5 Favorite Classics of the 1980s
It seems like only yesterday to many of us… the days before cell phones, kids still played outside or at least had to go to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters to play the latest video game and the local cruising strip was still full of hot cars all weekend long. New vehicles at this time were starting to take a different approach to design. They were getting smaller and more efficient. The days of the large body vehicles was coming to an end. Hatchbacks exploded onto the scene and muscle machines got a little trim of the ol’ fat.
Its hard to believe that more than 30 years have passed since we began a decade that brought on so many changes not only within our borders, but to every corner of the globe. Three decades gone also means that the cars from the 80s are now becoming the new classics of today and tomorrow. There is an entire subculture of car enthusiasts who are keeping this decade alive and we are looking forward to future car shows that are soon to be showing more and more of the classic cars of the 80s.
It was an amazing decade that produced a lot of great cars and here are five favorites of ours:
1. 1984 Pontiac Fiero
Critics came down hard on the Pontiac Fiero saying that the mid-engine two-seater was slow, poorly made and little more than a rolling pile of extra parts from General Motors. Others were captivated by the alluring lines of the Fiero and the idea that the average man could finally attempt to simulate the Ferrari lines that were otherwise reserved for Magnum P.I and the cast of Miami Vice. 1988 was the last year for the Fiero, but the legend lives on. Collectors can easily pick up a nice Fiero today for less than $5000. That is pretty inexpensive when purchasing a classic car. Maybe now is the time to buy before they become a rare antique of the future.
2. 1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4
Ever since it rolled onto the streets in the early 50s, the Corvette has been leading the way in style and design through every decade well into the 21st century… the 80s was no exception. The fourth generation Corvette was introduced in 1984 and was the first complete redesign of the Corvette since 1963. The new look of the C4s changed the Corvette game forever and many features of the new design are still incorporated on the Corvette C5s, C6s and C7s of today. Regardless of generation, Chevrolet has always made the Corvette exactly what an American sports car should be… Fast, loud and proud!
3. 1986 Buick Grand National
Once upon a time there was once a car with a Buick logo that muscle-car enthusiasts dreamed of owning. Strange as “Buick muscle-car” may sound, back in its day the Grand National easily gave Corvettes and other high-end sports cars a run for their money. A powerful turbocharged V-6 under the hood gave plenty of acceleration power and speed. The menacing standard black paint job made the Grand National just much more intimidating. This beast was definitely considered to be one of the cars to beat during its heyday. It was a working man’s supercar. In all honesty, if I had to choose only one classic from the 80s, my choice would be a 1986 Buick Grand National.
4. 1987 Ford Mustang 5.0
Like the Corvette, the Mustang has left its mark on every decade since its inception in 1964. The 80s brought the third generation of the Mustang that brought a new look to the ever famous pony car. The new boxier design came in a coupe, a hatchback, T-topped or the incredibly cool convertible. It was the 1987 – 1993 models that really stood out and had every kid wishing they could own one. These years were very lucrative for the Mustang aftermarket industry as well. There so many extras available that you could actually make a one of a kind machine.
5. 1989 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z
No list of 80s classics would be complete without the infamous Chevy Camaro IROC- Z. For some it conjures memories of Jersey-Shore like guys cruising around in muscle shirts with AC/DC tunes cranking from the stereo. For others the IROC was a way to look Corvette cool without breaking the bank. Models in the early 80s left a little to be desired but as the decade progressed the IROC progressed with it and by 1989 it had evolved into a sweet street machine. It eventually received a 5.0-liter small-block V8 with a brilliant tuned port injection (TPI) system that boosted its output up to a flexible 215 hp. A 5.7 liter version was also available and in comparison tests at the time, the TPI-equipped IROC Camaros were always quicker than their arch enemy, the 5.0-liter Mustang. They IROC handled better too.
We could actually go on and on about classics from the 80s. The Shelby Z, Trans Am, Cadillacs and even the DeLorean failed to get mentioned here, but by every means are fantastic classics to start collecting. Trucks from the 80s as well are deserving of mention. The Broncos, K5 Blazers and Ford & Chevy pickups are all starting to make a comeback as their demand rises amongst classic collectors.
Tags: 80s classic cars, Buick Grand National, Corvette C4, IROC Camaro, Mustang 5.0, Pontiac Fiero