Craigslist Crapshoot

Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer.

Last week we got ready for our closeup with cars that looked like those featured prominently in the movies. We’ll stand up the stand ins in just a sec, but first this week’s Euro-themed quest.
You may recall that back on Monday we talked a bit about the attempts American manufacturers made in the ’70s and ’80s to dress their wares in European clothes. We had the Granada ESS as exhibit A, but there were plenty more where that came from. This week, let’s see if we can find any of them left for sale.
As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Since we’ve changed commenting systems, you may need to update your commenter account. Make sure you have a Disqus account – they’re free and easy to get – and then comment away.
Got that? Good, now let’s observe some model behavior!

I think we can all agree that the movies are magic. That is except when they aren’t which is laid bare when a glaring mistake is made in their production. That was brought to mind with the 1971 Mustang MACH 1 brought to us by Hilman_Hunter in reference to the James Bond movie of the same year, Diamonds are Forever. It was in that flick’s centerpiece chase scene that the red Mustang incredulously shifted from one set of wheels to the other in a narrow alley navigating stunt. Oh James!
smalleyxb122 went with The Wraith, but shrewdly eschewed the main character for a Triumph Spitfire and found its spitting image in Detroit. Speaking of spitting, do you remember John Belushi’s zit gag from the movie Animal House? You also might remember the ambulance that was parked in front of the eponymous frat for much of the movie as it’s been for sale in Oregon for the past decade or so, and mdharrell offered it up as his contribution.
Our winner with the most upvotes was 0A5599 for giving us a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500. It wasn’t the movie connection that made it the winner I don’t think—Johnny Knoxsville, who cares?—nor was it the accuracy of the ad—Galaxie not Galaxy. What likely took it home was the fact that the car was just so badass, and at four grand, seemed a pretty decent deal.
Congrats to OA5599, and thank you all for your roles in this production. Now, let’s looks for some Euro-thrash.

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45 responses to “Craigslist Crapshoot”

  1. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar
    1. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar

      Or, for an even more reasonable $10,000, this magnificent creation, for sale in Surprise, CA:

    2. Victor Avatar

      Five to one it has a tick in the engine ,soon to become a parts car.

    3. 0A5599 Avatar

      The Mera Fiero had a bit more styling influence from Italy.

      1. boxdin Avatar

        It was a dead nuts knockoff of a 308, so good in fact they lost their court case and had to stop making the cars.

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Fun fact:. The first showroom-new-take-the-full-depreciation-hit car in our family was Cadillac’s attempt at fending off the Europeans. Ours came home the same month they came to the market, when it still had a four banger as the only engine.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Those are hard to find! I tried to look them up on a previous CLCS. I thought about the Allante, but that actually was a European car in Cadillac drag.

    2. P161911 Avatar

      I still think they look like a 4 door BMW E30, but about 3 years before the E30 was available as a 4 door. Especially the rear 3/4 view.

    3. Victor Avatar

      Those were terrible,ill designed and hastily executed . Born to be Clunkers.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        It was underpowered, and the price was a lot for Cavalier underpinnings, but it was reliable and withstood a lot of crash damage during the 100,000+ miles we had it. Other than routine maintenance, it had a carburetor base gasket develop a leak around the 95k mark.

        1. Victor Avatar

          We had the V/6 it was an excellent driver.

    4. Harry Callahan Avatar
      Harry Callahan

      GM’s most deadly sin…right there!

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    This fruit was hanging so low that I had to bend down to pick it. I mean look at it, says EURO right on that rusty door. $900 gets you a lot of car a $900 headache
    (I know, I’m bending the rules by posting a car from the 90’s, but good luck around these parts finding an ’80s Celebrity Euro)

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      I had to cheat (by casting a nationwide net), but here’s an ’88 Celebrity Eurosport for you:

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I wanted to post a Buick Century T-type or a Pontiac 6000 STE, but couldn’t find a single one even with a nationwide search. (My folks had that version of the Century; my mom’s sister had that version of the 6000.)

      2. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

        That was my first thought, and almost in my back yard. I’ll give yo uthe glory and the upvote

    1. Victor Avatar

      The 400 ” lean burn ‘ engine. More trouble than you expected.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        Eh, no emissions ’round these parts. I’d pull off all of that nonsense and swap on some decent heads, intake manifold, and carb. Could probably easily double the horsepower.

      2. cap'n fast Avatar
        cap’n fast

        yes, but an edlbrock efi fix would make the 400 lean burn a torque outputing monster.but, seriously,$7.5K????

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    Cartier is a French company, 1979 is in the middle of the specified ’70s to ’80s window, and “Continental” refers of course to the Continent, so here’s a jauntily presented Mk V:

    1. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar

      The photos time-stamped 16 months ago are a nice touch.

  5. Papa Van Twee Avatar
    Papa Van Twee
    For $1500, it’s a wagon, it’s brown (a very greyish brown), and it has a stick (coming out of it’s steering column). All you need is a diesel conversion (although with the V6, you’d feel like you had a diesel) and you have the perfect Hoon/Jalop vehicle.

    1. Victor Avatar

      We had a Celebrity back in the day,good car drove it 5 years .

  6. Lokki Avatar

    I present to you the 1990 Buick Reatta – it must have been intended to be like an European car, cause it sure wasn’t like any other Buick ! I actually kind of liked these cars although I never got a chance to ride in one.

    1. Victor Avatar

      The Reata was an American car styled after a Euro car that was styled like an American car.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        What an apt description! To me, the look like sleeker Volvo 480’s:
        None of the Volvo 400-series was ever close to “pretty”, but the Reatta is imho a very neat design.

  7. P161911 Avatar

    A really accurate Craigslsit ad, for a 3 cylinder Lumina Euro for a grand. Oddly, not that much less than a comparable BMW now.

  8. ptschett Avatar

    The new-for-’89 Thunderbird was designed with some European cars like the BMW 6-series in its sights. Here’s one that’s been quite used up.$_57.JPG?set_id=8800005007

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      Ford actually benchmarked the E24 6er during the MN12’s development…hence the significant cost overruns.

    2. boxdin Avatar

      Thunderbirds w Sport Susp pkg and the 5.0 can be very nice GT cruisers. I had a 1992 model, stiff suspension but great at 90-100.
      I had 1995 V8 Cougar w reg susp and it was all over the road at 80. Amazing diff btwn cars.

    1. JRise Avatar

      It has European fog light (covers) from Bosch. Bonus point right there!

  9. ptschett Avatar

    IIRC the Cutlass Supreme International series had a badge somewhere that was a series of European national flags — though its own internationality was more within what would soon be NAFTA. Here’s one with 217,000 miles and a very affordable $1,287 price.

    1. JayP Avatar

      And to think I lusted over these…

  10. outback_ute Avatar

    1982 Ford Fairmont Ghia ESP (aka European Sports Pack), only asking AUD$30k because it was originally a 6-cyl, now 351/T5.

    1. Rolly Owens Avatar
      Rolly Owens

      Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        I expect it is still for sale for a reason!

    1. P161911 Avatar

      In the 1990s American car designers thought that any performance car was required to have a Hoffmiester Kink.

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