Technological advancements will always be present in cars. No matter what kind of innovations the insane researchers come up with, they will always be overshadowed by the next invention further down the line. Some of these crazy things put into cars stick and age well but others aren't as future proof as their creators have previously thought. Countless manufacturers have produced exceptional automobiles that were all the rage when they were released. Some of these continue to be popular today and are hailed as legends but unfortunately, some have died out and couldn’t stand the test of time. They say that diamonds are forever. Unfortunately, such is not the case with cars.
Granted, many of the cars that we speak of have their own character and a few avid collectors are more than willing to acquire "black sheep" for lack of a better term. These unwanted models probably have experimental technology built in from the factories that were attractive to the public and to the car community back when they were released. However, these types of risks from car makers don't always pay off in the long run. As history has proven time and time again, history favors the bold. More on this, history is also written by the winners. Car makers will always be looking for new ways to get an edge against their competitors. One can absolutely be sure that there are hidden gems in this list but most are lackluster, to say the least.
19 Porsche Boxster
This is probably the cheapest of Porsche’s fleet of cars. Mid-engine and with adequate power, the Boxster was one rather enjoyable vehicle to drive. You could literally through it around corners and accelerate with a bit of fishtail and not worry about crashing it because of its incredible handling. BMW’s Z3 roadster is sometimes put up against the Boxster as they have some comparable characteristics and both are made by famous German car manufacturers. Getting this amount of fun driving a Porsche for a fraction of the price of a 911 was unheard way back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
18 Hummer H1
No other vehicle is more recognizable than a Hummer, that’s a fact. Another fact is Hummers are depreciating at a disturbingly rapid pace. This is because since the company filed for bankruptcy a few years ago, people have been prudent with their decisions and letting liabilities go such as these gas guzzling beasts.
The US Army and its other departments have put countless Humvees on auction blocks which have flooded the market heavily.
This is definitely a key factor why they go for so little these days even with their wonderful utility. Driving something soldiers drove in Operation Desert Storm would be cool.
17 Dodge Viper
Everything Carroll Shelby touched seemed to turn into gold a few seconds later but such is not the case with the Dodge Viper. It has everything it needs to be a classic but the V10 engine is certainly the star of the show. The Viper’s depreciation is probably bottoming out now and won’t go any lower which makes this an actually good buy considering it could very well be a valuable classic in the future. This super coupe looks rightfully menacing with its standard racing lines and it surely has the performance to back its looks.
16 1982-93 Ford Mustang
Carmakers are still humans at the end of the day and our nature as humans is to make mistakes, a lot of them.
Some of these mistakes aren’t big deals at all but a few can really get in the nerve of us petrol heads as they absolutely ruined the 80s to 90s iteration of the otherwise legendary pony car.
The Fox-Body platform of the Mustang is considered to be a dark time in Ford’s long and rich legacy. 88 horsepower really isn’t much even in today’s standard but for an American muscle car? They must’ve been joking.
15 1984-96 Chevrolet Corvette
Oh, the eighties, no other era screams pop-up headlights and disco music. We can’t say we like them or otherwise but what we do agree on is that the Corvette from the 80s was horrid. Yes, it has a 5.7-liter V8 in it but it barely even pushes out 205 horsepower. Its predecessor had so much success but when the ’84 model came out it just went downhill from there until the 300 horsepower LT1 engine debuted in 1992. The Corvette’s LCD displays and glass hatchbacks weren’t immune to all the hate as well since critics have been absolutely brutal.
14 1982-92 Chevrolet Camaro
Who in their right minds running a US car company would put a 4-banger in a beautiful, performance inclined body? The modern Ford is guilty of this because of the Ecoboost Mustang but at least the Ecoboost is turbocharged; however, Chevy was also guilty of this crime back in 1982. This generation of the Camaro has been baptized with ridiculous names since its conception back in the early 1980s and rightfully so since it ended up with an extremely underwhelming 110 horsepower engine. Not only is this a travesty but an insult to all muscle cars as well.
13 1982-90 Jaguar XJS Coupe
Let’s get one thing straight for a second before we talk about the XJS Coupe; British cars aren’t known for being reliable machines. Take Lotus, for example, some models are infamous for being money pits and apparently, Jaguar has had some similar aberrations.
The XJS Coupe is by no means a bad car, it has nice curves, enough power, decent styling, but the thing that pulled down the value of it is its scary running costs.
To keep this particular automobile roadworthy, one would have to spend quite a small fortune as they broke down frequently and it isn’t like a Japanese car where you can buy parts for a couple hundred dollars.
12 1987-90 Jeep Wrangler
The majority of the population has probably seen Jurassic Park at least once. Remember the jeeps they drove around the park? This is the exact model they had on set. It’s no coincidence that a film had many of these lying around in the background since they depreciated by a lot and that made them extremely cheap to buy.
This is because 700,000 units of them were made and this generation had a different personality than the one that preceded it.
American Motors’ Jeep was used by the US of A during World War II and when Chrysler bought the company, they didn’t quite capitalize on the opportunity.
