For some years now, the gurus of the car world have been explaining what the cars of tomorrow will have to be like in order to succeed, and they base everything on four essential concepts: they must be electrified, self-driving, shared and connected. Yet those who build cars seem not to resist the temptation to fish in the glorious past to hope for a successful tomorrow. And this happens both in Europe and in the United States where there are so many cars that have entered history and you can fish with both hands.
Often we are satisfied with the name that becomes first the label and then the car, but this is not enough to tickle the enthusiasm of the buyers, disillusioned over the years by too many important names stuck at random on new cars and for one reason only: to exploit what you has in the house. All the manufacturers have made some slips, but many continue because recovering a name that belongs to the family is simple and consequently comfortable.
More effective, but also more difficult, is to recreate on a more modern basis a happy car that had entered the hearts of the people: delicate bets that if successful, pierce the imagination and enjoy almost guaranteed success. Flavor operations made possible today thanks to cutting-edge technology that makes them as fascinating as the original versions but in step with the times, therefore more performing, less polluting and in the wake of modernity also safer, connected and recyclable.
When Roberto Giolito was commissioned to design the Fiat 500 of the 2000s he risked fainting because it seemed too difficult an undertaking, as indeed it was. But he got over it, and the world gasped. The new born was bigger, bigger and more beautiful, but everyone recognized the lines of the past and smiled. What nostalgia the old man fivebut how beautiful the new version is so ancient yet so modern!
The trend had already been opened several years earlier by Volkswagen when it re-proposed the famous Beetle in the New Beetle version, an idea born in the Californian style center of the German brand where J Mays dared to challenge. Mays, one of the best known car designers of all time, believed a lot in the revival of very successful cars and after the New Beetle he also tried it with the 1955 Ford Thunderbird (revived without much luck in 2002) and then in 2004 with the Ford Gt that wanted to recall, and succeeded, the car capable of beating Ferrari at Le Mans.
It was a path that tantalized, also because the Mini that Frank Stephenson had magically designed for BMW had already thought of a high-level re-proposal. It was released in 2001 and still resists on the market today, evolved but not betrayed, boasting an undisputed triumph.
Tracing a path is always complex, but when this path turns out to be straight then the desire comes to everyone, and so large and small builders have slipped into it with an almost surprising acceleration. The list is already long and we can say lucky because the designers who accept the challenge seem to have fun, which is always the best way to break down successful lines.
For example, it has already been 5 years since Renault re-proposed the unforgettable shapes of the Alpine 110, a magical racing creature that had seen the light of day in 1962. This too seemed an unattainable challenge, but the result exceeded expectations and so many eyes shone. The new one was indisputably reminiscent of the old, but in a softer and more attractive version.
Land Rover had even more courage with the new Defender because the current proposal is completely different from that of the first post-war period but even with this the off-road car lovers par excellence immediately recognized its soul, which is what counts. . The new Defender does not smell of rubber boots and wet dog as often happened on the English ones with already a long life behind them, but it impacts the imagination with the desired violence. You look at it and see immediately behind Kilimanjaro, the Masai, the giraffes and the elephants. It smells like adventure, she tastes like a holiday.
The reality is that whoever re-proposes the icons of the past with commitment and creativity goes straight to the heart of a clientele that today suffers greatly from the stylistic similarity of the new models. In Lamborghini they redesigned the Countach knowing full well that like the original one there can never be another one, yet the limited edition, all of which was sold from the start, hit the target. The owners are happy and everyone else’s eyes are happy, those who can only dream of it.
And the Vw Bulli? Immortal van for 70 years now, that of the hyppies who used it to move, to sleep in it and for a cheeky love free to flaunt to the four winds, is back in an electric version that technically with the old one does not get it right but still looks like it a lot, and the fact that he looks at that time and that world already makes us sigh.
Yes, sometimes they come back and we must say less badly. The most successful reinterpretations are an extraordinary breath of air in the everyday gray. But the best part could still come because Renault promises even greater emotions by daring the return of the R4 and R5. To us, unfortunately from yesteryear now, the blood is stirred. We loved them so much, and we must dream of being able to love them again. Woe betide them.