By on December 15, 2016

mg-midget-yellow-front-quarter

Despite the scores of new cars available to North American drivers, not every niche is filled. Entire segments of the new car market have all but been abandoned in the almighty search for profitability — or in the case of some OEMs, mere solvency.

Whither the personal luxury coupe? How about the almighty two-door, full size SUV? Buyers would certainly snap up tens of these every year.

I was inspired by an unfortunate recent passing of a great fellow Ohioan. John Glenn, Marine, astronaut, and senator, was a personal hero from my youth. I found myself thumbing through a collection of old magazines I’d acquired when I was a space-obsessed kid.

The July 28, 1969 Newsweek was notable for coverage of the Apollo Eleven moon landing, as well as three-page write-up of Senator Ted Kennedy’s long Oldsmobile drive off a short pier. Stuck in the middle of that Chappaquiddick nightmare was this full-page advert for one of the smallest mass-produced cars ever to oil American motorways – the MG Midget:1969-mg-midget-advertisement

The ad copy acknowledges that the name doesn’t exactly evoke performance. Indeed, it would be a political correctness nightmare if the new Chinese caretakers of the MG octagon were to try and market a new Midget in the US. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a proper, diminutive sports car.

Yes, interweb clutch jockeys, I hear your “MIATA” screams. I have a Miata-shaped shelf of my own, keeping a broken Barbie Jeep and some golf clubs off the frigid concrete garage floor. But even the Miata is now a relatively comfortable, almost-luxurious car. I argue that a lighter-weight, agile, and most importantly CHEAP sports car is a crucial market segment.

honda-s660-21-1

Honda did it right with the Beat, and more recently the S660 — both kei-cars with low horsepower and a corresponding curb weight. Something fun to drive, yet cheap. I have to believe a basic sports car priced similarly to the cheapest cars on the market — Versa, Mirage, I’m looking at you — would be an attractive first car, or easy-to-insure occasional car for those of us stuck in family haulers most days.

MG hasn’t been particularly successful in the UK, where Chinese-manufactured cars are being assembled from knockdown kits in the historic Longbridge plant. Perhaps bringing back the historic Midget nameplate in a cheap roadster might spell success.

I’m sure there are others I’m neglecting. Do modern drivers need a Blazer, or a Granada, or even a GLC?

[Images: Oxyman/Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0); Newsweek, July 28, 1969; Honda Motor Company]

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222 Comments on “QOTD: What Dead Model Would You Resurrect?...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    Volvo 240!

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Ford Thunderbird and IH Scout.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Some spiritual combination of Dodge Omni GLHS and Neon SRT-4.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    1987 RX-7 Turbo II of course.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well I say a saab 900, the Swede version not the GM- Swede version, weird but lovable, but the issue with most of these rise from the dead brands would be small volume means you can not sell cheap, and with the midget you would need some much safety gear weight would be a issue also, I also would not mind a revamp of the lovely 2 door audi Quattro from the late 80’s

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Jaguar XJ6 (1994-1997) but I’d put someone other than the British in charge of quality control.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    Honda CRX or Buick Grand National. Hell, maybe even the original Mini.

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby aka Troy D.

    1993-1997 Ford Probe GT with a 2017 spec power train. It would sell extremely well like sport coupes do, for only a couple of years, but YES PLEASE.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Easy…A Convertible, 64 Chevy SS Impala 327 cu.in… Black on Black.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Any one of 80s-era sporty liftback coupes, with T-tops of course. My 1st choice would be the Mercury Capri.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Chevy Chevelle SS: Alpha platform sedan (CTS sized) with 6.2L V8.

    Chevy Nova: Alpha platform sedan/coupe (ATS sized). Offer the 5.3L V8 on it somewhere.

    Buick Riviera: Omega platform coupe. About 202 inches long and powered by a turbo 4.3L V6.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      GM re-trademarked a few of the older names last year and Chevelle was one of them. If it came back I’d think it would have the Challenger in its cross-hairs for competition. A new Challenger is basically the same size as the 68-72 Chevelle and GM has the coin to make it happen again.

      Wishful thinking, but they could roll one out this show season based on timelines.

  • avatar
    Messerschmitten

    I second the CR-X and add the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      And if you’re bringing back the ’67 Eldorado, you’re all but obligated to bring back its sibling, the ’66 Oldsmobile Toronado. This in turn would require (un)restoring road conditions at Pike’s Peak and instituting a class in the hill climb that the Toronado (or the Eldorado) could win. And then Troy McClure could narrate a short film about the victory.

      https://youtu.be/ELaYM0dxnJo?t=300

      • 0 avatar
        Messerschmitten

        I didn’t resurrect the ’66 Toronado because it had terrible drum brakes connected to a single-circuit master cylinder. I’d gladly bring back the ’67 Toro (and Eldo) with the then-optional front disc brakes. They still weren’t good brakes, but they were better than the Olds/Caddy drums.

        This reminds me that I’d bring back the ’67 Eldorado WITH the engine it was originally designed to accept: the new-for-1967 Cadillac V12.

        http://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/2012/06/27/cadillacs-phantom-v12/

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          Nick Sanborn and Louie Unser scoff at your need for brakes. Brakes don’t get you to the top of the mountain! ;-)

          ’67 was a good year, too, for the Toronado. The styling tweaks were so minor that they neither improved nor worsened the looks. Things went downhill in ’68.

