Feeling Majestic? 1981 Excalibur

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to spot a car in a barn – and then realize the barn might fall down at any minute. It’s bad enough that the adrenaline is already racing, but then the threat of imminent barn collapse might force you to make a rush decision. This Excalibur produced by Gatsby here on craigslist is said to have recently been rescued from long-term storage and is listed for $10K.

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On the trailer, this ornate Excalibur looks pretty good – but what’s it sharing space with? Perhaps there was a twofer to be had in the dilapidated barn it was rescued from. If my research is correct, this is a later car build by a company called Gatsby – but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. The seller says it rides on a Fox body chassis with 17,000 miles and a Ford V8 under the hood.

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The interior does look straight out of the 1980s Ford parts bin, and is hardly the level of ornate and / or exotic you might expect based on the exterior. My guess is by the time other aftermarket vendors were trying to resurrect the Excalibur brand, much of the magic was gone with the exception of the exterior, which had to look the same in order to keep the flame alive. Despite being completely ordinary, the interior is in good shape.

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Body-wise, the car has suffered from some dings and paint scrapes while in storage, but the seller claims its cosmetic flaws are few. It runs, drives, and stops, and while it may need some minor fiberglass repair and paint touch ups, there is no rot. It will need new tires, and with the low mileage, one has to wonder if they are original to the car. Regardless, does the high level of originality make this one worth the asking price?

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Comments

  1. Ken

    Ehhhh excalibur brand??.. as far as i know the Excalibur in various Series(mk1…Pheaton etc) were an American modernised version using various already used parts for details(ig he rear lights were on the later versions.. the so-called “elephant foot” from a Bettle:-) and driveline to recreate the glory in a more modern way of the famous Mercedes Benz S – SS – SSk – SSKL of the late 1920´ties and 1930´ties…
    To me this looks like a Zimmer.. never heard of a Gatsby unless talking about the movie The Great Gatsby.. and what the plot /era it was picturing :-)

  2. DAN

    1981 pimpmobile !
    saw this on eastwoods movie where the young cops were killing scum,lol
    MAGNUM FORCE 1973

    • Kman

      I thought I saw it on Counting Cars.

      • DAN

        i THINK IT WAS BOB MARLEYS on counting cars

      • Dave Wright

        Dan, I don’t think it was Marley’s but it was someone like that. The Count rebuilt it for his widow. Now I have to look it up. Someone did do one of Marley’s cars for his son, I think it was a Benz.

      • Dave Wright

        It was Barry Whites old car…….similar but different, Bob Marleys old car was a SL Mercedes.

      • Rob

        That was Barry White’s Stutz Bearcat when they did a relaunch based off the Pontiac platform.

  3. Dolphin Member

    Just a little over the top for me, but with 17K miles, it shows there’s a bum for every seat.

    I didn’t know these were built on a Fox platform. I sure could go for the Saleen version.

  4. San Jose Scott

    Nope. Not an Excalibur. Loved the first ones by Brook Stevens I believe. A real crazy sports car. These later ones, just clown cars.

  5. 68 custom

    these cars have a serious identity crisis, trying to look like a classic with the stock Mustang interior. the hack job to the rear end looks the worst. give me a clean old Cadillac, you can keep this one. the Cutlass behind it with the ridiculous hood scoop is more interesting IMO.

    • Anthony Rodrigues

      Not a Cutlass behind the pimpmobile… look closely at the qtr panel that a Thunderbird

      • 68 custom

        hard to tell but the roofline does look like a T-bird.

  6. ClassicCarFan

    Yes, I have to agree with most of the comments above. These always strike me as looking like a cheezy kit car. Confused styling, gratuitous vintage styling cues stuck on a boxy unattractive body (the rear end treatment reminds me of that awful generation of “bustle-back” Cadillac Eldorados ) and not in a good way unfortunately.

    I realize that these weren’t kit cars, but were actually quite well put together, expensive and they did sell quite a few of them back in the day, but I still can’t fathom what the attraction was. Oh well, each to their own. I’m sure it will sell to somebody.

  7. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I remember seeing these all over the ‘hood in the 80’s when I lived in Los Angeles. Silly looking then…sillier looking now.

    And a ’68 T-Bird on the trailer with it

  8. michael

    I love it when a seller doesn’t even bother taking a car off the trailer. It’s an immediate -THANKS NOT INTERESTED!

  9. Mark S Member

    Some of these styling que’s that some of you have pointed out could be improved on with a little fabrication rework. Personally I’d change the back to look like a stubby boat tail. I’d then repair all the minor damage, I’d then two tone the paint colours. I’d go with either a forest green with black fenders or a dark blood red with black fenders. As for the interior I’d have the seats and door cards redone in char coal gray leather. With black head liner, carpet and console. It’s that ugly white paint job that makes it look like a pimp mobile, it just needs to be toned down a little. I’ve alway liked these and if I were able I’d be buying this car and making the changes listed above. Oh and that vv carb would be the first thing to go as they are nothing but a POS.

    • Muz

      I’m sorry, but it would have been kinder to let barn fall on it and spare us the misery….. What l, and dare say many others cannot fathom is where did they find the tripped out customers who bought these things new in the first place? Surely you’d only buy on for a dare?

      • Mark S Member

        I think that most folks either don’t have an eye for or skill to see past the ugly on this car and see the potential of what it could become I would love the challenge of changing this car up to something more modern and cooler I really like the concept.

      • Dave Wright

        Glen Pray built some attractive knock offs in his day, it would be easier to start from scratch than trying to remake this pile.

  10. Don Pardo

    This seller is delusional. Has been trying to hawk these for a while – he first listed at $16,000. Quite a drop, but more to go I’m afraid…

  11. Mike Burnett

    There’s a cheap way to improve on the design flaws-send it to a crusher!

  12. Rocko

    I would buy one just to annoy everyone with.

  13. Ray Smith

    This one started life as a Mustang notch back.

  14. the one

    Flip Wilson drove one of these, my brother spotted him on the freeway in southern California years ago.
    For all you young folk out there, Flip was a comedian, had his own show for a while, youtube has some stuff. He was a very funny man..

  15. Ben T. Spanner

    Convert it into a hot tub. “best” of both worlds.

  16. jeff

    the car behind it looks like a — 2 -door Chevy Caprice ??

  17. the one

    aren’t these Pinto based? That is a ford automatic shifter. C4 or 6. I’ve always wanted to do a flame job on the REAR of a Pinto. Get it?

  18. JPR

    Not an Excalibur. The Excalibur was originally produced in the Milwaukee area by Brook Stevens. Pretty cool story. (he also designed the original wiener mobile)All the rights, plans, body molds are currently owned my a former employee who runs a shop on the north west side of Milwaukee. I used to cut glass for her when the need would arise. She currently ships parts world wide. And yes, some parts had been “borrowed” form other brands ie the VW tail lights. Again good read here. http://www.excaliburclassics.com/

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