Andy’s AutoHunter Picks: The GT Car Edition

Last week I focused my AutoHunter Picks on Corvettes and this week I am doing a bit of the same with all my picks being GT cars. To me the GT car is one of the most versatile types of spring cars, combining the characteristics of the sports car in a more luxury package, one which makes miles disappear quickly on a long trip and provide the driver with all the comforts of a luxury car. All of these cars fit that category, and the right one for you depends on what you like in styling and which brand most talks to you.

The first car on my list may push the idea of a GT car a bit, but by 1976 these cars were more GT than sports car. This 1976 Corvette Coupe has covered only 52,135 original miles and is powered by a numbers-matching L82 350cid V8 backed by a three-speed automatic transmission, another reason for me putting it in the GT category. Features include removable roof panels, a luggage rack, a tilt and telescoping steering column, power steering, an AM/FM stereo, power windows, air conditioning, and power brakes. It is finished in silver over a red leather interior. A 1970s Corvette like this one is in many ways the “easy button” as far as servicing and maintenance is concerned and are a fun and quick car to drive, even with the automatic transmission.

The fact that this car has the L82 makes all the difference to me as the L82 equipped Corvettes were one of the quickest cars you could buy in the mid 1970s.

This Vette which also has original paint would be a nice car for taking a 300-mile weekend road trip in both comfort and style.

My second pick is the 1991 BMW 850i. The seller states that this is a 850i with 40k original miles. These 8 series BMW cars, especially the V12 powered 850 model, completely define the 1990s idea of what a GT car is. The seller describes the car as painted in Laguna Green (paint code 266) with a body that is free of rust, dents, and dings.

The interior is in beige leather with power-adjustable bucket seats up front, a two-seat bench in the rear, and matching leather for the door panels. The carpeting is in great shape as are the factory BMW floor mats. Features include power windows, power door locks, power steering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo with a trunk mounted CD changer.

Under the hood is the naturally aspirated M70B50 5.0-liter V12 with 296 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque when new. A 300-point inspection was recently carried out at a BMW service center. Output is sent to the back wheels via a console-shifted four-speed automatic transmission. This engine is one of the best BMW engines built and sounds as good as it goes. There is simply nothing like a V12.

if you are looking for a nice 1990s era GT it really does not get any better than a 850i.

My third pick is another American car, a 2005 Cadillac XLR with 32,480 miles since new and powered by a Northstar 4.6-liter DOHC V8 mated to a Hydra-Matic five-speed automatic transmission. It comes equipped with xenon headlamps, 18-inch chrome wheels, a DVD-based navigation system, and Magnetic Ride Control. Finished in Black Raven and equipped with a matching power-retractable hardtop over an Ebony leather interior, this XLR is now offered by the selling dealer with an owner’s manual, a clean CARFAX report, and a clear title.

These XLR cars are really neat and possibly the coolest Cadillac convertible built in the last 40 years. I think of them as the American version of a Mercedes SL500 with great styling and Corvette underpinnings, meaning that they handle as good as they look. I doubt Cadillac will ever again build a car like the XLR and I think nice examples are a great future collector car.

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