Home Cars 25 Once-Popular Sports Cars Auto Fans Forgot About

25 Once-Popular Sports Cars Auto Fans Forgot About

Cameron Eittreim November 27, 2020

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse - Mitsubishi
via: Mitsubishi

7: Mitsubishi Eclipse (Final Generation)

The final generation of the Eclipse is perhaps the most underrated as it was the right car released at the wrong time. The styling was ahead of the curve but with a global recession hitting the car just didn’t sell well. The marketplace for compact sports cars had also shrunk by this time, and the Eclipse had some stiff competition. This is still one of the best pure sports cars that have ever hit the market.

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse - 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse
via: Mitsubishi

The styling and the features were well ahead of what you’d expect for the price tag. Then you had the addition of the Spyder model which was one of the last convertible sports cars in the segment. For a classic driving experience that still excites to this day the final generation of the Eclipse is it.

Dodge Stealth
via: Chrysler

6: Dodge Stealth

Mitsubishi and Chrysler made a lot of cars together during the 1980s and ’90s, but one stands out the most. The Stealth was based on the 3000GT, which was a stellar sports car in every sense of the word. The twin-turbo powered motor was only one aspect of the car that made it drive amazingly. Mitsubishi put a lot of work into the car and it only helped to bolster what the car could offer.

Mitsubishi GTO - Dodge
via: Chrysler

A unique exterior style made the Stealth stand out from the crowd, and the R/T version of the car added the usual Mopar flare. The Stealth is a unique car in the aspect that it was only made for a short period of time. These sports cars are quite rare and you can expect to pay a decent price for a clean one.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
via: Hot Rod

5: 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

This car hit the market right at the end of the Monte Carlos lifespan, and it was the wrong time. Sure, the car offered a fair amount of value for what you got, but it just didn’t click with consumers. The modern V8 engine is worth noting and it gave the Monte Carlo the modern powerplant that it should have had all along. It also helped out that the car was handsome to look at as well.

Monte Carlo SS
via: Chevrolet

Since this generation of the Monte Carlo didn’t manage to sell very well, you don’t see many of them on the market anymore. But if you can get your hands on one of these, you’ll be in store for a stellar car that offers a great deal of value. The modern V8 engine and subtle styling make this a true sleeper.

2000 Dodge Neon - Dodge Neon SRT-4
via: Chrysler

4: Neon SRT-4

There was a time when the Neon SRT-4 was one of the surprise hits of the decade. The car was a barebones sports car with extreme performance, and it did just what enthusiasts wanted. This was a poor man’s Lancer Evo, and that’s okay because the SRT-4 was different. Even today this car performs among the best in its class. The engine is easy to work on and the interior had a no-frills design that was easy to maintain.

2000 Dodge Neon - 2001 Dodge Neon
via: Chrysler

The SRT-4 is perhaps one of the most interesting cars on the market for a number of reasons. These Dodge models were quite unique at the time and there were only a few exterior colors to choose from. Either way, the SRT-4 is definitely one of the most unique tuner cars for the new millennium.

via: Chrysler

3: PT Cruiser GT

Even the PT Cruiser had an exciting model during the early 2000s, and it had a turbocharged engine. While the PT Cruiser might not be the first car that you pull up to a stoplight race in, the car was fun to drive. The styling was a bit different from your run-of-the-mill PT Cruiser and there were a lot of interesting features. Another standout feature about it was the rare convertible version.

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser - 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser
via: Chrysler

Before you start to cry don’t fret, this was actually a great-looking car. Because the car sold poorly there are very few of them around, and if you find one you are in for a treat. The PT Cruiser GT was one of the most fun-to-drive cars from this decade and you’d never expect it to be.

2008 MazdaSpeed3 - 2007 MazdaSpeed3
via: Mazda

2: Mazda Speed 3

The Mazda Speed 3 is credited as being one of the cars that saved Mazda. The brand was on the verge of obscurity and the Mazda 3 just clicked with young buyers. The Speed 3 is noted by its bright red paint job and special edition upgrades. When you drive a Mazda, you expect excitement and this was provided it. The list of standard features was more than you got with a Civic or Corolla, and the manual transmission made this car fun to drive.

2008 MazdaSpeed3 - 2008 Mazda3
via: Mazda

Nevertheless, the Mazda Speed 3 is not your average sports car. This was a sedan and a five-door hatchback, and it wasn’t a true sports car. But if you wanted to have a fun driving experience that was still practical the Mazda Speed 3 is it.

2008 Chrysler Crossfire - 2004 Chrysler Crossfire
via: Chrysler

1: Chrysler Crossfire

The Crossfire never gets the credit that it deserves. To the day it is one of the rarest Chrysler sports cars around. The design was based on the SLK, which is also shared parts with. This was a good thing because you can get a Mercedes driving experience for thousands less, and this is what Chrysler was banking on. There was also a limited-edition SRT version of the Crossfire which is quite rare.

2007 Chrysler Crossfire - Chrysler
via: Chrysler

In addition to that, there is a limited production convertible version of the car as well. Most in the automotive community couldn’t get over the oval styling of the car. But if you can get over that, the Crossfire is one of the most surprisingly fun to drive sports cars on the road. You also can’t go wrong with the added luxury features.

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