When you think of the best car of the 1990s, there is one car that stands out. And that is the famous Mercedes SL, R129 generation. The SL roadsters were always fantastic driving machines and ultimate Stuttgart classics. But, the R129 was the symbol of the decade as well as the automotive personification of success, power, speed, and quality.
The mid-90s SL 600 with the V12 engine had an MSRP of over $120,000, which is around $200,000 at today’s rate. Today, those cars are significantly less expensive, but not for long since more people are realizing how good the SL 600 is.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
Today, fast SUVs are nothing special, but in the â90s, they were extremely rare and obscure. However, Jeep produced one that will be a collector’s item in the near future. This is the 1998 5.9 Limited, one year, top of the line model. Jeep equipped it with every luxury item they had to offer, as well as the 5.9-liter Magnum V8 delivering 245 HP.
Although 245 HP doesn’t sound like much today, it was a lofty number for a late â90s SUV. The Grand Cherokee 5.9 is kind of a Jeep hot rod before those modern SRT versions with powerful Hemi engines. They only made about 15,000, so the 5.9 Limited is a definite future classic.
Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
In most cases, the Eclipse was just an attempt from Mitsubishi to introduce a sports coupe. They built it on a regular car platform and shared engine and front-wheel drivetrain with the rest of the Mitsubishi line up. However, there was one special model from the â90s, which was highly respected and worth looking for.
The Eclipse GSX was an all-wheel-drive version with highly tuned 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good enough for 210 HP. In relatively light body and with AWD advantage, the Eclipse GSX was a rapid coupe.
Ford Mustang Cobra
Although there’s been a recent rise in prices, the Fox-body Mustang Cobra flew under the radar of mainstream collectors for a while. Most people tend to dismiss it as another Fox-Body Mustang, but the Cobra is much more than just that. It is a proper performance car, blurring the line between classic muscle car and sports coupe. Sadly, they produced it for one year only, in 1993, marking the end of the Fox-body Mustang generation.
Under the hood was an SVT prepared 5.0-liter HO engine with trick GT40 heads and various other upgrades. The 0 to 60 mph time was well under six seconds and the 1993 Cobra handled perfectly thanks to the revised suspension. Ford made just 4,993 examples in 1993, so you should buy one before they become Shelby GT350s of the 21st century.
Pontiac SLP Formula Firehawk
The SLP Firehawks were interesting late muscle cars. The model first appeared in 1995, marking the start of a successful venture between GM and the Street Legal Performance Company from New Jersey. This was an outside firm that produced performance kits for Firebirds.
However, the cars weren’t just improved base models, they were much more. The SLP Formula Firehawk had a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 300 or 315 HP, which was a lofty number for 1995. The six-speed manual version could accelerate from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds, making it one of the fastest production cars in America.
The package cost $6,500 over the price of the regular Trans Am. It included numerous upgrades and a Ram Air hood, and it was well worth it. Today, Pontiac is no longer around, which means thoroughbred muscle cars from this company will just go up in value.
Volkswagen Corrado VR6
Today, the Volkswagen Corrado is a forgotten model but in the early â90s, this was the fastest Volkswagen you could buy. Even though they conceived it as a replacement for the popular Sirocco coupe, they designed the Corrado to be much more. Volkswagen wanted something closer to the Porsche 944 in terms of styling and performance than another sporty-looking Golf derivate.
So, the Corrado had a revised front-wheel-drive platform and a special suspension and brakes. Also, they gave it a new and aggressive looking exterior design and an interesting and powerful VR6 engine option. The VR6 was high-revving 2.9-liter V6 engine they mounted to a close ratio five-speed manual that delivered 190 HP. And that was a high number for the early â90s when the Corrado was for sale in the USA.
The VR6 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds which was respectable. And it made this little coupe one of the best driving cars of the period. Today, those cars are relatively inexpensive, so for approximately $5,000, you can find a decent example.
Back in the early â90s, Subaru wanted to enter the sports car market to promote their biggest assets, all-wheel drive and flat six engines. So, the company hired Italdesign to design a sleek and modern coupe. So, in 1991 the SVX debuted with strange styling like its complicated side window patents.
However, it offered sublime handling and a great performance. Under the hood was a 3.3-liter flat six that propelled this rare car to a 7.3 second 0 to 60 mph time. But sadly, they only sold about 14,000 in America until 1996.
These are the best investment-grade cars from the ’90s you should snap up right now. Which one appealed to you? All of them are fast and stylish, but you should hurry before the prices skyrocket.