possible to talk the asking price down.  Isn’t it? If you’re willing to chance it, have we got a deal for you! It even comes with a warranty!
Yes indeed, this particular field pothole o’ dreams is so reputable, they’re willing to stand behind you with a full, 3-month, 3K miles, 50/50 parts & labor drive train warranty… on a 25-year-old car!  Say that again: “Reagan’s Heyday.”   So, riddle me this:  when’s the last time you saw a warranty on a too-hunnert-an’-ten-thouuuw-sand-mile heap selling for $4,000?   Surely, that’s not so much a shine on the dealer’s reputation, as much as a testament to the legend surrounding the offered merchandise, right?
So take your guesses and don your best ringleader attire:   What high-mileage used car(s) from 1984 would dare command such a price, yet be plausibly worth said coin and a warranty?   Now this might not be that difficult a guessing game, but there’s bound to be some interesting discussion and other alternative suggestions from our esteemed readership.   We’re all ears, so take your best guess / offer your best suggestions.
Unfortunately I don’t run a corner lot times is hard, so I can’t offer much in the way of prizes save a hearty e-pat-on-the-head… and maybe a promise not to talk so freakin’ much about one lousy photo in the future.   No guarantees though, on account of this curse I have, see…
The answer (via photos) will be revealed later.    So break out those black blue books and have fun!
*Note:  “survival” in this case may or may not mean “as a backyard planter”.

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  1. LTDScott Avatar

    Hmmm W126 Benz?

  2. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Does that say that it's yellow?
    Is that a clue?
    Dual power seats? Leather? Lots of options for 1984.
    Because of the color (if that's actually referring to the color of the car) I'd have to go with Corvette. (but i'm not sure if those had dual pwr seats)

    1. Maymar Avatar

      I noticed that too, although it also says it's got a power sunroof, which rules out a Corvette. Although I agree that yellow seems rather expressive for something German. Except maybe a Porsche 944.

      1. BGW, Capt (Ret.) Avatar

        M-B was fond of very pale, almost-can't-call-it-yellow yellow for a stretch during the late '70s/early '80s.
        <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3162/3056529779_93ba28cf14.jpg"&gt;

        1. baldy_pm Avatar

          +1
          I need to learn to expand all comments before I comment.

        2. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

          ….and any used car dealer would surely call that yellow…. I like your thinking.
          But the other tricky part is, why would they warranty the drivetrain on that? (even if it is a very limited warranty)
          With the warranty, it makes me think something like the Town Car, that'd be cheap to fix, if it ever needed it. (credit to Number_Six for that idea) …. but was Town Car ever in something that would be called yellow?

      2. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        I didn't know if "sliding" sunroof meant anything different, which may have been offered… I'm not a Corvette expert…. But I like BGW's thinking below.

  3. PowerTryp Avatar

    It's not a 924 I'll tell you that right now.

    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      That was my guess. Why not?

      1. PowerTryp Avatar

        924 never had power seats or steering in all it's years of production, fancy stuff like that was left for it's big brother the 944.

  4. engineerd Avatar

    At first I thought Renault 5, or Le Car, but upon further research (MadeItUpApedia) it does not look like there was a 1984 model sold in the US. An R5 Turbo might be worth that much, but I can't believe anyone putting a warranty on one. So, I gave up on that line of thinking.
    Then I though maybe it's an E30 M3. That would make sense, right? Yeah, except those weren't sold until the late '80s ('87 or '88 IIRC). So, the E30 M3 is out, and I can't see an E30 3-series being worth that much and warranteeable nowadays.
    That left me with only one possible conclusion: Cadillac. A Coupe de Ville, to be exact. At that price, you'd have to be a pimp or a crack addict, but isn't that the market for these cars now?

  5. Alff Avatar
  6. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    What about an old Dodge Diplomat or Chrysler LeBaron? Could be yellow, and have all those options.
    However, as I was typing that thought, I had a better one…. It's probably not American, as I don't think any US-made car had a 6 digit odometer on it, and what used car sales man would say 210,000 miles, when it only shows 10,000. (I think he'd try to say 110,000)

    1. Mike_the_Dog Avatar

      My '84 AMC Eagle has a million-mile odometer. I don't think the Eagle ever had power seats, though.

  7. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    The Corvette's removeable roof could be BROADLY interperted as a sunroof by the lot lizards. What about a Ford LTD?

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      LTD didn't have a sunroof in 1984.
      But I'm still thinking along those lines, as it has to be something cheap to repair, in order for them to give a warranty with that many miles on it.

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        I didn't say it was a good guess. What FoMoCo or GM offspring had sunroofs in '84?

  8. P161911 Avatar

    I'll say M-B W126 in general, 500SEC in particular.

  9. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    so, if they cover 50% of the cost of labor and parts, and get to have all the repairs performed at their dealership, then maybe this is just a money making scheme for them….. their warranty is not actually saving the consumer any money at all, they get to charge what they want!

  10. LTDScott Avatar

    Oh I just noticed the "Roy L. Fuchs" tag.
    *golf clap*

  11. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Good morning! Now, what the heck is this???

  12. […] my fellow hoonigans, discussion like yesterday’s makes this moron feel honored to be a contributor.   As I surmised, there’s no stumping the […]

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