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The New Beetle, the Fiat 500, the Mini, and the Alpine

Fiat 500
The beginning
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Retro name giving: Is that a guarantee for success? If we look at the current car and motorcycle industry, then since the arrival of the New Beetle, the Fiat 500 and the new - very large - Mini, the trend towards the "leap ahead in the past" has stood out. This phenomenon may have been born out of a concept of economy. "Do not throw away what works", or it may be a sign of mental anemia in the creative context.

However, since the industry is currently governed by managers, marketers and calculation models, we assume that all that retro stuff is a combination of creative anemia and responding to nostalgic feelings. Earning models were seen. But the original is unbeatable.


That approach is no guarantee of success

Volkswagens New Beetle was presented in 1998. The car was mainly sold to women up to the 79% of production. These Golf derivatives are not worth much on the second-hand market. Whether New Beetles classics or just getting older. As a 'miss' they could get a certain value in the long term.

The Fiat 500 did a lot better. That successor to the cart that was once delivered with a roller roof to save sheet steel had much more authenticity and 'presence' to say it once in neo Dutch. And there is no Fiat 500 driver M / V who worries whether his / her car will become a classic. Because a Fiat 500 is for fun. And now.

The actually quite massive Mini was also a success under the wings of BMW. But the cars have nothing to make them ever coveted classics.

Of course we do not have crystal balls at hand

But still, we think the New Beetles have the best chance of ever achieving classic status. Despite the fact that they might be difficult to keep running later on. Because: electronics are not for eternity. The cars have known / experienced a number of persistent faults, of which that of the automatic transmission was the most annoying. VW supplied the New Beetles with 'lifetime' lubrication for the gearbox. And with that, VW proved that they had learned nothing from the mistakes Mercedes had made.

Alpine is back!

The French town of Dieppe was almost completely destroyed during the war when the young Jean Rédélé started working in 1946 again in his father's Renault garage. And it must be said that things went well. He even found the time to ride rallies with staged R4s. He did that successfully and it promoted sales. But Jean Rédélé had a dream: He wanted to build a real small sports car based on the R4. And in 1955 that led to the first Alpine: the A106. Jean Rédélé remained true to Renault's possibilities in the following projects. And the A110 not only developed into a beautiful, flawless sports car, but also into an almost unbeatable racing machine.

But in 1973 we got the oil crisis

Alpine was taken over by Renault and became Renault-Alpine. This also created the possibility of building a larger, more exclusive type of sports car. That became the A310 that evolved into the V6 GT / Turbo. The A1991 made from 1995-610 was the last of the Mohicans. But those cars were not the hoped-for sales success. So the fire among the fries went out with the illustrious brand.

In the meantime we have - the economic weather is going so well and nostalgia is very topical - the New Alpine. And that is again a real sports car. But technically the newcomer is of course infinitely distant from his once so basically authentic and beautiful predecessors.

And whether it will ever become such a beloved and sought-after collector's item? In any case, sales are now going very well. And due to its exclusivity value, it will certainly receive a classic status.

9 Comments

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  1. Gentlemen, a tenant may also miss out. With apologies. But dear JG, you are really grumpy than the other classic enthusiasts I know. I think it is fairly simple: All Internet texts are offered for free. And everyone is free to read them or skip them.

  2. The Alpine A106 from 1955 was not based on the R4 (which, by the way, only came on the market in 1961), but was based on the Renault 4cv.
    R4 = front engine and front wheel drive.
    Renault 4cv and Alpine A106 = rear engine and of course rear wheel drive.

    • A correct and justified remark Tony. This does not bring added value to the article that hassle about spelling and grammar errors! Ant fuckers

  3. ? Do you never read the written pieces back?

    Are again very stupid mistakes, I don't understand how you can make certain mistakes anyway, but hey… ..
    That calls itself a serial worder….?

    • Have you already experienced your own written text, read, re-read and re-read and see no errors in it, until someone else reads your text and sees one error after another !! Please stop whining around your mouth, this is a car forum and not a Great Dutch Dictation

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