Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 13, 2018
Photo – Coys
Let’s start with what we know: this looks like a Ferrari 308. Yes it does; the Ferrari 308 was a popular model in the 1980s and was, until very recently, a very affordable exotic, with prices dipping into the low $30k range about 10 years ago.
Because of the tax structure in Italy in 1980, Ferrari decided to build a 2.0-liter variant of the 308 for their home market (and for a few export markets as well). The 1980-1981 208 GTB/GTS was a very low-production model. In 1982, they strapped a turbocharger to it and the 208 GTB/GTS Turbo was born. These were available through 1985.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter V-8 making 217 horsepower, this was Ferrari’s first turbocharged road car. And it was a significant horsepower bump over the naturally-aspirated 208. In 1983, they brought out the targa version you see here. By 1985, this car was on the opposite end of the Ferrari spectrum from the 288 GTO.
Only 250 208 GTS Turbos were built, making it much rarer than it’s 308 cousin, which it shared nearly everything else besides the engine. This example was sold new in Malta and has been with the consignor for 17 years. It looks flawless and it you want something that looks “ordinary” (for a Ferrari) but is something actually much weirder rarer, then this is the car for you. It should bring between $53,500-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 2, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
“GTO” are three exotic letters in the land of the prancing horse. Originally applied to the Ferrari 250 GTO, the most expensive car in the world, Ferrari brought it back in the 1980s. Sort of related to the comparatively lackluster Ferrari 308 GTB, the 288 GTO was destined to be a homologation special so Ferrari could go racing in a Group B Circuit series that ultimately never materialized. You could call it Ferrari’s first supercar.
The mid-rear-mounted engine is a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-8 making 400 horsepower. The car hits 60 mph in five seconds and tops out at 179 mph. When new, this car cost significantly more than even the best Rolls-Royce on sale in the 1980s. It was a true halo car.
Ferrari planned to build 200 examples but ended up at 278 when it was all said and done. This makes it rarer than the Ferrari halo models that followed, such as the F40 and F50. This example was delivered new to the U.K. and sports over 14,000 miles. It has been enjoyed. It’s had major service done and is ready for the next owner to pack on some more miles. Once kind of a supercar bargain, the 288 GTO now out-prices the Ferrari supercars that followed it. This one should bring between $2,600,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | July 26, 2017
Photo – H&H Classics
Dennis Adams worked at Lister Cars and Marcos at different points in his career and also he built a few cars of his own. Perhaps the most famous is the Probe 16, also known as the Durango 95 from A Clockwork Orange. In the 1980s he designed this Jaguar-based Roadster with a very neoclassic-like look.
Originally powered by a 2.8-liter engine, this car now boasts a 4.2-liter Jaguar straight-six with three carburettors. Depending on which era the engine came from (it was around a while), this car probably makes somewhere between 168 and 265 horsepower. Top speed is claimed to be over 100 mph.
The Adams Roadster was built between 1985 and 1999 and only 17 were ever constructed. The green paint is somewhat striking and the interior looks like it’s definitely been used but still shows nice with no noticeable cracks or tears. This rare Jaguar-powered machine should bring between $25,500-$38,250. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H Classics.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Ah, the sweet, overpowered world of homologation specials, specifically, Group B homologation specials. You see, Group B was the most intense and scariest form of rallying of all time and it occurred from 1982 through 1986. The cars were required to be based off of road-legal cars so manufacturers designed super sophisticated rally cars, and then added the barest of passenger niceties to sell a few hundred “road cars” to make their rally cars legal. But to be fair, the interior here is pretty nice.
There are a bunch of Lancia Delta special editions, such as the successor to this car, the HF Integrale of the late 1980s and early 1990s. But this was the Mack Daddy. It was an evolution of the supercar-esque Lancia 037 that preceded it. The Delta S4 rally car raced only in 1985 and 1986, the same years that Lancia built the Stradale road cars.
They are four-wheel drive, mid-engined rockets. Where the later HF Integrales were four-doors, these sported two. And the engine is a supercharged and turbocharged 1.8-liter straight-four making 300 horsepower. Top speed was 140 mph and 60 arrived in about six seconds. That’s serious mid-80s performance from a sub-2.0-liter four-cylinder car.
Lancia only built 200 of these and they don’t change hands often. This one should bring in the neighborhood of $490,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 14-22, 2017
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The third generation of the Pontiac Firebird went on sale in 1982 and stayed in production through 1992. The Trans Am model was sort of the Firebird-equivalent of the IROC-Z Camaro.
