The 80s offered us a wide dynamic of movies, fashion, music and many more. It was also a decade that witnessed significant change in the automotive industry, with improved technology a key marker for this era. Such advancements made the 1980s showcase some of the most prominent creations on the auto sports scene. At the time, the manual transmission was the issue, as not all companies had fully purchased the automatic transmission. Manual transmission cars still cut the motorsport scene and serve up an adrenaline-inducing moment on the tarmac. So what was the best car of that experimental decade? Below are some of the best manual transmission cars from the ’80s to answer the question.
20. 1989 Nissan Skyline GTR
Kicking off the list is the 1989 Nissan Skyline GTR. It was one of the first third-generation models of Nissan’s horizon brand that ended somewhere in the mid-1990s. It came with a 2.6-liter twin-turbo engine and It featured a six-speed manual transmission and had an impressive output of 312 horsepower. It was a proper racing car and its design was the basis for several sports cars that appeared in the 90s and ran into the early 2000s.
19. 1987 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z
When it comes to elegance and simplicity, the 1987 Dodge Daytona Shelby Z is the benchmark. The hatchback had a 2.2-liter engine, which is quite sports car-friendly. It had a lightweight frame that made it the perfect car for street racing as well as circuitry. It had improvements in terms of suspension, which resulted in stability and proper handling. A standout feature of this sports car was its pop-up headlights reminiscent of the trends of the 80s.
18. 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
A look at Hemmings shows you can see how lucrative the 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 was to drive. The car came with a sleek design that would make it a collector’s item at this age. It featured a V6 or V8 engine, both of which delivered impressive power for both roads and other sporting situations. The 165 horsepower was decent for a hassle-free cruise excursion. The downside is that it came out during the recession period for Chevrolet; hence a considerable figure in the sales catalog.
17. 1987 Honda Integra
The Honda Integra sits somewhere between a sedan and a street sports car. Also known as the Acura Integra, it was quite popular due to its low fuel consumption with 1.5 and 1.6 liter versions. Its styling, especially the hatchback, received critical acclaim for its simplicity. Although not that powerful at about 100 horsepower, it proved to be tough and exuded proper handling. Its comfort was also a feature to consider. It is a common feature in some short-chase street races with little modification; It is an excellent project car for the circuits.
16. 1987 Pontiac Mera
Most sports cars of the 1980s accepted the principle of aerodynamics, focusing on a streamlined shape in designs. Evidence of this approach is present in the rare 1987 Pontiac Mera. He took a page from the Pontiac Fiero from previous years as evident on a fan website. Slight modifications to the body and engine, where a powerful V6 engine was placed under the hood, were made to the Fiero models and finished with this exceptional sports car. However, fewer than 250 units left the assembly and many speculate that a Ferrari lawsuit was the reason.
15. 1987 Buick GNX
For several years, Buick struggled with its brand image as it was primarily associated with the older generation. Then enter the 1987 Buick GNX that changed the notion with a sporty, masculine look suitable for the streets. It’s the resulting collaboration between McLaren and Buick, with the former handling the tuning portion of the engine. It featured a V8 engine that exuded an impressive 276 horsepower. This was a good value at the time and made it a fit car for racing and other displays despite its limited production.
14. 1981 Datsun 280zx
The Japanese automaker came full throttle with this coupe sports car. It’s aesthetically appealing and has speed etched into it once you find it. It has a 2.8-liter V6 engine that produces a fantastic 145 horsepower. In its…