Modern Retro-style Cars


Styles are cyclical. Clothing styles, furniture styles, architectural styles and car styles come back around again and again throughout the decades. If a particular old-style car is just your style, you could buy one and restore it; however, you might be able to buy a new one. There are quite a few cars out there that very closely resemble the cars of yesteryear. Here are the answers to questions you may have about modern retro-style cars.

1

Do VW Beetles manufactured today look any different from the originals?

The Volkswagen Beetle is practically unchanged from the first model developed back in 1950. Volkswagen stopped making the Beetle for 20 years between 1979 and 1998 but, even when they began building them again, little was changed. Even today, it has retained its iconic beetle-bug-type shape and round prominently-placed headlamps. The most noticeable difference is the slightly elongated front end.

2

What did Fiat change about the 500 when they began manufacturing it again?

The Fiat 500 hasn't changed much aesthetically over the past 61 years. The mechanical parts were, of course, dramatically different in the new models. Fiat began producing this little gem back in 1957. They ceased production of the 500 in 1975, and everyone thought that was the end of this quirky but cute little car. Then, in 2004, low and behold the Fiat 500 was resurrected as the 500C Topolino convertible. Topolino is the Italian word for scamp, which seems very fitting for this car. The new 500 has almost the same shape as the old one. The most noticeable differences are rounder edges and an overall more polished and refined appearance.

3

Are there any good retro-style trucks?

The Chevrolet SSR is a pick-up truck with an old-style hot rod roadster flair. Chevy only manufactured them from 2003 to 2006, so you'll have to get a used one. If you do decide to buy a retro-hot-rod-roadster-type truck, get a 2005 or 2006 model. The 5.3-L V8 that Chevy put in the 2003 and 2004 models was sadly under-sized for the two-ton truck. The newer models were equipped with a 6.0-L LS2 V8 that makes 390 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. The same engine was used in the Corvette. A gently-used 2005 SSR will cost around $20,000 to $25,000.

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4

Does anyone make a retro car that looks like an old 1930's coupe?

Yes, well, not currently, but in the recent past. Plymouth created the Prowler in 1997 that looks very much like an old 1930's Ford coupe. The Plymouth Prowler became the Chrysler Prowler in 2001 then slowly died. They didn't make any more of them after 2003. It was an odd yet interesting experiment for Plymouth/Chrysler in aluminum cars. They wanted a learning experience in aluminum and decided the Prowler provided the perfect opportunity to experiment. It has very low ground clearance and is rather difficult to maneuver. It wouldn't make a good commuter car but, if you want one for fun, they can be had for $20,000 to $30,000.

5

Is there a newer retro Ford sports car on the market?

Ford resurrected the old 1964 Ford GT40 in 2004 in celebration of 100 years of automobile manufacturing. This is a mid-engine sports car with a 550-hp, 5.4-L supercharged V8 under the hood. The newer model is 43 inches long, which is 3 inches longer than the original. The '40' in GT40 represented the length of the car in inches. It was also a little wider than the original and taller, but it looked almost exactly like the original. There were 4,038 new GT's manufactured, which means it was a rare modern retro-style car immediately. Be prepared to pony up around $500,000 for one of these retro sports cars. A 2005 model had a starting MSRP of just $151,245.Retro-style Ford sports cars that are more budget-friendly than the GT are the newer fifth and sixth-generation Mustangs. Ford reverted back to a body style that is reminiscent of the 1960's Mustang body style at the beginning of the fifth generation in 2005. The sixth generation, which began with the 2015 models, is even more like the older models.

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