Ready to feel old? Here are the newest antique cars
If you get the feeling that time is passing you by, consider this: The new year brings with it a fresh batch of car models that are now 25 years old — and considered antique by many states’ motor vehicle departments and auto insurance companies. (If you’re not good at math, they debuted in 1994.)
Feeling old yet?
Here are the notable vehicles that you probably remember that were redesigned or debuted in 1994.
Acura Integra: This is the car the ILX is trying to be, but isn’t. Still beloved by Honda fanboys, the 1994 Integra was changed in appearance but not in overall dimensions. Still available as a three-door hatchback or four-door sedan, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine generated 142 horsepower on most models. The hot version was the sporty GS-R, with 170 horses and a five-speed manual transmission.
Audi Cabriolet: Audi was still trying to win back customers after being shamelessly smeared by CBS’ “60 Minutes” when the automaker offered its first convertible, the Cabriolet. Based on the smaller 90 Series, a predecessor to the modern day A4, the front-wheel drive Cabriolet was powered by 172-horsepower V-6 and four-speed automatic transmission.
BMW 3 Series: Easily one of the best cars of the 1990s, and among the most collectible, the fifth generation of BMW’s compact sports sedan is among the best of the breed. Known internally as the E36, it was initially offered in 318 and 325 trim, joined later by the 335 and its 300-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 that provided the performance needed to maintain its pre-eminence.
Cadillac DeVille: Overlooked when new, the Concours is forgotten today. This generation of De Ville provided a first hint of things to come from GM’s luxury brand, mostly due to the performance-oriented Concours model with a new 290-horsepower Northstar V-8 and electronic Road Sensing Suspension that delivered far better performance than the old 200-horsepower 4.9-liter V-8.
Chrysler New Yorker/LHS: Five inches longer than the Chrysler Concorde and possessing far more presence, this stylish duo restored Chrysler’s reputation before the automaker was shanghaied in an erroneous merger with Daimler. A 214-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 powered these large front-wheel drive sedans, which also offered rear seat accommodations rivaling those of most limousines.
Dodge Ram: This is the truck that changed Dodge’s fortunes in the pickup market. No longer following the designs of Ford and General Motors, the Ram 1500 was not only larger than its competitors, but it wore bold styling inspired by big rigs. Loaded with attitude, it proved that style mattered as much as capability with pickup buyers.
Ford Mustang: This car almost didn’t appear, as Ford executives considered replacing its iconic rear-wheel drive muscle car with bland, unremarkable Mazda-engineered Ford Probe, a front-wheel drive sport coupe. Thankfully, the Mustang survived, wearing its first redesign in 15 years and riding atop an aging platform. A 145-horsepower V-6 or 215-horsepower V-8 were offered, along with anti-lock brakes.
Honda Accord: Given modern-day consumers’ preference for SUVs over cars, it’s easy to forget that sedans like the Accord were once king of the American highway. Available as a front-wheel drive sedan, coupe or wagon, the Accord debuted with fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines, nimble handling, not to mention a roomy cabin and handsomely conservative styling. Consider it a Japanese BMW.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Longer and wider than the Lilliputian 190 Series it replaced, the new C-Class was sold as the 147-horsepower 220C and 194-horsepower 280C. While leisurely off the line, performance picked up noticeably. Handling was flawless. Nevertheless, it would take the Mercedes-Benz C-Class many years to dethrone the BMW 3 Series in its segment.
Saab 900: Although few realized it at the time, this was the beginning of a long, slow decline for Saab. Amazingly, the 900 retained its characteristic quirkiness despite GM’s interference. Still sold as a three- or five-door hatchback, in addition to a convertible, the front-wheel-drive 900 was powered by a 150-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 170-horsepower V-6.
Toyota Camry Coupe: While somewhat stodgy in appearance, the addition of the Coupe in 1994 added a sporting flair to what is arguably the most over-engineered generation of Camry ever built. Powered by a 130-horsepower four-cylinder or 188-horsepower V-6, its refinement far outweighed its price thanks to a development team that had previously engineered the first Lexus LS sedan.
Toyota Celica: Whatever performance credibility the Celica gained with such high-performance models as the GT-S and All-Trac Turbo vanished when the redesigned model appeared, powered solely by a mundane 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 110 or 135 horsepower, depending on model. Now very much a secretary’s sports coupe, it looked good; it just wasn’t fast.