Dealers are in the business of selling cars, not keeping them around. They gotta move the metal, and the longer a car sits on the books, the more it looks like it oughta just be discounted to the bone or farmed off to a rental fleet.
But every now and then, a car slips between the cracks for one reason or another and goes without a title well past its sell-by date. We’ve heard of Mopar wing cars going decades without a title, but this 1985 Pontiac Sunbird for sale on Hemmings.com may be the oldest J-body we’ve seen still in the original dealer’s possession.
Nor has it suffered from neglect the last 35 years – it still looks more or less unused. From the seller’s description:
While the Sunbird was a car aimed at the mainstream, the convertible version was not. It cost nearly double the price of the base Sunbird, and only 2,114 were made in 1985 (less than two percent of total production.) So this one was already rare when new, and that rarity has certainly grown with age. After all, when was the last time you saw one? But this particular example has done more than just survive; it has thrived. The original dealer held this car since new up until very recently. It was never titled, because he just kept it for occasional use and parades. In fact, it has been with the original dealer up until this summer, and so that means it lasted a decade longer that the actual Pontiac brand! It also means this was only given its first title a few months ago. So that makes for a terrific story, and also you may want to research if there are even any other Pontiacs out there with a first title this late in life. It’s this kind of history that has created a time capsule of a car. The Light Russet Metallic paint shows all signs of original, and it has a terrific shine. The deep luster loves to showcase the well-fitting panels and distinctly pointed urethane front end. Wire wheel covers and the trunk luggage rack love to show off the classic premium style. Plus, the condition of details, like the clean black rub strips, clear window glass, and complete badging just really give the full impression of a car that was treated to top-quality respect for decades.
So after 62 years the celebrated Impala badge will no longer grace the highway, this is another sad example of the change in the mode of transport away from the traditional sedan.
“Just as the Impala evolved over the years, the market has shifted dramatically and demand for sedans has declined and we adjusted to meet customer needs,” Steve Majoros, vice president of Chevrolet marketing, told The Detroit News.
The Impala first debuted in 1958 and ran until 1985 before being reintroduced briefly in the 1990’s then fully returning in 2000.
There is an excellent feature on the Impala over at the GM Heritage Center Website called “Chevrolet Impala – Something For Everyone” you can find the article here
Like the Chevrolet Corvair that preceded it by a couple of decades, the Pontiac Fiero became a pretty decent sports car… just before The General killed it off. The 1984-1987 Fieros had Chevy Citation front suspensions in the back, Chevy Chevette front suspensions in the front, weighed 200 pounds more than the Toyota MR2… but looked pretty sharp for cars intended for low-cost penny-pinching commuter duty. You won’t see many Fieros today, but I see the occasional example in junkyards, especially in California. Here’s an ’85 in a Silicon Valley self-service yard.
This is the rarest car that I’ve never heard of. It’s a 1985 Pontiac Tojan and they were made to basically give Ferrari the ol’ one-two right in the kisser. They are incredibly rare with reports of around 150 of them being made between 1985 and 1991. They are not a kit car, they were a factory-produced monster, made from an F-body Firebird by Knudsen Manufacturing in Omaha
CLASSIC ELEGANCE TAILORED TO YOUR TASTE.
If ever a car was built to tempt you, this is it.
First, Monte Carlo catches you with style. Strong, instantly recognized style that sets it above lesser cars, from its elegant formal roof line to its crisply sculpted rear deck. Monte Carlo’s classic elegance has made it one of America’s most distinguished personal cars.
You may well wonder at the price of this piece of rolling artwork 🙂
Purchased new in 1985 and registered to Frank Sinatra for some six years, it is said that this high specification Chrysler Le Baron Station Wagon with woody style coachwork was used by Frank for trips ‘incognito’. It is also thought to be the last car that Frank Sinatra drove before giving up driving in the 90’s. With Woody station wagons dating back to the 40’s, this style of car is said to have been one of Frank’s favorites.
Supplied with the vehicle are copies of the certificate of title with Sinatra’s signature, also stating Frank Sinatra’s name along with ‘c/o Nathan Golden’, Franks chauffeur with the address of 70855 Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Other documentation includes a copy of the warranty, again stating Franks name and address of 9601 Wilshire Boulevard