Feb
04
1990 Buick Electra

1990 Buick Electra

Fans of the TV show “Monk” will likely appreciate the simple luxury-car math of model-year 1990. For folks not familiar with the show, actor Tony Shaloub plays the title character, a defrocked police officer working as a private investigator.

Adrian Monk

Adrian Monk

For devotees of the show, Monk’s primary charm is his ability to solve crimes despite coping with a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Indeed, much of each episode is spent in Monk’s psychiatrist’s office. One particular quirk of Monk’s is his need for anything numerically definable to exist in even, round-numbered quantities. Monk, for example, only watches channel 10, and when falsely arrested and charged with murder, asked the judge to raise his bail from $900,000 to an even million.

I mention Monk because he would have loved the luxury-car market of 1990. In flipping through Consumer Guide: Auto ’90, I take notice of two very simple cutoff points: near-luxury vehicles start showing up at exactly $20,000, and full luxury rides at $25,000.

Using those dividing points we find that Mercury fails to make the cut, but Pontiac does. We can attribute this seeming incongruity largely to the contemporaneous popularity of the Bonneville, especially the sporty models, and the Gran Marquis’s relatively light load of standard equipment.

If the math doesn’t work for you, tell us what cars you’d add to this list.

Pickups on Steroids: 1990 Silverado Versus 2015 Colorado

 

Buick Electra: $20,775

1990 Buick Electra

1990 Buick Electra

Trim Levels

Limited: $20,775

T-Type: $23,575

Park Avenue: $22,300

Park Avenue Ultra: $28,375

Base Engine

165-horsepower 3.8-liter V6

Antilock Brakes

$995

 

Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue: $21,945

1990 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue

1990 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue

Trim Levels

Fifth Avenue: $21,945

Base Engine

147-horsepower 3.3-liter V6

Antilock Brakes 

$954

 

Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight: $20,545

1990 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight

1990 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight

Trim Levels

Regency: $20,545

Brougham: $22,145

Touring Sedan: $27,345

Base Engine

165-horsepower 3.8-liter V6

Antilock Brakes

$995 (standard Touring Sedan)

 

Pontiac Bonneville SSE: $24,544

1990 Pontiac Bonneville SSE

1990 Pontiac Bonneville SSE

Trim Levels

LE and SE trim levels fall below $20,000 threshold

Base Engine

165-horsepower 3.8-liter V6

Antilock Brakes 

Standard

10 Most-Expensive Wagons of 1990

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