Has it really been twenty years? I’ve been messing with a 1992 automobile the last few days (details to come), and it made me think how different my choices would be if I could re-create my automotive Dream Team from 1992. I’ve assembled mine, but what would yours be? We’re talking cars from 1992 that you’d have bought new, driven for twenty years, and still look forward to getting into. Or bought used, if you’re too young to have bought new in 1992.
I’d still be driving a 1992 Honda Civic AWD wagon: six-speed stick, zingy 1600 cc engine with 108 hp. It’s what I’d like my Xbox to really be: lighter, AWD, even a few more horses. Just not quite as boxy inside. Could have gotten us almost everywhere the Cherokee did, used half the gas, less than half the repairs, twice as much fun to drive, and lasted twice as long. Hindsight is 20-year vision.
Stephanie would still be driving a 1992 Volvo 940 Turbo. Or a Mercedes E320 wagon. The Volvo would probably have been been cheaper to maintain (as well as to buy, which alone throws it). But a tough call. It would have been a bit snugger than the ’92 Dodge Caravan for our three kids, but a lot more fun to drive, and would still work today with an empty nest. Never mind the four transmissions for the Caravan.
My work truck? Easy: a Toyota T100, with the 2.7 L four and a stick. Just the basics, thank you. And good for another
twenty fifty years.
Camper? Since the Ultra Van and all the other interesting motor homes from the sixties and seventies were long gone, and I’m at a loss to remember anything more creative, it would be a 1992 version of our Chinook, with a much more comfortable Ford front end. Of course, this really wouldn’t have worked for three kids. Maybe a little trailer towed behind for them? Or us.
And a toy car too, to make the Dream Team complete. A Miata would be the obvious choice, but then we’re dreaming, right?
1992 Cadillac Seville with the 4.9V8, avoiding the Northstar. “European” suspension American type motor giving priority to torque, lots of luxury features. But NOT Cadillac trying to be BMW.
you really need to drive a northstar powered car before you think it doesn’t have the torque of a 4.9…and as long as you don’t get the STS or ETC the ride is classic Caddy soft right up until the end of the body style.
4.6 Northstar – sweet sound, headgaskets eaten, water cooled alternator…
I’ve had 2 , my parents had 1.
none of them ate any kind of gasket and none of them had water cooled alternators…
The Northstar gets an over exaggeraged bad wrap…and since it was the only engine used by Cadillac for quite a few years and put into so many cars everyone always instantly says they’re junk. the 2001 (or 2002) redesign and larger head bolts took care of gasket failures. My 96 was bullet proof, my 2005 has never missed a beat and my parent’s 2005 never skipped a beat, just got traded on a Regal Turbo.
I would bet money that the head gasket problem wasn’t as far spread as the toyota/chrysler sludge problem or the honda auto trans issues…
It’s every bit as bad as the Honda auto trans problem, which prematurely failed on about a third of the Odysseys it was in (we have one).
And it’s not just any head gasket failure like on a 4-cylinder Honda that you can get fixed for $1500. It’s a $5000 repair, as you have to drop the entire front subframe so you can remove the rear head, drill out 35 holes in the block, tap them, install (to the proper depth) steel thread inserts, and then install new head bolts and gaskets. It’s a huge job, the book rate is 17 hours of labor just to replace the head gaskets alone.
And while you have the subframe dropped, you might as well rebuild the tranny, replace the alternator, split the block and reseal the halves, install the improved rear main seal, replace all of the hoses, motor mounts, and other impossible-to-get-to pieces, putting the repair total even higher.
My dad had a 1993 STS from 1998 to 2010, and dodged the bullet before trading it in on a new SHO. But I’ve seen enough of them on Craigslist (I love the body style of the 1990s STS) with verbage such as “slow coolant leak” or “heats up on long trips” in the description to know what lurks within.
As somebody who works on my own cars, I would never, ever own one. Like the first poster said, the 4.9 is the way to go, if you’re like most people and don’t have an unlimited money supply for auto repairs.
I have a friend who has an unnatural obsession with these Caddy’s (I like the 90’s Seville a lot too, don’t get me wrong) and the only one he’s had a head gasket let go on thus far was a ’92 with the 4.9l V8… go figure, LOL…
Exception that proves the rule, I know. What does seem kinda strange to me about the Northstar gasket issue, however, is that I don’t ever remember hearing anything about it until the last few years. What gives? Surely plenty of those cars racked up tons of miles during the 1990s. Did GM have some secret, backdoor extended warranty issued to keep the problem hush-hush?
All things considered, having driven quite a few examples of Cadillacs with both of those V8s, if I was in the market for one I may actually be foolish enough to roll the dice and gamble on the Northstar. The 4.9l V8 is a fine motor, well matched to the chassis and has proven to be solid as a rock reliability-wise… but the Northstar is a real screamer and totally transforms the car, when it manages to stay in one piece anyway. With the STS or ETC suspension and 300HP, they’re a blast to drive and still very comfy.
