Category archives: Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1948 Packard Super 8

Yes, I admit it, I do admire cars that look like inverted bathtubs, thus my affinity for the Porsche 356. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, that was an aerodynamic trend, and there’s something about the styling of that era that just does it for me.

The Pick of the Day is a prime example of great bathtub design, a 1948 Packard Super Eight two-door sedan, the first year that the automaker produced the controversial styling; some saw it as sleek and modernistic. Others, not so much.

The paint and chrome look to be in very good condition

After World War II, Packard struggled to maintain the brand’s rich luxury heritage. Packard, which started producing cars in 1899, created some of the world’s most luxurious and desirable classic cars before the war, as well as a lineup of high-quality mid-range automobiles, all sold under the famous slogan, “Ask the man who owns one.”

But money was tight for Packard in the late 1940s, and redesigns were expensive. So the 1948-50 models were rebodied versions of the earlier cars, although that was not necessarily such a bad thing. The styling was a bold attempt at bringing back Packard’s relevance as an innovator.

Particularly attractive on this model-year Packard is the chrome slotted grille that wraps around to the front wheel wells. Very elegant.

The interior appears to be restored to original

“As a true appreciator of rare, valuable classics you will certainly enjoy taking a look at this 1948 Packard Super Eight Coupe,” according to the private seller in San Gabriel, California, advertising the Packard on ClassicCars.com. “It features a beautiful and stately body style that offers a nostalgic remembrance of a simpler era, laced with classic authenticity.”

The Packard proved its mettle on a recent tour, the seller wrote: “It just successfully participated in the well-known 2017 San Marino Motor Classic.”

The two-door styling is rarer and better-looking than that of the four-door sedan, and this one looks very clean, with an attractively original interior.

Power is provided by a 427cid flathead straight-8

“The crème-and-dark-green custom paint is complimented by whitewall tires and a beautifully maintained creme/brown and burlwood-trim interior,” according to the ad. “Powered by a 327 straight-8 engine that is paired with a 3-on-the-tree, this charming Packard is eager to get out on the road for an enjoyable driving experience.”

The car has fewer than 44,000 miles showing on the odometer, the seller notes, with
extra effort put into its care and restoration.

“Copious amounts of time and energy have been invested into maintaining its original look and luster,” the ad says. “The body has been fully restored and it comes with many highlights, such as its factory radio, chrome trim and many more.”

The asking price for the Packard is a modest $21,000, so you wouldn’t really have to worry about taking bath on the deal.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1988 Pontiac Mera

If you think the Pick of the Day looks a lot like a Ferrari 308, so did the court system, because this 1988 Pontiac Mera is one of the products of a production effort that ended in a court-supervised settlement between Ferrari and Corporate Concepts Limited.

Nonetheless, nearly 250 of these fiberglass-rebodied Pontiac Fieros were produced and sold through Pontiac dealers in the late 1980s.

This one is being sold through an advertisement on ClassicCars.com by a private owner in Feasterville, Pennsylvania.

“Number 68 of 247 made by GM from 1987-1988 to imitate a 308 Ferrari until Ferrari found out and sued them,” the seller notes in the ad.

The car has a V6, 5-speed gearbox, T tops, air conditioning, power windows and its original tan interior, the seller adds, although the steering wheel has been replaced. The asking price is $13,000 for a car that shows 38,000 miles on its odometer.

Although not a Ferrari, this car has prancing horse emblems inside and out and wears a 308 GTS badging on its rear flank.

According to the pontiacmera.com website established by Wisconsin resident Rodney Dickman, the Meras weren’t produced by GM, but for the 1987 and 1988 model years by Corporate Concepts of Capac, Michigan, though they were sold by Pontiac dealers with a GM warranty.

 

Dickman’s website includes correspondence with Corporate Concepts president, copies of the sales brochures, advertisements (showing the MSRP of $24,950), magazine articles about the car, pictures and the Mera Registry that Dickman has assembled.

In one of those magazine articles, Corporate Concepts president Bob Bracey tells AutoWeek that the car is “not meant to be a replica or lookalike. We’re about as close to a Ferrari as a Mazda (RX-7) is to a Porsche (944). There’s not one line that’s identical to any other car. It’s an original styling concept influenced by modern sports car design trends.”

