When BMW relaunched the MINI in the year 2000, it was a monumental rebirth for an icon of the British motor industry. Such was the popularity of the classic car’s reemergence, it even inspired a remake of the 1969 British film The Italian Job. With its compact size, practicality and original design features, the MINI makeover remained true to the original, especially considering how much fun it is to drive. Plenty of other cars have been brought into the 21st century with varying degrees of success, and here we take a look at some of our favourites.
Porsche 911There aren’t many cars around which have stayed as true to their roots down the years as the Porsche 911. First introduced in 1963, the original 911’s distinctive design is still recognisable in its modern counterparts. With a rich motorsport heritage including victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, current models include the 911 Carrera, 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo. There really is no mistaking the classic shape of a 911, from the jet-like curves to the unique rear end.
Named after a hot desert wind, Volkswagen brought out the Scirocco in 1974 as a replacement for the Karmann Ghia coupe. It was retired from the VW range in the early nineties, before making a comeback in 2008. A cross between a sports coupe and a hatchback, the Scirocco was given a major makeover. No longer the boxy design of old, it’s quite the looker with its elegant lines and sporty interior.
Aston Martin DB5
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what beholder wouldn’t agree that the Aston Martin DB5 is a thing of epic good looks? Part of the famous DB series, the exquisite grand tourer was immortalised in the James Bond film franchise. The modern DB11 was introduced by Aston Martin in 2016, and although it has a modern design, it pays homage to the DB5 with its graceful lines and unmistakable style.
Audi RS 2 Avant
The original Audi Racing Sport model wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty, but it still packed a punch when it came to raw power. An estate car that was a whole lot of fun to drive, the RS 2 Avant spawned a sub-range of cars where Audi gives its standard models a seriously sporty shake up. Its modern equivalent is the RS 6 Avant, which combines considerable power with luxury and practicality.
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
It doesn’t get much cooler than gull-wing doors, which the Mercedes 300SL pioneered in the 1950s. As well as throwing up memories of Back to the Future, they conjure up thoughts of some of the most desirable supercars ever made. While the original 300SL showed off the flowing curves that were popular in its time, the modern SL-Class cars are much more aggressive in their styling. If it’s those gull-wing doors you’re interested in, the luxury SLS AMG version will set your pulse a-racing.
Another car with Le Mans heritage, Ford’s GT40 recorded four straight victories in the famous endurance race during the 1960s, and even finished first, second and third in 1966. Brought back in 2004, originally as a concept car to celebrate Ford’s centennial, the modern GT bears more than a passing resemblance to the original. Admire the striking angles and features such as the air intakes on the sides and bonnet, which are taken straight from the GT40.