So today I got out of the office, made a service appointment with Strieter Lincoln, drove through a near-monsoon through most of the Quad Cities, had a late lunch and settled down in front of the computer. To discover this amazing Broughamed-out refugee from GM’s pre hump-everything-electric phase. A Phoenix!
Despite all the early teething issues of the FWD X bodies, (surprise brake engagement, anyone?) despite all the fear and loathing and impotent rage online and otherwise (frequently by people driving smoking ’03 Kia Spectras riding three donut spares), despite all that, it captivated me. Not enough to buy it, but I happily gawked at the pictures.
Currently available on Marketplace for six grand and available for viewing in Sheboygan, it appears remarkably rust free for Wisconsin climes.
I remember the X cars primarily through two that were nearby in the early years of my childhood: our principal, Vern Soeken, had a burgundy on burgundy four door hatchback, and our neighbors across the street, the Positarys, had a bright yellow ’80 Citation four door hatchback with camel tan interior. And of course I had the X11 Hot Wheels cars, both the white one and the later root beer brown versions.
I did see a silver sedan near downtown Davenport circa 2013, but that was the most recent sighting outside of the internet.
Anyway, as the ad related: “Rare odd car, 1980 Pontiac Phoenix. 1 owner, this is one of 23k made with this package. Was stored inside since 1994, always ran periodically. SUPER CLEAN INSIDE & OUT. There aren’t too many of these cars left, let alone in this condition.”
“2.5L iron Duke 4 cyl, auto trans, moonroof & all manual options inside. Starts and runs like a dream. Transmission shifts well. 13 inch wire spoke wheels & Lemans radial tires. Needs nothing but to be driven.”
“Interior is close to mint condition, weather stripping and all moldings are perfect. Vinyl top is in great shape. This is a forgotten gem of the 80s. GM’s first try at front wheel drive, 4 cylinder cars.”
“Believe it or not these cars (X body) have a strong following. This is a prime example of what a 1980 Pontiac Phoenix used to be.”
“This car shares the platform of Chevy Citation, Buick Skylark and Oldsmobile Omega from the early 80s. Asking $6000 for this time capsule. Possibly interested in trades for other cars & trucks only.”
Anyway, there you have it. Love the orange, just toss those RWL tires and get some proper whitewalls. Hey, it’s still way more swanky than the silver silvermist and beige beigemist CR-Vs and Equinoxes being piloted these days by clueless motorists!