By on September 3, 2013

1986-dodge-omni-shelby-glhs-instrumented-test-review-car-and-driver-photo-456282-s-429x262

Last Saturday, the Toronto Sun ran a report on the McMillan family, a twenty-something couple with two young sons, who, worried about the amount of control that modern technology seemed to be exerting on their lives, decided to roll the clock back to 1986. They’ve packed away their i-phones, their tablets and their DVD players, disconnected the cable TV and turned off their internet to, according to the family’s father Blair McMillan, parent the kids the same way they were parented. The ban on all forms of modern technology has worked its way into every aspect of the family’s life and they recently completed a trip across the United States using only a paper map for directions and relying upon nothing more than coloring books and games to keep the kids quiet in the back seat. Somehow, they managed to make it home safe, sound and sane.

To young folks like the McMillans. 1986 must seem like the stone age, but to my Cro-Magnon mind it still seems pretty fresh. I turned 20 years old in September of that year and, after several failed attempts, had finally landed, and kept, my first real job. That summer, I bought and quickly re-sold a beat-up 69 Chevelle SS 396/4 speed car and turned that cash into a Kawasaki KZ550 street bike. That autumn, I would attend my first Sci-Fi convention and would discover something that would open my eyes to an entire world outside of Snohomish, WA: Japanese cartoons. Outside of the important changes that happened in my own life, 1986 had more good than bad. The economy was improving and so, after a decade in the doldrums, was the national mood. Neon colors were in, Top Gun kicked ass at the box office, and Eddie Murphy had a single in the top 10. Strange days, I know.

1986

A trip back to 1986 is a trip back to my youth, but what if that wasn’t the case? What if I were plunked back in time as I am today, a 45 year old man with a wife and kids, kids, kids, with a desk job, a house payment and an equivalent salary in 1986 dollars? What if I had to see those times as my parents did? Not knowing how things would turn out, what choices would I make? What would I be driving? That’s the crux for any article on the Truth About Cars, isn’t it? Using 20/20 hindsight, what would any of us choose if we went back in time? There are more great choices than you might think at first. Let’s discuss.

Naturally, there should be a few rules to guide our discussion, but let’s cast a wide net. First, realistically speaking, in your current life situation, what car or cars would you choose as the equivalent of the ones you have today? This means if you have a new 2013 vehicle, you should choose a 1986 model, if you have a 2007 model, you would have a 1980 equivalent, get it? Second, what ones would you buy new given a budget similar to the one you have now and third, what would you get if the gloves were off – if you hit the lottery and could have whatever you wanted?

Jeep-Comanche-1986

Thomas M Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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127 Comments on “Tripping Back Now To Places You’ve Been To: 1986...”


  • avatar
    Quentin

    I would have been on the floor with my brother building pickup trucks and tractors with our legos. Were there age limits on Legos at that point? I’m fairly certain I got the small ones well before where the current age limits are set.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    Current car: 2012 Mazda MX-5 GT PRHT
    1986 analog: 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE convertible
    alternate: 1985 Pontiac Sunbird convertible (we’ve come a long way, but it really wasn’t a bad car for the time though I doubt it would last like a Mazda)

    Pretty easy and not too painful for this one.

    But for this one:

    Current car: 1998 Lexus LS400
    1986 analog: 1971 Buick Electra 225 limited
    alternate: 1971 Lincoln Continental

    I shudder at the idea of driving either of those Lexus alternatives as a 15 year old car. We really have come a long way, baby.

    • 0 avatar
      doug-g

      I respectfully disagree with your opinion of the 1971 Buick Electra. I never drove the ’71, but I had a 1972 that I paid $800 for in 1984. That old Deuce-and-a-Quarter had been a well-maintained, one-owner and it was a delightful, great handling road car that could eat up miles and spit them out. Tons of smooth torque and a ride that no current car could ever duplicate. Oh, and 16MPG – not bad for a car that size. I’d take it over the 1998 Lexus LS400 any day of the week. The ’71 Lincoln? There again, I never drove one, but we had a new ’78 Town Car and that thing was a royal pile of junk. Wallowed like a pig and had the worst seats I’ve ever tried to sit in. 200 Miles tops and your back was killing you.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I like your format, I’m gonna use it.

  • avatar

    We’re about the same age, Thomas. At 19, I bought my first car…a ’78 Scirocco, so I was driving a newer model (relatively) then than I am now (’01 A4). I’d gladly take a nice clean Mk I Scirocco for a daily driver today (my wife’s car can haul the entire family). That old 1700-pound 1.6-liter hatchback would save me a lot in fuel over the 2.8L Quattro! I guess I’d get stuck with an early Audi Fox, though, if we went back in time.

    • 0 avatar

      Nice cars those early Sciroccos. My buddy Rick eventually got one, his mom was an old hippie and the whole family had VW in the blood. Really impressive little cars.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I was lucky enough to own an ’88 Scirocco GT whilst stationed in Germany from 2000-03. Stout, carbed 1.8L, non 16V, and a four speed manny, no A/C, the original Blaupaunkt tape cassette and two speakers in the door, funky but more tasteful tartan interior, and that big whale tail spoiler over the rear hatch. I measured it from the ground up and it barely passed seven inches from the door sill. No power, but could do a steady 140 kph for hours at 6200 rpm with gas mileage that still reached @30mpg. Amazing to drive in the Shwartzwald and Hessen hill country and with the rear seats down, I was able to fill the large hatch with all my Army gear. Really miss that car.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          You guys got me nostalgic for my first car, an 81 Scirocco. As an idiot teenager, I thought I blew the engine, took it to a mechanic who was going to charge me $300 or so for the tear down to find this wonderful fact out. Then he offered me $500 to take it off my hands, plus the money I owed him. He said it wasn’t worth fixing up but he was planning to turn it into a race car. I took the offer, even though the car was mint I had no idea what I had. I found out later the mechanics son was driving the car, that it just needed some head work, burnt valves or some crap. Totally ripped me off.

          I just saw one on the TheSamba almost exactly like mine for $9k. The guy may be crazy but I still wish I had kept that car!

