Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks


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Dec 22, 2023

Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks

The most interesting cars on auction this week - I recently broke my ankle,

The most interesting cars on auction this week


I recently broke my ankle, which means I can't drive my WRX since the six-speed manual requires my left foot. Thankfully, my wife drives an urban assault vehicle with an automatic, so I can get to the office to bring you the best in AutoHunter content. Thanks to my current situation, it only makes sense that my Friday AutoHunter picks — appealing vehicles covering several decades — feature an automatic transmission.

Which one would you pick?

1965 Ford ThunderbirdWhen it comes to 1964-66 T-birds, I overwhelmingly prefer the 1966 thanks to its full-width taillights and refined front styling. The 390 was nothing special (neither was the 428), but you don't need horsepower when watching that gee-whiz retractable top conversion that was part of the Thunderbird mystique since 1958.

However, I’d forego my love for the ’66 for something like this 1965 Thunderbird Special Landau, a unique spring model that is somewhat considered an unofficial 10th anniversary model. They were painted in an exclusive Emberglo metallic with Parchment vinyl roof and matching interior plus special wheel covers. It just goes to show the power of color and complements.

1994 Mazda RX-7 TouringIn the 1990s, when Nissan offered the 300ZX, Toyota had a new Supra and Mazda came out with a more mature RX-7, the Mazda was the one that captured my fancy. A bit more feminine in style, the RX-7 was more pure sports car than the others (or so my memory suggests). The fact that it was a tight fit for someone of my stature somewhat bears this out. These days, it seems the Supra garners all the attention.

This 1994 RX-7 has the Touring package (one of three configurations available), which included a glass moonroof, fog lights, leather seats, rear window wiper and fancy Bose stereo system with CD player. In the hands of the current owner for 26 years, this RX-7 features a rebuilt twin-rotor Wankel that now puts out 326 horsepower — compare that to the stock 252 horses.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9From the days when most cars were not cool, this Mercedes was très cool. It is said that it was the fastest European sedan … pardon, saloon at the time, which is completely believable considering the landscape. Power came from a 6,834cc V8 putting out approximately 249 horsepower for U.S.-spec cars, with Euro-market versions offering a much more robust 286 horses thanks to higher compression.

Luckily, this 1979 example is from the old continent, which means you can almost touch 150 mph when wearing your lead-filled shoes. For you collectors, the Anthracite Grey metallic is purported to be original. Did you know they had a hydropneumatic suspension and Bosch ABS too? This car is special beyond the era in which it appeared, it seems.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT DemonI’ve only driven two second-generation Challengers: the original SRT-8 and the all-new Shakedown. The first of the "Last Call" Mopars, the Shakedown has a big Shaker hood scoop with a 485-horsepower 392 underneath it. Both were fun as hell, but I can't help but think they are somewhat large (and wide!) despite the pony car façade.

Nonetheless, size wouldn't prevent me from leaning towards this 11,940-mile SRT Demon. Finished in Yellow Jacket, this supercharged Mopar offers 808 horsepower in the same car that I thought 485 was enough. Any true hot-rodder knows that enough horsepower is never enough, so this tug-of-war between reason and indulgence can be reconciled with this vehicle, yes?

Sorry about that ankle, hope you heal quickly and well. It's getting to be car show season, you’re gonna need to get around!

Thank you!

I still haven't added a Mopar to my Collection, but that Demon with 808 Horses would be MY CHOICE.

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I recently broke 1965 Ford Thunderbird 1994 Mazda RX-7 Touring 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon