Cars We Wish We Could Drive On Independence Day
It’s America’s Independence Day – the day we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which ratified that the United States of America was no longer part of the British Empire. I know Brexit jokes are getting a bit old, but America did it before it was cool.
The Fourth of July is also a day for fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics, and family reunions. For most of us, it’s also a long weekend spent on the road. We love to travel as much as any of you out there and this is why I put together a short list of cars we wish we could drive on Independence Day. And it’s not about supercars I can’t afford, but iconic vehicles I cannot buy because they don’t make them anymore.
I’m sure some of you would enjoy spending the Independence Day weekend in at least one of the cars in the list below as much as I would, so go ahead and have a closer look at the vehicles that should be revived in the modern era. Also, feel free to add your own cars to the list via the comments box at the bottom. Have a great Fourth of July, drive safe, and in case you had a beer or two, make sure you leave the driving to those that didn’t.
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Nothing says 'Murica better than the Shelby GT500 KR - aka the "King of the Road."
Nothing says ’Murica better than the Shelby GT500 KR - aka the "King of the Road." A rare bird in the Mustang lineup, the KR was originally sold in 1968 and reintroduced in 2008 and 2009 on the fifth-gen Mustang’s platform. Unlike the initial KR, which had a 7.0-liter V-8 under the hood, the modern-day version used an updated version of the supercharged, 5.4-liter engine offered in the base Shelby GT500. Unfortunately, we’ll be spending several Independence Days without a KR based on the sixth-gen pony since Ford doesn’t plan to reintroduce the KR anytime soon. Granted, we already the have the bonkers GT350 with its race-spec configuration and naturally aspirated, flat-crank V-8 and the supercharged, 627+ horsepower Shelby GT, but the Independence Day trip would be far better behind the steering wheel of a GT500 KR.
I would do just about anything to spend the Fourth of July in a modern interpretation of the Cuda
Rumors about a modern-day Cuda have been swirling around since forever, but Chrysler’s new business plan doesn’t include such a product. And are far more complicated here, as the Plymouth brand has been dead since 2001. There have been rumors of a new Cuda under Dodge, but it wouldn’t be the same, would it? You could argue that the Challenger Hellcat would get the job done on Independence Day, and I agree, but the Cuda is by far a more exotic choice. It’s probably because the marque has been discontinued more than four decades ago and the fact that I’m a sucker for early 1970s Cuda Hemis, but yes, I would do just about anything to spend the Fourth of July in a modern interpretation of the Cuda. As long as it has a V-8 under the hood, that is!
A true icon of the American automotive industry, the Wagoneer quickly evolved into the one of the world's first luxury SUV
The Jeep Wagoneer is the only vehicle in our list that will actually happen. A true icon of the American automotive industry, the Wagoneer debuted with many innovations in the early 1960s and quickly evolved into the one of the world’s first luxury SUVs. Although it was highly capable on the unbeaten path, it provided a high degree of creature comfort, becoming popular with travelers, families, and executives alike. In 1990, the Wagoneer was pretty long in the tooth, but still popular. Buyer loyalty was at 60 percent and 58 percent of buyers were college educated. Also, buyers had a median income of almost $100,000, the highest of any domestic vehicle. Sounds like the perfect car to spend the Independence Day weekend in and fortunately, FCA plans to reintroduce the nameplate by the end of the decade. If you just can’t wait until then, 1980s models aren’t that old and mileage isn’t too awful as long as you’re not planning to use it as a daily driver.
Chevrolet Corvette C.7R "Stars and Stripes"
The "Stars and Stripes" Corvette legacy goes back to 1969
Given it existed, this is a car I wouldn’t be allowed to drive, simply because I’m not a racing driver and the C.7R isn’t road legal. But it would be awesome to see it lap the Laguna Seca, the Watkins Glen, or any other historic race track in the U.S. for that matter. For those of you not familiar with vintage motorsport, the "Stars and Stripes" Corvette legacy goes back to 1969, when race car driver and builder John Greenwood painted one of his C3-generation Corvettes in the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag. It was raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring and had a 7.0-liter V-8 good for around 750 horsepower under the hood. It hit 215 mph at Circuit de la Sarthe and was a part of Greenwood’s successful campaign in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Although it wasn’t exactly a factory effort, Chevy should honor both Greenwood and Independence Day with a throwback livery of the No. 49 car above, don’t you think?