          I’d be curious to drive a ’66 and a ’67 back-to-back, as apparently the suspension was softened after ’66. (Side note: The older I get, the more I think journalists aren’t always right in calling for a sportier suspension.)

          Assuming the buyer was restrained enough to forego a vinyl top and pinstripes, I think the ’67 Eldorado goes on the short list of finest-looking cars Detroit ever has produced – sharp, both literally and figuratively.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Cherokee. Small, basic, lightish SUV (not CUV) with decent power and a rugged drivetrain and real 4WD.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      The Cherokee Trailhawk’s AWD system is very robust, with a low range and rear locker. How much more “real” do you need it to be? center locking differential? Locking front axle? Were either of these even available on the previous Cherokee?

      Or does it absolutely need to have the classic 4WD layout of longitudinal transmission and transfer case, as opposed to a power transfer unit hanging off the transaxle?

      Maybe I’m not pure enough, but if it does the job and doesn’t grenade itself, I don’t care if its traditional RWD/4WD or FWD/AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        I think many of the part-time 4wd XJ Cherokees had “locked” t-case front-to-rear as the only 4wd mode for both hi and low range, but I’m not sure there was ever a factory front locker. Obviously there are dozen aftermarket front lockers.

      • 0 avatar
        bills79jeep

        After reading through the marketing crap – sounds like all Cherokee systems are an AWD/ viscous clutch setup – I don’t know how they actually operate, but it looks like that*. The old Cherokee (and Wranger) have the old school 4×4 transfer case setup. With the old system, there is no wheel slip allowed. It’s certainly more crude and can’t be used on dry pavement. But, it can’t be beat for real off-road situations.

        *Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, not up to speed on the newer systems.

        Full disclosure – if they brought back the XJ I’d be in line to buy one tomorrow. Maybe they could actually put some decent window regulators in the second time around.

        • 0 avatar
          npaladin2000

          The current Jeep FWD/AWD system is a viscous setup, but with a lockable “center” differential, as well as a rear-axle disconnect. It actually starts off in AWD mode, to put power to the rear during acceleration and prevent torque setter, then it disconnects the rear axle in cruise mode, unless you select one of the manual terrain modes.

          It’s pretty robust. Adds some weight though. The more advanced ones have a legitimate crawl ratio too.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Problems with the new model Cherokee:

        -Ugly trendy styling
        -complex systems not simple-as-a-wheelbarrow

        -9AT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar

      I am in the corner of David Tracy when I say that the XJ is genuinely the perfect “overall” vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      karonetwentyc

      The XJ Cherokee was available with a locking centre diff; this was dependent on the transfer case ordered. The NP231 ‘Command-Trac’ unit did not have it, but the NP242 ‘Selec-Trac’ did. Locking axle differentials were never a factory option, though limited-slip rear diffs were.

      Full disclosure: I’ve owned four XJs in various permutations over the years and am not a fan or potential purchaser of the current KL Cherokee. Here’s why:

      – Styling. Yes, that’s a subjective item, but there is an objective problem with it: the outward visibility is crap, particularly towards the rear and rear three-quarters from the driver’s seat. The drooping noseline doesn’t help matters from that position, either. The last thing I want in a vehicle being used off-road is greater difficulty in being able to position it.

      – Capability. This isn’t a solid-axle-vs.-independent-springing argument, but the KL has a 4500lb. tow rating against 5000lbs. for an XJ with the 4.0 and AW4 automatic. It’s only a 500lb. difference, but at 4500lbs. I couldn’t trailer most of my project car acquisitions and flat towing is out of the question for more than a few of them.

      – Drivetrain choices. In what should be a utilitarian vehicle, a high torque peak and a transmission that won’t let me make use of it are both highly undesirable. A diesel-like torque curve (preferably from a diesel) and transmission logic and gearing that let me use it regardless of transfer case range are key. Frankly, I don’t care if the vehicle is capable of 120mph; I just need it to tear stumps out of the ground if I want it to – or plough through a snowdrift, or climb a steep trail.

      And before the suggestion is made that a KJ Wrangler would fit my bill… It won’t. The 4-door is too long to turn around on a great number of trails (I’ve had that experience in them) and the 2-door still doesn’t have enough cargo space. If there was a 2-door medium-wheelbase variant in the lineup a la the TJ Unlimited, I’d be interested – but there isn’t, and nothing else in the Jeep stable meets my needs.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Lincoln Mark IX. Mustang platform, 3.0T standard and an ajla Edition with the 6.2L V8.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Honda S2000, BMW 850 and Porsche 928

    • 0 avatar
      Ermel

      I’m with you for the Porsche 928, even if it were just a shortened two-door Panamera these days.

      Also a proper big Citroen please. Not a direct ressurection of any of its predecessors (DS, CX, XM, C6), but something matching their essence: sleek in appearance, quirky in its details, comfortable above all else, and spacious almost to the point of decadence. And also available as a Break of course.

      Lastly, a compact, rear-engined, crewcab, AWD pickup like the VW T3 Synchro. Hauls like a much bigger conventional pickup, off-roads like a Jeep, parks like a Golf. Me want.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I’d like a Honda S2400, the S2000 with the more low-end torque from the Acura K24W7 engine.

