For sale! Is a monthly feature on Automotive Views focusing on cars available for purchase in Europe. None of the ads selected are featured in this blog due to any kind of sponsorship by the sellers.
This month on “For Sale!” we’re taking a look at some American rides for sale in Europe. As we know, some countries in the old continent make it extremely difficult to import American models due to ridiculously high, needless taxes – *cough, Portugal* – but places like the UK and France are much more liberal about it, so it is possible to find some fairly well priced US gems. Let’s talk about a few.
1963 Buick Riviera
If you want a classic American car with amazing looks without having to part with a lot of money, few options beat the first generation of the Buick Riviera. It is an incredible piece of design and it’s not at all a bad car either; back in the day the press was quite impressed with this luxury cruiser. Equipped with Buick’s 401 cu in 6,57L V8 (a 6,96L 425 was also available, but the cars featured here are both 401s), the Riviera is of course no competition for sports the cars of its time like the E-Type, but it is quite competent with a 0 to 60 time of just under 8 seconds and a top speed of around 115. In 1965 Buick changed the Riviera up a bit, introducing the famous clamshell headlights; the 1963 and 1964 models have grill incorporated ones which I personally find quite nice as well. This is a very respectable, very beautiful 60’s icon that you can get for very little money and RD Classics even has a black and a white one for you to choose from. So be cool as Mr. Spock (might just have ruined this for a lot of folks…) and consider taking a trip down to the Riviera in a Riviera.
1968 Ford Mustang Fastback
It’s impossible to do a piece of any kind on American cars and leave out the Mustang. Sales phenomenon and absolute legend of the automotive world – no to mention cultural icon – between 1965 and 1973 there really aren’t many V8 Stangs a proper gear head wouldn’t love to own. However, one man made the 1968 Fastback eternally desirable above all other (non-tuned) Mustangs: Steve McQueen. The undisputed king of cool played a Highland Green Mustang driving Lt. Frank Bullitt in the 68 movie of the same name, immortalizing this particular body/spec of the already well loved pony with one of the most gripping chase scenes ever made (which you can re-watch here). Now you can have your very own Bullitt Mustang if the 50 to 55.000£ estimated price doesn’t seem too steep to you. The Mustang being offered for sale is NOT one for the purists; if originality is what you seek, this is most definitely not the car for you. This doesn’t mean the car is worse than original spec, quite the contrary. With upgraded engine, exhaust, suspension and brakes it’s much more driver friendly, it’s just not a purist’s ride.
1981 Jeep Cherokee Chief
Very few cars are as cool as old Jeeps, that’s a simple fact. However, now they’re not just interesting for the hardcore automotive enthusiasts, they’ve become extremely fashionable so prices are up…Amongst the most interesting vintage Jeeps you can buy is the Cherokee Chief; an evolution of the SJ series Cherokee, the Chief didn’t solely feature some fetching cosmetic changes, it also had wider axles (and bigger fenders, naturally) in order for larger tires to be fitted. The seller offers little to no additional information on the ad apart from the fact the Jeep received a new engine; which engine, we can’t tell. Maybe the Jeep experts amongst you can figure it out from the pictures the seller uploaded to a popular car sales site. One thing is certain, the car looks great! Sadly the price isn’t listed either, but I estimate it should be on the 45 to 65 thousand Euros category. Serious money for a Jeep, but as with any car, it depends on how badly you want it. We know vintage Jeeps have some issues that simply cannot be overlooked, but if you take good care of them, most times they take good care of you, just can’t neglect them maintenance-wise and you have to brace yourself for a surprise every now and then, but it comes with the territory.
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
I couldn’t very well bring up Jeeps without mentioning the sexiest of the lot…the Grand Wagoneer is my all time favorite Jeep. Why? Because of reasons. Ok, ok…objectively I can say that these are truly nice cars, made considerably better – quality wise – after Chrysler took over Jeep production back in 87. 1991 being the last year of these handsome beasts, this is an increasingly rare and desirable classic Jeep. Yes, I’m using the word “classic” and “1991” in the same sentence already…heaven help us…The V8 in these produces an absolutely astonishing and mind blowing…145bhp. Thank goodness for torque is all I can say…nevertheless, they’re capable, comfortable and of course, achingly good looking. If you wanna know a bit more about these, a while back I wrote an article featuring interesting stuff you could pick up for 5 grand or under (in the US) and obviously, a Grand Wagoneer was in the bunch. Click here to check it out.
1968 Dodge Coronet R/T
When it comes to Dodge classic muscle, people often rave about the Charger and forget all about the awesome “little” Coronet. Don’t get me wrong, the Charger is the undisputed king, but the Coronet definitely deserves some serious love as well. Fifth incarnation of the model, the 1968 version is sober in its design but you’re never gonna lose it on the parking lot either, that’s for sure (and the rear section – taillights and in-between – is a masterpiece of design, no other word for it). One of the best in the Coronet family, the 440 R/T Magnum’s V8 packs a 375bhp punch, more than enough for you to have some great fun. The one featured in this ad is wearing a color I don’t usually associate with this kind of model but it works, so why not? The rims need changing but that’s a relatively minor expense. At almost 50.000€ it’s not exactly cheap per se, but you are getting a lot of car for your money. You can look into stepping up and tracking down a Charger, but in Europe it will cost you…I recently found a 1970 one for 120.000€…if your heart is absolutely set and you live in England or France, buy in the US and just ship it over. If you’re open to other Dodge muscle options, a lovely Coronet like this one is a great option.
