Tommy Tu-Tone: 2023 F-150 Heritage Edition is Ford's New Take on Retro

There have been numerous examples of local dealers appending various and sundry new pickup trucks with paint or a wrap trying to capture the two-tone color schemes of the ’80s and early/mid-’90s. Thanks to the body lines of modern trucks, the results can be varied.

Ford wants in on the action, choosing to celebrate 75 years of trucks with a Heritage Edition of its popular F-150 which attempts to recreate the look

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Hyundai Shows Grandeur Heritage Concept, Seems Tailor Made for TTAC Readers

We haven’t built a loyal readership without knowing a thing or two about what makes you lot tick. Rusty old Ford Rangers rank pretty high on the list. Phil’s adventures at his local junkyard, too. And, oh yeah – big square sedans from the 1980s.

This is why we’re finally publishing pictures of this Hyundai concept, even though it dropped earlier this week and parroted by every cab blog from Anchorage to Zephyrhills. If anyone can appreciate what Hyundai has done with this one-off EV, it’s the Best & Brightest.

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Rare Rides: The 1991 Nissan Figaro, Completing a Cutesy Collection

Today’s Rare Ride is the last entrant in a set of four cars introduced to the series back in November 2018. Tiny, retro, and a convertible, Nissan’s Figaro is by far the most popular of the four Pike cars. It’s also the one you can always find for sale in the United States.

Let’s take a look.

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Street Rod: The Granddaddy of Car Culture Software

While the summer months are normally the perfect time to take a road trip, New York has mandated that any jaunts out of state require a 14-day quarantine upon return — and any location one might want to visit on a lark has a strong likelihood of being closed to visitors.

Seems like a lot of hassle with very little payoff for yours truly, so I’ve been escaping into old films and television shows before they’re cancelled for being offensive. Video games have also become a staple of the modern pandemic lifestyle and, if you read my review of the Ford Simulator franchise, you’ll recall that my tastes skew toward terrible, automotive-themed DOS programs from the late 1980s.

Today’s entry is actually pretty decent, however — or at least it would have been at the time of its release.

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2021 Ford Bronco Two-Door and Four-Door: Forward to the Past

Eventually, the absence of a body-on-frame, go-anywhere, dedicated off-road SUV was too great for the Ford lineup to bear — which is why, after a quarter-century absence, the Bronco triumphantly returns to do battle with its Mopar foe, the Jeep Wrangler.

Talked about endlessly since Ford announced the storied model’s return and leaked as often as celebrity medical records to the National Enquirer, the Bronco makes its debut with the goodies fans want and certain things all SUVs need in the futuristic year of 2021. Namely, a four-door model.

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QOTD: Are We Done With Retro?

Nothing like a nice evening drive on a warm summer’s night, streetlights whipping by as the western horizon glows with hues of peach and lavender. Yessir, there’s nothing like some leisurely motoring. And what’s that up ahead?

Oh, an FJ Cruiser, Toyota’s answer to the retro craze sweeping the industry back in the early to middle 2000s. Big ol’ thing, it was — and thirsty, too. Kept its resale value, though, but certainly not its initial sales prowess. That thing’s popularity dwindled faster than inhibitions at a kegger.

Will a time ever come when automakers again dive into retro with such ferocity, I wondered?

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Escape II: Ford's Bronco Sport Leaked

Ford’s effort to generate two streams of customers for its Escape compact crossover by splitting the model into two nameplates, each with a distinct persona, is well underway, with the brawnier of the two bound for an April debut.

Unofficially, that debut is today, as leaked images have hit the web of an unclothed Bronco Sport, aka “Baby Bronco.”

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QOTD: Looking for a Legacy?

No, this question has nothing to do with a certain Subaru; rather, it’s a call to gaze into the past while still keeping an eye on the present.

Retro styling cues, little design nods to a model’s heritage, are common in the auto industry, but the practice normally takes a one-size-fits-all approach. In other words, a storied nameplate dons a retro or near-retro design encompassing the entire body. Think Mustang, Challenger, or the upcoming Bronco.

Alternatively, an automaker can go the sneaky route, slipping in a single cue from the past to keep that tenuous link intact. What’s your favourite example of this… or can you even think of one?

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New Life for a Long-dead Van?

Startups come and go, and in the age of electrification a great many companies are issuing promises their meagre resources can’t deliver.

Time will tell if a reborn Morris Commercial follows through on a plan to return the iconic J-type commercial van to the rainy streets of Britain — and beyond. Retro appeal has its perks, but getting a new production vehicle, least of all an electric one, off the ground and into garages is fraught with challenges. So, without further introduction, here’s the Morris JE.

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Rare Rides: A Nissan Pao Is Old School and Also From 1990

The Rare Rides series has explored once before what happens when a Japanese manufacturer designs a modern car with retro appeal, when we covered the little-known Toyota Origin. Today we take a look at something else in the new-but-retro category. It’s a Nissan Pao, from 1990.