  • avatar
    Prado

    A modern day Subaru Brat, or rather BRT, based off the Impreza. It needs to be a single cab with good proportions like the original. And there needs to be an STI version!.

    • 0 avatar
      Nikolai

      I came here looking for a Brat comment and you didn’t disappoint.
      The Baja was halfway there, but I agree on a two seat Impreza based Brat to get it pure.
      Of course 5 seats, based on the Outback would sell better today, but wouldn’t be as fun.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Sonoma.

  • avatar

    Toyota Supra, relative had a 1985 vintage and it was a blast to drive. Alas some things are simply too fun to have forever

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The problem is that by and large we are living in what will probably be the last golden age of the internal combustion engine.

    Camrys that can outrun muscle cars from the 50’s to 70’s. Miatas as a British sports car that actually works. Power and safety equipment in even the least expensive vehicles that could not even be purchased at any price 30+ years ago.

    So what is missing? Style. Good visibility (as in high greenhouses). A lack of cargo capacity.

    The Volvo 240 suggestions is a good one. A medium size box on wheels, with durability. However doesn’t Subaru address most of that market?

    A 1965 Impala SS styled V8 coupe would be nice. But would probably sell in such low numbers as to be totally irrelevant.

    Hot hatches and actual mini-vans? Well the later are still available in Canada. A revised CRX would be nice but again how well would it sell?

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      Yup. Don’t drive your heroes, for time certainly defeated them if their contemporaries couldn’t. I’d have certainly put down the immortal AE-86, but Toyobaru went and revived it, and even with modern tech (and more power) the lack of power is a letdown.

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    Chevrolet El Camino. this is so obvious. just convert the Impala. or get the ute from down under. 77 million boomers want this.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    The GLC has been resurrected, at least in name. One of my daughter’s friends was given a GLC to drive, which strikes me as a very odd choice for a teenager car, it seems like a grandma car to me.

    I’d really like to see a hatchback coupe version of the MX-5. Maybe add a couple of inches to the wheelbase and overall length, make it the spiritual successor to the first generation RX-7. I suppose the 370Z is kind of that car, but if you get one equipped it’s kind of pricey.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    1974 Evel Knievel Sky Cycle… the one he used to jump the Snake River Canyon.

    I know, I know, it was a one-off job, not a mass market vehicle.

    #amirite??

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Chrysler Cordoba. It could happen, they just need to use the 300/Charger’s wheelbase instead of the Challenger’s shorter wheelbase.

    I would also love to see a real small SUV like the ’80s Suzuki Samurai. They could build it out of carbon fiber to make it safe (like the i3), and Baja-up the suspension to make it stable.

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    https://www.holden.com.au/ute

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Certainly, the Mercury Turnpike Cruiser.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    1st gen MR2
    Lotus Esprit

  • avatar
    nels0300

    -Toyota Celica All-Trac

    -Toyota Blade Master G, and bring it to the US dammit

    -Toyota Camry wagon

    -Mazda6 wagon

    -Honda Accord wagon

    -Nissan 240 SX

  • avatar

    The Oldsmobile Cutlass. Not the bastardized Omega/Calais/Achieva/Ciera with the Cutlass name, but an honest update on the ones made from ’65 to ’87.

    I’d also pay attention to a new Triumph.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    ’83-’84 Hurst Olds

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Continental Mark X

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Well, as far as bringing back the past, I’d love to see the return of the Jeep Commando, C-101 in modern guise.

    What I truly want to see is the return of the pillarless hardtop, because currently only Mercedes makes one, and if they can do it, why can’t GM? After all, GM invented the model! An Impala, Malibu & Cruze “Sports Coupe” would be great. So would a Camaro, but they’d have to design one with actual windows, first…

    If that doesn’t count as a “model”, then what else is there? Galaxie? Fury? Nova? Buick GS (now that would be something!)?

    I suppose when pigs fly… Until then we can all look forward to more vehicles as featured in yesterday’s article on Toyota’s take on the Nissan Juke!

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Wanna hear something interesting? The LJ Wrangler Unlimited used the same wheelbase, the same track (within a couple inches) as the CJ-6/C101/103 and CJ-8 Scrambler. Back when the LJ first came out, I had fantasies of getting a rolled one and finding one of the very-rare fiberglass Commando tubs. Some body modifications, and a CJ front clip, and you’d have a Century 21 Jeepster.

      Alas, given the stratospheric rise of Jeep values, it was not to be. First-generation Unlimiteds are not only rare but spendy; and an ersatz Commando would be worth less than the donor, even if wrecked. I always liked the C-101, but given its low sales figures, new and even used, I guess we’re in the minority.

      FWIW, I bought my 1998 TJ Wrangler for $9990. THAT kind of pricing is never to be seen again…barring a sudden crash in value and loss of interest.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Once upon a time (1975), I owned a 1968 Jeepster Commando and really liked it, but it drove me crazy with all the stuff that needed constant attention. Only kept it 7 months. Cool ride, however.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    1967 Jaguar XKE

  • avatar
    mleclerc19xx

    As a whole, I miss the affordable sporty FWD coupes that were available in the 80’s and 90’s, specifically the Honda Prelude, Toyota Celica, Ford Probe, Mazda MX-6, Acura Integra, etc. I would love to see these back, now that I can afford them!

