Market for 1980s poster cars explodes

by Rob Sass
6 November 2014 2 min read
Market for 1980s poster cars explodes
Lamborghini Countach

One of the most visible signs of the generational shift in car collecting is the fact that the cars that were the subjects of the most popular boy’s room wall posters of the 1980s are rapidly rising in value. Here are four of our favourite poster cars:

  1. Lamborghini Countach: Perhaps the most iconic automotive wall poster — the red Lamborghini Countach poster that reads: “Body by Lamborghini. High Fidelity by Alpine.” — just turned 30, which means that the 18-year-old freshers who first taped it up in their university hall are now pushing 50 and flush with disposable income. This could explain the recent vertical rise in Countach prices; they’ve gone up about 300 percent in the last three years.
  2. Porsche 911SC Targa: One of my personal favourites (and one that I own) was done by American photographer Steve Steigman, whose best-known previous work was titled “Blown Away.” That photo depicts a sunglasses-wearing bloke sitting in a very stylish chair while listening to his giant 1980s-era stereo turned up to 11. His next work showed the same person in his Porsche 911SC Targa with an angelic light — emanating presumably from the car stereo — levitating the Targa roof off of the car. Maxell, the high-end cassette tape-maker, incorporated both images in its advertising. Good examples of the 911SC have nearly doubled in value over the last two years. Cars that were high-teens are now mid-20s and still climbing. Hell, even the poster is worth about £100.
  3. Ferrari Testarossa: The Testarossa was the supercar of the “Miami Vice” generation. But when Crockett and Tubbs went away, TRs became about as fashionable as white unconstructed blazers and Beltrami slacks. Today, these cars are enjoying a resurgence in popularity with collectors who value them as Ferrari’s last mid-engine 12-cylinder car until the F50. So, the days of nice £40,000 TRs are over. We loved the iconic poster of the Testarossa by itself on a black background and as part of the garage collection for the famous “Justification for Higher Education” poster (earlier versions of that iconic car poster featured the TR’s predecessor, a Ferrari 512 BB).
  4. Porsche 928: Eighties films were chock full of 928s, the car that was supposed to replace the 911. In “Risky Business,” Tom Cruise as suburban Chicago preppy pimp Joel Goodson deposited his dad’s car into Lake Michigan, prompting the classic line from the Porsche service department manager asking, “Which one of you is the U-boat commander?” Al Pacino as psychopath Tony Montana in Brian De Palma’s “Scarface” moved up to a 928 after assassinating his mentor Frank Lopez. The 928 is also featured in the fantasy garage in the above-referenced “Justification” poster. Late high-horsepower 928 GTS models are hot commodities now in the Porsche world, bringing upwards of £35,000.
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