1980s Japan represented the forefront of technological advancement in the automotive industry, resulting in many innovations that are still in use today.

The era is best known for producing cars with sharp and often angular styling, featuring interiors with more emphasis on personal comfort. It saw the adoption of electronic fuel injection for better reliability and efficiency, and usage of computer-aided design for better chassis and suspension characteristics.

It was also the dawn of the modern ‘turbo age’ – the development of forced induction technology for impressive performance gains with careful investment. Turbochargers (and superchargers) were able to offer anywhere from 20 to 50% more power and torque than a normally aspirated engine with the same displacement. The appeal was instantly evident as virtually every Japanese manufacturer jumped on the bandwagon within the space of a few years.

Little surprise that your average car enthusiast in 1980s Japan had a massive array of performance oriented cars to choose from!

Many of these performance models originally never made it beyond the confines of the Japanese domestic market – the so-called ‘JDM‘ phenomenon that’s now entered popular lexicon – but thanks to a thriving used car industry and the efforts of many pioneering agencies over the years, a tonne of examples have found their way all around the world into the hands of many lucky owners.

This is just one humble attempt at curating and showcasing a little collection of nostalgia.

Click on any thumbnail to access the related Flickr photo album, or click on the text caption to access related blog posts.

1985 Ford Laser TX3 4WD (BFMRF)
1986 Ford Laser TX3 FWD (BFMPF)
1983 Nissan Skyline RS-X coupe (KDR30)
1983 Nissan Skyline RS-X sedan (DR30)
1985 Mazda Savanna Rx-7 GT (SA22C)
1986 Toyota MR2 Super Charger (AW11)
1988 Mitsubishi Starion EX (A183A)
1985 Mazda Familia GT-X 4WD (BFMR)