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HomeAutoHunterDiego’s AutoHunter Picks

Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

Postwar picks bound to satisfy every purse and purpose

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Some people like meat and potatoes, while others enjoy variety. I am of the latter, an adventurous sort who’s happy to try anything and then decide whether I like something or not. That influences my modus operandi for selecting my AutoHunter Picks whenever possible.

The below Picks are from different eras and even different North American countries, but they all pique my interest in some way, and they’re bound to pique someone else’s interest – even those who prefer meat and potatoes. Enjoy!

1994 Pontiac SLP Firehawk
This is the car that upped the ante when the ante was being upped. The redesigned Firebird had 275 horsepower on tap in Formula and Trans Am configurations, but SLP Performance went one step further and kicked it up to 315 horsepower – all invoiced by General Motors. While that power output seems low today, it still was good enough to make folks think the 1960s were back. Plus, it looked (and still looks) great!

This 15,056 1994 Firebird Formula with the SLP Firehawk package is #44 of 500 built, of which 245 featured a four-speed automatic. It’s also one of 11 built in code 37 Medium Teal Blue and one of 96 built with the code 12B Graphite cloth interior. T-tops, optional three-inch performance exhausts, and 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels make this a stupendous find for those who have affinity for both the 1960s and Detroit’s performance rebirth.

1946 Monarch Tudor Sedan
The Canadian thing can be veeerry confusing, but it’s my understanding that Ford dealerships sold Fords and Mercury-based Monarchs, while Mercury dealerships sold Mercurys and Ford-based Meteors. It’s easy to forget that Canada was much more of a developing nation than the U.S. at that point time, so this system allowed dealerships in sparsely populated regions to cover their bases.

This 1946 Monarch is a spectacular way to get into a collectible that’s just a bit different than what you normally see yet not have to worry about sourcing parts as most items are identical to stateside Ford products of the era. It’s powered by a correct, rebuilt 239cid “Flathead” V8 with a three-speed on the column. With all the Canuck snowbirds out there, pulling up in this Monarch at the local cruise will make them wax nostalgic.

1973 Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark II
The 427-powered Mako Shark II was a concept car (code name XP-830) that debuted at the 1965 New York Auto Show and predicted what would become what we call the C3 Corvette, which debuted in the fall of 1967. In 1969, the Mako Shark II was repurposed as the Manta Ray, which was powered by an aluminum ZL-1 427 that was introduced that year. It still exists and is part of the GM Heritage Center.

This Mako Shark II replica is based on a 1973 SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Corvette race car chassis. Power comes from a big-block 454 that the seller claims to put out 390 horsepower. Other features include side pipes, Borgeson power steering, McLeod Racing hydraulic clutch, and Wilwood Hydroboost power disc braking system. Not for the introverted because people will stare when you pull up in this.

1960 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop
When I was a kid, if there was an old-car sighting to be had, it would not be unusual for it to be a Thunderbird. They seem to have been originally bought by well-heeled folks who drove gingerly, so the rate of attrition was low. And, of the “Squarebirds,” the ’60 was my favorite due to the grille bars and triplet taillights.

This restored, 58,826-mile 1960 Thunderbird features the optional 350-horse 430cid “MEL” V8, which was a big jump up from the standard 390. According to a Thunderbird club, only 3,900 were built with this Thunderbird 430 Special V8, so that extra power was and is not common. Bonus points for this one as it features the optional leather interior.

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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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