Cars of the 1980s

I remember when my mother bought her first car- around 1985- we were so excited to get into that little red Ford Escort. For some reason I envisioned spots on the roof and called it the Ladybug. This officially made us a 2-car family, a huge leap from the powder blue Chevy truck of my dad’s that still boasted an 8track. It was life-changing- mum and I could get into her car and drive the 5 hours to visit my grandparents with a boombox propped between the seats and my dad could still go to work. (Lol, as I write this my husband and I are a 1 car family- he got his driver’s license 4 years after we married and I don’t have one at all.) After the late 70s recession, car production boomed, peaking in 1984. British imports were scarce and Japan leapt onto the scene exporting some of the biggest names in transportation. Japanese factories sprung up like mushrooms over here, taking in some of the hoardes of factory workers laid off in the early part of the decade. Foreign and performance cars became more popular and designs were much boxier than today’s models which started rounding out in the mid-90s. There are several in depth histories of this volatile and exciting time in automotive history but we’re just going to ¬†look at the big names that defined the decade. General Transport Cars Audi 5000S, 100 Mazda 121, Festiva, RX7 Toyota Cressida, Space Cruiser Nissan Maxima 810, Micra, Cherry Ford Thunderbird, Escort, Fiesta, Sierra, Capri, P100 Hyundai Excel Subaru Brat Citroen 2CV, CX, Dyane Mini Cooper 1000 Saab 99, 9000 Honda Civic CRX, Prelude, Acty Chevrolet Impala, Lumina, Caprice Classic, Caprice Classic Brougham, Safari Station Wagon, Malibu, Malibu M80, El Camino, Celebrity, Citation, Citation II, Monza, Sprint, Sprint Metro, Geo Metro, Nova, Cavalier, Corsica, Beretta Pontiac G8, Parisienne, LeMans, Grand Am, Bonneville, Sunbird, Tempest GMC Caballero Reliant Robin Volkswagon Golf, Polo Range Rover Oldsmobile Omega, Starfire Buick Skylark, Skyhawk Suzuki Cultus, Swift, Swift GA, Khyber, Forsa, Holden Barina GM Chevette MG Metro Isuzu I-Mark, Trooper Renault 19, 11 Land Rover Defender BMW 3 Series Peugeot 205, 505, 305, 405 Volvo 240 Luxury Cars Mercedes-Benz 190E, SL, SLC Porsche 944, 911 Ford Mustang II, 5.0, LTD Crown Victoria Lexus SC400 Volvo 740 Sports Cars Alfa Romeo Giulia, GTV-6 Aston Martin DBS AM Vantage Jaguar XJS Maserati Khamsin, Merak, Kyalami Morgan 4/4 Toyota MR2 Mazda RX-7 Alpine Renault A310, GTA Datsun 280ZX Fiat Bertone X1/9, 124 Sports / Spider 2000 BMW 6-Series, M1, 5 Series, E30 Nissan 300ZX, 240SX, SR20DET, RB20DET, Skyline Pontiac Fiero S/E, GT Ferrari 288 GTO, F40 Triumph TR7 Chevrolet Corvette C3, C4 Morgan Plus 8 Lamborghini Countach Lotus Espirit Mercedes- Benz R107 SL, 350, 450, 380 SL, 500, 560 SL, R129 SL Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z Mistubishi Eclipse GD Turbo, GSX, Starion ESI-R Monte Carlo Turbo, SS Aerocoupe, Turbo Hydramatic 200-4R Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, cutlass Ciera Buick Regal, Century Pontiac Grand Prix, 6000 Sources: HowStuffWorks — excellent info on sports car history from the 80s Popular Mechanics– obscure 80s cars CarScoops Honest John – great info and photos on UK cars

1 thought on “Cars of the 1980s

  1. K-cars were big in the 80s and helped save the struggling Chrysler Corporation. Many of these automobiles lingered on in large numbers into the early 2000s but they are now a rare sight. We had a 1985 Dodge Aries for about 15 years.

Comments are love, good bad or indifferent!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.