The Trans Am was the hot version of the Firebird, and in 1985 it used a 5.0-liter V-8 making 190 horsepower. This is no ordinary Trans Am, however, as it features a “Kammback” – a huge station wagon like hatch on the rear end that looks more like a pickup truck cap. This genuine General Motors factory concept car began as a well-equipped Trans Am (and possibly a factory test mule) before getting the prototype treatment.
It was also used as a pace car during the 1985 racing season for series including IMSA. GM kept it for 13 years until it was sold to Detroit-area car collector John McMullen. It was purchased from that collection in 2007 by John O’Quinn for $66,000. It’s not road legal because it has an experimental VIN number but it still has 36,000 miles and has been restored. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | November 26, 2016
Photo – Oldtimer Galerie
Erich Bitter – and his Schwelm, Germany, based Erich Bitter Automobil GmbH – started building cars in 1973 when Opel decided against putting a prototype coupe into production. Bitter got the rights, outsourced production, and boom, Bitter is a legitimate manufacturer or sports cars.
The company’s followup model was the 1979-1985 SC. It was available in Coupe, Convertible, or Sedan form (you could even buy the sedan in the U.S.). The Coupe was the most popular variant, with 461 of them built and this example being among the last completed. Of course, Bitter was still outsourcing the construction of their cars, and the SC was assembled by Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria.
Two engines were available, with this car carrying the smaller 3.0-liter straight-six making 177 horsepower. With styling reminiscent of the Ferrari 365 GT4 and 400 series, it is rather unique, even if it might not boast the most power for a sports coupe. This one is listed as being in very good condition and it should bring between $26,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Arrows Grand Prix International was founded in 1977 in England by Franco Ambrosio, Alan Rees, Jackie Oliver, Dave Wass, and Tony Southgate. They first competed in 1978 and their last race was midway in the 2002 season.
The A8 was Arrows’ car for the 1985 (and part of the 1986) season. The engine was a 1.5-liter BMW straight-four turbocharged to make, in qualifying trim, up to 1,100 horsepower. It is unclear what engine this car currently carries but it is mentioned that said engine has been rebuilt (but never driven).
Only five (or six) of these were built with this one, A8-6, being the last. This car was Thierry Boutsen’s but we can’t report as to which races it ran in or how it best finished. At any rate, it should sell for between $170,000-$205,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
We love to feature supercars on this site alongside all kinds of classics and this definitely qualifies as a supercar. Group B rally cars from the 1980s were the most extreme rally cars ever built. And when manufacturers churned out road-going versions, well, things got crazy.
How crazy? How about 600 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.1-liter straight-four. In a road car! The body is fiberglass, it’s mid-engined, and features four-wheel drive. That combo is good for a 0-60 mph sprint in around three seconds. This particular car has only 450 kilometers on it since new.
Ford was required to build 200 of these to homologate the car for racing. So they did. The major difference between the race and road cars is the interior. It’s actually kind of nice here. Of the 200 built, 20 (and later four more for a total of 24) were converted into “Evolution” spec cars. This included a huge power boost (up from 250 horsepower) thanks to the larger, 2.1-liter engine. It also has better brakes and suspension. It’s an awesome, 1980s-era supercar. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 16, 2016
Photo – Coys
The MG Metro was not an exciting car. In fact, the Metro (which was produced under the Austin, MG, Rover and Morris brands) was originally built as a 1.0-liter front-wheel-drive supermini in England from 1980 through 1990. It could be had as a three or five-door hatchback and three-door van. This is obviously not one of those.
This is what happens when a giant motoring governing body lets people go wild. That’s what Group B Rally represented in the 1980s. The cars that came out of that short-lived era are some of the most collectible rally cars ever built. The 6R4 version of the Metro was built between 1984 and 1987.
In this trim, the engine is mounted behind the driver. It’s a 3.0-liter V-6 – naturally aspirated. Power output was 410 horsepower. Four-wheel drive was permanent. There was even a (slightly neutered) road-going version. Twenty rally versions were built.
This particular car was a Rothmans team rally car. It was never used in anger – mostly at shows and in demonstrations. It has 3,100 miles on it. The pre-sale estimate is between $125,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
Toleman Motorsport was a racing team from the U.K. founded by Ted Toleman and Alex Hawkridge in 1977. They moved up into F1 for 1981 and would actually be the team that Ayrton Senna got his start with. The TG185 was the team’s car for 1985 – their final season before selling out to team sponsor Benetton.
It was powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged Hart straight-four making 800 horsepower. This car was driven by Piercarlo Ghinzani and it retired from every race it started. The unreliable Hart engine is no longer around, but this roller could house a Cosworth V8 pretty easily. It should sell for between $55,000-$70,000. Click here for more info.