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buying advice

4 iconic cars of the 1990s - and what you'll pay for them today

From the movie-star Land Cruiser to the rarely seen Nissan Pao.

THE YEARS FROM 1990 to 1999 were memorable for many reasons.

We saw Nelson Mandela walk to freedom to later become president of South Africa, we watched the reunification of Germany and the fall of the USSR, the Spice Girls brought us Girl Power and U2 went Pop.

But it was a pretty good decade for cars, too, with some models that went on to become iconic motors. If you’re in the market for a second car with a pinch of nostalgia, these are some models you might consider.

If they’re more than 25 years old, you should be able to avail of lower classic car insurance too, provided you plan on driving less than 10,000 km a year.

1. Mazda MX-5

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If you can find a clean and mostly rust-free example of the first generation Mazda MX-5, it could make for a good buy. This is especially true if you’re looking for a fun and easily maintained future classic.

Pricing for these cars can vary, and purists seeking out a completely original car may have to look harder, but there are some nice examples on the market and you can expect to pay anywhere from €1500 up. It’s also worth looking into some of the dedicated owners clubs to find a real gem.

2. Mercedes-Benz SL

MmRlYjBhMDM1ZjQxMDhmYzNjZTllZmZhMTZkM2Q1N2FIMub4RK1FqaYvlEloUxahaHR0cDovL3MzLWV1LXdlc3QtMS5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL2RvbmVkZWFsLmllLXBob3Rvcy9waG90b185NjQ4NjI0M3x8fDYwMHg2MDB8fHx8fHx8fA==Source: DoneDeal

Sticking with the convertible vibe, prices for the R129 model SL aren’t that high, but given how values of other models of Mercedes-Benz are climbing, this could be a reasonable buy, coming in at about €2,500 for a well-maintained model.

Even the smaller engined models sold here fall come with hefty annual motor tax bills, but if you can live with that, then this is one car that might be worth considering.

3. Nissan Pao

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The lesser-known spin-off of the Nissan Micra, the Pao is a Japanese import that is as retro as they come. Underneath it’s nothing more than a regular Nissan Micra, so maintenance shouldn’t be too difficult, as long as you aren’t in need for new body panels, as they could prove more difficult to source. Even so, we think it’s a cool car that certainly stands out from the crowd.

These are a rare find, but the one above will cost you €3,000.

4. Toyota Land Cruiser

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Few other names are as well-known or trusted when it comes to tackling difficult terrain as the Toyota Land Cruiser. This model has been part of the Toyota range since 1951, but the most recognisable models are the 60 Series and 80 Series, from the late 1980s and 1990s. The Land Cruiser pops up in plenty of 1990s films, among them Daylight and Double Jeopardy. Depending on the year you can expect to pay anywhere from €1,500 up.

More recent versions have a few more creature comforts, along with capable all-wheel drive transmissions, which with the right tyres could come in useful if we get any more Beasts from the East this winter.

More: Looking for an SUV? Here are 4 underrated models on the second-hand market>

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