Journal: Which Mundane Classic Do You Wish Was Still Around?

Which Mundane Classic Do You Wish Was Still Around?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
February 11, 2016
19 comments

It’s survival of the fittest, even with classic cars: the most desirable vehicles find a way to stay on this earth, while the others are beaten, cut, and used up. Porsche can say that an incredible 2/3 of all the vehicles it has built are still on the road, but that’s as much great engineering as its owners’ desire to keep their Porsches going. Alfa Romeo Arnas? Not so much.

That’s impressive, of course, but it also means that scores of other, less desirable cars are cast aside. People get disinterested, they move “up” to a different car, they get out of cars altogether—when an Isuzu VehiCROSS enthusiast retires, where does his fleet go? Or, how many older ’80s–’90s  Honda Civics disappear before we remember that, “Hey, those were cheap, pretty, fun little cars!”

When you visit Monterey or Le Mans or your local swap meet, what vehicle do you wish was there? For me, it’d have to be a mid-’70s Citroën GS, which was basically all of the good bits from the higher-end models in a family-friendly, cheap to run package. Recently, a friend let me take his CX Wagon around the block, and though it’s a bit large for my tastes, I very nearly made a run for the border. As a former 2CV owner, I’m a bit worried that a GS might be my “Goldilocks” classic from the range, but they’re thankfully not plentiful in North America.

Still, would be nice to see one. Which mundane classic do you wish you could see?

Image sources: oldcarmanualproject.comflickr.comautoalmanach.chdetails-of-cars.com

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StefanoRobert SchneiderPeter J SmithelianahermioneAlan Cooper Recent comment authors
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Stefano
Stefano

Mundane is the wrong description, but I just want to use this opportunity to say how I miss Saabs. I miss seeing them on the road, with roof racks, college stickers, beat up, but running beautifully. Never a dull moment in a Saab. Please someone resurrect this brand.

Robert Schneider
Robert Schneider

1st generation VW Rabbit/Sciorocco were beyond fun to drive & you could scare yourself silly up on 3 or 2 tires left on road. I know I did.

Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith

Peugeot 504 diesel. Boring to look at, boring to drive, but, reliable to a fault.

elianahermione
elianahermione

great post.

Alan Cooper
Alan Cooper

A GS could never be mundane which is the point really, in those far off days there was genuine innovation and a passion to innovate and produce something different, these days everything is so dull

oldfireguy
oldfireguy

I would have to say the 1976 Toyota Corolla Liftback. It was a fun little car, practical with that liftback but sporty looking. No, it wasn’t fantastic in handling or even speed…… but 4 cylinders and a 4-speed can still be entertaining.

Jonathan Lloyd
Jonathan Lloyd

The Alfasud. Especially the 1.5Ti and Sprint Veloce variants.
Both superb cars to drive. Sadly also some of most rapidly rusting cars in history.

DJDC
DJDC

So. There should be more Honda on here. Do a story on Honda and Mugen and the relationship from whence to now. Arguably the best cars made that Petrolicious has not investigated-a great story there.

Alex Roy
Alex Roy

I’ll take the GSA for $100, John.

Sean Whelan
Sean Whelan

MK1 Ford Fiesta, hands down. Light, simple, and more fun than 65 HP has a right to be.
There is something extremely endearing about a tin box with darty handling and less amenities than a prison cell.

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers

Cadillac Cimarron, because those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. Do what is needed to make it reliable, but the appearance should remain stock.

Jono51
Jono51

I nominate the Fiat Uno – fantastic little cars, and they’re vanishing fast.

BassSloth
BassSloth

YES.

I had a chance to test-drive a GS and it was one of the most smile-inducing drives of my life. The hydropneumatic suspension is sublime, the quirky dashboard with drum speedo is a joy to look at and while underpowered, it excels at relaxed (and relaxing) cruising. I also drove a CX once – and I must say I liked the GS more. Much more. It’s one of my favourite classics ever. I want one.

Paul Steel
Paul Steel

I don’t wish anything mundane to still be around, the mundane will always be mundane, good riddance. Often it is misinterpreted to mean common or popular, when you don’t see so many you might start to appreciate them for rarity, but if it was mundane then, it still is. For me it’s the Austin allegro, a car I dislike, I live less than a mile from the old Longbridge factory that produced this thing, my dad had one for a while, previously he had a ford Granada, so it felt like a step down as far as I was concerned,… Read more »

David Harbin
David Harbin

I’ve always had a weird attachment to the amber-bulbs-behind-glass-lenses look of cars licensed in France though the 1990s or so. Love the looks of the GS.

Greg Hanson
Greg Hanson

Not all of us have forgotten those old Civics are cheap fun-to-drive little cars. Beyond the kids who modify them and beat them up the way we all used to do with Novas, Fairlanes and Darts, there are a few of us old folks who appreciate them. I used an ’87 Civic DX hatch as my daily driver from 2005 – 2012, then sold it to a single mother for $1200. My son grew up in this car and always hoped he’d get to drive it. Last summer, he found it for sale on Craigslist for $1000 – by the… Read more »

Nar
Nar

Same camp. 🙂 Doing my part to keep this guy on the road. 1990 CRX Si 300xxx km stock engine, on Koni yellows and ground controls. Tried getting rid of it a couple of times but could never pull the trigger. Its getting hard to find them in good condition should i ever want another one so i’ve decided to just keep the CRX as it costs next to nothing to own. Picked it up for $2000 6 years ago and still one of the best things i’ve ever bought. Definitely a smiles per gallon car.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I think you pretty much nailed it with the GS which is a rather interesting old car. Also the GS lacks a ‘sporty’ version which makes the base car all the more interesting.

Other ‘mundane classics’ hmm it would probably be nice if there were a few more Alfasuds around but rust consumed most of them a long time ago.