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This week Trusted Dealers takes a look at some of the most remembered and iconic cars from the 1980s. Take a look below to see if you can spot one of your favourites.
The twin-turbocharged 1987 F40 is the Ferrari most people remember best from the eighties, but it would never have been around if it wasn’t for the 288 GTO. Ferrari developed the 288 GTO in the early eighties to meet the FIA’s ‘Group B’ rules and it was specially built for rally racing. There wasn’t much call for the race car therefore Ferrari abandoned the idea of competing with the GTO. However, following its official launch in 1984, the demand for the car remained so great that Ferrari went ahead and built the planned road cars anyway – 272 were built and they are now extremely rare collector’s items.
Despite the Ford Escort being built and introduced to the public in 1969, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the iconic car took the number one sales spot. Throughout the 80s, two generations of Ford Escort were born, the front-wheel drive Mk3 manufactured in 1980, and its facelifted replacement which followed in 1986. In addition, there were models such as the RS1600i to keep the punters content. The Ford Escort enjoyed sales of more than 1.5 million cars, and collectors still seek the popular XR and RS models, which command huge prices at auction.
Developed to rival the existing BMW 3-series, in the late 1970s Mercedes-Benz decided to add a third line to its range – a new entry level model that would be positioned below the extremely popular W123 range. And so the new 190-Series was born in the early 1980s, ready to fight its rival, and it proved a huge hit. In fact, 2 million models were built in a production run spanning more than a decade.
There are not many people who won’t remember the iconic Volvo Estate, in fact the Volvo 240 was Volvo’s best-selling car from 1975 until 1982 – every family aspired to have one. Despite the fact that the 240 was essentially quite a boring, reliable car, its popularity grew from the fact it was a safe, solid and long-lasting machine. It was never designed for driving enthusiasts, but was a thoroughly sensible car for people looking for a crash-worthy, roomy car with good towing capability. As such, this series of cars was in production for nearly 20 years until it ended in 1993 following the introduction of the new 850. Traditional Volvo buyers still seek out the 240 to this day.
Undoubtedly one of the best and most successful cars of the 1980s was the Volkswagen Golf, revolutionising the small family car cateogory as well as offering some of the best performance and driving capability for those seeking a more thrilling hot-hatch ride. The Golf GTI Mk II not only handled phenomenally well, it offered the power of a sports car and the utility of a small wagon, whilst operating costs were minimal. Furthermore, the manual transmission was smooth, forgiving and durable. The hot hatch offered a classic winning formula to eager buyers, and as such, its credentials have been copied ever since.