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Nostalgia unplugged

Old 07-13-2007, 02:06 PM
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Default Nostalgia unplugged

I guess we are thought of as hogs.

Nostalgia unplugged

BSM Desk / Mumbai July 14, 2007

...and the other classics that have made a comeback.

Nostalgia has the ability to have a vice-like grip on us humans. Some of us would love to see a Beatles reunion concert if George Harrison and John Lennon could come back from the dead.

Others would love to resurrect the Concorde and see the magnificent bird take to the skies once again. A lot, called car enthusiasts, generally would like to see pathbreaking cars making a comeback and some of them, just like the Fiat 500 you read above have been revived to tap just such a market, fixated on nostalgia.

The Japanese started the trend in their home market during the early nineties, when they started doing retro versions of their kei jidosha cars, much to the amusement of the westerners. It didnít take long for the gigglers to realise the opportunity, when they seriously thought of not only getting back retro, but re-kindling cars that were considered as greats in the classic car market.

Volkswagen was the first to jump on the bandwagon with the Concept One that was previewed at the 1994 Detroit Motor Show. Designed by J Mays, it evoked strong reaction from the showgoing crowd.

Some thought the design was sacrilegous, compared to the original Beetle while the significant rest thought it prudent for Volkswagen to bring back the car that made the company. So, in 1998, they did just that and successfully launched the Beetle, with the US becoming its largest market.

It didnít go unnoticed by companies like BMW and Ford. Ford in fact poached J Mays and got him to design the Ford GT, Fordís idea of reviving the GT40 from the sixties.

Only a 1,000-odd cars were built, but it was enough to put Fordís image back on track, even if it borrowed the engine from a truck. While the Mustang musclecar was hanging around in various iterations, Ford thought it prudent to infuse a bit of classic sixties Mustang into its current generation, when it was launched three years ago.

BMW, on the other hand, was smart to retain the Mini brand when it offloaded Rover at the turn of the century and brought the iconic small car back to life. It wasnít as small as the original Alec Issigonis creation, but it had lines that still identified it as a Mini, enough solace for a generation of car buyers to be smitten by the Mini bug once again. The Americans are going for it the whole hog. The Dodge Challenger, the Chevy Camaro, the Pontiac GTO are all on their way.
Though not all attempts at going retro have succeeded. Lamborghiniís concept Miura received much flak at the hands of motoring hacks, even though it planned to stay only as one.

The biggest challenge in reviving classic greats is in maintaining the carís identity and infusing soul, something designers find tough to replicate and difficult to maintain for engineers who try to stay within legal requirements. Itís a difficult balance, with a touchy market that canít accept a replacement that deviates from the original.


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Old 07-13-2007, 04:14 PM
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Default RE: Nostalgia unplugged

Just jealous. They never had and never will have muscle cars!
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:55 PM
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Where the heck is Mumbia???
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:46 PM
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India
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