Home » Guess The Mainstream Car These Bizarre “Neo-Classic” Cars Are Based On

Guess The Mainstream Car These Bizarre “Neo-Classic” Cars Are Based On

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You know what’s an endlessly amusing category of car that’s somehow, improbably, still around? Neoclassic cars. I think the term originated with Virgil Exner’s attempts to revive the Stutz and Duesenberg  marques in the 1960s, and then popularized with the Excalibur soon afterwards. Neoclassical cars are, essentially, modern cars (well, modern for whatever era they were built) but re-bodied to look like dramatic cars from the 1920s and 1930s. Generally, they tend to go for long and low and big, swooping fenders and side pipes and lots of chrome and jewelry and are wildly showy things. Generally, if you’re the sort of person who is willing to wear a gold chain that would be substantial enough to secure a schooner to the dock, then maybe a neoclassic car is for you.

The thing about most neoclassic cars is that they tend to be built by small, low-volume carmakers who don’t have the ability to produce entirely new bodies. As a result, most neoclassic cars, as transformed as they are, still maintain some hints of what their original donor cars were. It’s kind of fun to see if you can spot these details, which is what this little quiz is all about!

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I have 14 neoclassic cars listed below: see if you can tell, just by looking, no Googling now, what the original donor cars were! Stick your answers in the comments, and then, only after that, you can click the answers link below.

Oh, and don’t be fooled by the VW Beetle turn inidicators; a surprising number of these cars use them, yet only one is based on a VW Beetle body (and not the drivetrain; how did they buy new just-bodies from VW?). This’ll be fun, I promise! Off you go!

1 Philipsberlina 2 Clenet 3 Panther 4 Mitsuoka 5 Kanzler

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6 Classictiffany 7 Phantom 8 Zimmergoldenspirit 9 Spartan2 10 Zimmergslimo 11 Zimmercoupe 12 Zimmerquicksilver 13 Archer 14 Baroquecoupe

Some were easy, some were pretty tricky, right? Okay, put your guesses in the comments, then come back here and see how you did! There’s no prize, just like so much of life, but I’ll respect that you did it.

(thanks to The Bishop for a crapload of research and image hunting!)

 

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MiniDave
MiniDave
11 months ago

What, no Clenet? (built out of Sprite body shell!)

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
11 months ago

Sheesh, I only got 4 of them. I’m still not seeing the Corvette in #1. Is it the T-Tops?

Dale Mitchell
Dale Mitchell
11 months ago

All are corvettes

Justin Short
Justin Short
11 months ago

Over half correct

Racecar_Steve
Racecar_Steve
11 months ago

I was able to guess more of these than I would have figured, but one that threw me for a loop was the Johnson Motors Phantom based off a third gen Camaro, and I OWN a third gen Camaro!

Also- I looked at the Zimmer Quicksilver and thought “hmm.. that’s not awful..I’d drive that”… what are these confusing new feelings??? To be fair, it’s not as grotesque as many of the other neo-classic creations, but it was still a moment of growth for me today to learn that I may be “Neo-curious” 

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
11 months ago
Reply to  Racecar_Steve

It’s all perspective (& not worrying about what others think) Just think only about the looks/design and the era they were derived from…it’s classy!

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
11 months ago

I had NO idea that there were so many Neo-classics. They are all wonderful and terrible at the same time.

Scott Ashley
Scott Ashley
11 months ago

1 Vette
2 Beetle convertible
3 IDK
4 accord coupe?
5 looks like a Porsche but why would you?
6 mercury cougar
7 IDK
8 Seville (guess)
9 IDK
10 ford panther platform
11 mustang
12 t bird
13 fiat spyder
14 some kinda GM g body

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
11 months ago

I had no idea there were so many of these. I was aware of the Zimmers (and saw one in person at a car show a few years ago) and the Mitsuoka, but I didn’t realize there were so many others.

These are all aping pre-war cars, right? They are all very interesting to look at, but I don’t feel a connection to any of them because I don’t have memories of the originals. And I don’t imagine there are too many people still alive today who do still remember when the originals were common.

It makes me wonder what could be done to mimic other eras of car design with modern pieces underneath. My dad’s generation would probably like chrome fins stuck to everything, and I’d be curious to see body styling that makes cars look like jellybeans.

VanGuy
VanGuy
11 months ago

If the #10 Zimmer Golden Spirit Limo isn’t a Panther body, I’ll eat my shorts
Many of the rest are vaguely familiar shapes, but not enough for me to be nearly that sure

Tom Herman
Tom Herman
11 months ago

Those horns better play “First Call”.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
11 months ago

I think the Zimmers are a Mustang and a WRONG Monte Carlo. FIERO.

