Top 10 New Cars to Buy If You Love Retro Things
If you listen to music on vinyl, wear horn-rimmed glasses, have a thing for fancy hats or even know what vacuum tubes are, you might be a retro enthusiast.
Seeing the world in sepia, regularly preparing aspic or using phrases like “gee willikers” or “horsefeathers” basically confirms this; if you can dance the jitterbug, it’s a slam dunk. You’re from a different era. Welcome to the party!
As an enthusiast of all things outmoded, you’ve got unabashedly eclectic taste, from music and movies to clothing and food, you swing to the tune of a different clarinet. But what about automobiles?
To adequately satiate your ravenous hunger for all things vintage, you should probably park something old-school in your driveway. But what kind of vehicle will meet this high standard while providing modern comfort and convenience features along with the protection of a factory warranty? The Nash Airflyte of your dreams can’t check all of these boxes, but the following cars can. Here’s a list of the Top 10 new cars to buy if you love retro things.
10. Chevrolet SS
If you want both a classic car and a modern ride but only have room to park one vehicle, the Chevrolet SS is for you. This four-door sedan is a 21st century take on the traditional American cruiser. It’s large, rear-wheel drive and offers a potent V8 engine. You can even snag one with a manual transmission if you prefer to row your own gears. This bow-tie beast is a 415-horsepower reminder of Detroit’s halcyon days, though curiously, it’s imported from Australia.
ALSO SEE: 2015 Chevrolet SS Review
9. Fiat 500
Compared to the SS, Fiat’s 500 is about as diminutive as modern cars get, a tiny tip of the hat to the Italian automaker’s rich heritage. This subcompact model is shamelessly retro, a reincarnation of the iconic Cinquecento that debuted in the late 1950s. Today’s model is the spittin’ image of its forebear and certain variants can even be fitted with body-color wheels that look like they were ripped right off an original.
8. Jaguar F-Type
The Jaguar E-Type is arguably the most beautiful car ever built; at least it was according to Enzo Ferrari. This classic British sports machine featured a long, cat-like body, voluptuous curves and stunning performance. Keeping the tradition alive is the brand’s all-new F-Type, a gorgeous and speedy two-door with more heritage than the Tower of London. If retro is your thing, this car should be high on your list.
7. Dodge Challenger
What do you get with a classic name, classic styling and classic performance? Well, a modern-day classic, that’s what. Dodge’s Challenger coupe has the look, sound and performance to run like an old-school muscle car. If economical operation is the order of the day, drivers can always opt for an efficient Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower. Beyond that, you can snag yourself one of two muscular Hemi V8s or even go for the gusto, the ultimate performance powertrain, Chrysler’s supercharged 707 hp Hellcat.
6. Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is about as iconic as an automobile can get. This German sports car has maintained the same performance formula since it was birthed by Zuffenhausen in the early 1960s. With a low body, wide-set wheels and a rear-mounted engine, this car is built to be driven, and driven hard. Even its purposeful styling has remained essentially unchanged over the past five decades. The 911 is retro to the max!
5. Mazda MX-5 Miata
British roadsters are as traditional as high tea; they’re like a piping-hot cup of Earl Grey and plate of scones … that you can drive! However, these cars are equal parts delight and dejection. They’re wispy, quick and a joy to pilot, but reliability has always been a problem, to put it nicely.
Capitalizing on this fault, Mazda introduced the ultimate British sports car back in 1989 when the Miata made its market debut. Hiroshima nailed the basic formula, building a car that provided all the driving enjoyment of its Anglo ancestors coupled with Japanese reliability. The Miata is a classic formula that works just as well in the modern world as it did 50 years ago; the 2015 model ups the ante even further.
4. Chevrolet Corvette
But not everyone wants a performance car with a measly 155 hp. Some people need more, and a lot more. Fortunately for these addicts, the Chevrolet Corvette is happy to oblige their performance cravings, as it has since the early 1950s. This legendary American performance machine draws on six decades of tire-smoking heritage. Is that retro enough for you? Up front, standard models feature a 6.2-liter V8 that can trace its lineage all the way back to the original Chevy small block that debuted in 1955. Even in its most basic form, it provides a walloping 455 horses and 460 torques. But beyond this, there’s also the Z06 model that belts out 650 hp.
3. MINI Cooper Hardtop
The MINI Cooper is a legend in the automotive world. The original model was a thrift-focused response to the Suez Crisis in the early 1950s, which severely hampered Great Britain’s access to petroleum. Despite their plebian origins, these vehicles went on to become an icon, offering epic amounts of interior space, tremendous driving dynamics and incredible maneuverability. These traits continue to this day with the new MINI. These cars look much like their forebears but with more features, style and performance. In short, they should have no trouble sating your retro hunger.
2. Volkswagen Beetle
Like the Fiat 500 and MINI Cooper, Volkswagen’s Beetle is one of the most retro cars available today. Its name, styling and ethos can trace their lineage directly to the first Käfer that was developed in the 1930s. Today’s version continues that tradition, offering economical, spunky and unique transportation for a whole new generation.
1. Ford Mustang
For five decades, Ford’s famous filly has entertained drivers around the world, whether they’re on Main Street USA or Germany’s Autobahn. A thriving a grey-market import industry clearly illustrates that this car’s enthusiasts are legion. And why shouldn’t they be? It’s rolling democracy, a red-white-and-blue embodiment of affordable performance. The 2015 iteration is probably the best one ever, dressed to the nines with retro-inspired yet tastefully modern design. It’s also decked out with a high-quality cabin and plenty of capability. The Ford Mustang is an ideal car for enthusiasts of all things vintage.
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Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
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