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Revhead Ramblings: The ‘New’ Retro Cars

Retro styled cars have been a thing for some time now, the likes of Mini, Fiat and Volkswagen are the main culprits; taking their once beloved models and giving them a modern twist before pumping them back out to the people eager to relive childhood memories or first car stories.

These cars were immensely popular when they first sold; their styling, driving nature and overall image imprinted themselves into the minds of all those who were brought up around them. This often results in people buying the original cars purely for nostalgic purposes. As a result, these beloved classics have rocketed in value; a MK1 Golf GTI can fetch as much as £30,000!

Rising Costs of a Classic Car

To avoid these stupid prices, people often turn to the new versions of their favourite classics. The only sign you have that points to the original Golf in the new models is the iconic tartan seat covers and gold ball gear knob; other than that, it’s all but forgotten.

Take a look at the Fiat 500 however and other than a noticeable increase in size, you’d know instantly which car it was styled on. It was made available to everyone, with low costs for the basic models before adding in plenty of expensive editions with the likes of Abarth filling the catalogue.

Keeping The Spirit of a Classic Alive


These cars really are just a marketing exercise though, the ‘new’ Beetle was just a MK4 Golf with a new body; massively disappointing. I’ve got no issues with new cars that try and keep the styling and ethos of the original car alive; the Mercedes 300SL is arguably one of the most attractive cars ever built, its signature gullwing doors were like nothing else at the time and really made the car.

More recently then, we had the SLS. Some say it’s the immediate predecessor of the Mercedes McLaren SLR but if you take one look at those gullwing doors and don’t think of the 300SL, something’s seriously wrong. The SLS didn’t try and rip off every piece of its inspiration, it simply took some its iconic looks to give a subtle nod to its ancestor.

The Best ‘New’ Retro

The only ‘new’ retro car I think I could ever own is the Eagle Speedster. It’s an adaption of the E-Type Jaguar, one of the most beloved cars of all time. Visually it’s almost identical, but under the skin, it’s very much a new car. It has brakes that stop you, tyres that grip, an engine that works; it’s the perfect blend. It hasn’t tried to be a modern remake of the E-Type, it’s simply made an E-Type for the 21st century.

It seems that the ‘new’ retro cars are a niche market, Jaguar attempted it with their S-Type, we all know how that went, Citroen have had some success, but they’ve only really brought back the name. Mini have lost what the original was, a small economy car for the lower classes, their remake is by no means small and in reality, it’s just a way for BMW to appeal to those who can’t justify splashing their cash on a BMW. Therefore, if you’ve truly got your heart set on a ‘new’ retro car, you’ve got two choices, either spend £12,000 on a Fiat 500 or drop £500,000 on an Eagle Speedster…

To ensure you don’t miss out on any of Alex’s ‘Revhead Ramblings‘ be sure to follow him on Twitter at @AlexClickDealer!

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