For a bunch of forward-looking car guys, automotive engineers and designers sure love to live in the past. Call it homage, nostalgia, retro, or rip-off. They are constantly trying to recreate some favorite car by reimagining it for the present day.
In the past several years, we've seen successful reinventions by three import manufacturers: Volkswagen's New Beetle, BMW's Mini Cooper, and Fiat's 500. The Detroit Three have been somewhat less blatant in their appropriation of historic badges and designs, but the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Charger all borrow shapes and cues from earlier models. The formula isn't foolproof, however. Ford tried to revive the 50s-era two-seat Thunderbird a while back, but it left out the zest.
There are thousands of automobile models that have been produced, and there are ample opportunities for more classics that, because of originality, obscurity, or emotional appeal deserve to be recreated. Here are a few suggestions:
Automakers have a long history of disastrous hookups. Now a key analyst says GM needs to cut Opel loose. Here's a look at 7 other doomed unions.