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Hagerty Employee

10 of our favorite ’90s cars

The 1990s are now a grand 20 years in the past, and an incredible swathe of cars is up for historic plates in the next few years. From JDM wonders to kooky Swedes, cars of the ’90s represent the Goldilocks recipe to enthusiasts. They're new enough to posses the modern technologies that ensured stout reliability and top-tier performance, but old enough to lack electronic nannies that kvetch and whine at us when we attack the twisties. So we decided to put our resident ’90s experts in a livestream for an hour and pick their 10 favorite cars.


While Brad Phillip's official title is Hagerty's Director of Automotive Lifestyle Business Development, you may know him as Brad the Sunbeam Tiger King. Joining him is our Marketplace Editor Colin Comer. While some cars qualify for the top 10 list through Phillip's or Comer's personal experience, the pair discussed others as the pinnacle of their performance genre.


From the humble Mazda Miata to the world-beating McLaren F1, there's something for everyone in this list.


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125 REPLIES 125

Toyota MR2 turbo. A 90’s cult classic. Must be on the list. 


I would add the Lamborghini Diablo, the last true Lamborghini before Audi took over.


I imagine that Colin does not even know what a Mercedes 124 is, so I'll educate him here. It should be on the list because it was absolutely the best designed and best executed production car during the '90s.


The car was available as the satisfying sedan, the discreet but useful wagon, the sublime coupe and of course the always impressive cabriolet that awes at the country club and still gets the best parking spot from the valet. Impeccable cars but below the radar of the snobs who wrote the above.


I'll also add and agree with the Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, the Corvette C4 FRC coupe, the Mercedes R129 roadster, the Lexus SC300/400, its twin turbo six JDM companion the Toyota Soarer and the simple and overlooked (fox body) Ford Mustang LX convertible.


The above list is not for Hagerty customers but for swells hoping to impress at B-J next January.


Once again, as most times prior, your list leaves me wondering why I opened the link.  I'm never sure of who your audience is, or for that matter the basis of your criteria.  As usual, you're going to have many comments from people wondering why their favorite car is missing from the list - or maybe that's the point; to get us all frustrated.... 

New Driver

I agree. I have never owned one, but will never forget cruising I5 at n40 mph in an 86 Mustang only to be eventually passed by a 300ZX TT at around n50 mph.  No racing, just cruising to our destinations.  In the good ole days when there were no cars on I5 on a weekday morning.


Disappointed am I that the '93 Taurus SHO, 5-speed didn't make the list - one great car!


Series 1 Lotus 111S Elise!  How could you have missed the first bonded aluminum chassis with 5.2s to 60 from only a tuned 143hp Rover K engine?


Lexus's arrival on the scene with the stunning SC 300-400 coupes


VW Corrado SLC 


I think you are bang-on where the 4-door bias/dislike fades away with the post-boomers. How it breaks down is trickier since various sources don't use the same definitions for X, Y & Z and most seem to lump anyone under 30 as a Millennial (which would be spanning part of Y & Z). Context matters too (I think)... 4-door Chevelle not cool in 1967 is so much cooler than pretty much any crossover today.