There’s something incredibly nostalgic about the vehicles we grew up with. Whether it was long road trips with family or the feel of the wind in your hair while driving down the interstate, the vehicles of our past can really stick in our memories. While many vehicles are discontinued never to return, some actually make a comeback with modern designs that thrill auto buyers. Here are the vehicles from the past we wish would make a swift and triumphant comeback and a few that are preparing to re-launch.
The Honda CRX Was A Fine Sports Car In The Eighties
The Honda CRX is one of the most interesting compact cars in recent memory. The model was built from 1983 to 1991 and was based on the Civic, but with only two seats. With light, nimble and precise steering, the CRX was a real bargain buy sports car with front-wheel drive and up to 140 horsepower.
Among car fans, the CR-Z hybrid is often considered the successor to the CRX, but it never managed to achieve the same mass appeal as the lightweight, two-seater hatch everyone wanted to purchase. Honda replaced the CRX with the Del Sol for the 1992 model year, and fans the world over mourned the car’s passing.
The Dodge Magnum Was Revived For A Short Time
It seems like only yesterday that the Dodge Magnum appeared in showrooms. The Magnum name was revived in 2004 as a station wagon on the Chrysler LX platform. It was equipped with a full-size, V-8-powered engine, and a rear-drive station wagon that took car lovers by storm.
It even had a high-performance SRT version but it didn’t live long enough to receive a Hellcat variant. The Dodge Magnum was replaced by the Dodge Journey.
The Porsche 928 Was Iconic
The 928 is one of the best Porsche road cars ever assembled. Originally intended to replace the company’s iconic 911, this model combined the power, poise, and handling of a sports car. Furthermore, the car qualified as a 2-door 2+2 hatchback, having two small seats in the rear.
The rear seats in this fan favorite could be folded down to create a larger luggage area, and both the front and rear seats featured sun visors for the driver and their passengers. The modern 911 is a wonderful GT car, but we’d still love to see a new 928.
The Jeep Wagoner Might Be Revived
Ah, the Grand Wagoneer, the Jeep that was marketed for the 1963 to 1993 model years. Various versions of the Wagoneer were manufactured in the US and other nations by Kaiser Motors, the American Motors, and lastly by Chrysler.
The model had a sophisticated station wagon body design that was more carlike than any other 4×4 on the market. Long after the car was discontinued, there were rumors of the Jeep would be revived. Thankfully, Chrysler will introduce the 21st-century version of the legendary Wagoneer in 2019.
The Nissan 240SX Was One Of The Best Drifting Cars
The Nissan 240 SX is a great car cherished by those who love an excellent drifting experience. Of course, it was never marketed to the drifting community during its release.
With 140 horsepower and 152 pound-foot of torque, it had the noise and speed that made any driver feel they’re handling more power than usual. Nowadays, Nissan offers only two performance cars: the 370Z and the GT-R. The 370Z is about as old as a new car can be, the GT-R is out of reach for the pocketbooks of most casual car buyers.
The Pontiac Fiero Caused Too Many Fires
The Fiero’s mission was to help General Motors meet stricter fuel economy standards as well as draw in new customers to Pontiac. The auto company added new models, such as the GT, and for 1988, the Formula, along with a new, compact 60-degree 2.8-liter V-6 engine rated at 140 horsepower.
However, over 200,000 cars were recalled in the early nineties due to engine-fire risks. Despite its problems, the Fiero was credited with drawing first-time buyers to Pontiac. There’s a slim chance Chevy won’t be reviving the Fiero, which is a shame.
The Cadillac CTS-V Sports Wagon Had A Ton Of Horsepower
A near-600-horsepower station wagon? This is something soccer dads can get behind. No body style was better suited to the CTS’ edgy design than the wagon and it really showed with the Cadillac CTS-V Sports Wagon.
