The Hemmings office is closed for the Thanksgiving weekend, but the odds are high that many of us will be still be spending our free time browsing through cars for sale online. (And if we’re not looking at cars, we will be thinking about cars.) The official start of the holiday shopping season seems like as good of an excuse as any to consider buying something special for the garage. To help nudge you towards that next purchase, here are some of the latest cars for sale at Hemmings Auctions, lumped in to semi-arbitrary groups to make the browsing easier.
Many consider the 1996 Grand Sport to be the most desirable C4-generation Corvette. Others (including me) point to the ZR-1, but the Grand Sport offers a few valid advantages like the rarity of a 1,000-unit produciton run and the option of a convertible top. Plus, the Grand Sport’s close relation to the standard Corvette means better parts availability than the semi-exotic ZR-1. This 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible up for bidding is one of only 190 built and has the six-speed manual transmission.
Today, a turbocharged four-cylinder is standard fare in the Mustang. In 1984, the first year of the Mustang SVO, a turbo-four was very much out of the ordinary. But with better front-to-rear weight distribution and a retuned chassis, the SVO delivered on the promise of a balanced sports car aimed at the best from Germany and Japan. The final-year model, like this 1986 Ford Mustang SVO, offered 200 horsepower (25 more than in 1984) and several other year-on-year updates. For more background on the SVO, check out this profile from Hemmings Muscle Machines.
And heading back to the General Motors side of Detroit, we have a soft-top Corvette of a different era. This 1975 Chevrolet Corvette convertible is being sold by specialist dealer Corvette Mike and has only two prior owners. In original condition down to the owner’s manual and with the optional L82 V-8 making the most of smog-era horsepower restrictions, plus a mere 11,292 miles on the odometer, this is an excellent example of a time-capsule car that will take you right back to the days of floral-pattern dresses and sportcoats with giant lapels.
Big Convertible Energy
A bench seat, a big V-8 under the hood, and unlimited headroom. Is there anything better? How about that times three? This trio of droptops all hail from 1959, a time when American automotive fashion was at its most influential. First up, a 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Sunliner which uses the fabric top instead of the metal roof of the Skyliner. The ’59 model was considered a standout with its quad headlamps and “floating star” grille plus the omission of a hood scoop. If fins are your thing, it doesn’t get any bigger than a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 like the red convertible pictured above. More than just an exercise in ostentatious sheetmetal and chrome, the ’59 Caddy was a rolling tribute to post-war jet-age optimism. And finally, there is the more reserved style of the 1959 Lincoln Contintental Mark IV convertible, still boasting subtle fins and other rocket-like styling cues. With the same 430-cu-in. V-8 that powered the Ford Thunderbirds in NASCAR that year, the Conti offers both show and go. And if you’re looking for more details on this generation of Continental, here’s a handy overview from Hemmings Classic Car.
I love the ’80s
A strong economy and plenty of competition among both domestic and foreign automakers in the second half of the 1980s meant that by the end of the decade there was a wide variety of interesting vehicles available in showrooms. This BMW and Jeep are both vehicles that, with the ’90s fast approaching, might have seemed old-school at the time. In the case of this 1989 BMW 635CSi, the late model year adds some appeal, as it benefits from all the improvements throughout the production run but still retains its essential character as a autobahn cruise missile. The car for sale on Hemmings Auctions has the added charm of a conversion to a five-speed manual from the factory-equipped automatic.
The Jeep Wrangler was new in 1986, and certainly still fresh a few years later, but the basic layout wasn’t all that different from the CJ-7 and a long line of off-road machines that came before it. Don’t take that as a knock; the proven running gear is one of things that makes a Wrangler so appealing. The 1988 Jeep Wrangler Sahara on the block here has some mild upgrades including a lift kit, perfect for dipping a toe into the world of off-roading or just to make sure you can see over massive SUVs of modern times.
For even more active auctions and to preview upcoming lots for sale, check out the Hemmings Auctions homepage.