If you like big Broughams and you just can’t lie, this bonus Junkyard Outtake is for you.
This will be a post of many pictures and few words – unlike the usual, which is more the opposite.
Here she is – the Electra from yesterday, in higher-resolution glory.
The readers yesterday – quite a few of them – were right about this car’s model. Guess I should have looked closer.
The trim around the vinyl top went home with me shortly after these were taken. You’ll see why soon.
Clean trunk is clean.
The signature gas door.
A would-be (wood-be?) forest of plastiwood.
I couldn’t make out the script on the dashboard yesterday; a closer look reveals that it says “Limited”.
Reader CARMINE was right – no fancy LeSabre style clock here.
The driver door handles were inoperable, so my dashboard shots had to be taken from the right.
I’d bet that’s 158K.
Hey, look – it’s a 200-4R car!
In the back.
You can’t see it in this shot, but this car has both air bags and air shocks. Hmm…
Dealer option? Perhaps.
There’s been a whole lotta crushin’ goin’ on here this week, so a few new hulks have appeared. Here we have an eighty-something Fleetwood sedan.
White leather 60/40.
Power everything. Of course. It’s a Cadillac, after all.
I’m plenty familiar with GM’s early ’70s “tuxedo” interior color scheme (white seats, black dash/carpet/etc). But I guess I just haven’t been looking at enough Caddies to have seen the white/blue combo lately. It works, though.
More Oldsmobile power. If my limited Cadillac knowledge is correct, that would make this an ’86 at least.
Clearly, this one’s seen better days.
Hey RPO junkies – it’s time to whip out your decoder rings! This is the SPID tag from yesterday’s nicely optioned ’84 Regal.
Reader myself asked for some shots of the early ’90s Grand Prix next to the featured Regal. Unfortunately, it was already gone. But why settle for an SE when you can have this odd duck – a first generation GTP.
Complete with ASC sunroof!
Do I smell an extra-long timing belt?
Yes, yes I do. These DOHC 3.4L V6es were known for being both spunky and problematic. I’m sure several nightmare tales of alternator replacements will follow in the comments.
No leather on this one.
Pretty basic cluster.
Hooray for hood louvers! Some W-body fan will likely be scooping this hood up shortly.
Remember how I said that the Electra’s roof trim ended up leaving with me? Well, there’s a good reason for that.
As many of you already know, I like to buy, fix, and sell a couple of cars each year (in addition to the several each year that I end up parting out). It’s an entertaining hobby that also yields extra profits during slow times of year in my ‘real’ profession, and provides a never-ending source of content for my articles here.
A guy I sometimes deal with contacted me a few days back. He knows I’m always on the lookout for clean, older GM products on the cheap, and wanted to know if I wanted to buy an ’83 LeSabre coupe he recently pulled out of a backyard. After looking it over and doing the requisite haggling, I said yes. I’ll be going back with the tow rig Monday and bringing it home.
I had just finished writing yesterday’s Junkyard Outtake when the call came in. Yes, readers, the CC Effect is definitely real.
I don’t anticipate keeping it for too long. Chances are good that by the time the new title arrives, I’ll be ready to let it go. But rest assured that you will be seeing more of it – after it gets a tuneup, new rubber, and a good detailing, of course.
What engine is in that ’83 you bought?
A plain old 3.8. I was (and am) a bit disappointed, but it seems to run fine. Chances are whoever eventually buys it wouldn’t have cared either way, so I’m not too worried.
Okay, I was hoping it was a 4.1L V6.
I’ve been looking for a car with that engine for over a year now.
I’d take that Buick over that Cadillac anyday.
Wow, thanks for taking all the “bonus” pictures! That Electra looks even cleaner than it did on the first post. I really am liking that Brougham, which appears to be an ’89. The white with blue/white interior is really sharp, even though the car is pretty worn out. It does look pretty rust-free for a MN car, though–am guessing it was garaged for a long time.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your ’83 LeSabre. It’s nice to know at least a few parts of that grand old Electra will be on the road again!
I can say that the seats appear identical to those in the 89 Brougham that I owned.
As for the Electra, that is one of the most attractive color combos that this car ever came in. I can’t say that I am pining for another B/C body of this era, but if an Electra 2 door just like this were to cross my path, I might weaken.
