9 from the '90s | Is now the time to enjoy the machines from the automobile’s second golden era?

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Apr 29, 2022 | Miata, Mustang, Civic, Corvette, firebird, M3, camaro, Neon, Radwood, Integra, 240SX, 200sx, '90s | Posted in Buyer's Guides | From the Dec. 2007 issue | Never miss an article

[Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

When it comes to cars, each decade seems to have its own breed of machine. The ’50s were all about acres of chrome and tail fins, while the ’60s brought us the all-conquering muscle car. Despite some teething problems, don’t forget that the ’70s saw the rise of the compact car. And after years of ruling the automotive industry, Detroit started to lose its grip during the ’80s, as a certain small Asian island began its run toward world dominance thanks to some legendary products.

But what about the ’90s? For many people, this decade has fallen off the radar. The cars are not old enough to be considered classics, but they’re not new enough to be called anything but used cars.

In reality, many of today’s hottest deals come from this 10-year span. Want a cool car that’s easy to modify and doesn’t cost a ton of green? Then look back to the time when Clinton roamed the White House, grunge became a generation’s anthem, and something called the Internet started to change how we interacted with other humans. 

Right now, many of our favorites from the ’90s are at the bottom of their depreciation curves, yet haven’t rusted away or been totally used up. At the same time, these cars respond extremely well to our favorite hop-ups and make great motorsports machines, from daily-driven track toys to full-time race cars. No matter how you slice it, it’s a win-win situation for all involved.

BMW M3

Photography Credit: Mark A. Freemal

Here is the automotive version of the Swiss Army Knife. The E36-chassis M3 seemingly does it all, from winning local autocrosses to being the dominant force in so many different professional road racing venues. And here is the real kicker: The M3 also makes an awesome, comfortable daily driver with enough space for passengers and luggage. It’s versatile while usually offering little drama or complaint.

The original E30 M3 was a detuned race car, complete with a hyper-exotic engine and massive, cop-baiting fender flares. When creating their follow-up, the E36-chassis M3, BMW engineers took a new approach. The newer car didn’t look nearly as radical at first glance, but it was still an effective package.

BMW’s recipe for success was a simple one. Engine displacement was bumped from 2.5 liters to 3.0 for a nice horsepower and torque increase, while the suspension received stiffer springs, shocks and anti-roll bars. BMW also fitted beefier brakes covered by larger wheels. To better contain the extra performance, BMW reinforced the mounting points for the transmission and differential.

The changes to the interior and exterior were subtle and classy, consisting of a front spoiler, side skirts, nicely bolstered seats, a lip spoiler for the deck lid and the appropriate M badges.

This E36-chassis M3 made its American debut for the 1995 model year and lasted until 1999. During the model run BMW expanded the M3 lineup, eventually offering the package on four-door sedans and convertible models in addition to the original two-door coupe.

1995 BMW M3
First U.S. model year.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • engine: 3.0-liter, DOHC inline six-cylinder
  • horsepower: 240 @ 6000 rpm
  • torque: 225 lb.-ft. @ 4250 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual
  • suspension: MacPherson strut front; multi-link rear
  • wheels: 17x7.5-in. front and rear
  • tires: 235/40R17 front and rear
  • brakes: 12.4-in. discs front; 12.3-in. discs rear
  • curb weight: 3180 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 106.3 in.
  • height: 52.6 in.
  • length: 174.5 in.

Things to Know

The 1995 M3 features OBDI diagnostics, so it’s easier to modify. BMW bumped displacement from 3.0 to 3.2 liters starting in 1996, so the later cars have more thrust right out of the box. Decide which attribute is more important to you and go shopping from there.

Turbine-smooth engine, awesome performance, excellent manners.

Weak transmission mounts can allow a mis-shift with bad results.

If road racing is your thing, check out the BMW CCA’s Club Racing program. From mild to wild, they’ll have a class for any M3. NASA’s GTS program is also M3-friendly, and the car makes an awesome SCCA autocrosser.

Camaro/Firebird

Photography Credit: Mark A. Freemal

We can’t promise that every Camaro found at a dusty used car lot will eventually turn into a giant fighting robot, but there’s still a lot to love when it comes to GM’s own pony car. If you’re a fan of how a sledgehammer gets things done, then check out a Firebird or Camaro.

