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Top 10: Endangered cars from the 1980s

Ah, the ’80s… a decade that saw big changes in the world of motoring. Many of the most iconic models on today’s modern-classic scene were born in the 1980s, with healthy survival rates meaning plenty of choice for enthusiasts. But not every car from that period has survived in decent numbers.

In fact, there are quite a few models that could be considered endangered species – and we’ve selected ten top choices for you here. Some sold well but have virtually disappeared from our roads, while others were unpopular from day one. So which of these endangered classics of the ’80s do you most crave? Figures shown are for both taxed and SORN’d vehicles.

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Alfa Romeo Arna – 2 survivors

Collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Nissan could (and should) have been a great match; the Italian marque might have benefited from an injection of Nissan-style reliability, while the Japanese brand might have learned how to make its cars charismatic and entertaining. But then along came the Arna.

Launched in 1984 and killed off by ’86, the Alfa Romeo Arna was built in Italy using a Cherry bodyshell and an Alfasud engine. Not surprisingly, it failed to sell in decent numbers in Britain and was ignored by previous Alfasud fans. Still, the two surviving Arnas at least have rarity appeal now.   

Comments

Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

It was never going to catch on when it was new, but now 2 lucky people own one. Its all about playing the numbers game.

Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

As for No 2 the Ambassador, it should of been a market leader, space comfort and the hatchback.

We all know about the build quality and strikes, but the motoring press did it no favours, always runnung it down so the public read a road test and bought a Sierra.

This is a car I would like to own, but I have left it too late to find a nice one.

Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

Saab 90, I had a 99ems and wish I still had it. Buy the best you can afford and its a car for life.

Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

Renault Fuego, I used to put the 2.7 V6 in them and autograaa race them. How I wish I had saved them and all the Renault 30's I broke for the engine.

Everyone wanted a Capri so the Fuego was overlooked, what a shame it was more stylish comfortable and better looking than most other coupe's.


Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

Talbot Solara sounded nails in a metal toolbox, but overall not a bad car, again roadtesters of the time never liked it so it never took off, A rare sight now.

Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

Talbot Tagora, drove alot better than it looked, and thats not difficult, it fell out the ugly tree and hit ever branch on the way down. With the 2.7V6 it was a nice long distance car, I know I had one, but not for long as I just couldn't stand the sight of it.

Lord Brasic    on 4 June 2016

Vauxhall Viceroy, lovely!!!!!!! most people just bought the Senator, why did GM shoot itself in the foot and other them both. This really was a great old car, the thinking mans BMW 525 really , yes I thought they were that good.

JJFranco    on 6 June 2016

"Take one Carlton bodyshell, fit Royale-style headlamps and a posh new grille, install the 2.5-litre six-cylinder engine from the Opel Commodore, adorn the car with a host of luxury fittings and you suddenly had the new £8099 Vauxhall Viceroy."

Well I suppose it could have happened like that. Or, Vauxhall could have just had the Opel Commodore foisted upon them as a whole, with restricted access to engines so as not to hurt what was by then the 'parent company's' offering. Vauxhall were long past 'decision making' by 1980. It was the last 'White Cross' Vauxhall, (unmentioned).

Much as I love reading these pages, some of the lazy mistakes and misinformation beggars belief!

Just today I've 'discovered' that the Mk1 Fiesta was launched in 1979, the Nissan Qashqai was a direct replacement for the Almera, and not, as it famously was, the Primera, (Nissan made many statements about dropping the long standing Bluebird/Primera three box design, due to declining sales, and of course, Nissan Note or Pulsar anyone?), and some idiot questioning the origins of the name Vauxhall 'ADAM', only as far as Vauxhall are concerned, and completely unaware that a) Opel 'christened' all GM Europe models from Vectra to the latest Viva (the first marque distinct name in decades), and that the founder of the said division was called, 'ADAM Opel'. Surely this is fairly basic stuff?

There are many more. Rarely do I get through a ten car countdown, without reading some stupid piece of misinformation. Come on! This isn't being too pedantic! This is written by people who sell themselves as 'experts'! A fair few readers may not know their automotive history, and they're been given bum steer after bum steer.

Chris Burton    on 6 April 2017

I remember seeing Solaras being hustled around the streets of Warwickshire (as the Talbot factory was still at Ryton, and it was seen to be politically correct to use cars made in the force area) as area police cars..........still striped up as jam sandwiches, with a single blue strobe, and without power steering ( to aid "feel" as per road craft )....... What a sight to beholden, an hear with the two tones wheezing as badly as the engines..........I could tell you about the Montego area cars we had in West Mids, but that's a story for another day!

David From Sheffield    on 28 April 2017

'BL’s old Princess changed sex in 1982 ' ... Because of course there could never be a female diplomat.

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