Craigslist Classic: 1993 Pontiac Sunbird – $750 Worth Of Excre…uh…Excitement

Presented for your viewing pleasure is this one-owner 1993 Pontiac Sunbird in the twilight of its life, but still running (somewhat) strongly, merely in need of a clutch.  Since nobody buys stick shift cars anymore anyway, I fear this may result in a no-sale…

The ad indicates that it is currently located in the Fort Collins, Colorado area, and the condition of the Light Teal paint color seems to reflect that, this type of skin cancer is not uncommon for non-garaged older vehicles around here.  Here is the ad copy in its entirety:

One owner car, has solid engine, runs good and doesn’t burn any oil, however, she needs a new clutch, but still drives, just noisy!

She has had regular service her whole life, oil changes every 3k or 1 year . Has always passed Colorado emissions, most recently January of 2017.

Asking $750 or best offer, please no low ballers, if you are just gonna offer 100 bucks don’t waste my time, I will not reply to you. Cash only local pickup only. The car is “as is” with no warranty express or implied!

I do not respond to text, or phone numbers, or random messages offering a price if you haven’t even seen the car. If you are real, and interested, then send a message via craigslist and I will get back to you on the craigslist system.

Alrighty then.  Don’t bother him if you only have one C-note.  I’m not sure why a bad clutch would result in a noisy car, maybe it’s way worse than the cars I’ve had with bad clutches.  But hey, it still drives.


Lest you think this is merely a common Cockroach Of The Road cousin, look again.  The fender badge indicates that this carriage sports the 3.1liter V-6.  But the fun doesn’t stop there.  Yes, it also has the optional rear spoiler and some other sporting accessories.

How do I know all this? Well, the seller was kind enough to include the original sticker!

In 1993 this car had a base price of $9,382.  That would have been the version given to the winner of the Showcase Showdown on The Price Is Right.  As Bob Barker would enlighten the audience, it would include all of the standard features.  This buyer however, sprang for $2,893 worth of options.  A package comprised of tinted glass, A/C and the sport mirrors accounted for $903, (or almost a third) of that. The engine upgrade over the miserable 2.0liter was another $585 and probably worth every penny, especially since the fuel economy per the sticker still seems quite reasonable.

15″ Alloys for $275, cruise control for $225, and an AM/FM Cassette stereo (with auto-reverse, mind you) at $170 were probably features I’d want as well.  I’m a little surprised that the 195/65R15 “touring” tires are listed as a separate line item for $158 as it’s not like you could get the alloys without tires, and the electric rear defogger at $170 seems like a fairly pricey item but I suppose both were necessary.

Rally “gages” with tachometer for $127 were a must-have, especially since the buyer sprung for the $70 rear spoiler. $145 for the tilt wheel and $65 for the “controlled cycle windshield wipers” (GM-speak for intermittent?) round out the list of upgrades.  Add the destination charge of $475 and you arrive at the total of $12,750, which actually doesn’t seem that bad when I consider that the 1993 Audi S4 I owned stickered at right around four times that when new.  Although that one did have power windows but no rear spoiler.  But I digress…

Yes, that is an “ABS” badge on the lower right side, I had to check the sticker again to realize this was a standard feature on this car, which surprised me.

Here’s the main source of this Pontiac’s excitement, the 3.1 liter fuel injected V-6 providing 145 horses worth of power.  The engine bay looks in pretty good shape and less dirty than I would have imagined after around 25 years of driving around Colorado snow, muck, and dust.

And here’s where the magic happens!  Get behind the wheel, lower the thruster style handbrake, jam the shifter into first, furiously wind down the manual window, pop in your new cassette of Dr. Dre’s “Chronic”, place left hand on top of the wheel, twist the key and lean back before letting your left foot off the clutch while depressing the go-pedal (yes, that’s how manual transmissions cars work in case you forgot).

This car appears to have the miserable door-mounted seat belts that my Buick LeSabre T-Type featured as well; I always wondered what would happen if the door popped open in a roll-over accident.  But overall the interior seems in pretty good shape, certainly nothing that a good set of (gray) faux-mutton-pelt covers wouldn’t hide.

Here’s a close-up of the “Rally Gages W/Tachometer”.  The 100mph speedo isn’t very ambitious, this car could easily outrun that even with the 6000rpm redline on the tach. I like how the redline is rotated so it’s right at the top, in proper LeMans style (LeMans the race, not the Pontiac in this case).  Still, temp, voltage, oil pressure, and fuel gauges (er, “gages”) are nice to have.

If this all sounds too good to pass up, just go to the Fort Collins Craigslist site and do a search, it’ll pop up…