Smart movie producers know that a sequel to a blockbuster film is the closest thing to free money in Hollywood. The audience is “pre-sold” and even a mediocre film can make serious coin by trading on the name of the original. But the formula, such as it is, is definitely not foolproof. Everybody loved The Sting in 1973. But you could fit every fan of The Sting II into a Chevette Express.
The novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously observed that there are no second acts in American life. But that certainly doesn’t hold true for Detroit. Shameless sequels have been infrequent but by no means rare in the car game. It’s high time that someone took a look at the follow up models to some of Detroit’s blockbusters. How do we remember the car after the car? This list is subjective and by no means complete. And some of these cars didn’t share one bit of hardware with their progenitor. But they all used their namesake to tempt buyers into scratching a check and driving one home.
Good sequel: Continental Mark II. For 1956, FoMoCo unveiled a timeless classic that traded on the design themes of a legitimate milestone car and managed to maintain the original’s dignity. The Mark II was an expensive car ($10K in strong ’50s dollars) and looks good to this day. Part of the reason that it still conveys grace and dignity is the lack of tacky ornamentation and faddish cues like tail fins and giant chrome geegaws stuck on every surface. The Continental was the first model of Ford’s (overly) ambitious plan to create a stand-alone division above Lincoln, and its life was far too brief. It appeared for ’56 and ’57, and even with the sky high price, Ford lost money on every Continental ever built.
Good sequel: Mercury Capri II -1976-1978. The original Capri had been a spiritual revival of one of the most popular cars of all time. It was sporty, economical, fun to drive and made money for FoMoCo. The sequel was even better. With a pair of modern, powerful engines and good looks to match, the Cap II was a evolutionary design that kept the flavor of the original, while broadening the appeal of what was already a good design. The updated look planed off some of the dated body sculpting, while keeping the essence of the original. The 2.8 V6 and 2.0L OHV 4 had plenty of ponies for rally driving or interstate travel and was economical to own.
Bad sequel: Ford Mustang II – 1974-1978. It was cruel fate to come of age in the mid ’70s and buy your first new car after all of the fun and excitement had been removed from it by shifting political and economic winds. True, the ’71-’73 series was just as far removed from the original as could be, but to use a Pinto chassis on anything but a Pinto was pure evil. The II was a sheep in sheep’s clothing, but Ford needed the volume in those days of gas lines and high inflation. It’s a pity that the sequel never lived up to the original.
Bad sequel: Lincoln and Continental – 1958-1960. Liberace’s car. That kind of sums up this dreadful, enormous chrome spattered mistake that was built at Ford’s Wixom plant from 1957 to 1960. Every styling cliché imaginable went into this car and none of them improved the look a bit. From the weird canted headlights to the weird canted tail fins, these cars oozed kitsch. And this car was big. I once attended a car show where half a dozen were lined up for judging and I wouldn’t get too close to them. I was afraid that Zero fighters would drop out of the clouds and start strafing me. The next gen Conti was a much more dignified and understated car. Technically, this was Continental Mark III, but was airbrushed out of Lincoln’s corporate history when HF II declared the 1969 Mark III the direct descendant of the two original designs. This causes some confusion even today.
Bad sequel: Lincoln Continental Mark IV- 1972-1976. What? Another Lincoln? No, not really. More like a Thunderbird with a faux Rolls Royce grille. The IV was thirsty, tacky and pretentious, but it sold surprisingly well (over 150,000 copies 74-76). It was a cash machine for Ford and proof of the old adage that nobody ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public.