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Totally agree with you on the weirdness of the Scriocco engine! Once while touring the back roads from Friedberg to Frankfurt, the VeeDub simply died on the little country road, its one idiot light for ‘oil something’ flashing. Within minutes I had a gruff Jaeger stop, notice the light, opened the oil cap, sniffed once, and muttering in angry German brought forth from his car a Litre of Esso MotorOil. He promptly poured it in, slammed the hood closed, got in his car and drove off leaving me standing there still trying to figure out how to say something else beyond ‘Mein Deutsche ist niche zer Gut. Mein auto ist Kaput!’. So, not knowing what else to do, got in my car and turned the key. The Scriocco started right up like it always did, and away I went. Never happened again.

  • avatar
    lon888

    If it were 1986, and I had a large sum of money, I’d be stylin’ in a 1985 Celica GT-S convertible. There’s a guy at my work who has a nearly mint condition one and drives it routinely on nice days. After 28 years, it still has nearly perfect, beautiful lines.

  • avatar
    Syke

    First SF con in ’86? Which one? I’d started twelve years earlier at PghLange in Pittsburgh.

    At that point, the wife and I had finally dropped out of the Worldcon masquerade (LA Con II in ’84 was our last), and involvement in the SCA was rapidly overtaking our interest in fandom.

    Cars: ’05 Scion xB, then ’78 Dodge Omni (actually had a new ’82). Replacing the ’06 Solstice would be a ’77 Fiat 124.

    • 0 avatar

      It was a local, Seattle area con that only lasted for a few years. It was called Dreamcon and I only went to it so I could go to the dealer room to check out the comics. I ended up staying for three entire days watching those cartoons. I made friends with the guy showing them, he remains one of my clsest friends to this day, and the next year I was part of the show. We showed anime at local Seattle cons for about 8 years and eventually even took over some of the larger media rooms.

      Then I got a girlfriend and that ended that. I started studying Japanese because of those cartoons (no subtitles back then kids), joined the Merchant Marines to get my ass over there and see what was going on, and one thing just led on to the next and then the next. 10 years later I was a college grad headed to Japan to teach and it all stems from the moment I walked into that room.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    If this were 1986 I’d probably be going around in a black Volvo 124 or 144, the old counterparts to my current ’92 240 sedan.

    With my current budget I’d only be able to afford a Yugo without dipping into my college money, if I dipped into that I’d buy a Golf GTI.

    If I won the lottery I’d snap up an older Barracuda to patch up.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      ’79 Coupe De Ville for me.

      By-the-by supposedly there is an extra clean 84 or 85 242 becoming available in my area.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Scratch what I said on the Cuda, I’d buy a turbo-charged 242 as a regular driver and use some extra to buy and patch up an old Cuda, preferably an early Valiant-based model.

    • 0 avatar

      That was the right era. I remember skipping school in 84 and looking at cars with my buddies. The lots were packed with muscle cars for rock bottom prices. I remember looking at an AAR ‘Cuda for $1500 and thinking it was over priced.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        While I’m not old enough to recall that kind of lore, I do remember the 90′s when prices had come up on the rarest models, but the average small block ’69 Camaro was still an easily attainable ride for a high school kid. The coolest kids had moved onto IROCs and the tape-stripe 2nd gens.

        • 0 avatar

          In 1991 I came back from six months at sea and ended up looking at muscle cars. I remember looking at a 69 Camaro in OK condition but the guy wanted $3500 for it. I told him he was nuts, that I was looking at a $1500 car. He told me then that the prices were going up up up and that I needed to get used to it.

          I got into fast bikes instead.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yep, I recall the Bowtie muscle cars became the more expensive ones first, followed by select Fords. No one cared about Mopars for a LONG time. My dad bought his ’71 Super Bee in the late 90s when no one even remembered what it was. 5 years later, in no better condition, he had offers for 3x buying price.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Lets see, my current fleet would realistically be…
    -Crosley with Honda CB500 swap Lemons car, that I would actually be allowed to race due to less stringent safety regulations, and general perception at the time.
    -240Z, heavily modified and turbo’d
    -1962 Toyota Crown w/ built 280zx turbo swap
    -1983 Econoline conversion van, decked out
    -Heavily modified 1978 Dodge van with George Arnald’s The Destruction of ‘L’Orient’ at the Battle of the Nile replicated on the side
    -1963 Daihatsui Midget
    -Probably a beat-up 69 Chevelle SS 396/4 speed

    The dream car would be a 1986 300zx turbo.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    If 1986 were transposed onto today, my lifestyle probably wouldn’t be all that different. Race tracks and most grassroots motorsports haven’t really changed that much since then.

    First off, we probably wouldn’t be conversing via computer. We’d all be writing into the monthly publication of the 80′s equivalent of TTAC, where we’d get maybe a half dozen snarky replies published to a handful of letters.

    I’d probably be rocking a police spec Dodge Diplomat and have a bunch of cars from the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s in the yard and garage. The second vehicle would be a red, big block, crew cab F-series from the late 70′s with the scary grille/headlamps.

    My kids aren’t techno addicts, so they’d probably live much like they do now. Play in the sandbox, with hot wheels, and maybe watch Transformers: The Movie on that wood-encased TV thats probably in the barn somewhere.

  • avatar
    Boff

    To replace our 2012 328i: that’s easy…a 1985 325i. My gym teacher had a red one (yes, he came from money) and we all adored that car.

    It is a bit more difficult with the 2013 Mustang GT…the ’86 GT would have some stiff competition from the IROC-Z and RX-7 Turbo II, but in truth I would have rather had a 944 Turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      In 1986 I bought my first new (as opposed to used car) an 86 BMW 325i. After 1 month the head gasket had to be replaced. In 7 years of ownership it required 3-4 visits per year to the dealer for repairs. My father bought an 86 Buick Century T Type. He still drives it daily and in 27 years and 170.00 miles it has only needed routine maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        Boff

        Be that as it may, 80′s E30′s probably outnumber 80′s Buick Century’s (if not all GM A-cars) 25:1 on today’s roads.

        • 0 avatar
          Lt.BrunoStachel

          @Boff. Another Buick guy here. I think you meant to say that 80′s E30′s do outnumber 80′s A-Bodies in the boneyards today. I don’t get you fan boys. A 27 YO car is still a 27 YO POS no matter what badge is on the grill. Take a trip into your local self service salvage yard to zap yourself back into reality.

