Loud and Proud

Found: 5 of the Most Rad Cars the ’80s Ever Produced


Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.

The ’80s were an incredible time for car culture. The horsepower figures were a bit on the lower side, but bombastic paint jobs, loud colorways and experimental new technology more than made up for that lack. It was a wonderful time during which digital displays complimented largely analog cars. Almost everything seemed to have a turbo under the hood — and let you know with big stylized graphics down the side. This week’s Found is made up of five examples that beautifully represent the excess of the era.

1988 Nissan 300ZX Turbo

What we like: Its digital tachometer is worth the opening bid, alone.
From the seller: A repaint and interior freshening were carried out from 2014 to 2015, followed by a cooling system overhaul in 2016, and receipts show a timing belt replacement in recent years.

Mileage: 164,707
Location: Salem, Oregon

1981 CJ8 Jeep Scrambler

What we like: A beautiful restoration of one of the best Jeeps out there. Everything on this Scrambler looks impeccable, but nothing beats a rear facing rumble seat — the quintessence of a care-free era.
From the seller: This was a off body restoration. New body has two coats of fiberglass with a coat of kevlar in between.

Mileage: 8,896 (restored)
Location: Morehead City, North Carolina

1981 Ford Bronco

What we like: What’s incredible is that this paint job was stock from the factory. Even better, the owner decided to keep when it was restored. What a hero.
From the seller: The truck is optioned with the Free Wheeling Package B, which offered many unique features, including Chromatic Tape Stripe and Marchal fog lights. Aftermarket accessories consist of a suspension lift, Flowmaster muffler, nerf bars, wider factory style wheels and a Bluetooth-enabled stereo. A repaint was performed in 2011, and the original owner also had the seats reupholstered.

Mileage: 119,972
Location: Austin, Texas

1985 Land Rover Santana Turbo

What we like: The turbo graphics aren’t original but was available as an option when new. The owner who rebuilt this Land Rover Santana did the next buy a solid favor.
From the seller: The seller acquired the truck in 2016, and over the past year has serviced the 2.25L turbodiesel inline-four with a new fuel filter, oil sump seal, emission hose, cooling system flush, and an oil and filter change.

Mileage: 39,000
Location: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

1988 Suzuki Jimny Turbo

What we like: The Suzuki Jimny never set the world on fire, but this pint-sized turbo overlander sure has a lot of heart.
From the seller: This 1988 Suzuki Jimny JA71 was imported by the seller from Japan to the United States in December 2016 and is equipped with a 543cc turbocharged inline-three that sends power to all four wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission and a dual-range transfer case.

Mileage: 36,000
Location: Reno, Nevada
More Icons from the ’80s

Raw power and mechanical simplicity versus svelte design and intelligent electronics. Read the Story