It would be an understatement to say that the ’80s were a period of great style and aesthetics. A more fair statement would be that it was an iconic period of great design, and it is something that the carmakers would second. From the exotic chintz upholstery to the ferocious shoulder pads, the 80’s poster cars were a great deal for eccentric car lovers.
Here are the top seven poster cars of the ’80s to take you on a trip down memory lane.
Of all the legendary cars from Maranello, the Ferrari F40 is one of the most iconic cars. It is widely believed that the F40 was the closest Ferrari to producing a legitimate racing car for use on public roads.
The F40 takes its name from the fact that it was created to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, from 1947 to 1987. While some automakers produce commemorative models that feature distinct aesthetic changes, the Ferrari F40 was a performance powerhouse. It was the first road-legal car capable of pushing beyond 200 mph, making it true excellence in the market.
The original goal for the Ferrari F40 was to take on the Porsche 959 in FIA Group B. After the abrupt end of Group B racing in 1987, Ferrari released the F40 for fun on the road.
When it debuted, the McLaren F1 boasted 550 horsepower and a 100 km/h time of under four seconds. But this supercar wasn’t just about being fast. The 1992 model aimed to break away from the exotics of the time, which tended to be overweight and difficult to drive.
Weight reduction was vital for F1 as the car weighed just 2,244 pounds. Its unique central seating position, flanked by two passenger seats, provided better visibility. The dihedral doors were also a special touch, giving passengers more space to get in and out.
The 1992 McLaren F1 was also significant because it was built by the team that dominated the F1 Grand Prix. It did so for nearly a decade. What the public got was a slim, sleek design that housed a 6.1-litre BMW V12 engine and used a six-speed manual gearbox.
Lamborghini calls the Countach “the patriarch of modern super sports car design “. Its distinctive wedge shape and clean, mean lines proved to be a famous cultural milestone for many in the 80’s poster car era.
If you didn’t have a Countach poster on the wall, you probably knew someone who did. And if you dreamed of getting rich and one day buying a mansion, that image most likely included a Countach in your five-car garage.
Designed by renowned studio Bertone, the same designers behind the stunning Miura. Under the bonnet, the Countach was powered by a massive V12 engine capable of taking it to 100 km/h in around five seconds.
- Delorean DMC
For many people, the DeLorean DMC12 will always be synonymous with the Back to the Future movie trilogy. Time traveller Marty McFly used the futuristic coupe, to jump forward to 2015.
The DeLorean DMC12 was the brainchild of John DeLorean, also an 80’s poster car. He was the jet setting nonconformist who by 1972 had risen to be the youngest division head in General Motors history. He had presided over a string of huge successes there. Still, his exuberant style had caused him to clash with the conservative GM executive board.
Finally, it became too much for both sides, and DeLorean left GM by mutual agreement. William T.Collins built the prototype, previously the Assistant Chief Engineer at GM, who DeLorean poached to create the car.
The Porsche 959 was, and is, a slim supercar, not outgoing like its Italian contemporaries. The 959 was the technological North Star not only for Porsche but also for every one of modern supercars. Other automakers didn’t start building six-cylinder engines and hanging them behind the rear axle.
But there are fewer value supercars that aren’t powered by multiple blast-turbos. The all-wheel drive has become just as ubiquitous in more common cars. The 959 was so ahead of its time considering it was part of the 80’s poster cars. Yet it seems like we’re only catching up now.
The 959 has a six-speed manual transmission with a casing cast in magnesium, but the gearbox diagram has only five digits. Porsche named the gear above the first “G” to help the 959 meet noise regulations.
The Ford Motor Company commissioned a high-performance endurance racing car called the Ford GT40. It emerged from the ‘Ford GT’ project during those times. The car competed against Ferrari in European long-distance races, and it won every Le Mans race from 1960 to 1965. Out of the five initial prototypes that were made, only 3 of them remain today. Supercars like this don’t come around too often.
Bugatti EB 110
The Bugatti EB 110 is a mid-engine sports car, and it was in a league of its own. Bugatti set four world records with the EB110 and the model has a top speed of 351 km/h. The original designer of the EB110 is Marcello Gandini, an esteemed Italian designer. The EB110 was unveiled on September 15, 1991, in France. It was launched exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti’s birth, hence the name.
Which retro car do you love the most? Did we miss any other iconic retro cars? Let us know in the comment section below.