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Thread: ...Golden age of Japanese cars?

  1. #1
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    ...Golden age of Japanese cars?

    ...The seventies may have been when they first gained attention for being any good, the 80s when they really began to innovate, but...

    I think the Japanese really had the technological/performance jump in the 90s, as compared to Euro and US vehicles, especially in the early/mid...

    ...Though 1999 becomes a tempting year, with the concurrent availability (in one market or another) of the R34, S15, Z32, mk.IV Supra, MR2, NSX, Type Rs, S2k, GTO, Evo, 2nd gen Eclipse, WRX, FD RX7, Miata... Tell me if I'm leaving anything out

    Pretty much everyone had at least one world-beater in the portfolio. It might not have been practical, but all the awd/multiple turbos/four wheel steering and all that nonsense kept things progressive and interesting.

    I view Japanese cars of today as good cars, but not truly interesting, and more in line with what the rest of the world elects to produce... Though there are plenty of newer cars I'd love.

  2. #2
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    For me it's a tough call. No,make that an impossible one.They're all very desirable eras,for different reasons.I wish I had the money (and parking space) to own representatives of all decades.

  3. #3
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    I agree with the original poster, the nineties were when all the Japanese companies produced world-leading drivers cars, and were recognised for doing so. The 1990 edition of Autocar's annual Best Handling awarded the podium positions to the Pulsar GTi-R, the NSX, and the MX-5 (Miata) in ascending order. In Japan, there were also the super-cool "ABC" Kei sports cars.

    However, I come here to learn about the fascinating cars I know little or nothing about from the eras before I read car magazines. Also, the companies who produced the world-beaters of the nineties were the same ones who developed their understanding through the sixties, seventies and eighties.

    Finally, I think there are quite a few interesting cars still coming out of Japan. Nissan have quite a good lineup with the FM platform / VQ motor based cars (FX, Skyline, Fairlady, GTR), plus interesting things like the Cube, while Mazda have the MX-5, RX-8, and a general attitude of making even their family cars 'zoom'.

  4. #4
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    What about the 50's, 40's, 30's, and 20's?

    The trivia question from last week as about the 1925 Otomo.

    The early votes seem to read the opposite of the member age poll. and counter to the 25+ year old car age for classic or nostalgic.

  5. #5
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    '78-'88, in my honest opinion.

  6. #6
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    the " box era " from ~80' to ~90' stands out to me. I love seeing older j-tin and newer vip cars and such, but I'm partial to the 80s box's :tu:

    (may be slightly biased lol) :mrgreen:

  7. #7
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    I would like to think the 70's were, but I want to say the late 80's and 90's were. So many great cars were out, all the Jap sports cars where out. NSX, Z32 TT, MKIV Supra, FD....etc

  8. #8
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    70's.....all the way! :tu:

  9. #9
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    70's

    that is when everything start to get notice, i believe

  10. #10
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    I love the 60s and 70s, because it's the era when relatively little was known about what was available and going on in Japan, and it's an era that we're all having fun discovering now.

    However...in terms of the era when Japanese cars were better than their counterparts, it's very hard to look past the early to mid 90s.

    - Lexus LS400 vs BMW 7 Series and Benz S Class
    - NSX vs Fezza 348
    - Skyline GTR vs...well, anything really
    - WRX vs Integrale
    - Aristo vs BMW 5 Series and Benz E Class
    - MX5 vs er....nothing from Europe? :lol:
    - Toyota Chaser Tourer V vs BMW M5
    - Supra vs Corvette (?)
    - Silvia vs er....second hand Ford Capri?
    - Honda Civic VTEC vs any Euro hot hatch

    If you compare it to the 80s, all of a sudden it was 1992 and JDM cars were as good or better. It really did come out of nowhere and the quantum leap in performance and quality compared to the previous decade was like night and day. Try to compare a 1984 Toyota Crown Royal Saloon with a Lexus LS and it's an incredible advance.

    So while I look at the earlier era with fondness, the exact point where Japan got its automotive act together was the 90s.
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