Bad Sequel: Chevy Citation II – 1984-1985. Quality does matter. The “First Chevy Of The ’80s” went from the best selling car in America to total collapse within 36 months of launch. What went wrong? Locking brakes, faulty powertrains, leaks, overheating, you name it. If British Leyland had made the Citation, no one would have batted an eye. But GM actually made some good cars in this era and the multiple problems with the Citation were inexcusable. The Citation II was an attempt to salvage something from the wreckage of the original and restore GM’s reputation. It didn’t work. It took a totally new line of cars (Celebrity, 6000, Cutlass Ciera and Buick Century) to wash off the stink of the X-Car debacle. GM added some sheetmetal to the basic X-Body (which bumped the Celeb to the midsize class) and raised the price a couple of grand. Celebrity became the best selling car in America.
Bad Sequel: Renault Encore – 1984- 1987. Okay, this is not a Detroit sequel, more like Kenosha. Here’s a car that advertised its sequel status with its very name. The Encore was no great shakes as a car, (it was basically a hatchback Alliance) but it was an exercise in corporate overreach that summed up the whole Renault/AMC partnership in those years. The Alliance had won Car Of The Year honors the preceding season and it probably would have made sense to pull up a marketing stool and milk that recognition for all it was worth. But Franco American created an entirely new name and proved once again that they were completely tone deaf to the American car market. It came and went quickly and had almost no market presence after the early adopters were satisfied. Today, it seems to be in Detroit’s witness protection program. A lot of them were parked behind barns and sheds when they broke down and never ran again.
Bad Sequel: Ford LTD II – 1977-1979. The Torino had grown as obese as Elvis during the early and mid ’70s and by the end of its run (in ’76) was a full size car inexplicably classified as a midsize. After a short run of Elites, Ford unveiled the LTD II which traded on the name of the flagship and brought generic styling to its highest expression. The II was cobbled together using some of the same themes present on its namesake, and offered a surprisingly full lineup (Wagon, 2 and 4 doors, Ranchero). But it was the wrong car at the wrong time as there were no engine options except big, thirsty V-8’s. After the second oil shock in 1979, cars like this became virtually unsaleable and Ford dumped the deuce and didn’t replace it in the lineup. Most were junked when their carbureted engines started going out in the mid 80’s and are rare today.
Bad Sequel: Ford Bronco II -1984 -1990. Back in the ’80s, Sport Utilities were more utility than sport. The critical mass of car buyers (especially women) had not warmed up to their truck like road manners and hard ride. The minivan was the vehicle craze of the day and serious 4 wheel drive machines were still ruff tuff camping/fishing/backwoods rigs. The original Bronco had appeared in 1966 and over the years had morphed into a full size SUV that had an expensive unleaded gasoline habit.
By 1984, Ford decided that the time had come to downsize their big Bronc to grab a piece of the compact SUV pie, that was soon to be gobbled up by the new Jeep Cherokee. The donor chassis was the new for ’82 Ranger small truck and sales were initially quite strong. But the Ranger was designed to haul light cargo over real roads, not outdoorsmen who wanted to climb 45 degree angles in the woods. When the Bronco II started rolling over in those woods, Ford had a PR disaster on its hands. The B II ‘s unfavorably high center of gravity was baked into the vehicle and couldn’t easily be corrected, so when Consumer reports gave the vehicle the dreaded “avoid” label in March of 1989, sales dropped off a cliff and never recovered. The Bronco II was replaced by the Ford Explorer in 1991.
Good Sequel: Hummer H2 – 2002-2009. Some will argue that this is a bad sequel. Those that do usually attend Earth Day rallies and believe that politicians can save the whales. The H2 was controversial in its day and it sure didn’t save Hummer (which is buried next to Oakland in the GM corporate graveyard), but it made money that GM needed at the time. The H2 was more a lifestyle appliance than practical transportation, and many were bought as “company cars” because they enjoyed favored tax status due to their nearly 8700 pounds of ground crushing weight (which made them a commercial vehicle). They sold reasonably well at the start of their run and eventually grew to over 33,000 units at retail. But 10MPG and a crashing economy in 2007-2008 absolutely killed demand and by the end, barely 1500 units shipped in the final year. GM very publicly shopped its Hummer division to potential buyers in the latter years and the few buyers that existed for this kind of vehicle didn’t want to drive an orphan. The whole Hummer division no longer exists.
