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Retro Cars: Icons of the 1990s Bubble Economy

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TEXT: 青山尚暉(AOYAMA Naoki)  PHOTO: Stellantis N.V./WEB CARTOP/AMW

The Honda Beat is a GOOD open sport in the city center

Honda would not sit idly by and watch the Mazda Roadster’s huge success, and in 1991 it launched the Honda Beat, a mid-ship light open-sport car. Unsurprisingly, this one was a common sight in city centers at the time. It may have been a sports car that suited the parking situation in the city center.

Incidentally, the S660, a light lightweight sports car created on the idea of a young development manager, was subsequently launched, but both of these cars might be better suited as date cars for young couples who enjoy casual sports cars.

Setagaya, where American cars look good! Chevrolet Corvette C4

Whether or not it dominated the scene, the Chevrolet Corvette C4 was often seen on Route 246 in the Shibuya and Setagaya areas in the 1990s. This was partly because the Setagaya area was dotted with new and used car shops selling American cars and Corvettes, but also because Setagaya somehow had (and still has!) an atmosphere that suited American cars.

Citroën XM loved by fashion lovers and car enthusiasts

In the 1990s, French cars were the subject of a secret boom among fashionistas and car enthusiasts. The Citroën BX and Exantia were popular, but the ultimate example was the XM, Citroën’s top-of-the-range car at the time.

This famous car was introduced in its home country in 1989 and won the European Car of the Year award in 1990. The avant-garde styling, interior design, and unique and extremely comfortable ride were of course for its satisfaction, but it also had the atmosphere of an old castle tucked away in the city, and was a favorite of the playboys of the day, with its members-only restaurant.

Sports car fanaticism! Porsche Boxster

And one of the imported sports cars that got sports car fans going in the 1990s was the Porsche ‘Boxster’, which was introduced in 1996. The “911” was a little out of reach for young executives. The sound of the horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine and the low center of gravity of the car made me and my girlfriend in the front passenger seat very happy. The 911 964 with Tiptronic was the sports car that took the world by storm in the 1990s, opening the door to Porsche.

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