BMW M3 – 1986


The BMW M3 is the most successful example ever of racing homologation creating an internationally-acclaimed road car. Its genealogy is straightforward. The M3 is a high performance version of the BMW 3-series compact, based on the E30; but its racing engine has a broad pedigree in BMW motorsport. The engine’s basic block layout derives from … [Read more…]

Buick Regal Grand National – 1982


At the time they called it the winningest facelift in history’. After a restyling for 1981 improved its aerodynamics so much that it swept the NASCAR Grand National race championships, the Buick Regal was the ‘it’ car of the USA. It reflected well on the perception of Buick’s entire range. Seizing the moment, in 1982 … [Read more…]

Chevrolet Citation – 1980


History was firm but fair to the Chevrolet Citation. It was a great car, the biggest-selling car in America in its first year; but when it got found out, it had to pay the price of public failure. General Motors’ new generation of modern, front-wheel drive cars was known as the ‘X-family’.

Chrysler Laser XT – 1985

Chrysler-Laser XT - 1985

They were near-identical twins. Built on Chrysler’s G platform (a shorter version of their old warhorse K platform), the new Dodge Daytona and Chrysler Laser launched simultaneously in 1984 to replace the Chrysler Conquest. Their restrained but eager styling made them two of the best-looking sports coupes ever made in America, an appreciation they have … [Read more…]

Ferrari Testarossa – 1984


With a pedigree as exalted and refined as any Arab stallion, the Ferrari Testarossa is one of the most beautiful and memorable cars ever made. Its name honoured the spirit of Ferrari’s fabulous 1957 sports racer, the Testa Rossa (Red Head’), and it replaced the 4.9 litre 512 BB (Berlinetta Boxer) of 1973, with the … [Read more…]

Fiat Strada Abarth 130 TC – 1982


It was born in Italy as the Ritmo, but in Britain and North America it was called the Strada. For several years from 1978, this small family car appeared in equally dull versions whose only real claim to fame was that, thanks to Fiat’s pioneering investment in automated assembly, it could be advertised as ‘handbuilt … [Read more…]

Honda CR-X Si – 1988

Honda-CR-X Si - 1988

The regularity with which US motor trade papers honoured Japanese cars during the late 1980s is professional testament to the technical prowess that Japanese engineers brought to contemporary design. Motor Trend named the Honda CR-X Si ‘Import Car of the Year’ for 1988. The praise was worthily won. The whole CR-X series was a category-busting … [Read more…]

Mercedes-Benz 380 SL – 1980

Mercedes-Benz 380 SL-1980

This is one of the all-time great roadsters, part of the celebrated Mercedes-Benz R107 series produced from 1971 to 1989. Like all Mercedes series, models and versions came and went. The 380 SL was introduced in 1980 as a two-seater convertible with a standard soft and hard top. It gave rise to a stretched version, … [Read more…]

MG Maestro Turbo – 1988


Always rare, the MG Maestro Turbo remains largely unknown even among MG owners. Unveiled without fuss at the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show, it was Austin-Rover’s superficially dignified response (they could afford dignity — they knew what they had created) to doubts that they could compete with the growing number of high-performance 16-valve hot hatches in … [Read more…]

Opel Manta B GT/E – 1982


The Opel Manta both created its own wave and rode it successfully without interruption from 1970 to 1988. The enormity of that achievement in an overcrowded and competitive market is obscured by the reality that when most people think of the Manta, in fact they think of the facelifted 1980s Manta B GT/E that was … [Read more…]