The Best Classic Cars of the 1980s

best classic cars of 1980

The classic cars fever touched its new heights by mid-70’s when major car manufacturers adopted a paradigm shift from crude looking models of 60’s to more sophisticated aerodynamic body shapes. The boxes were replaced by the curves. By the onset of 80’s, automobile giants in Japan, Germany, and the USA had already settled for the adaptable exteriors and exotic comfy interiors to get ready for one of the most significant decades in the evolution of the 21st-century cars. On the other hand, surviving fragile industries in UK, Italy, and France found it hard to remain in-step with the rapid advancement, before their eventual demise in the 90’s.

The Myth of The Classic Cars

Coming over to the account of classic cars from 80’s, it will be pertinent to refresh our memory that everything about 80’s was hip-hop, funky and unorthodox. For instance, jazz and pops transformed into Disco hotdog into Big Mac, soda into cola and stripes into polka dots. The cars were no exception. When Toyota Corolla’s domestic models hit Asian markets; keeping a private car was no more a statesmen’s privilege. These were reliable, practical in dense traffic environments, yet economical to buy, keep and maintain. However, the best classic cars of this era were still a distant dream. By becoming a fictional character of “Knight Rider”, Trans American (aka Trans Am) and its driver David Hasselhoff emerged to be the most desired idols by early 80’s,

Then came the Lamborghini syndrome, which mesmerized the car lovers to new levels. This space-ship looking luxurious machine may have only been in the reach of Saudi Princes, but their replicas and stickers were popularly displayed on the school notebooks of teenagers. Toyota and Mazda once again set the tradition and introduced station wagons which brought a new dimension of practicality to comfort. Honda bounced back with hutch back / liftback models of ‘Integra’ and ‘prelude’ to miniaturize the sizes to fit-in the compressed road space requirements of Europe.

On the other hand, US market continued to be dominated by biggies like Caprice classics and Chevrolets, though Corvette, Mustang and Trans Am successfully created a class of their own. The Brit-hits Land Rovers and Renaults also customized their models as per the emerging trends.

German market also failed to emerge as the STATUS automobiles throughout the world. The Mercedes Benz C-180, BMW 5 series and ‘less ancient looking’ Rolls Royce Classics provided a much-needed respite to German automobile industry amid growing competition between Japan and USA. Towards the turn of the calendars, Mazda RX-7, Porsche 929, Nissan Bluebird, GMC Safaris and Crown state cars joined the race of being qualified as the Classic cars from the 80s.

Though some might not agree with the status ‘Best Classic Cars’ with otherwise ordinary-sounding cars mentioned above; nonetheless it was their direct or indirect contribution in the evolution of the 21st-century cars that they stand qualified to join the prestigious club.

Not concerned about making it to the Classics cars from 80s or otherwise, Suzuki with its 800 and 600 cc models grabbed the major Asian markets also known as the emerging economies by not only exporting its cars all around the Pacific Ocean region but had also set the trend of outsourcing its automobile plants by installing the industry in the targeted countries of the South-Asian Subcontinent region. Thus broke the myth established by US biggies who primarily gauged the class of a vehicle by the number of its cylinders and the power it could generate; notwithstanding the environmental hazards and cost-effectiveness factors.

Some of The Best Classic Cars

To revive the memory of some of the Classic cars from the 80s below is a list that mentions few of them:

    • Rolls Royce Silver Spirit
    • Audi Quattro
    • Buick Grand National
    • Cadillac Fleetwood
    • Chevy Chevette
    • Chevy Monte Carlo
    • Dodge Aspen
    • Chrysler New Yorker
    • Ferrari Mondial
    • Fiat Spider
    • Trans Am
    • Ford Mustang
    • GMC Astro Van
    • Honda CRX
    • VW Golf
    • Jeep Wagoneer
    • Lamborghini Countach
    • Lotus
    • Mercury Topaz
    • Nissan Datsun
    • Plymouth Colt Vista
    • Pontiac Fiero
    • Porsche 944
    • Renault Espace
    • Suzuki Samurai

The 1980s had seen the birth of these best classic cars; out of these many had descended into the next century however there were a few which had been lost along the way.

The Forgotten Classic Cars

As is visible, the 1980s was indeed a momentous decade with regards to putting forward some of the best classic cars. But there were few machines which could not keep up with the race and hence our collective consciousness fails to recall them as one of the Classic cars from the 80s. However since this article is paying tribute to the beautiful cars from that era, it is only befitting to at least mention the names of a few forgotten classic cars:

  • Chevrolet Corvette (C4)
  • Ford Thunderbird
  • Mercedes-Benz 190E
  • Mazda RX-7

About the Author: RJIBlog

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