How Do You Feel about the Eighties?
I think the decade of the eighties has a bit of a bad rap. Sure, it is an easy decade to make fun of with big hair, synthesizers, spandex, and—if movies taught me anything—a lot of cocaine. Amongst all this is an era in the automotive landscape that I feel is often overlooked. I’m not here to argue that car design of the eighties is the pinnacle of the motoring world, but I find myself becoming more and more attracted to what was available during this time period.
As I look back at was available then, I realize it was a great time to be a car enthusiast, especially on a budget. This still holds true today. I might be biased since I drive an ’88 Toyota MR2, but there many cars that hit all of the right buttons: RWD/AWD, sporty, and affordable. A few that can be had in nice condition for under 5k (with some in near perfect condition for 10k) include the Toyota MR2, Celica All-Trac, Mustang GT, VW GTI, BMW E30s, E21, and E24s, Honda CRX, GTV6, and even a first year Miata.
Stepping a bit further up the eighties brought also gives us the vaunted BMW E30 M3, the M5, and M6. Audi gave us the legendary Ur-Quattro and Mercedes gave us the Hammer and a few other AMG cars.
Moving to the high end on the spectrum we get the Porsche 959, Turbo 911, Countach, Testarossa, 288 GTO, and the legendary F40.
There are too many great ones to name them all, but overall I think the eighties brought us a lot of desirable cars. Obviously today, some get the credit they deserve and others don’t. For myself and my budget though, the sweet spot lies with mid-eighties JDM which encompasses what I perceive as a lot of value for the money. Am I stuck in the eighties and will only buy and collect from this decade? No, but there will probably always be enough room for one in the garage and more importantly, my heart.
How do you feel about the eighties?
Photography by Josh Clason for Petrolicious