Engines and materials may change, but the oldest vehicles still produced retain their distinctive identity. Even though the world’s oldest automaker still in existence – Peugeot – has produced cars since 1882, none of the original vintage are still made. Here are the oldest cars still in production, a testament to their craftsmanship and style. Vehicles listed here still depend upon the same basic platform they always have, beyond just a name.
The Morgan 4/4
Even though the first Morgan 4/4 was produced in 1936, today’s Morgan is closer in spirit to the Series II Morgan from 1955, according to Jalopnik. It’s still the same wood-framed sportster today, however, with a long-standing tradition. Experts predict that there’s a 95 percent chance that the Morgan 4/4 will continue to be produced throughout the current decade.
The Hindustan Ambassador
What began as a take on the 1958 Morris Oxford that year became India’s primary wheels. Today, the Ambassador runs on an Isuzu engine, and the body style doesn’t exactly scream modernity. Couple that last point with its less-than-efficient fuel economy and cheaper competition, and the days of the Ambassador may be numbered.
Type II Volkswagen Kombi
This original Volkswagen Microbus is still available for sale out of Brazil, complete with water-cooled motor under the back floor and gas/ethanol capability. Today’s Kombi is a second-generation T2, which was first produced in 1967. Looks-wise, it is much the same, save for the radiator attached to the front.
Type 603 Bristol Blenheim
First built in 1976, the Blenheim is still made today in a $250,000 package. Few of the hard-to-drive luxury vehicles are made each year, and some complain about the appearance of the panel gaps. Considering that the Blenheim has been called “the finest Ford Capri available” by Jalopnik, it’s a wonder that the car does as well as it does.
The Shah of Iran told Mercedes-Benz to make this back in 1979, and the automaker delivered. They’ve been delivering ever since, through big updates under the hood and even more luxurious interior accoutrements. On the outside, however, it’s still big and boxy. The 2013 update for the G-class was considered quite comprehensive, an indication that it will continue to have staying power.
Fiat Uno (first generation)
Another boxy number, this Italian number is still sold in Brazil as the Mille Economy. It’s 1980s stylings are easy to see, and it’s both cheap to produce and run. Jalopnik predicts that this Fiat may have a few years left, particularly when Sergio Marchionne has Chrysler to rely on when it comes time to pay the bills.
Volkswagen Jetta and Passat
Now in its second generation, the Jetta has been around since 1984, while the second-generation Passat hit the streets in 1981. These have been big sellers in China for decades, serving as family cars, taxi cabs, police vehicles, you name it. The growing middle class in China will no doubt continue to eat these up.
An automaker that’s been around since 1882 couldn’t be shut out of the race entirely. The 1987-era 405 is still built and updated in Iran. In fact, this lower-end vehicle is known unofficially as the nation’s national car.