QOTD: Drop the Body, Save the Name?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd drop the body save the name

We’ve already seen this happen. A manufacturer discontinues a model, but can’t help but feel the nameplate deserved a longer life. So, it keeps it around, waiting to affix it to the exterior of a new model — even if it’s in a different segment than before. Even if it’s a different bodystyle. Yes, we remember the old Chrysler Pacifica crossover. We also remember when the Aspen was a sedan with rust-prone fenders. Hey, how ’bout that Taurus X?

Mitsubishi recently got in on the name game with its Eclipse Cross crossover. Why not grab a handful of a defunct model’s hard-earned cachet and sprinkle it over something new and altogether different? It’s an automaker’s prerogative, but our eyes couldn’t have rolled back further into our heads when we heard the news. Yes, one day we’ll all be driving crossovers (or trucks, but nothing else), but really? Eclipse?

Clearly, automakers are willing to make this controversial plunge. Which begs the question: what nameplate’s next for a utility vehicle resurrection?

By all accounts, the Ford Fusion midsize sedan is not long for this world, but that doesn’t mean its name can’t live on. Ford hasn’t officially revealed the model’s future (or lack thereof), but it wouldn’t be odd to see the Blue Oval reuse the name on a new model.

Hell, maybe we’ll one day see a two-box Chevrolet with “Impala” on it.

As the flood of crossovers seems unending, there’ll be plenty of opportunities. Many run the risk of offending. While the Mach 1 wasn’t a model in its own right, it was a very particular Ford Mustang — one many feel should not return as an electric SUV. Heritage is sometimes sacred. Still, who among us would be surprised to see the Dart nameplate return on, say, a small Dodge crossover? What about Intrepid? Avenger?

Ford’s Galaxie and Galaxie XL sounds ripe for reuse on a large (and larger, extended wheelbase) SUV. It’s a good thing Ford already has product in that space.

All right, B&B, let’s toss some names in the ring. What nameplates of the past do you feel will one day grace the exterior of a new utility vehicle? And, will it make you upset?

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2 of 80 comments
  • Opus Opus on Apr 12, 2018

    BMW should use Bavaria on their largest SUV instead of X8 or whatever...

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Apr 26, 2018

    *flips through his 1945-1980 VIN decoding book* GM: * Chevelle * Nomad * Nova * Riviera * Skylark Ford: * Fairlane * Galaxie FCA: * Belvedere * Hornet * Gladiator * New Yorker * Valiant * Wayfairer Seriously, how has Nomad not been repurposed yet on some GM CUV?

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).