Milwaukee, Wis. — July 10, 2019 — The end of the original Muscle Car era, which left with a whimper at the end of the 1974 model year, and the Malaise Era that followed with its wheezy, wretched machines gave little hope for performance car enthusiasts. But then the 1980s dawned, and almost simultaneously manufacturers from around the world remembered that performance sells. Ford brought back “The Boss” with the 5.0L Mustangs that re-ignited the horsepower wars in Detroit, and pint-sized Pocket Rockets emerged from Japan to spark a whole new generation of not only performance cars but also performance car enthusiasts. Carroll Shelby even went to Chrysler to build over-achieving front wheel drive hot rods that would “go like hell.” So no matter what flavor of car a buyer may have desired there was once again excitement in the showrooms. By the 1990s it was all in full swing, with horsepower numbers escalating as fast as the width of Goodyear Gatorbacks many of these special cars were shod with. Make no mistake it all led to the extreme horsepower and performance available to new car buyers today in 2019, and all the more reason to celebrate the cars of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
One such example example is this 1992 Lancia Integrale HF EVO1 Delta that Ken and Nancy Arlen of Evanston, Illinois, will bring and show at the 2019 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance.
Winning six world championships in six years is quite a feat. This accomplishment was done from 1987 to 1992 in the WRC World Championship by Lancia. The car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and its 1995 cubic centimeter turbocharged 4-cylinder 16-valve engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox has a top speed of 220 kilometers per hour. More importantly the Integrale inspired countless other WRC Homologation specials from manufacturers around the world.
Next is a dynamic “his and hers” duo of two entirely different approaches to performance from the Class of 1985 being exhibited by Cana and Colin Comer of River Hills, Wisconsin.
The first is Colin’s 1985 Saleen Mustang Hatchback. Steve Saleen was a racecar driver before becoming a manufacturer of Ford-based performance cars, just like Carroll Shelby in the ‘60s. Saleen Autosport was formed at Steve Saleen’s dinner table in 1983, with concept drawings for his logo and Mustang-based car sketched on napkins. Saleen then went on to start hand building the very first of the now-legendary Saleen Mustangs from his tiny garage in Petaluma, California in 1984.
This 1985 Saleen Mustang was the 9th car Saleen built, although serialized as #16 to give the impression of a much more “robust” production run, as many small manufacturers have done throughout time. #16 features many unique early features only found on the first handful of cars such as a 3-piece fiberglass front air dam and huge rear spoiler that was later changed to a much more subdued design for the production cars. It is this unique rear spoiler that has earned these early Saleen Mustangs the moniker of being “Big Wing” cars.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Cana Comer’s 1985 Toyota MR2, the inaugural year for these fantastic pocket rockets. Toyota originally aimed to create an economical and fun to drive mid-engined “runabout” that maximized passenger and cargo space. But what emerged was a true sportscar. With a DOHC 1.6L engine featuring a 7,400 RPM redline, a suspension that was designed along with the help of Lotus and being track tested by Dan Gurney there was no question that Toyota’s original intention was far in the rearview by the time the MR2 hit the streets. The MR2 name comes from its Midship engine, Rear-wheel drive, and 2-seater configuration. Cana’s pristine MR2 shows the purity of the original design, sans spoilers, T-Tops, and other additions that soon appeared as the model matured.
But Toyota wasn’t all about small-displacement, naturally aspirated runabouts. As proof there is a Supra coming to town and it isn’t the re-badged BMW that Toyota is building for 2020. Rather it is one of the legendary fourth-generation Twin Turbo Toyota Supra Coupes with a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower courtesy of those two hair dryers. Owned by Marty D’Amour of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin this immaculate example is a 1993-½ model from the first year the fourth-generation cars were built. The only deviations from stock are the period correct Toyota Racing Development magnesium wheels and Eibach lowering springs.
These rad ‘80s and ‘90s cars and many more will be featured at the 2019 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance on Aug. 4 at Veterans park along the Milwaukee Lakefront.
And don’t forget – the night before the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, car enthusiasts will meet to enjoy their camaraderie at the Style & Speed Social, which is open to the public. Enjoy food, beverages and the silent auction featuring:
• A Private Tour of Jay Leno’s legendary Big Dog Garage
• Beers at the show with Dennis Gage
• A week at a two-bedroom condo in Florida
• Bucks, Brewers and Badgers tickets
• Make your children rock stars with a ride to school in a North Shore Fire Truck
• … and more will be auctioned
To find out more about the Style & Speed Social and Silent Auction please click the respective links below:
Tickets for the 15th anniversary Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance are on sale now at: https://www.milwaukeeconcours.com/product/event-tickets/
The Masterpiece Ltd., host of the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, is organized to support other public charities. The charities provide social service care and relief services to underprivileged children and families. The funding for these various organizations comes from various motor vehicle related fundraising events. Learn more about the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance at MilwaukeeConcours.com.