          BTW in 1986 I was driving a 86 Grand National. I still had my 70 GS455 which was regulated to fair weather Sunday drives. Still have the GN and the GS455 is still around although with a different owner. To go back to 1986 all I need to do is open the garage door and turn a key. I really feel sorry for all you jokers who had to settle for something less and have nothing to show for it today.

          • 0 avatar
            Boff

            Nope…I meant roads. But I also could have said racetracks or autocross courses. But hey, if you want to believe that the E30 is an underengineered, disposable Teutonic tin can while the Century T Type is an underappreciated classic built for the long haul, well nothing I or anyone can say will convince you otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            In 1986 I had a 1986 Riviera, not a good car. Today I have a 1979 Seville in my garage, a very good car. If I were to go back to 1986 I would buy that Seville when it was 7 years old and with the money I saved by not buying the ’86 Riviera, I would take my family to Europe on vacation. I didn’t settle in ’86, but was burned by a crap car, today I have a ’79 Seville with 29K on the odometer to play “yesteryear” anytime I want, no settle now either

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    In ’86 I had a VW Rabbit, manual transmission, carbureted, manual windows, no A/C and the only electronics being the AM/FM radio.

    For electronic games? An Atari 2600 game console.

    One could still also find replacement stylus for turntables, thus I would have been playing some LPs for musical entertainment.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Good read Thomas.

    While I’m here, I’ll take one Jeep Commanche please 1986, thanks.

  • avatar
    Mark_Miata

    2009 Forester = 1982 AMC Eagle Wagon

    2000 Mazda Miata = 1973 Triumph TR-6

    1977 Spitfire (modified) = 1950 MG TD with supercharger

    1960 Rover P5 = 1933 Tatra 87

    I think I could live with that.

  • avatar
    no-point turn

    I’m driving a 2008 535xi and a 2002 Triumph Bonneville. In 1981 I drove a ’66 Mustang and a ’78 XS750, to high school in rural Connecticut.

    I’ll take a 1981 5-series, maybe tote some Pilots and Blizzaks with me from the future. The Yamaha was great to me and I wouldn’t mind having it back now, so I guess I’m the same as I’ve always been (with slightly fewer tickets).

    If my ship comes in during this time warp, a 4-speed 911 Turbo will be secured in the hold.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    In the Summer of ’86 I also turned 20. My actual transportation at the fleet were a ’77 AMC Hornet, and a Kawasaki KZ 440. They equivalent to my modern ride would likely be a VW Van, nearest thing I can think of a Caravan.

  • avatar
    MisterNoisy

    Neat topic – my GenCoupe 3.8 Track would probably be most analagous to an 1984 300ZX Turbo 2+2, though I’d probably have opted for a Mazda RX-7 GSL or a Toyota MR-2. I don’t really have a ‘gloves off’ choice, though.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    2012 ford focus SE hatch: 1985 Pontiac Fiero GT of course!

    But if money were no object probably a Benz sl500

  • avatar
    kuponoodles

    Current car: 2007 Toyota RAV4
    translates to 1980′s car…umm.. I’d rather walk.

    By the rules.
    Probably a Chevy Celebrity Wagon like my late uncle’s.
    or Nissan/Datsun 810/Maxima Wagon

    2nd premise, If I had wife and kid or not.
    If yes, definitely a Nissan/Datsun 810/Maxima Wagon
    or probably a crappy Tercel or Corolla or Civic Wagon. (cuz I’m still poor.)

    If single.
    whatever I want. *drum roll*

  • avatar

    In ’86 I bought my first car of my adult life, a ’77 Toyota Corolla 5 speed which had belonged to David Albright, who would go on to be one of the Iraq weapons inspectors. I paid about $900 (inflation-adjusted).

    My current car is an ’08 Civic (stick). going back to ’86, I’d shop an Integra against a CRX.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      Since I had vehicles then and now, I’ll list them as they might compare by the way I use them.

      Then Now
      1940 Dodge 1969 Mustang
      1985 Cutlass Ciera 2007 Impala
      1974 Ford PU 1994 Chevy PU

  • avatar
    Sutures

    Current Secondary/winter vehicle = 2004 Grand Cherokee
    Would warp into = 1977 Ramcharger
    - Would nicely fill the same roll, since Dodge didn’t cheapen out the driveline until 1981… stupid undersized u-joints.

    Current Main vehicle = 2008 Town Car
    Would warp into = 1983 Town Car
    - acceptable, but…
    Alternates: It would be hard to not look at the last of the Country Squire Station Wagons (or the Crown Vic Coupes for the oddity value)

    Lottery = come on, the ’80′s car was the Lamborghini Countach, though I would pull from before 1985 to avoid the Federalized rubber-baby-buggy-bumpers.

    Such a shame that the Ferrari F40 didn’t come out until 1987 and therefore is out of reach. 1986 is a hindsight buyers remorse year…

  • avatar
    cannyfriar

    So, since my 2002 Saab 9-5 family wagon wouldn’t necessarily translate to a 1975 99, alas, I’d definitely have gone Volvo.

    For the 1986 dream car, it has to be the Saab 900 Turbo. Yesss!

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I have seen 1986, but only in my diaper-clad days.

    This is a tough question, especially because to me 1986 was a “cars are getting better” period while today that’s a hard claim to make, at least on the details that matter to me.

    I drive a 2002 M5 now, so the obvious equivalent would be a late 70′s E12 M535i. More likely I’d be driving a 1984 or hopefully an ’85 Maxima with a stick. Still think those Maximas and the generation that succeded them are awesome.

    Other two cars are pretty easy:
    2011 Odyssey –> 1984 Caravan plus a trailer to match our current interior space.
    1992 Wrangler –> late 60′s CJ-5 with whatever disatrous engine would be the more prehistoric equivalent of the AMC 150/ “power tech” 2.5L.

    Lottery winner, assuming no kids: 2 Jaguar XJS’s a coupe and a convertible, to make sure one is running more often than not.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    A few weeks ago I got rid of my ’99 Mercedes E320 4Matic and picked up an ’04 Lexus LS430.

    My choice of ’86 equivalent of the old Benz wold have been…oh, geez, a ’71 280 of some kind. Preferably a low-option car without the self-leveling hydraulic rear suspension.

