Top 10 Cars and Trucks That Won't Die for 2007 — Edmunds.com

Top 10 Cars and Trucks That Won't Die for 2007


In the entertainment business, an older actor or director is called an icon. In fashion, the mantra is "Everything old is new again." However, in the auto industry, the climate is such that we're pretty much limited to vehicles that are either "hot" or "discontinued."

Despite this, there are a few vehicles that have carved a longstanding niche for themselves to become fixtures on our roads. Here's how they've done it.

  1. Chevrolet Camaro

    1. Chevrolet Camaro

    The Camaro hit the road in 1967, but the über-sweet 1969 model helped the car reach the masses. There were four robust V8 engines (more choices than were offered by its rival, the Ford Mustang), and the Camaro was at home both on the street and drag strip. Performance and appearance options from the factory as well as the aftermarket ensured that even the close to 5 million Camaros produced during those years could still have individuality — although pristine originals are mega-hot properties on the auction block today. The Camaro will return in 2008 as a 2009 model, with a convertible model due to bow in 2010.

  2. Chevrolet Corvette

    2. Chevrolet Corvette

    Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and, well, you know the rest. It doesn't get much more iconic than this. Corvettes have changed significantly since 1953, yet every generation of the car has a certain Vette-ness, whether it's the unmistakable rumble from big cubes under the hood or the purposeful flourish of a fiberglass fender that's both sharp and flowing at the same time. Never too exotic, Corvettes always have a bang-for-the-buck quality about them. That Everyman appeal — with an aspirational price tag to match — sets Corvettes apart from other performance cars on this list.

  3. Dodge Challenger

    3. Dodge Challenger

    Most on this list have had longevity, but the Challenger is an example of a short-lived car ready to be reborn for the muscle-car comeback. (The Challenger reigned from 1970 to 1974 in the U.S.; however, the name was revived for a couple of years in the late '70s, used by Dodge to market a Mitsubishi-built sports car.) Its late entry in the pony-car wars (with the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang) coupled with a quick demise (emissions standards, fuel prices) hasn't seemed to hurt it at auction, where it brings in top dollar. A slew of engines were initially offered, but the most memorable has got to be the Hemi, which is as iconic as the car itself. The upcoming next-generation Challenger will revisit the magic formula: coolness, brawn and Hemi.

  4. Ferrari

    4. Ferrari

    Supercars aren't as rare as they once were, but even in this era of everyday exotica, one marque towers above the rest as the most desirable automobile of them all. What has kept Ferrari at the very top of everyone's must-have list? Certainly there's the matchless performance of its legendary engines and its always distinctive styling courtesy of Europe's top designers. But the roots of Ferrari's appeal run deeper, to Enzo Ferrari's early notion that his road and racecars should be technologically linked. So, for those who dream of Gran Prix glory, a Formula 1-inspired Ferrari may be the next best thing.

  5. Ford F-Series Pickup

    5. Ford F-Series Pickup

    Henry Ford built his first factory pickup in 1925, but the F-Series wasn't born until 1948, with the launch of everything from a half-ton F-1 to a 3-ton F-8. Time flies when you're trucking with the best of them; the F-Series pickup will turn 60 in 2008. Ford's workhorse has remained a success, thanks to unlimited configurations, creative trim levels (Harley-Davidson or NASCAR, anyone?), and multiple power options, including a diesel. While GM's Silverado/Sierra and Dodge's Ram (and now the import offerings) are capable competitors, it's Ford that has managed to have an uninterrupted best-selling streak.

  6. Ford Mustang

    6. Ford Mustang

    Mechanically it was nothing special — just a new body style riding on tried-and-true (and sorta dull) Ford Falcon underpinnings. But when it debuted at the New York World's Fair in 1964, Ford's Mustang was an immediate home run. It took just 18 months to sell 1 million of 'em to street racers, little old ladies and everyone in between. Along the way, an entire segment of sporty two-door coupes and convertibles was nicknamed "pony cars," thanks to the 'Stang. That today's hot-selling version is a throwback to the car's '60s styling is a testament to the original Mustang's timeless appeal.

  7. Jeep

    7. Jeep

    There used to be only one Jeep model. Technically the Willys MA/MB, the Army referred to it as simply "Jeep" — which stuck. The first civilian version was the CJ-2A in 1945, then CJ-3A, CJ-3B, CJ-5, CJ-6, CJ-7, CJ-8 and, in 1987, Wrangler. Over time, it became less utilitarian (consumers wanted ride comfort with their ruggedness), but its reputation for fun remained, bolstered by the extreme, boulder-ready Wrangler Rubicon. Today's Jeep lineup includes soccer mom-friendly vehicles that gently finesse city streets. Still, the brand — led by its iconic Wrangler — will always be known for tackling whatever is thrown its way, be it war or adventure.

  8. Porsche 911

    8. Porsche 911

    No car has changed as much — and as little — as Porsche's 911. After more than 40 years and nearly a half-dozen generations, the 911 remains at the forefront of sports-car performance, squeezing ungodly amounts of power from relatively small engines and ever-higher cornering and braking thresholds from its race-bred chassis. Yet the styling of today's 911 features the same distinctive teardrop shape as its 1964 forebear, and both cars share rear-mounted, flat-6 powertrains (though the new engine's cooled by water, not air). Then again, the '64 911 produced 130 horsepower; the '07 Porsche Turbo puts out 480. Some change is good.

  9. Rolls-Royce Phantom

    9. Rolls-Royce Phantom

    Rolls and Royce were two guys who came together to build an "experimental" car, but it was their Silver Ghost in 1907 that was called "the best car in the world." The spin-off Phantom Series is why R-R is here. The original debuted in 1925 as the Phantom I, followed by the II, III, IV, V and VI. After a hiatus, the Phantom returned with a fresh design (built for the new owner, BMW) — and the usual premium features. Rolls-Royce is synonymous with luxury (and sticker shock for most of the population), a characteristic that'll exist as long as the car does.

  10. Volkswagen Beetle

    10. Volkswagen Beetle

    Few cars are more instantly recognizable than the lumpy, so-homely-it's-cute Beetle; few cars are so beloved by their owners (and hated by critics). And few cars have made such an indelible mark on the social and economic landscape. The Beetle was the first compact car to truly catch on with the masses — if you didn't own one, a friend probably did — and it single-handedly launched the import-car business in the United States. The Beetle was retired in the U.S. in 1978, but it lived on in other parts of the world. It was reborn as the New Beetle in 1998.

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