11 1985-92 Mazda RX-7
So much can be said of the RX-7, it’s a 90s legend, no question about it. It’s literally impossible to talk about the Mazda RX-7 without mentioning its legendary Rotary engine. The relatively new engine design was meant to be more reliable than that of engines with pistons but the rotary engine was the exact opposite of what it was meant to be. Its last generation is by far the most popular among car enthusiasts because the technology was perfected or at least improved to some extent. You can find dirt cheap examples of the Mazda RX-7 but be wary of the numerous responsibilities that go along with owning one.
10 1983-92 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Volkswagen has a lengthy history of building cars, great cars, we might add. Their Golf GTI is certainly not a bad car, quite the opposite. Unfortunately, people really wanted ample space in their trunks for some reason (which the GTI didn’t have) and utility was a big deal back then.
This little hot hatch is pretty much an icon but it surprisingly goes for very cheap in today’s market.
A turbocharged 1.8-liter engine that gives enough power to get some spirited driving in your system was sure to sell like pancakes but as we all know, that didn’t happen.
9 1990-93 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Being overshadowed by its famed brother with gull-wing doors, the 300SL is one car to scoff at. Even one of the most renowned German car makers goes through the occasional brain fart from time to time. These go for even less than $10,000; that’s a quite a lot of Benjamin’s but considering they were worth tens of thousands of dollars brand new, that’s an abysmal retention of value by anybody’s standards. Lifeless, dull, boring, muted, such were the painful words thrown at the poor 300SL. At least Mercedes-Benz has been cautious not to commit the same fault again.
8 1990-97 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Chances are you’ve probably seen a Miata maybe once or twice without recognizing it. There aren’t a lot of Japanese convertibles available in the market a couple of decades ago but the MX-5 was a chip off the old block.
More than 400,000 units were made which really decreased the market value of Miatas, about at least a third of all of them are most probably modified to some degree.
You could find a good deal on this model fairly easily since they sell for a lot less than they were bought off the dealership parking lot.
7 1982-92 Pontiac Firebird
The poor man’s muscle car, as some have dubbed the Pontiac Firebird. “Iron Duke” is a cool name but the engine with the same label is by no means as amazing as its moniker. A measly 90 horsepower was all you got with the Iron Duke but at least the car looked good, correct? The Knight Rider is a cool British accent having Firebird made popular by a show unless the Firebird you have has LED lights in front and talks like someone from the UK then too bad, your car is basically worthless, to be honest.
6 1996 Cadillac Eldorado
Not having much going on in a car will definitely bore potential buyers to death. The Cadillac Eldorado is as bland as a glass of water which is exactly what the current market prices translate to.
Being a two-door coupe won’t magically make the car a hit among car shoppers. Couple that with a rather high retail price and not to mention the relatively expensive maintenance costs then you have got yourself a liability on your hands.
It’d be best to stay away from the Cadillac Eldorado as they would surely burn your wallet to a crisp if not immediately then further down the road.
5 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle
At least the Chevelle didn’t have any similarities with its cousin, the Chevrolet Chevette, which was named one of the worst cars of all time. With that said, the Chevelle isn’t without its flaws either. The car looks decent, a true head turner and oozes with road presence like a vehicle with this much style should. A few reliability issues have haunted the Chevelle though and this resulted in the gradual decrease in its value throughout the years. We could find respectable units available for less than $5,000. If that isn’t cheap for a car like this then we don’t know what is.
4 1990s Honda Civic
You can find Honda Civics in abundance virtually anywhere you go. The Japanese big player in car making made its mark with many of its vehicles but none more conspicuously than the little hatchback they built. They perfected variable valve timing technology and allowed small displacement engines to be economic but capable of bringing out hell when provoked. These well-built sedans and hot hatches are some of the cheapest finds in the used car market due to their abundance. Reliability and maintenance is certainly not an issue since they are practically bulletproof and can last you a lifetime if well taken care of.
3 BMW Z3
BMW’s own roadster garnered a lot of attention from thrill seekers and people who wanted a convertible without breaking the bank.
All 15,000 units of the first batch of Z3s off their South Carolina factory were sold immediately due to the car being featured in a James Bond movie.
Years passed and its value continued to dwindle constantly. The Mazda Miata and Z3 look and drive similarly which is why both of them are compared to one another on a constant basis. Admittedly, the people who drive Z3s tend to be more conservative and more refined than those who prefer the Miata.
2 Audi A4
Luxury mid-sized sedans were the target market for Audi’s A4 and it hit its mark well. However, the celebrations didn’t last long as its styling was left behind by its competitors in the same segment like the BMW 3 Series and other exclusive car brands. Even with not that much weight, the car handled poorly and had substantial body roll in the middle of corners. Although its looks didn’t age well, the Audi A4 offers proper reliability. With that said, all of these factors contributed to its massive decrease in value in markets worldwide. If you couldn’t afford a BMW, an Audi was apparently the next best thing.
1 Acura NSX
Competing against Ferrari with less than half the price was inconceivable until the NSX was born. Although it’s quite akin to Ferraris of the time, the NSX is by no means a knock-off Italian supercar as it has its own character.
The legendary Ayrton Senna even helped improve the NSX and calling it one of the best cars he’s ever driven.
Acura followed up with the NSX-R which was a crazier and more insane version of the already maniacal mid-engine 90’s legend. Even if Acura NSX prices nowadays beg to differ, they really are works of art in the form of a 2-door Japanese supercar.
Sources: thestreet.com, zeroto60times.com