There is a lot of talk surrounding the Land Rover Defender this week. British production is scheduled to end in December of 2015 and Land Rover is saying goodbye to the off-roader with a year of celebrations that kicked off yesterday with the announcement of three limited-edition models and the creation of a kilometer-wide sand drawing on a British beach.
The Defender as we know it traces its roots back to the 110 that was introduced in 1983. Land Rover has, of course, updated the off-roader over the years with more efficient engines, additional tech options and a revamped interior, but the basic design hasn’t changed a whole lot over the past three decades, making it one of the oldest cars you can still buy new.
The Defender belongs to a small group of cars that have unexpectedly stuck around essentially unchanged for decades. The other models that immediately come to mind are the Lada Niva, which was introduced in 1976, and the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen, which has been around since 1979. The Volkswagen Kombi, the auto industry’s former veteran, was axed in late 2013 after 56 uninterrupted years of production.
What vintage car(s) do you think should still be in production today and why?
Our vote goes to the Alfa Romeo Spider. Granted, it was starting to seriously show its age by the time it was phased out but it was a timeless design that could have easily been modernized from a visual point of view. We’re fairly sure that one of Alfa’s new four-cylinder engines can fit under the hood without drastic modifications, though safety regulations are a different story.