• Jul 14th 2012 at 2:04PM
  • 68
Shopping trips become protracted. Friends and family call, wondering if you've been abducted. But it's a compulsion car enthusiasts can't help. Always on the lookout for interesting and exciting cars, any random parking lot can turn into a smorgasbord of "I haven't seen one of those in years!" You stand there taking smartphone pics of random old cars, confusing passers-by as you text and tweet your finds with a goofy smile on your face.

It's inescapable and unavoidable, so you might as well just celebrate the addiction. To that end, here are some of my most recent finds from a weekend shopping excursion. The cars stood out for a few different reasons, but mostly because they're increasingly rare.

When was the last time you saw a Ford Festiva that clean? Wouldn't you like to own that second-generation Toyota MR2? Check out that Acura Legend; elegant, mostly rust-free (surprisingly) and on its way to being a classic for a new generation. The capper, though, was the final-gen Toyota Cressida. Rare when it was new, it's even rarer now. What have you seen lately?

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Say what you will but I feel the eight generation (1995-1999) Buick Riviera will be a future classic especially one with the supercharged engine. Certainly one of the more unique products offered by Buick at the time because of the styling. It still turns my head whenever I see one today. Plus when was the last time we saw a Buick coupe with a supercharger straight from the factory?
      • 3 Years Ago
      This makes me miss my MR2 so much. I have a 08 corvette now, but nothing will replace my MR2. I would love to own one again
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm 60+ years old and some of those cars I still consider "junk" - it's a generational thing. My parents thought the cars I lusted after as a young driver were junk too. I mean no offense to the younger gear-heads, it's fun to read what younger drivers consider collectible. With that said, I wish every "young" gear-head had the opportunity to drive any "sporty/classic" thirty year old or older car to experience first hand how antiquated thirty year old auto technology feels. I've owned many cars from the 1950's through the 1960's (my generation of "sporty/classic) and compared to any 2012 model today most of the old stuff feels like your driving a Conestoga wagon.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It seems that some people miss the point of this post. The writer is not saying that they are the best of classics. It's more of a trip down the memory lane and classics based on your perspective. You don't see that many MR2s out there especially, a really sporty daily driver of a vehicle. That MR2 is sure becoming a classic in my view. I had that nostalgic feeling earlier this week when I saw a black 1984 Nissan Maxima on the highway and speeding nonetheless, and even more so for a 1982 Pontiac Grand Prix Landau coupe. I can identify with them.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I understood the point of this post, but from what I have seen of past trends, I really don't see any of these becoming widely regarded as "classics", except for maybe the MR2. Next time when you go to a classic car show, come back and tell me how many Malibu station wagons, Dodge Dart, Chevy Nova, and Chevy Chevelle sedans you see. I think it's the same thing with most of the cars in this list. If, some day, we are going to car shows to look at classics from the 80s and 90s, I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more Jaguars, BMWs, Mercedes, Supras, Celicas, Zs, 3000GTs Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes, F-Bodies, Mustangs, Monte Carlos, Regal Grand Nationals and T-Types, and Jeeps, etc. than Acura Legends and Ford Festivas.
      Black Dynamite
      • 3 Years Ago
      Those MR2 Turbos are BOSS! Recently drove one with a reworked 275HP turbo, only pulling about 2800 lbs. I still think about it..... BD
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always loved the MR2... classic or not. Cool car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      First Gen Miata - best thing was it was obviously still being used for what it was mean for. Dude was driving it down the turnpike with wife beside him enjoying the weekend with the top down.
        • 3 Years Ago
        1st gen miatas are commonplace around Denver and in the foothills, oddly.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want that Festiva. A buddy was thinking of buying one so I went with him and drove it - it was a surprisingly tight car. It was obviously low on frills but had the wonderful mechanical feel you don't get any more, and handled pretty well due to the very low weight. Buy it, tighten the suspension just a bit, and put in a sport bike's Inline-4 - that would be a blast.
        • 3 Years Ago
        My first wife owned an '88 Festiva L just like the one shown here (even the same color), and it was a ball to drive. Only a 1.3L with a four-speed (I wished that it was the optional five-speed), it was light and nimble, got good mileage, and was easy to work on. My only complaint was with the dealer-installed Frost King AC. It looked like a factory install, but the Sanden compressors weren't too long-lived (I replaced two in six years). Part were easy to find, since it was a Mazda design built in Korea, by Kia. It shared some parts with the Mazda 323 and the early Mercury Tracer (like the front brakes), so if parts weren't in stock at the Ford dealer, I could find them at the Mazda or Lincoln-Mercury dealer.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a 1991 MR2 just like that one. 11 years old at the time. less than 30000 miles. loved it. had it for one summer and sold it for 2500 more than I paid. Saw a toyota corolla. maybe a 1980 or 81. utility beige-gray color. still shiny. no rust. time warp car. also saw the Mitsubishi coupe, rwd turbo 4 that proceeded the Conquest. I really forgot they made that car. Fast for its day.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Ford Festiva L, teal colored. It was my first car! It was 65bhp on a good day and in EFI guise, but its 5MT 1st gear was geared like a tractor. It was a real fight getting it above 65mph, and I don't think I ever got it going faster than about 90 mph. (Inexact because the speedometer topped out at 85mph!). I miss the 44 mpg, don't miss the automatic shoulder restraint nor the stable empty of horses.
      • 3 Years Ago
      man, when I was a kid and my parents got the Toyota Cressida, that was one fine machine. the sound system was amazing. lots of nice luxury touches. and the motorized seat belts! all my friends would go, woah, as the belt moved along the track. I got this hand-me-down as my first car. being rear wheel drive with a nice inline-6 engine and some darn good handling, it was really fun to drive. in fact, I probably pushed this car to the handling limit more than any other car since (though reckless youth was the main factor for that).
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      No idea why, but I actually like the festiva!
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