    But if I sold that ’71 in order to upgrade, was there really any ’76 equivalent to the LS430? I can’t think of one. I feel malaise setting in just trying to conjure something up. I probably would have stuck with a Benz and then it’s a 450 SE.

    Before I got the LS430, I was lusting more-than-a-little for an FR-S. So cal that an ’87 Datsun Z car, then.

  • avatar
    th009

    In 1986 I had just graduated from university, and bought a new ’86 GTI: red, with a sunroof but crank windows and no AC.

    If I were back in 1986, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I might buy the AC option this time, though!

  • avatar

    When I was a kid, my family of origin drove across the country three times. I can easily imagine modern kids with smartfones and other distractions missing the whole country. My memories are vivid: getting my first view of the Rockies going west when I was 7, and thinking we were going to be in them in 15 minutes, my parents telling me that we’d probably get into them tomorrow morning after a full day’s drive today, the double rainbow, Yellowstone Park, and my mother chewing out the waitress in spokane for giving her margerine instead of butter for her toast. I can also remember getting up at 4 in the morning or so in Indiana, and with the seat down, being put to bed in the back of the 57 Chevy wagon with my older brother, watching the stars for a bit, and next thing I knew, it was light and we were stopping for breakfast.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m pondering a similar story for my next Sunday Stories fiction piece, based on the reality of one of my many cross country trips in the back of one Oldsmobile or another…

      • 0 avatar

        sounds like a great subject. These are some of my best memories, and probably part of the reason that I’m happy spending long hours on road trips (between Boston and DC 3 times a year) even though the interstates are fairly dull. And part of the reason why, at age 60, I’m hoping to be able to carve out the time to take a 5 week jaunt around the whole country in the near future.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    We have a 2012 Accord EXL, so I’d say the 1985 equivalent would be an Olds 88. It’s not luxury brand but a nicely appointed car with lots of room and a competent family car. Maybe the Taurus LX, but those were out in 86 and not as conservative as an Olds/modern day Accord.

  • avatar
    Windy

    I am a generation older and what this and an earlier blog post today brought to my mind was the way we accepted faults in our new cars. Our family was buying either a new Ford Country squire or the mercury equivalent every other year from the mid 50s to the mid 60s. I can well recall the note pad on the dash where the as delivered problems were enumerated for a week or ten days and then the wagon would be returned to the dealer (who was a Thursday night poker pal of my parents).

    These lists were typically 10 to 30 items long and back then not only was the warranty period far shorter than it is today but what was covered under it could be more limited.

    When we picked up a loaded m- Benz 250SE via factory delivery in Germany June 1967, and drove it about 8,000 miles through Europe bringing it home as hold luggage on an ocean liner, my folks amazement at its lack of faults through that whole experience was palpable. No problem list nothing but the running in service after a week and the 3,000 and 6,000 mile services where no problems were found. My mother drove that car for almost 300,000 miles not selling it until 1989

    My family would put between 50,000 and 70,000 miles on those american station wagons and my dad considered them used up at that point. He was a fanatic about the every 3,000 miles oil, filter, grease rack services as well and of course they were needed every few weeks… True every corner service station was ready and equipped to provide this service efficiently, as well as the tune up every other month or so ( my dad, for all his sterling features , was not what you would call handy with tools) but consider what a heavy user of cars back then had to go through to maintain their cars…. And as for tires and punctures and blowouts they were very common and you would expect a few a year in those building boom years you picked up nails from the road quite often

    • 0 avatar

      My parents were from the run-em-into-the-ground school. I was only 4 when we got the new ’57 Chevy, but I remember some problem where my mother had to open the hood and futz with some transmission linkages until we got the thing fixed. I don’t remember other glitches, and I don’t remember our having use a loaner at all, and I was driven to nursery school daily. I do remember that the Chevy was going geriatric at around 75k, and my parents started renting cars for trips.

      I was 12 when we picked up the new Peugeot 404 wagon shortly after arriving in Paris for the year. I don’t remember any problems, except for occasional feeling as if the car was missing at highway speeds. That could be cleared by flooring the pedal for a while, and it ceased after we returned to the US, leading my parents to suspect it had something to do with th equality of the fuel.

      And when I was 17, we picked up the 1970 Plymouth Valiant, which was likely the best car my parents ever owned, although it would vie with the ’95 Volvo 940, the last car they ever purchased (used in ’99), which my nephew still has.

  • avatar

    I guess I’ll add mine now that ya’ll got the ball rolling. My new van would be an ’86 Dodge Caravan and my 07 Torrent would probably be an 80 Cutlass or possibly a 80 Mailbu.

    If was buying something new, although my affinity for Turbo Dodges of that era is well known, I’d probably be looking at a 300ZX Turbo or, once the budget minded side of me kicked in an 86 200SX turbo or a slightly used 1984 Toyota Supra, which is a car I admired then and still admire now.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    2008 Honda Pilot = 1981 Jeep Wagoneer
    2011 Nissan Juke = 1984 Subaru Brat 4WD
    2013 Boss 302 = 1986 Buick Grand National

  • avatar
    JMII

    In 1986 I was still riding my 10 speed bike to high school, but was about a two years away from getting a used ’85 Civic S1500 Hatchback as my first real car. No complaints there. FYI – I learned to drive stick in my mom’s ’86 Dodge Omni (non Shelby).

    Considering I currently drive an ’03 350Z that means my “back to the future” self would be driving a 1976 Datsun 240Z? Sounds good… sign me up!

  • avatar

    2005 Ford Ka – 1978 Fiat 147
    2009 Renault Logan – 1982 Fiat Premio or VW Voyage

    1986, the market was closed in Brazil. Winning the lottery would give me a choice between Chevy Opala or Monza, Ford Del Rey, VW Santana were the top of the line. Would be either the Del Rey or Santana.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Of those you chose there I’d pick the 147 and the Monza.

      I am thinking the spiritual predecessor to your Ka is the Uno.

      The DelRey… you’re on your own there. I pass.

      Didn’t the Premio come after the Uno?

      You really had it ugly if those were your flagships.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Athos!

        After writing this, when I read it later, I think I got it wrong.

        Let’s go by parts.

