It’s the end of the week, which means it’s time to highlight some of the more interesting vehicles being auctioned on AutoHunter. Interesting to whom? That’s a subjective position playing the role of objective, but I’d like to think you, dear reader, are objective enough to tolerate my subjectivity. Shall we proceed?
1940 Buick Super
Back when General Motors truly was a decentralized company, Buick operated as a purveyor of solid saloons capable of cruising at high speeds—especially the Century. In the case of the featured vehicle, it is a Super Touring Sedan, which means it shared its 121-inch wheelbase and 107-horsepower Dynoflash straight-eight with the cheaper Special but was of a higher trim level. Interestingly, when the Century returned in 1954 after a 12-year respite, it was slotted below the Super.
However, what’s most interesting about the 1940 Buick is that Chevrolet borrowed Buick style for 1941. Check out the two next to each other and you’ll notice the similarities, though the biggest difference between the two would be wheelbase and what’s under the hood because these cars were from an era when class was determined by the number of cylinders.
1970 Torino GT
Everyone wants a Torino Cobra but, to me, the Torino GT is the way to go. I prefer the taillights on the GT, plus hidden headlights and the Laser stripes were options. Ford built a ton of GT SportsRoofs (56,819), but that doesn’t mean they all had the headlight lids and stripes. In fact, many were built with low-performance engines, bench seat and column-shift automatic.
Few were built with the 429 Cobra Jet. Available with a Shaker hood scoop (known as the J-code) or without (C-code), both were rated at 370 horsepower. Add the Drag Pack and you’d get several heavy-duty components, an external oil cooler, and 3.91 or 4.30 gears, though Ford only upped the hp to 370 on paper. This one has the C-code CJ but otherwise is rather plain with no stripes, poverty caps, and optional buckets without console. Rear axle was 3.00 without Traction-Lok, which is a bit unusual compared to other brands that generally didn’t dip below 3.23s with their top engines.
1991 GMC Jimmy
There was a time when these were the prototypical SUV before SUVs became a thing. Then, around this time, the Ford Explorer was introduced and became the de facto desired vehicle for suburban parents, no doubt to its more car-like attributes. Vehicles like this GMC Jimmy and the more popular Chevrolet Blazer did not necessarily compete with station wagons and minivans that traditionally held a certain spot in the American marketplace, but they eventually fell out of favor as consumers graduated to crossovers or demanded more utility from their trucks (i.e., four doors).
Where I’m from, 30+ year-old trucks already have experienced rust to some extent, but this 1991 GMC Jimmy is quite nice. The biggest surprise is not that the fuel-injected 350 only put out 210 horsepower (let’s have a moment of silence, please …) but that there is a 4-speed manual behind it. Imagine finding a similar vehicle being sold today! Alas, the market has changed and continues to change, and the current version of this vehicle — the GMC Yukon comes closest — has a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower and 10-speed automatic. Certainly it’s a better vehicle, but it won’t be as fun.