So now that I’ve hijacked the thread and ticked people off I’ll say one more thing and keep my trap shut.
Please don’t take this friendly back and forth as anything more than that…
Just food for thought…craigslist is where cars go to die. Cadillac put the northstar in 99.999% of its cars until fairly recently. Of course you are going to see lots of northstarts cheap on a free advertisement site to get rid of them cheap. It only seems logical. With that logic you can probably find many examples of some the so called “common” problems spread around by cyber space.
Plus..if something breaks, won’t you go to web pages looking for answers and sharing problems, and that web site may be filled with complaints of the issue, but is also only a tiny little bit of the overal slice of existance for that car…see where I’m going?\
I don’t want to sound like a fanboy. I’m a Buick Pontiac Cadillac guy by heart, but will tell you out of the 3 W-body (89, 90, 96) Grand Prix’s I owned over the years every one of them was a POS for one reason or another, I still liked them but wouldn’t defend some of their issues…
I will keepeth my trap closed now..over and out
Happy Sunday and Fathers Day all!
One of my favorite designs from the early 90’s. Still looks good. I just today shot a 1992 Eldorado for an upcoming (I hope) CC…
1992 was a pretty good year for Ford guys – the new Crown Vic (including the now-rare Touring Edition) or the recently changed Town Car. Also, the 1992 Ford Club Wagon was the introduction to the van still in production. But in 1992, it was the ultimate family van (as I got to enjoy with my 94 version). The F-150s were pretty attractive in 1992 as well. Would a leftover 91 Country Squire count? Probably not.
Over at Chrysler, the 92 Dodge pickup or Ramcharger appealed to me. And there was also the Viper. Hmmmmm. The 92 Buick Park Avenue was also not a bad ride. The Roadmaster was there too, but I prefer the later ones with the more powerful engines.
I like your Civic wagon idea. And the 92 Accord (with a 5 speed, of course) was a pretty nice car too. I could also have lived with an Acura Legend or NSX.
Don’t forget the 2nd gen Taurus, first year in ’92. I had one for a couple of years, it was a fine all-around sedan. It felt especially sure footed in bad weather.
The Viper is such a cool car. It’s senseless, but cool in a kind of “Conan the Barbarian” kind of way. I was re-reading the comments thinking I was the only one who remembered it came out then, but I knew I wouldn’t be let down!
You know, Ford really had a decent lineup back in 1992 when you think about it. Most of what I’d want from back then seems to have a blue oval on the front.
Drive it daily – Mustang 5.0L LX Notch, 5 speed
Work Truck – F-250, short cab, long bed, 351 auto
Family hauler – Taurus SHO, stick please?
Something wagony – Accord wagon, 4cyl 5 speed (they made those, right?)
Something to dream about – Acura NSX in red
Maybe I shouldn’t have sold the 1992 Accord in 2000. After all it only had 245k miles with the original engine and clutch. I loved the flexibility of the 4 and 5-speed, and the blah “Seattle Silver” paint meant that it had a deep maroon interior. Both the Accords since have been automatics. Definitely a bit of nostalgia here….
Definitely a decent year for cars.
Daily driver: 1991 Honda CR-X (I think they went to the del Sol in ’92)
Family car: Acura Legend with the 6-speed stick
Dreamer: Porsche 928 GTS (only because superbadd beat me to the NSX)
(Come to think of it, I’m looking for all of these cars right now…)
1991 CRX is cheating, thought of that one too
That’s easy, 1992 Volvo 960 sedan, black with saddle interior. My first car, a ’91 940SE, would have been identical except for the engine. And the straight six would be easier to maintain over 20 years than the turbo four my car had.
I still miss that car.
Give me an F-150 XL, longbed with the bulletproof and torquey 4.9L I6, vinyl and rubber interior, maybe a/c (although, alas, this was the R12 era).
Oh, wait…I have one of those today.
My other dream car from that era is the Miata. Chick car image be damned, it’s closer to the “pure” definition of a sports car than just about anything else. Bonus points for the fact that you can actually drive one on a daily basis and expect to arrive at your destination with a fairly high degree of reliability.
I would have said Miata, but I’ve already got a base ’93 in my garage. No dreaming required for that one!
Me too, drove it to work yesterday top down. Ain’t it great?
Heck yeah it is, summer in Texas is too hot for it though. No a/c, so she comes out in the spring and fall.
No a/c: good for you. I agree with BuzzDog, pure sports car. No power anything, no a/c. For example, yesterday my right side mirror was pointed wrong, so I reached across and pointed it right.
