Other than being absolutely insufferable, the bad boyfriends and middle-management jerks of '80s movies had one thing in common: terrible taste in "hot" cars.
Not every musclebound car with a few decades on its tires is considered a classic. Just because it looks as if it won B-movie drag races in the '70s or sat in a reserved spot in a telecom company's suburban campus parking lot in the '80s doesn't mean there's huge demand for it 30 to 40 years later. An iconic look is only part of the classic-car equation: Demand and scarcity need to be there as well.
With Baby Boomers retiring into their dream rides of the '60s and '70s and Generation X reserving its love for either screen icons (think "Back To The Future" DeLoreans and "Smokey and the Bandit" Trans-Ams) or supercars (the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari F40 and Porsche 911 come to mind), there are some once-classic cars out there whose reputation has rusted throughout the years. As tastes shifted from American muscle to European excess to Japanese flexibility (like the Nissan Skylines and Toyota Supras of the "Fast and the Furious" films), a whole lot of cars got lost in the shuffle.
Chances are you know these cars all too well. They're the cars your pizza guy peeled away from your house in as you flipped on Family Ties. They're the cars your grandmother bought at a cut rate as the oil crisis forced everyone out of rolling cruise ships and into compacts. They're the cars your toy dolls drove to her shoddy dream house while everyone from "Magnum P.I." to the "Cannonball Run" contestants upgraded to continental dream machines.
They're the stuffy German luxury vehicles that Bimmer-loving brokers straight out of Wall Street scoffed at. Automakers thought they'd be legendary, but they're either forgotten generations of unforgettable vehicles or footnotes to a change in the auto industry's upper echelons.
They're cars that collectors walk right by and that the average carbuyer thinks were crushed long ago. As used car pricing and data site CarGurus.com points out, there are a ton of these cars on the used car market decades after their initial release, but few of them that anyone is paying top dollar for. With help from CarGurus, we've found five vintage cars that have been rendered worthless in their used-car afterlife. There are classics of the era, but then there are these big-name clunkers that serve as a reminder to drive and collect cars because you love them -- not because you assume they'll be worth more someday:
Editors' pick: Originally published July 14.
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