Good Sequel: “New” Beetle – 1998-present. Okay, different platform, front engine instead of rear and a working heater. The New Beetle is not for everybody. But it’s cute. And it was one of the rare times when a giant car maker actually listened to the clamor for a new car that had started as a concept that was done on a lark. It’s been a success; fourteen model years is a miracle in this era for an essentially unchanged design. But then again, that’s been a tradition with the Beetle.
Bad Sequel: Dodge Charger/Challenger – 2006-present. A four door Charger? I don’t care how many curves it has in the roof line, it’s still a four door and not a real Charger in my book. Real Chargers never saw fleet duty with the state patrol and never turned up at Avis or Hertz. The Challenger uses the same chassis but at least its a two door, like its namesake.
Okay, this is by no means the final word on sequel cars. What’s your favorite second act? What car deserves resurrection? Which should have stayed buried?
My brother had one of those LTD II’s. I thought it looked nice enough inside and out but that thing was a whale. The neighbors had a Mark IV-styled Thunderbird nearly identical to the one pictured here. I always thought it looked like a rolling cow barn, but they had seven kids… they had to put them somewhere.
Their dad was a federal employee and got a new Crown Vic every 2-3 years. It was always an event when he came home with a new car.
I always felt the LTD-II was a after-thought of Ford Marketing at the time. ’77-’79 T-birdesque, but wth sedans and wagon variants (which the Cougar name over at Mercury got dragged throught the mud offering the same variants in body styles).
LTD-II was a car that reminds me of the old Canadian Meteors – a dressed up Ford Product given to a network of dealers an additional/slightly different car/model line up to sell. Except, in this case, in the 1970s, Mercury dealers already had THEIR model (the diluted Cougar line up) – so why bother except that Ford wanted the additonal ‘lusture’ of the LTD name??
Bad Capri sequel
Ugh, very bad. Disappointing too, it was to be Detroit’s answer to the Miata.
It was stamped out in Broadmeadows not Detroit and was crap straight off the line it equalled the EA Falcon for appalling quality and poor design yet its only a facelift of a Mazda 323 vert just very badly made
I’ll chime in on the early ’90’s Capri. Dated – old hat even when new; more along the lines of some cheap-o car GM would’ve put out (and did a decade later). Dissapointment from down under.
OZ should be sending us RWD Falcons with turbo-sixes and American V-8s!
I fully agree that the new Charger has two doors too many. The Mopar marketing people would say we are “thinking old think”. Whatever. Before the recent restyling, the Charger had no “retro” styling cues that are reminiscent of the previous generation Chargers either.
I don’t know why you have lumped the new Challenger in with the Charger though. It has the correct number of doors, and looks a fair bit like the original. I think that the “bad sequel” Challenger was the 1978-83 version that was a rebadged Mitsubishi.
Some more “bad sequels” would be the K-car based New Yorker and Imperial.
I’d say that the “Charger 2.2” of the 80’s was a far worse use of the name than the current iteration.
Seconded! My Mom had one of those “Charger 2.2” k-cars, what a piece o’ crap! She loved it for some reason, but I silently cheered when it died.
A friend of a friend is “restoring” an original “Shelby Charger” from that era. It’s basically a souped-up K-car complete with ridiculous amounts of torque steer, crappy brakes, and all the structural integrity of a pair of dollar store flip flops. But it has the numbered and signed Shelby plaque on the dash. What a joke. Makes me feel sorry for kids today, that their idea of “classic” would include such an aberration.
The new Charger looks just fine to me, 4 doors and all. The Challenger, OTOH, I find bloaty and rather silly looking. The automotive equivalent of Hai Karate.
