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1980s Sports Cars That Drivers Want To Stay Forgotten

Cameron EittreimNovember 15, 2021

Photo Credit: Honda

8: Acura Integra

The original boxy-looking Acura Integra is an icon in the automotive community. But the car also had a lot of shortcomings. At precisely 2500 pounds, the Integra was lightweight and that isn’t always a good thing. The cheap feeling of the car was not in line with the premium appeal that competitors like Lexus brought to the table (via Motor Biscuit).

Photo Credit: Honda

Perhaps the bright spot to the Integra was the fact that the 16-valve 1.6-liter four-cylinder was a pleasure to operate. The engine is still highly coveted today and is one of Honda’s best power plants. All in all, the first Integra was a bland dud, but the next generation of the car made up for it.

AMG Hammer
Photo Credit: AMG

7: AMG Hammer

Initially, the Hammer was a smart idea as it attempted to take a Mercedes Benz and turn it into a muscle car. The car had excellent manners, sound performance, and a high price tag. Everything drivers would want. Well, until the car started to age. Hammers are notoriously unreliable. When you aren’t at the race track, you’ll be in the shop (via Car Fan Blog).

AMG Hammer
Photo Credit: AMG

The V8 engine performed marvelously in such a lightweight car, which still holds true today. But keeping one of these on the road is not an easy task. It takes a loyal Mercedes enthusiast to own one of these cars and not pull their hair out. The AMG Hammer might just be one of the worst sport sedans that we remember.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

6: Audi Quattro

Known as the “rally sled,” the Quattro was about as unconventional of a two-door hatchback as you could get. The Quattro had performance that was unmatched at the time for a car in this class. The German engineering behind Audi cars shined, especially with the driving experience of the Quattro (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Quattro stood out from the crowd for its strikingly different appearance, but that wasn’t always a good thing. When it came down to it, the car was expensive to maintain and lacked the luxury car appeal that some car buyers wanted.

Photo Credit: Mecum

5: DeLorean DMC-12

The DMC-12 is one of the most iconic cars in the world, but that isn’t always a good thing. The car was plagued by problems in quality and reliability. On the silver screen, the DMC-12 was the car of the future. In reality, not too much. Apart from the out-of-this-world styling, the car was indispensable underneath.

Photo Credit: Mecum

The performance isn’t as exhilarating as the car would give the impression of. Car shoppers weren’t flattered by this either, and the car ended up being a flop. It didn’t help that John DeLorean was going through significant legal troubles at the time. To this day, there is still a fiercely loyal following for the DMC-12.

Photo Credit: Road & Track

4: Dodge Omni Shelby GLH/GLHS

What happened when Carroll Shelby and Dodge got together in the 1980s? Drivers got the Omni with racing stripes. The Shelby GLH was a turbocharged variety of the Omni that you’d sometimes see making its way down the freeway. The problem is that the car was still basically an Omni with ugly styling and an outdated interior (via Silodrone).

Photo Credit: Road & Track

There was a time when the Omni was popular, but by the late 1980s, this wasn’t the case anymore. Consumer tastes had evolved, and there were other more appealing small cars entering the market. Still Caroll Shelby stood behind this car, and there was plenty of press coverage that surrounded it.

Lamborghini Countach
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

3: Lamborghini Countach

The Countach was the car you may have had a poster of on your wall if you were a kid in the 80s. The car was everything you envisioned was cool was back then. But aside from the obscene wing and the effects of the car, the Countach was just an oversized boat. The car is mountainous, and by today’s standards, its performance isn’t that great (via The Car Guide).

Lamborgini Countach
Photo Credit: Motor Trend

This was from an era where supercars used loud and fast motors, and the Countach is anything but refined. You’ll still hear this car coming from a mile away, and you can’t miss it either. Many famous people own this obscene-looking car, including star car afficianado Jay Leno.

Mazda 323 GTX
Photo Credit: Mazda

2: Mazda 323 GTX

Mazda had many notable cars in the 1980s, yet the Mazda 323 GTX was something else. It was a hopped-up hatchback with a faster engine than the run-of-the-mill 323. While the effects of the car weren’t much, its performance made up for it. The problem was that the price tag was outrageous for what the car was.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

You could get a comparably priced sports car that would offer more performance and display for the same price. Where the 323 GTX did shine was in the rally circuit, where the sports car won numerous awards and accolades around the world.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

1: Merkur XR4Ti

Ford tried something different with the Merkur brand when it brought the cars over from Britain. The problem was that the observations of the cars were polarizing and the prices were high. Consumers didn’t want to plunge down the money on a car model unknown at the time. Which meant sales for Merkur cars suffered tremendously (via Classic).

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Although the styling and performance was widely acclaimed, the cars simply didn’t catch on with consumers. At the end of the day, the Merkur XR4Ti is sort of a relic of a time when Ford was trying to innovate. Sadly, the car didn’t last that long, but you’ll still encounter one on the road every now and then.

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