Apparently, neither Ferrari nor the court system agreed.

Car and Driver reported that the Mera’s styling was “vaguely familiar,” but added that “looks aside, its execution is excellent” and noted that Corporate Concepts had a decade of experience in fiberglass panels for snowmobiles, motorhomes, even earthmovers and that it’s work on the Mera was very well done.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Pick of the Day: 1971 Fiat 124 Coupe

If you are looking to add a rare Italian GT car to your collection, the average going rate starts at around $30,000. That kind of money gets you an Alfa Romeo GTV or a Lancia Fulvia. Both are great cars, but what if you are looking for something more affordable and perhaps even a bit rarer?

The Pick of the Day, a 1971 Fiat 124 Coupe, should fill the bill. It’s advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Miami, Florida, who assures us that the store and inventory remain intact after Hurricane Irma.

The Fiat wears a good-looking set of non-original wheels

The ad for this car had literally no description but the pictures show a car that looks to be remarkably rust free and in what you would call nice driver-level condition.

The Fiat 124 Coupe is a car that for various reasons is often forgotten. One of the reasons is they can rust virtually everywhere. As a result, there are far fewer 124 Coupes left than there are Alfa GTVs and Lancia Fulvias.

The 124 Coupe has the same running gear as the 124 Spider, making for inexpensive parts prices and easy servicing, with the exception of body parts, which can be difficult to source if needed.

The interior looks to be in very nice shape

This is a second-series car, featuring modernized front-end styling and a larger displacement 1,608cc engine, along with four-wheel disc brakes and a five-speed manual transmission.

All the 124 coupes were styled in-house at Fiat, which is amazing when you see how nicely they look, offering a nice mix of design cues from both the Alfa and Lancia.

From behind the wheel, the 124 coupe is very much like the Alfa GTV, offering the same front-engine/rear-drive live-axle layout as the Alfa. Also like the Alfa, the Fiat has a double-overhead-cam engine, designed by legendary Ferrari engine designer Aurelio Lampredi.

The car offers good and forgiving handling with enough engine performance to be entertaining, and will leave an MGB in the dust while offering more comfort than any British car at this price point.

The Fiat 124 Coupe offers a level of rarity and exclusivity that no other Italian car at this price point delivers. If you take this car to Concorso Italiano in Monterey, you could well have the only 124 Coupe on the entire show field, no mean feat for a car with an asking price of only $15,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1955 Chevrolet pickup

During the 1950s, the hot setup for four-wheel-drive Chevy and GMC pickups came from NAPCO, which provided the Powr-Pak 4X4 Conversion as a bolt-on package that turned a regular rear-drive truck into a capable and durable off-roader. The conversions started as dealer-installed options but later were installed at the factory.

The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Chevrolet half-ton pickup restored to how an original NAPCO-equipped truck would have come from the dealer. The lofty stance was part of the 4X4 conversion, so while it might look as if a modern lift kit has been applied, this was actually how they came.

The pickup stands tall with the NAPCO conversion
The pickup stands tall with the NAPCO conversion

This step-side pickup looks like a time capsule from a Forest Service past, in Air Wing Gray with painted rather than chromed bumpers and grille. It is powered by a 235 cid six-cylinder engine hooked to a four-speed manual transmission with “granny” first gear, which provides slow but mighty takeoff power from a dead stop.

From the Tucson, Arizona, dealer’s description in the ClassicCars.com advertisement, the truck has just over 51,000 miles on its odometer and is apparently ready to hit the dusty trail. The NAPCO conversion includes a dual-range transfer case that is rubber mounted for smooth operation.

The simple interior of a work truck
The simple interior of a work truck

The dealer makes no mention as to whether this was an originally optioned NAPCO pickup from the era or if it has been converted in more-recent times – there are several companies that advertise NAPCO installations for vintage GM pickups. That would affect the value but take nothing away from the ownership experience.

Whatever the case, this is a good-looking classic Chevy that’s nicely equipped and offered at the reasonable price of $25,997. The question now would be whether to subject the well-painted pickup to the potential dents and scratches of off-road exploits, or merely use it for cruising around and showing off.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

 

 

Pick of the Day: 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

I don’t know if it was a Revel or AMT kit, but I assembled one of these in scale-model plastic when I was a kid, though due to my youthful clumsiness with the tube of glue and garish decals, mine didn’t look nearly as nice as this unrestored original.

