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36 Years of Hindsight: 1980 Ford full-line brochure

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Images from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News

It’s fascinating to look at Ford’s lineup for the 1980 model year and to realize that only two of the eight nameplates are still in use today. But when it comes to the Mustang, the more things change, the more they stay the same: Ford was then touting its new-tech, 150 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine option (think EcoBoost!), which debuted with the Fox platform in 1979, and actually made 31 hp more than the Mustang’s available, 2 bbl.-carbureted V-8. One of this model’s flashier variants was the Cobra, which got a new look for 1980 (and, judging from the brochure illustration, balloon tires!).


Twenty-five years after this model’s introduction, the Thunderbird was new for 1980, sporting formal styling over a smaller, more economical Fox platform. Largely carried over were the LTD and Granada, which Ford continued to compare with cars a smidge above of their station: note the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and W123-chassis Mercedes-Benz (or is that a W115?) in the background of those cars’ images.

With the Escort “World Car” set to appear in 1981, this would be the last year for the venerable Pinto. It’s fun to see that buyers could still opt for the shagadelic Cruising Wagon variant.


The Fairmont Futura also got turbo power for 1980, and it seems that Fox-platform model could be set up to perform quite admirably with the optional five-speed manual gearbox.

The German-built Fiesta was shown in an appropriately European-looking setting, and surprisingly, that car’s 1.6-liter four cylinder shares its displacement with today’s hot Fiesta ST, although the difference in power, considering highway MPG -66 hp and 38 MPG vs. 197 hp and 35 MPG- is pretty staggering.

Do you think Ford’s ideas were better for 1980? Click on the brochure images below to enlarge.