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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

Leftovers from Thanksgiving and the car lot


By the time you read this, you’ll likely be dealing with Thanksgiving leftovers. You may be stuffed, but certainly you could use some AutoHunter picks to whet your appetite, no?

A German, a Yank or two, and a Brit via Germany have made the list this week, a grab bag of different types of transportation to suit your many driving personalities. Which one would you pick to go brave the Black Friday crowd?

1979 Porsche 928
Porsche purists used to cringe because the engine was located in the wrong place, but the 928 was a fine-looking GT that was comfortable as hell as long as you didn’t sit in the rear seats. A strong V8 was another feature out of sync with the 911, but lets not forget that Porsche also produced the 914, another car that challenged the sensibilities of Porsche fans.

While this 1979 928 is not the later variety like the S4, it still features 99 percent the same goodness. This is the second year for this model, one of only 5,437 built, of which 2,275 were for North America. The 4.5-liter V8 is backed by a five-speed manual transmission, which is much rarer than the automatic (at least on our shores). A black and tan color combo certainly doesn’t hurt.

1969 Pontiac Firebird Sprint
The Sprint was the European-influenced version of the 1967-69 Firebird due to its OHC-6 and four-barrel carburetor. In 1967, it was a 230cid inline-six, but in 1968 it became a 250 and, by 1969, it offered 230 horsepower — quite impressive for a six at the time. Combine it with a manual transmission and you’ve got a little road racer that can deal with the daily grind.

This 1969 Firebird Sprint was originally painted Matador Red but now presents itself in eye-catching Carousel Red. Glance at the PHS documentation and you’ll notice it was built with the standard three-speed manual, Deluxe wheelcovers, optional gears, AM radio, and front floor mats. Only 1,712 Sprint hardtops were built in 1969, making this a rare collectible that won’t make you miss that Firebird 400.

1964 Chevrolet Impala SS
Here we have a Chevy from the era when Chevrolet was at its peak (and, let’s be honest, the peak was FOR YEARS), and it’s powered by the really fine 409. In 1964, there were three versions of the W-block: 340, 400, and 425 horsepower. Drop it in a Super Sport and you have a buckets-and-console cruiser that was in the process of handing off the mantle to the GTO.

What’s cool about this four-speed 1964 Impala SS is that it features the not-oft-seen mid-level L31 409. Would you believe that this 400-horse four-barrel engine was rarer than the 425-horse L80? Only 1,170 were built among all models and body styles. Maybe it doesn’t have the glitz of dual-quads under the hood, but it shares the same state of tune, so it should be a stormer.

2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since BMW relaunched the Rolls-Royce brand with the Phantom VII. Looking like a cross between “The Car” (from the movie) and a 1960s Phantom, the new Rolls found verve in a way that had not existed in decades. Today, Rolls-Royce continues to present a similar imposing look, with engines that produce power that’s a lot more than “adequate.”

This 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost is a first-year model for the more diminutive of Rolls-Royces. Power comes from a twin-turbo 6.6-liter V12 with 562 horsepower, which I suspect is “more than adequate.” White-on-white is a classy combo, and those suicide doors make me want to reaffirm a zest for life. With 61,201 pampered miles, this Rolls still has plenty of verve left.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


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