What did you or your parents drive back in the 80s? 

I still have vivid memories of the joyful day that I passed my driving test. It was in 1987, and that overwhelming feeling of freedom is something that I've never experienced since. Of course, as with many teenagers, I went berzerk and drove my car at breakneck speed - just because I could! It's just a shame that it was a red Austin Metro with a 998cc engine - never have you seen such an underpowered car move so quickly!
Before this, I rode a Kawasaki 125cc motorbike for around two years - until I crashed it into a ditch! Fortunately, the bike came out worse than I did. It was at this point that I decided I would finally take my parents advice and buy a car.
So which is your favourite 80s car? Maybe one that you or your parents drove, or perhaps an iconic car from your favourite 80s movie.
This video playlist of old TV ads from the 70s and 80s features a range of cars including a British Leyland ad from 1975, Vauxhall Nova, Peugeot Talbot, Renault Laguna, Austin Rover ad with a young-looking Noel Edmonds and many more besides - enjoy!
Motor Magazine 7 July 1984 - Peugeot 205 GTi, Fiesta XR2 and MG Metro showdown

Motor magazine July 7th 1984 featuring a showdown between the Peugeot 205 GTi, Fiesta XR2 and MG Metro.

Renault 5 Turbo 2
One of the coolest hot hatches of the 80s was the Renault 5 Turbo. The original model launched in 1980 and was designed for rallying. However, a street version was also released. 


1977 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas, Blue - public domain photo
Public domain image of a 1977 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas. The Austin Allegro was manufactured by British Leyland under the Austin name from 1973 until 1983. 642,350 Austin Allegros were produced during its ten year production life. 
Red 1982 Austin Maestro - public domain photo
A 1982 Maestro in red (public domain CC0 image). The Austin Maestro was produced from 1983 to 1994, initially by the Austin Rover subsidiary of British Leyland. From 1988 onwards, it was produced by The Rover Group. A sporty MG model was also built.

Austin Metro

This "supermini" was launched in 1980 as the Austin mini Metro. During its 18 years of production, the Metro wore many names: Austin Metro, MG Metro and Rover Metro. It was re-badged as the Rover 100 series in 1994. I had a red Metro City+ in 1987 and the gearbox needed replacing at just 20,000 miles - it was extremely unreliable!

An abandoned Citroen Visa GTi (aww!)

The Citroen Visa was produced between 1978 and 1988. I once had a go in the GTi version when I worked at the local garage in the late 80's, and it accelerated so quickly I could hardly keep it on the road!

The Citroen AX was launched at the 1986 Paris Motor Show to replace the Visa. It was built between 1986 and 1998. My second car was a red AX and it replaced my unreliable Austin Metro! The AX was economical, nippy and pretty reliable.

Citroen 2CV

This iconic economy car was produced by Citroen from 1949 to 1990. In it's heyday it was technologically advanced (the suspension was great!) and it will always be remembered for it's unusual bodywork. I can highly recommend visiting the 2CV page at wikipedia, where you'll find dozens of great photos! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_2CV

Ford Capri 1.6 Laser at Blackpool, England. Image from an original photograph by Amos Wolfe taken 7th September 2003.

Ford Sierra (Early model)

The Ford Sierra was built between 1982 until 1993. Launched on 21st September 1982, it replaced the Cortina and Taunus. Its aerodynamic styling was ahead of its time, although there were plenty of people who  didn't like it.

Ford Escort MKII (1974 to 1980)

During the second half of the 1970s, the Ford Escort continued to prove hugely popular with buyers in Britain and other parts of Europe. Like the MK1, the MKII Escort had a successful rallying career, but unlike the MK1 which was entirely British built, these were also developed with Ford of Germany.

Ford Escort XR3i (1986 model)

Ford Fiesta XR2 Mk1 (1982)

My dad actually bought one of these second hand when I was about 14 years old, and it was certainly one of favourite cars. He was kind of car mad and bought a different model every year. The funny thing is I now own a new shape frozen white Fiesta (white seems to have come back into fashion) and boy, it makes this one look dated! But it looked great at the time.

Why not visit the XR2 Website -


The latest Fiesta

Fiat Panda (1982-86 model)

Nissan Cherry N12 (1982-86)

Vauxhall Nova (Opel Corsa outside UK) produced 1982 - 1993.

Vauxhall Cavalier Mk II Cabriolet

 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk III (1988 - 95)

The Vauxhall Cavalier was a popular family car that was produced between 1975 and 1995. The Mk 1 was produced between 1975 and 1981, the Mk II between 1981 and 1988 and the Mk III between 1988 and 1995.

Old Cars Photo Gallery

1972 Ford Capri Mk1 lime green
Ford Capri Mk1 (1972)

1972 Orange VW Super Beetle

1972 Super Beetle 

Mini panelvan
Mini Panel Van (Public Domain image)
Austin Montego on front cover of Motor Magazine May 19th 2984

Austin Montego on the front cover of Motor magazine from May 19th 1984

1980 Mini Clubman
British Ford Escort Mark III (5 door) which was built between 1980 and 1986. Photo from Creative Commons by Charles01

1973 Fiat 500
Fiat 500 - Public Domain image (Free to use)

Subaru Sumber microvan that looks like a VW Type 2 bus
A mini VW camper van? This is actually a Subaru Sumber microvan made to look like a VW Type 2.
Orange VW Type 2 (T2) camper/bus
An orange VW Type 2, which is called a camper van here in the UK and a bus in the USA. This is a T2 which doesn't have the classic split screen windscreen as on earlier T1 models. The T3 was introduced in 1979, just in time for the 80s!
Police Rover SD1
Rover SD1 police traffic car - photo by Wooly Matt
Ford Fiesta first generation
First generation Ford Fiesta. Creative commons image by Rudolf Stricker.
Porsche 924
Public Domain image of a Porsche 924 S. The 924 was built between 1976 and 1988.
1980 MK2/1 Ford Granada Taxi Diesel / FA 407

1980 Ford Granada photo by Granada Turnier

Ford Escort XR3 (mk III) - non injection
Ford Escort MkIII XR3 non-injection
1970 Plymouth Road Runner Super Bird Coupe 2

A-Z of Retro Car Pages