Steel, Rubber and Gasoline.

Retro Rides of yesteryear
September 11, 2008
Ladies and Gentleman, Start your engines!

As I combed through the retrojunk archives(which I recommend to others as there are some nice forgotten articles there) I noticed one reoccurring thought, "I need a job" just joking! No, I noticed that there were no articles about vintage cars or any thing similar. Maybe I am in the wrong site for this subject, however I could not bear to leave it alone. What I have done is remembered back to the "Good old days" and compiled a list into three categories of some of my favorite rides. The first Category is "Everyday Cars" These are the rides that I most remember seeing as a child. obviously I was too young to drive but I have always been somewhat of an enthusiast. The Second Category is "Exotic Cars" These are the rides that epitomized the glory of the 80's. And finally my favorite "Movie Cars" This needs no explanation. I don't want to boor you with tedious facts about the cars production or useless numbers. I just want to convey what I see as I look at these Cars. Enjoy

EveryDay Cars

Ahhh...The Family Ford...I remember when my parents got this car.We were at the dealership till midnight negotiating. But it was fun because the employees kept giving me money for the soda machine(probably to shut me up so he could close the deal.)The Taurus was also at the time the best selling family car in the us. So it got bonus points for that.

This car was a welcome addition for me and my brother. Before that my dad would drop us off to school in his mangled up Toyota. It had a campershell and I would have to go to school bouncing around in the back. It was embarrassing to say the least! But now I was riding to school in the same car that Robo Cop drove! That helped boost my playground rep considerably.

They stopped making the faithful Taurus some years back. There were rumors of a comeback. Every now and then you will see one, if your lucky you will see the super rare SHO version. Which was their race model. Sadly Fords aren't known for their reliability so they probably end up like this on.Ours had transmission trouble early on and we had to trade it in.So If your ever driving and see one, a honk of respect would be fitting for America's family cruiser.

I think that the old Toyota vans were futuristic in design. I think that in some of the 80's sci fi movies (maybe Bladerunner?) you could see them driving around with bodywork to give them that added boost of sci-fi looks. I remember these were the ultimate people movers. If you were going on a field trip you might fit half the class in one. Nothing like playing I Spy and telling big rigs to honk in the back of one of these bad boys! A downside though was that these vans seemed very unsafe. The drivers basically rode over the engines and there was nothing in front of you to absorb impact. Ouch!

I really like the design elements found in vintage cars. this pic is a little older but you see the creative features. That bed-seat looks like it would make a comfortable place to rest, especially after hauling 4 noisy, hyper active kids across half the state on your way to DisneyLand. I can't imagine one of these used as a truck, I think they had like a 2.0 four cylinder engine. That's the equivalent to a hamster running on a wheel hooked up to the drive train.
They get kudos though for being creative.

These too like the fabled Taurus are an uncommon site today. But if you know where to look you will see them. Today the are mainly used for delivering stuff and work related purposes. As they advertised them here for. Now with the advent of better suited passenger vans the Toyota le has left its soccer mom profile and is now a legend among post-teen adults. Though they have stopped making them there is still a cult following. I had found these pictures off a Toyota van club website.

The Z28 was a staple of 80's motor madness. If you were particularly bad enough you would drive the coveted Iroc version. I chose the Camaro over the mustang because the mustang seems to overshadow this worthy contender. A 5.0 vs. Z28 showdown was probably a common event at high-school parking lots. And if you dared get a Camaro it had better be Red. If you didn't it would be like getting a blue Ferrari. It just didn't make sense. I remember Chevy used to use the Slogan "The Heartbeat of America" they switched it now to "Chevy an American revolution". The Camaro too is out of production but there are plans to reintroduce the second most famous pony car in 2009. In the Transformers movies Bumble bee is a brand new Camaro. This car may have been GM most successful sports car ever. Even outdoing the mighty Corvette. But with the huge price tags that came with the corvette it was no surprise that the camaro outsold its faster bigger brother. I'd take an Iroc anyday over an import! But with gas I think I will just watch them drive by...