NA and NB Miatas are not chick cars. People that say such things are morons and haven’t driven them. My ex thought she wanted one (and of course I was on board!) so we owned a 2001 LS. She ended up trading it in on an Accord. Too small, rode too rough, too noisy, blah blah blah. I would have kept it, but was driving an Integra GSR at the time, so I was pretty happy with my driver.
My current car is a completely base car, 5-speed 1.6L, no a/c, power nothing. I’ve got a decent stereo in it, and that’s it. I wanted the full experience, and looked high and low for a base car. Got it for a pretty damn good price too because of the lack of a/c. Suckers…
I was thinking along these lines last night as I was driving my 92 Crown Victoria my beater car/go to work car. I would likely still be driving my first 92 equipped a little better to my liking from the factory had it not been totaled when it was T-boned. I bought it in Jan 95 shortly after my son was born. I certainly would have bought one new and it would have been either identical to my first that had all the goodies of the Touring Sedan except the badges and 2 tone paint or a Touring Sedan though I’m not that into the majority of the 2 tone paint combos.
1992 was a really good year for cars. With no cost cap, this is a tough one, and everyone already picked all the good ones, but here is my team:
1992 Porsche 911 Turbo — the one from Bad Boys, still IMO the best looking Porsche
1992 Acura NSX — because it would still be good as new 20 yrs later
1992 BMW M5 — possible the best M car ever
1992 Mustang LX 5.0 hatch – cause I like the hatches better regardless of weight
1992 Honda Civic Si — The last truly great Si
1992 MR2 Turbo — What Toyota used to be
1992 Celica All-Trac Turbo — ditto
1992 Chevy 1500 Sport with 454 — because you couldnt get a 454SS in 92
Besides the Crown Vic and its relatives (Grand Marquis, Town Car), I could have a Caprice or Roadmaster, lots of room and if it wasn’t enough, there the wagons.
The MN-12 Thunderbird and Cougar could be available with the 5.0L in 1992.
And cars to have for a final lap are the Lincoln Mark VII and Oldsmobile Toronado.
For more sportier version, the Mitsubishi Eclipse alias Eagle Talon/Plymouth Laser or a step higher with the 3000GT/Dodge Stealth.
Meanwhile, in Argentina; Ford stopped making the vintage 1960s Falcon in 1991 while in Brazil it was the last year for the Chevrolet Opala in 1992.
92 is first year of the FD RX-7. Still as beautiful a design as when it came out.
Oh, and a Mazda 323 Familia GT-R for when the FD is in for a rebuild lol
The Honda Civic wagon pictured above is not a 1992. The wagon was discontinued when the nameplate received a substantial redesign for 1992. One of Honda’s dumber moves.
I still own a 1991 2WD Civic wagon. It’s a little beat up looking but still gets us there.
Ooops; I had the impression they carried the AWD wagon over for another year or two. It was actually built until 1996, but not available that long in the US. My bad.
Still that new (fifth generation) Civic was an epic thing. From EX 4 door (sunroof!) to the “fast and furious” crowd, something for everybody. Make mine a 50+mpg VX hatch!
(And across the road at the Toyota dealership, the mini-Lexus 7th-gen Corolla was also superb, if you wanted more plush.
The high water mark of Japanese compact superiority, IMHO.)
I worked at a Honda dealer in 1989. They sold a handful of 4wd Wagovans during the first snowfall of the year. The rest of the time they didn’t even stock them. When the fifth generation Civic came out, there wasn’t a market in the world that merited a replacement for the Shuttle/wagon. They kept the 4th generation wagon in production for some countries. When the 6th generation Civic was released, the wagon was replaced by the CR-V everywhere, and the also-ran niche wagon wasn’t missed in the face of the best-selling CR-V. Saying it was one of Honda’s dumber moves to kill a product nobody bought and replace it with one that sold in the hundreds of thousands is telling.
1992….pretty much anything at the Toyota, Honda, Lexus, or Acura dealer!
Luxury: Lexus LS400 narrowly beats out Legend GS 5MT, SC300/400, and Toyota Cressida. All good choices, but I feel like the LS400 would get the nod over 20 years.
Family car: Toyota Camry SE V6 stick. Again, narrowly beats Maxima SE (5MT). The Accord 4cyl 5MT (or 4cyl 5MT Camry) are good choices, but you gotta go for the V6 i think. Accord 4cyl Wagon 5MT gets honorable mention just b/c it existed!
Family Hauler: Previa DX 5MT. Would love to have the all-trac or loaded up LE, but the stick shift trumps all.
Sporty car: 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R or Infiniti G20t (that way you get the LSD). Over time, I’m guessing the G20’s 4 doors and bells & whistles would win out. Integra GS-R is a very, very close second.
