It won't have escaped your attention that, once again, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is upon us. I'll be enjoying as much of the event as I can from home this year, to my chagrin, but if you're there, you'll probably be aware that this year's theme is the event's silver jubilee.
Yes, that's right - it's 25 years since Lord March first invited a bunch of racing cars to come and park on his lawn and thrap up his driveway. And in that time, many of the sorts of cars that you'd have been able to buy new in showrooms at the time have found their way through the misty haze between shiny newness and hallowed classic status and are currently emerging through the other side.
But which cars from 1993 are worth taking another look at now? Well, for one thing, I reckon E36 BMWs have a huge amount of potential. Take this lovely old 320i Coupe. To my eyes, these plain two-door E36s are looking better and better as time goes by - perhaps even smarter than the more upright E30s that preceded them. And this one sounds like the sort you should buy and keep. Granted, it isn't quite as desirable as an early 325i or later 328i - but it's still a six-pot, the mileage is right, it's been well looked-after and I reckon it looks cracking in white over black velour with bottle-top rims. £3,495 would have seemed like strong money until recently, but now it's not unreasonable; I could see you asking twice that for such a clean example in a few years' time.
Of course, the 1993 TVRs everyone remembers are the Chimaera and the Griffith, but lest we forget, the last of the S-Series cars were still around then, too, and make cracking buys these days. True, this S4C doesn't get a V8, but its V6 will still sound terrific, and with just 33,000 miles for well below £10,000, I think it's a bit of a steal. I'd want to give the outriggers a jolly good prod, given they're the original ones, and I wonder why the seats don't match the interior, but at this price I wouldn't quibble too much.
1993, of course, was well before Porsche started churning out SUVs in order to justify its existence. Funny to think now, therefore, that the purists worried that the front-engined models would dilute the brand; in fact, today, cars like this 968 Clubsport are some of the most sought-after from the company's back catalogue. I reckon this is another of those cars that looks pricey now, but has plenty of headroom to go stratospheric in the coming years - so if you want to own one, I'd get in now while you still can. This particular example looks like a great way to do it; true, the mileage isn't the lowest but that's hardly rare among Porsches of this age, and given the extensive history, it shouldn't pose any problems. Looks a bit of a bargain, too, and let's face it: who can resist a Guards Red Porker?
I imagine if you'd rocked up to that first Festival of Speed in your brand new, 1993 Honda NSX you'd have had more than a bit of attention. This car was legendary when it was new, so it was amazing that prices dropped as low as they did - £25,000 was enough to buy a good one, at one time. That's no longer the case, sadly, but I still reckon you won't lose money on this 56,000-mile example that looks to be in tip-top condition and with lots of lovely recent maintenance done. Of course, you don't need me to tell you what's so special about the NSX, as I expect you've heard it all before - Senna, VTEC, and so on and so forth - but what I can tell you after a recent go in one is that driving it today is just as terrific as it ever was.
I can't say the same about the Lamborghini Diablo, having never had the pleasure. But I did have one of these on my wall growing up - in poster form, I should point out - and so it'd probably be my 'money no object' choice from the class of 1993, no matter how it drove. Having said that, this example is a snip at £175,000 - and as crazy as it sounds, I don't think that's stupid money given its place in the pantheon of mad, balls-out hypercars - not when a Countach made just six years beforehand will set you back almost double, or when a Jalpa will cost you almost as much. Another one to buy now if you're lucky enough to be able to afford it, I'd say.
As you can see, then, it isn't just the Festival of Speed that's aged well. The 1990s are starting to come good in terms of classic cars, and with prices of many of the cult heroes from the 70s and 80s now looking a bit daft, this decade is fast becoming a happy hunting ground for the this generation of Goodwood-goers - as well as the last.