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April 30, 2010

News & Features

Retro already? These autos from 1985 become (gasp) antiques this year

The Associated Press

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The 1985 Nissan Maxima added a front-wheel drive to its flagship sedan. (Nissan)

A fresh batch of vehicles turns 25 years old this year, making them antiques in the eyes of regulators and eligible to participate in an Antique Automobile Club of America car show. Here, then, is the Class of 1985. Get ready -- you're about to feel a little older.

BMW 3-Series sedan: For the first time, BMW's 318i and 325e came with four doors. A four-speed automatic transmission was a new option.

Cadillac DeVille: Cadillac's big sedan got a bit smaller and gained front-wheel drive. But the old rear-drive models were popular and remained in production.

Chevrolet Astro Van: After the success of Chrysler's minivans, General Motors fielded a series of long-lived rear-drive minivans that never sold as well.

In the tape deck
  • The top singles from 1985:
  • 1. "Say You, Say Me," Lionel Ritchie
  • 2. "We Are the World," USA For Africa
  • 3. "Careless Whisper," Wham!
  • 4. "Can't Fight This Feeling," REO Speedwagon
  • 5. "Money for Nothing," Dire Straits

Chrysler LeBaron GTS: Chrysler tried unsuccessfully to add a bit of European flair to its K-car lineup with this midsize four-cylinder hatchback, also sold as the Dodge Lancer.

Dodge Colt: This Mitsubishi-built grocery getter received a slippery new shape, a revised suspension and a frugal 68-horsepower engine.

Geo Nova: Chevrolet revived the Nova name for its version of the front-wheel-drive Toyota Corolla. It was sold in sedan or hatchback form.

Merkur XR4Ti: This German Ford model, sold as a Mercury and never popular, used a 175-horsepower 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder similar to one used in the Mustang SVO.

Nissan Maxima: Nissan's flagship switched to front-wheel drive this year. A 200-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 from the 300ZX sports car supplied the power.

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Volkswagen redesigned the Rabbit in 1985 and called it the Golf. (Volkswagen)

Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2: The Cutlass Supreme, one of America's favorite rides, saw the 4-4-2 model revived in 1985 with a 180-horsepower V8 engine. Only 3,000 were built.

Pontiac Grand Am: This car's aggressive styling helped re-establish Pontiac's sporting credentials, even if performance was more grandma than Grand Am.

Toyota MR2: When Toyota unveiled its second sports car, it was this mid-engine two-seater, powered by a 112-horsepower four-cylinder.

Volkswagen Golf: Until now, VW's hatchback was known in the U.S. as the Rabbit. With its 1985 restyle, the European name was used.

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