1995 Dodge Viper RT/10
I’ve talked about the first gen Viper a lot on AV…and I’m gonna keep talking about it because this car properly deserves to be celebrated and praised on a very frequent basis. The 1995 one offered for sale in the featured ad is incorrectly referenced as “SRT 10” and it looks ok, but has definitely seen better days. Unsurprisingly, Vipers often live rough lives, being pushed hard by people who often have little appreciation for the piece of art they’re driving. The ones that survive often show signs of neglect and less than perfect repair jobs/interventions; that’s the case with this one. But not to worry, these are extraordinary but simple machines and can readily and relatively inexpensively be brought back to their full glory. The price is extremely attractive and the seller provides extensive photographic documentation of the car’s condition so you know exactly what you’re dealing with in terms of condition. This is a huge engine with some wheels and a couple of seats, that’s it. It is temperamental and it is unforgiving, but if a pure driving experience is what you’re looking for, the original Viper is the car for you. You can read a bit more about the RT/10 in a previous AV article here.
1997 Hummer H1 SUV
Is there anything more murican’ than an H1? Perhaps a bro truck with flames on the sides, an eagle decal on the hood, straight pipes spewing clouds of toxic black smoke and a big Ol’ Glory in the rear window. But because those are vision of hell and utterly useless, we’ll go back to focusing on something that’s actually useful and good at what it does, the H1. People tend to give it a hard time, make jokes about Schwarzenegger, mileage (or lack thereof) and size; everybody has a laugh and its all good fun…but what tends to be forgotten in all the H1 picking is that this is military grade piece of hardware that just happen to find its way to civilian use. The kind of abuse that would break other SUVs in half is just another boring old daily run for the H1; deserts, swamps, mountains…not a problem in one of these. Plus, there’s enough space inside to comfortably hold a Fortune 500 company board meeting, so really this is an ideal vehicle for the most adventurous C.E.O.’s. I’m joking but these really are extraordinarily capable and hard working; plus, in this SUV spec (there’s also an SUT version) they actually look kind of amazing. The one featured in the ad needs to lose the hideous aftermarket part over the hood vent, nut otherwise…looks pretty good to me.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
You can’t really go wrong with a C2 Vette. The second generation of THE American sports car is the most beloved amongst enthusiasts and it’s not difficult to see why. It looks absolutely amazing, like nothing else than came before or after and it’s certainly well worth spending some time reading about the origins of this design, the inspirations that contributed to this final, iconic shape; on that context I can’t recommend enough that you look up the Stingray Racer and the Mako Shark. The particular Sting Ray featured in this ad is special amongst the special. Why? Because it’s a 63’ and that means split window. Arkus-Duntov, famed engineer and key figure of Vette history, deeply disliked the split window so for 1964 that feature was (sadly) gone. This one year only design particularity means 63 Sting Rays are highly desirable, quite rare and you guessed it, a bit expensive. The seller doesn’t offer information on the ad, but this C2 looks to be in fairly original condition (some funky little period accessories inside, but nothing wrong with that and you can always easily bring it back to factory spec if so desired), tuxedo black paint (I believe), correct 327 engine (hopefully numbers matching)…pretty attractive ride overall (once you peel off those rear window stickers). According to Movendi, this is supposed to be the first Sting Ray delivered to Europe so if that is indeed the case, it’s just another plus on this beauty’s résumé.
1971 Plymouth “Hemi” Cuda
I’ve debated for a while if I should feature this particular Cuda on this special edition of “For Sale!”…ended up deciding on including it because it looks like a serious build and the end result is certainly very attractive. What the seller – a shop called PTTM [Pedal to the Metal] – did was start with a Cuda and bring it up to Hemi specs. This particular car is indeed a proper Cuda, a BS code; there’s a relevant difference between BS and BH code because it distinguishes Cudas and Barracudas; it’s always a gamble to mess with a Cuda because when selling time comes round, you may end up finding that the money you spent and what you subsequently got back doesn’t pay for stripping the car of its originality. It really depends on how good the finished product is – unscrupulous people after a quick buck make horrible Hemi reproductions – and how much someone out there wants a Hemi spec without wanting to pay vintage Hemi money. On this build, PTTM used original Hemi parts on their own, in house built Hemi spec 426, which is pretty damn cool! This Cuda is wearing the best color option possible, a B5 “true blue” that’s nothing short of astonishing when the sun is shining upon it. On the inside, everything is new or restored and the Hurst pistol grip shifter makes for a great cherry on the icing. Now the main question: is this Cuda worth the – little that makes no difference – 80.000 Euros asking price. Well, on my very humble opinion, these guys know their stuff. They talk the lingo connoisseurs want to hear when looking for something along these lines; plus, they seem to appreciate and respect the car and that’s tremendously important. The built is well documented and the work seems to have the quality needed to pull off such a project successfully. 71 Hemi Cudas are 6, sometimes 7 figure cars. You may find a good example at around 350k (USD) but it’s pretty much uphill from there. So 80.000 for a quality build isn’t actually an outrageous price tag in the grand scheme of things (keeping the documentation and import in mind as well, since this was originally, naturally, a US [California] car); the basic 383 6.3L Cuda alone these guys started with isn’t exactly dirt cheap to begin with, so it all comes down to how you feel about tributes, clones, replicas…whatever you wanna call this sort of project.
1968 Ford Mustang “Sport Wagon”
If a 68 Mustang Shooting Break doesn’t make you wanna sell your liver to get it, we can’t be friends. According to the ad, this stunning piece of work is the result of a Mustang being “modified by an American car designer in his free time.” Damn, what a weekend project! It’s a gorgeous styling exercise and it certainly looks stunning in GTS Viper blue! The idea of a Mustang wagon/shooting break isn’t new; there are several incarnations of this process (the Intermeccanica one being the most famous) but – as it’s the case with all custom cars – each is uniquely styled and this particular one shows fantastic details and creativity. Absolutely love it.