It seems that these cars have not yet seen the same boom in interest after reaching a certain age that 50′s, 60′s, and early 70′s received. Cars from the mid 70’s are only now beginning to attract collector interest, so when will these late 70’s-80′s cars become icons? Sure, a lot of us like them, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll find a lot of them at a car show or high end auction.
It seems like the G-bodies (of which I’ve had a few) are steadily gaining interest. But outside of “donk” circles and the few B-body connoisseurs out there, the big cars are lagging behind.
Will they ever catch up? Probably. But I suspect many more will have to be crushed before that happens – or perhaps, in order for that to happen. (Sad but true – rarity doesn’t automatically equal value, but it does help.)
Then again, big cars from a decade earlier are still only being collected by a niche market, so who knows?
Look how many ’60s muscle cars were molested by people with more ambition than taste, up into even the late ’80s. It seemed like back then, when you crossed the 25 year mark was when people began to take restorations seriously. But yet, many people still see the Colonnade cars as customizer fodder 40 years on. Not many back-to-factory restos going on with those. When – if ever – will their time come?
My real question comes in another 10-20 years, once cars of the ’90s are well within collector status. Will any of the FWD cars we so often highlight here ever achieve the kind of attractiveness that those from the 50s/60s/early 70s did? Or are we doomed to a future where the sole survivors consist of a handful of Camaros and Mustangs? Only time will tell. (With so much FWD out there, and virtually no RWD domestic car options available to the general public, I keep hoping that trucks will start filling their place amongst hoons and performance nuts alike. Some have embraced them, but it’s certainly not everyone.)
The 91-95 B-body wagons seem to have a small but growing following today. But with their polarizing styling, it’s hard to tell whether it’s the beginning of a true classic, or just a marriage of convenience that will run its course and meet its rusty demise in a few more years.
It also seems that these late 70’s through 80’s big cars are still often just daily transportation to their many working class or elderly owners, despite many or most being 30-35 years old. Were there sizeable amounts of 30-35 year old 50’s through early 70’s cars being daily driven in the past?
I think it happens with every generation, I have an older friend that recalls GTO’s and 442’s being junkyard fodder in the mid 80’s, and the giant 70’s car holocaust of the early 90’s. The majority of cars will be scrapped, it happens.
“and the giant 70′s car holocaust of the early 90′s.”
Was that an actual thing like cash for clunkers or just the economy being good in the 90s so people dumped them?
I’ve wondered the same thing many times before.
I don’t think the issue cars from the 90s and 00s will have is desirability. I think their biggest issue will be reliability. I mean nowadays, specially, cars have so many electronics and sensors that keeping one on the road will be more of challenge unless you have lots of know how or a degree in engineering or computer science….or deep pockets.
All the superfluous sensors that they have and myriad of electronics inside do no wonders for longevity. They break when the car is new, imagine in 20 years…
I hope I’m wrong and they do last but just looking at new car reviews sometimes is sad.
“Will any of the FWD cars we so often highlight here ever achieve the kind of attractiveness that those from the 50s/60s/early 70s did?”
Sure – just try finding an Integra Type-R!
Thank you indeed for these additional pics Keith.
Love that LeSabre you picked up, just hope you can find a good home for it.
It looks in great shape. Hope the underbody isn’t too bad.
The Electra and Pontiac don’t belong here.
Look in the tape player of that Pontiac, and you might find the cassette single of “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice.
I find the Pontiac’s seats have a “sumo-suit’ look to them.
Pontiac had some of the BEST seats in the 90s (even among today’s cars) in the industry. Body-hugging and COMFORTABLE!
They look comfortable. I was more poking a bit of fun at Pontiac’s tendency in the early 90s to overstyle their cars. I don’t think I’ve seen so many curves or semi-ellipse shapes in an interior, in a while. This is when ‘organic’ shapes were returning to interiors. And Pontiac wanted to lead in this area, it appears.
For the parking lights of that white De Ville, I think clear lenses and amber bulbs would have looked much more subtle and elegant. I believe Cadillac fixed this in future versions.
The interior of the De Ville looks like it would last 100 years and beyond.
I really like the paint on that Cadillac, to the left of the Grand Prix.