My brother had a Camaro. I remember one day after school I was waiting longer than usual to be picked up by my mom. I remember hearing a deep rumble and seeing his car flying along the curb. I got in real slow, Letting all the kids see who was getting into that muscle machine. Then after I was in he turned the radio on real loud. I think it was N.W.A and then he peeled off out of my schools exit! Strange as it seems that was about the only time I specifically remember getting picked up from school. There used to be a Mels Drive in where I lived and they had girls on roller blades who came out to serve you. The place was virtually packed with mustangs and cammaros. I felt awkward when my parent used to drive in there in our Taurus. Even today every high schooler who wants a cool car and can't go expensive can still find an old Camaro at a used car dealership. So the Muscle car Legacy will continue...for now

I don't really have any relevant memories of the Fiero. It was the little brother of the Mighty Trans am of Smoky and the Bandit fame. Though Ferris Bueller sister drives one in Ferris Bueller's day off. It design makes it also a standout of 80's design.

What teenage girl didn't want a Cabriolet to drive to the mall in the 80's? Like the Camaro was to guys, the VW was to the gals. even today the trend holds strong...classics never die. The cabriolet has been in many shows too, like Remington steele and also had a role in the movie Nightmare on elm street. Though not a movie car. It was surely a prominent model in the 80's

Exotic Cars

The 850 was almost a mythical automobile. you heard of them but never seen them. Only in movies like Heat, but only very shortly. I remember seeing the Movie Beethoven and the agent Moulder from X files drove one. When I first saw it in real life I was in shock. "They Do Exist!" I thought as I looked at it. I am sure the owner would have a fit seeing some pesky kid breathing and drooling all over his Bavarian work of art. Even today these cars go fro large sums of money. Just look at the level of sophistication. The thing has a keyboard!

Porsche has hardly ever changed their designs. And you see why. They are among the most eye pleasing designs ever. Porsche did however release the 928 version or what I call the ugly duckling. It had an unsual design and was priced lower than other models

In my opinion the Testarossa is the best example of an 80's supercar. Don Johnson drove one in Miami Vice and it was also featured in the tv series Quantum Leap. This car is beautiful. Those sleek air intakes along the doors are legendary. This car was also one of my first Hotwheels. I would fling it down the hallway full blast pretending I was in the driver seat.

Movie Cars

This is the best of all the many Batmobiles. Michael Keaton was one of the best Batmans, So it makes sense. (Sorry George Clooney) This car ROCKED! I had the toy version which shot plastic rockets and batman fit perfectly in the cabin. This was the crown jewel of my toy collection at one time. Every time a batman movie came out people were anxious as to what the next gen batmobile would look like.

One of the many features the Bat-mobile had was one of the coolest. When the Caped Crusader left the car to fight crime it would go into security mode with armor shielding it from would be vandals. I actually got to see the batmobile at a fair awhile back. I remember their was a Batman there who had a red mustache(Big Disappointment) And I had to take picture with him and not the car.

The Ecto-1 as this Cadillac was called by the elite supernatural fighting team known as the Ghostbusters. I still remember even though I couldn't have been more than four years old seeing the movie at a drive in theater. we were all in the car huddled around the speaker box. This car is one of the most recognizable cars from movies.

Last but certainly not least is Doc Brown's time traveling Delorean. Likely the most famous of all cars that were in movies, the Delorean is a icon. I don't know if they still have it but at Universal studios they had a replica outside of the ride. The ride itself was great too because you sat in one as you were in front of a screen.

I don't know how readers will take this article. Maybe there are not any articles on here about cars for a reason. But like it or not these four wheeled are apart of every ones childhood. Whether it was being driven to the arcade. Or watching one on the big screen in a high speed chase. These retro rides will live forever on as unique testaments to 80's culture.
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