RETRO BENZ

Ford has the new Thunderbird and Chrysler has its PT Cruiser, but when it comes to retro automobiles, Mercedes-Benz is the only car company truly recapturing the original magic of the past. Mercedes is currently handcrafting a limited number of the first 1886 Benz Three Wheeler Automobile ($49,500 plus freight). Of course, this perfect replication is missing a few amenities that we have come to expect with modern cars — airbags, CD player, air conditioning, doors, and a roof. Nevertheless, imagine the thrill of cutting through the wind at 10 miles an hour while feeling the torque of the .75-horsepower one-cylinder engine as it throws you back into the buckboard seat. This baby runs on regular gas and still manages to clock 24 miles to the gallon. Goggles, dusters, and driving caps extra. For more information, log on to www.insideautomotive.com.