These F-Body models have been part of the automotive landscape since the 1967 model year, and GM released the fourth-generation car for 1993. By then, where getting a stick with the good engine was tough during the ’70s and ’80s, the fourth-generation cars offered the 275-horsepower LT1 V8 was paired with the six-speed manual from the get-go.

Looking for even more performance? If you’re lucky, thorough or just patient, a car with the 1LE package makes a great find. This competition-tuned package was available from 1993 through 1999 and included stiffer bushings, thicker anti-roll bars and eventually Koni double-adjustable shocks.

While the Camaro and Firebird were halo cars of sorts, GM kind of let them wither on the vine as the manufacturer performed few major updates and changes during the chassis’s 10-year model run. The one biggie came for 1998 as the aluminum-block LS1 from the C5 Corvette replaced the old iron-block LT1. Horsepower jumped from 285 to 305, and the Camaro and Firebird also received facelifts that year.

Aside from a torque bump for the 2001 model year thanks to the use of an LS6 intake manifold, that was pretty much the big news until both cars went away after 2002. Ironically, GM dropped both models on their 35th anniversary.

1997 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Last year with LT1.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • engine: 5.7-liter, V8
  • horsepower: 285 @ 5200 rpm
  • torque: 325 lb.-ft. @ 2400 rpm
  • transmission: six-speed manual
  • suspension: independent SLA front; live axle rear
  • wheels: 16x8-in. front and rear
  • tires: 235/55R16 front and rear standard
  • brakes: 10.7-in. front discs; 11.4-in. rear discs
  • curb weight: 3442 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 101.1 in.
  • height: 51.3 in.
  • length: 193.2 in.

Things to Know

T-tops were cool in the ’70s, but they leak and rattle today. We’d go with a solid-top car. Most Z28s and Trans Ams have more power than the chassis can handle—at least in stock form—but starting in 1998 the standard Torsen differential did a better job of putting down the power.

Terrific thrust, relaxed highway cruising, lots o’ speed parts.

Cheesy interior, thirsty in town, smallish cargo hold.

Okay, where can’t you race a Camaro or Firebird? These cars have succeeded everywhere. Today they’re still extremely hot in autocross competition at every prep level, and in SCCA American Sedan racing, plus NASA’s American Iron and Camaro-Mustang Challenge series.

C4 Corvette

Photography Credit: euroimage.us

The Corvette has always been America’s premier sports car, yet also a strong value in the marketplace. Thanks to depreciation, used examples are even better values than new ones—and right now the C4 might be the one to buy.

Specs for the C4 Vette changed almost every year since its 1984 model year release, and generally speaking the later ones make better street cars. The somewhat unusual 4+3 manual transmission disappeared in 1988, and the 300-horsepower LT1 replaced the 250-horse L98 for 1992. (Showing that torque should never be forgotten, those L98 Vettes are still pretty stout performers.)

The C4 Vette lasted until the 1996 year, and that final edition is worth a special mention. All six-speed cars sold for that one model year came powered by GM’s LT4 V8. Displacement still measured 5.7 liters—a constant for all C4 Vettes—but horsepower was up to 330. A thousand of those LT4 cars came in Grand Sport trim; they featured Admiral Blue paint highlighted with a white center stripe and rear fender flares to better cover the 11-inch-wide wheels. Do note that the automatic cars sold that year were still powered by the LT1.

Prices for C4 Vettes range wildly depending on year, condition and spec. The standard-issue LT4 cars are sometimes advertised in the teens, yet the super-rare ZR-1 and Grand Sport models fetch some serious coin.

1996 Corvette
Last year of C4.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • engine: 5.7-liter LT4 V8 
  • horsepower: 330 @ 5800 rpm
  • torque: 340 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
  • transmission: six-speed manual
  • suspension: transverse leaf spring front; five-link leaf spring rear
  • wheels: 17x8.5-in. front; 17x9.5-in. rear
  • tires: 255/45R17 front; 285/40R17 rear
  • brakes: 13-in. front discs; 12-in. rear discs
  • curb weight: 3298 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 96.2 in.
  • height: 46.3 in.
  • length: 178.5 in.

Things to Know

Which C4 makes the best A Stock autocrosser is a subject of heated debate, and contenders include the 1986-’87 cars fitted with the Z51 suspension; six-speed 1989 Vettes; 1991 cars equipped with the Z07 suspension; the Grand Sport (real or clone); and occasionally the 1993-and-up LT1 cars fitted with the Z07 suspension.

