15 October 2012

Take Two: Five great automotive remakes

Remakes are tough to pull off (as anyone who has ever seen the Steve Martin version of “The Pink Panther” or Gus Van Sant’s version of “Psycho” can attest). The auto industry, however, has done its share of good remakes (think the George Clooney version of “Ocean’s Eleven”). Here are some favorites destined to be future classics:

  1. Dodge Challenger SRT8: While not as low or wide as the original 1970s Mopar E-body muscle cars (the Challenger and the Plymouth ’Cuda), it manages to channel the spirit of the original, down to the Hemi V-8, while leaving behind all the not-so-good things about classic muscle cars like single-digit gas mileage, nearly nonexistent brakes and numb power steering.
  2. 2008 Shelby GT500KR: The KR designation may have been the late Carroll Shelby’s ultimate act of bravado in a life filled with acts of bravado — it stood for “King of the Road,” which both the original from 1968 and the stellar 2008 remake can credibly claim to be.
  3. 2005 Ford GT : The Ford GT is perhaps the coolest remake of all time, a title it will likely retain unless Jaguar ever decides to re-issue the classic E-type or Ferrari re-imagines the 250 GTO. The original 1964 GT40 was a race car designed to wrest the world championship away from Ferrari. So named because it stood just 40 inches tall, the remake (known only as the “GT”) was a street supercar that made the competing Ferrari 360 Modena look like last year’s Christmas present.
  4. 2002 Ford Thunderbird : A slow seller, the J. Mays design was faithful to the classic 1955-57 T-Bird while managing to look contemporary. Unfortunately, the market for luxury two-seaters was simply not what Ford had hoped it would be, and the T-Bird faded back to oblivion in 2005.
  5. 2010 Chevrolet Camaro: It was a “say it ain’t so” moment when GM announced that it was pulling the plug on the two F-body cars, the Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. Camaro fans had to go almost a decade without their favorite pony car. If you polled them, it’s likely that they’d say the current version was worth the wait. Inspired by the first generation 1967-69 car, the Camaro’s aggressive front end and “Coke bottle” flanks look as good in 2012 as they did back in the Summer of Love.

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19 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Lovejoy Buy Term and LOSE the Difference! Whole Life = no market risk? 5% retrun? tax deferred build up? tax free withdrawal? Zero net cost loans? Self completes if you become disabled? Lawsuit and creditor protected in 43 states? tax free death benefit? No 591/2 rule on distributions? No RMDs? No contribution limits? And people say this is a bad product? Really? The truth be told it very well may be the best financial product you can own!!! November 3, 2012 at 10:37
    Buy Term and LOSE the Difference! Whole Life = no market risk? 5% retrun? tax deferred build up? tax free withdrawal? Zero net cost loans? Self completes if you become disabled? Lawsuit and creditor protected in 43 states? tax free death benefit? No 591/2 rule on distributions? No RMDs? No contribution limits? And people say this is a bad product? Really? The truth be told it very well may be the best financial product you can own!!!
  • 2
    Dennis D'Andrea Wainscott, New York 11975 November 12, 2012 at 15:00
    I appreciate your commitment to those with damaged collector cars. If you ever begin selling home insurance, let me know.
  • 3
    Jim San Diego November 12, 2012 at 08:55
    CTS-V wagon with 6 spd manual. Much more rare than the 5 listed and far more germane to the category of the article.
  • 4
    Jim N. Az November 12, 2012 at 09:53
    OOPS, you forgot probably forgot the most iconic shape and famous sports car of them all....the PORSCHE 911...It"s like the model T..made forever. And as was listed as the MOST dependable car.
  • 5
    al zim Colleywood, Texas 76043 November 12, 2012 at 09:53
    Please be advised that the Hemi engine in Chrysler products has NO SIMILARITY to the Hemi engines that were used by the Chrysler family of car in the 50's into the 70's.
  • 6
    Thip Miami Fl November 13, 2012 at 08:40
    I agree with this list. In reference to the CTS V. Comment. I do no recall the cstv being a remake. The wagon sleeper concept is only cool to a small few. Dodge Magnum and all the other wagons Ho ndas Ect failed miserably. The ctsv wagon is a disgrace to the amazing V . Also neither are remakes
  • 7
    Rocky San Diego November 13, 2012 at 21:16
    Frankly I think that the 2002-2005 TBird is one of the Worst remakes ever. Unless you are sticking with US cars only, I would put the VW Bug in as one of the better remakes, certainly better than the TBird
  • 8
    Laguna Mike Austin, TX November 13, 2012 at 12:22
    New Camaro. . . UGLY, UGLY, UGLY and too heavy!!!
  • 9
    LSabado tacoma, Wa. November 14, 2012 at 14:46
    I want to see what they can do with a Roadrunner or Cuda, other wisw I klike the challenger and Mustang
  • 10
    Buddy Shelton United States November 14, 2012 at 14:53
    The remake of the Thunderbird was a disaster. Nobody wants one now. They had many problems and did not even come close to the original design.
  • 11
    Jim Durham, NH November 14, 2012 at 08:03
    Thank you for going above and beyond with your help to victims of Sandy. It’s a nice feeling knowing that Hagerty is far more than just the insurer of my classic car.
  • 12
    Paul Dallas, TX November 14, 2012 at 08:17
    I would suggest BMW's remake of the classic Mini should be included in your list.
  • 13
    bob lewis windsor on. canada November 14, 2012 at 21:13
    I think the Dodge Charger RT would be # 6.........more door but good lines& style
  • 14
    Scott B Anaheim November 14, 2012 at 00:00
    The challenger does not deserve to be at the top, It has no lines, the valances are huge, and you can get the motor in a Jeep! The mustang should be at the top of the list
  • 15
    Paul Toronto November 15, 2012 at 13:38
    If your focus is exclusive to American muscle cars, then I agree with this list as well. But if what makes a remake great is "capturing the spirit of the original", then you might want to consider some European remakes in your ranking - like the new Mini, the Fiat Cinque Cento (500), or the Beetle.
  • 16
    Steve Bagatti Des Moines, Iowa November 16, 2012 at 17:33
    I think the GT doesn't belong in this list. It definately is an eye catcher though. As far as the other 4 models, they are nice "modern" versions but they don't have the appeal the old ones have. Must be showing my age...........
  • 17
    Sean Los Angeles November 16, 2012 at 18:26
    So the mind-numbingly bland '02 T-Bird makes this list but not the Jaguar XK8? Which was a tribute to the E-Type based upon numerous shared styling cues.
  • 18
    Sean Los Angeles November 16, 2012 at 18:27
    So the mind-numbingly bland '02 T-Bird makes this list but not the Jaguar XK8? Which was a tribute to the E-Type based upon numerous shared styling cues.
  • 19
    Mark L. SCRANTON PA. November 22, 2012 at 13:34
    Just imagine what the 2012 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am would look like today. If GM did not screw up Pontiac there would be a lot more GM owners out there.

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