        I chose the 147, cause the Uno didn’t exist in the time frame. At to the Logan, the more I think about it, the more I think there was no equivalent. Maybe the Oggi, but I think it’d been more expensive than the Logan, relatively-speaking. The competition didn’t have a FWD, sedan. Maybe the Chevette, but that was RWD.

        I think the Uno, Premio and Elba came later, Uno 82 or 83, and Premio and Elba 84? Voyage would have followed. The fact was that I think in 82 the “cheap” cars were 147, Fusca (beetle) and Chevette. Ford simply didn’t compete in this market as the Escort was launched a little later and all they had was the Corcel II.

        Yeah, the 80s in Brazil. The Santana would be my pick cause it was based off the Audi 100 (?). Chevy had the Opala Diplomata and Monxa (this is one very close to the European one), and Ford had the Del Rey, which was a gussied up Corcel (and still used the CHT engine from the 60s). I think they introduced the Escort in 84, 85?

        As you can see, not a lot of choices.

        • 0 avatar
          Athos Nobile

          I thought you guys got the Uno nearly at the same time as us, circa ’86. The Brazilian Uno looked very much like the European one but the underpinnings were VERY different.

          The Chevette is the closest I can think of that would be similar to the Logan. Cheap, simple, robust… it is not a surprise it sold well and people usually liked them. We had Renault at the time, but they were kind of expensive and Fiat didn’t have a saloon in that segment.

          The 147 keeps being a solid choice. They were famous for rusting quickly. However, the powertrain is a (very) tough nut to crack.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “That autumn, I would attend my first Sci-Fi convention…”

    So YOU’RE that guy living in mom’s basement in the Bruce Willis movie “Live Free or Die Hard”!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This is fun for me because it’s the year I was born.

    Current car: 2001 GS430

    1986 equivalent: 1972 Toyota Crown (ended in 72, it’s beautiful though)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ToyotaCrown_1971_1.JPG

    Alternate: (oh god I have to be Malaise) 1974 Montego MX
    http://dennishouse.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/1974montegomx.jpg

    No-holds barred: 1986 Testarossa
    http://files.conceptcarz.com/img/Ferrari/86_ferrari_testarossa_CC_KM_01.jpg

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    If it were 86 and the driveway was full of comparable iron…

    There would be a 86 6000STE, a Grand National, probably a Fiero GT (at least on order, it would have to be a fastback) and a 58 Bonneville for fun.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    2005 Legacy GT wagon: 1978 Subaru GL wagon

    2005 Monterey minivan: 1978 Mercury Colony Park

    1993 Mustang 5.0 sedan: 1966 Mustang GT coupe.

    Slightly off-topic: this past weekend we spent at a beachfront summer home that belonged to an aging grandparent of some friends of ours. Kind of bittersweet for the family, as the house was sold and this would be the last getaway weekend for everyone. Our friend spent every summer there growing up, and thus had a lot of belongings to collect. One of her items was a cassette tape shelftop cube, filled with mid-80′s bands. New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies, Peter Gabriel’s So, The Cure’s The Head on the Door, The Jesus & Mary Chain’s Psychocandy…what a trip. I saw a boombox there as well, so hopefully she can relive some 80′s memories in style.

  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    If I may just address the nostalgia and the McMillian’s mistake: a year is more than just the technology present that time. The poetic waxing of your experiences in 1986, Thomas, is brilliant proof of that: you’ve had your own experiences for that year. For you, these were new discoveries and nothing can accurately replicate that. For the poor McMillian kids, they’re not even being forced to try to recreate shallow facsimiles of those experiences – they’re merely reliving the technological state. Technology has become an important component of culture, but culture technology by itself cannot make. It’s absolutely that cultural experience that creates that nostalgia, and really I think those McMillian kids are being robbed.

    But, eh, Canucks.

    • 0 avatar

      According to the article, I think they chose 1986 because that was the year that the father was born rather than because of any particular fascination with the era. To be honest, his mullet and answering the door in denim shorts tells me that he is a little more into this than I probably would be, but I lived through it and managed to avoid those fashion faux pas perfectly well as you can tell by the really bitchin’ picture of me behind the wheel of my 74 Nova.

      Still, it’s crazy to think back on those days and realize that, as someone pointed out earlier, that even a message exchange like this would take place over a period of weeks by letter or, if we were in the same neighborhood, over beers at the corner tavern. What would I do if I didn’t have a phone in my pocket everywhere I went and the internet at home?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I don’t get the giving up on cable TV – we had that in the early 70s! Not as many channels as today, but we got HBO when I was a sophomore, so that was 84.

        But I would have found it hard to believe back then that I would have friends all over the world as a result of my car habit and the Internet, and keep in touch with them on a daily basis for nearly nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          To further ignore any car-related content…

          I wonder if they’re going to insist on avoiding post-1986 medical technology and scientific knowledge?

          Because “technology” doesn’t discriminate between whatever golden-age nostalgic crap they’re trying to posture as, and “the good stuff that doesn’t count”.

          (And I hope for their sake none of them like photography, because digital is plainly superior in every respect, for all the the most artsy purposes.

          God-damn luddite hippies.)

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        You wore rugby shirts.

        I’d come to respect you so much… and now I find out you wore rugby shirts.

        • 0 avatar

          It was a gift. By the way, are you the guy who called my sister?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Are you serious? That really happened?

            In brief, F-No! Did you catch the number? My area code is 920 for land & cell.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes. My article generated some real web traffic and three calls. One “fan” and two web advertising companies trying to sell her on their services.

            The best part was when my sister told him, “You know that photo we 30 years ago, right?”. She’s a good sport.

            Not accusing you, by the way, it generated a lot of laughs around our house and you seem like you have that kind of sense of humor.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      If they had done their road tripping in an ’85 Celebrity wagon with no A/C, I would have considered their facsimilie accurate enough to be acceptable.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Fall of 86 I was a senior in HS and had just gotten my driver’s license. My usual ride was my Grandparent’s ’85 Olds 98 Pregnancy. The other cars in the family were a diesel Suburban (Grandfather’s daily driver) and an ’82 Subaru (Grandmother’s commuter – she still worked then). She managed to slide the Subie off the road in a storm that winter and they gave it to me – she started driving the Olds-mo-barge.

