2 December 2016

Answer of the Week: Your favorite early '90s designs

Why do you own that car? Peoples’ reasons for choosing one car over another vary – perhaps it’s how powerful or quick it is or maybe your folks had one and you’re nostalgic. But one of the most common considerations, if not outright motives, for picking a Mustang over a Camaro or vice versa is style. Certain designs speak to us.

And this week we asked our Facebook audience “Which designs from the early ‘90s have aged the best?” It seemed a simple question. Our assumption was proven wrong because folks seemed to think that the early 1990s were a lot longer than they actually were.

For instance, Justin Cole pointed to his ’91 Ford Bronco and ‘Add Wheelslip’ shared a photo of a Porsche 911. We love both of those designs and they are both early '90s cars. But let’s be honest – that body style Bronco debuted in 1986 and was merely an evolution of the previous generation. The Porsche is similar. The ‘964’ platform debuted in 1989 – but Porsche’s been massaging that shape since 1964!

Are those really early ‘90s designs? I’d argue not.

Others, like Billy Grimm, treated the question more honestly, “Does ’94 count? If so, the new ’94 [Dodge] Ram trucks [were] one of the best, if not the best, looking truck designs ever, at least from that point on.” Indeed, the ’94 Ram design, penned by Phillip Payne’s team, was revolutionary for the era.

John Stiles III posted a photo of the McLaren F1, designed by Gordon Murray, and definitively wrote “#micdrop.” A three-seater wasn’t revolutionary, Ferrari and others had tried it previously, but the F1 was fresh and striking. We agree, Stiles, it still is.

A few others mentioned the Acura NSX, Mazda RX-7 (FD), first-gen Mazda Miata, Mitsubishi 3000GT, Nissan 300ZX and Toyota Supra Mk IV. Yep, we see the pattern here too. While the Corvette and Mustang were mentioned, most folks pointed to the C4 (designed in the early ‘80s) and Fox-body (same), respectively. They’re definitely cool, but not ‘90s designs. Jeff Mawhiney picked the pure-‘90s C5, though.

Like the fifth-gen Corvette, the Dodge Viper is distinctly a product of the 1990s. That’s why we were genuinely surprised that only one person, Kieron Lake, mentioned it. Penned by Tom Gale and his team at Chrysler, its design is an American exclamation point.

Disagree with our assessment? Let us know in the comments below.

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