The Pick of the Day is this 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV, being offered by a private seller in New Haven, Connecticut.

Note: Although the headline on the advertisement on ClassicCars.com says the car is a Mark III, the seller notes early in the text that the car is a Mark IV, not a III.

The seller bought the car from someone who had owned it since 1963.

“She has her age spots but is still a classic beauty,” the seller notes.

“This car is a blast to drive and runs very well,” the seller adds. “Starts right up, shifts beautifully and the brakes are perfect after the recent work.

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“Yes, there are some minor engine leaks but given the age, they are minimal and most come from the auto-lubricating system that is something special to see in these cars.

“All the power windows, with the exception of the passenger butterfly, work well including the rear seat center breezeway window. Some of the power window switches themselves could use a rebuild but all the motors and power mechanisms work.

“Both driver and front passenger windows are cracked but they open and close fine, should be replaced, will cost a few hundred dollars.

“All the chrome, and with this car that is a lot, is there.

“All the lights, signals, wipers, power door locks — they all work just fine.

“The fuel gauge doesn’t work but all the other gauges and lights in the dash are functional. The interior upholstery on the seats is original so the leather could be replaced, it is cracked with age. I found a place that sells the original brocade fabric pattern so a new, original look is very doable and not that expensive.

“There are some rust spots, nothing deep at all.”

The seller notes that the car was repainted in the 1980s at a body shop. “It was a body shop special, not a showroom paint job.”

The seller notes that “time and circumstances mean I have to move this car for other projects… She has to go to a better home, or I will need a new one.”

The asking price is $10,600.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

 

 

Pick of the Day: 1966 Dodge Coronet Hemi

The Pick of the Day is a 1966 Dodge Coronet with a genuinely historic back story, a piece of motorsports lore that should make any Mopar fanatic sit up and take notice.

According to its advertisement on ClassicCars.com, this Dodge was modified and campaigned on the streets of Detroit by none other than Tom Hoover, the renowned engineer widely known as “the godfather of the 426 Hemi engine.”

The Coronet looks like an understated performance sleeper

Hoover, who died in 2015 at the age of 85, led the “skunkworks” team of fellow Chrysler engineers that developed the big-block Hemi for racing and street performance. Starting in April 1963, they took the automaker’s existing hemispheric-head V8 and transformed it into the powerful and durable 426cid Hemi in less than a year.

The Hemi dominated the 1964 Daytona 500, taking the top three spots with legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty coming in first after setting a speed record and lapping the entire field. The 426 Hemi became Chrysler’s signature performance engine, and is still used in today’s cars, trucks and SUVs.

Hoover also was a founding member of the Ramchargers drag-racing team of Chrysler engineers and earlier had helped create Mopar’s mighty Max Wedge big-block V8.

Tom Hoover signed the dashboard

The Auburn Hills, Michigan, dealer selling the Coronet makes no bones about the historic significance of the dark-green coupe.

“This is the purpose-built street racer that gave Mopar its winning street exposure and credibility,” the ad says. “The car is fully documented with everything from the original Protecto-Plate to the hand-written diary of Tom Hoover that documents how the car was maintained.

“The car has all types of performance enhancements that were designed to make this the fastest car on the road. This included special carburetors, camshaft, aluminum A990 heads, intake modifications, Hooker headers, roller rocker arms, special adjustable suspension and transmission modifications.

The 426 Hemi is fed by a specially made pair of fresh-air ducts

“They even specially ducted the cold-air intakes from the sides of the grill by removing the parking lights and to keep it legal, they took a 1967 prototype Coronet bumper that had a provision for parking lights and installed it on the car.”

The interior also was modified for performance, with lightweight seats and brackets, deletion of the back seat, low-mounted tachometer (to avoid police detection), trunk-mounted battery and a racing floor shifter.

“The car has been in the same ownership for the past 30 years,” the dealer notes. “When the current owners rescued the car and began the restoration, they wanted to be certain that every detail was correct to the way Tom Hoover built it. They accomplished this by getting Tom Hoover himself to supervise the restoration!”

