Garage #1

When people learn I review new cars, they usually ask what kind of car I own. Over the years I have acquired some cars that I could only dream about as a boy. All the cars below are currently owned by my wife and I.

1983 DeLorean DMC-12

I picked this up in March of 1999 and it currently has 65,200 miles on it. It has a 5-speed manual transmission and is powered by a 2.8 liter V6 engine (PRV) that is rear-mounted. Interesting features about the DeLorean include its stainless steel body and of course, the gull-wing doors.

Between 9,000 and 10,000 DeLoreans were made between 1981 and 1982, which spanned 3 model years ('81, '82 and '83). 1983 models were the rarest - less than 1,000 were built.


1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am

Trans Ams are known to be fast cars. But none are as fast and rare as the 1989 Turbo Trans Am. Wanting a special car to pace the 1989 Indianapolis 500 race as well as celebrating the model's 20th anniversary, Pontiac strayed away from the traditional recipe that stated a Trans Am must have a V8 engine. Instead they borrowed the turbocharged 3.8 liter V6 from the famous Buick Regal Grand National and GNX. With this engine placed in the body of a top-of-the-line Trans Am GTA, it combined the best of all worlds - aerodynamics, power and great handling.

Only 1,555 Turbo Trans Ams were built - all white with gold trim. Only two options were available - T-tops and leather interior.

Our Turbo Trans Am is #760 and has a mere 1,982 miles on it. We have had it since May of 2005.  It's FAST!


1988 Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary

In 1988, to celebrate 35 years of the Corvette, Chevrolet offered a special appearance package for the famous 2-seater sports car. Listed as option Z01, the 35th Anniversary Corvette featured a two-tone exterior of white with a black roof bow. Inside things got real interesting with white leather seats and steering wheel. Lastly, the car wore special emblems, and a plaque with it's unique number mounted on the center console.

This is number 1,941 (of only 2,050 35th Anniversary Corvettes made). We picked this car up in June of 2006 having traveled nearly 700 miles to get it. The car is powered by a stock 5.7 liter Tuned Port Injected V8 engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission.  It has 69,000 miles on it.


1986 Toyota Supra

Purchasing this 1986 Toyota Supra was totally unexpected. I spotted it for sale just a few miles from our home and with just over 116,000 miles on it, the Supra was in pretty good shape. As a kid, I always thought the Supra looked awesome with it's huge fender flares and great use of angles. After taking ownership, we shined her up, fixed everything that didn't work and put her back into its original condition. Everything from the power sunroof to the cassette player works. It now has over 122,000 miles.

Our Supra is totally stock, powered by a 2.8 liter inline-six cylinder engine (5MGE) that makes 160 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission sends power to the rear wheels.

1986 was the last year for the 2nd generation Supra (commonly known as the MKII) and they were only available for half of the year. The 3rd generation Supra came out as a 1986.5 model, making 1986 Supra MKIIs somewhat rare.


1986 Pontiac Fiero GT

In 1984, the Pontiac division of General Motors debuted the Fiero - the first and only mass-produced mid-engine two-seater sports car built by an American auto manufacturer. One of the new technologies used in the Fiero was the use of plastic body panels – making the Fiero resistant to dents and dings. A huge honor for the Fiero was being name the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 for 1984, beating out the all-new 1984 Corvette.

Initially Fieros were powered by a four-cylinder engine and were said to be more of a commuter car than a sports car. But the following year, a 2.8 liter V6 was made available, along with a GT model. The 1986 model year saw a fastback added to the lineup and a revised suspension was in the works for 1988. But as the Fiero got better each year, sales continued to decline. By 1988 when Pontiac finally got the Fiero right, the plug was pulled and the Fiero was dropped from the Pontiac lineup.

We purchased this 1986 Fiero GT in June of 2007. The car has basically been restored back to its original state and appears as if it just rolled off the showroom floor. It has right under 93,500 miles on it. With its 5-speed manual transmission and V6 engine right behind you, it is a ton of fun to drive.


1987 Toyota MR2

In the mid 80's, Pontiac wasn't the only one introducing a two-seater, mid-engine sports car. Toyota was busy making their own, and in 1984 they revealed their mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, 2-seater, or MR2.

Toyota went on to make the MR2 from 1984 through 2005 (in the U.S) and it spanned three generations:  the initial model with its angular lines from 1985 to 1989, the more rounded second generation from 1990 to 1999 and the convertible only third generation from 2000 to 2005.

Always favoring the first generation, I had my heart set on a 1988 or 1989 model. The reason for this is because in 1988 Toyota made a supercharger available on the MR2 - boosting power from the 1.6 liter four-cylinder from 112 hp up to 145 hp. And all Supercharged MR2s came with T-Tops - two features I really wanted in a MR2. Oh, and it had to be a 5-speed manual. No automatics!

I did find a few 1988 and 1989 Supercharged MR2s, but all had serious issues. From way too many miles (I never saw one with under 120,000 miles) to some with lots of rust (a known problem with these cars), I began to wonder if I would find one that would fit my tight criteria.

Then I spotted a 1987 MR2 a few hundred miles away in Oklahoma City. While it wasn't a supercharged model, it did have T-Tops and it was a 5-speed. Being white was also a plus for me. Pictures showed it had aftermarket wheels, which is usually a show-stopper for me, but I had to admit, it looked great. To top it off, the car only had 49,000 miles.

It got better. I spoke to the owner, a young gentleman, who seemed to be as picky about cars as I was. While he put on the 17" aftermarket wheels, he did have the original MR2 wheels, and they would go with the car. And wanting a better stereo, he installed a high-end unit with dual amps and dual subs - but everything was made so it could be put back to stock - and the stock stereo would go with the car. Last, all maintenance records and a bra would also be included.  After making an initial trip to see and drive the car, the following week we agreed on a price and we became owners of this very rare, low-mileage MR2.

Today, our MR2 barely has 50,000 miles.

1 comment:

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