Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 30, 2019
The 126C was Ferrari’s 1981 Formula One car. It replaced the 312T series of cars that dated back to 1975. For 1982, the chassis was heavily updated to C2 specification, and it was iterated upon thereafter through 1984.
Power is from a turbocharged 1.5-liter V6 that made about 600 horsepower in race trim. Driving duties for 1982 were split between Gilles Villeneuve (who died mid-season), Didier Pironi, Patrick Tambay, and Mario Andretti. No single driver competed in every race. The competition history for this chassis includes:
1982 British Grand Prix – 3rd (with Patrick Tambay)
1982 French Grand Prix – 4th (with Tambay)
1982 German Grand Prix – 1st (with Tambay)
1982 Italian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Mario Andretti)
1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix (Las Vegas) – 19th, DNF (with Andretti)
The car left Ferrari’s private collection in 2000 and has been used in events since. This race-winning F1 car from the Scuderia is the only survivor of seven examples of the type built. It should sell for between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019
No one may look back at the Dodge Omni and think “sporty,” but that didn’t stop Chrysler from trying when they introduced the Omni 024 3-door hatchback in 1979. Built through 1982, the car and its Plymouth counterpart, the Horizon TC3, were supposed to be an early-80s sports hatch. There was even a De Tomaso trim level.
Meanwhile, during the energy crisis, the U.S. Department of Energy started handing out money to companies that said they would develop and sell electric cars. Jet Industries, primarily known for their snowmobiles (even though they were based in Texas), actually ended up producing about 3,000 “Electrica 007s,” which were just altered Omni 024s.
The Chrysler engine was replaced with a 23 horsepower direct-current electric motor. The hatchback area was full of batteries, and the car could hit 70 mph and attain 60 miles of range (though not at the same time). This would’ve been the perfect Back to the Future car. Only 50 are known to exist, and this one should bring between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
There are Rolls-Royces from the 1980s that you can acquire for about $10,000. I’m not saying it’s a good idea, but it’s possible. Not so here. The Camargue was a luxury coupe built by Rolls-Royce that was even more unattainable than the Corniche. It was the most expensive car sold in the U.K. at the time of its launch.
And that didn’t really help its cause. While certainly a statement on wheels, the Camargue was outsold by the Corniche (which could also be had as a convertible). Built between 1975 and 1986, Rolls managed to sell just 531 examples of this monstrous coupe.
This one-owner Camargue is powered by a 6.75-liter V-8 that made somewhere between 220 and 250 horsepower. RR wasn’t big on quoting actual figures at the time. This chassis was originally sold to a Middle Eastern royal family and has covered less than 5,000 miles since new. It’s likely the nicest example extant and can be yours for between $84,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 1-3, 2016
Photo – Mecum
Hello neo-classic fans! The 1980s were a weird time: people rolled up the sleeves on their white sport coats, wore huge glasses with big hair, and wanted to drive modern cars that looked like they were built in the 1930s. These weren’t replicas, but luxury cars with classic looks.
Charles W. Phillips decided to build just such a car. From 1980 through 1983, the Phillips Motor Car Corporation of Pompano Beach, Florida, built the Berlina Coupe in limited numbers. It’s not a kit car, but was sold as a fully-built automobile, even though it is based on a stretched C3 Corvette chassis. The body is fiberglass and made to evoke the pre-war Mercedes-Benz 540K.
This car is powered by a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V-8 making 200 horsepower (Corvettes weren’t all that sporty in 1980). Top speed was about 110 mph. It has leather interior and is decked out with about all the features you could hope for in 1982. They’re certainly striking and less than 90 were ever made. The cost when new was about $85,000 – but it will bring less than that at auction. Read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 15-16, 2015
Photo – Gooding & Company
Group C was new for 1982 and a whole new wave of closed coupe prototype race cars came flying out just about of all of the world’s major manufacturers. Porsche (and their 956 and 962 models) defined the Group C age with unrivaled success. The 956 was built between 1982 and 1984, with the 962 replacing it for 1985. They are different cars, but one could be forgiven for not being able to immediately differentiate between the two.
This car is powered by a 2.7-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making 630 horsepower. It is not a slow car. The 956 holds the lap record at the Nürburgring. This was one of 10 Porsche factory race cars and it’s competition history includes:
1982 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Jochen Mass & Vern Schupppan)
1982 1000km Spa – 1st (with Jacky Ickx & Mass)
1983 24 Hours of Le Mans – 1st (with Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, & Schuppan)
It was raced a few times after that and then Porsche sold it to Vern Schuppan who kept it until 1996. The new owner restored the car and it has led a privileged life since, having been kept mostly off the track and in the hands of a few other owners. Only 22 Porsche 956s were built and only 10 were lucky enough to be factory race cars. They do not come up for sale often, and this, a Le Mans winner, is one of the best. It should sell for between $7,000,000-$9,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | March 21, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Nobody did rally cars in the 1980s quite like Audi. They brought 4WD to the sport and revolutionized it. Their cars were boxy, powerful, and scary fast. The Quattro was a production car that was also sold as the Audi Coupe and they were introduced in 1980. The rally variant debuted that year as well.
