The coupe cars role had significantly changed in the ‘80s, previously it was possible for manufacturers to get away with a stylish alternative to a saloon car without performance gain but due to the arrival of the hot hatch, the coupe needed to pull some tricks out the hat. Sold on an image of sportiness and finesse but the cheaper end of the market suffered from the ‘medallion man’ reputation. I’ve selected 10 cars priced around £10,000 in 1985 – around £30,000 in today’s money which provided some level of merit and driving satisfaction.
The sparsely kitted but modern Audi Coupe was an ideal all-rounder. Honda offered a level of sophistication and was a safe bet for long term ownership.
Alfa Romeo engines were considered the nicest in the world, which gave them plenty of respect.
A novel approach was taken by Toyota, by the recent introduction of the mid-engined MR2. It was very well received.
Nissan too had reintroduced themselves back into the coupe market with the Silvia. It was an improvement over the older generation of Datsun coupes which were not much more than saloons in frocks.
The Renault Fuego Turbo model prices it close to this section. Brutally fast and nice to drive too.
The Capri deserves a mention in this line-up. It was a bit dated, and the number of models was being pruned down but in 2.8i form was still a force to be recognised.
The Mitsubishi Sapporo also had its roots in the ‘70s, but Mitsubishi added Turbochargers to every model in their range which gave them extra cred in the performance stakes.
The Mazda’s RX7, the MK1 was close to being replaced, but still had that ability to stand out thanks to its unique power plant.
The Porsche, asides from handling doesn’t have too much to recommend it – but at the end of the day, a Porsche badge on your driveway wins hands down in this selection.