Home Cars Extinct ’80s Car Features Drivers Are Glad To Forget

Extinct ’80s Car Features Drivers Are Glad To Forget

Cameron Eittreim May 26, 2021

Photo Credit: Hagerty

4: Targa Tops

Another quirky feature that you might not have realized started in the ’80s was the Targa top. Prominently featured on Porsche models of the period the Chevrolet Corvette also managed to get a Targa top as well. The great thing about Targa tops was that they didn’t sacrifice the ride quality as with a convertible. Nevertheless, Targa tops never became immensely popular.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

Although you can still find Targa tops for modern-day sports cars, they aren’t the norm. A Targa top is often very heavy and tough to remove. Most average consumers would rather just go for the convertible body style instead of dealing with removing the Targa top. Still, an interesting fad from the ’80s nonetheless.

Photo Credit: Toyota

3: Techno-Colored Dashboards

One thing drivers remember about the ’80s it was the dashboards. The digital dashboards of this era were meant to represent the future. Unfortunately, all that happened was expensive dashboard replacements. The Camaro Berlinetta was one such vehicle that tried to take advantage of the digital design. Consumers didn’t adapt to this at all and by the turn of the ’90s, dashboards were analog again.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Cadillac brand was another home to way too many digital dashboards. There are some benefits to a digital dashboard but they weren’t major. Most consumers just preferred the regular style of analog gauges as opposed to the digital dash. Still, the digital dash is a pretty notable part of ’80s automotive culture.

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2: Cylinder Deactivation

throughout the ’80s, automakers were experimenting with all kinds of new fuel management technologies. The Cylinder Deactivation was among one of the most controversial. On most of the cars that featured this technology the reliability suffered. As such, most automakers ended up moving away from Cylinder Deactivation not long after it was introduced.

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Cylinder deactivation has returned in some sense of the word almost 30 years later. Most modern engines have some type of deactivation, especially on pickup trucks. It’s questionable how much fuel the technology saves. Most consumers went to have a reliable vehicle and with cylinder deactivation, this isn’t always the case.

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1: Paint Jobs

Remember the Baja-themed trucks of the ’80s? Probably not unless you lived through it. But there was a period where automakers were going a bit over the top with paint schemes. The paint jobs of this era were notoriously flashy and most of the automakers were following with this. The problem is that 10 years down the road, most of these paint jobs had peeled or faded.

Photo Credit: Nissan

Automakers are notorious when it comes to cost-cutting and it would appear that this fad was part of that. Nevertheless, if you’ve ever seen a pickup truck or car from the ’80s, you probably remember these wild paint jobs. One of the last prominent vehicles to feature this was the Ford Ranger Splash.

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