Help struggling seniors. Deliver hope this Giving Tuesday. Donate


Classic Cars Then and Now

The rides of our youth are hitting the road — from a showroom near you.

  • Surfers on beach with surfboards and Ford Mustang convertible, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Back to the Future

    En español | Hoping to ride the wave of boomer nostalgia, carmakers are updating classics like the 1964 Mustang convertible shown here and reviving dormant brands including the Dodge Dart. We rounded up some old favorites and paired them with their contemporary counterparts. Let's drive! — Tom Kelley/Getty Images

    1 of 13
  • Ford Mustang, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Ford Mustang

    Spearheaded by Lee Iacocca, the first so-called pony car was a game-changer on its unveiling at the '64 World's Fair: More than 22,000 models flew out of showrooms the first day. Ford's yearlong 50th-birthday celebration culminates with the release of a 6th-generation Mustang next spring. — 1964: FPG/Getty Images. 2013: Ford Motor Company

    2 of 13
  • Dodge Dart, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Dodge Dart

    The original model was a full-size sedan but the Dart is best remembered in its 1967 compact form, often modified for drag-racing. By the time Dodge ended production in 1976, the Dart was known as a granny car. Nobody knocks it now: Today's Dart was inspired by Alfa Romeo's Giulietta.   — 1960: Bettmann/Corbis. 2013: Dodge Brand Media/AP

    3 of 13
  • Dodge Charger, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Dodge Charger

    Launched as a two-door coupe in 1966, the Charger was a hit with NASCAR drivers and lead-footed consumers. It achieved TV stardom as The General Lee on The Dukes of Hazzard but was out of production by 1978. The muscle car charged back to life in 2006 as a four-door sedan. — 1966: Performance Image/Alamy 2012: Transtock/Corbis

    4 of 13
  • Chevrolet Camaro, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Chevrolet Camaro

    What could compete with the Mustang? Chevy's answer: the Camaro. Debuting in 1967, the car peaked in popularity in the 1970s. Sales slowly faded until Chevy retired the model in 2002. It returned in 2010, aiming to "unite customers with fond memories" of past Camaros.   — 1967: Pat Brollier/Source Interlink Media/Getty Images. 2013: General Motors

    5 of 13
  • Mini Cooper, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Mini Cooper

    The original Mini's tiny-box design made this British import a touchstone of the 1960s. BMW purchased the Mini line in the mid-1990s, then brought out its new version in 2001. Although the car is still manufactured in Britain, the Mini's maximum sales are in the United States. — 1960 and 2013: BMW

    6 of 13
  • Corvette, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Chevrolet Corvette

    First produced in 1953, the zippy Corvette took its name, aptly, from a small, fast gunship. Today, "Corvette" is synonymous with "American sports car." The model has never gone out of production. The 2014 version is the first since 1976 to carry the "Stingray" moniker from the '60s and '70s.   — 1953: Car Culture/Corbis. 2014: Alan Vanderkaay/General Motors

    7 of 13
  • Cadillac, Boomer Cars Then and Now


    When Cadillac released its Eldorado Convertible in 1953, the carmaker's name was a quintessentially American brand of success. Sales dipped at the end of the 20th century, but Cadillac — 111 years old this year — has rebounded with hits like the CTS sedan (shown here) and luxury SUV Escalade. — 1953 and 2014: General Motors

    8 of 13
  • Fiat 500, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Fiat 500

    The Italian import's adorable size (it was named for its 500 cubic-centimeter engine) made it countercultural in the late-1950s era of huge cars. Fiat, which is now the majority stakeholder in Chrysler, produced the 500 until 1976, then revived the car for its 50th anniversary in 2007. — c. 1959: Chrysler Group, LLC. 2013: PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC/AP Images

    9 of 13
  • Dodge Challenger, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Dodge Challenger

    Eclipsed by the more elegant design of the Mustang and Camaro, the Challenger was produced only from 1970 to 1975. The name briefly reappeared on a late-1970s subcompact, then roared back to life — and to its muscle-car roots — in 2008 with a sleek shape that honors the original. — 1970: Tom Wood/Alamy. 2013: PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC/AP Images

    10 of 13
  • Ford F-Series Truck, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Ford F-Series

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it: The classic American pickup truck was introduced in 1948 and has been in production ever since. Each year brings a few new tweaks, but the country's best-selling truck for more than half a century proves that consistency yields success. — 1948 and 2013: Ford Motor Company

    11 of 13
  • Volkswagon Beetle, Boomer Cars Then and Now

    Volkswagen Beetle

    After an ignominious start (Hitler commissioned the first models) the VW Beetle became the most famous small car on the planet. Its popularity flagged after its '60s heyday, then exploded after a '90s reboot. A model due next year uses iPhone technology: It's called — what else? — the iBeetle. — 1967: Performance Image/Alamy. 2014: Volkswagen of America

    12 of 13
  • Health endslide
    13 of 13

See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more

Join or Renew with AARP today — Receive access to exclusive information, benefits and discounts

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

AARP Membership

Discounts & Benefits

    Next Article

    Read This