I think they were as popular as they were/are partly because of the name. People love a cute name. My mom really liked leeks and I think she like the name as much or more than the leeks.
The Classic style (aft cabin?) is a lot lighter up high where it counts more but it looks like a lot more weight generally speaking. A heavier boat.
I'd rather have a boat like Marin's. More business-like and salty or w more apparent seaworthyness. More proper looking and well .. classic. They'd look more at home crossing Dixon Entrance on a snotty day.
But the extra shelter where it's sunny or here in the PNW where it's rainy the extra shelter makes sense. When I bought Willy one of the first things I thought I'd be doing is adding an aft cockpit cover. Spray rails too but neither seemed important enough to do as time went on .. Especially the spray rails.
North Western Washington State USA