We have seen already in recent years many automakers give us cars that resemble some of their top models from the 1960s and 1970s. With the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger and Charger alone you might feel as if the car offerings have brought back and recreated what has become a second Muscle Car Age. Even though the 1980s were thought of for many cars as a throw away decade, there were some seriously fast cars during that time that has exceptional style and performance to be donned as quick cars. With that in mind, here are the quickest cars (based on their zero to sixty times) of the 1980s for your amusement.
1985 & 1986 Ferrari Testarossa – 5.0 seconds – The Testarossa was the dream car of so many teenagers during the 1980s and the car that was featured prominently on TV and in movies as the one the hero usually got to drive. This was certainly an awesome car that left so many of us with our tongues hanging out just hoping we could get the chance to drive one of these beauties.
1985 Ferrari 288GTO – 5.0 seconds – Low, sleek and fast the 288GTO would be the second favorite for those who were real Ferrari fans. This car was smaller than the Testarossa to give it sharper handling and allow it to be more affordable than the larger nameplate. Add GTO to any name in the 80’s and people noticed, not that the name Ferrari wouldn’t do it, but the GTO was like icing on a very fast cake.
1981 Ferrari 512BB – 5.0 seconds – The Ferrari engine was the standard for speed at the time and the cars that were made were beautiful works of art including of course. This car offered more familiar styling than the upcoming Testarossa model and gave us a gorgeous sports car that would really fly.
1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Slant Nose – 4.9 seconds – This classis looking Porsche with the dual rails to the headlights on the hood and the center that dropped was certainly a beautiful sight especially when it was more than capable of reaching 130 mph and not breaking a sweat along the way.
1986 Buick Regal Grand National – 4.9 seconds – This was a cumbersome looking car that was built on the Regal platform of the ‘80s. Everything should have gone against this car being quick at all, but Buick put an engine so aggressive inside the car had no choice but to jump off the line and slingshot to sixty.
1989 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE – 4.8 seconds – The 1980s were certainly good to Lotus and many car enthusiasts would agonize over the choice between a Lotus model or a Ferrari. This model was quick and decisive on the road giving owners the driving experience they wanted from the lauded brand.
1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 – 4.8 seconds – A couple years newer and a tick of a second faster but still offering the gorgeous fenders and hold with the sloping hood that showed up as the 911 we all know and love. The quickness didn’t stop for this car in the straight line test, as a Porsche 911 this car handled quick as well.
1987 Buick GNX – 4.7 seconds – At what point in our crazy world would you think the GNX would be faster than a Porsche? It was and this swan song for the final year of production of this amazing and powerful beast gave us a car that is still talked about today as one of the best cars of the decade.
1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am (turbo V6) – 4.6 seconds – The Firebird for the 1980s was in many ways more popular than the Camaro. Built with the same body style the Firebird offers a bit more than the longstanding Camaro including the flip up headlights and a very powerful engine to rocket this ship.
1986 Porsche Turbo 911 Turbo – 4.6 seconds – Light, small and seriously fast this beautiful little Porsche made its way quickly down any dragstrip and was unbeatable on a figure eight where handing was king of the road. The 911 was one of the most popular cars adorning the walls of teenage boys for the decade and many of the youngster knew all the specs.
1989 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 – 4.5 seconds – Only one car in the 1980s was faster than this Corvette when it came to reaching sixty mph. As one of the best sports cars of all time the Corvette was purely an American creation that made its way to the streets in a beautifully crafted from and a style that reminded us of the Ferraris of the earlier part of the decade. This car could fly and beat nearly everything else on the road.
1987 Porsche 959 – 3.6 seconds – As the only car that was faster than the Corvette the 959 was a genius of modern technology for the time and gave us a nearly flawless build. Smooth, sleek, easy to handle and superfast the Porsche 959 knew how to get to speed quickly and then take to the track where the handling prowess and performance took over. If you wanted the best speed of the decade this was the car for the job.
Even for a decade mired with subpar horsepower and nearly inexplicable design flaws there were several gems that made their way to the roads of the world. This group of cars incited the imagination and all but the two Buicks were high caliber sport cars with those two outliers which could have easily been in the same class had someone at Buick thought to give them some more interesting design elements. Maybe we will see a return of some of these designs in our next group of throwback cars for us to admire, we can only hope.