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Top Investment-Grade Cars From the ’90s

Vukasin HerbezMay 9, 2019

  1. Honda S2000

Honda introduced the S2000 in 1999 and discontinued it in 2009. However, the S2000 could be considered a ‘90s model even though they presented it at the end of the decade. This model was a true driver’s car with all the important features. It had a lightweight construction, ideal weight distribution, a powerful and rev-happy engine and razor-sharp handling.

But best of all, they put all that in an elegant open-top package. During its 10-year production run, Honda sold over 110,000 of these fast little roadsters. You will be pleased to know that you can find one today at around $6,000. Look for unmodified examples since stock S2000s will be the most sought-after.

However, there is one thing you should know. The S2000 is a small car with limited interior space. So, if you are over six feet tall, you will probably have problems fitting inside.

  1. Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Ford was the first major American car maker to present the retro-looking Mustang, which started the whole new “Modern Muscle Car” segment. But Chevrolet was close behind with the new Camaro, and arguably, they presented a better car. The Z/28 is more of a purebred racing car for the street than the tire burning muscle car they thought it would be. The sharp handling, race-tuned chassis and suspension, as well as a 7.0-liter high revving V8 transformed the regular Camaro into a world-class sports car.

In fact, it can outrun and outhandle some of the finest, fastest European sports cars. The Z/28 is full of surprises, whether it is the trick brakes or special aero package. The whole car is a precision driving instrument any driving enthusiast will surely appreciate. And that is why it is a future classic and one of the best Camaros they ever produced.

  1. Acura Integra Type R

If you are a fan of the Japanese car industry and you want to own something equally important historically and a blast to drive, the Acura Type R is the car for you. As one of the most brilliant front-wheel-drive cars they ever produced, the Acura Integra Type-R is the definitive JDM legend. It is still especially popular among enthusiasts for its swift performance and fantastic handling.

The front wheel drive train was the main reason the Integra Type R is so universally loved and sought after. Despite getting just 187 HP from its high revving 1.8-liter engine, the Integra Type R has a great performance, even by today’s standards. This is a definite future classic and a car you should buy today.

  1. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The classic C1 to C3 Corvettes are already too expensive for the average car buyer. And the standard C4, despite its great handling may be too low on power for some owners. So the solution is the ZR1, a mighty C4 Corvette that could outrun most supercars in the early ‘90s.

Under the hood, there is the LT4, a Lotus-engineered V8 engine with 375 HP and later 400 HP, quad cam heads and 32 valves. The engine was an engineering marvel and performed exceptionally well. With a beefed-up suspension, gearbox and a pair of extra wide rear tires, the Corvette ZR1 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. And that makes it one of the fastest cars of the era and a true modern classic today.

  1. Acura NSX

When the NSX first appeared in 1989 it revolutionized the supercar market. Basically, buyers got the Ferrari performance and look for a supermarket price, along with Honda’s signature reliability and maintenance costs.

But the heart of the NSX is a 3.0-liter V6 with 274 HP and later, a 3.2-liter V6 with 290 HP. Since the car is light, the 0 to 60 mph time is lightning quick at five seconds and the top speed is over 170 mph. Although the prices are still affordable, they will go up, so you should hurry and buy this car.

  1. Lotus Esprit V8

They produced the Esprit from the early ‘70s, all the way up to the early 2000s. It was always a fantastic supercar even though it had a smaller engine than its competitors. But the last and best version was the V8 that produced 350 HP.

And with its lightweight body, the Esprit could outrun many of its competitors while still retaining that classic wedge look. This was a bona fide exotic car, but the current prices are relatively affordable. However, you should snap this piece of classic British engineering up right now.

  1. Nissan 300 ZX

 

One of the best cars in the long line of Z-named Nissan sports coupes is the 300 ZX. Nissan introduced it in 1990 and discontinued it in 1996. Car enthusiasts respect the 300 ZX since it is a proper sports coupe. It comes with the technology and performance to rival those more expensive and exclusive cars. The twin-turbo V6 engine pumps out 300 HP and the 300 ZX can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and top 150 mph.

The prices for this model are currently at around $10,000 for decent examples with full-service history and no accidents. You can find them for less, but it is possible that these will not be as good. Since ‘90s Japanese cars are slowly getting more desirable, you better hurry up since the Nissan 300 ZX could soon go up in price soon.

  1. Mitsubishi 3000 GT

The 3000 GT is another ‘90s legend mainstream sports car enthusiasts have forgotten, which is quite a shame. With its pop up headlights, rear panorama glass, and big spoiler, the 3000 GT screams early ‘90s car design.

But there is much more about this car than its contemporary nostalgia since this is one serious driving machine. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 that pumps out 300 HP, sending power to all four wheels over an intelligent AWD system.

  1. Mazda RX-7

If you know anything about Japanese sports cars, you know the RX-7 has a special place in the nomenclature of performance cars from the “Land of the Rising Sun.” The reason is the engine. In contrast to all the other cars on the market with conventional piston engines, the RX-7 has had a rotary Wankel engine since the beginning.

The third generation, which they presented in 1992 and discontinued in 2002 delivers from 252 to 276 HP. Also, it has a vivid performance thanks to its small weight and perfect balance. And better yet, they are still affordable, so hurry up and buy one before the prices soar.

  1. Mercedes SL600

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.

  1. Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

Today, fast SUVs are nothing special, but in the ‘90s, 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 ‘90s 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.

  1. 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 ‘90s, 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Volkswagen Corrado VR6

Today, the Volkswagen Corrado is a forgotten model but in the early ‘90s, 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 ‘90s 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.

  1. Subaru SVX

Back in the early ‘90s, 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.

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