Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

Welcome to Used Car Face Off, where we find two similar or similarly priced used cars and ask you which one you would buy. Choose wisely!

A few days ago, we looked at ten great cars that should make a comeback. Honestly, I wasn't expecting the Porsche 928 to make the cut, but it's a great choice. While it was such a groundbreaking car, it became a fashion symbol of the 1980s and didn't get to enjoy the timelessness of the 911. That's changing now, and the 928 is definitely a classic.

But what could you buy instead of a 928? Is there another 1980s GT car that needs to make a comeback, or at least come to a driveway near you? Let's ponder.

Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

Here's a shining example of a 928, a 1987 S4 finished in brown. Few cars, especially ones of such fashion statements, still look really good 25 years on. The 928 has a classic shape that just looks great. The late '80s also brought stuff like these big wheels and a big spoiler and some argue they spoil the purity of the original shape. Maybe, but you've got to have some fun once in a while.

Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

The S4, introduced for 1987, sported a fat 5.0-liter V8 and 320 horses that finally learned to deal with emissions regulations. That sounds like a totally acceptable figure today. Sure, it's mated to the automatic in this particular car, but let's go with the idea this is a long-distance cruiser. Remember, it has back "seats" and a hatch.

Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

The interior gets even better, of course. This particular car even has the original Blaupunkt radio, and I'm a sucker for original car radios no matter how crap they must be by today's standards. At just 78,000 miles, it's worn pretty well, too. That's why it's going to be very expensive to buy and very expensive to maintain. But it's cheaper than a new one if Porsche ever decides to make a new one.

Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

But what if you're not a 928 fan, or a Porsche fan for that matter? Maybe it's the allure of a prancing horse that gets you. In this price range, let's talk about a 1983 Mondial. Again, the Mondial is a bit of a joke in the Ferrari community, but your neighbor doesn't need to know that. And for $23,500, you could have this Quattrovalvole model.

Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

So what does more than 23 grand buy you? A claimed 65,000 miles on this 3.0-liter, 32-valve Ferrari V8 with 240 horses and mated to the classic five-speed manual. The Mondials are special in the area of being a mid-engined 2+2 Ferrari, the last the company produced. So you can have that traditional mid-mounted engine with some nod to practicality. It has two trunks, after all.

Used Car Face Off: Buy Now Before It Makes A Comeback

Apparently, this is a rare color combination and I can see why – there's a whiff of Ford Tempo about it. Still, there's an otherwise traditional Ferrari interior that probably would've actually been usable for four humans if they'd just put the engine in the front like Porsche did.

So, the Mondial is interesting and you're unlikely to see many of them outside of a Ferrari owner's meetup. But I'd still take the Porsche. There's just something more classic about it than ever.