Five Things: what classic cars might look like if they were built today

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While there are a number of car nameplates that have lasted more than two or three decades, a lot more have fallen by the wayside, giving way to new, different and, arguably, more popular models.

Some, however, took a sabbatical, like the Toyota Supra or Dodge Challenger, and made triumphant comebacks few years – or sometimes decades – on the branding scrapheap.

We’ve all thought about it – what if those old, retired brands and models came back as brand new, 2021 models? Thankfully, someone over at Budget Direct is much better than us at Photoshop and has envisioned a few defunct cars as if they were built today.

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Pontiac Firebird

The original Pontiac Firebird may have been outshone by the Camaro, but it’s still an absolute classic.

Budget Direct

The original Pontiac Firebird may have been outshone by the Camaro, but it’s still an absolute classic.

The Pontiac Firebird is pretty iconic on its own, and it’s fairly hard to redesign an old muscle car and have it come out different to the current crop of Mustangs, Challengers and Camaros.

It's a Firebird, so it has to have the eagle on the bonnet.

Budget Direct

It’s a Firebird, so it has to have the eagle on the bonnet.

However, Budget Direct have avoided retro styling cues here – and avoided simply rebadging a Camaro – and this one gets a super aggressive grille, angry eyes, a massive bonnet intake and thick haunches. Naturally, power comes from a big ol’ American V8.

Holden Torana

Holden’s Torana is an undisputed and much loved classic.

Budget Direct

Holden’s Torana is an undisputed and much loved classic.

For something a bit closer to home, how about the Holden Torana? Using the ’76 LX Torana as a baseline, Budget Direct went a little bonkers in creating a modern Torana with a sleeker, more muscular shape, again completely resisting the temptation to go retro with it. And boy, it looks good, with big Knight Rider vibes.

Knight Rider if Kitt was based on a Torana.

Budget Direct

Knight Rider if Kitt was based on a Torana.

The wheels are probably a little large but the wrap-around fenders and massive bonnet scoop give it a staunch stance. It would probably look better as a two-door, though.

Hudson Hornet

The Hudson Hornet has a great name, a great look and had a starring role in a Pixar movie. What more do you need?

Budget Direct

The Hudson Hornet has a great name, a great look and had a starring role in a Pixar movie. What more do you need?

One of the coolest cars with the best names to emerge from the 1950s was the Hudson Hornet. It had a unique step-down chassis design with a lower centre of gravity, making it one of the best-handling vehicles of its era.

Thankfully this render retained the covered rear wheels of the original Hornet.

Budget Direct

Thankfully this render retained the covered rear wheels of the original Hornet.

The original Hornet’s ‘pontoon styling’ is still in the modern version, most notably in the rear with those awesome the hidden rear wheels. It also has a canopy windscreen, a ridiculously long bonnet, and chrome detailing all around.

Pontiac Fiero

The Pontiac Fiero could have been great. But wasn’t.

Budget Direct

The Pontiac Fiero could have been great. But wasn’t.

The Pontiac Fiero was almost a cult classic, if it wasn’t for exploding engines and poor performance. But it looks cool! GM nearly made a second generation too, that ended up donating a lot of its design to the fourth-generation Firebird.

The reborn Pontiac Fiero looks almost like a modernised Ferrari 288 GTO...

Budget Direct

The reborn Pontiac Fiero looks almost like a modernised Ferrari 288 GTO…

Budget Direct took that shape and made it more streamlined. It now has a lower silhouette with a wraparound windscreen that gives it a strong Lancia Stratos vibe, a longer bonnet, and a hatch-like rear glass. And instead of fitting hidden headlights, it got a permanent set of eyes and a prominent chin spoiler.

Reliant Robin

Robin Reliant was the target of Mr. Bean’s wrath and Jeremy Clarkson’s mockery.

Budget Direct

Robin Reliant was the target of Mr. Bean’s wrath and Jeremy Clarkson’s mockery.

The Reliant Robin, a weird three-wheeled British car, is probably best known for its two iconic television appearances, first as the target of Mr. Bean’s aggressive driving and secondly for rolling over repeatedly on BBC’s Top Gear (even though that one had a welded differential to ensure rollovers).

This weird space pod is actually a three-wheeled Reliant Robin.

Stuff

This weird space pod is actually a three-wheeled Reliant Robin.

The new version looks a bit like a space capsule, but it’s extremely aerodynamic and (theoretically) less prone to roll over. We would imagine it would have to be powered by electricity as well.

Daewoo Matiz

No, the Daewoo Matiz is most definitely not a classic. And should most definitely not make a comeback...

Budget Direct

No, the Daewoo Matiz is most definitely not a classic. And should most definitely not make a comeback…

Bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you? The Daewoo Matiz is a cute little econo-hatch already, but with some editing trickery, it becomes a rather stylish city car. There’s a larger windscreen and more aggressively sloping bonnet to give it a lower, sportier stance, along with a funny new grille.

Fancy a new inner-city runabout?

Budget Direct

Fancy a new inner-city runabout?

With edgier body lines and a redesigned facade with oblong headlights and familiar detailing, the modern Matiz looks good enough to give other superminis a run for the money.

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