Do you remember how, when the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer debuted, everyone wanted it to come with a wood-trim option like the old Grand Wagoneer? But then people started photoshopping the vinyl on the new Jeep, and something didn’t quite work. The fact is, old-school styling elements just don’t look right on many modern cars. But one modern car that can seemingly handle retro styling bits is the Chevrolet HHR, as demonstrated by this machine spotted in Michigan.
[Editor’s Note: Cold Start is running in the afternoon because I forgot to publish it this morning. Sorry! – JT]
My friend Brandon sent me some photos of an HHR he spotted in a parking lot in Michigan a few weeks back, and I have to admit that my initial reaction was to recoil. Look at all the cheesy badges just glued to that sheetmetal! Yikes! But a closer look brought me into the light, because I don’t hate this HHR. Actually, I kind of dig it:
The two-tone paint, steel wheels with dogdish center caps, the old-school stainless steel trim just below the beltline, the (Mercury?) hood ornament — it melds well with the HHR’s body shape and overall design. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise because, like its PT Cruiser competitor, the HHR was designed with retro styling queues; in fact, the old-school design was among the vehicles’ main selling points when the car hit the market in 2005. Still, I wasn’t expecting it to be possible to simply take parts off of 50+ year-old cars and just graft them on; the fact that this HHR pulls it off is just cool.
Unrelated to the car above, I was curious to see if an HHR can pool off the woody look, so I googled it and found, on a site called PT Woody, that there are wood-trim kits available. I think it sort-of works, but the white/light blue two-tone car works a bit better in my eyes.
Anyway, as a big fan of the reliable, practical, reasonably-efficient, and and available-with-a-stick HHR I figured I’d show you that.