The 1980 Vauxhall Bedford Chevanne’s long life power unit was developed from the well-proven 1,256cm, four-cylinder, over-head-valve petrol engine of the Vauxhall Chevette cars and HA light vans.
To help keep fuel costs down, it was fitted with proven fuel saving features like a viscous-coupling fan and a thermostatically controlled pre-heat induction system. It produced 52.8 BHP net installed power, yet with its specially developed cylinder head and 7,3 to 1 compression ratio it requires only 2-star fuel. When GM’s automatic transmission was specified, a higher compression (8,7 to 1) version needing 4-star fuel is fitted to give 56.3 BHP net installed power.
Chevanne’s four-speed, all-synchromesh manual gearbox was engineered specifically to match the power, torque and weight, to give the right ratio to any situation. It is driven through a clutch which, though “heavy-duty” in design to cope with punishing stop-start urban delivery, is light and positive in action for smooth transmission of power. You could also specify GM‘s smooth automatic transmission which included a high-compression engine, heavy duty battery, heavy duty front suspension and a cut-pile cab carpet. (image source: John Lloyd)
1980 Vauxhall Bedford Chevanne
The 1981 Pontiac T-1000 was produced until 1987 on GM’s T-Platform. It had either a 1.4 or 1.6 L OHC gasoline I4 engine producing from 53 to 70 horsepower. It was pretty much identical to the Chevette, but of course had unique grille, body molding and vertical lined taillights. Here you see a 3-door and 5-door model. (image source: John Lloyd)
The Chevrolet Chevete Marajo was the 3-door hatchback (or station wagon) version of the Chevrolet Chevette, launched in Brazil. It was produced from 1980 to 1989 with 1.4- and 1.6-liter engines. (image source: John Lloyd)
1980 Chevrolet Chevete Marajo
The 1985 Citroen BX costs £453 less than a Volvo five-door 340DL, listing at £5,199. It had self-leveling suspension for a silky ride and MacPherson struts for sharp handling. This 5-seat, 5-door hatchback with a 1360cc engine, capable of reaching 96MPH. It was promoted as only needing 2.5 hours of servicing a year.
The 1985 front wheel drive Citroen Visa 11E is a five-door hatchback who’s MSRP was £4,117, which was £489 less than the Ford Fiesta Plus 1.1. It was unusually roomy with a very well-equiped interior. It was promoted as only needing 2.5 hours of servicing a year.
1985 Citroen LNA 11E listed for £3,526. That was £448 less than a Austin Rover Metro City. With its easy starting 1124 cc engine, it had lively performance and a small turning circle for navigating tight corners. It had a comfortable interior with split folding seats to accommodate bulky loads.
This 1986 Volvo 480 ES was the first front-wheel drive car made by the brand and the only production Volvo to feature pop-up headlamps. It was announced to the press in 1985, and first shown in Geneva in 1986. It was never sold in the USA. Although it is a 3-door hatchback, it was marketed as a coupe. (image source: John Lloyd)
With servo-assisted, ventilated front discs brakes the 1983 Honda Civic S 1.3 could stop you in your tracks when you needed to. From the sharply angled bonnet to the spoiler on the hatchback, this car attracted the most serious of motorists. They noticed the smoked glass sun-roof, the air dam skirt under the grille or the very handsome interior. It was superbly appointed with 3 stage adjustable headrests and fully reclining and two-tone bucket seats. The engine was a 1335cc 4 cylinder OHC transverse with Twin Keihins carbonation producing a maximum horsepower of 70ps at 5,750 RPM. It had a 5-speed transmission, with front hydraulic servo assisted ventilated discs and rear leading/trailing drum. Both front and rear suspension were heavy duty, independent with MacPherson strut and stabilizer.
Sure, we had the AMC Gremlin, but Mexico had the 1983 VAM Gremlin. The fancy treats included individual seats with headrests, seat belts, safety glass, illuminated electronics, AM radio with antenna, disc brakes, 6.95×14 tires all powered by a 6-cylinder engine with a manual transmission. (image source: John Lloyd)
The 1983 Fiat Panda Super, promoted as a more sophisticated animal, was undeniably a product of its age. It was a no-nonsence, workman like design without fuss or frills. Rugged, innovative, versatile and compact yet spacious. The Super had an upgraded fifth gear for better economy and relaxed cruising and had thicker insulation to keep things even quieter. It also had a sleeker look with a new distinctive grill with a choice of striking colors including new metallics. The instrument panel was given fully illuminated switches and heater control and a central console with additional storage space, radio mounting and cigarette lighter. The MSRP was £2,995.
1984 was the first year for the Carroll Shelby-modified Dodge Omni GLH five-door hatchback and was the ultimate Omni. The original name, “Coyote”, was rejected, and Shelby’s choice, the initials GLH, which stood for “Goes Like Hell”, were taken instead. (image source: John Lloyd text source: Wikipedia)
The Oltcit Club was produced from 1981 to 1995. It was produced via a joint venture with Citroën. It had front wheel drive, and was promoted as having a self-supporting body made of steel sheet processed by electropriming to resist corrosion. Its air cooled four cylinder engine had an output of 41 hp and claimed to reach a maximum speed of 146.9 MPH with 5 people in it. The front suspension was independent, with torsion bars and transverse flexion blades and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers.It had front and rear disk brakes. (image source: John Lloyd)
What a joy it would be to be driving around today in the gorgeous 1980 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 2.5i. The lines are so classic and simple. It’s held up quite well and is just dripping with personality and grace. Nice color too.
1980 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 2.5i
The rear wheel drive Sbarro Ferrari Super 8 concept was conceived and executed by Franco Sbarro. Powered by a 3-liter 260hp V8 with a five-speed manual, it was unveiled at the 1984 Geneva auto show. Sbarro started with a Ferrari 308 GTB, with a shortened frame and custom bodywork. Only one example was said to have been built.
1984 Sbarro Ferrari Super 8 concept
The clean lines of the 1987 Lada Samara holds up quite well. I would find it a desirable ride even today, in fact, I think the automotive industry is missing this low cost, fun, easy to ride segment. (image source: Alden)