Sadly, Cadillac put the kibosh on the idea of the CTS-V Sports Wagon’s return. A new model, the CT5, was announced to replace the CTS, and Cadillac then announced an expected CT5 V series as a new addition.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Lasted For 10 Generations
The Mitsubishi Evolution was based on the Lancer. Through 10 generations, the Evo challenged all comers on the road, leading to an epic rivalry with Subaru and its Impreza-based WRX.
But, the auto company decided to move towards eco-friendly products, leading to the model being discontinued. Of course, car fanatics would be thrilled if the team at Mitsubishi decided it was time to re-introduce the Evo. It was the STI’s biggest competition with its big wing and a rally-minded design concept.
Alfa Romeo GTV/6 Was The Most Innovative Car
The Alfa Romeo GTV/6 featured some modifications that allowed it to fit a V-6 engine. Its interior furnishings and suspension systems also helped to ensure it became a market leader in its class.
The main selling points of the Alfa Romeo was a V-6 combined with corner steering that excited drivers with a base-price that wouldn’t necessarily break the bank. After a 15-year run from 1972-1987, the world could use more Italian fastback coupes, and the GTV/6 was arguably one of the best in its class.
The Chevrolet SS Rivaled Europe’s Finest Sports Sedans
With a 6.2-liter V8 engine and 412 horsepower, the Chevrolet SS had precise steering and neutral handling. What most people don’t know is that it’s a rebadge. The model is the second and last significant restyled iteration of the final fourth generation of the Holden Commodore to be manufactured in Australia.
Compared to the preceding Pontiac G8, the SS featured a stiffer chassis thanks to greater use of the medium to high-strength steels adopted for the updated VF Commodore. Chevrolet shut down the Holden assembly plant, meaning we probably won’t see a new SS for a very long time
The Acura Integra Type R Was A Pure Performance Car
In the late nineties, the Acura Type R was one of the purest performance cars on the American market. With a four-cylinder engine, 195 horsepower, and a balanced chassis, the Integra Type R was much like the Honda CRX from the eighties, but better in all aspects.
Both the Integra DC5 and Acura RSX were featured as car options in the video game Need For Speed: Underground. With the Civic Type R in the United States, car fanatics are waiting for Acura to come back to the affordable performance realm.
The Buick Grand National Restored Faith In Muscle Cars
The car that restored faith in the muscle car movement in the eighties was the mighty Buick Grand National. With 276 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque, this was more powerful than any of its rivals.
Unfortunately, the model only lasted for a year as General Motors only made around 500 of these cars. However, it was a notable model because of the auto company’s use of a V6 engine over the traditional V8. Here’s hoping that resurrection happens down the road.
The Mazda RX-7 Had A Long Run In The Car Industry
The Mazda RX-7 had a run of over 20 years from 1978 to 2002. Its low curb weight was just under 2,500 with the engine placed just behind the front axle.
Furthermore, the weight distribution was amazing and added great stability, with a 1.1 to 1.3-liter Wankel rotary engine under the hood. After years of begging for the return of this class automobile, Mazda confirmed that the rotary engine is back. Now we just have to wait for the car company to announce the vehicles glorious return.
The Chevrolet El Camino Went Through Five Generations
A car that looks like a truck but drives like a car? The El Camino was an odd design choice but one that caught on with certain demographics of automobile enthusiasts. The SS model has long been a fan favorite thanks to its 454 V8 under the hood. The El Camino has gone through five generations starting in 1959 with a production end run in 1987.
After the 1984 model year, production was moved to Mexico, and in 1987, the El Camino discontinued thanks to outstanding sales of the Chevrolet S-10 pickup. Chevrolet debuted an El Camino concept in 1995 based on the full-size Caprice station wagon, but production was canceled due to the rise of the SUV.
The Subaru Brat Was A Trendsetter
The last time Subaru produced a pickup truck was from 2003 to 2006, with the Baja. But, in 1978, the auto company offered the trendsetting Brat, the first small pick-up truck with all-wheel drive.