Seeing as how forgettable the 2.2L Chargers were, I forgot about those. 🙂
I have to agree…the 1980s Chargers were a far more serious abuse of the name. For that matter, the Cordoba-based, badge-engineered mid-1970s models didn’t do the name much justice, either. The Magnum was a much better looking personal luxury car, and its styling better supported the heritage of the Charger nameplate.
Coupes are a very small niche market, and the current model reflects that reality. Child safety seat laws, along with aging customers, simply make a coupe a tough sell in this market. The new Charger has very distinctive, aggressive styling, and it does stand out in the crowd. This use of a hallowed name doesn’t bother me.
Lest we forget, those 78-83 Challengers advertised the 2.6 Mitsubishi engine as a “Hemi” in the latter years.
As for the Charger, I agree, 2 doors too many but have to disagree on the first iteration of the current Charger.
The front, not so much, the side, kinda sorta, the rear, kinda sorta, if you just note the taillights, which kind of are reminiscent of the original twin round taillights of the ’68 charger. Now if they’d made the design more obvious and placed the backup lights in more or less their original position, up top between the 2 round lenses although when you look at photos of the 68 Charger, the lights and backup lamps were slightly recessed at the top by a squared off section that housed the backup lamps.
It was in ’69 that Chrysler went with the elongated taillight units most remember.
Yep, the first two that occurred to me were the Mustang II and the LTD II.
Bad sequel: Impala, 2000-present. Yeah, it’s a decent enough car, but it’s no Impala.
The FWD Impalas should’ve been called “Bel Airs”. “Real” Impalas should have at least six tailights across the ass-end.
Now why would you wish that on the noble name of Bel Air? Seriously, the FWD “Impala” (nee Lumina) should have just kept the Lumina name. It’s still quite obviously the same generic fleet queen it was in ’92. Come to think of it, the ’92 looks better than the new one. The GM tradition of tacking on some gingerbread and geegaws, adding a few “character lines”, changing the name and screaming “ALL NEW!!!” lives on.
Aspen should have stayed in the deepest pit of hell, not resurrected for a Chrysler version of the Dodge Durango.
I was surprised that the Pentastar people resurrected the Aspen name, since the original Dodge Aspen was so reviled in its day. I never paid much attention to the Chrysler Aspen SUV reviews because I have no interest in it. Clearly it was mechanically the same as a Durango. Was it actually a decent vehicle? Was this a case where the sequel was BETTER than its namesake?
Well, both Aspens were on 10 worst lists.
#9 Chrysler Aspen: A cynical repackaging of the Durango, complete with an arthritic suspension and interior appointments you’re best advised not to keep.
From what I’ve read, the Aspen would have been a decent vehicle had it been released in 2000 but by 2006 nobody wanted an overchromed, overweight gas hog with a cheap-looking smallish interior. Chrysler wound up with an oversupply, even though they were heavily discounted (#11 most discounted vehicle in 2007).
What about the Super Beetle of the early-mid 70s? Unreliable (for VW) fuel injection and oddly proportioned. I still see quite a few “original” Beetles around but almost no Supers, except for the occasional convertible.
THe super beetle was a desperate attempt to sell beetles, which by the early 70s were completely out of touch with modern vehicle requirements Most people have forgotten just how bad VWs really were, noisy, slow, uncomfortable, ill handling junk Vdubs were a constant joke on the roads the wave of nostalgia today masks just how unsaleable those really were in comparism to other cars of the era. Of course in the US there were no choices worth buying not so for the rest of the world.
I take umbrage with that. Had a 1972 Super Beetle – and I for one was pleased as punch with it. Now you have to understand what a “Super” Beetle was – it had nothing, nothing at all, to do with the engine or drivetrain. From the cowl back, the Super was identical to the conventional Type 1 Beetle. Engine…seats…trim…everything.
(Correction: That changed in 1973 when the Super Beetle got a wraparound windshield and a more-conventional dashboard; but that was about it.)
