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ROAD & TRAVEL's 2004 International Car of the Year Awards

ROAD & TRAVEL's 2004 Classic Car of the Year -- Chevrolet SSR

Contrary to what one might think, it takes more than neo-classic styling to be considered an instant classic. It must, first and foremost, be a memorable vehicle that at once will mark its place in time as well as be a desirable vehicle far into the future.

The 2004 Chevrolet SSR is one such vehicle, marking its place in today's market by being the first convertible pickup in history with a retractable hardtop (which "spoons" into a recess behind the twin bucket seats). Its passenger compartment offers all the comforts of home (save the TV), with a rockin' stereo, of course, climate controls and more, all decorated with tasteful splashes of aluminum.

The SSR also promises to be highly desirable for generations to come, thanks to the rousing performance generated by its growling 5.3-liter V-8 that produces 300 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque.

And as for that neo-classic styling? Well, how could you forget that?

Honorable Mentions:

Nissan 350Z Roadster

Any Z-Car is automatically a classic, given how steeped in heritage the Z brand is. But truly, the new Nissan 350Z Roadster is a beauty in its own right, and promises not to be forgotten any time soon. And you better like that bustle-tailed rear end, since the combination of 287 horsepower and the right driver may ensure that the rear end is the view you'll see the most-that is, until it becomes just a spec on the horizon.

Cadillac XLR
Need we wax any more about the merits of the outstanding (and quite memorable) Cadillac XLR? Just check out the entries for our Sports Car of the Year category, Most Sex Appeal, and our Car of the Year, both of which the XLR won.

International Car of the Year
Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Sex Appeal
Sports Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
Jaguar XJ

Most Dependable
Sedan of the Year
BMW 5-Series

Most Spirited
Entry-Level Car of the Year
Dodge SRT-4

Most Compatible
Minivan of the Year
Nissan Quest

Most Versatile
Crossover/Sport Wagon of the Year
Chrysler Pacifica
Most Memorable
Classic Car of the Year
Chevrolet SSR
Most Athletic
Pickup Truck of the Year
Ford F-150 FX4

Most Likely to Survive
SUV of the Year
Volkswagen Touareg

Class of 2004 ~ 8th Annual Awards Links