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Top 10: Survivors from the 1980s

The 1980s reversed the trend of falling sales that had dominated much of the previous decade, with new-car registrations rising from around 1.5 million in 1980 to more than two million ten years later. And it was during the ’80s that a number of crucial newcomers went on sale.

BL began its fight back from the brink with the new Austin Metro, Ford revolutionised its Escort with a switch to front-wheel drive, and crucial foreign newcomers like the MkII Golf and E30-generation 3-Series managed to increase market share. But which cars of the ’80s have survived in the biggest numbers? We’ve been number-crunching both taxed and SORN’d examples to bring you these official survival figures. 

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Mercedes-Benz SL

5500 still registered in the UK

For such an upmarket car to make this Top 10 list might seem odd, given that sales were a tiny fraction of some of the mass-produced models’ featured here. But the R107-series SL that first appeared in 1972 and which remained in production right through to ’89 was extremely well built, which might explain why so many have survived.

Another factor, of course, is that a car costing as much as the SL did in the ’80s is likely to have covered far fewer miles (and been more pampered) than a company-owned rep-mobile. No wonder so many ’80s SLs are still with us, mostly in excellent condition. 


golf 3 lover    on 1 August 2016

Hello all,
you will not believe I am using this car even till now and I use to drive the car every day to office as far as 55 miles and is the best ever produce by VW because interestingly, I have to buy golf 3 for my wife and the money I have slept for maintainers is more than that golf 2 that I am using even more frequently.
The two major faulty I find in golf 2 is the head light that don't focus at night for good visibility and my gear box is given me issues too precisely the gear seal constantly get issue and that was due to lack of original spare part in the part of the world I am (Nigeria) which is making me to be thinking of trying Toyota produce for perfect solution.


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