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Pontiac Fiero GT with modern build quality.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      Yes! Building a mid-engine sports car from the GM part shelf wasn’t a bad idea – the problem was that the early-80s GM part shelf was so barren. Today’s GM powertrains would be a lot more entertaining than the Iron Duke and 2.8 V6.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    AMC Eagle. Gee what a shock, right? I’d probably also resurrect the WRX hatch.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Bring back a compact pickup the size of the last S-10/Sonoma and the last Ranger. Offer this in a regular and extended cab with a minimum of options and a six speed manual in all available trim levels. Give this truck a more usable bed dimension of 5 to 6 feet long. It would even be ok if it was based on a smaller crossover or front wheel drive platform to save costs. Offer a base model with a rubberized floor, roll up windows, and just the basics. A 2.0 or 2.5 non turbo I-4 would be a sufficient engine. Keep the truck as simple as possible. Don’t add anymore options than air, power assist steering and brakes, automatic transmission, intermittent wipers, cruise control, and a minimum of trim. Price this at a staring MSRP of 15k and if it has to be made in Mexico to keep the costs down then so be it.

  • avatar
    Marcus36

    ISUZU VehiCross

  • avatar
    buzzyrpm

    1st or 3rd generation MR2
    Alfa GTV
    Toyota FX16 or the GTS series of toyota Eighties cars.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Toyota FJ40. I guess ICON brought it back, but not for mere mortals.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    Toyota MR2 or an affordable land cruiser: adjusted for inflation, a 1990 Land Cruiser had a sticker price of 38k.

    If I had to pick one and bind myself to buying it? Toyota Cressida – give it the inline-4 hybrid powerplant, toyota crown royal suspension, and bam! you got a perfect boat for the road – reliable, fuel efficient, isolating, and uses the parts bin.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      “affordable land cruiser” That’s pretty much what the 4runner has became about the same size as the 1990 Land Cruiser as well.(slightly larger) Now if they could just give it the headroom of the Land Cruiser Prado!

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    1951 Studebaker Commander Bullet-Nose Starlight Coupe, Esq.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The original Honda Odyssey. Right sized, good mileage, sits 4 in great comfort with the luggage or 6 when needed.

    A 1959 Cadillac. Just because.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    Fullsize 2-door hardtop muscle car. I’m specifically thinking of the 1957 Dodge Customer Royal D500, 1961 Chrysler 300G, 1966 Chrysler 300 or 1970 Plymouth Sport Fury GT.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    all those great cars with pop up headlights…

  • avatar

    Definitely the Honda S2000, we need a modernized version of the best car ever made… haha

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      With the super variable individual valve timing control so you could have high torque midrange or Formula 1 revs with a switch. And a huge overdrive for the former for 80mph cruise.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Cyclone or Typhoon built off Colorado platform with twin turbo V6 from ATS-V

  • avatar
    idesigner

    Audi coupe GT
    Have one and love it!

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Mercury Cougar: like original, Mustang-based PLC. 5.0L V-8, 3.5L EcoBoost.

    Oldsmobile Cutlass: Alpha-based, coupe only. Plush, comfortable PLC version of Camaro/ATS.

    GMC Yukon GT: 2 door version of Tahoe/Yukon with Denali and off-road versions.

    Datsun B-210 or earlier 510: affordable small RWD coupe/hatch/wagon/sedan, add a Ute version). They already pulled the plug on the Idx, but it was a great start.

    Buick Park Avenue: RWD full-size coupe/sedan, cheaper and softer version of CT6.

    Lincoln Town Car/Mark: halo flagship, bespoke RWD platform, sedan/coupe/convertible positioned above, and larger than, Continental. A true compeditor to S-Class, 7/8 series, LS/LC. Reworked 6.2L V-8 (like the Intec version of the 4.6L) or T/T 3.0L V-6. Hell, put suicide doors on it. They are the only ones to pass crash tests with their rear-hinged Super Cab doors on F-Series.

    Dodge Daytona/Chrysler LeBaron (or Vision?, but there is a Dodge Vision in Mexico and its awful): Giulia-based, but with n/a I-4, Turbo I-4, 3.6L Pentastar, V-8 in a limited edition (HELLCAT lol but with a n/a Hemi). RWD mainstream (Dodge) midsize sedan/coupe, smaller than the upcoming Charger/300 replacement. CUV version to replace Journey. I realize the platform is expensive, but they found a way to make a RWD full size profitable when other mainstream automakers pretty much gave up. Priced in line with Fusion and Accord (Dodge); Maxima, MKZ and ES (Chrysler version).

    Imperial: Maserati-based FCA premium sedan, built/sold in North America and China. Built with slab-sided American boxy luxury styling as opposed to the slick Maserati. A 300 on steroids. Sold only through very select Chrysler dealers. Compeditor to CT6, Town Car, etc.

    Dodge Neon: modern compact FWD with decent proportions and a significant price reduction compared to Focus, Civic. C segment car with a B segment price. Stack em deep, sell em cheap. Throw them at rental fleets. Save the rest of the lineup from the same fate by having a “loss leader” that provides basic transportation requirements in a lightweight, tossable little car. Globaly replaces the Fiat Tipo.

