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The lost generation

By BenCee on 20 Mar 2011

Attached Image: honda_city_1997.jpg

I saw a first generation Honda City on the roads the other day, kinda like the one in the picture above. Judging from the license plate, it looks like it was registered around 1997 or 1998, there or thereabouts.

You may think, so what? And normally I would too. But it caught my eye that day because I suddenly realised that, in Singapore, cars of that era are rapidly disappearing from our streets now.

Lots of these cars, from the period of between 1996 to 1999, have ended up as the victims of the COE "flood" of the past few years, as they ended up bound for the scrapyard once their 10 year "lease" is up, and their owners took the opportunity to get a brand new car.

Aside from the City, other previously popular cars that have met the same fate include the Corollas, Civics and Lancers from that era. Remember this one?

Attached Image: corolla1.jpg

And the Liftback version with its crazy rounded lights?

Attached Image

The once ubiquitous Lancer, with its triangular taillamps that drew comparasion with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class of that period, is also pretty much gone now.

Attached Image: mitsubishi_lancer_568576.jpg

The EK Civic, with its bug-eyed headlamps, is also getting increasingly rare, although it has fared slightly better in terms of survival thanks to the "tunability" of its VTEC engine.

Attached Image: Honda_Civic_1997.jpg

Attached Image: 97_honda_civic_hatchback.jpg

It just feels like such a shame that cars like these, which used to populate our roads in great numbers just over a decade ago, have now been relegated to endangered species status. Don't you think so?

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Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...

  • 1
Rcycool Mar 20 2011 03:33 PM
I guess it's out goes the old, in comes the new!
Pocus Mar 20 2011 11:41 PM
Wonderful post.

For me, the car you posted is not a "lost generation" for me. During that time I'm still more interested in girls than cars as I'm still studying. It's during the early 90s which I considered the lost generation in my sense.

Suzuki Swift GTi

Ford Laser

The timeless Mazda 121

One of the best corolla ever

This is one of the nicest look civic ever built. It was very futuristic during it's time, however as the years goes by the sleek and futuristic image became bengster image....Such waste

The Nissan 200SX...dubbed the "Porche" of the east
Acerchan2002 Mar 21 2011 04:10 AM
My friend's 91 G7 still running strong and it's still as powerful as day 1...Gonna scrap this oct
Rigval Mar 21 2011 08:18 AM
One of the reasons there are so few cars from the late 90s (actually 1997 to be precise) saw Asia going into recession. SG was only affected but I remember talk of expensive COEs around that time (wikipedia states SG$62K for 1.0-1,6cc in july 97 but also states a low of sg$50 in jn 98). Of course by 1998 people were scared to buy new cars as the economy asia-wide was bad - SG may have suffered slightly less but with everyone else hitting rock bottom, people were cautious.

It was better to scrap (not sell used) a car after 5 years as you could get some cash back to finance the new car instead of run it for 10 years. Much like the high COE prices today. I suppose this is the reason why there are so little late 90s cars running around.

My opinion anyway. Anyone else?
BenCee Mar 22 2011 09:50 AM
Pocus, thank you so much, and a fantastic post by you too. :)

But it seems that the Corolla and Civic you posted have managed to outlast their successors, as there are more than a few examples running around in Singapore (my brother has one of those Corollas in fact). Although it appears that 2011/2012 might be the last year(s) that they might be available since most of their renewed COEs expire within this next few years, so they might follow their fellow 'descendents' into that great carpark in the sky. :P

My friend had one of those Mazda 121s briefly. Although the car itself wasn't exactly that great, the experience of driving with that unique roof open was quite a hoot.

Rigval, good point. But as you can see in recent times, whether times are good or bad, people will still buy cars. :)
  • 1
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