Classic Cars from the 1980's

Like 80's fashion and politics, cars from this era are something of a topical debate. They may have had exotic names such as Allegro, Sierra and Montego but the names very often didn't match the car. 80's cars were more practical than anything else; and the styling queues was certainly different when compared with the cars of today. It has been revealed recently though that 1980's cars popularity is increasing; Forbes revealed that a lot of men growing up as teenagers in the 1980's want to relive their youth through cars.

So we have decided to relive a bit of our youth with a look at these classic 1980's models:


Ford Sierra

The Ford Sierra was a replacement for the extremely popular Ford Cortina of the 1970’s; it was released in 1982 and ceased production in 1994. Many fans of the Cortina found the Sierra a far cry from the stylish Cortina and nicknamed it the ‘Salesman’s Spaceship’ due to its high fleet sales and long body shape. It was a firm favourite with the Irish though as it won ‘Irish Car of the Year in 1983. The Ford Sierra had three series Mk 1, 11, and 111. Today the Sierra is somewhat of a collectors car as the number of them registered is vastly diminishing.



Austin Maestro MG

The Austin Maestro is a classic 1980’s 5-door hatchback that was quite the seller in its heyday. It first hit UK showrooms in 1983 before finally ceasing production in 1995. On release, the Maestro was hailed as a stylish, contemporary and practical car. What made the Maestro MG stand out (apart from its mini-caravan like styling) was the digital dashboard that featured actress Nicolette Mackenzie’s synthesised commands. Today, the Austin Maestro is on the endangered car list as there are thought to be as little as 1000 on the road and 1000 SORN’d Maestro’s (Statutory Off road Notification).


Audi Quattro

When you think of the name Audi you conjure images of style, class and luxury, but that certainly wasn’t the case back in 1980 when they released the Audi Quattro. It had a square boxy style unlike the curved and aerodynamic models of today. Although the Quattro's looks may not have been to everyones taste, it was a game changing car in the World Rally Championships, as it became the first sports car with all-wheel drive. The Audi Quattro could reach 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds. Following the Audi Quattro, all-wheel drive technology was soon introduced to all rally cars.


Lada Riva

Anyone younger than 30 may not remember the name Lada, they were withdrawn from sale in the UK in 1997 and haven’t been heard from since. The Lada Riva was probably the bestselling model thanks to its low cost and generous internal space. What makes the Lada Riva am 80's classic is its very unusual styling, basically a box on wheels. Many have commented that it drove as divisively​ as its looks! When the Riva was first introduced in the UK in 1981 it enjoyed strong sales. However, soon the likes of Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo began introducing cheaper and more stylish rivals. This along with strict new EU rules on emissions put the final nail in the coffin for the Lada.


DeLorean DMC 12

Most of us will remember the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and the fact is if it wasn't for its fame as a time travelling machine in the films it probably wouldn't have been so famous. The DeLorean was the one and only car made by makers John DeLorean's Motor Company and was produced from 1981-1983. Unlike the other cars on our list the DeLorean is still available to buy albeit pre-owned from De Lorean, so if you want to feel like Marty & Doc climbing in through the famous roof winged doors then get the wallets out it will only cost you around £30,000.


Of course, these are only a handful of classic cars from the eighties. Whether you loved or loathed them you can't deny they bring back memories – if nothing else!

Some more examples:

  • Volvo 240 (could fit a football team in the back!)
  • Fiat Panda (Police Cars)
  • Ferrari F40 (Jeremy Clarkson's favourite supercar!)
  • Lancia Delta Integrale (World Rally Championship Classic)
  • Lamborghini Countach (was actually made in 1974 but it just looks so darn good!)
  • Ferrari 288 GTO (Tom Selleck Moustache required)
  • KITT (It spoke!)

By Jenna Niblock