Chevrolet Chevette : 1981

The Chevrolet Chevette was introduced in September 1975 and manufactured from 1976-1987. This 1981 Chevette hatchback is just one of 433,000 produced that year, which included the EST (Electronic Spark Timing) option, a one year only feature. Low-end torque and fuel economy was also improved with the addition of a new engine cylinder head design and achieved around 29 MPG. (image source: John Lloyd)

1981 Chevrolet Chevette

1981 Chevrolet Chevette

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Hyundai Excel : 1989

1989 Hyundai Excel

$5,499 was a down payment for most cars but for the 1989 Hyundai Excel, it was the MSRP and came with more standard features than any other car in its class. Like reclining bucket seats, plush cut-pile carpeting and five all-season steel belted radials. Plus, it had front wheel drive and room for five adults. It even came with free membership to the Cross Country Motor Club and a 36-month/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty with no deductible.

1989 Hyundai Excel

Toyota Starlet GL 1000 : 1979

1979 Toyota Starlet GL 1000 5-door

The 1979 rear wheel drive Toyota Starlet GL 1000 5-door had a 993 cc, four cylinder engine reaching a minimum speed of 84 MPH and got 48.3 MPG. It was a dream to drive with its rack and pinion steering and looked great with its smooth lines and wind tunnel tested profile giving it a low drag coefficient body.

It was fired with MacPherson strut-type suspension at the front and four-link location coil spring suspension at the back. It even had some pretty high safety standards like collapsible steering column and the body structure was designed to adsorb the maximum amount of energy on impact.

1979 Toyota Starlet GL 1000 5-door

David Obendorfer Fiat 127 concept : 2013

1971 Fiat 127 and 2013 David Obendorfer Fiat 127 concept.

This concept by David Obendorfer, with substantially different proportions in comparison with the original model, proposes a modern interpretation of Pio Manzù’s masterpiece, the legendary Fiat 127. (source: David Obendorfer)

1971 Fiat 127 and 2013 David Obendorfer Fiat 127 concept.

Honda Accord : 1983

1983 Honda Accord

The 1983 Honda Accord had a lower front for less wind resistance with its retractable headlights. It had a larger 2-liter engine with revised mounts to absorb vibrations. It had a unique double wishbone suspension system never before used on a front-wheel drive car. Despite its lower roofline, the interior had more headroom and the rear seatbacks split vertically for versatility with 37% more cargo area and had a rigid cargo area cover. The steering wheel adjusts, panel switches worked with a touch and a new front seat offered better support. It even had a quartz digital clock.

1983 Honda Accord

Seat Ibiza : 1988

1988 Seat Ibiza

The 1988 Seat Ibiza was designed by Giugiaro and the cage of the body shell was designed by Karmann. It offered either a 1.2 or 1.5 liter 4-cylinder Porsche engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Ibiza’s longer wheelbase made it easier to corner and hug the road in a surefooted yet exciting manner. Every Ibiza, from the Designer 900 to the 1.5 GLX had a one year mechanical warranty plus the unique Seat Secure Road Rescue Service. Prices ranged from £4,660 for the Designer 900 3-door hatchback (below) to £7,215 for the 1.5 GLX 5-door hatchback. It was such a hit for the brand that What Car magazine voted the 1.5 GLX “Overall Best Car”.

1988 Seat Ibiza

Dodge Colt GT Turbo : 1989

1989 Dodge Colt GT Turbo

The totally redesigned 1989 Dodge Colt GT Turbo was named by Car & Driver magazine as one of the top 10 best cars of the year. Performance enhancements included a turbocharged 16-valve< DOHC 1.6 liter engine, power rack and pinion steering, power 4-wheel disc brakes, taut sports suspension, performance radials, a super slippery new profile and more spunk than a lot of high ticket turbos. Enhancements were also made inside. The Colt GT ample elbow room, comfortable sports bucket seats, a telescopic tilt steering wheel, an ergonomically advanced interior, and impressive dash graphics and instrumentation. It came with a 3-year Bumper-to-Bumper warranty.

