MEMORIAL DAY 2016: It’s (Still) Time For A Guzzler

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When we first found these guzzlers on Craigslist in December 2014, gas prices were falling to surprising lows. They’ve fallen further since, and now, they’re rising again.

Here’s what we wrote at that heady time when gas prices were plummeting on a weekly basis:

“Cheap gas! As of this December 27, 2014 writing, gas prices are continuing to fall; AAA currently pegs the national average at $2.30 per gallon, with the most common price being – wait for it – $1.99.

“Of course you know this means it’s time to shop for a guzzler.”

As you can see from the current chart, there was still further lower for those prices to go. Now, as we enter Memorial Day Weekend 2016, the price is back up to when these guzzlers were first advertised. So, we still wish we’d bought any or all of them.


So let’s revisit these comely consumptive cruisers.


The price for this search was set for $3,500. Commence the guzzling!

lincoln_continental_1973Mustard and brown; those earth tones were all the rage in 1973. Pretty sure half the refrigerators made that year were these colors. The Continental had a 460 cu. in., four-barrel V8 that had 212 horsepower the year before and was down to 208 this year, thanks to tightening emissions controls.

The first gas shortage was fast approaching when this Conti debuted in 1972, but buyers didn’t know that then.


This ’73 Toro looks surprisingly good with blackwall tires; they give this ornate car a more serious look. Those high-mounted round headlights give it a wide-open expression, and that massive front bumper looks like it could plow halfway through a house. Its 455-cu. in, four-barrel V8 was rated for 250 horsepower.


This Newport will need to be awoken from its long nap. It has the 400-cu. in., four-barrel V8 with 185 horses. It’s the last year of Chrysler’s submarine-like “fuselage” school of design, with a little greenhouse topping a long chunk of car.


This New Yorker is on the same platform as the Newport, and it’s a no-B-post hardtop, which was prone to rattles but sure looked great. Chrysler quoted 290 horsepower on its 383-cu. in., four-barrel V8 that year.


This alleged mid-sized Pontiac Grand Prix would be less egregious than the previous land yachts as it pulls 160 horsepower from its 350-cu. in, two-barrel V8.  This mid-sized platform was used as a template for GM‘s downsized full-sizers…


…like this boxy 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88, also with a 350 cu. in. V8. Olds claimed 160 horses, and it likely has a four-barrel carb. Of course we’d rather have the 403-cu. in. V8, and the faded brown paint on this one ain’t pretty, but it does look solid.


Off the same downsized GM platform is the longer Sedan deVille, which Cadillac stuffed with a 425-cu. in, four-barrel V8 with 180 horses. The big number here is the stump-pulling 320-lb. ft. of torque, which gave satisfying launches from a stop.

chevy_suburban_454There’s much love around here for this generation of GM truck, and this Suburban with the biggest V8 is probably the king guzzler among all these entries, both in consumption and usefulness. Suburbans were also great to drive; they felt more direct than three-quarters of the domestic cars of the 1970s. This is the guzzler to enjoy the heck out of over a six-month term and maybe flip for more.

Looking for a 12-cylinder car to burn some gas? Check out’s local search here.


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