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.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
I think I would have put the 993 over the Boxster. It's the last air cooled 911 , is mechanically superior, has much better handling and is a more collectible car than the Boxster. Since cost doesn't factor into making the list (the McLaren). Then ask yourself, if you could only pick one and were offered a free 993 or a Boxster, which would you choose?
The 90-95 Corvette ZR1 certainly deserves attention. These cars have the marvelous Lotus designed 32 valve dual overhead cam engine which has proven to be very reliable. Besides why not own a car that set the 24 hour speed record at 175 mph? They are even well within the reach of many owners with prices that can be in the low 30 thousands for a decent one.
90s Civics and Jettas will have their day.
They were the growing up/high school/college ride a lot of people (or their friends) had. So they are memory machines --the fuel for nostalgia, which eventually equals collector interest.
Many 90s things will be future-appreciated for those that want less digital. It will interesting to see which things get enough aftermarket support for hobbyists to keep going and which things you hunt years for a specific dashboard bit or such.
While I'm not a fan of all the picks, I can understand why they're on the list. But for a couple of them, nothing says "blah" like a 4 door sedan. And I don't mean a 4 door hardtop without a post available in the 50s & 60s. My mommy drove a 4 door sedan. No matter what was under the hood, how they might handle or high style they might be, they just aren't "cool" in my opinion. But I understand the tastes of Gen X, Y, Z & Millennials are not the same as Boomers. Like what you want but I don't have to agree.
I have owned four Saabs, two from the 90s, and still have my 1996 Saab 900 convertible. To my eyes, it's the prettiest car I've ever owned. Great fun to drive along the Oregon Coast with the top down, or over any of the mountain highways here in western Montana. BUT-- the top mechanisms stopped working and the parts are not available to fix it. I can raise or lower the top manually, but I have been unable to latch it in place when down. Still, it's great fun to drive, but what do I know. I also own two Triumphs.
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....
I could easily pull three off that list and add one spectacular car you missed. Perfectly entering the fray right at the beginning of the decade, the 1990-1996 Nissan 300zx Twin Turbo deserves a spot on that list. Gobs of power, all the techy stuff Japanese manufacturers were stuffing into their cars in the 90's, and a gloriously beautiful body meant a car that nobody should ignore. While those old Saabs are more likely to be found at a wrecking yard than on the street, and you'll never grab a Mustang Cobra R with those production numbers, 300zx TTs are easily still found in either totally stock or heavily modified condition. If I had to pull a car off this list (and you don't want to budge on the aforementioned Saab or Mustang) then ditching the unreliable Mazda RX7 would be a straight twin-turbo swap.
Im not really fan of the Mitsubishi 3000gt AWD or the sister car known as the Stealth.
But that 4 wheel steering twin turd-bo all wheel peel is sorta before its time.
I wouldn't throw one out of my garage, lets just say that..as an American only buyer.
4 whl steering..come-on..thats pretty cool for 25+yrs ago.
What? No mention of Lexus (LS400 or SC400) beating the lederhosen off nearly all of Deutschland's aristocracy?
Then there's the incredible Toyota Supra Mk 4.
Sure, I'd like a Ferrari, but "having a favourite" should also include having even a remote possibility of "having" it.
VW Corrado. Yes it was rather quickly put together, using bits from the fleet, tho thats whats VW stands for. What makes it different is that it was built at the Karmann plant. Complimented to be the best handling car in the late 80'. Then they turned the reputable VR6 2.8 to a 2.9, just for the Corrado. What a Beast.
I still love my B&W 96 Viper GTS after all these years. The car is 100% timeless IMO. Yes, it is now a monster thanks to a couple of twin turbos from Underground Racing and updated with modern wheels and all kinds of aftermarket performance stuff, but it's still a timeless classic and never ceases to draw crowds.
95-96 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Spyder (and its hardtop siblings). 300hp, twin turbo, AWD, 4-wheel steering, folding hardtop, adjustable suspension, stone cold reliable. 10 years ahead of anything comparable.
I had a 1996 ('95 and a half) Audi turbo quattro S-6, 5 speed in Europa Blue with gray interior that I totally loved! Not many knew that car and Audi was still tainted by the CBS fake news story on unintended acceleration, so there were few sold in the US.
I might not have read enough of the comments following, but I would have thought the MkIV (4th gen) Supra would have made the list. Don't have one, and the body style is a little plain, but it was pretty advanced for its time and the TT model was pretty speedy.