Thoughts of the simple, information-oriented nature of mid-1990s web browsing make us nostalgic. But as the times have changed, so have websites, lost to the newest update. Or so we thought. Since 1996, the Internet Archive has kept a library of websites for historical documentation that can be accessed through the Wayback Machine - and that includes automaker websites. We discovered the tool through an article on Autoweek's website and did some exploring ourselves. Here's what we found.

Porsche's website was up in 1996, and it's the closest you'll get to reliving the Boxster launch short of breaking out an old issue of Road & Track or Car and Driver. Toyota was there in 1996 as well, with a well-designed website for the time (the links still work!). At the same time, BMW was fine with posting some plain text and its blue-and-white crest for the homepage while assuring us, "We are constantly adding information and news."

Autoweek's piece focuses its attention on American car websites, so be sure to check it out and have some fun with the Wayback Machine yourself.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Jason Golden
      • 1 Year Ago
      And for whatever reason, I find myself checking out the Daewoo US site circa 2000. Uck.
      dohc73
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh my. I just visited the 1996 Toyota website and clicked on a Corolla and I can't believe the primitive descriptions that were used for design elements about the car. It's sounds like something from the 1960s. I guess these virtues were special back then compared to the what else was available maybe? First site launched Dec 24 1996: A low, streamlined hood Flush-mounted and rounded bumpers and fenders Aerodynamic outside mirrors Integrated spare tire carrier (for smooth underbody airflow) Tight body panel tolerances
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dohc73
        I prefer that instead of making up new words to describe a meaningless crease or curvature in a body panel.
        Jake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dohc73
        Toyota's website is still crap. I don't know how they tolerate it.
      James Scott
      • 1 Year Ago
      This looks like a lot of corporate websites back in the day. I remember when Discovery channel announced they launched their website, its layout was virtually identical but had a Piet Mondrian vibe going on.
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      I use the Wayback machine all the time. It is like getting a hit of nostalgia every time you go there. A weird one to go back with is Weather Channel's website, and how much worse it has become, with so many more ads.
        lasertekk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NightFlight
        THAT is exactly the thing you notice on all websites from then to now. In those days, they were straight to the point, no ads or crap clicks. You could navigate quickly and get the relevant information, you know, like customer services numbers that are usually buried sixteen levels down.
      Zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota had the 1997 Supra Turbo for $39,900. Today that would be $58,217. It wouldn't sell, considering the other cars you could have for that price and Toyota would drop it.
        Zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zoom
        Oh, and FWIW. A Corolla standard (roll down windows, etc.) was $12,998. Today that would be $18,917, more than today's base Corolla which has much more equipment and safety features. Everyone complaining that cars have gotten too expensive are blaming the wrong ghost. The problem is that wages have not kept up. Why? Blame businesses and the 1%. That's what's holding our economy BACK.
          Zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zoom
          I don't need to show people how it's done, there are quite a few examples out there. But many don't, and they should. As a society, if they won't, we should force them.
          jebibudala
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zoom
          I agree 100%. GM should give every taxpayer a free Volt.
      Jonathan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow! Thanks for adding this! This might be the best thing this site has ever shared with the world.
      Vergenbuurg
      • 1 Year Ago
      One old website I really miss is MG/Rover's Mini website... it had a "create your own Mini", where you could add all kinds of absurd options and paintschemes... it was fun as hell in the formative years of the world wide web.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The Tradition Continues with Luxury and Advanced V8 Power" Reads in the center of a Ford page from 1999 and under that a empty image box but inside the box a greyed out title of Ford Crown Victoria. Fast forward today the Crown Victoria has died and Ford is making headlines with three and six cylinder motors. The tradition is no longer the norm.
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