Cool Ford Cars From the '80s

22nd Nov 2022

By Kenny Longdon

Best Ford cars from the 1980s

Super Mario Brothers, Miami Vice, Duran Duran, Back to the Future, big hair, and of course some properly epic cars, especially if you were a fan of boxy arches, big wings and general madness.

The '80s had its moments then, especially in terms of sales for Ford, who had 50 percent of the 'Top 10' best-selling cars of that era. These included the Orion, Cortina, Sierra, Fiesta and the Escort. Not a bad decade for Ford at all.

We therefore thought it was time to look back on some of the coolest Ford cars from the '80s, because who doesn't love a bit of nostalgia every now and then?

The coolest Ford cars from the '80s inlcude:

Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

Ford Sierra Cosworth

Straight in, no messing, we start strong with the whale-tail monster that's the Ford Sierra Cosworth, otherwise known as the 'Cossie'. But this isn't just any 'Cossie', this is the RS500.

Like many cool cars, the Cosworth was built for homologation purposes, so it could go racing. After the success of the regular Sierra Cosworth, Ford decided they needed to stay ahead of the competition, especially when it came to getting their elbows out on track. The motorsport rules stated that modifications could be made if 500 road cars were produced, and just like that the RS500 was born.

Power was raised to 224bhp, up 20bhp over standard. Not a lot, but it meant the RS500 'Cossie' could go from 0 to 60mph in just 5.6 seconds, which is still quick today, so in 1987, it was certain to tempt some brown trouser moments for sure.

All the cars were destined to be black, but only 392 were painted this colour along with 56 being white. The rarest colour was blue in which 52 were made.

Today, prices can fetch well into six figures.

Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1

Ford Escort RS Turbo

The third generation Ford Escort came along in 1980. Purists saw it as a step backwards from the Mk2, as the iconic rear-wheel drive had been ditched, along with the saloon body for a hatchback.

However, times change and Ford saw advantages in a front-wheel drive hatchback body, and so did customers with the Escort becoming the best-selling car of the '80s. Purists and petrolheads needn't have worried, as they were treated to the Ford Escort RS Turbo in 1985.

It featured a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine pushing out 132bhp, completing the 0 to 60mph dash in 8.3 seconds, fast for the early '80s and a properly cool car to have at the time.

But how can you define cool? Well, all RS Turbo models were white, although Princess Diana had one in black. This special example was sold at auction for a colossal £722,500 (before fees). A mint white regular example with 15k miles was the record holder before this selling for £63,000.

Ford Capri 2.8-litre Injection

Ford Capri

Originally introduced in the late '60s, the Capri (Mk3) enjoyed most of its life in the '80s running from 1978 to 1986. The long bonnet and sleek styling ensured it was a popular choice for the Ford enthusiast.

Just before the '80s, Ford released the Capri S, with a 3.0-litre V6. This was famous for being the car of TV star Lewis Collins, when he played Bodie in The Professionals, which was an iconic TV crime/law enforcement drama. The silver Capri came with 'Carla Check' seats and Recaro 'fishnet' seats.

The 2.8 Injection which came later in the '80s may have had a smaller engine, but it too was a V6 unit, borrowed from the Ford Granada. Smaller in size, the 2.8 was actually faster and featured now iconic two-tone paint, and a red stripe along the sleek body, with 'injection' written on both front wings. It may have not been the star on TV, but it still looked the business for sure.

Ford Fiesta XR2

Ford Fiesta XR2

In 2022 Ford pretty much shocked a lot of people by expressing how they would no longer be making the Fiesta after the summer of 2023, ending some 47 years of production.

Therefore, we couldn't leave out a hot 'fez', they're just part of British culture and everyone seems to have had a Fiesta story at some point in their life.

The XR2 only had 94bhp, but it weighed nothing really in terms of modern day cars, tipping the scales at a svelte 850kg. This meant it was a spicy little so-and-so. Okay, so the 0 to 60mph time was around 10 seconds, but this was 1981 and that was pretty nippy for a little Fiesta.

The XR2 was a big milestone for the Fiesta, as it paved the way for the next hot Fiestas, which included the XR2i and of course, today's ultra-popular Fiesta ST.

Ford RS200

Ford RS200

The 1986 Ford RS200 comes from the legendary 'Group B' rally era, where cars were so crazy they eventually had to be banned.

This was probably due to the fact the car in 'Evo' spec could go from 0 to 60mph in just over 3 seconds - in 1986. The record stood as the fastest accelerating car for twelve years.

RS200 comes from the fact 200 had to be built, again for racing homologation purposes. 24 of them were Evo models, which were the record breakers mentioned above. The regular RS200 models were not exactly slow though, with 60 coming up in circa 5 seconds.

The RS200 took on other legends like the Audi Quattro, Peugeot 205 T16 and Lancia Delta S4 - but whereas they were based on much 'mundane' road cars, the RS200 was like no other Ford gone before it. That board meeting must have been fun, probably.

Ford Corrtina

Ford Cortina

The last car on our list may not be as cool as the rest, which all come from the 'fast Ford' stable, but there's just something about a Cortina, isn't there?

It's a sucker for the phrase 'my Dad had one of them' and this was at a time when the working man had either a Ford or a Vauxhall, and what it said on your boot was a properly big deal.

Previous generation Cortinas, especially those fettled by Lotus were cooler of course, but everyone loves an underdog.

The boxy nature of the Cortina was loved nonetheless being the best-selling car in 1981 and 1982, before it was discontinued in 1982. Still being a best-seller despite only being on sale in the '80s for a couple of years shows how much love people had for the Cortina. 

Find your perfect Ford with Evans Halshaw

The '80s were a iconic era, and we can look back with fond memories when it comes to cars, films, music and fashion.

Although we can't offer you a mint Sierra 'Cossie' at Evans Halshaw, we still offer a great selection of quality used Fords, along with tempting offers on brand new Fords too.

Alternatively, contact your preferred Evans Halshaw Ford retailer for any help finding your perfect Ford, or for help with after sales queries.