Archive for Retro

Chevrolet HHR

Chevrolet HHR

Chevrolet HHR (Photo: JB Car Pages)

The styling of the Chevrolet HHR (short for Heritage High Roof) was purportedly inspired by the 1949 Chevy Suburban. Indeed, the HHR’s hemispherical grill and squarish flared wheelwells harken back to that post-war, working man’s icon. Yet the concept of the HHR was unbashedly “borrowed” from Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, whose runaway success in five years earlier was too much for General Motors to ignore.

The PT formula? Take the underpinnings of a fuel-efficient car (in the HHR’s case, the Chevy Cobalt), and put on top of it a body that offered ample room for both humans and cargo. Inject some styling cues harkening back to the 50′s hot rods—big grills, chrome door handles, etc.—all while engineering in some nifty features like flat-folding seats, flat cargo areas, etc. Then, as if all of that wasn’t enough, slap on a price tag no higher than most humble, insipid compact cars. How ingenious is that? » Read more..

Ford Mustang

2011 Ford Mustang

2011 Ford Mustang

The addition of the Ford Mustang to hi-mpg.org’s list of Hot Green Machines may be surprising. Sure, of course the ‘Stang is a very cool car—particularly the latest generations which are faithful interpretations to Steve McQueen’s chase vehicle of choice in Bullitt. But a pony car that’s also easy on gas? It’s true! » Read more..

Mini Cooper

2003 Mini Cooper

John, Paul, George and Ringo each supposedly had one. So did the Queen. There was something so appealing about the original Mini Cooper which was so little on the outside, and yet so surprisingly large on the inside. And there was nothing little about its heart and race-car spirit despite its front-wheel-drive and diminutive tires: witness Paddy Hopkirk’s legendary rally victories in the 1960′s. » Read more..

Volkswagen New Beetle

1998 Volkswagen New Beetle

1998 Volkswagen New Beetle (Photo: Chika Sekimoto, CA, USA)

The original Beetle was first conceived by Adolf Hitler and executed by Ferdinand Porsche. While “The People’s Car” would not approach the quickness or handling of Porsche’s later machines, the Beetle was built like a tank and was truly loved by people all around the world. Indeed, the Beetle became the best-selling car of all-time. » Read more..

Morgan Aero 8

2005 Morgan Aero 8

2005 Morgan Aero 8

Time moves refreshingly slowly at Morgan, one of England’s many specialty sports car manufacturers. From 1909-1936, Morgans only had three wheels. The last new Morgan design in the 20th century was the Plus 8, conceived in 1968. Perhaps the biggest news from the Morgan factory in the 1990′s was the introduction of airbags that were, no doubt, begrudgingly installed in their new cars at the behest of the U.S. government. » Read more..