Think all new cars suck? Don't worry, there are plenty of ones on sale with that vintage feel straight from the factory.
Before we get started let me say that there are a large number of old cars that are still in production. In fact, here's a list of the very oldest ones that you could still buy as of 2012.
A number of these cars should be remembered as honorable mentions: the Jeep XJ is still sold in China as the Knight S12, the original Jeep is still sold in India with independent front suspension as the Mahindra Thar, the Lada Niva is still sold as... the Lada Niva, the 1990s Nissan Sentra is still wildly popular in Mexico as the Nissan Tsuru, the Maruti Suzuki Omni microvan is still plugging away in India after decades, and the Ural motorcycle with sidecar (not a car, I know) has been in production in Russia since the dawn of time. Oh, and there's the Grumman LLV, which will still be slowly idling past the burnt-out shells of suburbia after the nuclear holocaust, delivering nonexistent mail. I love those Grummans.
With those genuine dinosaurs in mind, let's look at the cars that are old in spirit, if not necessarily in their bones. Though we'll have a few of those, too.
It's the last analog supercar, so to speak. It might be the last supercar that comes with a stick.
Suggested By: red014, Photo Credit: Noble
Pretty much unchanged since the '70s, which Ash78 is thankful for.
I always dreamed that maybe one day my kids could get molested in the same van I knew as a kid. Thank you, Ford. Thank you.
Suggested By: Ash78, Photo Credit: Ford
They're new in construction, but they're decisively old school in spirit. And if you're used to the reasonably light sporty coupes of the '80s and '90s, they're old school in feel as well.
Suggested By: 50fridge, Photo Credit: Subaru
The lightest, simplest version of one of the lightest, simplest cars ever made. The only concession to modernity is the turbocharged inline-three from Suzuki.
Suggested By: _Mecanicien, Photo Credit: Caterham
America doesn't build a truly dirt simple, utterly plain rear-drive family sedan anymore, though the Australian Caprice/SS come close. For the real deal you need Japan's equivalent of the Crown Vic, the Toyota Crown Comfort. They were already old school when they debuted in '95 and they're still in production now. On your next trip to East Asia, expect to see one doing taxi duty.
Suggested By: TwinCharged, Photo Credit: AP
I really wanted to stick the Toyota Corolla in this spot. I really did. The current car traces its roots back several generations and you can still get one with a four-speed auto. But if you drive it, the Corolla at least feels reasonably newish. The Mitsubishi Mirage, though, feels like it fell straight out of a 1990s showroom, with overspray under the hood, an airy little cabin, and a rumbling little three-cylinder engine.
Suggested By: evoCS and e30s2k, Photo Credit: Mitsubishi
All trucks are the same, right? Nah, the Ram is the most old-school on sale here in the Land of the Free, as For Sweden explains.
A body-on-frame pickup that comes with a single cab, manual transmission, and a straight-six diesel instead of your hybrid-electric witchcraft.
Also, you get a solid front axle with the 4x4.
Suggested By: For Sweden, Photo Credit: Dodge
Even older than the Ram is the genuinely-old Yota, as LopingCamshaft explains.
[It's had] fewer changes since 1984 than the Defender and G-Wagon. Built for hard work in harsh conditions, not for looking cool or showing off; its the de facto default truck used in mining operations, the UN, and basically anywhere in Africa or the Australian Outback.
Suggested By: Loping Camshaft, Photo Credit: Toyota
You're looking at a 1958 Morris Oxford being sold new today, and the Oxford wasn't even what you'd call cutting edge when it was new. The engine is out of a 1970s Isuzu forklift. It's about as old as a new car can physically be. If you're wondering what they're like to drive, read our review right here.
Suggested By: ranwhenparked and dogisbadob, Photo Credit: Hindustan
Morgan built its first three-wheeler back in 1909 and the design of today's model is largely unchanged since the '30s. More than any mechanical ties to the past, it's the way that this car (it's barely a car) feels. No roof, no windshield, no sense of modern protection, or concerns, or worries. Driving one is transportational and if you have the money, get one.
Suggested By: willkinton247, Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove
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Top Photo Credit: Noble