The interior also has been performance modified

The seller does not include an asking price for the car, so that any prospective buyer would need to call the dealership to find out. Just don’t expect this important hunk of Hemi history to be any kind of bargain. It should bring quite a premium.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S

The private seller of our Pick of the Day hopes so much that the car goes to a museum that he’s willing to offer special pricing on this tribute to the first AMG racing car.

The car, a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S, is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the seller is asking $18,975.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of AMG, which started when two Mercedes-Benz engineers decided they wanted to go racing, and grew into a full-fledge tuning shop and car modifier and eventually was enfolded into Daimler ownership.

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AMG’s first racing effort involved a W108 four-door sedan that was ready to compete at Spa Francorchamps in July 1971. The Pick of the Day is a tribute to that vehicle, the seller says in the advertisement for the car on ClassicCars.com.

The car has a 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, power steering — with a fast-release, racing-style steering wheel — four-wheel disc brakes, Bluetooth tire-pressure monitors for each of its 16-inch Penta Ronal-AMG alloy wheels, new fuel pump, European-model Backer radio, USB and 12-volt outlets.

It also has black, cloth-covered racing-style seats. However, it does not have air conditioning, but the seller notes that the compressor brackets are installed in case someone wants to add that feature.

“The construction of this vehicle and its redesign is a private enterprise,” the seller notes. “We do not alter the security systems of the original car as built at the time of manufacture and delivery in the USA.

“We just enhance the design of the vehicle with professional add-ons.”

That work, the seller notes, are done by certified technicians in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

By the way, the seller says he is working on similar replicas inspired by other famous Mercedes-Benz racing cars.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

 

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Pick of the Day: 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R

The words Holy Grail get tossed around a lot among car collectors. The words have a spectrum of meaning depending on where you sit on the collector car fence: the Holy Grail for a Mustang fan won’t be the same for a Cadillac collector, which won’t ring true for a Jaguar enthusiast, etc.

The Pick of the Day, a 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R in low-mileage original condition, is a true Holy Grail car for the many young proponents of performance machines from Japan. This is the street version of the technological marvel powered by a twin-turbocharged inline-6 with all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering with which Nissan dominated Group A and Touring Car racing during that era.

The Skyline boasts one Japanese owner and just 11,433 miles
The Skyline boasts one Japanese owner and just 11,433 miles

“The almighty Nissan Skyline GT-R,” starts off the Philadelphia dealer’s description of the car in the ClassicCars.com listing. “The mere name itself makes the hair of a young enthusiast’s neck stand on end, as this was Nissan’s crème de la crème, their signature dish, and their greatest creation.

“These cars were respected and revered for being mind-blowingly quick off the line and a fierce contender in the corners.”

Of particular interest to the Fast and Furious crowd are the performance cars from the Land of the Rising Sun that never were imported to the United States, so-called JDMs for Japanese Domestic Market.

The GT-R does not look as exotic as it truly is
The GT-R does not look as exotic as it truly is

The Nissan Skyline looms with mythical proportions in any discussion of JDMs. Except for a few demonstrators and gray-market cars, Skylines were not sent here, leaving many salivating with unrequited lust for their legendary performance. But now that many have passed the magical 25-year mark under U.S. rules, the survivors can be brought in as collector cars.

And so it was for this example, which was imported from Japan in 2016 after a lifetime of one-ownership and in pristine original condition with just 11,433 miles on its odometer. The dealer notes that there are a few minor issues arising from the lack of use during all those years, and a few blemishes in the all-original paint and interior, but this appears to be an amazingly intact example of a legendary car.

The dealer provides a very extensive narrative about the Nissan in the advertisement, including the service notes of the car from its apparently fanatical owner, which is a good thing. The records are provided, the dealer explains, because the originals are in Japanese, as are the other books, labels and instructions. The JDM folk find that to be cosmically exciting stuff.

The right-hand-drive interior is nicely original
The right-hand-drive interior is nicely original

This is a car that one has to “get,” since its styling and trim seem modest compared with many of the outrageous designs of its time. But for those who understand what’s below the surface, the Skyline offers a passport to JDM nirvana.

Naturally, the Skyline was only built with right-hand drive for Japanese roads, but that’s also a JDM selling point. Fortunately, it has been untouched with updates or customization, which also makes it special indeed.

