The Top 10 Classic Cars That Need To Be Resurrected

June 16, 2010

With the recent revival of cars like the Dodge Challenger, the Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing, and a host of other vehicles built off decades-old design concepts that still turn heads today, many automakers are reaching into the past to help design the cars of the future.  These are the cars we'd really like to see brought back to life with a 21st century twist.

Photo: cobracountry.com

 

10. Chevrolet El Camino

Photo: myusamusclecars.com

Whatever happened to the truck-car? The El Camino was first produced by GM in 1959 and lasted all way up to 1987. Not quite a coupe and not quite a pickup truck, the El Camino combined the performance and style of a Chevelle with the utility of a pick-up. The closest you're gonna get to one of these now would probably something along the lines of those factory-blinged-and-slammed F150 Lightings.

In 2008, there was a brief glimmer of hope for a GM built El Camino-style car by way of the LS3 powered Pontiac G8 variant, the Pontiac G8 ST, which was due to hit the streets this year. Sadly, with the death of Pontiac, so went the ST.

Of course, GM probably still has all those parts laying around in a bin somewhere, so what's stopping them from slapping a Chevy badge on the ST and putting it on the road?

 

9. VW Karmann Ghia

Photo: motorbase.com

The Karmann Ghia was an interesting collaboration between the Italian auto design house Ghia, the hand-built bodywork of the German car building outfit Karmman, and the brilliant simplicity of the hardware provided by VW.

The Karmann Ghia proved to be very successful upon its debut in 1955, and production ramped up quickly to meet with demand. 1974 marked the end of the line for the Ghia, when it replaced by the VW-Porsche collaboration, the Porsche 914.

Judging from the somewhat sedate direction VW has been going in lately, a sporty little coupe like this designed to run alongside cars like the Mazda Miata could give the brand the lusty shot in the arm it could use right now.


8. Buick Grand National

Photo: gmhightechperformance.com

Debuting in 1982 and born from the grocery-getting Grandma-mobile, the Buick Regal, the Grand National caught everyone by surprise with its NASCAR inspired looks, sinister presence, and turbo-charged V6. With a production run only lasting four years (no Grand Nationals were produced for 1983), this burly Buick turned out to be a rare and awesome triumph for performance in the otherwise fairly dismal automotive landscape of the 1980s.

With Buick looking to reposition itself as a sporty brand in the absence of Pontiac in GM's stable, and since they already have a critically acclaimed turbo Regal on the way, this would be the perfect time to bring the Grand National back to life.


7. Ford Bronco

Photo: bringatrailer.com

Why did all the full-sized two door SUVs vanish? The Bronco had a lifespan of three decades, starting in 1966 and ending with the OJ-era 1996 model. Derived directly from Ford's full-sized trucks, instead of sedan underpinnings found in "sport utility" vehicles like the new Ford Explorer, the Bronco was built to be a badass SUV in the most honest sense of the term.

Back in 2004, Ford showed off an awesome concept for a new Bronco, and we sincerely hope they'll come to their senses soon and built the thing.


6. Cadillac Coupe De Ville

Photo: rivieraint.com

While we certainly have no qualms about Cadillac's recent desire to beat BMW at everything sporty, it must be said that Cadillac's stealth bomber styling aesthetic is getting a little bit long in the tooth.

There was a point in time when Cadillac was synonymous with style and luxury. Of course, we'll never dog a car company for wanting to make fast sports cars, but it probably wouldn't hurt for their designers to look back to cars like this '59 Coupe De Ville convertible and remember what once made Cadillac an international icon for American style.

 

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5. Lamborghini Miura

Photo: ausmotive.com

When the Miura debuted in 1966, the world took notice. Aside from being a seriously hot piece of ass, the Miura started the trend of the two seater, mid-engine layout supercar that is still used by automakers today.

Production of the Miura only lasted six years, after which it was replaced with the equally incredible Lamborghini Countach, in 1974. Lamborghini has followed the angular styling of the Countach on just about every car they've made since then. However, in 2006, they teased the world with a beautiful new Miura concept, but then quickly declared they'd never make it because Lamborghini is "about the future." Understandable, but we were also under the impression that Lamborghini is about "making awesome cars" too.

 

4. Toyota Supra

Photo: 2fastlane.com

It hasn't been that long since the last Supra rolled off the line - production ended in 2002 - but its absence is noticeable none the less. By the early 2000s, the twin-turbo model was a real performer, able to pull from 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 177mph in stock form - and it was also quite a looker, if we do say so ourselves.

Without the Supra, Toyota has become the company known for making cars that resemble gigantic baby shoes, designed to be driven by people who have no little to no interest in the sport of driving.

There is some hope though. At the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota showed off the FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept, a hybrid sport coupe which would produce upwards of 400hp. Not much has been seen or heard about the Supra since then - the auto industry hit kind of a speed bump in 2008-2009 -  but now that things are on the mend, we implore Toyota to move forward (pun intended) and bring back this mighty Japanese sport coupe.


3. Jaguar E-Type

Photo: jaguar-e-type.net

The Jaguar E-type Series 1 models of the 1960s are considered by many (including us) to be some of the most gorgeous cars ever built, and they were very serious sports cars to boot. Gone since 1974, Jaguar has yet to build a car quite like it since.

There have been rumors in recent years that the E-type might be returning, and we really hope there's some truth behind them, because while the XKR is an great car with a stout motor that truly sounds the part, it's still not really the spiritual successor to the E-type, in both style and purpose.


2. BMW 2002

Photo: theautochannel.com

The BMW 2002 was known for being stylish, light and relatively cheap - essentially everything the BMW 1-series is not. Because of these characteristics, the 2002 has maintained a devout cult following since its demise in 1975, and the 2002 has become a desirable classic amongst automotive enthusiasts.

With the success of diminutive cars like those produced by the BMW-owned Mini Cooper brand, it appears that there's certainly an audience interested in small, sporty German cars like BMW 2002, so we have to wonder why they haven't capitalized on this yet.


1. Chevrolet Bel Air

Photo: superchevy.com

Is there any American classic car more iconic than the '57 Chevy Bel Air? We think not. Part of what makes the Bel Air such an incredible car to behold is the lack of fear in its design - it is exactly what it's supposed to be, nothing watered down, no corners cut, no concessions made for mass palatability, and the result is timeless.

If Chevrolet wanted to make another car that resonated with the American public like the '57 Chevy did, they'd be wise to remember that when they go back to the drawing board, and ditch abominations like this concept that completely miss the point. If they can do that, General Motors might just have a new flagship on their hands.

 

 

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