The Super’s raison d’etre was its front suspension – cribbed from Porsche; one of the first mass-production cars in America to use MacPherson struts. It gave the whole chassis a new feeling of balance…a very-neutral steering feeling, tending slightly to oversteer.
Because of changes in the alignment, steering was much, much lighter and more precise. I can say this with confidence – two friends had regular Beetles; and I had the Super. We were all amazed at the difference in handling.
Beyond that…the Super had a (by comparison) cavernous trunk. Removing the beam front axle opened up space to bury the spare; and that, in turn, gave needed room for luggage.
And, to my taste, the broader “nose” lines of the Super gave it a more modern, pleasing look than the narrow, pointed-down nose of its predecessor. An old woman with a hooked nose…and her granddaughter, nose maybe too flat and broad, but youthful…healthy…happy.
I’d say the Super sequel was a WIN for VW – except that they maybe waited too long with the original. The market was saturated, Beetle-buyers had been there, done that – and too few believed that the Super was anything more than marketing hype.
More the loss.
So glad you corrected the Super Beetle haters — it was a little awkward looking, but in terms of handling and utility it was truly a vast improvement (as was the type 3 before it).
Personally, I think hating on the old air-cooled VWs is irrational. Few cars can claim the heritage, utility, durability, reliability, quality, and simplicity — but for some macho types I guess it’s required, like despising the color pink… Just remember, without the Beetle there’d have been no Corvair.
As for the NeuBeetle being a “good” sequel, it’s really just a golf with an extreme factory body kit. Horribly disappointing to this fan of the original, and BTW nowhere near as practical as a Golf.
By `1970 the VW Beetle was out of its depth compared to most other compact cars,practically anything was more advanced drove and performed better. The Super Beetle was a huge improvement over the earlier beetle but a Cortina/Hunter /Victor was a better car allround Vdub were not doing well at this point in history the new wet motor Golf couldnt arrive quik enough
I think here in the USA it was smog and safety regs that really killed the Beetle.
Obviously it was “obsolete” by the mid-60s, but that was actually part of the appeal for a lot of people. Also, plenty of “modern” cars were not half as reliable.
Still I must admit, when I drove my first Rabbit (Golf Mk I) in ’76, it was truly a revelation. What it lacked in funky cachet it sure made up for in practicality and pure driving excitement on the rural back roads. I actually out-drove and eluded a cop in a plain ol’ Rabbit L once. His Caprice was just no match in the twisties, must have been really frustrating for him. 🙂
Mmmm… Teri Garr…..
Wait? We were talking about cars?
My thoughts exactly! The American version of Diana Rigg.
Both very attractive women back then.
My thoughts exactly as well. We’re really showing our age here, once again.
Anyway, ahem back to cars, not a Detroit example but my favorite sequel is Supermarine Spitfire vs Triumph Spitfire.
And how about the Chevy II ? That was a great sequel.
“And how about the Chevy II ? That was a great sequel.”
I really struggled with that very question in researching this piece. But darned if I could find a “Chevy I” that it succeeded. In my opinion, the Chevy II was a great car. Tough as a $2 steak,durable ( I see the occasional one around here still in service) and very economical. I think that its name alluded to the fact that it was the more conventional choice for people that just couldn’t bring themselves to buy a Corvair. Also, it had a rough- as- a- cobb 4 cylinder available at a time when they were rare in Detroit. That was my grandmothers last car.
I think the moniker was meant to mean it was the “new” Chevrolet or the “second” Chevy. In other words, new thinking from the beloved old company.
That might have flown, had not there been REAL new thinking, the Corvair, selling right alongside it. But dumb name aside, it was a solid, solidly-conventional car and not at all a Fatal Mistake.
Triumph Herald in a sports coat
David Letterman must have had a secret crush on her as she was on his show 3-5 times a year! Diana Rigg…… yummy, and I wasn’t even born when she was romping around in the all leather get ups on the Avengers! .