Ah yes, the Pearl White. That Caddy was very new to be in this yard, 2003 if I recall. No doubt the victim of a Northstar head/bolt/gasket failure. It was in great shape, clean inside and out, even had multiple sets of keys and the valet key stashed in the glovebox.
Not my style, but another one for the “what a shame” column.
Wild guess, I’d say it was probably dismissed due to miles – get much north of 150K and it’s no longer a good prospect for a swap-and-sell, so no one left to take it but the junkyards.
Such a shame. I figured high mileage and/or catastrophic engine or transmission failure was the common thread for most of these cars.
None of them seem to have accident damage, or signs of serious abuse.
And are not old enough, to show serious signs of rust yet. I imagine some of the more unique models in this yard, may stay intact for sometime, as people aren’t looking for 80s Electra parts much anymore. Even if they can swap individual parts into another model/engine.
“None of them seem to have accident damage, or signs of serious abuse. And are not old enough, to show serious signs of rust yet.”
Many of the cars you see are the ‘gems of the junkyard’. There are certainly rustbuckets by the score, and the occasional wreck tossed in. But most of them are nothing you’d want to try and revive.
In the GM department, it’s all the common ailments – high miles plus some combination of rust, head gasket failure, and/or transmission failure. In the truck department, it’s usually mega-miles and rust plus some combination of abuse/crashed, transmission failure, or just hitting the point where they’re so spent that doesn’t make sense to keep trying.
For each vehicle, someone, somewhere decided it wasn’t worth bothering with anymore. Many of them were right. Some were just naive. And some merely weren’t such gluttons for punishment as the rest of us 🙂
You’re right. These immediate examples are obviously boneyard creampuffs, so to speak. I wouldn’t be surprised if the yard kept the Buick or Pontiac up front for a while, when they first arrived, hoping to resell them intact. I would have considered them, with an engine swap.
That suspension shot of the Buick you took, doesn’t look bad at all.
I’d have to see the sheetmetal, but that rust doesn’t look like it’s at the structural stage. Looks like a 10 year old car, here in Ontario, Canada. If there was any collector or appreciation value in it, the Buick would have been interesting.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the yard kept the Buick or Pontiac up front for a while, when they first arrived, hoping to resell them intact.”
Jeez, I WISH they’d do that. Unfortunately, 99% of yards around here take them straight from the truck to the yard, with only a quick stop in between to drain fluids and cut out the catalytic converters.
By the time you see them, their titles have already been flagged as junked and can never be registered in Minnesota (or anywhere else, AFAIK) again – so even if you could somehow get one out the door, it’d be branded for life.
Then again, I also wish this yard had never ended their quarterly all-you-can-carry for $100 sale. But that’s life, I suppose.
Some of the smaller yards will still sell cars whole, if you know who to ask. But paper problems abound (even those with clean-looking titles may have been reported as scrapped by a former owner), so it’s always a case of buyer beware. In my experience, once a yard starts inventorying, that’s when buying cars whole comes to a halt… and it’s only the smallest rural mom-and-pops that haven’t gone computerized (yet).
–> “Jeez, I WISH they’d do that. Unfortunately, 99% of yards around here take them straight from the truck to the yard, with only a quick stop in between to drain fluids and cut out the catalytic converters.”
I agree, that being a mom and pop yard, is a big factor here. They don’t have the time or resources to try to promote/resell some of the better cars. Most the yards in my area have an area outside the gates where they leave more desirable vehicles. Either restorable classics or any vehicle that can be made drivable. Including accident cars, sold ‘as is’. They have clean titles, and they’ll place them on their websites too. But we don’t have many of the small yards anymore, either. The province started to impose a lot of restrictions on yards in the last 10-15 years.
Local wreckers still sell cars whole. But looking at the incoming stream is disheartening. I saw a nice fixable 9-3 last week on its way to be picked.
Holy Cats ! The alternator in the Brougham looks BRAND FREAKING NEW ! ! ! ! !
Regarding collectibility of 1977-89 B bodies, the vintage car market is now dominated by 60-something Baby Boomers wanting a red ’69 Camaro. Most will not look at any car deemed ‘uncool’ by muscle car purists. Or, the annoying ‘nothing after 1972’ mantra, as if gross HP ratings are the “be all end all.”