Proper sports car: this is where it gets fun….MR2 Turbo, Supra Turbo, Celica all-trac turbo, NSX, RX-7, Eclipse GSX. Personal preference probably goes to the Supra, but all are excellent choices.
Economy Car: Corolla all-trac wagon 5MT. Just because it exists! second choice would be a 5MT Civic.
Truck: Paul’s T100 is a fine choice. As much as I prefer the “regular” Toyota truck (4×4, V6 5MT, extracab), the T100 probably gets the nod for the extra payload & space. Over 20 years, I probably would prefer that. The gen of 4Runner is pretty outstanding too!
I may have a slight bias towards J-tin….:)
Well, I currently own a ’92 Bonneville.
I like the Pontiac, but I think I’d have to give my overall 1992 nod to the final year Olds Toronado or GMC Typhoon.
My 1986 Firebird Trans Am I bought in Jan. 1990 and I still drive it at least once a week. Have always enjoyed it even with its rattles and it has remained relatively trouble free over the years. Since it was still very similar in 1992 I may have to pick it.
Since there is no price limit in this exercise I felt at the time the Lincoln Mark VII LSC was really beautiful so I would go with it. Just like the one pictured in the link
I know this may be an unpopular choice, but I still like the late eighties/early nineties Fleetwood Brougham/Brougham sedan (1992 pictured). It just seemed so “Cadillacy” at the time. Maybe because I started getting into cars in the eighties as a kid.
I really like those too, but if it’s going to be a daily driver for 20 years, I’d want something other than a V8.
Now if we’re talking a non daily driver “fun” weekend car, I’m in!
Great pick. I’ll take mine with the towing package, wire wheels, d’elegance package in leather and the 350 V8 please, blue on blue or black on black.
Me too except in Red or Burgundy. At the time liked the non euro-look from the pre 1990s better.
And don’t forget the Astroroof…Matt Garrett says that option alone is 30% of the car’s value as a collector’s item today.
@Michael (just in case)
It’s just an opinion.
In my eyes those were the last of the best Caddies.
+1 on the Honda, but it would have to be the ’90 three door hatch, which we owned for about 160,000 miles (last we heard years ago it had 200K+ and was still going). Ours was the base 1500 four speed, bought sans a/c and radio (both added later when we had some spare cash). Very tossable and returned 40+ highway with ease.
The closest I have in today’s stable is my ’95 F-150 4WD (300, auto). The tin worm has not been kind to it.
The car I want everytime I see one, a navy blue Buick Roadmaster wagon with woodgrain. Second runner up would be a 240 wagon.
More to life than old Hondas, people. There were SO many cars on sale then worth having today! I feel like most larger cars from this era feel ponderous today but otherwise when excluding an automatic transmission, the list of 20 year old cars worth keeping until today includes:
-Legacy & Legacy turbo
-Volvo with red block
-SAAB 900 turbo
+1 on the Mk2 Golf – I bought one new, base model 2 door with a 5 speed, loved that car, wish I still had it
I’m torn between a blue TransAm (305 TPI/5-speed) or a Camaro with the Heritage Package (305/5-speed), preferably a convertible. I’d take the Heritage Camaro in white with red interior/red stripes.
I like the third-gen Camaros & Firebirds. The ’91 & ’92 T/A’s had beautiful taillights and the ’92-only Heritage Camaro had a very nice stripe package. I know I’d never regret it since I’ve put about 150K on my ’89 Camaro & never tired of it.
Well 1992 Was a good Year for Cadillac, but an Allante over 20 years would cost you.
Mustang GT Conv
Fleetwood 60 Special
I Do like The Idea Of a Firebird Convertible…but NOISE, Rattles, Vibration, shimmy
Lexus Coupe SC 400
——So If Those are My Top 10, The Lexus Coupe Would Be My Ideal Car- for this Q – I’d Want An Eldorado 2nd, but I Could live With the Mazda easier … My Heart Wants The MUSTANG GT convertible, For sheer Fun per Dollar Thats it, I am too big for a Miata, Or That Would Be Top Tier. Lincoln Cartier would be nice in a pinch. Maybe even a LSC Mark 7
I agree on all of these, though I’d substitute the RWD ’93 Fleetwood (that presumably arrived by the end of 1992?) for the Sixty Special.
This is so easy for me: A Volvo 240, 740 or 940 sedan/wagon – and no it would never be a turbo. It’d have to be a basic red-block, which I love dearly.
For a fun car: How about an Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce? They were nearing the end of production in ’92, but they still had some fun left in them.
I’d also go for a Mustang LX, but only with the 2.3-liter Lima four-cylinder. For some reason, I’ve always preferred the late 4-cylinder Fox-body Mustangs over the 5.0.
My everyday driver: 1992 Audi V8.