Fiat 500 the original was rubbish once taken out of Italy the new one is meant to be ok
C-3 Corvette – 1980 – the all time low for Corvette. So abysimal that Chevy didn’t list a horsepower figure on the 1980 brochure! (305 four barrel)!
Not that the 350 of the time was anything to brag about, but I’m pretty sure the 305 was only sold in California to meet the emissions standards.
I had forgotten about the Citation II. Damn shame GM screwed the pooch on those cars. They were roomy for their exterior dimensions, practical in hatchback form, got decent gas mileage, and, in my experience, were reasonably good handling cars. You know, until the electrical fire started.
Some more nominations:
o If the Mustang II was a major felony, the King Cobra was capital offense.
o Mercury Cougar Wagon
o ’96 Taurus
o Panther-based Mercury Marauder (not a dreadful car, but not deserving the Marauder moniker)
In case you think I’m singling out FoMoCo, I saved the best for last:
o Cutlass Calais Quad 442
We’re overlooking the imports:
o 280 ZX
o E63 6-series
o CR-Z as successor to CRX
The CRX’s immediate successor was the Del Sol, which was just as underwhelming.
Great article, Jeff! The Continental Mark II was (still is) and impeccable rolling piece of art, and still holds true to today (I’d like to still think) Lincoln’s advertising line for the Mark saying, “proof that America builds and designs second to none”.
At least, that’s what I hope Lincoln will once again do.
Capris . . . I didn’t (forgot) to chime in on the Capri page, but the first gen Capris and the 2nd Gen “Capri II” – were all over the place in the Bay Area where I grew up. My sister had a brown ’71 – German 2000 four – four speed – drove nice; a girlfriend had a ’74 2000 four banger automatic (typical California car at the time – SLOW as molasses – choked with EGR’s, air pumps, this thermal burner, that carb restrictor, beau-coup by-pass this, re-routes, vaccum-caca, etc . . . strangled engine and performance) . – but – the Capri II’s do stick out especially in the S.F. Bay Area for the time I came of age that they had one called the “black cat” – which was black and gold perimeter pin stripes and a “cougar” motif on the C-pillar.
Hey, when you’re 17-18 in California, and your engine/transmission choices on new cars were already severly limited and compromised in terms of availability and performace, you might as well have something that has “cool stripes” that’ll attract girls! You guys remember the ’77 and ’78 Volare Road Runners and Aspen R/Ts? California was restricted to the single barrel slant six or 318 2-bbl with Torqueflite! At least the other 49 states and Canada got a 360 four barrel option with stick!
By the late eighties, even in California, pretty much all the 1st/2nd gen Capris were gone. These cars (like so many original California Mustangs and Camaros) were literally driven into the ground . . . .
“The Continental Mark II was (still is) and impeccable rolling piece of art, and still holds true to today (I’d like to still think) Lincoln’s advertising line for the Mark saying, ‘proof that America builds and designs second to none’. ”
From certain angles, the Mark II looks almost shockingly modern–the taillights look like something that would have fit right in in about 1976 and wouldn’t be too dated even today. It’s hard to believe it’s a 55-year-old design.
If you wanted a stick in a late 70’s Road Runner, 318 was the best you could do. 360 was strictly automatic.
Bay Area childhood and youth memory – the Continental Mark IV. These cars too (like Capris) were EVERYWHERE. The most common of these Lincoln marks (at least in Marin County) were:
1) Silver with maroon velour interior
2) Tan landau roof over metallic brown with brown leather.
Jeep Commander. It was obviously an attempt to recreate the Jeep XJ Cherokee in eight-fifths size – to increase passenger and carrying capacity.
But all the clever French styling touches done to the XJ box, were undone or farked-over by the Germans from Daimler who obviously didn’t understand the charms of the original.
FAIL. They’d have done better, much better, to haul out the tooling for the SJ Wagoneer and update it to comply with current laws.
