I pass this lot on my way into town, and noticed with interest as it began filling up with derelict cars last summer. Then it dawned on me that many of these are relics from the 1990s.
It was the Nissan Pulsar NX that first caught my attention. The rest of these were just typical background cars that my eye had learned to ignore.
As far as I can tell, this is not an active business, so I have no idea why these are here. The grey day on which I photographed these seemed fitting, though.
Which vehicle would you pick when they were new, and which would you choose put back on the road today?
If there’s a Lexus LS400 in the picture then I have got to go with that for purchase when new. Sorry Bonneville.
The only thing worth saving now are the S-10 and the Mercury.
LS-Swap the S-10.
There are lots of mechanical parts available for the Mercury because the engine was shared with the Mustang, F-150, and Police Interceptors.
That’s easy Grand Ma x2.
Not like anyone suspected anything different though.
The tiebreaker is if the Pulsar NX or that 2nd Gen S-Series Saturn in back has a manual transmission.
I looked at the NX back in the day and figured at least if it was slow, it was better to look at than the previous generation.
LS400, runner up would be the Grand Marquis.
Looks like late 90s-early 2000s, that’s when everyone inexplicably decided to buy silver cars. The actual 90s seemed more colorful
I’ve never seen a more Midwestern picture.
Too many Pontiacs not enough Oldsmobiles. Bonus points for B-Body Oldsmobile. No half-lit neon sign. No hound dog. No Coke machine. No old man on bench.
Ha! This is in South-Central Tennessee.
Makes sense, there would be A LOT more rust if this was the Midwest
Missed your byline, for some reason I thought it was a PN post, but if those cars were in Eugene they’d be on the road another 20 years.
In the year+ we’ve been here, I’ve noticed the average age of cars on the road is probably 10-15 years older than what we saw in the Middle West (and few rust-eaten ones). Lots more derelict cars are also to be seen pushed to the side of the property, often entombed in kudsu.
Unless it’s rotted away, that Ford Club Wagon could still be flipped to some would-be vanlifer for a grand or two more than expected.
I would have bought the Saturn new, with a manual transmission. I think its looks have held up very well, even if it may be a shambling mess underneath the plastic.
I’d still drive one of the Tauruses if I needed to pick up some cheap wheels and air conditioning.
True that van could be the most valuable vehicle there if #vanlife is big in that area and it doesn’t have any major needs.
True too on the Tauri could be a good cheap car, again if it doesn’t have any major needs which considering its location is probably being hopeful in the case of pretty much any vehicle in a lot like this.
Put me in line to check out the LS400, but if this was back in the day and besides that one I would have been quite tempted by the Saturn SL2 in the front there. It still looks to be in excellent shape, certainly better than the rare example I see nowadays.
My sister had stripper 2002 SL1. At 140,000 km it self destructed. In 2010 she bought, on my recommendation, a stripper Honda Fit automatic. Zero problems in more than ten yours.
Call me when it beats 556,016 miles…
Many of these cars I still see rolling the roads today, with the exception of the second generation Intrepid. These Intrepids are now among the rarest cars that were once commonplace due to the high engine failure rates.
“Transmission” failure rate.
Source: I blew one up that way.
I’d say the engines were worse, because so many went out with the 2.7 and you had no option to step up to the 3.2 if you bought an Intrepid SE (or Concorde LX).
The 42LE transmissions were much improved by then over the first Ultradrives.
I was working for Chrysler when these were in production. Every single one I saw that failed wasn’t getting proper oil changes. Part of the problem was the book called for 3 month, 5000 km intervals. I had one irate lady whose 2.7 started to death rattle just go crazy. She couldn’t produce one single oil change receipt. We didn’t warranty it and she was livid. She owed big on the car which was worthless unless she spent $5000 for a new motor.
But with proper maintenance, the 2.7 was fine. My uncle had one for years.
new taurus, today grand marquis.
It’s easy to put back on the road, easy to pay for, easy to repair, and a solid old fashion BOF V8 rear-driver. They don’t make them like that anymore.
I’d love the Lexus, but I couldn’t afford to repair anything on it. The GrandMa can be fixed for thousands of dollars less than the Lexus.
I still equate FWD with disposable. Sorry, I just do.
Lexus LS is rear wheel drive.
I must have lost you by that last line. I said I’d love to have the Lexus. The problem with the Lexus is the cost of keeping it on the road. I know it isn’t FWD.
I’m always an outlier, but if that little badge at the C pillar of the Intrepid says “ES” it means there’s a 3.5 under the hood, and I’d have to take a chance on it.
It’d likely end in tears, but I have a big soft spot for the LS cars. Masochistic, I know.
Actually, I fact checked myself. The ES had the 3.2. Not quite the same. I’ll switch my allegiance to the Lexus.
The Intrepid SE had a little badge there, too. And, this one has the SE front fascia without fog lamps…so it has the 2.7 engine.
Chrysler allowed Gen 1 base Intrepid buyers a lot more options, such as light packages and the SOHC engine. Gen 2 was pretty much prepackaged.
The Intrepid windshield and front roofline was awfully low. I drove one a few times. Nope.
A coworker at the time these were on offer called hers the “Dodge Entrapment.”
I’d choose the Bonneville. I think if this were 20 years ago, there’d be a good chance that I’d be driving a Bonneville just like that one.
Yup sign me up for that 92-97 Bonneville as well, assuming some replacement body panels could be sourced.
As they sit though? Probably the Grand Marquis since it looks most complete and would have the highest chance of not having some kind of serious mechanical malady (FWD transaxle being my biggest worry with most of what’s sitting on that lot).
I would take the gold Buick Century at the front of the picture. I already have one that belong to my grandfather. It would make a great parts car.
Actually if anyone could get me those hubcaps I would appreciate it. They look a lot better than the ones I have. If they can be gotten cheap.
I’d rock that Grand Marquis, but I might be tempted to go a bit bougie and get a Marauder. Otherwise, I have a weird soft spot for that generation Taurus.
I would have bought the Regal version of the Buick in 1998, but there wasn’t enough room on the slanted floorboard for my left foot. Bought an Intrigue instead, though the only part of it I liked for 8 years was the Shortstar V6.
Had one, Loved it!
Scenes like this are pretty common up here, with varying vehicle age ranges. They’re usually staged like this in preparation for making a scene (i.e., filming for a movie, TV show, commercial, etc.)
90s cars are becoming rebar here at an incredible rate, replacements are so cheap its not worth getting anything fixed anymore,
Nobody has expressed any love for the Exploder – if it has the 4.6 I might sign up for that one just for the new experience. Is there a more 90s vehicle than an Explorer?
The 4.6 came on the next generation, this one would have had either the Cologne V6 or the 5.0