About Cameron Tunstall

Twitter@CameronGENHO. Never owned an import. I'll try to operate anything that makes loud noises. I like them big and/or boxy.

1986 Mustang SVO | Barrett-Jackson 2018

Time will always fondly remember the brash 5.0l H.O. Mustang GT. It’s fraternal twin: The refined SVO happens to be a more interesting vehicle.

Not just for its unique front fascia, or it’s pedals designed specifically for heel-toe shifts. Not even for its 3.73:1 axle ratio, it’s KONI suspension or it’s Lincoln Mark VII-sourced, five-lug four-wheel disc brakes.

The most important aspect of this vehicle is the turbocharged 200hp 2.3L overhead cam I-4. Coincidentally, the horsepower on the SVO never exceeded the GT year-for-year even though it was the faster of the two cars.

Due to its better weight balance, an overall lighter curb weight and a higher revving engine, this car was more of a match around a track with the BMW M3, the Porsche 944 and the Mazda RX-7 than it was deserving of slugging it out at the stoplights with a lowly tuned port Camaro.

Despite that, the SVO still wouldn’t struggle to show any f-body in 1986 it’s ass as it sped away to the tune of turbo whoosh over its glorified pinto engine howling.

Although most casual Mustang fans have forgotten this car along with some of the other odd things Ford was throwing at the fox body, that didn’t stop this beautiful SVO from reaching $33,000 at auction.

1981 Camaro Z28 | Barrett-Jackson 2018

This is the very last of the second generation of Chevrolet’s Mustang-fighter: the Camaro. Compared to its Ford competition the Camaro looks less like an unfortunate product of an economic crisis and instead more like time capsule for an era of a simpler time for the automotive enthusiast.

This car is well kept with a paint scheme that hasn’t aged poorly by comparison to its peers. Equipped with a four-speed manual transmission this car finds itself only held back by the 165hp LG4 5.0l V8; an engine with potential given its ancestry, but hampered by it’s notoriously problematic computer-controlled carburetor and distributor.

The 1981 has some visual queues that hint at what’s just around the corner for GM with the lighter, sporty and arguably superior third generation platform available in the next model year. That being said, when it comes to pure automotive machismo this Camaro can’t be denied. It’s no surprise it was able to bring in a final price of $28,000.

1979 Dodge Lil Red Express | Barrett-Jackson 2018

Available in 1978 and 1979 this truck has a reputation for being one of the fastest vehicles produced during those years. Although I’d like to be able correctly credit the reason why Dodge was able to squeeze a massive 225hp net rating out of the 360 under the hood, there’s a ton of conflicting reasons why.

Some say it was due to a loophole that allowed a lack of emissions equipment, specifically the catalytic converters. However another source claims the 1979 model has catalytic converters equipped on it, as well as a pointless 85mph speedometer.

What I can say is that Mopar was not able to match this number again until 1993 with the 230hp 5.9l Magnum V8. This truck has also fallen by the wayside along with the Warlock, Midnight Express and other Dodge trucks from this era that paved the way for trucks like the Dodge SRT-10, Ford Lightning, Silverado SS and many others.

This handsome piece of late 70’s lore sold for $20,000 in auction.

1988 Cadillac Eldorado | Barrett-Jackson 2018

This personal luxury coupe was an interesting choice for the discerning Cadillac connoisseur in 1988.

Equipped with the 155hp 4.5l V8 instead of the 165hp LN3 3.8l V6 available in it’s platform mates, the Oldsmobile Tornado and Buick Riviera. Cadillac’s penchant for “high tech” proprietary power plants in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s instead of the venerable 3800 V6 would continue to haunt them until they stopped designing their own engines altogether.

Notable for also being shortest Eldorado at 191.2″ in length which would make it 0.5″ shorter than a current 2017 Ford Fusion.

This particular car was purchased by the local bank in Clovis, NM and managed to accumulate 58,000 miles. This car sold at auction for $4700.

Barrett-Jackson 2017: 1979 Ford F-100

This one goes to eleven. Black paint, supercharged small block Ford with over 600hp, 3.70:1 end and a TKO 5-speed. Chrome everywhere and classic f-series looks. It has an image that says, “Clear a path.” 

I was drawn immediately to this truck upon seeing it, and I must have not been the only one as it went for $16,500 on the Scottdale auction block. 

If you’d like to see the lot listing for this truck, please click here. 

Barrett-Jackson 2017: 1986 Grand Prix 2+2


One of the more interesting vehicles found at Barrett-Jackson this year was this Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2. Among the more high-profile G-bodies like the Monte Carlo, El Camino, Cutlass and Buick T-type, the Pontiac tends to become more of a forgotten offering. Couple that with this aerodynamic-enhancing body conversion by Auto-Fab for homologation purposes and you find yourself with one interesting piece of history.

Being one of only 1,225 Grand Prix models converted, it’s provenance is evident in it’s smooth Firebird/Camaro-esque rear windshield, revised front fascia and small fiberglass trunk lid. That’s correct: Despite it’s appearance, that window is static, not hatch.

And that lack of useful storage space is only one of the many issues that kept this production variant out of the General Motors limelight. The¬†lackluster performance from the 150hp 5.0L carbureted v8 available only through the 2004r auto and a 3.08:1 rear end ratio didn’t help either. If you remember correctly, even the lowly Monte Carlo SS had an alternative 180hp variant during it’s run, not to mention the offerings from Buick and Oldsmobile.

Despite it’s shortcomings, aesthetically it’s a stud in the confines of it’s era. Which, along with it’s rareness, is probably why this well-kept, low-mileage example went for an impressive $11,000 at¬†auction.

 


Check out the lot listing for this vehicle over at Barrett-Jackson.com

Bullshitters hate him! Learn these simple secrets to your favorite import car show.

We don’t often cover import cars. This year, we had the honor to see Hot Import Nights here in Scottsdale, AZ. I was genuinely excited for a few reasons. Not least of which was it’s venue, Westworld, where we have the absolutely massive Barrett-Jackson auction every year. I assumed this was supposed to be a big show for the import scene.

It’s too bad that it didn’t work out that way.

image

The day of the show  I receive an email from one of the shows corporate staff. Unlike any other car show or event I’ve ever been to, it has a list of demands that need to be completed and submitted within a week or else I would not be eligible for media coverage next year.

I understand how a traditional shot list works to benefit the promoters, but I’ve never been held to one at an event like this. Not to mention how absurd their requests were.

The list includes making sure that we’re really putting a focus on the vendors and models (not models as in the cars, but the barely dressed attention mongers standing in front of the cars) and to be sure to portray an overall positive experience.

As you may be able to tell in the above picture, there’s really not many cars there. In fact, there were probably less imports inside this building than at the pavilions off Indian bend and the 101 just miles from the show. That was my major gripe of the evening:

There were hardly any imports.

Look at these pictures of these amazing “import” cars found at Hot Import Nights:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Are you kidding me? I came here to see the imports I think are cool like the z31, z32, 3000gt, Starion, 1g DSMs, and anything with a turbocharged Toyota inline 6. Not Scions with fast and furious wraps and any other car that is all mouth and trousers.

When I imagined this website almost half a decade ago it was to represent the automotive counter culture. At one point in time, I’m sure the import scene was the counter culture to the rest of the performance auto world. If this show is truly representative of today’s import scene then I must say good riddance. You’re dead on your feet.