    But if I could wind back the way-back machine to then – I would definitely get the car I bought 5 years later – ’84 Jetta GLI. Best car I have ever owned, served me well through the last half of college and all of Law School. I if I was in the relative position I am in now? Well certainly an MB300TE for the daily driver, since there were no BMW wagons at that time. And an even older Spitfire. Probably no SUV though. The GLI would take the place of my Abarth nicely. And older Porsches and Alfas could sub for my two cars that were brand new in ’86/’87.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Funny because my wife have recently been lamenting modern times and technology and wishing we could go back to the 80s, with our kids at their present ages and stuff. Times were simpler, yet still modern enough to really enjoy life. We just had so much more fun back then!

    My current situation is nearly empty nester… 2 kids in college, 1 kid in senior year of high school, 2 dogs and thanks to my wife and I both making dumb mistakes as teenagers we are still young parents to have such old children! So the car situation could be fun… in 1986 I was in HS (and my wife was in MS) so I still thought every adult drove a Lamborghini and couldn’t figure out why my parents didn’t buy a Porsche or a BMW. But if I go back to 1986 at my current age and income level, I could buy a Porsche.

    Since I still think the mid-80s Porsche 911 was the best Porsche ever, I would have to get one of those. My wife would probably want a BMW 3-series convertible. And I would definitely have some type of muscle car, in 1986 all the cool guys were getting 60s muscle cars so I would have one for sure… 1970 Mustang or Camaro, or maybe a 68 of either one instead. The girls would get matching VW cabriolets, because in high school all the girls wanted those. And my son would get a Wrangler because all the guys wanted those.

    Pretty much the same lineup I would want today. :)

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      OK, guess I should read more and type less, I only answered the second question.

      Todays cars:
      2008 VW GTI — Since the GTI didn’t exist yet, how about a 1981 Scirocco (which is actually what I had back then too!)

      2001 MR2 Spyder — trickier, since the MR2 didn’t come out until 1984, and 1974 did not have many japanese sports cars to choose from. Since the MR2 was a more recent replacement for our wrecked Celica, I am going to go with 1974 Celica, or take some creative license and claim a 1984 MR2 since that’s what she would have wanted to replace the 74 Celica when it got wrecked.

      2002 Honda CRV — I can’t think of a replacement for that from 1975. It was a hand-me-down from my mother 3 yrs ago, so in 1983 she had a Volvo 240 so I guess I would have inherited that?

      2013 Honda Civic LX sedan — easy… 1986 Honda Civic LX sedan.

      And if I won the lottery in 1986 — Countach, Testa Rossa, and 911 Turbo!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    In 1986 I was driving a 77 Monte Carlo with swivel buckets and rally wheels. I also had a 63 IH Pickup. One year later I moved from Houston to rural KY and I bought a used 85 Mighty Max with 30k miles. I was perfectly happy with those vehicles and would choose no differently.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    First car today 2009 Pontiac G8 GT

    1982 equivalent, Buick Grand National

    Weather beater is a 2005 Saturn Relay FWD3

    1978 equivalent, early production 1979 Dodge Ram Van SWB with 6-cylinder and 3-speed auto. I say a ’79 at the ’05 Relay is a Gen II U-Body and the ’79 Dodge Ram Van was the first year of the Gen II, and I could have picked up an early production model in late ’78

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Hmmmmmmmmmm 2013 to 1986? Well now I have a 2004 F150 Heritage so I suppose that would be a late 70s V8 F150 with an automatic being the only real option (my current truck is crank windows, bench seat, and automatic). I also own a 1967 Ford Mustang which I guess would be a late 40s Rocket 88 Oldsmobile (lol) the closest thing to a muscle car (from the factory) with a similar # of years having elapsed.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Didn’t Nash make some pretty muscly type cars from the factory around that time?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Oops I wasn’t thinking outside the box… would love a Hudson Hornet with the TWIN H POWER 6, NASCAR winning power!

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          What an awesome hood ornament! Though I still prefer the swan at the front of Packard.

        • 0 avatar
          Windy

          P.D. THE mention of the early 50s Hudson Hornet with twin H power. Brought to mind that I really did respond to the question with my rambling post about pre 80 s USA build quality.
          I own today a 2004 MINI Cooper S so I guess it would have to be one of the last BMW 2002tii from the 70s to reflect a 10 year old car in the mid 80s with similar driving dynamics.
          My other wheels are my 1948 CJ 2A so a mid late 30s choice would be the straight 8 Hudson Teraplane like the one my dad owned in 1938 he told me it was ever one of his favorite cars… My Mom at the time had a Packard 120 Convertible which would also be sweet.

  • avatar
    stevelyon

    Current daily driver:
    2003 BMW K1200 RS
    Rough equivalent:
    1976 BMW R75/5

    I’m totally cool with that.

    Current track/weekend toy:
    2001 BMW M3
    Equivalent:
    1974 BMW 2002tii

    Very much cool with that.

    Back in 1986, I was only 15 and didn’t know much of anything about foreign cars. I grew up in the midwest and my dad was a Chevy/Pontiac guy, so that was all I knew.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    1999 BMW 323i = 1974 BMW 2002
    2006 Ford Explorer = 1981 Ford Bronco
    2006 Toyota Prius = I have no idea. I guess a 1981 Toyota Corolla wagon?

  • avatar
    crm114

    81 Accord, 65 F-100 and an 86 CB-750 (08 TSX, 92 F-150, 13 CB-1100)

  • avatar
    mored

    Current cars and equivalent:
    2011 Toyota Avalon – 1984 Toyota Cressida
    2007 Toyota Solara convertible – best I can come up with is 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible (and I thought ours has cowl shake!)
    2012 Scion IQ – skateboard of your choice

    What did I want? A Saab 900 Turbo convertible in black in the worst possible way. I would like a Volvo 740 Turbo wagon to go with it.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    In 1986 my Son was what , 7 years old ? . Hmmm .

    I was drivinga 1953 VW DeLuxe # 113 Beetle (” Zwitter”) and loving it , I also had an ‘A’ Model Ford Tudor Sedan with brake floaters so it’d actually stop and my work truck was a 1946 Chevy 3100 ~ all great vehicles I tended to drive a bit too fast (according to passengers & the L.A.P.D.) .