Nice choice outta left field… love the Audi V8, way cool car. I dunno if I’d want to think about what the repair bills look like over 20 years for it, though!
My dream car: 1992 Porsche 928 GTS
What I was actually driving in 1992: Lincoln LSC SE
Always liked these, and I’m not even a big Ford fan, but the LSC Mark VII was always one of my favorites.
My memories of those years are a bit fuzzy…I was busy during each day and buzzed during most nights. In the Navy…I was driving a 1988 Caravan panel truck that I had half-baked dreams of making a camper. And that I let go like a hot rock once a REAL camper, my Vanagon, came up for sale.
Anyway…first, the truck. The Ford F-series pickup was in its mature season, in production for twelve years. Styling had been tamed down from the mid-eighties and the awkward sculpting lines of the original had been cleaned up splendidly. So…I’d take one of those. Preferably a SuperCab; so I could rig the seat to go back far enough. Odd that one of the biggest pickups had the smallest amount of leg room.
In it, a 300 six…hell, I’ll be perverse. Three on the tree. Lug that thing like God and Ford intended.
That’s the work vehicle. For personal needs…no question. I call any car-enthusiast creds into question…but I’ve had three and they were, to me, endless amusement at the wheel.
I want a Geo Metro 3-door three-pot with a five-speed.
Why? It wasn’t the fastest; nor the fastest in the corners. But…it was so light; so intimate…you didn’t get into it; you put it ON, like a coat. You WORE it, like a jetpack. And you fed it with pennies you found in the crack of the couch.
Who could ask for more? The young guys, they’d want something with STATUS. But I’ve come to learn that a middle-aged guy with a beer belly, driving a hot car…is still a middle-aged guy with a gut, to all the cuties on the sidewalk. So I’ll save the status-cost; enjoy my work truck, thirsty as it is…and balance it out with my little go-cart of a car.
One year to early but……
Probably nothing. I was 41 and just in the process of moving to Cincinnati. Too young to want to keep a car for that long unless it was something I liked from the hardtop days – true to form, aren’t I?
I did really like the 1992 LeBaron convertible we bought in 1999. The engine gave up in 2007, so I sold it in a hurry to my mechanic and he sold it to his helper, who dumped a bunch of money into it to get it running again – much less than it would have cost me.
I do wish I still had my avatar – my 1964 Chevy.
First choice: Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon. Yeah, a Roadmaster would be fine too, but the Olds avoided the woodgrain usually found on Roadmasters, which may be traditional but doesn’t age as well.
Second choice: Town Car (I actually did buy a ’92 Town Car, but in 2004.)
Nice choice — my favorite flavor of these wagons.
Up there at the top of my choices, just as pictured. Beautiful, but I did like the highback seats of the Roadmaster.
I think the car would be the one I had already. I may not be smart but I sure am not fickle. The 57 chev 210- 2 door wagon will just have to do.
I wouldn’t mind having my S10 as a 92 versus the 91 I do have. 4.3 with 700r4 but must say the Ford van with the 300 I6 and the C6 trannie would do fine if I still had the need for it.
I don’t think I remember much from 92 that would have been an improvement on what I already own. No sense of adventure I guess.
I’d go with an F150 XLT Super Cab long box in Dark Chestnut over Mocha Frost. Similar to the one below.
For commuter duty I’d probably go with a Suzuki Swift GTi
I wish I still had my 1992 Honda Accord LX 5-speed 2-door. It was a superior car in almost every area over today’s Hondas, except airbag count.
Cost-no-object, give me a Lexus SC300.
1992 Porsche 968 CS, tossed up the ‘normal’ version, but the clubsport would hold the interest longer – not a daily driver clearly. I’d be tempted by the RX-7, which beat the 968 four years in a row at the Bathurst 12 Hour production car race, were it not for the rotary – I don’t suppose a V8 swap would be acceptable?
1992 Ford Falcon S-XR6, 4.0 216hp/275tq inline six, 5sp manual strong-as-an-ox driveline in a 3400lb sedan – and faster than the Mustang sourced 5.0 V8. The 25th anniversary GT would also be tempting (270hp V8).
Other viable options: 1992 Toyota Lancruiser – 80 series wagon or 75 series, Mazda 626 or Ford Telstar TX-5 2.0/5sp hatchback, Nissan N15 Pulsar SSS SR20/5sp, Subaru Liberty/Legacy RS Turbo wagon, Corolla SR5 awd wagon. Edit – not to forget the E36 M3!
1. 92 Honda Accord LX for a daily driver (as I so miss my ’93).
2. 92 Acura Integra GS-R for a toy car, definitely.
3. 92 Ford Taurus Station Wagon as a family/crap hauler. More than enough room for 5 people AND luggage, at least in our 91).
4. 92 Toyota Pickup (stick, of course) for a work vehicle.
