10 Killed-Off American Cars We Wish Were Still Alive
Photo: Mike Windle (Getty Images for SXSW)
When it comes to cars, it’s not often we reminisce of the “good ol’ days.” We like to live life looking through the windshield, not the rearview mirror. That said, we’re sad that it appears the American car is dying.
GM is killing off several cars, including the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, and Impala. This comes after the company killed off several brands and models following the 2008 economic collapse along with the fall of Oldsmobile and Plymouth. It’s not long before everyone will be behind the wheel of a self-driving SUV one step away from a Maximum Overdrive armageddon.
While we embrace technology to an extent, we also miss some of the cars that were true perfection for their time. Below are ten cars that are no longer in production, but heck, we truly wish they were still around in 2018.
This bad boy was actually an Australian-built car that had a second life as the "Chevrolet SS." A large sedan, it could fit a family of four yet still look rad enough to pick up dates in. And with a Corvette-related V8 engine, it sounded great. The "Gate" was really one of the few Pontiacs worth owning this century. It's a travesty the American version was only made for two years.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)
Pontiac Trans Am
There's a reason this car was the Bandit's car of choice while outmaneuvering Smokey. Zero to 60 in seven seconds with a honeycomb front grill, T-top, and four-speed manual? This car was the ride of the '70s. Unfortunately, the car hit its peak early. The only way to get your hands on one today is to go through a company that re-builds them from converted new Camaros.
Photo: Mike Windle (Getty Images for SXSW)
This '50s classic "boat" came with stainless steel trim and had the optional convertible Sunliner. Made only from 1955-1970, these cars came in a near infinite amount of colors, sizes, and even engines (some had Thunderbird/Cobra Jet power). They were also the more affordable classic car of the mid-century that collectors still covet today.
Photo: National Motor Museum (Heritage Images/Getty Images)
While the Trans Am may be the quintessential '70s movie star car, the Chevelle was often called the "King of the Streets." At least that's what our dads tell us. We weren't alive in the '70s. But we believe our forefathers considering that these cars still roar just as loud as any supercharged engine today. Made from 1964-1977, the Chevelle had a V-8 engine with nearly 400 horsepower that resulted in 5,600 rpm on a car weighing 3,999 pounds. That's muscle, baby.
Photo: Getty Images
Chevrolet Bel Air
Another '50s classic, the Bel Air was a "boat," er, full-size car, made, surprisingly, up until 1975. But it was the 1955 model that GM called the "hot one," with a Ferrari-inspired grill and more chrome than a Fast And Furious flick.
Photo: Richard Jordan (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
You may have heard your grandpa talk about his old Studebaker. Well, the Hawk was the Muhammad Ali of Studebakers. It was sporty and packed a punch. But this V-8 stud was only a one-year wonder, as Packard, a company that had been in business since 1899, went kaput in 1958, the year the Hawk made its debut. There were only 588 cars made. Those that survived are hot collectibles today.
Photo: Eric Rickman (The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
This classic was only produced from 1955-1960. It had a Hemi-V8 engine and flashed its famous lush upholstery interior. It also came with the famous "gullwing" dash and toothy grille, so yeah, it's a beaut of a car. And oh boy, the options! The Fireflight came in 86 two-tone color schemes (14 solid) and new colors were announced mid-year. Where are all the options today??
Photo: GraphicaArtis (Getty Images)
Oh, yes, the quintessential mid-life crisis car, the Viper has gone through several versions spanning just as many hiatuses. The most recent model went dunzo last year. And while Dodge has plans to bring it back in a few years, it won't be with the traditional V-10 engine.
Photo: Raymond Boyd (Getty Images)
The Dodge Coronet was a popular car that was sold immediately following World War II and lasted until 1976, surviving seven generations. But the best versions, no question, were those made in the third, fourth and fifth generations. They were more sporty. In fact, Dodge made a 1965 model that came with a 426 Hemi engine used for NHRA drag racing. We can only dream what this car would have evolved into for our generation.
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP (Getty Images)
DeLorean DMC 12
Great Scott! You know the DeLorean isn't just Doc and Marty's time machine, but the DMC 12 was a real car created by famous GM executive John Z. DeLorean. Although the car had tremendous interest when first introduced in the mid-'70s, issues with quality and the arrest of its founder quickly put the DeLorean Motor Company out of business. And while the famous stainless steel sports car was actually produced in Northern Ireland, a new DeLorean company is based out of Texas, if you want a retro look-alike. We still wonder how this car could have evolved under different circumstances, even sans flux capacitor.
Photo: Sharon Latham/Manchester City FC (Getty Images)
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Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.