    I was riding my 1973 BMW R75/5 , the one William Shatner bought and didn’t like ~ I’d found it in ’79 with only 800 miles in it , I still have it .

    My current crop of wheels isn’t much different so I’m not sure if I’d stay or swap .

    My Son had already been driven across America multiple times by then , always in some old thing sans AC and I never heard him complain about being bored , he knew better , just look out the windows .

    I’m really enjoying the various comments here ! .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    April

    I wonder if they will only use pre-1986 medical technology and medications…

  • avatar
    NJRide

    2011 Jetta SEL=1984 Jetta obviously but to me the current Passat/Jetta have a strong resemblance to a modernized Olds Ciera (not all bad it was kind of a simple timeless design), so maybe an 84 Ciera which is interesting since that is what my dad drove in those days.

  • avatar
    zaxxon25

    Current Car: 2013 Volvo C30
    Retro mobile: My wife would buy a 1986 Honda Civic Si if they sold them new today, but I would insist on a 1986 Honda Accord LXi hatchback. Yes, she’s the more intelligent half of the equation.

    Current Car: 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ V6
    Retro mobile: The 1981 Chevy Malibu 4 door was not a looker (coupe was nice though). If forced to stay GM I’d make do with its Buick Skylark counterpart. Aspirationally I would take a 1981 Datsun 810 V6. Or could I step up to an Audi 4000?

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    2010 Mazda 3 5 door –> 1983 Mazda 626 5 door

    1996 Ford Bronco –> 1986 Ford Bronco, this one is a little trickier, I would own a much newer Bronco if they were still made today

    • 0 avatar

      I remember seeing a Mazda 626 on display at our local mall back in the early 80s and being amazed at how sophisticated and slick it seemed. It didn’t even have rain gutters it was so hyper modern.

      Naturally, when the Taurus came out a couple of years after that, my mind was totally blown.

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    1985 – BMW 325e 2 dr.
    Today – 2012 Audi Q5 2.0 T

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    My daily driver for the last 10 years has been a 1991 Honda CRX Si. So, I guess I’d have to go back to 1964 for this exercise.

    The car equivalent to the CRX back in 1964: Datsun Fair Lady 1500

    The car I’d buy in 1964 on my current budget: Porsche 356C

    Car I’d buy back then if cost was no object: Porsche 356C

    Yes, I loved the 356C . Purchased a used one in 1981. Attempted to restore the car, but the price of replacement parts was just too high. Dumped the 356C at a loss. I’m over it!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Besides the fun with the cars, I think what these people are doing to their kids is boarder-line cruelty and extremely selfish on the parents part. Why not just lock the kids in the attic until they’re 18? They’ll be just as ill-suited for the real world as what their parents are doing

  • avatar
    deanst

    Current car – 4 year old Astra – a mismarketed, small, German car available at a huge discount to the “real” thing.
    1986 analogue? How about a ford fiesta? Wait a minute, I had a ford fiesta then! Do I get praised for consistency or criticized for lack of imagination?

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Daily beater is a ’04 Hyundai Accent, so sticking Korean for something ’75 is out of the question. ’75 Toyota Corolla would probably work though.

    The motorcycle is an ’85 Honda Rebel 250 – I don’t know bikes enough to really know what would apply, so I’ll take a stab at a ’58 Honda C72 Dream as being close enough.

    With the next purchase, I have myself half-convinced an RX8 is the perfect car for me, so an RX-2 is probably suitably close (the +2 seats in the RX-7 are probably a little too small). If I’m honest though, I’ll probably end up with some used, moderately sized wagon, so AMC Eagle, Volvo 244, Volkswagen Quantum?

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    GPS is for fools who can’t read a map.
    I refuse to get one.
    The world becomes a series of turn by turn directions with almost no connection to the real world outside the windshield.
    The way I like to roll is check the map first and then put it away and just drive. Is it morning and the sun is on your left shoulder then you are going south, easy. Are you going down hill after a long flat road, you must be going down that river valley and oh yea that river runs east/west so you are going north on this road, so that means Bumpkinville is past the river and to the west so at the next major road take a left.
    Pull over and use the stars and moon at night, of course when it is cloudy you have to rely on landmarks.

    Disconnect and drive, have some fun with it.
    I seem to recall a few comments about it is the Journey that matters.

    Unless of course you are a long haul trucker and efficiency matters.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Current car: 1995 Buick Skylark

    Past equivalent: 1968 Buick Skylark

    Well…not so bad. My car has the optional V6, so its past self would have the next option up from the 250 I6, which would be the Buick 350 with a 2 barrel.

    The old Skylark is way cooler than what I putt around in…also, despite my love of all things 80s, I didn’t even exist until 1992.

  • avatar
    Maverick74

    My cars:
    2005 Dodge Neon-1978 Dodge Colt
    1985 Renault Encore-1958 Renault 4CV
    1977 MGB-1950 MG TD
    1974 Ford Maverick-1947 Ford Coupe

    Yeah, I could live with that.

  • avatar
    Type44

    Hmm. in 1986, I’d have it pretty good.

    1983 300D= Benz ponton sedan, maybe a Fintail?
    1985 300TD= Benz Universal wagon conversion, or maybe a Binz ponton
    1984 380SL= you can call that a 190SL but I feel that a ’57 300SL is more accurate. Gullwing or roadster, I’m not picky…

    1985 635CSi= sweet, the 507 I always wanted!

    LeMons 1994 S500 Coupe= wow, I get to enrage the heretics. Racing a 280SE coupe would be great. Can I get the 3.5 V8 for extra symmetry?

    Nah, it would be more interesting to be in the tax bracket I’d need for my MB trifecta + BMW shark… Just having the same collection in ’86 would be about enough. Can I trade up to an M635 and a euro 500SL, though?

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    In the real world 1986 I was driving a 1980 Rabbit 4-door and a 1970 Pontiac LeMans 350 Sport . In fake world 1986 had I been contemplating a new car it would be a Jetta sedan , the GLI version with a sunroof the same car I tried to get a GF to buy in real world 1985 ( she bought a new Isuzu Impulse instead ) . In real world 1986 I had just transferred from San Antonio to Denver and was seriously considering , like everybody else in Denver , a new Suzuki Samurai , which had just come out and was having its 15 minutes of fame , selling for over list price and everything , IIRC , was an optional extra , including doors . Thank God I didn’t get one .

