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7 coupes from the 1990s you just don't see anymore

Time:2018-02-14 01:22Turbochargers information Click:

from anymore Just coupes 1990s

The 1990s were a time of transition for coupes, as for a number of other body styles like station wagons. The large domestic coupe -- a once-huge segment -- was suddenly no more, while sporty import (or import-pretender) coupes enjoyed a surge in demand. There was once a time when you couldn't go to a multiplex to see "Waterworld" or "Kazaam" without seeing at least a dozen coupes from Eagle or Geo, but by the time "The Island of Dr. Moreau" came out they were nowhere in sight.

Here's a look at some 1990s coupes that barely made a dent in the landscape or disappeared under mysterious circumstances after a year or two of polluting budget grocery store chain parking lots.

Infiniti M30

The M30 was on the market for a grand total of three years. Photo by Infiniti

Infiniti M30

The early days of the three luxury Japanese brands created at the end of the 1980s were hit or miss. The Lexus LS roared on to the scene with fine style, almost enough to prevent everyone from noticing that there was also a Camry rebadged as a Lexus ES going on sale at the same time; Infiniti's Q45 debuted with almost as much fanfare. The other Infiniti model that went on sale was the M30 coupe and convertible, and unlike the Q45 that made an effort to avoid overtly-JDM styling, these were rebadged Nissan Leopards.

Powering the M30 was a 3.0-liter V6 producing 162 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque, which was also offered in the Maxima. Despite the overall dullness of the powertrain -- a four-speed auto was the sole gearbox -- some advanced tech debuted on the M30 such as a sonar system mounted on the underside that scanned the road surface ahead to adjust the suspension.

Where did these go? The M30 hung around for a grand total of three model years, and they were three recession-hit model years. But even compared to the Q45 sales were slow -- this was a pricey and oddly-styled machine. The M30 convertible made a good case for itself because it was a convertible, but getting sold into a M30 Coupe meant one had to seriously like something about it.

Items found in the glovebox: 3-pack of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls, golf ball tees, aspirin tablets.

Obligatory 1990s CD found in the changer: Whitney Houston.

Price now: $4,000 appears to be the ceiling for well-kept examples, but finding one that hasn't had half of its paint burned off in the Florida sun is another matter.

Audi Coupe

The Coupe sold in tiny numbers at a difficult time for the brand. Photo by Audi

Audi Coupe

Europe had a full lineup of the Audi 80, but we never received the station wagon, and the coupe was only sold here for the 1990 and 1991 model years. A 2.0-liter engine did the work, and the boxy styling of the coupe made it seem like more of a two-door sedan, or a less practical version of the sedan given the proximity in price. The availability of Quattro all-wheel drive allowed it to indirectly score some hits on the German competition, which definitely was not selling a small all-wheel drive coupe in the U.S. In hindsight, that's probably why Audi bothered introducing it in the first place. 

Where did these go? There were never a lot of these to begin with, and Audi enthusiasts picked up all the good ones once they became cheap. And they became cheap pretty fast.

Items found in the glovebox: VW AG diagnostic tool, fuses, two screwdrivers, spare bulbs, voltmeter, bungee cords, German-language reference book on electrical wiring.

Obligatory 1990s CD found in the changer: Europe.

Price now: Tidy examples can command as much at $6,000, but a lot of the cars are now in enthusiast hands and have had a lot of money invested in them.

Ford Probe

The Probe was popular for a time, but by the end of the decade it was already difficult to spot one. Photo by Ford

Ford Probe

Conceived at a time when "Probe" was still considered an OK name for a car (but just barely so), Ford's sporty coupe was mostly a Mazda underneath. Powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder, the first-generation Probe debuted in 1988, but was redesigned completely for the 1993 model year. The exterior design of the updated model was still stylish if somewhat anonymous, and did not seem to belong to Ford specifically. But that was the point -- Detroit automakers were seeking to capitalize on the import craze, so overtly Japanese styling was part of the appeal for the target audience.

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