V8 Vantage Zagato

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 13, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

In the mid-to-late 1980s (and through the early 1990s), Aston Martin was just barely getting by. Like, they were producing cars by the handful before Ford got involved. Take this for instance, the V8 Vantage Zagato, which was built between 1986 and 1990 and resulted in just 89 cars completed.

Aston Martin and Zagato have a long history together and this car reignited the flame. The “V8 Vantage” nameplate has been a popular model name over the years and this V8 Vantage was based on the aging Aston Martin V8 that dated back to 1969. It shares the same, old (Bonhams calls it “proven”) 5.3-liter V-8 spec’d to 432 horsepower, which was pretty serious for 1987. It was quick, too: 60 mph arrived in 4.8 seconds.

Only 52 coupes were built and they were expensive, costing $156,600 when new. But because they came out at the height of the supercar craze, prices skyrocketed and a few years after their introduction they were selling for nearly half a million dollars. This one should bring between $370,000-$500,000. Aston built a further 37 convertibles which are even more sought after. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Porsche 959 Speedster

1987 Porsche 959 Speedster

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 8, 2017

Photo – Coys

If we consider the dawn of the supercar to begin sometime between the Lamborghini Miura and the Ferrari 288 GTO, then the Porsche 959 is among the more grandfatherly supercars in existence. What most older supercars have in common is this: they were all hard tops. Drop top supercars didn’t gain much traction until the Lamborghini Diablo Roadster and the Ferrari F50.

The 959 was the most technologically advanced motorcar available for purchase when it debuted in 1986. It was the fastest car in the world too, topping out at 197 mph. It is powered by a 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making 444 horsepower. With a complex all-wheel drive setup and active suspension, this car was years ahead of its time.

So we come back to the elephant in the room. What’s with the drop top? Porsche never built one… so what is this? Well, Porsche sold one of the 337 959s to racing driver Jürgen Lässig who, well, had a slight incident in this car while racing down the Autobahn. He sold what was left of it to Auto Becker, a German used car company. They meticulously rebuilt the car but decided, since it wasn’t original anymore anyway, to make it into a convertible. It’s pretty crazy and pretty cool. Sure, it’ll never be as valuable as a traditional 959, but it is rarer… and sunshinier. Yes, that’s now a word. A removable hardtop is included as well.

This wonderful piece of someone’s imagination is estimated to bring between $1,300,000-$1,600,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.

Arrows A10

1987 Arrows-Megatron A10

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 28, 2016

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Arrows, the long-running British Formula One Team, first competed in 1978. 1987 wasn’t a banner year, as they had more retirements than finishes. The 1987 A10 chassis was actually designed by Ross Brawn, he of considerable recent F1 fame. The A10 was deemed “good enough” that, for 1988, it was slightly revised and renamed to the A10B.

For 1987, Arrows’ former engine supplier and partner, BMW, packed up and left. Arrows managed to get some sponsorship money from USF&G and BMW finally agreed to supply engines, so long as they were branded as Megatron (which sounds like the name of a Transformer). That engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter straight-four that made over 1,000 horsepower in qualifying and 850 in race trim.

This was Derek Warwick’s car for 1987 and it’s best finish was 5th at the British Grand Prix that year. The current owner acquired the car in 2002 and it has been used at 1-2 historic events a year for the past 10 years. It was demonstrated at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and should bring between $130,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Polish Station Wagon

1987 FSO 125P Kombi

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 2, 2016

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

There are million dollar Porsches and Ferraris available at upcoming auctions but we’re featuring this car because it is interesting and you never see them. Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych (uh, I think I spelled that right), was a Polish auto manufacturer that existed between 1951 (when they were founded by the Polish government) and 2011. The last 20 years were spent as more of a factory as the FSO brand disappeared with the removal of the Iron Curtain.

In the mid-1950s, the Polish government got the license to build Fiats and did so under the Polski-Fiat brand name. The Polski-Fiat 125p was built from 1967 until 1983. Beginning in ’83, the brand name for that model became FSO and it lasted through 1991. Other FSO models were available as well. This car features a top-of-the-line 1.5-liter straight-four making 75 horsepower. It is in Kombi, or wagon, form. A sedan and pick-up were also offered.

