Twenty-six years later, the best of 1994’s cars offer unique opportunities to automotive enthusiasts, particularly those on a budget. They’re felicitous fusions of reliability and excitement, possessed of traditional character and computerized troubleshooting. Perfectly positioned between the vacuum-line emissions nightmares of 1984 and the generic flush-faced aero-clones of 2004.
To shine a light on the great choices available from this year, we assembled an international quartet in Ohio’s Hocking Hills for a long-overdue class reunion. No cap or gown necessary.
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Nice work, but where are the German legends of 1994? Porsche 928GTS, 968 Club Sport, Mercedes/Porsche E500? Some big followings of these models, then and now.
It can be tough to put a bunch of customer-owned cars together for a test. It would have been nice to have a 968, and I'm personally a huge 968 fan, but that's an updated version of a car from... 1972, and the 928 dates to 1976.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but if I remember correctly the 928 was designed prior to the 924. The oil crisis of the early '70s led to the 928 being delayed, which allowed the 924 to beat it to market.
I really enjoyed the observations and comparison here. With computerized engine management came even greater efficiencies and horsepower. I loved my ‘92 corvette, the handling, hp and styling held up for decades until I drove the C7. I regret not keeping the C4 to this day.
I really do appreciate the sweet spot cars like these occupied. Still modern enough to be reliable, but not overwrought with technology. My biggest complaint about cars of this era(mid-late 90s) was then as it is now, the bulbous-overly round styling. But it definitely worked on the RX-7. Back then 200-300 horsepower was more than sufficient because cars weighed so much less. Now you need at least 400 hp to move 2 tons of rolling safety and technology at a reasonable pace. That being said, I do recognize the benefits of modern technology and enjoy them.
Epic article. Very well done and completely agree to the concept. Mid-90's really were a sweet spot in the analog experience. I know it's hard to pick just 4, but think I would have chosen the same vintage BMW M3 instead of the VW or Jag. Just sayin'.
I'm madly in love with my 84 C4 Corvette. I laugh at Corvette snobs who talk trash about them. Many are guys who never work on their car, except to polish and wax it. Yes, C4's had their faults, but so did C1's, C2's and C3's, as well as later generations. I have spent the last three years fixing, doing away with, or improving on the faults of my C4, not to mention undoing the neglect and damage done by idiotic previous owners. It is a much leaner, meaner machine now, and far more comfortable than it left the factory as. Even with its Z51 suspension, and stiff Bilsteins, the driver and passenger are very comfortable now. Gone is that ridiculous Atari dash cluster, replaced with one of my own design, featuring electronic analog gauges. The front end is probably 500 lb less in weight now too. Little by little, the car is getting better and better, and more like what Chevy should have done to begin with. And Jack, you are right about there being a strong community of loyal C4 people out there. In the coming year, I hope to finish my mechanical mods, and get a good paint job on her. And God willing, I hope to take her out to Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Ks for some trials on their road course come Fall 2021.
I owned a 1995 C4 and always enjoyed the car. Great car for road trips and even got decent gas mileage as well - averaging in the low-to-mid 20s! Our only complaint was the large center hump in the floor for the transmission, Made for a passenger side with little foot room.