Lots of performance for the dollar, huge parts supply.

Clunky ingress, weak wheel bearings, bad power seat motors.

The C4 still makes a strong Stock- or Street Prepared-class autocrosser. You just need to determine which one is the hot setup. The C4 Vette also excels as a track car.

Dodge/Plymouth Neon

Photography Credit: Mark A. Freemal

Call it a modern interpretation of the traditional muscle car, but on a smaller scale. The original Neon, offered by both Dodge and Plymouth dealers from 1994 through the 1999 model year, wasn’t the most refined small car sold during the ’90s, but it represented a great value for a compact performer.

Chrysler took full advantage of the Neon’s potential and unleashed one of the most aggressive amateur motorsports programs in recent memory. This effort included track-side support, lots of contingency dollars, and race-ready cars. 

The Neon ACR was the one to get for racing. The exact formula changed a bit over the years, but for the most part the optional package included all of the little tweaks needed for combat: beefier hubs, more cooling capacity, quicker steering, better gearing, four-wheel-disc brakes, stiffer suspension and alloy wheels. 

The original 1995 ACR—Chrysler started selling 1995 Neons early in 1994—had no A/C,  no rear window defogger and no speed limiterwhile later ones were allowed to reach a still impressive 130 mph. The ACR package was available in two basic flavors, a twin-cam, two-door coupe and a single-cam, four-door sedan. 

The Neon ACR was a smash hit on the day’s motorsport scene, and drivers flocked to the car in droves. Through the second half of the ’90s, Neons seemed nearly unbeatable in SCCA Showroom Stock road racing as well as Stock-class club racing. 

1995 Neon ACR
First year of production.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, front-wheel drive
  • engine: 2.0-liter, DOHC inline four cylinder
  • horsepower: 150 @ 6800 rpm
  • torque: 131 lb.-ft. @ 5600 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual
  • suspension: MacPherson strut front; independent multi-link rear
  • wheels: 14x6-in. front and rear
  • tires: 185/65R14 front and rear
  • brakes: 10.08-in. disc front; 10.62-in. disc rear
  • curb weight: 2448 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 104 in.
  • height: 54.7 in.
  • length: 171.8 in.

Things to Know

Prices on all of these first-generation Neons are pretty soft, so there’s little reason not to get an ACR model. Don’t look for an ACR badge, however, because you won’t find one. If you find a five-speed Neon that has empty fog light holes in the bumper, then there’s a chance it’s an ACR and deserves further investigation. The 1995-’96 ACRs came with nonadjustable Arvin struts, while the later ones were Koni-equipped.

Strong performance, factory-backed speed parts, way cheap.

Weak head gaskets, worn bushings, bad paint.

The Neon’s days of dominating Showroom Stock and Stock-class autocross might be long gone, but don’t forget that NASA offers their Spec Neon class.

Mustang GT

Photography Credit: euroimage.us

Okay, so the SN95 Mustang wasn’t all-new when it debuted for the 1994 model year. Under the skin, it still had much in common with the previous Fox chassis, which dated back to the ’70s. 

Even so, there was a lot to be happy about. For one, the Mustang no longer looked like a child of the ’70s, as the sheet metal and interior both received much-needed redos. And while the 5.0-liter V8 was a bit dated, it was a known commodity. Ditto the live 8.8-inch rear end.

Sure, more advanced technology was out there at the time, but just about every hotrodder already knew how to work with this hardware. Despite the new chassis designation, there would be only a very slight learning curve.

The Windsor V8 was only a temporary solution, however, as eventually the Mustang joined the ’90s. Starting in 1996, the overhead-cam 4.6-liter modular engine became standard in the GT. Horsepower didn’t go through the roof—it basically stayed at 215—but the new engine could rev like few domestic V8s before it. 

The twin-cam V8—one cam per cylinder bank—was soon joined by a quad-cam version. This four-cam V8 powered the 1996-and-up Cobra. A willingness to spin produced a healthy 305 horsepower from just 4.6 liters. 

Like GM with the Camaro and Firebird, Ford didn’t meddle too much with their pony car, as it soldiered on more or less unchanged for several years. The Mustang’s next update wouldn’t come until 1999.