The others? No idea.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Ron888
Ron888
11 months ago

Why did i click on this page?? Now my day is ruined.
It may even be weeks before the vomitous-cars induced depression ends

Ok,less dramatically now-
i think the Kanzler coupe has to be built on the beetle body.No other come close to the right shape

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
11 months ago

Panther DeVille, based on the Austin Maxi and inspired by the Cadillac DeVille (itself based on the Chevrolet Impala).

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
11 months ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

That one freaked me way out when I saw the answers, as on looking at it, it’s the least ghastly IMO. Is it still FWD?

Protodite
Protodite
11 months ago

Okay so there’s actually a guy with a zimmer quicksilver in red in a nearby town and I gotta say I think it actually looks very good in person these days. I dig it!

There’s also a place in Wilkes Barre that has had a (I believe) an Excaliber in the window forever – but it’s matched with a fabulously baroque 60s hotel and banquet hall. Did I attend Pennsylvania Polka Fest there this year? Yes, and it ruled, and was the perfect venue for it haha

Last edited 11 months ago by Protodite
Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
11 months ago

This is fun! My guesses without peeking:

C3 ‘Vette, Beetle vert, Silver Shadow, Z32 300ZX, Opel GT, Mercury Cougar XR7, Series 3 Camaro, Mustang (Fox-body), 280ZX, Town Car, S197 Mustang, Fiero, Fiat 124 Spider, Buick Regal 
(after looking) Dang. 12/14 is still pretty good.

Last edited 11 months ago by Geoff Buchholz
Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
11 months ago

What? No Excalibur?

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

Excaliburs were built on bespoke frames and carried their own unique VINs. Neoclassics, yes, but kits they were not.

Rich Hobbs
Rich Hobbs
11 months ago

Just wanted to give you an Attaboy for this article! Fun! Headscratching! Satisfying if you got at least half of them! Lol

James Wallace
James Wallace
11 months ago

Ever notice, if there is a car that is driven by somebody you perceive as a total Douche. Anybody you ever see driving one after that revelation is immediately classified as a Douche, until proven innocent. I actually knew somebody that drove the Baroque Motors Coupe and was a total Douche. Waiting to meet an innocent driver of it or any of its brethren.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
11 months ago

The Phillips is really quite attractive, and I’ve wanted a Zimmer Quicksilver ever since I first learned of it.

But I would probably drive any of these readily.

Michael Sharp
Michael Sharp
11 months ago

Make it stop, MAKE IT STOP PLEEEEEEEEEESE!!!!
https://media.giphy.com/media/cJL1Y7MY1akc8/giphy.gif

Last edited 11 months ago by Michael Sharp
Anders
Anders
11 months ago

I couldn’t get past the «Kanzler»… I kinda expected it to be produced in a German post-WW2 enclave in Argentina, and to discover it was actually named the Kanzler SS.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
11 months ago
  1. C3 Vette
  2. Beetle
  3. No friggin’ clue
  4. Nissan Z (modern)
  5. Nissan Z (70’s)
  6. Mercury Cougar
  7. Buick Riviera
  8. 80’s Lincoln Town Car coupe
  9. Fox Body Mustang
  10. Lincoln Town Car sedan, final gen
  11. ’05-’09(?) Mustang
  12. Lincoln Mark VII
  13. 1st gen Corvair
  14. 80’s Buick Regal
Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
11 months ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

5/14 … NOT impressive!

Ncbrit
Ncbrit
11 months ago

Except for the Maxi, all the originals are far better than these monstrosities.

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
11 months ago

The only one of those I know is the Mitsuoka, because of Clarkson driving it on the excellent recent Grand Tour episode. It’s missing something without the candelabras though.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
11 months ago

As much as I do not get the appeal of most of these things, I would actually absolutely, unironically, proudly drive a Zimmer Quicksilver. It hides the fact that it’s based on another car so very well, especially considering the other, more mediocre efforts from Zimmer. That people would be shocked that there’s no engine under that huge long hood is just icing on the cake.

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
11 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

I have always thought the Quicksilver was weirdly appealing car! It is not exactly pretty, but it is very striking with odd but well balanced proportions. If I saw on at the right price I would buy it…

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
11 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

I know, right?!

Racecar_Steve
Racecar_Steve
11 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

ok so good, it’s not just me! I looked at that car and definitely gave it the “hmm.. not bad” treatment

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