July 1, 2014
Dreadful Vehicles Selling For High Dollars
When we think of high-selling classic vehicles, what comes to mind? For me, there are the 1960s and 1970s models of the Ford Mustang, Chevy Corvette and Camaro, Dodge Charger and Challenger, and a few other classics.
However, the following vehicles you would think of as maybe the worst of the worst. Could be a 1990 Yugo, a 1985 Trabant Convertible, a 1979 AMC Pacer and one that I have actually owned, a 1979 Ford Pinto station wagon. Each one of these vehicles sold on eBay in the past for an outrageous price, according to Fox News.
Let’s start with the Yugo. It was sold from 1985 to 1992 in the United States and a total of 141,651 vehicles were purchased. The first three were imported, one red, one white and one blue. They were displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1984 at a selling price of $4,500. Almost immediately, problems arose with the emissions of one of the cars, and it was decided the Yugo needed reengineering.
It had an 1,100 cc, 55 hp engine with a top speed of 86 mph — the slowest car in America. The 1990 model switched to a 1,300 cc engine with an electric fuel injection system. There was a recall of the 126,000 Yugos that were sold in the US, and eventually Yugo America closed in 1992.
However, someone must have wanted one real bad, as in August of 2012, a 1990 red Yugo GV sold on eBay for $9,100.
How about the Trabant Convertible produced in Germany? The first models were produced with a 500 cc, 18hp two-cylinder engine in 1958 and slowly progressed to feature a 600 cc, 23 hp two-cylinder engine in 1964. From 1964 to 1989, the Trabant went basically unchanged, and from 1989 to the last models produced in 1991, it featured a 1,000 cc I4, four-stroke engine.
A total of 3,096,099 were produced, and one — if you want to say “lucky” — bidder, shelled out $18,900 for a 1985 Trabant Convertible on eBay in October, 2012.
Now we come to one of the ugliest cars ever built — a personal view — the AMC Pacer. The only high point I can muster up for this vehicle is that one was featured in the movie Wayne’s World. It was produced in the United States from 1975 to 1980. It had four engine options, including a 304 cu in V-8, and four transmission options. In the 1976 May issue of Car and Driver magazine, it was dubbed “The Flying FishBowl.” Not a particular name I would be proud of.
One collector stated that a completely restored Pacer would bring about $4,000 collector value. However, one person must really like that Flying fish Bowl, as they opened their wallet in March, 2014 to purchase a 1979 Pacer on eBbay for $12,433. Maybe the 38,083 original miles helped.
Now we end with a car that I actually owned for several years, a 1979 Ford Pinto Wagon. Mine was actually a 1980, but what’s the difference? The Pinto was produced in the United States from 1971 to 1980. It came in four models: a 2-door coupe, 2-door sedan, station wagon and 3-door hatchback. In the final year of production, there were four engine options, including a 2.8-L V6 and three transmission options. A total of 3,173,491 Pintos were produced. It was replaced by the Ford Escort in 1981.
Mine was quite fun to drive because, on the way home from the dealer, the engine blew and I received a brand new rebuilt one for free. When I picked the car up a few weeks later, the paper work that came with the rebuilt engine stated: It was a 2,400 cc I4 four cylinder, bored out cylinders, high-lift cam, and many other high performance parts. It was a racing engine inside a Pinto Wagon.
I ate up many V8s with it and believe me, it was a sleeper.
Back to the issue at hand. The Pinto was recognized as a “bomb,” literally. With the positioning of the gas tank, many Pintos exploded when involved in a rear-end collision. However, this didn’t stop a bidder on eBay to fork out $4,161 for one of these gems.
In conclusion, eBay is a great place to bid on products and hard-to-find merchandise. However, some of the high bids on items that are worth half as much or less gets me to thinking: these people bid just to win, regardless of the cost.
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