By on June 25, 2018

Chevrolet introduces the all-new 2019 Blazer

Late last week we were treated (or suffered, depending on your point of view) with an appearance of a Chevy nameplate not seen on our roads since George W. was just taking office for the second time. The Blazer title holds special significance for this gearhead, as he spent his formative years bouncing around a blue-and-white 1978 model. The psychedelic herringbone seat pattern has been burned into my brain, perhaps explaining many of my incomprehensible behavior patterns.

So I took notice when The General hammered the Blazer name onto a crossover with front-drive roots. Today’s question is different from Friday’s in that we want to know what other refire of a historic name caused your eye to involuntarily twitch?

Yes, it would have been “better” had Chevy tacked a cap onto a four-door Colorado or perhaps even crafted some sort of Wrangler competitor. We all know why they chose not to do that: development costs, return on investment, and a relatively limited customer base. These financially sound reasons were surely beaten to death in infinite-length spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. It doesn’t make this Blazer-ite’s heart ache any less seeing the Blazer name on a crossover, no matter how much it looks like a Camaro.

What nameplate from the pages of history do you think was inappropriately applied to an undeserving machine? Dart? Monaco? Nova?

As for the Blazer, I’ll have to be content prying Tahoe badges off all the machines I can find equipped with the five-passenger Midnight Custom package.

2018 Chevy Tahoe Midnight Custom

[Images: General Motors]

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53 Comments on “QOTD: Unnecessary Toughness?...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Wrangler.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    ’70s Aspen vs ’00s Aspen
    ’60s Nova vs ’80s Nova
    ’60s Bronco vs ’70s Bronco vs ’80s Bronco
    Almost every ’60s model GM, Ford or Chrysler product vs their ’80s product.

    Honestly, the only one that hasn’t made me wince (though has made its proponents wince with EVERY new generation) has been the Jeep CJ/YJ/TJ/Wrangler.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      The FJ Cruiser wasn’t too bad either. I feel it really was a modernized FJ40 that maintained a heck of a lot of credibility.

      And everyone complains that each new F350 is way too much more F350 than the previous

      But other than those 3 examples (Wrangler, FJ, Full Size Pickups), I agree with you that pretty much every successive generation has been wince worthy.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The Nova is probably the best example. Forgot about that one

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I always thought the ’80s Nova was an appropriate use of the name. Boring, reliable, (Toyota-based so way more reliable actually) work-a-day car, just like the original was a boring, reliable work-a-day car (baring the very, very, very rare hotrod versions that nobody bought).

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      I always thought the LeMans was the bigger downfall than the Nova.

      Even the MR2 (IMO) was a misnamed product in the 2000s

  • avatar
    JMII

    Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    Dart.
    I was there, in the 70s, when it was illegal to drive a Dart unless you had blue hair and could barely see over the steering wheel. Having followed many of them at 23 mph on rural Ohio roads (36 mph on the I-71, where I passed them at the legal max of 55 mph), I am pretty sure the turn signal lever was a dummy, and the left turn signal lights were wired directly to the ignition switch. The brake light switch was connected to a very sensitive yaw/pitch detector rather than the brake pedal. Plus they only came in two colors, Feces du Chat (that golden sandy beige unique to the 70s)or Phartedon Brown.

    So when the new Dart came out, I expected it to become the Official Car of the AARP. Nope. The National Young Cubicle Woman’s Club took over the Dart, along with the Puerto Rican Alliance. I’m not sure the re-issue is sold to anybody over 60 anymore. And I’ve seen Penis Red cars.

    Talk about a misleading resurrection of a name. It’s like putting Jesus behind the big rock and getting out The Rock 3 days later.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      Age breeds wisdom. Those older folks understood New Dart was in no way the equal of Old Dart, and they knew better than to take a chance on any hurried offspring following the shotgun wedding of two historically inept automakers.

      The owner demographics you describe? Not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        retrocrank

        Agree.
        There is a thin line between wise conservatism and obstructionism. Not that that justifies the imprudence of youth. Or the “new” Dart. (my car back then was a ’61 Scout 4×4. Probably the only thing it was capable of passing was a Dart. The Crosleys were all gone by then….).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      They came in that dark baby-poop green too!

  • avatar
    ajla

    “and a relatively limited customer base.”

    I don’t know why this idea keeps coming up but BOF SUVs are selling very well. We aren’t talking about sedans or sports cars.

    Wrangler YTD: 110,382
    4Runner YTD: 53,259

    Murano YTD: 29,995
    Edge YTD: 56,266

    There may be good reasons for why GM made this Blazer a CUV instead of an SUV but it is *very* unlikely that a BOF mid-size SUV would have been a marketplace failure.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      BOF SUVs are outsold by like 6:1 by unibody CUVs, and sales are growing at a slower rate. If gas spikes those will get spanked

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think very few people remember when Blazers were “true” off-road vehicles. You’d have to go back to the ’70s.

      I think GM’s playing a waiting game to see where the market goes. If consumers want a BOF midsize SUV, they’ve got the platform for it.

      @sportyaccordy:
      Gas price increases might not affect CUV/SUV sales all that much. But if those prices go up at the same time as interest rates, that will have an impact. I think it’d take a combination of higher gas prices, higher interest rates AND a recession to tank CUV/SUV sales. And I don’t think that’s impossible at this point.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        GMT325 could haul ass off road. Sucked in a myriad of other ways, but off-roading it did.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Yeah I was going to say, the S10 blazers really are pretty decent rigs off-road. And it wasn’t just the 70s blazers that were capable, all the K5s right up through the end of the 2 door GMT400s were very capable trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        “You’d have to back to the ‘70s”. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting an off-road Blazer in the ‘70s. The same goes for International Harvester Scouts, Jeeps, Broncos, and to a lesser extent, Ram Chargers (at least around here).