1989 Dodge Colt GT Turbo

Ford Fiesta S : 1977

1977 Ford Fiesta S

The basics of the 1977 Ford Fiesta S were that it was a three-door hatchback with folding rear seats, a transverse engine and front wheel drive. Nothing new. But Ford’s point of difference was a better engineered car. A car that would work better without making it more complicated. Because the simpler a car is, the less it costs to own. All in one safe handling, lots of space and remarkable economy.  Some of the features that contributed to the Fiesta’s roadholding, handling and stopping power were their Negative Scrub Steering Geometry which helped counteract a car’s natural tendency to swerve one way or the other under heavy braking.  So it helped you stop in a straight line in emergencies. The other was Diagonally Linked Dual Circuit Brakes, which meant that if one circuit should fail you’d still have braking at both ends of the car.

There was more legroom in the back of a Fiesta than any other comparable car, and while it was only a matter of a few inches, Ford made it feel bigger that it really was by, for example, making the rook pillars much slimmer with deep windows. This made the car feel light and airy inside. The total glass area was no less that 25 square feet and this gave it a 390 degree of all-round vision. With the back seats folded down, there was 42.6 cubic feet of luggage space. The back hatch door was assisted by twin gas struts and open to the floor level, eliminating the need to lift a load over a high sill.

Fuel consumption figures were 35.8 MPG for the 1100cc models and 41.5 MPG for the 950cc 40 BHP models. To reduce ownership costs even further, Ford simplified servicing by lowering labour saving tasks, some of which included self-adjusting clutch, self-adjusting brakes, maintenance free wheel bearings and “lube for life” suspension and steering. And, since electrical systems were the single biggest cause of breakdowns, Ford reduced the number of connections to a bare minimum by using a printed circuit instrument cluster.

You would also find a surprising amount of space under the hood which made everything ver accessible for those who like to do their own maintenance… you can get to all the parts without skinning you knuckles.

The same attention went to the body work, which was treated with phosphate that inhibits rust. The entire body was then immersed in primer which was applied electrostatically. Then, after a second primer, it got four coats of tough acrylic paint for a really durable finish.

To quote AutoCar “As a piece of Ford thoroughness the Fiesta is perhaps their most impressive car yet. The Fiesta S had 53 BHP, reached a maximum speed of 90 MPH and had an MSRP of £2,360.

1977 Ford Fiesta S

Hyundai Pony : 1982

1982 Hyundai Pony

The 1982 Hyundai Pony was powered by a 1200cc Mitsubishi engine but was also available with a 1400cc manual or a 1400cc automatic. It has a 12-month unlimited warranty and a 6-year anti corrosion guarranty. It had a starting price of £3,117.

1982 Hyundai Pony

Skoda Favorit : 1990

1990 Skoda Favorit

The 1990 Skoda Favorit was rated as one of the top 10 cars of 1990 by the Guild of Motoring Writers. It was designed by Bertone of Italy, with British and German engineering input The result was this sleek but spacious 5-door hatchback with a 1300 cc engine and a five speed manual gearbox. It included front and back head restraints and had a selling price of £4,997. If that’s not good enough, it achieved an impressive 53.3 MPG.

1990 Skoda Favorit

Ford Fiesta RS Turbo : 1990

1990 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo

The 1990 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo had the combined muscle of a Garrett TO2 Turbocharger unit and a 133 DIN PS engine, which drove it from 0-60 in just 7.7 seconds and to a top speed of 127 MPH. The June 20th issue of AutoCar proclaimed “The RS Turbo simply leaves the immediate opposition trailing in its wake”. The styling was appropriately cool as well with its unique alloy wheels and the low profile tires, the body colored bumpers and rear spoiler, the distinctive dark green moulding inserts and the bonnet estimator vents. Among other refinements were the Recaro seats, central locking, power front windows and sunroof, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever knob, all standard. A few of the available options included anti-lock brakes and electrically heated Quickclear windscreen.

