Twelve Surprisingly Affordable 1990s Dream Cars

Get these before their prices climb.

Many great 1990s cars, notably the Porsche 993, Acura NSX and Toyota Supra, have skyrocketed in value over the last few years, but there are still bargains to be found. Here are 12 cars we used to dream about that are now within reach.

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Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 (C4)

The original ZR-1 was a technological masterpiece. It featured a 32-valve quad-cam V8—the only overhead-cam engine in Corvette history—and adaptive dampers long before they became commonplace. Today, they're shockingly cheap with tons of examples under $30,000 and . To be fair, that's C5 Corvette money, but the ZR-1 still makes a strong case for itself.

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Toyota MR2 Turbo

Sad that 1990s Supras are expensive? Consider Toyota's other performance car of the era, the MR2 Turbo. Today, turbo version of Toyota's midship runabout are getting somewhat harder to find, but closed eBay listings indicate . That's not a ton for an excellent mid-engine chassis with tons of tuning potential.

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Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB7

Shockingly, you can get an Aston Martin DB7 if you look hard enough. The V12-powered DB7 Vantage wasn't introduced until the 2000 model year, but the 355-hp straight-six that came with the car originally should provide plenty of fun. If you're on a tighter budget, you could pick up the DB7's close sibling, the Jaguar XK8.

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Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo

Unlike the beloved Toyota Supra, prices for the Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo have remained fairly reasonable. You can one in , and there are plenty of decent examples that cost less. With 300-hp from its 3.0-liter V6, the Turbo Z is a legitimate performer too.

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Chevrolet Corvette (C5)

For , you can get your hands on a C5 Corvette, which is an incredible value. This is a 175-mph car with a near-bulletproof 350-hp and good handling to boot. Sure, the interior wasn't Chevy's best effort, but it's a fair trade.

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Lotus Esprit

Buying an older Lotus Esprit probably isn't a good idea, but there's really nothing else like it. Unlike competitors like the Acura NSX and Porsche 964, Esprit prices have stayed in the , but budget a lot for maintenance. Owning an Esprit might be a headache, but there's nothing else quite like it.

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Porsche 968

The Porsche 968 was the ultimate evolution of the brilliant front-engine 944. It's only got a four-cylinder, but it displaces 3.0 liters and makes 236 horsepower. The 968 Turbo made an impressive 305 horsepower, but those are significantly harder to find. In general, 968s aren't all that plentiful, but at the time of writing, there's a .

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Mercedes-Benz SL600

V12-powered Mercedes-Benzes are incredibly expensive when new, but you can get a 1990s SL600 for . Of course, it'll probably be costly to maintain, but hey, you'll be driving one of the finest grand touring roadsters of the era.

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BMW M3 (E36)

The first-generation M3, the E30, has risen in price dramatically over the last three or so years, but its successor, the E36, is . That probably has something to do with US-market M3s being deprived of the more powerful engine offered in Europe, but it's still a good car. There's a reason you see so many of these at track days.

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Dodge Viper

It's amazing how much Dodge Viper you can buy for $40,000. Some models, like the early roadsters and the GTS, are becoming pricey collector's items, but look hard enough and you can probably pick up a . Hell. We've even seen them for $10,000, though don't expect greatness at that price. Not bad for one of America's greatest cars.

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Porsche Boxster (986)

Prices for air-cooled 911s have gone totally stratospheric, but the first Boxster is still incredibly affordable. Sure, it's not Porsche's prettiest car, and there were some quality issues early on, but it's got a fantastic chassis and enough power to exploit it. It's possible to find a , which seems like a steal.

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Mitsubishi 3000GT

The 3000GT was one of the most interesting, technologically advanced performance cars of the 1990s, and yet, it's a bargain compared to competitors like the Toyota Supra and Acura NSX. Even the top-of-the-line all-wheel drive 3000GT VR4 can be .

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