Join us on a trip down memory lane to celebrate 30 years of Hansard! These four classic cars were some of the most loved in 1987, the same year that family business Hansard was set up on the Isle of Man by founder Dr Leonard Polonsky CBE.
The Chevrolet Corvette (CV)
The Corvette, best known colloquially as the Vette, is a sports car manufactured by Chevrolet. Made famous by David Hasselhoff’s character Michael Knight in Knight Rider, this car was a must have for 1980s sports car enthusiasts. The first model was released in 1953, but by 1987, it was on its fourth generation. This generation of the Corvette (actually released in 1983) benefited from the first complete redesign since 1963. New chassis features included aluminium brake calipers and an all-aluminium suspension which made the car lighter and less rigid. An electronic dashboard with digital liquid crystal displays for the speedometer and tachometer was made standard. The B2K twin-turbo option became available for the first time in 1987, marking a big milestone for this classic car.
Ford Mustang GT
The Mustang is an affordable ‘pony’ type sports vehicle, originally launched in 1962 as a two-seater concept car. According to designer John Najjar, the name Mustang came from the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane. As a response to falling sales in the early 80s, Ford gave the 1987 Mustang a face lift. It was revamped with an ‘aeroplane’ look, including a new dashboard, console and revised seat and door trim. The car, made famous by Wilson Pickett’s 1966 Mustang Sally, saw sales rise a little as a result (from 169,772 in 1987, to 211,225 in 1988, and 209,769 in 1989), but they never reached the 1966 peak of 607,568.
Lamborghini’s flagship car, the Lamborghini Countach, was produced between 1974 and 1990. The name Countach is a swearword in the Piedmontese dialect and anecdotally comes from Bertone design house head, Nuccio Bertone, exclaiming ‘Countach’ when he first saw the concept. The interjection is said to have a variety of different meanings – including “bloody hell”, “holy shit” or “woman of ‘extravagant’ looks”. The design pioneered and popularised the wedge-shaped, angular look of many high-performance sports cars. It also popularised the ‘cab forward’ design concept, where the passenger compartment sits forward to accommodate a larger rear-mounted engine. In 1985 the engine design evolved (it was stroked to 5167 cc and given four valves per cylinder) and the 1987 version received straked side skirts.
Mercedes-Benz 190 E2.6
The Mercedes Benz 190 is a four-door salon with rear wheel drive. 1987 drivers will have benefited from the £600m ploughed into research and development of the 190, a new venture for Mercedes Benz. The model was designed to compete with the likes of the BMW 3 Series. The W201-based 190 was introduced in November 1982 and benefited from a number of iterations before 1987 which marked the arrival of the first inline-six equipped version. The car weighs 1197 kg and has a maximum speed of 132 mph.