1990: The Starting Line to a Rad Decade

As we navigate the winding roads of mind-blowing nostalgia in our year-long celebration of the 1990s as a classic decade, our first pit stop is the year that started it all: 1990.

With 2024 marking the momentous occasion where the 1990s officially achieve classic status (comfortably 25 years in the rearview mirror), let’s take a look back at the milestones that made 1990 a cornerstone in the automotive and cultural timeline.

  • "Cheers" continued its reign as the top television series, keeping audiences glued to their screens and becoming a cultural phenomenon.
  • Gas prices averaged around $0.59 per litre, offering a snapshot of fuel costs during the early '90s and influencing the choices made in the automotive world.
  • The Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup. Facing the Boston Bruins, the Oilers won 4 games to 1 to take home their 5th win in 7 years.
  • People started breathing easier as smoking was banned on domestic airline flights.
  • High-waisted jeans and scrunchies were the iconic fashion statements of the year, dominating runways and street style alike. PSA: those looks are back.
  • The computer lab favorite, Cross-country Canada, was released putting you in the seat and driving an 18-wheeler to pick up commodities and deliver them across Canada. 
  • The reunification of East and West Germany marked a historic moment, symbolizing the end of an era and the promise of a new beginning.
  • MotorTrend Import Car of the Year was the Nissan 300ZX (and now a collector).
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze was in full swing, dominating toy markets and leaving a lasting impression on popular culture. Cowabunga!
  • The Ford Explorer became a symbol of suburban adventures, capturing the essence of the rise of the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).
  • Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa marking a pivotal moment in global politics, symbolizing hope and change.
  • The Chevrolet Lumina APV, with its unique "dustbuster" design, marked a curious chapter in car design, reminding us that innovation doesn't always follow a straight road (keep an eye out for these at a Concours d’Lemon near you).

The ‘90s, and the special vehicles from that era, deserve to be honored and protected as part of our automotive heritage. With each passing year, the '90s fade further into the distance, but the allure of those modern classics remains evergreen. For clients holding on to these cars – especially those reserved for weekend joyrides rather than daily commutes – make sure they’re getting the coverage they deserve. Tailored for enthusiasts and the totally rad cars they love, a collector car policy through Hagerty is designed to recognize, appreciate, and properly protect these special vehicles.

Stay tuned for next month as we continue our exploration of the 1990s as a classic decade. Big things were cooking in 1991: fava beans were a hot new menu item, a major world power faded away forever, and an errant space rock increased the value of one woman’s car by over 6000%. It's a journey worth savoring, and with Hagerty, the road ahead is as thrilling as the one behind.

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