These wacky low-mileage survivors will blow your mind
Worldwide’s Texas Classic auction is coming up, and while browsing the lots we noticed a slew of low-mileage survivors. And here’s the kicker—all of these come from a single collection, which might be the most puzzling (and also kind of awesome) part. So if you’ve been relishing a pristinely kept example of a perhaps forgotten or unloved moment in automotive history, get ready to hold on tight:
1980 AMC Pacer DL — Lot 32
The violent clash of fake wood veneer and bright blue plastic is almost enough to distract from the fact that this Pacer has an unbelievable 1883 miles on the odometer. Under the hood is an inline-six with 100-horsepower worth of how-in-the-world-does-this-exist. The all-time record for the Pacer at auction is $37,400, which means there might still be someone out there who wants to fill out their collection of AMC econoboxes.
1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe — Lot 62
The reboot of the Turbo Coupe, fresh from a Thunderbird redesign for the ’87 model year, was an unexpectedly excellent performer. Packing what was more or less the Mustang SVO’s turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe had generous grunt from its 190 hp. Automatic models had only 150 hp, but this five-speed manual version is the real deal, and with a paltry 10,069 miles on the clock it’s still squeaky clean. And that hood scoop isn’t just for show, either.
1986 Buick Electra Estate Wagon — Lot 63
Now we’re cooking with gas. Someone put in a lot of effort to preserve this highly wooded Electra Estate Wagon, which looks like it has completely escaped the scourge of regular grocery, soccer practice, and road trip duty. This relic of Buick’s station wagon mastery bears an incredibly low 14,054 miles on its 307-cubic-inch V-8.
1992 Geo Tracker — Lot 68
Miles are a bit higher here at 48,878, but we doubt you’ll find a cleaner Geo Tracker. These mini SUVs, the boxy fruit of a GM-Suzuki partnership that also birthed the identical Sidekick, were highly susceptible to rust. It seems to have completely escaped this one, however, and it shines under the fluorescent light in its radiant teal paint. The Tracker doesn’t look like much, but these little beasts ride on a surprisingly sturdy light truck chassis that’s readily accepts modifications for rock crawling and off-roading.
2006 Hummer H1 Alpha — Lot 70
This was the final year for the H1, and it pretty much exemplifies the essence of Hummer absurdity—and the blistering yellow paint doesn’t hurt. The odometer shows just 3825 miles, which less than half what the Hummer weighs, at 7900 pounds. The most expensive H1 ever sold at auction was $128,700, and that monster had about 14,000 miles. It’s not exactly subtle for your next covert military mission, but it might scare your enemies off when they see it coming.
1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car — Lot 73
Just when you thought that Geo Tracker had a monopoly on teal for this list, you now realize it was the apprentice, and this Continental Town Car was the master. It is 127 inches long and shockingly exuberant, marking the end of America’s obsession with enormous, stately luxury cruisers. There are a mere 13,015 miles on its 400-cu-in V-8 engine. That huge trunk will fit your golf clubs, your groceries, and probably each of your passengers with room to spare.
1984 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Coupe — Lot 82
For reasons we may never understand, this 2915-mile Oldsmobile 98 Regency Coupe is still in what looks like factory condition. The ’84 model year was an odd one for the 98 Regency Coupe, as it is a carryover rear-wheel-drive model that was sold simultaneously alongside the newer front-wheel-drive 1985. Its interior is decked out in stunningly brown fabric that makes it look like a fuzzy living room. Or a bear’s den.
1977 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham Coupe — Lot 86
You knew it would be here sooner or later, right? It’s a Brougham, of course, which was the ultimate version of the top-of-the-line Bonneville following the demise of the Grand Ville. These were also the days of the Bonneville’s optional 400-cu-in V-8 making—wait for it—180 horsepower. But who cares about the emissions and fuel economy when there’s a veritable sea of red crushed velvet to rest your bum on? And with just 5510 miles on the odometer, those benches aren’t even broken in.
1987 Chevrolet El Camino Conquista — Lot 90
Another of these very late-model examples, this squeaky-clean 9244-mile El Camino will convince you to make wholly unnecessary trips to the hardware store to load up the bed. The body is immaculate, down to the shiny chrome rails. And with that 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood, it’s business up front and party in the back.
1984 Pontiac Grand Prix — Lot 93
For goodness’ sake, the dealer plastic still on the floor in this one. Wine-colored interior, replete with woodgrain and chrome, and a stupidly low 2065 miles. It has just the base 3.8-liter V-6 and neither of the larger V-8 engines, and yet it’s hard to care enough to think less of it when this car looks like it just dropped out of a wormhole from 1984.
1985 Pontiac Parisienne Brougham — Lot 94
That’s right, the Brougham’s back. Compared to some of these other cars this one is a dinosaur at 15,399 miles, but the colossal gold-and-beige-fest that is this Pontiac’s interior and exterior is worth noting. The B-bodied Parisienne was sold in the U.S. only between 1983 and ’86, but for some that split front grille alone is worth the differences from the Caprice it’s based on.
1987 Subaru Brat GL — Lot 95
Ahhhh, we’ve arrived at the wackiest of wacky. The Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter (BRAT) was Subaru’s bright idea to meet demand for small, lightweight mini-pickups when it launched in late 1978. Maybe it’s the optional T-top roof, or the welded-in rear-facing cargo jump seats (installed as a workaround to the “Chicken Tax” levy on imported trucks), or the switchable on/off all-wheel drive system, or the spare tire mounted under the hood, but the Brat is an odd duck to most people. It’s had enough love sent its way to show 27,371 miles on the odometer, too. The most recent Brat at auction sold for $13,200 earlier this year with 43,000 miles, so it doesn’t take much to bring home one of these funky Subies.
1995 Suzuki Sidekick JX — Lot 101
A sibling of our friend the Geo/Chevrolet/GMC Tracker, the Sidekick shown here has by far the most wear (and miles) in this group. The 55,188 miles of seat time has resulted in a few tears in the driver’s seat cushion, but that should be a little distraction from the impressively clean exterior and lovely 4×4 side-rocker graphics. Just unzip the soft top and go the beach!