Ah, the late-90s. You know the style: retina searing paint, aftermarket roll call down the door, a wing that could double as a dining surface, unpainted carbon fiber proudly on display, Kanji that looked like the default font from a Chinese diner’s takeout box, and Hyper Combat body kit with enough cavities to trigger trypophobia. It was a massive cultural swell that spawned a million cold air intakes, angerd old hot rodders to no end, and launched a pretty mediocre movie franchise.
Recently, our Senior Midwest Editor Ryan Senensky and I were debating whether this style would even come back into fashion. I, who was well past drinking age during the “Rice Rocket” era, believe that while people might have nostalgia for the cars, the cars, the Wings West body kits would remain firmly in the past. Ryan, who was in his formative car discovery years when all this was taking place, said it would “absolutely, one hundred percent comeback.” We need you to settle the debate:
Will the sport compact style make a nostalgic comeback?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car must be saved before they’re all gone?”
Banpei said it was the unexceptional cars like the V20 Camry or Mazda 121, and even himself attempted to rescue a Toyota Carina SG Jeune AA60. CH9 SiR thought it might be the pre-Lexus luxury sedans like the Mazda Persona or hatchbacks like his own Toyota Starlet Canvas Top. Max believes it to be sporty front-drivers like the Mazda MX-6 or Nissan NX2000. Resident Isuzu fan Nakazoto wanted to preserve a very specific car — an Isuzu Bellel — but has had no luck yet. Sam, on the other hand, thinks it should be the Mitsubishi Chariot. This week, it was our fellow readers that helped secure Han‘s answer as the best:
In my opinion, a car goes extinct when there is no longer a following for them. There is a quote by Banksy, “I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time”. Substitute “stop breathing” with “stop firing” when referring to JNCs. I like to think of it as this, “When the last example of a car dies, it is only truly dead when people stop caring”. If people cared hard enough, any car can be ressurected. Hell, you can practically build first-generation Mustags from the ground up with mail order parts. So, to answer your question: I don’t know, I’ve never heard of it. And, that’s why it must be saved.