David Leen looks at the success of recent revamps, such as the Fiat 500 and Mini, and discusses what the next major reboot could be.
I owned a new Fiat 500 for a couple of years – a re-engineered model of the famous Fiat Cinquecento. I’ve never been into cars, but I did fall in love with it’s quirkiness and nippiness around town. I became an advocate for it and would defend it against its detractors.
The Fiat management headhunted the lead brains who did the Mini revamp, and hey presto! A new/old classic is (re)born! Well done Fiat.
With the revamp of the Mini, Beetle, MG and 500, you can see that car manufacturers are taking nostalgia and re-modelling it for misty-eyed people like me.
But hold on a minute. I’ve just read about the Vauxhall Viva reboot – I’m not sure there’s an awful lot to get excited about. It was my first ever car when I was 19. My “sold as seen” car for just £250 had so much rust I could see the road going by through the floor. It shipped so much water that I had to bale it out most days. It over-heated, lost oil through most of its pipes and couldn’t get over 40mph. Other than that it was wonderful, but it wasn’t a classic.
I wonder what hits from the 70s and 80s are waiting in the wings for major reboots? Spangles, Angel Delight, Wimpy Restaurants, Raleigh Grifter, Admiral Sports tops?
What will genuinely raise the temperature and what will merely raise an eyebrow?