Archive for June, 2016

Cumberford and Mott’s Light – 1981 Subaru GL Hatchback

June 29, 2016

Though there were plenty of cars before the 1980s with cyclops front lights, like the Rover P4 and Tucker 48, it seems likely the Subaru Leone of the early 1980s will be the last to offer that feature from the factory. These lights were often used as a supplementary light for turning – though most notably, the Citroen ID/DS featured two inboard lights that turned with the front wheels – but lighting technology has advanced to the point where the addition of a separately mounted turning light is no longer needed. So let’s take a moment to celebrate an example of the last cyclops-light car, this 1981 Subaru GL hatchback for sale for $3750 in Milwaukie, OR.

1981 Subaru GL hatchback left front

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Two-Year Model – 1979 Saab 900 GLE 5-Door

June 27, 2016

With the demise of Saab in 2011, finding an example of Sweden’s odder marque is pretty unusual, unless you live in a major American northeastern or western city. But what to do if all your friends drive Saabs, and you want to stand out? How about trying to find a two-door sedan, only offered for a couple of years in North America? Well, those are nice and light, and structurally probably quite stiff, but not as utilitarian as a Saab could be. So let’s go one step further back in the history of the 900, and find an elusive Saab 5-door hatch. No, it’s not a 9000, it’s this this 1979 Saab 900 GLE 5-Door for sale for $2395 in Estacada, OR.

1979 Saab 900 GLE right front

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X Copy – 1985 Toyota MR2

June 27, 2016

Update: Nearly two years on, reader Stephen commented on the original post that he purchased the car for $1400. Now with 156,000 miles, the car is still doing well, though it had a few minor needs at purchase: a missing (now replaced) bolt on the coolant pump had caused a leak, and a small hole in the floor and sill rot are on the short list for a date with a welder. Other than that, he’s quite happy with the purchase – here’s a picture to show what it’s like now (note one of the great things about small cars: pulled up on the wrong side? no problem! just reach across!):

1985 Toyota MR2 followup left front

Thanks for the update, Stephen – nice to see this car is still out there doing what it does best.

Original post: For any enthusiast of small sports cars with a small, rev-happy engine, the MR2 has to be on the list. It’s like an X1/9 without the drama (or as much emotion) – that mid-mounted Yamaha-designed four-cylinder is probably one of the nicer four-cylinders to make it through the mid-1980s emissions-controlled malaise era – the nearest competitor had a not-so-awesome 1970s Iron Duke 4-cylinder, and other sporting convertibles ran engines dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. Beyond that, you get tight handling and two handy little trunks, with the frunk cool enough to keep your beer cold and the trunk warm enough to keep your potluck casserole warm. Because people drive to potlucks in MR2s. Check out this 1985 Toyota MR2 for sale with the opening bid at $3000 and 2 days left in Sanford, NC.

1985 Toyota MR2 left rear

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