Outside of its off-road capabilities, the Brat was known for its two truck-bed jump sets. Although Subaru hasn’t given fans a new concept pickup truck, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a Brat-like model returned. There needs to be a modern version, ASAP, but sadly, the Baja doesn’t count.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Was A Sports Compact Car
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was a sport compact car developed and sold between 1989 to 2011. The first two generations share the automobile platform and parts with the rebadged Eagle Talon. This two-door, four-seat coupe was exciting to drive, and in its highest performance form, it was an all-wheel drive, turbocharged, manual coupe.
However, in 2006, the auto company redesigned the model, which was supposed to be a return to the Eclipses of the past. Sales were abysmal and the vehicle was discontinued, possibly forever.
The Porsche 944 Helped The Company In Hard Times
The Porsche 944 was the car that helped Porsche survive through its lean years. A new 2.5-liter slant-four engine that was developed from the 928’s V8.
The 944 shared the 924’s profile while maintaining a design aesthetic that made it look like a smoothed-out 924 Carrera GT. On the other hand, the 944 is underpowered in most guises, as parts are expensive. This vehicle was never a cheap option with a starting price of $50,000.
The Toyota MR2 Was An Affordable Sports Car
One of the most compact and affordable sports cars is the Toyota MR2. Introduced in 1984, the model was sold until 2007. With a mid-mounted engine this option was one of the most sought after vehicle in its class.
A Supra successor has long taken its place so maybe it’s time for Toyota to bring back another beloved sports car. It would likely have a more significant impact on the market than its predecessor, the Toyota GT86.
Volvo P1800 Was Driven By A Famous Actor
The Volvo P1800 was originally a coupe, then it was altered into a shooting-brake for the duration of its production. Marketed as a stylish touring car, the P1800 became widely known when driven by James Bond actor, Roger Moore.
Volvo’s really worked to clean up this type of model lineup in recent years. The XC90 and the S90 are both excellent cars with great interiors. However, it would be nice to see the Swedish automaker to take a chance and build a P1800 sports coupe again.
Honda S2000 Was Reliable And Great To Drive
The Honda S2000 is one of the greatest roadsters in the world. Not only is it reliable, but good looking, and fantastic to drive. It had the stuff sports-car fantasies are made of including a front-engine, rear-drive layout; a six-speed, and close-ratio manual transmission.
The Honda S2000 featured an aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 240 horsepower. The car disappeared after the 2009 model year and it’s questionable if Honda will once again attempt to feature its sporting roots and issue a new version of the S2000.
The Mazdaspeed 3 Stopped Being Made In 2013
Another modern model that we aren’t ready to part with is the Mazdaspeed 3. This 5-door performance version of the Mazda3 was in production from 2007 until 2013. Built in Japan, the 6-speed Mazdaspeed 3 featured a 2.3L turbo-charged engine and was the first speedy hatchback Mazda produced since the BG Familia GT-X.
The Mazdaspeed 3 was designed for two generations before calling it quits in 2013. However, this car deserves to be back on the road. It received several awards and stellar reviews. It was even on Automobile Magazine’s 2007 All Star list.
Production Stopped In 2017: Volkswagen Scirocco
The Volkswagen designed three generations of the Scirocco model, a two-door hatchback, before calling it quits. It’s similar to VW’s Golf but sportier and sleeker. 1977’s model featured a 1.5L engine and fuel injection technology from Bosch.
The front wheel drive sports coupé was designed in two generations from 1974 through 1992. The third and final generation of the Scirocco was from 2008 until 2017. That’s when production ended with no plans to regenerate the sporty hatchback.
There Are Fewer Than 1,200 Lotus Elan’s Left & Only In The U.K.
The Lotus Elan is a rare breed that you’d be lucky to pass by on the road. John Bolster, author of “The Lotus Elan and Europa: A Collector’s Guide” estimated that only 3,300 Elan models were produced, and fewer than 1,200 are operating today.
