Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.
The ’80s were unabashedly filled with excess, and few other industries used this to their favor quite like the car industry. While at one end of the spectrum you had the terrible, awful malaise-era cars, they soon faded from auto shows, and the sports car market stepped in to make up for it. Power and performance were trendy again, and low-slung sports cars were how manufacturers flaunted all their technological know-how. Of course, we the consumers benefited the most. Here are five of the best sports cars to come out of the ’80s, across a broad spectrum of price points.
1986 Porsche 944 Turbo
What we like: The 944 was posited as the entry-level Porsche. It lives on today in the 718, and back when it was a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive coupe, it was still considered one of the best-handling cars on the market.
From the seller: An all-original one-owner 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo with original paint, never modified, with a clean title.
Location: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
What we like: The 560SL leans more toward the GT side of things, but there’s no denying the sporting nature of a 5.6-liter V8 pulling along a drop-top two-seater.
From the seller: Powered by a 5.6-liter V8 paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, the most recent service was a basic tune-up performed in February of this year. This R107 is sold with the factory hardtop, all owner’s books, service records from new, a copy of the Carfax, and a clean North Carolina title in the seller’s name.
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
1989 Porsche 928 S4
What we like: The 928 was actually supposed to replace the 911 and take up the mantle of Porsche’s flagship — just with a different recipe. We all know it didn’t, but to even attempt it, Porsche had to make sure the 928 could hold a candle to the 911. For a RWD coupe with a 5.0-liter V8, the 928 wasn’t too shabby.
From the seller: This 1989 Porsche 928 S4 was acquired by the seller in February 2017 from the original owner’s wife, who had the car serviced annually during the 17 years since her husband’s passing. Now showing 73,807 miles, the car has reportedly been maintained in stock specification other than an older repaint and an aftermarket CD player.
Location: Edgewater, New Jersey
1988 BMW M5
What we like: The M5 is the original super sedan. It was bigger than the M3, but the guys in lab coats made sure it could handle like nothing else.
From the seller: The car was treated to a bare-metal repaint in 2010, as well as refinished BBS wheels and a complete A/C system refresh three months ago. Now showing 164K miles, this example is modified with an EEC short shifter, M-Tech steering wheel, aftermarket stereo and Euro bumpers and lights.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
1984 Porsche 911 Carrera
What we like: The 911 has been pretty much the benchmark sports car since it first came on to the scene in 1963; there’s really no justification needed. Even in base-level trim, the 911 takes other sports cars’ lunch money all day long.
From the seller: The seller purchased it from the dealer in January 2008 with 41,200 miles, relocated it to New York, and has added just over 36K miles since. Powered by a 3.2-liter flat-six paired to a five-speed manual gearbox, this example is equipped with factory sport seats and has been fitted with a Steve Wong performance chip.
Location: Yorktown Heights, New York