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Quintessential Mid 90's Loser Cars

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Now, I'm still pretty solid with the X90 in the lead, such as it is, but have to admit that there is something to be said for these cars with pretensions of luxury like the Dynasty.. In earlier days it was the guy who bought the Cardboarda instead of the Vulgare.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Although the X90 is a good example, I don't think much of the public knows about it. If you ask strangers randomly, most will have no clue what a Suzuki X90 looks like. Plus a girl will probably find it "cute looking"

    I say the Aerostar is a front runner too. It's a van, it's old, and it's sorta ugly looking today. That's three strikes and the date is off!

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • Problem with the X90 is too many people don't know what it is. And most think of Suzuki for motorcycles, not cars. Or does X90 mean a Volvo? See what I mean?
    To a car that brings to mind loser, it must be readily identifyable, like Tempo or Cavalier. Just like further back in time a Chevette or Pinto would.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Depends is this writer is writing a book or a screenplay. If it's a screenplay the X90 is perfect because it's so visually atrocious. If it's a novel you'd be correct. No one has a visual in their head of pretty much any Suzuki. Present company excluded of course.

    Kind of like our unfortunate friend in the free credit report ad. Here we recognize the car as a Metro but I'd bet the majority in the country have forgotten that the Metro even existed - butthey recognize it visually as a real loser.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,171
    I'm sorry, but I think gas prices took the Metro off the list.

    Gas prices drive Geos from clunkers to chic (CNN)

    I like the looks of the little X90 too. It just doesn't say Pacer to me.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,581
    Does good gas mileage make something less loserfied? Even if it looks dopey and isn't comfortable?

    I still gotta vote Metro or Aspire or something in that vein - especially in a period color like purple or teal. Also, condition is important - it has to be messed up inside and outside, with an owner who doesn't care.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Dang! If the Metro's off the list we have some serious trouble here....

    I don't think anything of that era screams Pacer. To a large degree the makers were playing it safer with design by then.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    Heck, if anything I'd say that makes you more of a loser, if you follow some flash-in-the-pan trend from 16 months ago and end up paying $3-4,000 for a $500 Metro!

    Plus, for the most part, the only Metro that got good gas mileage was the 3-cyl. And that meant you got the hatchback, manual tranny, and I believe, no a/c. If you wanted the 4-door, automatic, or a/c, you had to get the 4-cyl...which around town probably got about the same economy as a Corolla or Civic, and on the highway, barely beat out a LeSabre or Impala. :sick:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,171
    Does good gas mileage make something less loserfied?

    Yep.

    At least when gas pops up. I think more "geek" than loser with the subcompacts like it and the Justy that never die off. The fact that people are paying crazy money to buy and fix them up is another strike against the loser status.

    I can even justify owing a dustbuster minivan. Lots of us van fans don't have kids but most do, and being an obvious parent doesn't scream loser to me. Maybe if there's a goat in the back.

    But I don't think you can limit the category to the condition of the car. Some pristine cars still say loser while a trashed out Miata still catches my eye.

    I was gone for a week - did anyone put up a pic of an Aztek?

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    I was gone for a week - did anyone put up a pic of an Aztek?

    doesn't qualify...too new. IIRC the Aztek came out as a 2001 model.

    At least when gas pops up. I think more "geek" than loser with the subcompacts like it and the Justy that never die off. The fact that people are paying crazy money to buy and fix them up is another strike against the loser status.

    That reminds me of a story from years ago, early 1990's. One of my friends had friend that one of our mutual friends couldn't stand. He always called him "Muffin". At first, I thought it was because the dude was fat, but then I found out it was "because he's always muffin' things up". In general, he considered this dude a loser.

    Well, one day, my friend got fed up with the "muffin" and "loser comments, and shot back "Well that 'loser' has a $70K per year job!" (back when a $70K job was probaby a big deal)

    To which our other friend replied, "So what, he's a loser witha good job!" :P

    Moral of this story? Paying big bucks for a loser car don't make it a winner. Just means you paid big bucks to have your legs sticking to the vinyl and your posse getting laughed at! :shades:

    **oh, as for my friend who came up with the "muffin" name? At the time he was in his late 20's and living with Mommy and drove a K-car convertible that had been wrecked and put back together from two separate cars, and already had hair that was slightly receding, and prematurely graying. So what's that they say about living in glass houses and throwing stones? At least Muffin had a nice '85 Delta 88 Royale Brougham LS.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,171
    doesn't qualify...too new. IIRC the Aztek came out as a 2001 model.

    Jeeze, it seems like they've been around forever. Have to save it for the mid-20's loser cars discussion. :shades:

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,581
    But if you can afford the gas, are you still a loser? :shades: That crazy money seems to come up during little gas panics when fools and money become enemies.

    My dad really thought about buying a Pontiac dusbuster. But, for some reason he thought they were AWD, and when the things hit the streets and he learned they weren't, he had no interest.

    Yes, a trashed cool car can still be cool...but a trashed dorky appliance isn't so cool.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    A bit off topic and personal ramblings:

    I can't believe that woman in the article paid $7300 for a 96 3 cylinder Metro. Yeah, she'll save gas but she'll be driving many years before she saves enough to overcome the price premium she paid for the Metro and the loss she took on her Element.

