QOTD: High School Superstar?

by admin April 18, 2020 at 2:37 am

1986 Honda Civic in Colorado wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

If you’re someone who enjoys thinking back to your high school days, you were either exceedingly popular at the time (jerk!) OR achieved absolutely nothing in later life. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Four touchdowns in a single game at Polk High — that kind of thing.

Others only think back out of distaste for the present and nostalgia for that long-ago era; the simplicity of life, the fashions, the relaxed social and regulatory norms… and the cars populating the student lot. It’s more than a little jarring to see near-mundane rides that could have been had for a few grand in my senior year now fetching eye-popping prices on Bring a Trailer.

Thinking back, should you have invested in an airtight car bubble upon graduation?

Student-owned cars are known for two things: their low purchase price, and the fact they’ll be driven into the ground within three years at the absolute latest. While some rides stood out, coveted by other students, most were wheezy, rusting shitheaps with a resale value approaching zero.

Let’s think back. A base Tercel five-door, Pontiac 6000, base Ford Tempo, mid-90s base Mazda Protege (automatic), Luminas aplenty… yeah, nothing there to nudge anyone’s resting heart rate.

There’s no chance my 18-years-dead Corsica would fetch overseas vacation money if it hit the auction block, even if its condition was showroom mint. And who would be surprised? Older vehicles sometimes fetch exactly what they’re worth (or less). Like that ’85 Cutlass Supreme Brougham that went for $2,900 earlier this week.

A lucky — and likely very satisfied — buyer.

Then there’s Japanese compacts from the late ’80s and ’90s. The twenty- and thirtysomething flat-brimmed Radwood crowd are nuts about fourth-to-sixth-generation Honda Civics. Add Si badging and its auction magic. Bids soar higher than Jim Morrison on a Parisian bender. You could pay for a year of leafy college grounds with the proceeds.

Every generation seems to have its favorites.

So, B&B, was your high school ride questionably reliable transportation and nothing else, or what that particular make, model, trim, and vintage a classic in waiting? Could it break five figures at the auction in good, original shape?

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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