This sporty two-seater was produced from 1962 until 1975. The second range of the Elan hit the market from 1989 until 1995. However, these cars never made it to the U.S., and were only sold in the U.K. It was the first Lotus road car to be designed with a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body. Needless to say, owners of this car loved it and it received shining reviews. Lotus: bring it back!
Ford Took Away The F-150 SVT Lightning
Ford’s F-Series has been named America’s best-selling vehicle for 42 consecutive years. Let that sink in. So why would the automaker let go of one of their customers’ favorite versions of the F-150– the SVT Lightning? Ford said that as the F-150’s body increased over the years, it was too beastly to have a sporty, Lightning version, but we disagree.
Production of the pickup ended in 2004. With offered a 5.4 L Triton SOHC V8 engine with a an Eaton M112 supercharger. If you see a used F-150 SVT Lightning for sale, snatch it up.
The Dodge Viper Was Named One Of “The Most American Cars”
Production of the Dodge Viper ended in 2017, and we’re not happy about it. We first saw this gorgeous sports car hit the market in 1992. Fans watching the Indianapolis 500 drooled over the Viper as two pre-production models made their debut as the pace car in 1991.
Chrysler took a hiatus from making the Viper and considered discontinuing it during the automotive industry crisis that began in 2008. The Viper was named one of the “Most American Cars” in 2014, due to more than 75% of its parts being manufactured in the U.S. We’re sad to see this one go.
The Ford Thunderbird Was Iconic
It’s heartbreaking to see these legendary models make the list of discontinued cars. The Ford Thunderbird is an American classic. First introduced as a two-seater convertible, the Thunderbird encored through 12 generations, from 1954 until it’s last curtain call in 2005.
Consumers were quick to voice their concerns over changes through the years, like the controversial addition of a backseat in 1958. And although Ford incorporated some more ‘luxury’ and ‘practical’ features over the years, they stayed true to the high-speed performance model.
A True American Muscle Car: AMC Javelin
Manufactured by American Motors Corporation, the Javelin last for two generations, from 1967 until 1974. This American car was true to its time, with rear-wheel-drive and a big, powerful engine. This baby hauled. So much in fact, that it was the first standard vehicle that police officers adopted as their highway car in the U.S.
The Javelin was more affordable than other models like it, ranging from a pony to a muscle car and a baseline starting at $2,743 in 1967. Police also favored this car because it was designed with advanced safety features for its time. Snap a photo if you come across an AMC Javelin.
Collectors Love The Austin-Healy 3000
What would you give to huge the road behind the wheel of an Austin-Healy 3000? This British sports car first hit the market in 1959 and is still beloved today, although it’s no longer in production.
While it was built by British Motor Corporation, over 90 percent of its production was exported, with the majority of the sporty convertibles making their way to North America. The sleek bodywork was designed by Jensen Motors and this 3-liter car continually beat-out its competition in European rallies. Production ended in 1967, much too soon.
A New VW Bus Is On Its Way
One of Volkswagen’s most iconic cars is making a comeback. The Bus defined an era of Americana soaked in sunny beaches and smiling faces. When it was discontinued, it was seen as a sign of the changing times.
Volkswagon has heard the cries of the people in 2019, and have decided to bring it back. This time it will be an electric vehicle with a few other new tricks up its sleeve.
The BMW Z8 Is A Roadster Worth Revisiting
Life hasn’t been easy for roadster lovers recently. The tiny cars meant for two people to take to the freeways in style fell out of fashion in recent years, but if we had our way, the BMW Z8 would still be around.
The Z8 was small for sure, but it packed a lot of power under the hood. It was one of the best performing roadsters when it was released and looked to redefine the speedster genre. Unfortunately it came out a few years too late.
The Chevy Nova Was Put To Pasture Too Early
The Chevy Nova was originally made between 1968 and 1979. Despite discontinuing it, demand was so high that Chevy brought it back in 1983. By 1985, however, the legendary pony was put out to pasture again.
