Car Show: The Second Annual Malaise Invitational – Lots Of Browns And Greens In The Sun(dancer)

The Second Annual Malaise Invitational was held in Philomath, OR. on June 24, and we drove up to see the sights. Just like last year, there were many excellent examples of cars from the ’70s through the early ’90s, but the star of the show had to be this 1981 AMC Eagle 4WD Sundancer convertible. It’s one of one hundred built, and the first one I’ve ever seen.

Its owner, Robert bought it in October of 2022, and did little or nothing to it before he decided to drive it to this show from Bend, OR, after seeing our post. And he took the scenic route over the Cascades. He only had one issue: a blown a/c compressor.



Robert said he saw puffs of smoke and heard noise, and pulled over to find the source.


The piston-type compressor must have thrown a rod, as there was a hole (visible on the right of the label) in the compressor case. Someone stopped and helped him diagnose it and disconnect the compressor. It must have been running dry, as the a/c had not been working anyway.

Robert also owns a few Studebakers, including a ’61 Hawk, a ’58 Packard hardtop coupe, and an Avanti too!

Moving on, there was this fine Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible.


And this same color(?) 1992 Brougham d’Elegance. Just one step away from the vaunted Talisman.



It was parked next to the ultimate polar opposite, this Datsun B210 4-door. This is a very familiar car, as I saw it being used regularly in Eugene for a number of years, even hauling two teenagers in its cozy back seat.


I had to get in and remind myself what it was like to sit in (and drive) these cars. It was very familiar!


Including wrapping my long legs around the front seat. Did that a lot back in the day.


This B210 is in superb shape. The four door was not a popular seller, as most were the 2-door sedan and the coupe.

A fine V6 Fiero.

The pendulum sung quickly back the other way with this 1975 1978 Eldorado Biarritz.


We’re both wearing malaise-appropriate colors.


I sat in the Eldo, as a contrast to the B210. The leather seats were absurdly soft, and it was of course roomier, but not as much as you might think. Wider, yes.




A Ford Econoline Club Wagon.


Those seats are very much like the ones we had in our ’77 Dodge Chinook. I wish our seats in the Promaster had a bit of color like these, but then they are vastly more comfortable.


An Astro conversion van. Never quite totally got what these were supposed to be about, as I’m a bit of a spartan and prefer camping equipment to soft plushness everywhere, but the seats are comfy. And it does seat six much more comfortably than any sedan.

A 1984 Corvette.



My first sighting of a Nissan President here, although the number of 25+ year old imported sedans from Japan is rapidly increasing. This was of course sold here as the first Infiniti Q45.



An Olds Custom Cruiser.

With a vintage Bultaco on the back. Sweet bike!

And the inevitable Chryco minivan.

Great color for a Volvo 244.



An ex-JDM import Land Cruiser.


And another recent import, the first Toyota Century I’ve seen here.




I asked the owner to pop the hood for a shot of its magnificent V12, but I should have known better. It’s well hidden.


A somewhat weathered gen1 Ranger.


A US-market diesel Maxima. How more malaise can you get?


Those seats are so…Japanese.


These tough Nissan diesels are the polar opposite of the fragile Olds diesel V8 of the same era.


Here’s my personal favorite: a 1973 Ford C750 semi truck.

I just love these boxy C-series cabs.


I should have known, but I wanted to confirm that it was powered by the FT gas V8.


A big boy Tonka truck.


No, it’s not a Country squire version; that’s rust.

The familiar 5-speed with two-speed rear axle. I drove this combination in a number of trucks; very common back then. It was lots of fun to split all the gears smoothly and quickly.

Put a short dump bed on the back, and I could really put this to good use.

This is the Phoenix owned by Daniel, who organizes this show.


These two make a fine combination.

Modifying old Japanese cars for off-road use (or just looks) is a very popular thing, at least out here.  Who needs 4WD?




A pristine K Car.




And a superb Dodge 400 convertible to keep it company.



A 1987 Chrysler LeBaron with 22k original miles.



This Jaguar was the prize for the raffle. I didn’t buy a ticket…


Ford pickup.


1987 Peugeot 505 V6 STi.




An early Chevy Blazer S10.


Looks like the 2.8 V6.

1993 VW Fox.


It’s for sale.


Another Fiero, this one powered by the Iron Duke Tech IV.



Last but not least, a Subaru hatchback.

We had another commitment to go to, so we had to leave quite early. We saw several cars on he road that were undoubtedly heading here as we were driving home, including a a superb beige Hornet 2-door sedan, a light green ’71-’72 Cadillac coupe, a Nissan 300 ZX, and a couple of others.


Here’s last year’s show, in case you missed it:
Car Show Classics: The First Malaise Invitational In Eugene