    She overpaid by about $5k on the Metro plus she'll suffer some depreciation on her Element = so she's about $7-8k backwards in total.

    That's a lot of gas she could have bought. Even being overly optimistic and calculating that the Metro gets twice better fuel economy than the Element, she'll need to drive about 4 years in that sh!7box before she'll start coming out ahead and saving money on gas.

    $100/week in Element = $5000/year.
    $50/week in Metro = $2500/year

    $2500/year savings = $7500 saved in 3 years = the amount of money she lost by overpaying for the Metro and for selling her Element.

    But since gas prices dropped from their high point within a year to about 3/4 of what they were, it means she only saved the $2500 in the first year.

    The next year:
    $75/week in Element = $3750/year
    $37.50/week in Metro = $1875/year
    = savings of only $1875

    So far over 2 years she saved $4375.

    Next year she saves another $1875 = total is $6250
    Another year of saving $1875 = $8125

    So a more realistic figure is that it will take her about 4 years of driving in the Metro before she starts enjoying true gas savings over her Element.

    Now I wonder if she offloaded the other Metros she bought for resale before gas prices interest in these old tin cans went down.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    At least Muffin had a nice '85 Delta 88 Royale Brougham LS.

    In my neck of the woods, that definitely WOULDN'T be a point in his favor.....

    :surprise:

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,149
    Heck, Muffin is a colossal winner in my book! He'd come across even better if he had something like a 1985 Buick LeSabre Limited!!! :shades:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,171
    Or, perhaps gas will pop to $8 a gallon and she'll have $1,000 bills waved in her face to get her to sell her car.

    Maybe we're going about this the wrong way.

    What did Napoleon Dynamite drive? (the 10 speed doesn't count).

    We know that Uncle Rico drove a Dodge van but it's too old to be in the running.

    Uncle Rico's Ride

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  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,149
    Didn't Pedro's brothers drive something cool like an early '70s Pontiac convertible or something?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Nah, he wouldn't want girls thinking that he's driving his grandpa's car because he can't afford one himself! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Not to mention the instant death should a kid on a Schwinn run a light and T-bone her. What a turd car, no matter the mileage.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    Sorry Lemko, but there are some people who simply aren't winners, no matter what they're behind the wheel of. And now that I think about it Nippon, I believe he DID get the Delta from his parents!

    I only met Muffin a few times, but he annoyed me every single one of them. Probably haven't seen him since 1992 or so. My guess is that nowadays he has a Prius that he brags about hyper-miling when he's not busy trying to beat Freecell game #11982.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    Yep, a 1971 Pontiac Grand Ville convertible

    Something I just thought of...I wonder if the Grand Ville was actually the longest GM convertible by that time? GM stopped doing C-body convertibles. They also didn't let Pontiac have a C-body, so Pontiac just stretched out the B-body and on the closed models, grafted on a C-body roofline the best they could. Anyway, the Impala/Caprice convertible was on a 121.5" wb, while the Catalina, LeSabre, and Deltas were all on a 124". The Grand Ville was porked out to 126". An Eldorado was 126.3", but I wonder if the Grand Ville might have had more overhang, and therefore more overall length?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,090
    Or Cavalier convertible.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,744
    I say the Aerostar is a front runner too.

    I'd go for the Astro. One of the biggest POC's I've ever had the displeasure to drive (my wife's uncle was disabled and had one with a rear lift).

    Around here, you usually see Astros packed full of farm workers' family members. I guess it's the cheapest transportation with a lot of seats. And this is not a racial comment. It's just that who would possibly CHOOSE to drive this monstrosity if they had any sort of choice?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,090
    They made a lot of Astro conversion vans... Not my definition of luxury. I think they kept making the Astro through the early 2000s.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,705
    I will put in my 2 cents worth and nominate the Yugo.

    Also any compact or subcompact that has been modified with aftermarket accessories (think being riced out).

    There is this one guy at work that drives a Ferrari untill you get close to it and notice that the interior is a Fiero with a kit body covering it (but I think that the Fiero was stopped in the 80's).

    In reality anything from the mid 90's on would be a loser car unless it's a classic. Come on now if you cannot afford to drive a car less than 15 years old what does that say?

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,705
    I had a Corsica, while not the most exciting car it certainly wasn't a loser car. It had decent acceleration and gas mileage ran pretty much trouble free for me until about 140K miles when I sold it and the buyer (a friend) drove it close to another 100K with little trouble.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,090
    Come on now if you cannot afford to drive a car less than 15 years old what does that say?

    It could say that you have a car that you like that runs well.
  • That was Conan's actual SHO. I work with the woman that sold it to him new. He didn't know how to drive a stick at the time and had to have a friend come drive it off the lot for him.

    By all accounts he loves, think it was the first new car he ever bought, that car and the segments he has done on it are just kind of a tongue and cheek way of praise for it.

    The Tercel is a good choice for a mid 90s loser car.
  • The Neon had the ACR version that Chrysler made specifically for racing in Solo I and II plus they had actually pay outs to people who raced Neons and did well. At that time the two most competitive cars in many SCCA classes were Miatas and Neons.

    Later on you had the STR-4 Neons that dominated SCCA rally racing in the 2WD class up until the series was canceled.
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