VIDEO: Look at all the great driver’s cars you could get in 1991

At the height of the Bubble Era, every Japanese carmaker had a driver’s car. We’re not talking about high dollar sports cars like the NSX or Supra, either. In this Best Motoring video from 1991, a lineup of enthusiasts’ machines, sometimes multiples from the same manufacturer, compete for the title of “number one driver’s car.” 

In order from left to right, we have a Nissan Silvia K’s, Eunos Roadster (Mazda Miata), Mazda Enfini RX-7, Nissan Pulsar GTI-R, EF9 Honda Civic SiR II, Toyota Starlet GT, and Nissan Skyline GTS-t. Who will come out on top? Spoiler alert: the S13 walks away with a victory, but the rest of the rankings may surprise you. All we know is, if any of these cars were offered today, the automotive world would freak out like it was the second coming of the Messiah. Instead, we’ll have to settle for Best Motoring reruns.

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10 Responses to VIDEO: Look at all the great driver’s cars you could get in 1991

  1. Nigel said:

    Great to see the Pulsar GTI-R (Baby Godzilla) on the track !! (Have a few BMI on VHS).

  2. Jac Cottrell said:

    If any were offered today?

    And the answer is still Miata…

  3. Khoua said:

    Nissan Pulsar GTI-R, Toyota Starlet GT, and the Nissan Silvia K’s. If the 240sx we got was actually powered by either the SR20DET or the CA18DET, that car would have been an instant classic here in the states. The Pulsar GTi-R would have been insane as well, especially when it gets a mid/high 13 seconds in a 400 meter dash, in 1991 was crazy quick. But overall, the way these cars were ‘built to last’ was pretty phenomenal.

  4. cesariojpn said:

    The RX-7 didn’t count?

  5. Ant said:

    You could pull a similarly diverse group together today but the result would be probably quite different. MX-5, GT86/BRZ, 370Z, Civic Type R, Juke Nismo RS (don’t laugh, it’d probably give the MX-5/Toyobaru a run for their money!), Yaris GRMN… and there are probably a few more I’ve missed.

    I’ve a sneaking suspicion the Civic would waltz clear of the rest, including the 370Z. After those two probably the Yaris, then a three-horse race with the Mazda (provided it was the 2-litre) just sneaking ahead of the Toyobaru and Juke, the former of which is slightly hobbled by its stock tyres.

    • Stormy Danny said:

      Ok, gonna run down the list…

      MX-5: Damn good. Why? Because it was never broken and they never “fixed” it.

      GT86/BRZ: Toyota playing a sadistic dominatrix by offering ALMOST everything you want. Then making you beg for a turbo.

      370Z: An overpriced, V6 Corvette that sounds (and looks) worse.

      Civic Type R: The ugliest vehicle produced in over three decades. Not to mention a desperate, badge-engineered attempt at rekindling the lust for forbidden fruit that was never even offered here to begin with.

      Juke Nismo RS: The Juke is a JOKE. All you have to do is change one letter, btw. If you find any person who respects you for owning a Juke; disavow all knowledge of them for their own safety and credibility.

      Yaris GRMN: C’mon, really? Just buy one of those cars from 1991 instead! You’ll pay less and it’ll have a soul…compelling you to keep yours.

      If there’s any you missed, don’t worry about it. They’re likely growing barnacles at the bottom of the barrel.

      • Ant said:

        You’ve clearly made your mind up on all of them so I doubt even the most well-informed reply will convince you otherwise, but I would add that I’ve driven every single one of the above and all are great fun. Yes, even the Juke.

        As for the Civic, the world doesn’t revolve around you US folks – here in Europe we’ve had every generation of CTR aside from the first (and we got the FN2 hatch in place of the FD2 sedan). So no forbidden fruit here, just a continuation of one of the most exciting hot hatchback lines offered in markets outside the US.

        And it may be big and ugly, but it’s a seriously fun car to drive.

  6. Stormy Danny said:

    The context is completely different.

    Back then, manufacturers had to prove they could build exciting cars while having a fairly broad portfolio of offerings to be competitive.

    Today, all they’re competing for is MONEY!

  7. SHC said:

    Honda Ap1 S2000 for the win in 1991.

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