    Ford Escort. Similar mission as the Neon above: answer the cheap new car and rental car equation with something to put Focus higher on the totem pole. Better materials, more room, dump the DCT, build a world class compact in Focus, and let Escort take the people who buy on price instead of product.

    Oops, almost forgot:
    Ford Courier. Based on Transit Connect, small unibody pick up, manual trans please. Will sell in South America and Africa where the previous car-based utes from Ford sold well (called Courier in South America, Bantam in Africa, not exactly the same vehicle but the same type).

  • avatar
    April S

    Right off hand maybe two.

    1. Modern version of the 1976 Subaru GF Hardtop: Have them get back to their roots and lay on some of that funky styling they were known for. Tons of whimsical character.

    2. Subaru Loyale type car. Separate from the pack of identical shaped 4-door sedans (which all look like blobs) and go with the square, angular shape. Bonus points. Be sure to include the hill holder option on manual-equipped cars. Nifty way to reduce the anxiety of starting from a stop on a steep hills.

  • avatar
    omer333

    While I’m aware of the existence of Chevy’s Malibu, I would yank a tooth or three out with pliers for an actual Chevelle. Maybe do a small, rear-drive machine based on the Cruze.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    MGs are no longer ‘assembled’ at Longbridge, England (all that production line did was finish CKD kits from China).

    The original model – the compact/midsize straddling sedan MG6 did not sell well. The UK, like the USA, is having a lovein with the CUV. This is affecting midsize sedans – many are being axed in that market (Honda Accord, Citroen C5 etc.).

    They introduced a subcompact – MG3 – which seems to sell a bit better. Looks like a cross between a Hyundai i20 and a Skoda Fabia, which are both reasonably popular small cars so didn’t harm matters.

    Their new model launched is the MG GS (no relation to any Citroen past or present) CUV.

    Their biggest problem is that they don’t seem to know how to market their cars. They embarked on a touring car campaign and were reasonably successful, but didn’t really capitalise on it.

    (One notorious official factory car handover picture is against a grubby half-painted fence – as can be seen here – http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/blogs/blog-mg-uk-long-thanks-fish-part-2/ – not as glamourous as, say, an Audi handover picture might be)

    Most marketing seems to be performed by local dealers with an MG franchise.

    They wheeled out a CUV concept that looked vaguely like an MGB, however come production they bottled it and the GS CUV looks vaguely like a Sssangyong SUV.

    Maybe if their core compact/CUV models sell well, they’ll embark on a roadster, maybe enter the US market. But don’t hold your breath.

  • avatar
    Rochester

    The Nissan 240SX.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    2005 Subaru Legacy GT Spec-B wagon. The spiritual successor is available in Japan, Australia and Europe as the Subaru Levorg but we can’t have it here. It’s a shame since like the Legacy GT the format is just-right and it’s affordable (unlike most European wagons).

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    I couldn’t care less about reviving some dead sports car or sporty car, of either the expensive or affordable variety, as there as plenty of choices on the market today.

    I want something you can’t buy. Personally, that would be a large affordable car that prioritizes comfort over anything else, with a large engine and hopefully an option for an even larger one. Oh, and I want bench seats too. The closest thing I can think of on the market is a Chrysler 300, and for dead models a Town Car.

    I’d also like to see something with t-tops.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Since no one has mentioned it, I will beg to differ by offering the Triumph GT6+. Light, quick, with steering feel not seen in BMWs for decades and that indescribable view, over a proper wooden dash, of a louvered, flip-nose hood contoured to emphasize the torquey in-line six. Of all the cars I have owned, this is the car I miss the most. It had character in spades and was a joy to drive. It was even reliable.

  • avatar
    LTDwedge

    AMC Matador (74-78) w/o bumpers !
    Honda Z600 (72) 4spd air cooled 75 mph fun!

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    Oldsmobile Aurora!

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      I’d Also like to see a return of the Lincoln LS. I’ve always been very fond of those.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        So you like terrible things which were not made properly!

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          It wasn’t the build quality of the Aurora that was the issue…

          A perfectly assembled pile of $hit is still a pile of $hit.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          Even though they were unreliable piles of garbage, I liked the way they looked. They always caught my eye when I was little. I did find it amazing how quickly Both the Aurora, And the LS quickly fell to BHPH lot status. I have A Lexus, so DO like cars that are made properly.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            Love this

            http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/2003-OLDSMOBILE-AURORA-SEDAN-THE-FINAL-500-66355

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I liked that last Buick Riviera (1995-99) that was on the same G-body platform as the first Aurora, too. Unfortunately, its futuristic, almost shark-like shape was betrayed by cheap interior materials, an underwhelming interior with too much monochromatic plastic, and (like most GM cars of the time) thin paint that quickly wore down to the primer. It’s not like it was a cheap car, either, but all of this coupled with the less-premium platform made the contemporary Lincoln Mark VIII a worthwhile upgrade to the Riviera.

