The most interesting Japanese classics from 1980-1989 – what can you choose?

Japanese automobiles of the late 20th century have an exceptional amount to offer. It was then that the Japanese began to make a huge impact and set global trends in the automotive world. Are you sure you know all the gems from those years? Check out our list of the most interesting Japanese classics from the penultimate decade of the 20th century!

Honda Legend

It debuted in 1985 and the current fifth generation is considered the flagship machine of the concern. The first generation of the car was available in two versions – a two-door coupe and a four-door sedan. The first generation of the car was available in two versions – a two-door coupe and a four-door sedan, while under the hood there was an inline turbocharged two-liter six with up to 187 horsepower, which combined with a relatively low total weight gave a satisfying driving experience. Versions with a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic rolled off the assembly line in Sayama.

Lexus LS400

This synonym of panache and book premium segment first saw the light of day in 1989. Interestingly, Japanese brand legend Eiji Toyoda was responsible for the design of the machine. Under the hood of the LS400 was a powerful four-liter unit with 250 horsepower. In combination with its muscular dimensions, the car became a sales hit in no time, which was confirmed by its victory in the poll for the Japanese Car of the Year. What is interesting, the first generation of the famous LS refers to the shapes known from the American automotive industry.

Mazda 929 HB (Luce)

Produced between 1981 and 1986, the Mazda 929 was built on the innovative HB platform. Interestingly, a total of three engine versions were built – in addition to the traditional gasoline and diesel, there was also an LPG-powered version produced, among others, for cab fleets operating in Japan. In terms of capacity, the units were built from 1.8 liters to 2.2 liters with power not exceeding 150 horsepower.

Isuzu 117 Coupe

An unrivaled favorite in my eyes. Model produced until 1981 referred to the golden years of the American automotive industry and the magnum opus in the form of muscle cars. Under the hood of the two-door machine was a 166-horsepower inline four that sent torque to the rear axle via a four- or five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. That was enough to make the 117, which weighs only a ton, rush to gallop across the tarmac. This made the Isuzu 117 the symbol of the iconic Gran Turismo type of four wheelers. Interestingly enough, it was also the first Japanese car designed by an Italian designer!


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