But as older RWD cars get less common, value will have to go up due to law of supply/demand.
Though interest is building, and there will always be people who have an interest in the oddballs, I really wouldn’t want a 69 Camaro or a 57 Chevy if you gave it to me, to common, to much of a me too car.
I took my 80 Caprice to a cruise in a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised at the amount of interest I got on the car, usually its over looked, but many people, both young and old were starting to be drawn to it.
I am planning on taking my Cartier to a few cruise-ins next year, just to keep the Camaro/Mustang ratio down.
Do you guys have to go through a roadworthy inspection up there?
I love this series… same goes for MM Junkyard finds
Minnesota doesn’t have one, no. There used to be a smog-check cars were required to take, but that eventually was done away with in the later part of the 90’s if I recall correctly.
Did you put the mid-90s Chrysler radio in the trunk of the Electra?
It must have taken at least a little effort to bring it from the Mopar side of the yard. Is it for a project you haven’t told us about, yet?
No. I don’t know who stashed (or abandoned) it there.
Junkyard Gremlins, the odd phenomena that occurs in junkyards that makes totally unrelated car parts move from one section to another, I remember reaching into the front seat of a trashed 80’s Cutlass and pulling out rotor from a Mazda Rotary that was sitting on the pillowy brougham seat…..huh?
I should have kept it, it would have made a great ashtray.
Ouch. Very difficult for me to see that Cadillac Brougham in a junkyard.
You and me both! Especially one with white leather!
Here, this one I found in good health will make you feel better 🙂
Thanks for the additional pictures. Each a pretty rare find these days, in or out of a junkyard. That Buick looks pretty clean, and based on the odometer, looks to have had pretty low miles (unless it had turned over once or more, but based on the condition the 58K could be right).
Thanks for the Grand Prix shots – that GTP is a real rare bird, especially up here in rust country (Southwest PA). I actually don’t see many of the 1st gen W coupes around here at all anymore! My ’91 Regal must truly be a survivor…lol
They had a real thing for rusting out badly. You just know there’s no metal left behind that cladding. Though I’d bet what took this one down was engine-related.
I’ve been FUDded out of ever buying one of those 3.4s. If my Shortstar/Northstar experience is at all related (and I hear it is), they sound like something to steer clear of – especially now that they’re all 20+ years old.
But it’s impossible to overstate the rust issues. My brother bought one of the only other first-generation GTPs I’ve ever seen, dark green with pretty much every option known to man. That was in 2007 or so. Despite being adult owned, looking good, and having just 140K miles, the rear control arm mounts (and probably many other things) were nearly rusted out. Needless to say, he was rather disappointed to find that out, the hard way no less. (Now THAT was a fun tow – not!)
Also – interesting hobby! Nice easy way to make a few quick bucks if you get the car for the right price – And if the rust monster hasn’t gotten a hold of it, of course.
It’s always seemed sort of wasteful that otherwise perfectly usable cars become junked because the repair costs outweigh the value of the car. It’s like my friend’s ’94 Accord that I mentioned the other day. It’s worth so little that replacing the driver’s door (stoved in by a hit and run) is more than the car’s worth. Yet the car’s otherwise immaculate and, more importantly mechanically great. So what do you do? replacing the door is over-capitalising. And yet scrapping the car would be wasteful. Although the sum of the remaining parts would outweigh the worth of the whole.
Somehow it seems wrong that something that so many people spent so many hours designing and building can then be worthless – and yet I’d love to trade my 16-year-old daily driver on something with more safety features and better smoothness etc. The culture of vehicular obsolescence is an interesting conundrum.
This has been the week of the B-Bodies for sure:
1) Spotted an ’84 Delta 88 at the gas station on saturday
2) Next door neighbor had a visitor with an ’82-83 Electra on Friday
3) Spotted an ’80 or so Caprice on the interstate this morning
4) Saw a elderly veteran rockin his ’86 Fleetwod (same as pictured above) in the Home Depot Parking lot. We talked all things B-Body for a half hour straight!
5) All these articles on B-Bodies on CC…
Be still my heart..
Hi.i have a 81 electra coupe that very clean..my problem is i cant seem to find any site that carries parts for this car..please help me if you can…thanks