50-Year Reunion: 5 Cars from 1969, and Their Present-Day Versions

5w ago


Five decades is quite a long time. Hell, I'm only 22, so I haven't even lived to see half of that amount of time yet, and I can only imagine that I will look back on this post at the age of 72 and long for a time before Amazon Prime mastered teleportation, and Jeff Bezos married Elon Musk in the world's most powerful gay wedding. That horrifying, but intriguing alternate universe aside, I have gathered up a list of models that were around in 1969 and they're present-day versions.

1. Dodge Charger

It's hard to think that for 50 years, Dodge Chargers have been burning rubber and tearing up the main drags of towns while having this overwhelming sense of superiority and power. While the Charger has put on about 300 pounds in those five decades, most of it is muscle mass, with horsepower ratings nearly doubling in its highest trim, the Charger Hellcat Redeye. The 1969 Charger R/T 426 made 425 horsepower while the Hellcat Redeye makes 797 horsepower. While the Charger may have lost its two-door version over the years, and had a brief run as a personal luxury coupe, and a hot hatch, the Charger has more than redeemed itself in the past few years and is proving to be the ultimate four-door muscle car.

2. Chevrolet Corvette

The C7 Corvette is an absolute beast of a machine. The C3 Corvette was....not quite as loved. The C3 Corvette was such an interesting vehicle, with 21 different engines available over the course of its 14 model years, and four different transmissions. Power figures for incredibly powerful engines dropped drastically as the EPA choked these once firebreathing engines. The C3 is remembered for the woeful power outputs of its V8s dropping below 200 horsepower. Luckily those days are long gone, and although the C7 is also on its way out, its 755-horsepower ZR1 variants will be putting supercars around the world to shame.

3. Chevrolet Blazer

The 1969 Blazer was such a peculiar vehicle, it was a two-door, off-roader with a removable hardtop, almost like a Jeep Wrangler. The 2019 Blazer retains none of the original Blazers traits, and instead doubles down on styling and performance. While I certainly don't find the new Blazer to be impressive in any sort of regard, it does have to be said that the new DOHC V6 puts out more horsepower, and are faster than the old K5's.

4. Volkswagen Beetle

While the Beetle may be going away this year, it still gets to celebrate being around fifty years later, well, technically 70 years, but that's a different list for a different time. The 1969 Beetle looks nearly identical to the 1949 model, but the 2019 shares a lot more in common with the New Beetle than its similarly named ancestor. The New Beetle was always one of those vehicles I loved to see, and be happy that it existed, but after living with one for a week last summer, I'm glad I never had to own one.

5. Dodge Challenger

Here's a vehicle that hasn't changed much at all in the 50 years that it has filled the air around it with tiring smoke and the thunderous roar of its HEMI V8. While the Challenger got longer and taller over the years, it still maintains the same muscle car lines that it debuted with back in the fall of 1969. Power output has improved, with the V6 Challenger GT being able to outrun a 1970 Challenger T/A and the Demon can....well, you probably already know what the Demon can do, so I don't need to address that the new Challenger is vastly superior to its classic version, though if someone handed me the keys to a 1970 R/T Six Pack, I definitely wouldn't complain.

The Takeaway

Sometimes the past makes us think that the future is too advanced, but there are some things in the present day that we take for granted. Just because an old muscle car can't keep up with a new one, doesn't mean that it's no good. Far from it, it's good in its own right, and I think that valuing each vehicle in their own right is the way to think, because who knows, in 50 years, someone may try to revive the Stinger, or the 13th-generation Corvette might be coming out, or we may not have cars at all. Who knows? Appreciate what you've got in the present, remember your past, and always look toward the future.

What did you think of seeing these models side-by-side? Did I miss one of your favorite models that has been around for 50 years? Comment them below!