Who wouldn’t want to revive a fleet of antique cars for a jaunt on the racetrack? The early 1900s produced an array of classic vehicles with sculpted looks and infinite drivability, all begging to be put back on the street.
Of course, we’d all love new installments of the Chevy Bel Air or Ford Galaxie, but real antique cars came before 1939. Here’s a list to fill you with nostalgia and high expectations for tomorrow’s market.
’34 – ’37 Chrysler Airflow
This little beauty dazzled car enthusiasts for a short three years, never to be seen again. But its sleek appearance is just one reason why we think Chrysler should consider an updated Airflow generation.
In 1934, the Airflow showed exceptional novelty, incorporating never-before-seen exterior cosmetics, suspension, and weight distribution. Together, these enhancements--researched by Orville Wright and a team of Chrysler engineers--made for an unforgettable automobile.
’42 Studebaker Champion
Although the Studebaker Champion saw five generations (1939-1958), 1942 in particular deserves to be on this list. OK, Studebaker stopped production in the late 1960s, but that’s no reason not to reincarnate the Champion under a different badge.
The ’42 Studebaker Champion was all curves and class. At the time, popularity drove repeat production, with annual increases in elegance and fuel economy. And who can deny the appeal of that convertible roof?
’30 Daimler Double-Six 40/50
Through the decades, car manufacturers have come and gone, but Daimler stuck around--for good reason. In 1930, the Double-Six 40/50 foreshadowed years of market success.
To this day, antique car enthusiasts bent on custom design revel in the novelty of its powertrain and user-friendly stalks and switches. Plus, that lengthy front end announced the driver's arrival way ahead of time.
Bring it back!
’38 Peugeot 402BL Eclipse
402s were marketed as family cars, but this looker was meant for anything other than lazy drives to and from soccer practice. A self-storing hardtop opened to reveal a luxury interior matched by a removable grille, a pair of rear fender skirts, and a dashing front bumper.
Now, a handful of 402BL Eclipses remain locked up in garages across North America and Europe. Hey, Peugeot--why not take a break from sports cars for a month or two to reintroduce a beloved antique car?
’34 Oldsmobile F34
For seven decades, Oldsmobile produced popularly reliable cars for the American public. Although the company's operations ceased in 2004, we make a humble plea for any manufacturer--Buick, Cadillac, whoever--to revamp the Olds F34.
Collectors still appreciate the rigid exterior and simple lines of this model. The contrast paint job, defining the car body from its wheel wells and running board, definitely doesn't hurt either.
After 1959, the modern car era took hold, completely changing what it meant for a car to look great and perform well. Of course, we all marvel at modern automotive engineering, but we sure would love to get a glimpse of these antique cars back on the street.