Didn’t the old Taurus wagons come with the rear-facing “rumble seats” in the back? So really, there’s room for 7!
2nd generation Ford Taurus for an every day car. Almost like the original design but sleeker. Mom had one and it was a darn nice car. She loved it-what a change from a Mercury Grand Marquis land yacht. Even available as a SHO for those inclined. Why can’t Ford make the newer Taurii look as good as the older ones?
I drove a 95 Taurus company car for a while back in the late 90’s and was very fond of it. It had a fundamental rightness about it that is up there with my long gone and beloved Peugot 504. I prefered it to the Nissan Altima I owned at the time. I looked at buying one, but the depreciation was too much as I don’t keep cars a long time.
As much fun as this exercise is, I get the itch for a different car after a while and have never kept one more than 4 years.
Daily driver/family car dual purpose: 1992 Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon, turbo power (heck, I’d even take a ’92 Loyale if that was all that was available, although in ’92 the Impreza was making its debut, too)! It was only with the 4-speed auto, but I’m sticking with the Subies until they do wrong by me.
Wife’s car: Lexus ES300. While the LS would certainly be nice, it’s a bit bigger and thirstier than necessary for us. The ES still looks like a pretty nice car, and it’s a Lexus, so it’s quiet and smooth and comfortable, and I think she’d be able to drive it without any complaints for a long, long time.
Toy car: I’d have loved to say Subaru Impreza WRX 22B, but that didn’t come out until 1998, so instead I’ll go with Dodge Viper RT/10. Heh, quite the difference there, eh? That car is so much cooler than the Corvette, and I love the barbarian-ness about it, all noise and power and fury and no brains or sense about it. It’s a wonderful expression of automotive freedom.
Work vehicle: Me? Work? Hahahaha, no, no thank you.
Wow, looking back, 1992 really was a good year for car choices! Truth be told there a number of cars from that era that I would LOVE to have sitting in my garage, but if I had to pick one and drive it for twenty years straight, and expect it to actually last???
1992 Toyota Camry.
I just did some calculating, and if I had bought said 1992 Camry (at the ripe old age of 17) and used it for my daily driver for twenty years, it would now have around 376000 miles on it!!!
On a slightly related note, my parents did have a 1992 Honda Civic LX sedan in Rosewood Brown. I drove it for a little while when I was in college. My mom loved that car and would have liked to have kept it. Dad decided it was too small after a trip to TN and back, so in 1994 it was traded for a new 1995 Windstar.
Hmmm…nothing from ’92 really turns me on that much. I guess I’d go with a loaded Town & Country (with the correct transmission fluid, of course) . Like Michael above, I dig the Cadillac Brougham, and I believe ’92 was the last year of the classic box. I had a ’93 Dynasty, which was a GREAT car, so I’ll take the same thing from a year earlier. I don’t think I’d mind rolling in a Town Car, but aside from the Panthers, T-birds/Cougars/Mark VIIs, and trucks, Fords of that era are best avoided. My mother had a ’92 Tempo, and it was a horrendous POS.
Yeah, I know, Honda blah blah blah, Toyota blah blah blah, to which I say blah blah blah. Where I come from, they’re not an option. My former brother-in-law had a ’92 Accord when he was married to my sister, and after checking it out and driving it a couple of times, I understood why some people preferred them, but I wasn’t sold. I guess I’m just too old school.
One of the best car I ever own is a ’92. A 1992 Subaru SVX LS-L, burgundy with black roof. We bought it used, I think it was in 1995, with very low miles (I think under 20,000). I miss it greatly, and probably would still own it if the tranny did not commit seppuku. Never own a car that gets so much look (with people pointing at it and everything!). I think they were very rare in the Midwest (Minnesota), there’s only one other (besides ours) in the small city we live in.
I also owned a 1992 Nissan Maxima SE with 5-speed and LSD at some point, but that car was a bit troublesome, and I miss it somewhat less.
Gotta agree, a great year for cars.
I thought about saying the SVX for my “fun” pick, but the dishonorable transmissions give me pause about the whole long-term thing. Where I’m from (Toledo, OH) they are quite rare as well.
Buick Roadmaster has to be at the top of my list. My parents own one, at least partly because I convinced them to buy it. I was going to buy it from them after I graduated from school, but my plans changed. As someone else mentioned above, the old-school fullsize Cadillac Brougham would appeal to me as well.
Dodge Ramcharger. I’m not an off-roader, so make mine RWD, not 4WD, with the two-tone paint and all the creature comforts inside. If it was available with the Cummins diesel (unfortunately it was not) it would have been perfect. I don’t know if it was actually available, but a Dodge 250 crewcab pickup with the Cummins and a shortbox would work too.