            Meanwhile, the first-gen Aurora seemed to at least have a better interior, and gave you a V8. If Oldsmobile had released this car in the early nineties as its flagship instead of that last C-body Ninety-Eight, it might have saved the brand, because it was a *real* import fighter…much more so than the underbuilt Saturna the conglomerate was hocking.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Yeah, the LS was under-built, but mostly in the interior and fit-and-finish department. The DEW98 platform itself and the suspension they paired it to were actually quite competitive. Lincoln could have finessed it into something world-class (which indeed Jaguar did with the 2009-2015 XF).

            Whether or not that would have been profitable versus the string of “Not-Fusion” Fusion clones that followed is quite another story.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Kyree

            I spoke with a longtime Olds salesman about four years ago who explained to me what really happened from the dealer perspective. Toyota had just released the Camry (I think MY92 he couldn’t remember the year) and Honda was getting ready to release an Accord, but what was Oldsmobile releasing? The Aurora which was an expensive attempt at a new Tornado, what dealers needed was a new and competitive Eighty Eight. By the time GM came up with Intrigue (and it was carbon copy W-body) and V6 Aurora (“new” G-body) it was too late. Olds Antares needed to exist in production by about MY93 if Oldsmobile had a chance (and I personally argue it did not). GM with all its B-O-C brands had neglected their markets and failed to catch on with anyone then under about 50.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @carfan

            Nice, but yikes.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I like the Aurora and LS too. I’m not opposed to putting one into my second or third garage spot.

            I don’t know if I liked them enough to resurrect them over other things though.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I think if Saturn stuck with the SL and SC, they would’ve been fine. Not base them on the delta like Ion, that was just an uglier and plasticy looking Cobalt. Unique platform, engines, preferably ones that burn less oil lol.

            The L series and all of the later GM clones ruined what might’ve been a great entry level brand today competing with Versa and Corolla with unique small cheap cars. The Vue was okay as an entry level CUV, but they tried to take the brand where it shouldn’t have gone.

            Oldsmobile should’ve picked up where the compact Saturn cars left off, and gone from there. (Midsize and up, including SUVs and CUVs).

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N – Agreed. I know three people who had good experiences with Z-platform SLs, one of which I co-drove from San Francisco to Chicago on a summer road trip. What really stuck me was how completely divorced it was–particularly in interior design, fit, and finish–from all the ’70s and ’80s GM cars I’d ever ridden in. They seemed much more like contemporary Japanese cars than Detroit cars.

            I think the Saturn experiment was on its way to working when GM, essentially, killed the business model and pulled the division into the B-O-P fold.

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        I couldn’t get past the not-at-all-upscale interior. But they drove nica. Make mine a V6/stick.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Suzuki X-90!

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    I’ll offer some cars/trucks that should be brought back with the same spirit as their predecessors, meaning…same drivetrain and features in a modern interpretation (i.e…if it were RWD and a bonkers turbo engine…bring it back that way or not at all)

    Buick – Regal Grand National & GNX
    Chevy – full size Blazer, El Camino (Raptorized or ZR2ized), Caprice (sedan and coupe)
    Honda – S2000
    Acura – Legend, Integra
    Mazda – 323 GTX
    Toyota – Celica All-Trac Turbo
    Porsche – 944
    Ford – Bronco (hopefully the rumors are true), Ranger
    Audi – Ur Quattro
    VW – Scirocco

    and I would be remiss to not include Mercedes – brown, diesel, manual wagons.

  • avatar
    George B

    Bring back a modern interpretation of the Ford F-100, a properly proportioned regular cab short bed pickup truck that isn’t insanely tall. The late 1960s through early 2000s classic shape, unlike mid-size pickups, is wide enough to carry 4 ft x 8 ft sheets of building materials between the wheel wells. With a bench seat, the classic shape is wide enough for 3-across seating. Unlike current full-size pickup trucks, the classic shape is low enough to easily load cargo over the side of the bed. The classic shape looks properly proportioned with a regular cab and easily fits inside a typical suburban garage.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      It is not the overall height of the today’s trucks that is the problem, it is the fact that even the 2WD models are 4WD high to minimize the parts count; and most importantly of all, the height of the truck bed walls have gotten too tall. I think that is driven by the hood and firewall height, the line is carried through the window sill to the top of the truck bed to make it look right.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I can think of a few.

    -Full-size Montero (everyone else gets, just not us)
    -Trooper, 2 and 4-door
    -S2000 v2.0
    -Element
    -Impreza WRX wagon
    -Toronado (gigantic and glorious on CT6 platform)
    -QX4
    -Supra

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    -Buick Riviera…make it look somewhat like the first or second-gen, put it on a stretched Alpha or Omega platform, and give us Turbo-V6 or V8 engines. It needs to give the Challenger a run for its money in the interior space category, too.

    -Ford Bronco…sold with the original body atop a sawn-off Ranger frame, with the 5.0-liter N/A and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines, and a reasonably-modern interior.

    -’91-’95 Acura Legend (especially the coupe)…that, you can bring back just like the original.

    -Bentley Azure and Brooklands…how hard would it be to make cabriolet and coupe versions of the current Mulsanne? Come on, Bentley; we’ve seen the concepts (Grand Convertible).

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’d bring back the cars from Death Race 2000. The original movie, not the remake.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    A modern day Japanese near-lux sedan with RWD, V6 and a stick.

    They would sell tens of these, tens I tell you.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Or an I6…a la the original Toyota Altezza / Lexus IS.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Sounds like you want a Toyota Mark X. Google it, seems perfect for what you’re seeking.