1995 Mustang GT
SN95 debut year.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • engine: 5.0-liter V8
  • horsepower: 215 @ 4200 rpm
  • torque: 285 lb.-ft. @ 3400 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual, optional four-speed automatic
  • suspension: MacPherson strut front; solid axle rear
  • wheels: 16x7.5-in. front and rear standard
  • tires: 225/55R16 front and rear standard
  • brakes: 10.8-in. disc front; 10.5-in. disc rear
  • curb weight: 3280 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 101.3 in.
  • height: 53.4 in.
  • length: 181.5 in.

Things to Know

Remember how the 5.0-liter Mustang LX was the one to get? It got you all of the performance parts without any of the weight-adding extras. The spiritual successor to that car was the Mustang GTS. This model featured all of the Mustang GT’s speed parts wrapped up in a base-model shell. Ford only sold it during the 1995 model year.

Gigantic aftermarket, great engines, huge production numbers.

Marginal handling in stock form, tiny back seat, thirsty.

Pick your venue and go conquer it, from bone-stock autocrossing to American Iron and American Sedan road race competition. We hear you can drag race them, too.

Civic/Integra

Photography Credit: euroimage.us

The Honda Civic has been a favorite among enthusiasts for some 35 years, but many agree that the ones from the ’90s were the brand’s best. While Civics have traditionally featured class-leading appointments and construction, the 1988-2000 cars have one of the best suspensions ever fitted to a front-driver. 

This four-wheel, double-wishbone suspension gave the Civic chassis a leg up on its competition. The cars can be lowered without losing precious damper travel, while the wishbone setup yields a favorable camber gain as the car goes through a turn. It’s also easy to work on.

And then there’s the engine situation. The stock engines are pretty darn good, but more is always better. Swapping engines back and forth between Honda platforms has now become second nature for enthusiasts, and here’s the kicker when it comes to Civic engine swaps: All of the hard work has already been done. 

Want to build a lightweight Civic hatchback powered by the 2.4-liter engine found in the latest Acura TSX? The necessary mounts, wiring harnesses and shift linkages are just a phone call away. (Hint: Start that search at Hasport.)

Everything that makes the Civic—and we’re including the two-seat CRX and del Sol models—so tasty also goes for the 1990-2001 Acura Integra; under the skin, there’s a lot of similarities, including the basic suspension layout. The Integras got bigger engines—generally 1.8-liter fours vs. 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines in the Civics—with a slight penalty in curb weight.

1992 Honda Civic Si
First year for VTEC Civic.

  • drivetrain layout: transverse front engine, front-wheel drive
  • engine: 1.6-liter, SOHC inline four-cylinder
  • horsepower: 125 @ 6600 rpm
  • torque: 106 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual
  • suspension: independent double wishbone front and rear
  • wheels: 14x5-in. front and rear
  • tires: 185/60R14 front and rear
  • brakes: 9.53-in. disc front; 9.43-in. disc rear
  • curb weight: 2326 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 101.3 in.
  • height: 53 in.
  • length: 160.2 in.

Things to Know

Looking for the best of the best? The Civic Si—available in three different generations, 1989-’91, 1992-’95 and 1999-2000—got the best engines, brakes and suspension. The same can be said for the Integra GS-R. The ultimate car from this model run would be the Integra Type R, but expect to pay a lot more.

Enormous aftermarket, excellent potential, strong build quality.

Kind of common, bad rep due to poseurs, theft bait.

Pick a venue, any venue, from all levels of autocross to SCCA Improved Touring and NASA Honda Challenge road racing. The Civic and Integra have done well pretty much everywhere possible.

Mazda Miata

Photography Credit: Chris Clark

The ’90s were supposed to be all about cutting-edge technology, from portable telephones to stealth bombers. In an unexpected twist, one of the decade’s biggest success stories was a throwback to the classic, two-seat roadster. Enter the Miata.

The ’80s were not kind to the traditional sports car. Once-important players like MG, Triumph and Fiat left our shores one by one. The Alfa Romeo Spider held on until 1993 before the brand retreated back to Europe. America’s taste in sports cars seemed to favor comfort and convenience over nostalgia and wind-blown hair.

Mazda management had a feeling that recalling a simpler era would pay off, however, and they started contemplating a lightweight two-place roadster in the mid-’80s. The front-engine, rear-drive layout beat the mid-engine and front-wheel-drive proposals, and the final product went on sale to American consumers during the summer of 1989 as a 1990 model.

