The Most Expensive Luxury Cars of 1980s

The low-end specs we see in many cars today were once considered a major revolution in the car industry. Big giants used to celebrate these major accomplishments although they may seem like nothing big today. For example, the concept of power windows, Anti-Lock braking system, power steering, and other such features were once only available in the high-end cars of the particular time period. 

The 1980s has been a wonderful decade for the car industry where many new companies were formed, and many expensive cars were produced to meet the demands of the royals. Here are a few vehicles that stood out better than the rest during the 80s. 

1987 Ferrari F40

If we talk about probably the most expensive car of the 80s, it would be the Ferrari F40. This proved to be a major milestone in the car industry as it was the fastest production car of the time which hit 200 miles per hour right away. The company focused on various elements of the car body and used carbon to lower the weight so as to maximize the speed of this car. 

Although the initial plans were to have only 400 of these units produced, it was changed when the demand for the car grew. More than 1300 units were produced at the time and the prices charged to the customers were $400,000. Today, this amount would be equivalent to almost $1 Million.

The Ferrari F40 had a dashing look even back in the 80s.

1986 Mercedes Benz 300E AMG Hammer

A sedan like this cost under $20,000 in the 1980s, sometimes even lower than $10,000.  However, the full option variant of this car was priced really high at more than $50,000 in 1986. The price tag shocked many of the car experts who considered it as an unexpected move and “something that might not work for long”. 

However, the high price of the car was justified by the fact that it was the fastest production Sedan of that time which went from 0 to 100 in less than 5 seconds. The top speed was a little less than the Ferrari F40 at 178 miles per hour. It was produced by AMG when AMG and Mercedes Benz did not have a merger. This car did give Mercedes-Benz a good number of sales. If it was here today, it would cost about $100,000 or even more. 

1984 Mercedes-Benz W201

You might have seen this car somewhere in the countryside being used by some elderly. When you see cars like these on the road today, you get to know one thing that was persistent in the past but isn’t nowadays. And that is Quality. Older cars are running on the same engines for decades while the newer cars start creating problems in less than 5 years. 

The 1984 Mercedes-Benz W201E is what we see as the modern C-Class Mercedes today. There were three different models including 190, 190E, and 190D. Special edition models were produced namely the 190LE for the UK Market, 180E for Australia, and 190E for the United States. It was a four-door sedan with both Petrol and Diesel as well as Automatic and Manual Transmissions. 

At its launch, it was priced at about $24,000 and now you might get it for 5 times cheaper than the price. The special variants had a variation in prices too.  

There have been pretty expensive cars prior to the 80s. Find out more over here – The Most Expensive Cars of the 1950s.

Jaguar XJS V12

Although this car was originally produced in 1975, it was held up in the market till 1996 and proved to be one of the most expensive cars of the 80s. The reason why we call it expensive is not that the car was very pricey, but it had a big V12 engine and managing the fuel expenses of this car was one thing that only the elite of the time could do. 

It cost about $19,000 and had a V12 engine in it. It was a sports car that was capable of going from 0 to 100 in only 6.8 seconds with a top speed of 150 miles per hour. There were only a few cars that were sold in the automatic variant while all others were sold in the automatic variant. The car generated 283 brake horsepower. 

Lexus XF10 LS400 1989

The first generation of Lexus LS400 was produced in the year 1989. Today, we see this car as one of the relatively affordable ones but when it was produced, it was not much easy to buy. The base price was $35,000 which was relatively lower than the competitors including Mercedes-Benz. As a result, the car was quite successful and hit the markets right away. 

You might be surprised to know that the development of this car took the manpower of 60 designers, 1,400 engineers, and  2,300 technicians along with more than 200 support workers. The top speed was 155 miles per hour while the 0 to 60 for this car was at 8.5 seconds. The thing which attracted many buyers was that it had a quieter cabin producing only 58 dB of sound. 

The Lexus LS 400 in 1989.

Nissan Datsun 280ZX Turbo

The Nissan Datsun 280ZX was another great production car of the era which was produced in the year 1978 and was up in the market till 1983 after which it was replaced by newer models. The car was a mix of sports and luxury because it had many different features of a luxury car but the shape and engine of a sports car. Today, we see the Nissan Datsun in the form of Nissan Fairlady Z and its other variants as well.

There were 2 models available for this car, 2.0L, and 2.8L. Each of these had a further variation with a turbo and non-turbo engine. The price of this car was $30,000 and was considered as one of the best ones for car enthusiasts. There were comfortable seats, softer suspension, and better soundproofing in this car. 

1978-1984 Nissan 280ZX

1987 Buick Grand National GNX

If we talk about the fastest production car of 1987, it would be the Buick Grand National GNX which is one of the rarest cars in the world. A little less than 500 units were produced and distributed around America and some other states. The car depicts a true picture of the Classic American Muscle series making it one of the best cars of the 80s

The car was used in multiple races as well as it was considered to be very expensive. The car had a twin-turbo V6 engine generating 165 horsepower. The engine was quite powerful and well developed with significant improvements being brought to it from time to time. Going from 0 to 60 was possible in only 4.7 seconds. The initial price of this beast was $29,000 but today, they can cost more than $100,000 because of being rare. 

Buick Grand National GNX was one of the sports cars of the 80s

Ferrari Testarossa

As many low-end brands produced cars for the common market, Ferrari kept on developing the high-end production cars which were not only beneficial for the firm itself, but other firms benefitted too by slowly adopting the improved technology being used in the vehicles by Ferrari. 

More than 10,000 of these cars were sold in 12 years and still considered as one of the most successful vehicles in America. The car came with a monster V12 engine with an improved storage level and comfortability for the driver and passengers. This was a rear-wheel-drive car which had a manual transmission and was in the form of a two-door coupe as shown in the picture below. 

Ferrari Testarossa is one of the most sold models by Ferrari

Porsche 944 Turbo

Last but definitely one of the best ones on our list of Most Expensive Luxury Cars of 1980s is the Porsche 944 which was manufactured between 1982 to 1991. With a front-engine and rear-wheel drive, this car produced a great level of torque providing the ultimate luxury and sports experience side by side. The Porsche 944 had naturally aspirated or turbocharged engine variants both of which turned out quite successful. 

There were 163,000 cars produced in 9 years while the car was available in coupe and convertible versions as well. Manual transmission had 5 gears while the Automatic had 3. This car cost $45,000 and is still considered one of the remarkable vehicles produced by Porsche during the 80s.

A stock version Porsche 944 Turbo.

If you want to know who are some of the richest drivers in the industry, you can find them out here – The Most Filthy Rich Racing Drivers.


In conclusion, it can be deduced that there have been many different cars in the 80s that have given an ultimate luxury and sporty experience to the users. Many of these cars are still used today but today we see the modern versions mostly in the form of Maserati Quattroporte, BMW ALPINA B7, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati GranTurismo, Jaguar XE SV, and others as well. The fans of these cars are often willing to pay a higher price for these cars today.