The 1980s was an enigmatic decade. Austerity and difficult social politics shared the building with excess and a desire – outwardly at least – to leave nothing on the table. Cars, then have never quite reflected the era they hail from, like the ones that hail from the ’80s.
Red seat belts were a mark of sporting prowess, an extra square edge of bodywork became known as a spoiler, and when someone told you they had just taken delivery of a fleet of new turbos, that someone could just as likely have been a hairdresser, as a car dealer.
The 1980s was – and continues to be – a decade of many things to many people. But until recently, it wasn’t a credible argument for classic motoring if you were a “traditional” classic car club member. You’d park your plastic fantastic XR2 Fiesta next to a chrome bumpered Mk2 Jag, fully prepared for some toy throwing from the rough direction of the picnic box next door.
Thankfully, we’re recounting history here, not trying to shape it; those days of ‘is it classic or isn’t it’ were tough days if you were the keeper of a car built after 1979 (…and even then!).
Now, even a base model Ford Sierra is considered by most to be a classic, even if it is with a slight upturn of moustache by a member of the blue smoke brigade (Though quite why the Triumph Acclaim achieved ‘classic’ status before the Ford Capri did, we’ll never know!).
So on this reckoning, our series of ’80s motoring films should be at the very least vaguely acceptable to you.
But for the most part, we hope you’ll be jumping up and down excitedly, just like we were when we got behind the wheel of every one of these wonderful classic cars. Enjoy!