Labels in Japanese add to JDM allure
Labels in Japanese add to JDM allure

The asking price for this rarity is $75,000, and the buyer would have to count on spending a few more thousands to get it back in road-ready condition. Of course, every mile added lowers its value but it would certainly be a shame to keep such a hot performer on static display.

As an added incentive, the Skyline is a bona fide future classic, as rare performance icons of the 1990s grow in popularity. If cared for properly, it will only increase in value.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Pick of the Day: 1993 Mazda RX-7

Sometimes the most amazing things come from places from which you least expect them. Take for instance, Mazda, a car company very much run by enthusiasts who love sports cars and racing.

Mazda designers and engineers, despite their always-limited budgets, seem able to surprise us over and over again. Mazda is the only Japanese car company to take the overall win at Le Mans, the RX-7 sports car is the winningest GT car in the history of IMSA, and the Mazda Miata, itself a surprise when released to the public, is the world’s most popular sports car.

The ’93 RX-7 was a pinnacle of Mazda’s enthusiast cars

The RX-7, which launched in 1979, was a great budget sports coupe that put the final nail in the coffin for the small-bore sports cars from England and Italy, and even made Porsche go back to the drawing board and create the 944 from the lesser 924 in order to be more competitive.

While RX7 initially was marketed as a budget sports car, that changed in 1993 when Mazda released the third-generation version of the RX-7.

The Mazda appears to be in time-warp condition

What Mazda gave us was a no-holds-barred sports car that combined breathtaking styling with true world-class performance. It is possibly the finest car Mazda has ever created for the enthusiast, and something we are not likely to see again.

The Pick of the Day is one of these “halo” models, a 1993 Mazda RX-7, that is described by the Los Angeles, California, seller as a pristine example that has covered only 37,000 miles from new. A sunroof-delete model with a 5-speed manual gearbox, the Mazda still wears its original red paint and tan leather interior, and includes its original books and tools, according to the dealer’s ad on ClassicCars.com.

The RX-7 is powered by a twin-turbo rotary engine

Like all third-gen RX-7, it is powered by a twin-turbo 13B rotary engine and is capable of a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds and can cover the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds, according to contemporary tests. The RX-7 also boasts amazing handling due to its light 2,800-pound weight, ideal balance and superior suspension tuning.

Happily, this RX-7 has not been altered with the many performance mods that are commonly applied to these cars; finding a third-generation RX-7 that has not been heaving modified for street racing is difficult, and this car looks to a superior example in original, unmolested condition.

The asking price for this future collectible is $32,500, which is right on target for the current market price. Buy this car, keep it stock, enjoy it, and watch it increase in value over the next few years.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Pick of the day: 1965 Ford Falcon Squire

Of all the cool vehicles I spotted on the streets in and around Monterey, California, during Car Week festivities, including many Ferraris and Porches, one memorable standout was considerably more-humble, a little red Ford Falcon wagon with faux wood paneling and chrome wire-wheel covers.

The Pick of the Day, a 1965 Ford Falcon Squire, is a dead ringer for the car spotted in Monterey, and it very well could be the same car since it is being offered by a dealer in Laguna Beach. If so, it looked like a sparkling example of a fun station wagon.

The faux wood trim and wire-wheel hubcaps give it a period look

“This beautiful time capsule has been lovingly maintained (and) is ready to be enjoyed by a new caretaker,” according to the advertisement on ClassicCars.com. “This squire wagon has new paint, chrome, carpets and upholstery that complement its classic looks.”

A major attraction here is that the Falcon is powered by the correct 289cid V8 with automatic transmission, which would provide plenty of pull for this compact wagon. The interior has bench seating for six, with seat belts for each, and a rear seat that folds flat for a large cargo area.

“The mechanical systems are in excellent condition,” the dealer says, and everything works properly, including the power steering, air conditioning and power rear window. There are just over 53,500 miles showing on the odometer.

The very-red interior seats six

“The body is straight and rust-free with good body gaps,” the dealer notes. “We used a metal-thickness device to check for body fill and found none. The faux wood is in very good condition with the exception of the area just below the gas tank fill which has been repaired. The OEM-style wire-wheel covers complete the period look!

“The driving manners of the wagon are very good with smooth performance, and drama-free steering and stopping.”

The asking price for this good-looking Falcon “woody” is $33,995. I’d like to think it truly is the one we saw driving around in Monterey, but we’ll never know for sure.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day