The Great Japanese Coupes of the 90s

The 1990s brought us Seinfeld, the World Wide Web, cell phones, and grunge. But the best thing to come out of the 1990s in my opinion were the amazing sports coupes.

The Mitsubishi 3000GT

Most of the best were out of Japan, and one of my favorites was the Mitsubishi 3000GT. The car was absolutely beautiful, and it’s looks hold up even today. It had a wide stance, excellent handing, and was available in a variety of trim styles which includes a convertible, and most notably an All-Wheel-Drive VR-4 edition. They also made it as a Dodge Stealth, which I don’t find as attractive, the main difference being flip-up headlights rather then fixed ones.

Nissan 300ZX

Also notable was the Nissan 300ZX (Z32). These tend to be the cheapest of the great sports coupes you can find on the second-hand market, but the Twin Turbo edition still garners a pretty penny. Like the Mitsubishi, they were widely known for mechanical problems, but all was forgotten once you took the T-Tops off on a sunny day.

Mazda RX-7

I don’t have statistics for it, but based on how many I see on the road, the Mazda RX-7 (FD) seems to be the most rare of the coupes from this age. It continued the RX tradition from the 80s, with a very nice (although somewhat forgettable) appearance upgrade.

Toyota Supra

Finally, my favorite Japanese coupe from this generation of the 90s: The Toyota Supra (Mark IV). These are getting especially hard to find in an unmodified state, and unmodified Twin Turbo with T-tops can cost upwards of $30-40k with low mileage. With it’s outlandish “whale tale” spoiler, the Supra Twin Turbo was not a shy car appearance-wise, especially if you opted for the gold package. Of the great Japanese sports coupes, these tend to be the most expensive, most likely because they were also the most reliable.

All good things must come to an end, and all of these cars were killed off in the early 2000s (although the Nissan and Mazda did return). I’m not sure why sports coupes fell out of favor, but this group of cars from the 1990s were a rare bout of styling renaissance not seen since the 1960s, and the bold styles carried over into other cars we see today.