      Edit: new for 2012 Mark X: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnhZyUatqRo

      I would like the FWD Maxima replaced with a Datsun 810-style RWD coupe, sedan and wagon. Long hood, Inline 6. No CVT. A true range topper, not a bigger Altima with a standard 3.5L. I actually like the current Maxima styling in the front. I just wish it were hiding a proper RWD entry-level sport sedan behind it. Ideally, it would retain the Maxima name, as the first Maxima was RWD with an I-6.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    Jaguar E Type and 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible. And for fun, an Aston Martin DB5.

  • avatar
    VaderSS

    Suzuki Samurai / Jimny in the USA. The last ones made are over 20 years old. Mine tuns 30 next year.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    The 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special Talisman, but with an electric drivetrain. All the best of malaise era luxury without the mileage penalty!

  • avatar
    JohnB

    A Fiat X1/9 – but make it dependable this time, with 200+ hp.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      My ’79 X1/9 was extremely reliable. I only had to replace the alternator with a higher capacity version and 1 CV joint failed. No rust or self-destructing interior. I really miss that car – wish I had one now. I’d replace the single anemic carb with a dual Weber DCNF setup.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Datsun 1600 or 240Z, why not both.

  • avatar

    A shooting-brake like a ’72 Volvo 1800ES would be nice. Subaru should build an Italian-styled sports estate on the WRX platform.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Subaru Brat would be a great fit in today’s market.

  • avatar
    tom m

    1970 Opel GT: loved the looks, drove well as I recall
    1977 Scirocco: almost bought one

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Easy. The B-body Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. I’d love a fullsize (when I say full-size I mean Suburban-like dimensions, 80″ wide by 215″ long, not some narrow “full-size” S-class size) BOF station wagon with a modern small block V8 in my driveway. I realize I’m describing a Suburban but I’d like it in station wagon format please.

    Other cars I’d love to see grace the roads again include the following. I
    A traditional domestic full-size convertible. Something longer and wider than a 300 and with a ragtop.
    Ramcharger, K5 Blazer or full-size Bronco
    GMC Syclone (Z06 drivetrain + Canyon SCSB = Syclone)
    Mistubishi 3000GT
    Buick Grand National (as an RWD vehicle built from Alpha, bore the 3.6L out to 3.8L, twin turbo, and get at least 500hp from it)

  • avatar
    lon888

    Citroen SM with a Ferrari V-6 versus the Maserati V-6, Honda S2000 with a turbocharged 2 L engine, Alpine A310 with a 3.5 L Honda V-6, Detommaso Mangusta with Coyote V-8, Triumph TR-6 with supercharged Honda 2.4 L K-series engine. This list could go on….

  • avatar
    TCowner

    Gimmee moar Panther! New safety and tech, but solid simple V-8.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Excursion.

    Aluminium body, F250 frame, 6.7L diesel/6.2L gas, 4×4 option, barn doors, amazing…

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Morgan Plus 8. The best 2 seat roadster ever.

    K5 Blazer.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Ford Country Squire wagon with 3.5TT, RWD, and some real towing capacity (~7k-9k) for hauling the family and a travel trailer.

    Ramcharger, and I wouldn’t complain a bit if it was a 2-door or a 4-door.

    Any full-size car (coupe/sedan/wagon) that can achieve interior hip/shoulder width the equal to that of a crew cab pickup. You don’t have to call it a Hudson Hornet, but that would be cool.

  • avatar
    St.George

    BMW E30 M3

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Longitudinal Hondas. Hell, I miss them so much I went out and bought an old one (which, like any good 22-year-old car with 189000 miles, is currently in the shop with a busted radiator.)

    Bring back a version of the first-gen RL platform with non-snoozy styling and current tech, give it the rear-biased AWD that the layout so obviously deserves, and make the engine an extra-spicy J35, with a proletariatized version of the NSX’s turbo V6 as an option. That would jolt people out of their TLX-inspired Acura boredom.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Integra Type R
    Datsun 240Z
    Jaguar E Type
    Shelby Cobra

    Or my first thought at the headline:

    Marilyn Monroe

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’m jonesing for some small, light cars.

    I’d love to see Ford re-do the EXP/LN7 with a modern chassis like the Fiesta has. I really wanted to love those back in the day, but they were so weak.

    One of my favorite cars of the last 30 years was my Dodge Lancer ES Turbo. Essentially a mid-sized hatchback turbo car. There were other mid-sized hatchbacks back then, too. From Chevy, Mazda and Toyota, I’d hoped they’d really catch on, but it never happened.

    Since we’re on the subject of resurrecting small Mopars, how about a modern version of the original Caravan? FCA could do it by restyling the Fiat 500L, like a mini-Pacifica. Please Sergio, bring the Strada up here, give it a RAM! grille, call it Rampage. Or, RAMpage.

    FCA could resurrect the Yugo. Not the actual Commie 127 clone, but a modern version using the Panda. Offer it in vivid colors, limited options (to keep costs down), maybe Turkish assembly and inexpensive enough that debt ridden Millenials can afford the note and the insurance. 4 door hatch for versatility (like xB) and insurance purposes but zippy enough to be fun. And probably like the xB, it would be a hit with the old farts, like me.

