This post is part of our series on people, places and things that have found new life in 2008.

It's no secret that the automotive manufacturing industry has experienced some tough times as of late. Detroit's big three have all had to deal with some measurably crushing blows. When times get tough though, car makers can always try to fall back on one time-tested strategy. That strategy is the replay of previously successful styles and models. Even the long-thought-extinct DeLorean is coming "Back to the Future," as the company that inherited its pieces and parts plans to resume producing them this year.

Ford has reawakened the Taurus nameplate in an effort to revive the company's wilting sales. The new Taurus features a bit more power and interior room than previous models. The Taurus is simply a renamed Ford Five Hundred, but it has received satisfactory marks from car enthusiasts and professional auto reviewers. Only time will tell if the public accepts the re-tagged mid size Ford sedan.

The two-seated roadster is making a comeback, possibly due only to the skyrocketing cost of motor fuel. German automaker, Funke & Will has made a splash with their Yes! Roadster, and announced at the Detroit auto show that it would unleash the little road demon upon the U.S. this year. Reminiscent only slightly of the Boxter, or perhaps the Opel GT, this German handcrafted roadster sports a 355 horsepower, turbo-charged model that you can have for just $97,995. Add another $8,000 and you can have one with over 400 horsepower.

One other ploy which being used to gain auto buyer's interest is the revival of muscle car styling. Ford has done an excellent job of bringing the fastback Mustang design of the early 1970's into modern view. Dodge has weighed into the effort with a great rework of their 1970's Challenger model. Not to be outdone, Chevrolet debuted a nice reconstitution of its popular Camaro. All three presentations are admirable and worthy of an auto enthusiast's second look.

Auto makers may be stressed, but they're not giving up. It would seem that the magic recipe rests within a subtle combination of economy and excitement. At the very least, it's been interesting to watch the lengths auto makers will go to in their attempts to grab the interest of auto buyers. It's nice to see them shake up the offering a little.

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