Thursday, 16 June 2016

What ever happened to 90's coupes?

Supra, Celica, FTO, MR2, 200SX, Calibra, Cougar, CRX, NX Coupe, Prelude, RX7, Probe, MX-6 and MX-3. Remember when car makers used to make cars you actually aspired too? Forget sports utility and lifestyle vehicles. In the 90's all the big brands made coupes, strictly 2 doors with a emphasise purely on sport rather than utility. It is about time we appreciate a decade when manufacturers didn't listen to consumer focus groups and just built what they damn well wanted.

Over the coming weeks I'm going to do a series on all those lovely cars mentioned above and why you need to buy one, dare I type the phrase #bringbackthe90scoupe?

To get started though lets ogle some oddly posed period press photo's and give you a snippet of information on why I have chosen the aforementioned machines. Also note how many of these press shots depict the car on either a beach or simply off road, an odd way to promote sports cars don't you think?  

1. Toyota Celica, Supra and MR2

Let me start this series with Toyota, a company whose model range once bulged with coupes. I've picked out 3, the legendary Supra, mid engined MR2 and affordable Celica.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
Celica in a quarry, naturally 
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
MR2 on a pebble beach, obviously

What ever happened to 90's coupes?
I'm unclear why a chef is taking boxes to a Supra though?

2. Honda CRX and Prelude

Another company who once had a much more expansive and exciting model range, blame the financial crisis and lack of consumer interest for robbing car guys like you and me of the CRX and Prelude name badges.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
I'll just park my CRX on your patio thanks

What ever happened to 90's coupes?
Sandy beach? Park the Prelude there 

3. Nissan 200SX(Silvia) and NX Coupe

Another Japanese brand now lacking in coupes, Nissan nowadays is all about the SUV. But here are a proper rear drive sports car and a quirky gull winged doored oddity that would never see production green lighted today.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
I'll just hide the 200SX in the heather dear.... 

What ever happened to 90's coupes?
Beach huts, oh lets park the NX coupe there.

4. Mitsubishi FTO

You'd scarcely believe the company making hideous pink Mirage's, ageing Pajero's and family friendly Outlanders had it in them to build a little V6 engined coupe, but between 94 and 00 they did exactly that.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
FTO, much faster than a single prop aircraft

5. Mazda MX-3(or Eunos 30X), MX-6 and RX-7

If you want a sporting Mazda today your only choice is the wonderful MX-5, but what if you wanted a roof, a choice of wheelbases and drive layouts? Mazda in the 90's had the answer.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
Hold on, Mazda parked the MX-3 on tarmac?

What ever happened to 90's coupes?
That's better, shove the MX-6 on the grass

What ever happened to 90's coupes?
Wait, this is actually quite a sensible picture of an RX-7

6. Holden Calibra

Perhaps because all the Japanese brands were doing it Holden too marketed a European sourced coupe down under in the 90's. Based on the total pudding and quite frankly awful Vauxhall Cavalier sedan the Calibra is forgiven thanks to that angular swoopy coupe look it has going on.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
Ah nothing quite shouts sporting intentions like a Calibra in an office car park

7. Ford Probe and Cougar

Not to be mistaken for names of adult toys Australia's other big home brand Ford had a go at marketing coupes sourced from elsewhere in the 90's too. Firstly the unfortunately named Probe which was based on the Mazda MX-6 above. Then in 1999 the much better looking Mondeo based Cougar. Both flopped, massively, but like all the others I'm happy Ford tried.
What ever happened to 90's coupes?
A field, yup put the Probe over there

What ever happened to 90's coupes?
A blind bend, there are better places to stop your Cougar. 

Seven manufactures, fourteen coupes. Over the coming weeks I will explore what makes these cars so special and reminisce about a decade when car makers gave us sports cars to aspire too, not SUV's to grow into.                    

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