    My $0.02.

  • avatar

    Chrysler TC by Maserati

    Because the world needs an Italian bodied K-car derivative, with soft Corinthian leather and an agrarian turbo-4.

    Or at least a Maserati Spyder wearing a Chrysler badge.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Corolla FX16.

  • avatar
    rcx141

    British Vauxhall Cavalier Mk 3 1988-1995. A heck of a lot more reliable and better built than the junk Vectra which followed it, and a billion times more reliable than the useless diesel sheds Brits are forced to ride around in today when they are not in the shop.

  • avatar
    never_follow

    Having actually tried sitting in an S660 at Honda’s headquarters a couple of weeks ago, I can only say that it’s a no-go for anyone taller than about 5 foot 10.

    As far as cars that should be brought back, the BMW E30 and Nissan S13 (with SR20DET) – small, light, rear wheel drive perfection.

  • avatar
    brn

    2005 Ford GT. The 2017 is neat, but it’s not a resurrection of the 2005.

  • avatar
    Longshift

    I would like to see the return of the Dakota or Ram 50, based on the current Mitsubishi Triton/Fiat Fullback/Ram 1200. This would be a prudent move on FCA’s part. The current Triton is roughly the size of the last U.S. Ranger, and small/midsize trucks are in high demand right now. The Triton is an existing product that can be modified to comply with U.S. regulations for far less money than developing a totally new product, so FCA could quickly and economically have a product in a hot segment for which it does not have one currently.

    I would like to see two other models return as well: the Mitsubishi Montero Sport and the Kia Borrego. Mitsubishi produces the Pajero Sport, which is based on the Triton, overseas. Again, this is an existing vehicle that could be modified to meet U.S. regulations and would give the manufacturer a product in a profitable segment for which it does currently not have an entry.

    Kia still manufactures the body-on-frame Borrego overseas. Kia showed the similar-sized Telluride concept at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. While the Telluride concept was based on the Sorento and so is FWD/AWD and unibody, it shows what a new Borrego could and should look like. The Telluride is the best-looking CUV/SUV concept I have seen in a long time, and it has low beltlines and big windows like a light truck should have for good visibility. Kia could also produce a mid-sized truck based on a new Borrego.

  • avatar
    BillSellwood

    Karmann Ghia – with EV drive

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Blackwood.

  • avatar
    pdq

    American Cars:
    ’65 Riviera
    ’66 Suicide door Continental convertible
    ’56-57 Continental Mk II

    Imports:
    Mercedes 280SL (pagoda)
    Mercedes 280SE 3.5 cabriolet
    Mercedes 300SEL 6.3

  • avatar
    Justice_Gustine

    83 Monte Carlo SS.

    More brougham the better

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    1961 Lincoln Continental 4 door convertible.

    Ford Bronco or Toyota FJ40

    Toyota Supra

    Toyota Altezza

    Nissan Silvia

  • avatar
    daver277

    Honda Insight 1 MT

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Personal luxury coupes- Lincoln Mark IX and Buick Riviera.

    Full-sized 2 door utilities-New Ramcharger, K-10 Blazer based on shortened truck platforms.

    More versions of the Corolla-Remember when they were so many it was practically its own brand. Wagon, well there is the iM, FX-16 Hot hatch, sport coupe etc.

  • avatar
    raph

    Lincoln Mark IX coupe based on the current Mustang S550 GT350 mechanicals with the 5.2 flat-plane crank swapped out for a more conventional cross-plane crank and the Ford’s 10 speed automatic mated to this engine and swap the Michelin Pilot Super Sports for a nice set of Michelin no-seasons in a square setup for proper maintenance and in a size that doesn’t trammel as badly as the GT350 tires do (or work that trammel issue out with the tire size on the car) and give it a suspension that is more compliant and retune the Magne-Ride to work with that while wrapping it in some nice bodywork.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Lancia Stratos. Everyone should be required to use it as a daily driver. We would have less people on the roads (maybe less people as I would think every person that tries to text in one would crash immediately) since half the population wouldn’t fit. Would be a blast on back roads and reliable with a modern V6 in the back. Then again, if it broke down you can push it with one hand.

    Would solve our obesity problem since you would have a hard time going through the drive through and if you did, where would you put the food, you practically have to strap the mail to the roof?

  • avatar
    Noble713

    Toyota Chaser
    – maybe put the new Mercedes inline-6 in a Toyota Mark X chassis?

    Mitsubishi Evo X
    – it really doesn’t need much more than a refresh, maybe a new turbo and a horsepower bump

    Ford Falcon
    – another beastly inline-6 sedan. Because Ford won’t give us 4-door Mustangs with a V8.

  • avatar
    colin42

    VW Camper van with pop top, seats 6, sleeps 4 with plugin hybrid

  • avatar
    manbridge

    Porsche 911. Hasn’t been one since at least 98. Or 89 to tell the truth.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Chrysler Imperial Southampton Coupe. 1957 year only.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      An eye-tracker diagram of someone viewing that would be interesting. My eyes keep jerking up to that strange bifurcation of the rear roof. Won’t let me enjoy the rest of the car.

      s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/dc/54/3e/dc543ee312a0cfc665145c508fc38785.jpg

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