Home » Second-Chance Showdown: 1985 Chevy Corvette vs 1986 VW Quantum vs 1970 Porsche 914

Second-Chance Showdown: 1985 Chevy Corvette vs 1986 VW Quantum vs 1970 Porsche 914

Sbsd 7 7 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Good morning, and happy Friday! Today, we’re not only throwing out the rulebook, but actually lighting it on fire, writing a new one, and then flagrantly disregarding that one too. How dare I? I’ll explain in a minute. First, let’s see how yesterday’s bizarre battle went:

Screen Shot 2023 07 06 At 5.19.41 Pm

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Lotus in a landslide! I guess I should have expected that; I mean, it’s a Lotus. Come on. I did consider only doing the three Porsches yesterday, but then I saw that Europa and I just had to include it.

However, you won’t be seeing it again. My position as a minor nobleman* in the Autopian Empire affords me certain rights and privileges that I have not yet exercised. One of those is the ability to set aside the results of any Shitbox Showdown voting and declare a winner based on my own whims. Since twice this week you all disagreed with me, I thought it was time to exercise that right, and just to play devil’s advocate, I’ve set aside yesterday’s results and chosen the best of the Porsches to represent our third, even though I myself prefer the Lotus. And so, I hereby decree the first-ever Second Chance Showdown. Let’s recap.

(*Our peer ranking isn’t well-defined, and Jason refuses to explain exactly how it all works, but as far as I can tell, I’m somewhere between a LeBaron and an Iron Duke.) [Editor’s Note: You need to take that up with the Ford Monarch – JT]

ADVERTISEMENT

1985 Chevrolet Corvette – $4,500

00t0t Ksqtsyvuujv 0ci0t2 1200x900

Pros: Cheap fun, lots of potential, better condition than you usually find for this price

Cons: Gaudy, tacky, automatic

Talk about a car with a stigma – C4 Corvettes bring to mind owners of a certain type, and that type isn’t the most flattering. But why should that stop the rest of us from enjoying a V8-powered sports coupe? Sure, this isn’t a “fast” Corvette, but it’s nowhere near as slow as the late C3s during the depths of the malaise years. And the fact that nobody loves them is actually an advantage; you can modify it to your heart’s content and not offend anyone by “messing up” a classic.

00w0w C61istxuaab 0ci0t2 1200x900

ADVERTISEMENT

Even better, this car is in drive-off condition mechanically. It needs a little electrical tinkering, but that’s true of almost any decades-old car. If you’re not willing to putter around fixing stuff on the weekends, go get yourself a nice Corolla or something. As for the body kit, I say lean into it – drive around blasting Dokken or something, air-drumming on the steering wheel, and just make people deal with it.

1986 Volkswagen Quantum wagon – $3,000

00w0w Clzhn7tmozw 0ci0t2 1200x900

Pros: Clean as a whistle, mechanically simple, practical bodystyle

Cons: Parts getting hard to find, sluggish with automatic, a bit plain-looking

Yes, I know – this car would be better with a manual, and better still if it were the all-wheel-drive Syncro model. I can’t hep that. Instead of looking at this car for what it isn’t, let’s consider what it is: a way to out-cool all the Volvo 240 drivers. Most of those are automatics too anyway, and they don’t have a five-cylinder Audi engine with rally pedigree. And Volkswagens of the mid-1980s were nothing like Volkswagens of the mid-2000s; this car is much simpler, much better-built, and much more reliable than that VR6 Jetta that your cousin bought last year.

ADVERTISEMENT

00i0i 2rpsdz4qry 0ci0t2 1200x900

Where you’ll have problems is finding parts when something does go wrong. This is a nearly-forgotten car, abandoned by VW, with no owner network to speak of, and certainly nothing like the cult that exists around old Volvos. When something breaks – and even though this is a reliable car, something will break eventually – you’ll be on your own. Mechanical parts aren’t too bad, but trim? Interior parts? Anything you might need to repair it from a minor fender-bender? Forget it.

1970 Porsche 914 – $7,000

00m0m Iemukvpslrk 0ci0t2 1200x900 1

Pros: Very clean for its age, best color for a sports car, appreciating in value

Cons: Hasn’t run in years, lowest spec, needs interior work

ADVERTISEMENT

Lots of love for the little 914 in the comments, even though the Lotus won yesterday. These weird flat little sports cars spent many years being scorned by the Porsche community and cheerfully abused and neglected by everyone else. It’s nice to see them getting their due. They are tremendous fun to drive, if not particularly fast, and the roof comes off for those nice sunny days. Even better, it has pop-up headlights, and pinch-proof ones at that!

00r0r Jiqh0vxj4zo 0ci0t2 1200x900

This car really is in the best condition out of those three, and it’s pre-smog and pre-big-bumpers, so it’s the most pure of the breed as well. Sadly, when it comes to 914s, pure means slow, and that’s after you get its 1.7 liter flat-four running in the first place. But it’s a Volkswagen flat-four, an engine with just one or two aftermarket parts suppliers. More power is just an internet search away.

So then, there are your choices for today, three cars you unceremoniously snubbed earlier this week. I’m putting up a poll so you can vote on your favorite, but I want to give you an assignment for the comment section: Tell us exactly what you would do with your choice. Be specific – are there mods you want to do? A race series you want to enter? A particular road you want to drive it on? Let’s discuss.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
57 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Dude
The Dude
11 months ago

I had a 76 914. Still my favorite car I ever owned, wish I still did. Life got in the way 25 years ago.

Dom D
Dom D
11 months ago

That Vette wasn’t $4500 on Seattle CL a few weeks ago… Think it was $6500? You get a deal on it or tryin’ to sell that turd for more?

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
11 months ago

None?

05LGT
05LGT
11 months ago

I’d rather ride a moped.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
11 months ago

GO PARSH GO! I’d have picked the 2.0L because BIG TYPE 4 HELL YEAH BUDDY, but okay, fine, yellow is cool, too. I’d hoon it.

I still contend that the parsh was robbed yesterday. THE VOTE WAS SPLIT! Anyone with TASTE picked the three parsh anyway. You know what’s better than two parsh at the same time? Y’know, my answer to “so, what would you do if you won the lottery?” THREE PARSH AT THE SAME TIME.

Masterbuilder
Masterbuilder
11 months ago

Come on, Mark. You know that the Lotus would have slain all comers.

So you punted. Fine. I personally didn’t vote, but if the flatbed pulls up in front of my house and you jump out and [royally] proclaim that “one of those will be in your driveway”, it would be the ‘Vette.

Parts plentiful and easy to modify (big block + manual swap) plus, as you pointed out, nobody will care what you do to it.

Pull all the Greenwood pieces off of it along with those wheels and paint it a crazed, non-stock color. Then cruise and crank the Dokken.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago

My vote is Lotus did not vote for any of the above. Take that CVCC

Myk El
Myk El
11 months ago

Once again, looking for an “aw, HELL NAW!” choice. (Didn’t vote for any of the above the first time, won’t this time either).

57
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x