  • avatar
    99GT4.6

    Current car: 1999 Mustang GT. Equivalent would be a 1972 V8 Mustang.

    What would I buy if I were in the same situation then as now? A 1970 440 Challenger with a four speed.

    What would I buy if I won the lottery? 1986 Lamborghini Countach.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Current: 2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5- ’86 Toyota 4Runner SR-5 with a 22RETC, yes a turbocharged 22R! That or maybe a ’86 Nissan Pathfinder with the VG30i…..

    2006 Ford Fusion SEL V6- I guess an ’86 Taurus?

    Dream wise, I guess an Z31 Nissan 300ZX Turbo, still think those cars are cool, but if I lived in Japan, easily a R31 Nissan Skyline GT-S with the RB20DET…. dark blue of course.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    My current car is a 97 VT V6. That would equate to a 1970 car.

    Ummm, I think I would go with a I6 Falcon or Valiant. If I were in the US, I’d choose a 327 Impala.

    If it was 1986 and I had the money, a Ford Sierra with the V6 (just launched in Venezuela). Of course, I would need a cart with money for the upkeep.

    It depends a lot on the market.

  • avatar
    dwight

    I was car crazy back then. Had tons of car magazines, lying around. Newly married so I didn’t have my “own” set of wheels. But today I drive a 2008 mk4 Golf (City) so among the economical hatchbacks that I prefer to drive and the model year being 1981 — I had owned a Dodge Omni up to around that time, but would have preferred a Rabbit. Also on that list, Toyota Tercel Hatch, Scirocco, AMC Gremlin/Spirit, Civic, and the fantasy car was an Audi Coupe. Back then, it was as it is now, it was all about affordability on my tiny bank teller salary.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Thomas….you sound like my wife when asked about her age. :P If you were 20 in 1986, you’d be 47 today….not 45. Are you using Oil Of Olay? ;)

    Regarding the car question, I have a ’12 Raptor now, the equivalent back then? Not sure there is one but I’ve always been fond of the full size “real” SUV so probably a full size Bronco/Ramcharger/Blazer of that era…I’ve had used versions of those throughout my youth and they were fun vehicles. But my first vehicle in 1988 was a ’77 Audi Fox wagon!
    If money were no object then? An LM002!

    • 0 avatar

      So I’m no math whiz…

      I’m a September baby so I won’t have my 47 for a couple more weeks. My birthday just happens to coincide with the Japanese holiday, “respect for the aged day.”

      I had a 91 k5 Jimmy and it was an awesome truck that I still pine away for in my darker hours.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    So the McMillan family, a twenty-something couple with two young sons, who, worried about the amount of control that modern technology seemed to be exerting on their lives, decided to roll the clock back to 1986, are they like the new Amish or something? Is this the new cult of manning the bulwarks against the evil’s of the digital age? Will his kids sport mullets, listen to bad metal hair bands (however the Smiths ‘Louder than Bombs’ would be perfectly acceptable), wipe their faces daily with Oxy face pads, wear temperature changing Genera shirts, highlight their hair with Sun-In, and be forced to watch reruns of the Cosby Show, Family Ties, Miami Vice, Who’s the Boss, Perfect Strangers, and Charles in Charge? What kind of heinous monster is this McMillian guy anyway? Canadian??

  • avatar
    MrMachineryOpperator

    92 Accord wagon 5speed = 65 Nova 6 cylinder 3 on the tree
    89 Mr2= 62 Porsche 356

  • avatar
    old5.0

    1986, eh? I’d head to the Ford dealer and order a new Mustang LX notchback. Two options: 5.0HO/5-speed drivetrain and delete radio credit. Leave the box for the 3.08 gears blank; dealer installed 4.30′s are as close as the nearest Motorsport catalog. I’d already have the headers, slicks, and Weld wheels waiting at home in the garage.

    Almost forgot, black over gray vinyl, please.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Current: ’96 Saab 900S five-door
    Nearest equivalent: ’69 Saab 99
    Similar alternative, closer to my heart: ’69 Volvo 145

    New ’86-model-year vehicle, remotely feasible: Toyota Tercel 4wd wagon and some POR-15
    New ’86-model-year vehicle, given sufficient funds: Volvo 760 Turbo wagon

  • avatar
    ezeolla

    Current Car: 2005 Jeep Wrangler
    1986 Car: 1978 CJ-7

    New 1986 model I would have purchased: 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer

  • avatar
    glwillia

    In 1986 I was 6 years old.

    I currently drive a 1994 Mercedes E420, so in 1986 I’d be driving a W114 280E. If I were in the market for a new car then, I’d probably go for a 190E 2.3-16V, or maybe an E28 535i.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    Today: 2005 Mazda 6s, fully optioned. Purchased with Ford employee discount.

    I guess that puts me in a 1978 — and then more than now, it would have had to be a Ford product. While I’d love to claim a Mark V, it’s really not in the same price range.

    I bought the Mazda late in the MY, so it’s entirely possible that the ’79 Mustang would have been available in time for this challenge. I probably would have waited for it. I debated between the hatch and sedan on the Mazda, and bought the latter, so I guess I’m looking at a notchback.

    If I’m stuck with a ’78, it’d probably be a tossup between a Thunderbird (most of my family had one at some point) or a Mercury Capri.

    What we actually bought in 1986 (I was six) was a Tempo LX — light Regatta Blue, fairly well optioned. Served us fairly well for ten years, though by the end it was a little unsettling at speed.

    When I was 15, I bought my grandfather’s ’82 Thunderbird when he was about to trade it in; by the time I turned 16, I’d inherited the Tempo as well. Both were sold to buy an ’89 Thunderbird that I frankly still miss.

  • avatar
    windsormarxist

    Okay- I guess my fleet would actually be quite similar to today. My daily is a 1990 Mercedes 190e, with a second classic car as a 1961 Rover. The best comparison I can think of would be a fintail Mercedes 190 as a daily driver and perhaps a 1938 Packard 110 (Junior Series) as the closest in concept to my Rover 80.


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