The Null Device

Retro cars we'd like to see

It seems that the big thing in car design is making modern cars that look like vintage models and selling them at a premium to fashionable urbanites. Those new BMW Cooper Minis (you know, the subcompact yuppie lifestyle cars modelled on the cheap'n'cheerful British cars of the 1960s) are everywhere (at least, if everywhere includes West London); the new Volkswagen Beetles, with the integrated flower vases as an ironic appropriation of their hippie status, are so to a lesser extent. And then there are those Chryslers that look like something a 1930s Chicago gangster might ride in.

But why stop there? There are more makes of once-common cars which could be revived as iconic-ironic status symbols. Anything of which old examples, decrepit or lovingly restored, are driven by inner-city hipsters would be fair game for remaking. For example, an all-new FJ Holden, in designer-faded turquoise and avocado green, coming soon to Prahran and Darlinghurst; iPod socket optional. Perhaps there could even be rounded vintage utes, miniaturised to suit urban parking conditions, for style-conscious urbanites. Or, for that matter, more old British cars; perhaps Peugeot could revive the Humber and Hillman marques as designer lines? And boxy, angular 1970s American cars (or, in Australia, Kingswood station wagons) in baby-shit brown would go very well with today's retro-styled fashions and rock.

There are 4 comments on "Retro cars we'd like to see":

Posted by: gjw Sat Apr 9 02:38:40 2005

Too late, it's already happening. The "new" Holden Sandman.

I'm waiting for the "new" Leyland P-76, personally.

Posted by: acb Sat Apr 9 11:20:02 2005

I was thinking more of the 1950s/60s Holdens.

Posted by: Alexander Sat Apr 9 12:52:03 2005

IMHO, most of today's cars are horrendously ugly, save rare exceptions. There's an exxageration on the heaviness-look cars seem to have (like the series 5 BMW), while the headlights and other lines are a far cry of the boxy american vehicles you mentioned with edges rounded in a japanese way

Posted by: acb Sat Apr 9 21:17:22 2005

My favourite recent car would probably be the Smart Fortwo. The BMW Cooper Mini looks quite pleasant too.