10 MORE Classic Cars you can buy new (or nearly new) today

Some car models seem to reach the status of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and just keep on being produced long passed their expected use-by date. Here's 10 more 'classic' cars you can buy new (or nearly new) right now!

This is Part 2 of an continuing article. Visit Part 1 below.

Part 1 of this article

First 1 - 10 classic cars you can buy (almost) new today.

1. Fiat 126 (1972 - 2000)

Green Fiat 126 classic car

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

Replacing the cute and popular Fiat 500 "Bambino" the 126 had a generous production run, mostly due to it being licenced for production in Soviet Poland. With almost 4.7 million cars made, the 126 even made it to Australia were it was imported as the FSM Niki.

The 126 shared many componentry with it's 500 Bambino predecessor, including the rear-mounted, twin cylinder, aircooled engine though capacity was increased up to a whopping 704cc. Features, as you'd expect, are spartan but functional and relatively reliable. And with a cult following in Eastern Europe parts are still easy to get.

2. Mitsubishi L300 (1979 - present)

2nd generation Mitsubishi L300 van

Photo by Toni Pomar on Unsplash

It's rare to see a Japanese car in a list like this, but nonetheless the 2nd generation L300 is still being manufactured in both Indonesia and The Philippines. 

Owners cite its versatility, toughness and reliability for it being a mainstay in many South East Asian countries. It's cultivated a strong sense of trust in its 40+ years of manufacturer. 

3. Jeep CJ-3B/Mitsubishi Jeep J3/Mahindra Major (1953 - 2010)

CJ Jeep

Photo by Brian Matangelo on Unsplash

The Jeep is one of those vehciles that has been produced under so many licences it's hard to keep track. The first iterations of the WW2 military Jeep ("General Purpose" - "GP" - "Jeep") were made by American Bantam and, due to Bantam's small factory the designs and manufacturing where subsequently picked up by Willys Overland and Ford. The CJ - "Civilian Jeep" - series were created after the war ended in 1945.

The CJ-3B generation was launched in 1953 and was licensed to both Mitsubishi of Japan and Mahindra of India. The Mitsubishi version was built until 1998 with most vehicles going to the Regional Forest Office or the Japanese military. In India the Mahindra version continued until 2010 with various engine upgrades along the way. Mahindra still produces a classic "Jeep" in the Thar which emulates the CJ-5.


4. VW Type 2 T2 Bus/Kombi (1967 - 2013)

Volkswagen Type 2 Bus Kombi

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

The original "hippy bus" is as iconic as it's sibling the VW Beetle. Like the Beetle the Type 2 Bus or Kombi was powered by a rear-mounted, aircooled, boxer engine. And like the Beetle, it had a long production run particularly in Latin America, namely Brazil in which production wrapped up in 2013. Later Brazilian models began to include a water-cooled engine in the line up and have a rather odd-looking large black plastic grill.

The Type 2 was inspired when a visitor to the VW factory noticed an improvised vehicle, based on a Beetle chassis with a flat cargo area, used for moving parts around the workshop. A prototype was hastily created using most of the Beetle's drive train but with a stronger ladder chassis. The T2 "Bay-window" is the 2nd iteration of the Kombi, with a more rounded design, a bigger engine and reworked suspension.

5. Austin FX4 (1958 - 1997)

Austin FX4 London Cab

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The classic Black Cab, London Taxi or Hackney Carriage was built continuously over 39 years by three different manufacturers: Austin, Carbodies and London Taxis International. The car became such an icon it's successors, the LTI TX series, was given its retro styling.

Unlike many other car models that were sourced to become taxis, the FX4 was designed from the ground up to be a taxi. The cab was quite large to accomodate multiple passengers and their lugguge, but also attention was given to the turning radius. The FX4 uses the Ackermann Steering Geometry system to make sharp corners and U-turns - a must on London's tight, ancient streets. The hackney carriage was offered with both a petrol and diesel engine, and a limousine version was eventually produced.

6. Trabant (1957 - 1991)

Trabant wagon

Photo by Freysteinn G. Jonsson on Unsplash

The Trabi. The smoky and loud symbol of East German communist oppression - well, at least in the West's eyes. Actually, the Trabant became many East Germans first car and, in many cases, their first conveyance into the relative freedom of West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is perhaps because of this the car has stuck around, both in people's hearts and minds and physically - the body work of the car was made of a cotton and resin composite, impervious to rust.

The Trabant featured an air-cooled 2 cylinder, 2 stroke engine. And that's pretty much it. The only luxury you got was a "heater" which blew hot air from over the exhaust manifold into the cabin. Unfortunately, this also blew in exhaust fumes if you developed even a slight leak in the manifold gasket.

7. Citroën 2CV (1948 - 1990)

2 Citroen 2CVs in France

Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

France's peoples car was actually commissioned earlier than many of its contemporaries, like the Mini or Fiat 500. Prototypes were created in the 1930's prior to the outbreak of World War 2. Those prototypes were considered so valuable they were purposely hidden from the Nazis.

The 2CV is famed not only for it distinctive curvy design, but for its innovative suspension, designed for rough rural French roads of the 1930s. You could even take out the seats and use them as picnic furniture. 

8. UAZ 452 "Bukhanka" (1965 - present)

UAZ-452 "Bukhanka" van

Photo by Dimitriy Yakovlev

"Bukhanka" means bread loaf and looking at this Soviet van you can see exactly why the nickname was earned. The 452 is a close relative of the Jeep-like UAZ 469. The cab-over design and off roading capability meant that many where used in rural Russia as buses, delivery vans and ambulances, though many, of course, were delivered to militaries of the Soviet bloc.

Current variations include a minibus, flatbed truck, ambulance, and a "combi" - seating 6 with cargo area in the back. Like the 469, the secret to the Bukhanka's success is in its simplicity, ruggedness and ease of repair, developed in part of Siberia's rough and demanding terrain. 

9. Renault 12/Dacia 1300 (1969 - 2006)

Dacia 1300 Renault 12

Photo by Dorel Gnatiuc on Unsplash

Dacia ("Da-chi-a") is a Romanian car manufacturer that has always had strong ties with Renault. Before the Renault 12 based 1300 there was the Renault 8 based Dacia 1100. Renault eventually took over Dacia in 1999 and now, in a twist of fate, in some markets modern Dacias are now rebranded as Renaults.

The Renault 12 was designed from the go to be a cheap, flexible, reliable family car intended for international export and production. In this respect it was very successful, being built or assembled in 15 countries and exported to many more. 

10. Fiat Panda (141) (1980 - 2003)

Fiat Panda 141 on dirt road

Photo by Jules Amé

Wait, what's this!? A long lived Fiat that doesn't have Soviet connections? The Panda was to be the replacement to the 126 (which itself was a replacement to the Fiat 500 Bambino), so the initial requirements were similar: small, simple, reliable. Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro compared the car to a pair of jeans - "a simple, practical article of clothing without pretense".

Early Pandas were powered by a 652cc 2 cylinder air-cooled engine, but a water-cooled inline 4 and a diesel engine came later. Later on still a CVT transmission was offered, and a van 4X4 version produced. This variety was mainly down to the Pandas intentionally spacious design which allowed it not only to have a range of interior spaces but engine and transmission layouts as well.


Part 1 of this article

First 1 - 10 classic cars you can buy (almost) new today.

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