The Gumtree Blog

Rev Yourself Up With ‘90s Cars

Friday 7 June 2013, by

We love a classic car here at Gumtree.  Not the kind of banger you see clogging up the A23 between London and Brighton every November.  No, the vintage vehicles of the 1990s.  As in, “My dad used to drive a Ford Mondeo in ‘95 – classic!”

If you fancy tootling around in your very own piece of Nineties nostalgia, head over to our Motors section.  Here you’ll find plenty of great cars from the decade that also brought you Britpop, Girl Power, Alan Partridge, The Premier League and, er, the internet.

To get you revved up, here are a few of the models that were flying out of showrooms back then.

Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta was the UK’s best-selling car of the decade, snatching pole position from its big brother the Escort.  Although Ford were constantly tinkering with it (they changed the steering wheel three times in four years, for Pete’s sake) the basic formula remained the same: a neat, dynamic shape and fun, affordable motoring.

You’ll still see plenty of Fiestas on the road today, underlining the British public’s enduring love affair with them.

Among the most desirable models for second-hand buyers is the iconic hatch, the XR2i.  Vroom!


Renault Clio

“Nicole?” – “Papa.”  Floaty dresses.  Beautiful French countryside.  Flirty smiles.  Gallic shrugs.  Another “Nicole?”, another “Papa”.

If the words above have you scratching your head and worrying about Gumtree’s sanity, you probably weren’t alive in the UK in the Nineties.  If, on the other hand, you were of television-watching age, you’ll recognise one of the most famous ad campaigns in living memory.

It helped to catapult Renault’s Clio model into the top ten sellers of the decade.  No mean feat, as French cars haven’t traditionally done well over here.

The Clio Williams, producing a brutish 143 bhp, is widely considered one of the finest hot hatches ever made and remains a popular rally car.

Ooh la la.


Volkswagen Golf

Without getting into unnecessary national stereotypes, the VW Golf has always embodied the very essence of German build quality and reliability.  Although other manufacturers were making strides to catch up, that perception remained as strong as ever throughout the Nineties.

Beginning the decade in its Mk2 guise – which many consider the ‘classic’ version, with its cute round headlights and distinctive body shape – the Golf put on a little weight and bulk, emerging as the Mk3 in 1992.

Tales abound of Golfs that drive a quarter of a million miles and more in their lifetime.  So it’s no surprise to see a fair few of these old warriors on our highways and byways to this day.  No shock, either, to hear that they hold their value pretty well.


Nissan Micra

Nissan – which we’re fairly certain used to be Datsun back in the day – really cracked it with this little beauty in the Nineties.  Its sweet design, fuel economy and surprisingly poky performance made it a real hit with buyers.

By 1998, the Sunderland plant where the car was made had rolled out its one millionth Micra.  Making Nissan the first Japanese manufacturer to reach this milestone in Europe.


Vauxhall Cavalier

It’s testament to the Cavalier’s popularity that it was the sixth best-selling car of the Nineties despite being discontinued in 1995.

Nothing said “I’m a successful rep” better than this baby.  In fact, it’s highly probable that its success as a company car has contributed to its relative scarcity on the roads now, as people tended to see them as somewhat disposable.

So, go on, treat yourself to a little drive down memory lane.  Wind the window down.  And see which cars from yesteryear toot their horns at you.

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