I don’t expect the “youngins” to look up on these cars from the comforts of a hipster cafe cause there are so few of them left around to even raise any queries but when I overheard someone asking my mechanic if the car he was driving, was a Myvi or a Jazz, I realised that the preservation of these cars may not last beyond our generation.
Yes, I’m talking about you old farts curious enough to check out this post. By the way, the “Myvi” my mechanic was driving was in fact an EP82 Toyota Starlet with all its badges removed.
Then it made me look up all the cars from the 1990s that left a mark on us, but not deep enough that they’re almost forgotten by now, save for the occasional sightings on the road. So here it is, these are the five cars I think that even those born before the 90s may have forgotten.
This pokey little hatchback may only have a 1.3-litre turbocharged engine but with the right modifications, could punch way above its weight as all the videos on YouTube can attest.
The secret behind its performance wasn’t its 130-140 hp output, but like the Lotus Elise, the Starlet was light – weighing just under a tonne. Strap on a bigger turbo and even the mighty GTR would struggle to shake off this little giant-killer.
They may be as uncommon as chivalry these days, but the Mitsubishi GTO was so technologically-advance, it was considered way ahead of its time.
Armed with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine, it made around 300 hp with later models surpassing the 400 hp mark but that wasn’t all. It had an active front lip, an active rear spoiler and even adjustable exhaust valves!
Sporting a long hood, short arse and an open top, the BMW Z3 had all the attributes that would make you question your own sportscar decisions. It was based on the BMW E36 with some components taken from the older E30.
Under its nose were engine options ranging from 1.8-litre to 3.2-litre, where the latter found its way into the M Roadster or M Coupe models. Heck, it was so pretty it was even featured in Pierce Brosnan’s Golden Eye.
The 300ZX was sold in the Japanese Domestic Market as the Fairlady Z where its potential 300 hp output was once capped at just 280 hp due to Japanese regulations that imposed a “power ceiling”.
Like the GTO, it was also way ahead of its time with the introduction of a four-wheel steering system and even a keyless entry! Despite weighing a hefty 1.5-tonnes, it could still do 0 to 100 km/h in around six seconds.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
My favourite car of the lot, one that will be forever be remembered for its oversized “whale tail” spoiler. Built as a homologation special for Ford to participate in the Group A rally, the RS Cosworth’s production run lasted only four years.
This was Ford’s Lancer Evolution and Impreza WRX of the time. It had a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine making over 220 hp and 300 Nm of torque where 0 to 100 km/h was done in under six seconds – rivaling the likes of Toyota’s Supra and the then BMW M3. Even Jeremy Clarkson had one.