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QOTD: What's Left for Retro?

There’s no debating the fact that I draw far more inspiration from older, classic designs than futuristic ones. Hardly progressive of me, I know. While some want nothing more than to gaze upon an autonomous egg and envision a life where the act of driving gives way to the act of commuting, face buried in smartphone, to me that sounds like a vision of Hell.

That’s why last week’s Peugeot e-Legend concept — an unabashed nod to an attainable French coupe of the 1970s — grabbed my attention. It absolutely looked the part, yet incorporated all of the things we’re supposed to lust after in 2018: autonomy, electric propulsion, etc. Compare the e-Legend to Mercedes-Benz’s Vision URBANETIC. Two takes on the future; one desireable, the other terrifying.

What Peugeot and its “Unboring the future” tagline attempted to do was show we needn’t abandon our emotional connection to a car just because it doesn’t burn gas. Just because it drives itself some of the time. But can anyone trust this rosy vision?

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Ace of Base Retro: 1990 Toyota 4Runner

We covered this one a couple of years ago but it’s being featured again today because *just look at it*!! Plus, your author happened upon a fantastic example in rural British Columbia just yesterday, causing him to dance excitedly in the snow like a hotwired puppy.

The 4Runner showed up in 1984, based off the Pickup/Hilux platform and providing the off-road chops to challenge the original Cherokee. For its ’90 redesign (available in calendar year ’89), Toyota saw fit to depart from the agricultural roots of the OG 4Runner, which was essentially a pickup truck with a fibreglass cap grafted onto the box.

Now sporting handsome and cleanly contoured sheetmetal, the gen-2 4Runner arrived at the perfect time to ride the wave of customers trading their cars for SUVs, a trend which, it must be said, has not abated in the least.

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Kit Car Paradise Awaits in This Retro Abomination

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.

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Porsche Classic Unveils GPS Unit For Classic Porsches

Happen to own a classic Porsche? Want a more elegant solution for GPS than a smartphone on your dash? Porsche Classic has the solution.

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Piston Slap: Coming to Terms With an Old Soul

Ross writes:

Several years ago a friend suggested to me that I had an old soul. I pretended to not understand what he meant even though I watched old television shows, saw old movies and listened to the big band sounds of the thirties and forties.

I’m beginning to come to grips with my old soul though and I need a bit of advice.

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  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.
  • Inside Looking Out To me it looks like French version of Hummer. The difference is that while American Hummer projects power French little Oli projects weakness.That vehicle reflects the bleak future for EU. For now they have to survive coming winter but in general population collapse it coming soon, Europeans will be gone in the long run. Only artifacts like this concept and legends will remind us about advanced and proud civilization that populated that small continent the civilization that in the end lacked will to exist.
  • Conundrum "the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union." Nah, wrong. But it's Posky, so should I be surprised? That body material, Duroplast, was invented by Germans, used on the East German Trabant car and dulled many a saw blade when trying to cut it.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuroplastThe Soviets made regular sheet tin cars. Nothing fancy, they just worked, like Soviet farm tractors you could repair with a pipe wrench and a 14 lb maul. They exported quite a few to Canada in the '60s and '70s and people used to swear by them.I suppose this new Citroen Ollie has LED lights. If they fail, does one go to the Dollarama for a $1 flashlight, then rip out and use those LED "bulbs" for a repair?I think this Ollie thing is off the rails. The Citroen 2CV was ingenious, both in chassis and especially suspension design and execution, but where's the innovation in this thing? Processed cardboard panels, when corrugated tin, a Citroen and Junkers favorite fascination would be just fine. Updated with zinc coating from circa 1912 and as used in garbage cans and outdoor wash tubs ever since, the material lasts for decades. Citroen chose not to zinc plate their 2CVs, just as the car industry only discovered the process in the mid 1980s, lagging garbage can manufacturers by three-quarters of acentury, with Japan holding out until the mid '90s. Not many 1995 Accords still around.This Ollie thing is a swing and a complete miss, IMO. Silly for silly's sake, but that's the modern day automotive designer for you. Obsessed with their own brilliance, like BMW and Toyota's crews creating mugs/maws only a catfish could love, then claiming it's for "brand identity" when people take offense at ugly and say so. They right, you wrong. And another thing -- hell, Ford in the 1950s, if not well before, and innumberable Australians found that a visor stuck out from the roof over the windshield keeps the sun out when necessary, but Citroen delivers first class BS that an upright windshield is the solution. And as GM found out in their newly-introduced late 1930s transit buses, flat windshields are bad for reflections, so they actually changed to a rearward slanting windshield.This design reeks of not applying already learned lessons, instead coming up with useless new "ideas" of almost zero merit. But I'm sure they're proud of themselves, and who gives a damn about history, anyway? "We new young whiz kids know better".