Tag: Retro

By on March 10, 2011

The first time VW showed a retro-inspired Van concept, they said they would build it but never did. Now, having shown a new, far smaller retro-inspired microvan [gallery here], VW says they will not only build the thing, but thanks to their modular MQB platform, they’ll be able to build variations of it for markets around the world. Though VW’s development honcho Ulrich Hackenberg insists the microvan won’t be built at VW’s new plant in Chattanooga, TN, he does tell Autocar that it will be sold in the US and

aimed at the XB produced by Toyota’s youth brand, Scion.

Which means it will be built in Mexico, alongside the New Beetle. And come to think of it, the New Bulli and New Beetle seem to have quite a bit in common: both trade heavily on heritage-inspired looks while having little (if anything) to do with their actual inspirations. Which means the Baby Boomers will love it.

By on May 20, 2010

What is it about former (or ostensible) communist leaders and retro limousines? China’s Hu Jintao got a tip of the hat from us last October for stepping out in style at the country’s National Day celebrations in a retro-fabulous Hongqi HQE. Now, The Guardian reports that

President Dmitry Medvedev has decided to trade in his Mercedes and bring back the ZiL, in what appears to be the latest attempt by Russia’s nostalgic leadership to turn the country into a Soviet theme park. Medvedev has asked aides to examine whether the austere and enduringly sinister limousine can be brought back into production.

And why not? After all, what’s more authentically Russian than being ferried through Red Square in an “enduringly sinister” vehicle made by a company that was at one time known as “Stalin’s Factory”? Is it too soon to ask about American-market availability?

By on March 20, 2010

Statistically speaking, it’s a little early to be ragging on the baby boomers. In addition to numerical advantages, the boomers also haven’t slipped fully into retirement, meaning mainstream culture will be stuck for a little longer in the era of unrepentantly rosy nostalgia. And though the pasturing of America’s second-greatest-by-default generation will be ruinous for little things like government entitlement programs, the benefits to important stuff like car design will be profound. Unlike subsequent generations, the baby boomers still had the privilege of living during the golden age of the automobile, a time before Detroit’s decline, the massive government regulation of safety and emission standards, and the general blandifying of the car. As a result, boomers bring a bizarrely retro-sensibility to the modern car market, not just for restored classics, and retro-muscle cars, but for the vehicles that brought an end to the era of Detroit Baroque. Which is where things get interesting.

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