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      It might not be a “marketplace failure,” but it is a much easier business case for GM (who remember, wants to make money off the vehicle). Compare the total number of vehicles sold on the Edge or Murano platform versus the total number of vehicles sold on the Wrangler platform (oh wait, that is just the Wrangler…) or 4Runner platform.

      The best GM could do is tie it with the Colorado, but even sales of that and the Canyon are dwarfed. There is a reason why these BOF SUVs have to wait so long to get replaced by a new model and why you get more bang for your buck with CUVs (if not interested in off roading).

  • avatar

    Pontiac LeMans.

    • 0 avatar
      Michael500

      Definitely the LeMons along with the Mitsubishi “Dodge Challenger.” Might want to include the Plymouth Volare “Road Runner.”

      https://www.google.com/search?q=1982+dodge+challenger&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjv9Pv73-_bAhUED3wKHSZ5DC4Q_AUICigB&biw=1368&bih=680#imgrc=1Ksl7th90O741M:

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    Monte Carlos right when it was Lumina-ized and all the ones that came after it. Those were’nt real Montes.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    This whole business with the “Neue” Blazer has me a bit concerned.

    For those of us that are a certain age, “the” Blazer was the K-5 Blazer. When the S-10 Blazer came out, many of us were not amused.

    Clearly, this is not the first time the name has been debased.

    OTOH, I named all of my rec-league soccer teams “Blazers”, so maybe I should excuse myself from anymore discussion on this…

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      I grew up with the S-10 Blazer (and have less-than-stellar opinions about it), so seeing the nameplate on a generic soft-roading CUV isn’t as traumatic to me as it would be to K-5 Blazer fans.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    Pathfinder
    Unit body similar to a grand Cherokee to a low tech body on frame to save cost to a front drive CUV

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      The current gen Pathfinder is easily the most egregious, although I will take you to task for the “low tech” BOF comment. The original WD21 pathfinder was BOF and an incredibly sturdy truck that went toe to toe with the 4Runner, Montero, Troopers of the day. The R50 that followed was indeed reinforced unibody, and I’d argue they lost a good amount of the first gen’s toughness, but I still like R50s a lot, really nice blend of road manners and off-road ability. The R51 went back to BOF and (unfortunately) went to IRS in the back as was the trend in the mid ‘00s (Montero and Explorer, later Borrego).

  • avatar
    ajla

    I have a feeling the comments will be Big3-centric, but I’ll throw a finger wag to ze Germans for their mid-level “AMG” and “M-sport” brand debasing.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    Charger. I know there were craptastic iterations over the years, but seriously, four doors ? Ack!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    B-platform Dodge Charger vs L-body Dodge Charger
    Pontiac Lemons vs Sh!tbox Lemons

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    The names Impala and Malibu have been sullied by the recent vehicles they’ve been stuck to, specifically late 90s Malibus and early 2000s Impalas.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Definitely LeMans on a Daewoo turd.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Beetle. Mini. DS.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    Kuga, a Ford CUV for the European market.

    Sounds vaguely like Cougar, the large Ford/Mercury coupe last sold in the late 90s.

    So people say “Oh I have a Ford Cougar” “Oh really….?” then I see it and it’s just a boring CUV rather than a coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Really? So we’re choosing cars that kinda sound like other cars.

      Cougar was sold in the early 2000s, and was a smaller FWD sporty coupe at that time.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        True, John, but it did NOT live up to the Cougar name. Thanks for reminding me because I actually went to the dealership when they came out with the idea that I would trade my ’96 Camaro for one.

        I kept the Camaro.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Pinto-based Mustang II.
    Torino-based Thunderbird.
    Malibu-based Bonneville.
    Of course, Cavalier-based Cadillac.
    2nd gen Sentra SE-R.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Buick Park Avenue. I drove the ones from the 70s. The Genuine Article. Up to 76.
    Thunderbird. Ford should be ashamed.
    Nova. A real blue collar classic.
    Oldsmobile 98. Same as Park Avenue only more egregious. Last ones were Chevy Cavalier clones
    And last but not least the kit cars from the 70s supposed to look like Stutzes, etc.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Mitsubishi Galant-based Dodge Challenger

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Mercury Zephyr – the ultimate badge-engineered cheapening of a classic Lincoln name.

  • avatar

    I’ll try and pick some that people haven’t already said.

    Mercury Capri (late 80s one)
    Ford Five Hundred
    FCA Jeep Cherokee
    Mercury Cougar (circa 2002)
    Lincoln Continental FWD (any, really)
    MKT Town Car (does this count?)
    Dodge Charger
    Chrysler Town and Country (early 80s FWD K-wagon)
    Buick Century (FWD early ’80s box)
    Cadillac DeVille (’85+)

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Renegade. From a sporty and capable off-road CJ and Liberty. Down to a bread-box Fiat 500.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Donde esta Chevrolet Blazero?

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Considering that GM has long abandoned any pretense of having a design department and has decided to go all China on stealing other people’s work for its looks (new Shamvette looks like five other automakers’ work smashed together), I’d say the Blazer is no different – looks like a Korean ready for a street corner. This is so blatantly a ripoff. But it will sell.

    As for sullying a name in Chevrolet past, I don’t care. None are worth spit to me unless they are attached to something built in the 1960s – and then I’d buy one.

  • avatar
    Jeffrey Sproul

    This perfect name would have been the Chevy Sombrero hecho in Mexico.


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