Buy/Drive/Burn: It's 1995 Again, and You're Buying a Sporty Luxury Sedan
In our last Buy/Drive/Burn entry, we traveled to the heady year of 1995 to peruse a trio of alternative luxury cars. One American and two Swedes vied for a place in the fantasy garage. The comments seemed to indicate a desire for more Japanese cars in the running, and commenter JohnTaurus suggested a trio we might discuss.
The year is 1995 (again). The cars are three unsuccessful Japanese luxury sedans that time forgot. Are you feeling… Vigorous?
How The Honda Passport Got Its Name
It ceased being fun working at American Honda around the summer of 1993. Most of our senior managers in the sales division had recently been fired. In May, the New York Times published the first story about our executives soliciting bribes from dealers. The Justice Department was snooping around our US headquarters in Torrance, CA. The year before, our geniuses in Japan had dropped the ground-breaking CRX two-seater and stuck us with the dull del Sol. Over at Acura, our Honda Division castoffs were busy trying to figure out why the tepid 5-cylinder Vigor was not selling.
We were still stuck in the Civic-Accord-Prelude-del Sol mode. “We will never build trucks,” our execs had often proudly proclaimed. Now we found ourselves caught flat-footed as we followed the success of the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota 4Runner SUVs. We needed a sport-ute yesterday, and it would take us a minimum of four years to develop one. We did what any self-respecting, high quality, loved-by-its-customers car company would do in this situation.
We called Isuzu.
Vigor: For Men. The Story Of The Strangest Automobile Ad
Murilee’s piece on the Acura Vigor brought back some fond memories for me involving that car, and an utterly bizarre bit of automotive trivia that was thought to be lost forever – a Japanese-market commercial for the Honda Vigor that features sexual deviancy (panty sniffing, anyone), Italian art house cinematography and the requisite badly-garbled English slogans.
Junkyard Find: 1993 Acura Vigor
Remember the Vigor? Probably not. Nobody remembers the Vigor. This car dates from about the time that Honda really got serious about its decline from former untouchable greatness, which may or may not have had something to do with the death of founder Soichiro Honda in 1991.