The masses loved it, the press fawned, and Mazda made good on their investment with more than 50,000 copies sold during that first model year. The original Miata ran through the 1997 model year; the biggest changes occurred for 1994, as engine displacement was bumped from 1.6 to 1.8 liters while the car also received larger brakes, a stronger differential and some added chassis stiffness.

1994 MX-5 Miata
First year with 1.8.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • engine: 1.8-liter, inline four-cylinder
  • horsepower: 128 @ 6500 rpm
  • torque: 110 lb.-ft. @ 5000 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual, optional four-speed automatic
  • suspension: independent double wishbone front and rear
  • wheels: 14x6-in. front and rear
  • tires: 185/60R14 front and rear
  • brakes: 10-in. disc front; 9.9-in. disc rear
  • curb weight: 2293 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 89.2 in.
  • height: 48.2 in.
  • length: 155.4 in.

Things to Know

Naming the best Miata to buy is like asking a mother to pick her favorite kid. For a nice daily driver, we say choose the nicest car in your price range. It sounds like a copout, but there really isn’t a bad choice out there. To analyze all of the model years, check out miata.passionroad.com.

Excellent chassis, very reliable, huge aftermarket, top goes down.

Crank noses and paint can be weak in very early cars.

The first-gen Miata is one of the major players in E Stock, C Street Prepared, D Prepared and STS2 autocross competition. For road racing, look no further than Spec Miata, one of the biggest success stories in recent memory.

Nissan 200SX SE-R

Photography Credit: Robert Bowen

When it comes to Nissan’s SE-R, everyone wants to talk about the 1991-’94 Sentra SE-R. Now known as the Classic SE-R, this one seemingly had it all. It featured a rev-happy inline four lurking beneath a straitlaced sedan shape, allowing the car to be a chameleon in traffic. 

Unfortunately, they’re getting harder to find these days. Many Classic SE-Rs have simply rusted away or given all the miles they’re going to give, while the really clean ones have been snapped up by the hardcore fans. All that remains for the most part are the leftovers—high-mileage cars that really need an entire redo or at least a tranny rebuild.

However, don’t forget about the 200SX SE-R. Nissan applied the SE-R treatment to the 1995-’98 200SX sport coupe, and the package still included the 140-horsepower SR20DE engine as well as stiffer suspension parts, alloy wheels and four-wheel disc brakes. 

At the time, enthusiasts kind of panned this new car. They didn’t like the twist-beam axle rear suspension and the fact that the redline had been dropped from 7500 rpm to 7100. While the SE-R was still rated at 140 horsepower, the original SE-R got a better cylinder head and camshafts.

Today, however, these 200SX cars are plentiful and a deal right now—and by “deal” we mean decent cars for two grand. If there’s one standout problem area—especially for those headed to the track—it’s the car’s 107 mph speed limiter, though an aftermarket ECU can negate that problem.

1995 Nissan 200SX SE-R
First year of production.

  • drivetrain layout: transverse front engine, front-wheel drive
  • engine: 2.0-liter, DOHC inline four-cylinder
  • horsepower: 140 @ 6400 rpm
  • torque: 132 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual, optional four-speed automatic
  • suspension: independent MacPherson strut front; multi-link beam rear
  • wheels: 15x5.5-in. front and rear
  • tires: 195/55R15 front and rear
  • brakes: 9.6-in. disc front; 9.1-in. disc rear
  • curb weight: 2491 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 99.8 in.
  • height: 54.2 in.
  • length: 170 in.

Things to Know

After 1996, Nissan stopped equipping the SE-R with a limited-slip differential. Yes, the 1995 and 1996 models only got a viscous unit, but that’s better than nothing.

Practical shape, seats four, inexpensive thanks to low demand.

Speed limiter, small aftermarket, low resale.

NASA’s SE-R Cup class is no longer around, but the cars still have a home in the club's Performance Touring ranks. They could also make decent local Street Touring autocrossers.

Nissan 240SX

Photography Credit: Mark A. Freemal

Poor Nissan. Here’s another car that was simply ignored by the motorsports masses when available at the local Nissan dealer. Despite its rear-wheel-drive platform and the available, practical hatchback, the detractors said that the 240SX was too soft and too slow for regular motorsports use.

Except for a few appearances at professional and amateur road races, those detractors were right. Where the Z-car was the brand’s wonder child during the ’90s, the 240SX played second fiddle, even though it was close to a spiritual successor of the original 240Z.

