Relive 90’s Retro First Cars

Everyone remembers their first car. Most of the younger readers will most likely have been burdened with some form of underpowered supermini. This writer for example was subject to the awesome power of a ’94 Peugeot 106 diesel. Although somewhat sarcastic, this car was my ticket to freedom and provided many fond memories of road trips and romantic encounters.   Browsing through the classifieds, superminis from this era certainly appear to be disappearing at a rapid rate. Destined for the crusher in the sky, like my elderly Peugeot thanks to a later owner, the few examples that remain in excellent condition are slowly becoming collectors items. Besides our featured Talbot Samba from a few weeks ago, what other poverty spec classics are currently available?

1 – Ford Fiesta. 

Everyone knows how sought after the first two generations of Fiesta have become. Values have increased massively, turning what was once a disposable shopping trolley into a genuine classic. Without any doubt, the MK3 will begin to follow suit soon, with early models particularly favoured. This example is a 1989 Fiesta 1.1 L in the most period blue available.

Cherished from new and barely used by the second owner, this particular Fiesta is as good as it gets. Due to being uninsured and unused for several years, a staggeringly low mileage of 30,500 has been recorded. A new battery, wiper blades and brake master cylinder just go to show how mint this shopping cart is. Buy it now and reap the profits in years to come!

Price: £400 Current Bid on eBay.

2 – Vauxhall Nova.

Similarly to the Fiesta, many remember the local neds tearing it up around the council estates in their badly modified Vauxhall Novas. The chavs however have moved on to newer, and not necessarily better. In the process, the vast majority of original examples faced the crusher. Original, unmolested examples are certainly hard to come by.

We’ve found this original 1989 Nova 1.0 in dark red. Totally original, this example even boasts the original metal pressed plates. Bought as a spares car for an enthusiast, the new owner quickly realised how good this Nova really was, hence it’s now for sale. Although lightly coated with rust and battered by hail, this Nova comes with a full year’s MOT and a time warped 24,500 miles on the clock. Not to be missed!

Price: £800 classified price on eBay.


3 – Peugeot 205.

The Peugeot 205 GTI was one of the definitive hot hatches of its generation, and still enjoys legendary status to this very day. The humdrum base models were hardly undesirable either, proving economic, practical and fun to drive.

We’ve found a very original 1.8 D Style in four door format and finished in white. Certainly a very original car, owing to its single owner since purchased as an ex-demonstrator in 1992. Recently part exchanged at the very same dealership for an overweight new Peugeot, this 205 comes with a full service history and a fairly low 97,000 miles on the clock. Although more expensive than the previous two examples, this Pug will deliver the highest MPG figures by far, proving extremely inexpensive.

Price: £1,000 classified ad on Autotrader.


4 – Citroen AX.

Citroen’s AX was a great little car in its early years. Fun to drive, cheekily styled and dirt cheap to run and buy, the AX became a popular first car in the 90’s.

This particular model is a bit late on the time scale, however the retro design remains the same as the era of which the former choices were produced. Although cramped on the inside, this Citroen AX 10 Debut would make an excellent choice for a first time driver in need of something a little more retro. With only 36,000 miles on the clock and a full service history, this particular AX is as good as it gets, and worth every penny.

Price: £875 on Autotrader.


5 – Renault 5.

Undisputed, a classic car. The Renault 5 had a place in many of our hearts, either as a high performance vehicle or a simple method of basic transport. Base models are certainly thinning out rapidly in Britain, however we’ve found one of interest.

It’s a 1987 Renault 5 Campus 1.1, pre-facelift model.. In slightly faded dark red paintwork, this little classic does require some general TLC to bring back the shine, along with a new front grill. Otherwise, it appears to be in perfect condition and sporting only 54,000 miles. With an MOT until December, what’s to lose?

Price: £795 classified listing on eBay.


Did you own any of these retro city cars? Better yet, were they your first? Leave a note in the comment section below.


by Mike Armstrong.



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