While this may just seem like a used Soviet-era family station wagon, it is actually offered out of a museum and is in very good shape for its age. Cars wearing FSO badges are still out there, but most aren’t this nice. It’s not likely to bring much money but whoever gets it will have a little Cold War time capsule. Click here for more info and here for more from Brightwells.

Update: $1,700.

Maurer C87

1987 Maurer-BMW C87

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 24, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Group C racing was awesome. Loads of major automobile manufacturers built ridiculous prototype sports racing cars – some of the fastest race cars ever built. They had huge engines with big turbos and they all looked like wedges with wheels. And lost among the Sauber-Mercedes, Jaguars and Porsches were some privateers cars, like this Maurer.

Walter Maurer was an artist known in the car world as being part of BMW’s “Art Cars” projects as well as a part-time racing driver. The car was designed by an ex-Sauber engineer and the body was built by Dornier Aerospace. Maurer’s ties to BMW landed him a sweet 2.0-liter turbocharged BMW straight-four that could produce 1,350 horsepower in qualifying trim. Maurer designed the paint scheme himself.

Maurer drove the car in competition with co-drivers Helmut Gall and Edgar Dören lending a hand during endurance events. This car did not compete in the World Sportscar Championship, and instead raced in Supercup, a German series that also used Group C cars. It’s best result was 10th in 1988 and a 12th place finish in 1989. It has been used recently and would be great to take vintage racing. It should sell for between $1,000,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Spa lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Chrysler Shelbys

Chrysler Shelbys

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 27, 2015


 1989 Shelby CSX Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Shelby CSX was built between 1987 and 1989 and was based on the Dodge Shadow. Available as a two or four-door hatchback, they were all powered by a 2.2-liter turbocharged straight-four making 175 horsepower. It offered serious performance for only $13,495. This car is essentially brand new – it still has the plastic on the seats. Only 500 were built and this has to be the nicest one around. It is expected to bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $17,600.


1986 Shelby Omni GLHS Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This might be the most-famous car that Carroll Shelby’s name was put on during his collaboration with Chrysler in the 1980s. The Dodge Omni was a subcompact car that has essentially disappeared from America’s roads. There was the Dodge Omni GLH (“Goes Like Hell”) which was a Shelby special sold by Dodge. But then there was this, the GLHS (“Goes Like Hell S’more”). This car uses a turbocharged 2.2-liter straight-four making 175 horsepower. That’s a lot as the base Corvette from 1986 only made 230. Only 500 of these were built and this one could bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $15,400.


1983 Dodge Shelby Charger Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This was the first car that Shelby got his hands on at Chrysler. They went on sale in 1983 and lasted through the 1987 model year. The engine is a 2.2-liter turbocharged straight-four making 175 horsepower (the Shelby standard while at Chrysler). This model was much more common than some of the other Chrysler Shelbys, with 8,251 built in 1983 alone. Still, it should bring between $12,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $11,000.


1987 Shelby Lancer Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This was the third product of the Chrysler/Shelby collaboration. The 1987 Shelby Lancer was actually built by Shelby. The 1988 and 1989 cars were built by Dodge. Shelby only built 800 in 1987 – half came with an automatic and the other half had a 5-speed manual (this car included). All were powered by the ubiquitous 2.2-liter turbocharged straight-four making 175 horsepower. The Dodge-built cars are actually rarer than the Shelby-assembled ones, but this is more collectible. It could bring between $20,000-$30,000 as it is essentially brand new. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $16,500.


1989 Shelby Dakota

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This was the only rear-wheel-drive Chrysler product that Shelby put his name on. They were built in 1989 only and this one is fresh – only 23 miles on the odometer. Luckily, it had something other than the 2.2-liter turbo unit used on the other cars. This truck has a 5.2-liter V-8 making… the same 175 horsepower that the little turbo four makes. In all, 1,475 were built, 995 of those were this red you see here (the rest were white). They cost $15,813 when new and this one should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale lineup.

Update: Sold $24,200.

Buick GNX

1987 Buick GNX

Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 9-11, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

You’re looking at the coolest American car of the 1980s. Also, one of the most collectible. Isn’t it kind of strange that one of the most desirable American cars of the last 25-ish years is a Buick?

The second generation Regal entered production in 1978. It was Buick’s entry into NASCAR for the early 80s and its success on track allowed Buick to offer a Grand National version for road use. The 1986-1987 Grand National is a sought after car – as they look quite aggressive. Slotted above the Grand National, the GNX was a 1987-model-year-only bad ass machine.