 

1990 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo

Vauxhall Nova SRi : 1992

1992 Vauxhall Nova SRi

The special edition 1992 Vauxhall Nova Sri had a multi-point, fuel-injection 1.4 liter engine with a catalytic converter that was described by What Car magazine as “Crisply-responding, smooth-revving and muscular”. It delivered 82 BHP through a five-speed gearbox. It had special sports suspension and upgraded shock absorbers, as well as an anti-roll bar and grippy 14″ low profile tires. It was pretty good looking too, with its aerodynamic spoilers, sports wheels, sports front seat and tinted glass. Other standard features included electric front windows, central locking and a top security radio/cassette. It was available in Glacier White, Breeze Blue, the pictured Flame Red and the optional Black. It was priced at £9,805.

 

1992 Vauxhall Nova SRi

Vauxhall Nova Luxe+ : 1992

1992 Vauxhall Nova Luxe+

There is no better way to describe the 1992 Vauxhall Nova Luxe+ than to list its remarkable range of luxury features. Central locking 14″ cross-spoke alloy wheels, electric front windows, body colored door mirrors, tinted glass, security coded stereo radio/cassette with RDS and remove bale display, four speakers, electric headlamp leveling system, fully reclining front seats with adjustable cloth-trimmed open-type head restraints, quartz clock, cigar lighter, Sabadell velour seat trim and fully trimmed door panels, locking fuel cap, internally adjustable door mirrors… the list goes on. Two powertarin options included a 1.2i or 1.4i fuel-injected engine with Cat and while this Luxe+ is a five-door, it was also available in a three-door hatch. They were both available in Glacier White, Flame Red, Metalic Star Silver, Metalic Silk Violet, Peralescent Lagoon Blue and Satin Red. The Vauxhall Nova Luxe+ show here is a 1.4i and had an MSRP of £9,195.

1992 Vauxhall Nova Luxe+

Rover Metro GTi : 1993

1993 Rover Metro

The 1993 Rover Metro GTi 16-valve Catalyst started at £9,995 but entry level Metros were as low as £5,995. The GTi’s K-series engine developed 95HP.

1993 Rover Metro GTi

Vauxhall Chevette E : 1976

1976 Vauxhall Chevette E

Putting an “E” after a Vauxhall model name was the brand’s way of telling you that you were getting a high level of specification at a really down-to-earth Price. The 1976 Vauxhall Chevette E had an MSRP of £1,636 and was equipped with a 1256cc engine, dual circuit, servo-assisted braking system, front disc brakes and self adjusting rear drum brakes. The interior included standard fittings such as loop pile carpeting, reclining front seats, two speed wipers with a single wipe feature, a heater and demister with two-speed booster fan, a deep front parcel shelf, fitted front seat belts and much more. The back gave you 12 cubic feet of luggage space and if you needed more, just fold down the rear seats and that got you up to 35.3 cubic feet of space. It had an 11 stage body protection and full underbody seal with a 12 month unlimited warranty. All that, and it got 45.3 MPG.

 

1976 Vauxhall Chevette E

Vauxhall Nova 3-Door : 1985

1985 Vauxhall Nova 3-Door

The 1985 Vauxhall Nova 3-Door was part of a 16 model range and became of of Britain’s top ten sellers because they were remarkably well equipped with features like head restraints, halogen headlights a dipping rear view mirror and an intermittent tailgate washer/wiper. In addition to the side stripes and a laminated windscreen, they also included a clock and door pockets for good measure. All Novas benefitted from improved suspension and a completely new range of trim fabrics. You could even get the sporty 1.3 engine from the speedy SR in the L and GL models.

1985 Vauxhall Nova 3-Door