….or I could just get a Suburban with the 6.5L turbodiesel. While rare, I’m pretty sure they were still available in RWD on the 1500 chassis. (My dad had an 88 Suburban w/ 6.2L diesel in this configuration.)
Yeah, you could still get a diesel engined 1500, though from what I recall when I sold GMC’s in the 90’s, when you added the diesel engine option to a 1500 Sub, you automatically got the heavy duty axles and 8 lug wheels, which allowed them to up the GVWR so it could skate by emmisions, though they look like 2500’s, they still carry 1500 emblems on the fender.
My dad always said that his ’88 Suburban had the suspension from the 2500, but his still had 5-lug wheels. Pretty sneaky putting the heavier parts on to bump the weight over the limit.
Oldsmobile Eighty Eight Royale LS Sedan with the FE3 Suspension, all options, including Astroroof.
1992 was one of the best years for imported cars from Japan and Germany. Honda had just come out with the NSX and redesigned Legend in 1991. Toyota came out with the redesigned Camry in 1992 (which is still considered to be the best generation of Camry 20 years later) as well as the Previa minivan in 1991 (which made the C&D 10 best list).
From Germany, Mercedes was at its pinnicle of quality and durability. Mercedes introduced a new S-Class and SL-Class, including the models with a 400hp V12 (600SL, 600SEL, and 600SEC, which were renamed the SL600 and S600 for 1993). Mercedes’ quality fell precipitiously for its next generation of E-class and S-class during the mid and late-1990s. The 1990-1993 Porsche 911s are also my favorite of the air-cooled 911s (they ruined the styling in 1994 IMHO). And BMW had just introduced the E36 3-series. I know that many car enthusiasts today consider it a step down from the E30, but really it was the first BMW 3-series that a typically suburban mom might consider buying or leasing.
With that background, I would have the following in my garage:
1) Porsche 911
2) Mercedes 600SEC
3) Acura Legend sedan with 5-spd manual
4) Toyota Camry wagon (with two rear windshield wipers!)
5) For my final car, I would wait 1 year and get a Land Rover Defender in 1993
I agree with everything you said… But re the E36, that’s exactly what makes it a step down from the E30. 🙂
I do love the t100 but I’m going with 1992 Dodge ram 250 Cummins Getrag 5 speed ext cab long bed (well I’m being trivial couldnt get a shortbed 250 back in the day) I had a customer with one of these 10 years ago and he’s still driving it today (I drive by his house about once a month for Chinese food) Back in 2003 it had 245000 miles on it could only imagine what it has now.
I think we’re the only two that have mentioned the RAM 250 with the Cummins so far. I have a ’94 RAM2500 so not far off, but from what I read the injection pump in the 1st gen Cummins was a bit of a weak spot.
There’s not a lot from 1992 that really interests me. If we actually stick to the premise of the article, keeping a car for 20 years, you’ve got to choose rather carefully.
Since my children were very little (well just the one at that time, in late 1992 my wife was pregnant again), I would have to go with something really practical. I would probably choose something like the Olds Silhouette from back then. The major piece of hardware I would want on it is the nearly bulletproof 3.8 Buick V6. It would cover the vast majority of the functions I would need for the next 20 years. With the legendary 3.8 V6 properly maintained and the plastic body, little would affect it. Whether or not I could stand to drive it for 20 years, well…
If I wanted to skip the whole minivan scene (and my wife did), I would go with a Dodge Spirit R/T. I had a 1987 Dodge Lancer ES Turbo back then, and it was a great car for us, particularly as it had a hatchback. But when Mopar redesigned the car in 1989, they went with the ‘formal’ look and made the Spirit a sedan only. Regardless of that, having a four door, turbocharged 16V 4 cylinder, 5 speed sedan would give me enough utility and sporting capability to keep me engaged with it for 20 years.
Now, if we’re just MM-ing here, I think I’d like a 928 GTS. I think over the intervening 20 years, I would find a way to wedge a LS motor & Tremec 6 speed in there somehow. Why not? If I have the financial wherewithal to afford a GTS in the first place, the assumption would be I would continue to do so into the future, and to make it into something I’d really like.
If you mean Summer 1992?
Then its got to be a 1993 Camaro Z28 with a 6 speed for me, 275hp LT1 low 5 second 0-60 times with a 152mph top speed and really good looks, I was deeply in love with the new Camaro, sadly even the incredibly reasonalbe $17K or so the Z28 started at was much more than my meager Taco Viva wages could handle at the time, though I did con my way into a test drive at a local Chevy dealer, it was a teal colored loaded demo Z28, I still recall what seemed to be an endless ocean of torque that LT1 put out, the agressive driving position, the baseball sized shifter knob and funky yellow letterin on all the gauges, yeah I know that there would be issues with owning a 1993 Camaro for 20 years, it would sort of be like having David Lee Roth as a room mate, fun and wild at first, but it could get old quickly,, rattles, the “WTF is this” hump in the floor for the catalytic, opti-spark, but I could live with them.
