Baxter Auto in the 80s

Baxter Auto expanded to its second dealership in the 80s. Tal Anderson opened Southroads Toyota in 1988. It’s now known as Baxter Toyota La Vista.

Well outside of Omaha and the automotive industry, the 80s saw the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Toyota LV 80s

Auto Industry in the 80s

Car sales in the 80s were struggling and manufacturers had to find new ways to sell. Those included sweepstakes and rebates, but eventually lead to extended warranties on vehicles and parts. Chrysler began offering a 5-year/50,000 mile warranty on power trains, external body panels and maintenance. Luxury vehicles didn’t have the same problems the rest of the industry was facing. Ferrari and Lamborghini did especially well during the decade.

1982 saw the first American-made Honda, from an assembly line that still produces Honda Accords. In 1987, Chrysler added Jeep to their brands. Chrysler also purchased AMC, one of the oldest and largest auto manufacturers in the US, for $1.1 billion.

The next year, both Lexus and INFINITI were announced, as Toyota and Nissan each entered the American luxury market.

AMC - American Motors
80s AMC Concord
1981 AMC Concord
80s Jeep
Jeep Grand Wagoneer
80s Lexus
1989 Lexus - First Lexus produced

Movies/TV in the 80s

Special effects started to take over movies. The beginning of the decade saw movies like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Shining, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET and Rocky 3. Rentals were through the roof and box office records were being broken left and right.

The end of the decade continued to bring great movies. 1987 saw Dirty Dancing, The Untouchables, Full Metal Jacket and Good Morning Vietnam – all of which got great reviews.

In the 80s, cartoons took over TV; She-Ra, He-Man, G.I. Joe and The Transformers were all on the air. Throughout the decade some of the most popular shows were Cheers, M*A*S*H, 60 Minutes and The Golden Girls.


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Shining (1980)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
The Untouchables (1987)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)


She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985)
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)
G.I. Joe (1985)
Transformers (1984)
Cheers (1982)
M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
60 Minutes
Golden Girls (1985)

Games & Toys in the 80s

Toys and games took off in the 80s. 1984 brought a whole bunch of new toys to the scene: Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers, Care Bears, and handheld electronic games. Videos games advanced from Atari to the Nintendo NES system.

Cabbage Patch Kids
Care Bears
Nintendo NES

Music in the 80s

80s music let technology take over for a bit. Sound engineers definitely took over and created the distinct sound of the decade. Pop artists like Janet Jackson, Madonna and Whitney Huston were breaking records and leading the way for women in music. Other big names, especially in 1987, were Michael Jackson, LL Cool J, Smokey Robinson, Jodi Watley, Bon Jovi and Randy Travis.

CD players were also becoming a staple in every home and that helped keep oldies at the top of the charts. Many record companies were reissuing older albums on CD.

Whitney Houston
The Jacksons
Madonna (1987)

Sports in the 80s

Across the board in the sporting world, the names on everyone’s tongues in the 80s were: Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Joe Montana and Doc Gooden.

Pro Football added instant replay as an experiment in 1986 and saw the first drug-testing program. The program called for three tests a year and a lifetime ban if an athlete tested positive three times.

Joe Montana (1986)
Dwight (Doc) Gooden
Mike Tyson

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