This car was an Audi factory rally car that competed in Group 4 and Group B rally – the most famous (and awesome) period of rallying in history. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.1-liter straight-five making 300 horsepower in race trim.
Initially, it was built as a Group 5 rally car and it finished 2nd in the 1982 Monte Carlo rally with Hannu Mikkola at the wheel. He would go on to win the World Driver’s Championship that year. In 1983, Audi converted the car to the Group B spec you see here. It spent the next 12 years or so in Finland on the rally circuit and in a museum.
The current owner acquired it in 1995 and had it thoroughly gone over. It’s a pretty awesome example of the most intense years of rallying. You can buy it for between $370,000-$430,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this example.
Offered by RM Auctions | Paris, France | February 4, 2015
Photo – RM Auctions
Here’s another wonderful homologation special brought to you by the legendary Group B Rally regulations. Group B has been responsible for some pretty epic road cars from the 1980s. This is one of the coolest.
When Lancia threw its hat into the almost-anything-goes-as-long-as-you-build-a-road-version ring, they called in Dallara, Abarth, and Pininfarina for assitance. The body is made out of Kevlar reinforced fiberglass and it looks sort of like a badass version of the rust bucket Lancia Montecarlo.
The engine is a version of the one found in the Fiat-Abarth 131 – it’s a supercharged 2.0-liter straight-four making 205 horsepower. It is mid-engined and its on-track success was legitimate: Lancia won the 1983 World Rally Championship constructors’ title with the 037. It’s one of the last great RWD rally cars.
Only 207 road versions were built, with this one being #45. It’s being sold by its original owner with less than 14,000km on the clock. While the power output might not be extreme, this is one of the coolest, rarest cars from the 1980s that you can buy. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Paris.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | September 20, 2014
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
If you’re even mildly observant, you’ll notice that this is a Jaguar XJ-S from the early 1980s. The XJ-S was Jaguar’s grand touring model that was built from 1975 through 1996. The XJ-S H.E. was built between 1981 and 1990 and was offered as a coupe, targa, or convertible. But this is a wagon.
The Lynx Eventer was an aftermarket shooting brake – or two door, British wagon. Lynx was a coachbuilder and in the 1980s they offered this very nice conversion (hey, isn’t a lynx kind of like a jaguar?). The supposed price for one of these conversions was nearly $90,000. It uses the same Jaguar 5.3-liter V-12 making 295 horsepower that the car came with.
This was the first Eventer to be sold of the 67 built total and is featured in the Lynx factory literature. It has covered 116,000 miles and is not currently running after having been in storage for 15 years. But it looks great and the body style really is nice – I like it more than any XJ-S I’ve seen. Even in this condition, it should still sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Mirage M12 was the final Mirage prototype race car the company would construct. Mirage has one of the coolest histories because of its founding as the flag carrier for the colors of the Gulf Oil Corporation. The first Mirages were Ford GT40-based and they were awesome.
The Gulf sponsorship dried up after 1975 but Mirage continued to be successful in the late-70s. With the new Group C rules coming into effect, Mirage designed this rather attractive ground effects car powered by a 4.0-liter Ford-Cosworth V-8 that makes 540 horsepower. The build of the car was actually undertaken by Tiga, another racing car manufacturer.
This particular example was never raced, as it served as the team’s spare car at Le Mans in 1982. It has been clocked at 220 mph in testing and has never needed a rebuild or restoration – although it has been competently sorted and is ready for the historic racing circuit.
The Mirage program ended after Le Mans in 1982 and this is the last car they built. It can be yours for between $345,000-$440,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Monaco.
The RE30B was an updated version of – you guessed it – the RE30. The RE30 won three races with Alain Prost in 1981 and the RE30B combined for four wins between Prost and Rene Arnoux in 1982. This was Arnoux’s car for eight races in 1982 – including three pole runs – Monaco, Imola, and Zandvoort. It was a great qualifier but never raced all that well. Its best finish was 10th at the 1982 Detroit Grand Prix. The engine in this car was a 560 horsepower twin-turbocharged 1.5-liter V-6. It is a relative bargain between $175,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM’s Monaco sale.