1993 Z28 still crazy after these years.
I still have the red 1993 Z28 promotional model I got new at Bob Eriksen Chevrolet. These looked great.
@Carmine: Yes, if we were able to wander into 1993, then I’d be all over something like this. I fall more into the Trans Am camp, though. At least if it were just for me and me only…
I would just load up on Hemi powered cars from the 1960’s and off load them for a fortune about 15 years later.
While I like your answer, the question was what MY1992 vehicles do you like.
A little late to the partay…
For my daily driver, the 92 Civic SI hatchback (yeah, the split tailgate ones), just make mine red tho. 🙂 I’d have upgraded the audio to the top factory unit available with the rear speakers and whatever other options available as these had the rear cargo cover standard, as did the DX grade Civics had at the time too.
BTW, saw a gorgeous ’84, I think it was Civic S, it was red with the lower portion in silver. At least it looked fantastic. I parked next to it in a parking garage with bad lighting. Can’t remember if it had the sunroof or not but it was the S model though. Don’t see those too often anymore.
For a work truck, make mine the Ford Ranger, having owned one for nearly 6 years recently, I’d get it with the less potent motor. At most the 3.0L V6 but probably get it with the 4 pot motor instead, equipped much like mine was with AC,upgrade the cassette deck and speakers and the 5spd manual and the extended cab with cap, yes as a 2WD truck.
For a dream car, a gently used 1988-89 Acura Integra LS with a stick, either the 3 or 5 door hatchback.
And I think that’d be it. 🙂
Oh, for a wagon, make mine the 91 Civic wagon if new to nearly new, again with a stick.
Loved the Accords of the period. My parents had a 91 EX sedan with the 5spd manual and it was a great car, but I think it lost some of its sporting characteristics by then as I noted the loss of sportiness despite the sporty wedge look with pop up headlights of my ’88 Accord sedan.
I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned the Nissan Z32, one of the best-looking cars ever made……. Twin Turbo please.
Second choice would be the Cadillac STS, Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1992.
I was an infant then, but it seems that lots of cars from that time period are way cooler than what we get to choose from today.
The Z32’s was quick & looks good, but even with all that techno schizzle wizzle going on in the suspension department, handled like a brick – no thanks! He’s right about today’s cars sucking though.
If I could turn back time I’d probably take a brand new on the lot for ’93, Mazda RX-7. Had one for awhile, but it’d be awesome to have picked it up brand new! 2nd choice, Toyota Supra. (twin turbo of course)
If we’re talking FWD’s, give me a Mazda MX-3 GS with 0 miles on the clock. Best FWD ever made IMO. Light & nimble, silky smooth transmission, looks great, peppy little V6, decent fuel economy, lots of cargo space.. what more could you ask for in a hatchback? Got a ’93 SE with a 2.5L now, (as well as a ’96M Miata), but I’d kill to have been the first owner!! When I was 15 my Dad took me “car shopping” & acted like he might buy me a low miles ’92 GS, but yeah, heh. Did wind up buying the same year/model as my first car, Christmas Eve ’98 though. 🙂 (by my own means) 120k on the clock, but clean.
I once owned a ’92 Sentra and, even though it lasted for over 200K miles, I doubt I’d pick it again. I’ll forget for the moment that I was a struggling liberal arts major back then and pick:
– Either an Acura Integra GS-R or Honda Prelude Si. Either one, to drive, enjoy and mostly to never bolt on a massive spoiler.
– BMW 325 or 328 – I can’t forget my struggles back then enough to say M3, but an E36 will come in handy if I want to take more than one friend somewhere (at least without making the backseat passengers contort).
– Porsche 964, because I should have something awesome to go with my Ray-Ban Wayfarers, and I’m a little too tall for the Miata.
– Toyota pickup, because of all these this is the most likely to survive all those years.
It would be a toss-up…either a Toyota truck, the made-in-Japan no-name one with 4wd…or a Jeep XJ Cherokee 2-door. I’d have been terrified of the Jeep…recent AMC vehicles were anything but reliable; but as we all later learned, they got it absolutely right with the XJ. And Chrysler ownership was improving the already outstanding.
But the Toyota truck…basic; reliable. Right sized. Long life – IF you kept it from the road salt. So?…decisions, decisions….
…Interesting recall. In 1992, I had just gotten a VW Vanagon Westfalia, a 1985. And I noted with displeasure while in the VW dealer’s shop, that the Vanagon had discontinued in 1990; and the Euro Van had a one-year run in the States. So…while we’re reminiscing about 1992…I remember I was reminiscing of the “Good Old Days” then, too.