If we can venture outside Detroit again, the 1978-81 Datsun 510. It is partially accurate to say it had the same relationship to the original 510 that the Mustang II had to the Mustang. It’s comparable in that it was a disguised econobox shamelessly attempting to trade off the reputation of the name. The difference is that the Mustang II gets credit for keeping the Mustang alive, whereas the Gen II 510 seems to have destroyed whatever brand equity remained in the 510 name and concept.
I think you’re a little too harsh on the Mustang II. Lee Ioccoca looked brilliant then the October War broke out just when the Mustang was introduced….smaller size, more efficient, and two body styles to choose. Glorified Pinto? Perhaps, but with better suspension. It tripled the sales of the ’73, and nearly returned to the fighting size of the original ’64.
A little harsh on the ’72 Conti as well. Just as garish as the Grand Prix and boat tail Riviera, and yet sold a ton.
my God that ’58 Conti is hideous!
The Mustang II did look good at the time. The 1971-73 models were so bloated and unattractive that this car seemed like a breath of fresh air at the time. And Ford’s timing was perfect – the car hit the market just before the Arab Oil Embargo.
All of the large personal luxury cars – Eldorado, Riviera, Toronado, Thunderbird – jumped the shark big time when they were completely redone in the early 1970s. I’m not seeing where the Continental Mark IV was any worse than, say, a 1971-78 Eldorado. The Eldorado looks bloated and ridiculous, and feels flimsy, compared to the very handsome 1967-70 generation. If anything, I’d take the Mark IV over any of the GM competition from those years.
Not the worst sequel ever, but the Mark 2 Cortina lost all the charm of the Mark 1, becoming just another boring box, more dumpy than a Hillman Hunter.
Good read and some damn fine writing.
Are part III’s next?
You are very kind. You have truly made my day.
III ? Maybe…
I’m going to disagree with you on the 1958-1960 Lincolns. I had a 1960 Premiere sedan that was admittedly an oddball car, the only one I ever saw without power windows. I also owned a 1962 convertible and a 1968 sedan, and the 1960 handled the best of any of them…as well as better than the 1955 and 1957 Lincolns I drove. While it’s true that they were huge, at least they had plenty of interior room, with probably two feet of rear floor available for the rear seat passengers with the front seat all the way back.
One would think that the much shorter 1962 would outhandle the huge 1960, but I didn’t find that to be the case.
If you want to talk about bad sequels, the 1968 would qualify. The 462 engines were known for wearing out their flywheel gears; the power window gears were made out of plastic and frequently failed; the cars just didn’t have the classy feel that the 1960 and 1962 did.
You cannot fault the `58-`60 Lincolns for being over the top kitsch and in the same breath praise the Hummer. Sure, you could cite sales numbers, but that won’t change the fact that the Hummer was and always will be pure kitsch. And no, I do not usually attend Earth Day rallies and believe that politicians can save the whales.
Sorry I still want a Mark IV and a 4-door Charger. In fact I’ll likely drive a Charger, an Impala, and a Taurus back to back while car shoping in about 12 months just to see what a “big, cheap car” is like in 2012.
If they made all of the Chargers to the same spec as the SRT version in the pix above, they wouldn’t have any image issues. What has killed the image of the ‘new’ Charger is a combination of a name formerly on a GTO competitor and the loss leader/CAFE compliance versions that plainly suck.
My wife loves the Charger only because her TV sweetheart (Mark Harmon of NCIS) drives one. We had one as a rental a couple of years back with the V6, it was pretty awful. Our Malibu Maxx could smoke that thing easily.
I like the refreshed (2011) Charger much better, but I think if I were to pop for one, I’d find the V8 version.
If your Malibu has the 3900, and you keep it under 100, your Malibu will kill the new Charger 3.6L too. In fact, from a roll you’ll embarrass the Dodge.
That Pentastar/5A combo is a complete dead fish off the line.
Have a try of a G8 and see what a proper RWD car is like.
meant to reply to Dan