Car News

Cars from the Eighties cars on the brink of extinction

Lada Riva

Some of the most familiar cars of the Eighties and Nineties are in almost terminal decline according to the latest DVLA data.

The alarming figures are revealed in the March-April 2020 issue of Retro Cars – the car magazine dedicated to accessible modern classic cars from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

According to the data, the most endangered car of the 1980s and 1990s is the Lada Riva, once the butt of many a Blackpool comedian’s joke, but now rarer than a Pagani Zonda. If you want exclusivity and prestige, perhaps now’s the time to hunt down a Riva 1500 SLX? After all, just 49 Rivas are known to survive.

Alfa Romeo 146

Slightly more upmarket but no less at risk, the Alfa Romeo 146 is alarmingly on the danger list. Once described by Jeremy Clarkson as ‘the only small hatchback I’d be seen dead in’, the stylish five-door may have sold thousands in the Nineties, but a mere 89 are left on the road in the UK.

More commonly seen cars from the era are also in grave danger, though, with cars that were once in the UK’s top 10 seller lists having disappeared almost completely. Among them are the last remaining 468 Rover 800s, 409 Peugeot 309s, 324 Nissan Bluebirds, 286 Citroen BXs and 218 Fiat Unos.

“Cars of the Eighties and Nineties are becoming increasingly popular with younger drivers who are embracing this era, but the supply of cars is a lot worse than it is or was for classics of an earlier vintage thanks to a generational shift in society, which has seen a car become as much of a disposable asset as a washing machine,” said Retro Cars editor Craig Cheetham.

“In the Eighties and Nineties the days of ‘make good and mend’ turned into ‘finance and replace’, not helped by the 2009/10 scrappage scheme, and in the future the everyday cars of this era will be far less common than classic MGBs or Triumphs. Indeed, in many cases they already are.”

“That’s why it’s essential that the good ones get saved.”

Top 10 ‘at risk’ cars according to DVLA data

Car Number left
1 Lada Riva 49
2 Alfa Romeo 146 89
3 Fiat Uno 218
4 Renault 21 221
5 Vauxhall Carlton 270
6 Citroen BX 286
7 Nissan Bluebird 324
8 Volvo 440 407
9 Peugeot 309 409
10 Rover 800 468

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