Fast forward to today, and the 240SX is now one of the hottest cars on the scene. Add the turbocharged engine available in the overseas version of the car, and you have a bona fide, budget supercar, as well as one of the best drift chassis available. While the 240SX never really enjoyed a great road racing career here in the States, today it makes a great platform for a track machine.

The American market received two generations of the 240SX, both of which were powered by an inline 2.4-liter four. The first one ran from 1989 through the 1994 model year and is easily recognized by its flip-up headlights. This S13-chassis car was available in a two-door coupe, three-door hatch and even a convertible.

The flip-up headlights disappeared when Nissan released the S14-chassis for 1995—and so did the hatchback and convertible versions. And while the 240SX initially started with a bang—nearly 70,000 cars were sold in the U.S. during the 1989 model year—it ended with a whimper with only about 2200 examples finding homes during the final 1998 model year. 

1991 Nissan 240SX
First year with 16 valve.

  • drivetrain layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • engine: 2.4-liter, DOHC inline four-cylinder
  • horsepower: 155 @ 5600 rpm
  • torque: 160 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm
  • transmission: five-speed manual, optional four-speed automatic
  • suspension: independent strut front; independent multi-link rear
  • wheels: 15x6-in. front and rear
  • tires: 195/60R15 front and rear standard
  • brakes: 9.8-in. disc front; 10.1-in. disc rear
  • curb weight: 2657 lbs.
  • wheelbase: 97.4 in.
  • height: 50.8 in.
  • length: 178 in.

Things to Know

We’re partial to the 16-valve engines, which became standard during the 1991 model year. As far as coupe vs. hatch, everyone has an opinion. We like the fact that the hatchback models can double as a small truck. 

Plentiful, all cars got the same engine, huge supply of JDM parts.

115 mph speed limiter, lots of cars sold with automatics.

Except for some standout performances (including Jason Rhoade’s STS national title) the 240SX has never been a huge factor in the motorsports scene. Still, it makes a great daily driver, local autocrosser, track toy and drift machine.

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/28/22 7:10 p.m.

Stop publishing these things.....................people will start to figure out these are great cars; modern reliabitly but still analog.......................the prices will go through the roof.

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
4/28/22 8:14 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Too late.  

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/28/22 8:34 p.m.

So haven't all of the cars been a Challenge car, too?  Some even won?  Heck, some were Challenge cars 20 years ago.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
4/28/22 9:12 p.m.
Rodan said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

Too late.  

Yeah I know.

 

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/28/22 9:56 p.m.

I liked my 97 SE-R but I just learned a couple of things. 1) I didn't realize it was so light and 2) I chose this car partially for the LSD for winter purposes. I was pissed when I found out the LSD was shot not working in the snow. Now I see the didn't put the LSD in the 97s. Hmmm

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
4/29/22 9:06 a.m.

Most of these shot up in value/price a few years back. Shame, used to get stuff like a 240 for a grand in good shape. 

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
4/29/22 9:46 a.m.

Around here(Baltimore/mid Atlantic in general), I was kinda shocked to find that ek civics, 1st gen neons, and sn95 mustangs are still in the sub 4K range. I dunno if that's because I've gotten used to hyper inflated car prices or they're actually still a good deal. 

rattlecan
rattlecan New Reader
4/29/22 8:23 p.m.

Other than the SN95 none of these are dirt cheap anymore. We need to dig up some other alternatives for cheap fun. 

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
4/29/22 10:53 p.m.

In reply to rattlecan :

1st gen Focus, 6th gen accords, 5th gen maximas, 1st gen Mazda 3, BJ protege (rust not withstanding), 2nd gen neon? 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/22 11:57 a.m.

In reply to RaabTheSaab :

2nd gen Neons are even worse for rust than 1st gens.  I cannot count how many I have repaired for blown apart subframes, or had to invent ways to hang the exhaust.

 

It's a real shame because even the bigger softer 2nd gens were great cars.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/30/22 8:55 p.m.

In reply to rattlecan :

Occasionally you can find a great deal on a 4th gen F car.  I got my 96 SS for $3500 recently.

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
6/22/22 11:59 a.m.

Be careful with Neons.  The hubs are aluminum and they only last 125 racing miles.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/22/22 1:29 p.m.

In reply to jerel77494 :

Which Neons had aluminum hubs?

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