QOTD: Were There Any Lustworthy American Cars Built Between 1979 and 1989?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd were there any lustworthy american cars built between 1979 and 1989

Earlier this week, our Junkyard Find was a totally rad 1989 Chevrolet Camaro RS, complete with interesting personal touches applied by an owner who was quite familiar with taste and elegance.

In the comments, things quickly turned to the nature of the automobile during a dark and Malaisey period — 1979 to 1989. A question bubbled to the surface for me: Were there any lustworthy American cars made in that period? Let’s find out.

This question came from an

Majestic, isn’t it? It is of course the Dodge Caravan, introduced to the world in 1984. Built on the ever-versatile K-car platform that saved Chrysler’s bacon, this (tiny, in modern terms) minivan was a new way to cart children and their auxiliary equipment around the country. Up to that point, van offerings were not of the mini variety. Rough, thirsty, based on trucks, and rear-drive, those vans were cargo haulers first, and forced into people-carrying service after. The Chrysler vans were more comfortable, more practical, and much more efficient in times of gasoline Malaise.

The Caravan defined the segment, prompting Ford to follow with the rear-drive Aerostar in 1986 and General Motors to create its Dustbuster vans for 1990. For the reasons above, these minivans were lustworthy to a whole generation of parents. People who, until then, were forced to drive their large families around in a modified cargo van, or perhaps a baroque, wood-sided station wagon.

The Caravan showed North America there was a different way to travel — a better way. And for that reason, it’s a lustworthy vehicle of our selected period.

What are your picks for lustworthy American rides from ’79 to ’89?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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2 of 171 comments
  • Jeff S Unless muscle cars and pony like cars come back in popularity they will continue to disappear. Seems like some commenters are still not aware that pickups, suvs, and crossovers are what is selling. Manufacturers are going to make what sells regardless of who is the President. It is strictly business.
  • Tassos The best way to charge is while your car is parked at work, if your employer lets you charge it for free (some do).After that, it's charging at home.Using chargers on a long trip is not only much more expensive than charging at home, and not only does it take 30 minutes or more vs the 5 mins tops to fill a gas tank, but many times with popular trips (eg LA- las Vegas very popular with others, not with me, I despise Las Vegas and the morons who consider it fun to give their hard earned $ to the casino owners), you should expect far more than the 30 min, as you may need to queue up, possibly for hours, until a damned charger becomes free.
  • ToolGuy What a concept.
  • Syke 95% of the time at home, Level 2. Occasionally hit free chargers, usually seems to be ChargePoint. Maybe 1-2% of the time, I'll hit an Electrify America.
  • 28-Cars-Later I would think this is a good thing. Assuming typical Chrysler resale hits the Hornet, its pretty close to an Alfa for less.