Today, the car is a hot item ticket for collectors. Especially the first run models. With demand for power on the rise again, perhaps Chevy should take note and bring back a classic. It worked with the Impala!
The Datsun 510 Is A Modern Classic
Before Nissan was known as Nissan in the United States, they sold cars under the name Datsun. One of the most iconic Datsun’s ever produced was the 510, a small sedan with lots of power.
The simple looking car is one of the most popular collector vehicles today. After all, not all cars are made equal, and even though the 510 wasn’t a luxury car, it’s become quite the luxury item for gearheads in 2019.
The Dodge Dart Will Come Back Eventually
Throughout its history, Dodge has used the title Dart on several cars. The most recent Dart was sleek and popular with commuters looking for a car with more power. Sadly, it was discontinued a few years ago.
The first Dart was sold in the ’60s as Dodge’s lowest end and affordable consumer option. It was compact, and like the Datsun 510, came with simple lines. Eventually Dodge will adorn another car as a Dart, and we can’t wait to see it!
The Cadillac Coupe DeVille Would Be Popular Today
The Cadillac Coupe DeVille was a big car when it came it out. It was also incredibly popular and lasted for half a century before Cadillac discontinued it. Distinguished by its “yacht” look, we think Cadillac should bring it back.
The bottom line is that big cars are back in fashion, and few were as big back in the day as the Coupe DeVille. Cadillac could have a huge hit on their hands with clever marketing.
The Chrysler Town And Country Made Us Feel Safe
The Chrysler Town and Country was a great car, and so is the van that replaced it. Still, there’s something about the Pacifica that makes us wish it was a Town and Country; the company signature family van in the ’90s and early aughts.
Maybe the reason we love the Town and Country so much was because of how non-luxurious it felt. It wasn’t flashy, but it was incredibly reliable and safe, which is what matters most at the end of the day.
The Fiat 850 Was Fun
Do you remember the Fiat 850? The small roadster was in high fashion for the Italian company in the ’60s and ’70s. Over two million were sold, making it shocking that it’s not still around today.
Then again, Fiat only just re-entered the American market recently, so maybe this precious pony will be reinvented eventually. Until then, we’ll have to take solace in the comfort of this picture and how pretty this little car was.
The Ford Focus Got Blurry
The Ford Focus became a victim of circumstance in 2018. The company decided to discontinue all their sedans (except the Fusion) to focus on the trucks, SUVs, and Mustangs. The surprising move shocked Focus fans worldwide.
There was time that the Focus was one of the most popular cars in America. It was impossible to drive on the freeway without seeing now. Today, they’re a thing of the past, although we really wish they were still apart of the future.
The Geo Metro Was Ahead Of Its Time
The Geo Metro was manufactured from 1989 until 2001. During that time two different auto makers called it their own. It gave consumers incredible miles per gallon and was extremely cost efficient.
It was also one of the slowest and poorest performing cars on the market. Still, fans didn’t care back then, and don’t care today. Those who drove Metros loved them, and we’re sure they would ecstatic to see them make a comeback today.
The Hummer Was Wrong For The Times
For a brief period of time, the Hummer was the king of the roads. It was big, loud, and never fit between the yellow lines. It was also a gas guzzler and maintenance nightmare and was perfectly imperfect for the times.
Today, the Hummer would fit perfectly on the freeways. Size matters again, and few cars were large. Improved technology also means MPG would be better (we would hope) and overall ride satisfaction would be higher.
The Ford Thunderbird Deserves A Second Wind
The Ford Thunderbird is easily one of the most iconic cars of the ’70s. Alongside the Mustang, it defined sports cars could, and should be. As happens, Ford eventually discontinued the car, only to revive it briefly in the aughts.
The revived Thunderbird was an epic disaster. It was reviled by consumers for it its modern retro design and quickly went the way of its ancestors. Perhaps a third time could be the charm for Ford if the company is willing to take the chance!