Nanika atta, fellow gearheads? In this week’s installment of HUUCBOTW, we journey back to the late 80s for a blast from the past. I wasn’t around to experience it, but the 80s seemed like a great time. I know this, because I’m aware of the Bowling for Soup song “1985,” and I happen to know every word from every movie of the Back to the Future franchise.
“Great Scott!” you might be thinking. “The 80s were a terrible decade! Reaganomics were rampant, the War on Drugs was a’ ragin’, and Duran Duran was considered ‘music.'” Yes, all of that may be true, but the 80s are also responsible for wedgy, debatably awesome cars that I and many other gearheads are quite fond of despite their lack of any redeeming qualities whatsoever (DeLorean, anyone?).
The 80s also began the onslaught of Japanese automakers, many of whom are among the most successful today, despite their tendencies to now turn out beige turdmobiles for suburban Americans. But in the 80s, Japanese cars were fun. They were quirky and different and they drove extremely well and why oh why can’t it just be like that today?!
In honor of my nostalgia for a decade I didn’t even experience, here are two of the best sports cars that Japan had to offer. Which one would you have?
1987 Toyota Supra – $4,200
Every kid who knew anything about cars and grew up in the 90s knows about the Mark IV Supra. According to The Fast and the Furious franchise, it was basically the fastest and coolest car you could ever have, regardless of what Italy might have to say on that matter. It was curvy, had a ridiculous spoiler on the trunk lid, and everybody wanted one.
This, however, is not that car. This is the Mark III, which is all but completely irrelevant, obscured eternally by the shadow of its younger sibling. Being the predecessor to the mighty Mark IV is like being Eric Roberts. You call yourself an actor, but you’re really just Julia’s older brother and that’s all you’ll ever be.
But despite it’s irrelevance, don’t discount the Supra’s 80s-tasticness. My best friend in high school had a 1986.5 model and it was bad ass. We lovingly dubbed it “Mr. Fuji,” a reference to our beloved Pokémon franchise, and it was fantastic. A 5-speed, rear wheel drive, coupe from Japan as a first car? Sign me up! Sadly, I only had a Volvo…
Now, you may be wondering why a Toyota is included in HUUCBOTW, and you would be correct in wondering that. Generally, Toyotas can be repaired and maintained with some duct tape and crossed fingers, but the Supra is one of the more rare Toyotas, and parts are hard to come by. So suck it, haters, it’s staying on here.
To check out the Ebay Motors ad for this car, click here.
1990 Mazda RX-7 – $4,900
I know, I know, this is technically a 1990 model. But it was designed and built in the 80s so get over it. The RX-7 also suffers from “Overshadowed Syndrome” like the Supra, it’s younger sibling being the mighty FD, also of 90s fame, but it’s still a great car and for that it deserves merit.
It’s powered by the incredibly wacky but undeniably awesome 13B rotary or Wankel engine. Felix Wankel designed the rotary engine in the early 60s, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s essentially a rapidly-spinning triangle that performs internal combustion through some devil magic that I won’t get into now.
The RX-7 is also a Mazda, which means that it is inherently fun to drive. I’ve owned a Mazda3, which I lovingly named “Ruby” and my sister stupidly renamed “Fred II” after the demise of our Volvo, and it was a blast to drive. Pair that nature with a high-revving, rear wheel drive coupe platform, and you have a recipe for success.
But all good things come at a price, and that price is heinous unreliability. If you own a car with a Wankel engine, you can bet your triangles that it’ll crap out at around 80,000 miles. Any Wankel that’s made it further than that mark without a major engine overhaul is cause for concern. But nonetheless, it will certainly be a “rampant rabbit” to drive, in the words of the great Jeremy Clarkson.
To check out the Cars For Sale ad for this car, click here.
Which one would you choose? Let us know in the poll below!