A GNX started as a Grand National and then it was sent to McLaren Performance Technologies/ASC to be turned into a monster. The engine is a turbocharged 4.1-liter V-6 underrated by the factory at 245 horsepower. Performance is fantastic, with a 0-60 time of less than five seconds.

Only 547 GNXs were built and you could only get them in black. There are many low-mileage examples out there as apparently quite a number of people stashed them away after buying them. Few, if any, have fewer miles than this one as it has only 45 miles on the odometer. Low miles GNXs have been known to crack the $100,000 barrier. This one certainly ought to. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $97,500.

Koenig Evolution Testarossa

1987 Ferrari Testarossa Koenig Competition Evolution II

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 5, 2014

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Ferrari Testarossa sort of defines 1980s exotic sports cars (along with the box-ified Countach). But what happens when you need more than just a Testarossa? Well Koenig happens, that’s what.

We’ve featured another Koenig-tuned Ferrari in the past, but this one is decidedly cooler and more extreme. It started life as a Testarossa but within a year of its manufacture, it was in the hands of Koenig Specials in Munich. They applied their Competition Evolution package to it (and later, re-worked it to look more like a 512 M at the front). There’s a little F40 look to it at the back too, no?

The engine is the standard 4.9-liter Flat-12 but it has been tuned to make 800 horsepower. A lot has been revised here and more than you can see. Technical bits have been bettered so that this thing drives a little less wild than it looks. Koenig only modified 21 Testarossas with this (or a similar) package. It should sell for between $110,000-$165,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $160,860.

Nissan R87E

1987 Nissan R87E

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Nissan built some pretty awesome Group C racing prototypes in the late-80s and early-90s even if they didn’t have much on-track success. The R87E was their 1987 car and their third attempt at breaking into the Group C world. It used a chassis supplied by March Engineering of the U.K. and an in-house designed-and-built engine.

The powerplant is a 3.0-liter twin turbo V-8 making in excess of 750 horsepower. This was a step up from their previous car’s 700hp V-6. 1987 was a disastrous year for Nissan’s program, running only two events and failing to finish both. So for 1988, this car was upgraded to R88C specification and it ran at Le Mans again in 1988. Here is it’s 1988 competition history:

  • 1988 Fuji 500km – DNF (with Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Kenji Takahashi)
  • 1988 Suzuka 500km – 6th (with Hoshino and Takahashi)
  • 1988 Fuji 1000km (May) – 7th (with Win Percy, Hoshino and Takahashi)
  • 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans – 29th, DNF (with Aguri Suzuki, Takao Wada and Hoshino)
  • 1988 Fuji 500 miles – 5th (with Hoshino and Takahashi)
  • 1988 Suzuka 1000km – DNF (with Toshio Suzuki, Hoshino and Takahashi)
  • 1988 Fuji 1000km (October) – 9th (with Allan Grice, Hoshino and Takahashi)

This car was sold and restored to R87E specification with 1988 Calsonic livery and a 3.3-liter development version of the 3.0-liter Nissan V-8 – making 780 horsepower. Bonhams says the engine has been run for less than an hour since rebuild. Only three of these were built and this one should bring between $710,000-$810,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Burlington Arrow

1987 Burlington Arrow

Offered by Bonhams | Harrogate, U.K. | November 13, 2013

1987 Burlington Arrow

The Burlington Motor Company was founded in 1980 by Haydn Davis and they started by building a replica of the Morgan. Over the years they’ve offered almost exclusively kit cars. It’s weird that I’d feature a kit car on this site, but these are more interesting than any Cobra replica (because 1. so many Cobra replicas exist and 2. Burlington cars have names that don’t include “replica”).

The Arrow was new for the early-80s and it is patterned after the MG TC, though there are significant differences. Many of the chassis came from Triumphs, this particular car uses a Triumph Herald donor chassis and a 1.6-liter straight-four engine from a Ford Cortina. This car was not offered as a traditional kit, but rather as paper plans only. The purchaser had to create or buy everything separately.

About 6,000 sets of plans were sold and about 500 Arrows were constructed to completion. This one took two years (from 1985-1987) and because the cars use readily available parts, fixes are cheap and easy. This would be a fun little car for a tiny little price: it is expected to sell for between $6,500-$9,700. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale.

Update: Not sold.