Generation X is a demographic category describing people born in the 60’s who became adults in the 80’s. This was the time of wild hairstyles, MTV, the Walkman and square cars with bulky black plastic bumpers. If you in this generation, you were probably too young to remember those classic muscle cars. By the time you were old enough to drive, most of those gas-guzzling dinosaurs were gone. This was thanks to high fuel prices and years of torture.
Although the 70’s had its share of muscle car models, almost all cars from that period were slow. They were tragically underpowered without any real performance appeal. Despite that, the muscle car market didn’t die. It was just waiting for better cars. In the 80’s, those faster and powerful cars arrived in various forms. Sometimes, they were significantly different from the original muscle car formula.
However, that was just what the market needed since it was a change in right direction. Even though 80’s muscle cars were slow compared to their predecessors, those models are important. This is because they helped keep the muscle car flame burning for the next generation.
Today, there is a rising interest in 80’s muscle cars. Automotive historians appreciate the role of 80’s muscle cars in the American performance car history. Members of Generation X who are now in their 50’s are looking for pieces of their teenage automotive dreams. For that reason, here is a compilation of the 18 best American muscle and performance cars from the 1980’s. You are sure to find a car here you wanted when you were a kid.
1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
After 11 years of production of the second generation of the F-body, GM gave the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird a much-needed redesign. It was for the 1982 model year. The new model was more advanced and aerodynamic. They also improved the suspension and handling.
The hottest version of the new Camaro was the Z/28 with a 305 V8 delivering 165 HP. Even though the power was low compared to the Z/28 from the late 60’s, the 1982 Camaro was a relatively fast car by the standards of the day. It was 500 pounds lighter than the previous generation. The five-speed manual transmission was standard.
As soon as the Z/28 hit the streets, those clever backstreet hot rodders realized they could change the intake system and camshaft. This update could significantly increase the power and performance of a stock Z/28 for people looking for pure speed.