These cars deserve a second chance... and here's why.
The nostalgia bubble is about to reach critical mass as the music, television, and movie industries are cashing in on the public's desire to relive the past. Even automakers are cashing in by bringing back model names from their greatest hits collections. Two examples: Chevrolet recently brought back the Blazer and Ford will soon revive the Bronco.
Before this whole nostalgia bubble finally bursts, we wanted to chime in on this trend by choosing seven of our favorite American cars that we'd like to see brought back from the grave. However, in a nod to realism, we only picked cars from current automakers that might actually be able to pull this off, so we left off brands like Hummer and Pontiac that no longer exist.
The Chrysler Crossfire was a misunderstood car that we think deserves a second chance at life. Underneath the Chrysler bodywork, the Crossfire was essentially a Mercedes SLK, meaning that maintaining one is extremely costly. Coincidentally, these high maintenance costs are part of the reason why used example are now extremely cheap. Chrysler used to be owned by Daimler-Benz but is now controlled by Fiat as FCA. We'd love to see a modern Crossfire revival with some Alfa Romeo underpinnings as a true Corvette competitor.
We've made our opinion clear that we would love for the Chevy brand to bring back some of its sporty SS models. At one point, Chevy stuck SS badges on everything from the Cobalt to the Trailblazer - and these weren't just appearance packages; many of these cars had some serious performance chops (others, not so much). The last generation of the Cobalt SS was one of our favorites and is still one of the quickest front-wheel-drive cars ever produced. We have been desperately hoping for GM to bring back an SS version in the form of a Cruze SS or Sonic SS to act as rivals for the Ford Fiesta ST and Focus ST. Since both of those cars will soon die off, it seems like we'll have to continue waiting.
For this spot, we've decided to include two cars because they both fill the same Australia-sized whole in our heart. Both Ford and GM once built car-based pickups called the Ranchero and El Camino, locally known as Utes. Though neither of these cars lasted beyond the 1980s in the US, the Australians continued the idea well into the 2010s until the country basically lost its entire auto manufacturing sector.
With Ford's decision to kill off all non-trucks and SUVs, it only makes sense to bring back a pickup in the form of the Australian Falcon Ute. We were desperately close to an El Camino revival in the form of a Pontiac G8-based Ute, but Pontiac was sadly killed off before it could happen. Both of these utes would likely steal sales away from the Chevy Colorado and upcoming Ford Ranger, so we doubt that either would ever be considered.
We think we've made it clear by now that Buick should bring back the Grand National. It already builds the potent Regal GS, but we'd love to see an even more powerful Grand National version. Yes, we know that the new Regal is a four-door Sportback and the original was a two-door coupe, but no one seems to be giving the Dodge Charger any fuss. In order to build a new Grand National, Buick should take the 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 from the ATS-V and stick it under the hood of the Regal to create a 464-hp ode to the company's 1980s heyday.
The Cadillac XLR was one of the biggest mistakes GM made in the 2000s, and that is saying something considering the company went bankrupt at the end of the decade. Cadillac wanted the XLR to be a luxury version of the Corvette, but it mistakenly took out all of the things that made the Corvette great, like the 400 hp LS2 V8 and manual transmission. Instead, the XLR was powered by a 320-hp Northstar V8 that could only be mated to a six-speed automatic. There was also a supercharged XLR-V with 443 hp, but that wasn't so great either.
If the mid-engine Corvette rumors turn out to be true, we'd love to see Cadillac finally get its very own-mid engine supercar. Cadillac now has a new naming scheme with models like the CT6, so we doubt that the XLR name would return, but at least bring back its spirit of a luxury performance convertible that Cadillac deserves.
We've stated that we wouldn't be opposed to the Buick Grand National returning as a four-door, which still leaves the door open for Buick to create a two-door luxury coupe. Buick has teased us with some stunning concept cars like the Avista, which we would love to see reach production as a modern version of the Riviera. A twin-turbo V6 with around 400 to 450 hp would really bring back our love for Buick.
The Viper may have only recently departed from production, but that doesn't make us miss it any less. We are fairly confident that the Viper will eventually return, but it may not be as we had always remembered it. Alfa Romeo is currently cooking up a slew of new models, including an all-new mid-engined 8C replacement, so we wouldn't be shocked if the next Viper is somehow related to Alfa Romeo. We hope the next Viper finds some way to stay true to its roots as a gratuitously insane vehicle.