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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I just loved my 2002 540i! It was always ready to have fun; its get up and go and tight handling made it a joy to drive. It was my daily driver for 10 years, up until I retired, and now someone else gets to have all the fun!
The Mercedes - AMG breakout started with the C36 and then the C43, sold as new models on Mercedes showrooms around the world. Kind of forgotten now, their success spawned a generation of MB/AMG cars that are the dominant representation of Mercedes today.
This C class was the last of the Bruno Sacco designs in production, by the way. The Chrysler merger pretty well destroyed Mercedes long history of quality above everything else..
I bought a 1998 Boxster brand new. Waited 5 months for my custom order to arrive from Germany. It was the worst car I have ever owned. After about 20 months of torture it went back to Porsche under the Lemon Law. EVERYTHING broke. The engine blew up on start up; the trans had to be hacked out of the vehicle to replace the engine; the top cover support collapsed while putting the top down, warping the cover into a potato chip shape; red lights came on bi-weekly. I got to know the local dealer's service writer way too well. The entire dash had to removed and the cowl rewelded to hush a one-man-band cacophony of creaks and groans. I could go on and on. I can only imagine how time has not been kind to these cars.
1992-98 Mclaren F1 HPG #2 (Excellent) value: $18,000,000
??? I'm sorry. Anyone, ANYONE who spends that kind of money for a car, no matter what it is, has way more money than brains. At that price you simply mount the **bleep** thing over the firepl...sorry, Harth, and look at it in your living room, sipping your martinie whilst boasting to your other one percenters. What a waste.
90's GM F Body platform were a lot of fun. I bought a 1993 first year 4th generation Camaro Z28. 275hp LT1 V8, 3:23 posi rear. Ran the quarter in the 14's and civil enough for long road trips.
I worked at a GM dealership in Indiana pand got to drive the striking Z28 Indy Pace Cars. Just a neat era to look back on. Rock the Mullet! LOL
I know it’s not launched outside Japan and was first seen 1989... but of course you can’t miss the king of JDM sportscars in the 90s, the Skyline Gt-r BNR32. It’s motorsports records and feats will make it automatic in the 90s list.
The twin turbo Z32 and the all wheel drive VR4. The '90's to me was the decade of Japanese automotive engineering.
Never cared much for the Boxster.
McLaren? No recollection.
The Ferrari? I guess, but the fate of most of them is to middle aged males driving around stop light to stop light in the city.
why not put in the 1994 to 1996 GM sleeper wagons, meaning the Chevy caprice and the Buick Roadmaster estate wagon, the Buick came standard with a detuned 260 hp 330ft lb torque 350 ci LT1 under the hood and it was an option for the caprice, I own a Buick and it can do more then most people suspect such a big car should be able to do, plus the 5000 pound towing capacity is another nice bonus if you find one with the tow package.
Who are these people that made this list? What planet are they from. This list is totally impossible to relate to for most unless you thrash around in a smoking Wankel RX7 or a stinky old Mazda Merida. I myself can only relate to the 18 million dollar McClaren.
I think quarantine is getting to the writers.
I would like the Mercedes SLK series to be considered. Starting in 1996 (R170) through 2010 (R171) these are truly an affordable, fun to drive, exceptional roadsters. As an owner of a face-lift 2001 R170 model, I believe this car should be recognized and added to a "list" in the future.
Gotta tell ya, I’m not a rich guy, so the super cars were never on my list , cause I couldn’t afford one, but for a guy who turned 30 in 1991, the Lincoln MK VII was a great car, cause it had the 5.0 motor in it, and it had style, I owned new cars from the late 70s up, GM had horrible underpowered cars with poor build quality, I wasn’t into Mercedes or BMW yet though I’ve owned many Benzs since and currently own an E43 AMG, but that Lincoln had a great balance of ride, style and power, after the MK VII I bought a MKVIII, after that and one more LSE I went foreign