A good car can create a lifetime of memories. There are cars that you don't want to be discontinued. It may be because of the design, the performance, or the sentimental attachment. These cars have made a mark in the annals of history, and the only way they can be immortalized is through continued production.
There is a myriad of reasons why some very good cars were discontinued. Some companies filed for bankruptcy, while others were looking for glory while compromising their best work.
In order to understand why these cars should be brought back from the grave, we need to ask ourselves, "What makes a good car?"
This might be a subjective question, but there are general things that most people can agree on. A good car should be reliable and easy to maintain. It should also be safe and affordable. A good car doesn't need to have all the latest fancy technologies. Some good cars are expensive, too, and that's why some people are willing to spend extra to get the car with the features that they desire.
A lot of good cars have been buried and forgotten. Some of them are from the golden age and have become classics over the years. We've analyzed vehicles of the past century to bring you 25 cars that should be brought back from the grave.
25 Matra Murena
The Murena was developed by Mecanique Aviation Traction, an aerospace company in France that decided to venture into the world of automobiles.
The Murena is Italian for ''Moray,'' which goes to show how the country has influenced the car world. There were two versions in the production phase. There was the M551, which had a 1.6-liter engine, and there was the M552, which was a 2.2-liter version.
The final exterior design for the Murena was an aerodynamic masterpiece, even for its time. The engine could produce up to 136 hp, and the Murena came in a 5-speed manual transmission.
Other notable cars to have been produced by the company include the Bagheera and the Djet V. The Matra name was killed in 2003.
24 1967 Mercury Cougar
The 1967 Mercury Cougar was the quintessential embodiment of the Mercury line of cars. Mercury cars have been sold from 1967 to 2002, but none can match the Cougar.
Mercury was killed by Ford in 2012 after its market share had gone to under 1%. Mercury should've continued in the line of the 1967 Cougar but instead decided to experiment with other variants.
The Cougar became Mercury's iconic name for several years. The first-generation Mercury Cougar had everything you could ever dream of in a car at that time. There were two engine choices available. There was the 4.0-liter V8 engine with 200 hp, and there was also the 6.4-liter with 335 hp. The exterior design alone is enough reason to bring this car back from the grave.
23 Pontiac GTO
The GTO was among the first muscle cars to be introduced to the world in 1964. This is one of the few American cars we have on the list, which is a strong argument why it should be brought back from the dead.
The car was conceptualized at a time when General Motors had banned all its division from participating in auto racing. Pontiac marketing and advertising were heavily focused on a performance-based car.
The first-generation GTO came in two variants: a hardtop coupe and a 2-door convertible body style. The car was priced at $285 and had a 6-liter V8 engine, which could produce 325 hp at 4,800 rpm. The Pontiac name was laid to rest in 2009, and some of the other amazing cars that were buried with it include the Opel GT and the Saturn Sky.
22 Rover P5
You know a vehicle should've never been rested if Queen Elizabeth II owns two of them. The car was in production between 1958 and 1973.
There were 69,141 units produced, and the P5 was the final model to be manufactured by the brand. The Rover story is an example of how quickly competition can bring an empire to its knees. During its heyday, Rover was the 5th largest company in the world, but the likes of Mercedes, BMW, and Honda made it irrelevant very quickly.
The P5 was designed for royals, and the interior was a testament to luxury. The queen popularized the car and was used by many government officials. The Land Rover is the only remaining evidence that the company ever existed.
21 Studebaker Avanti
This is yet another American vehicle to make it on the list. It was produced as a luxury coupe in 1963 and prided itself as 'America's only 4-passenger high-performance car.'
The Avanti was one of America's post-war symbols, and the car broke a staggering 29 records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. A car with such a rich history should've never been buried for good. The car was first launched at the New York International automobile show in 1961. There were plans to sell 20,000 Studebaker Avantis, but the company could only manage 1,200.
The brand died completely in 1967, unfortunately. There had been rumors going on at that time that the company would continue to manufacture the vehicle. What remains of the Avanti today is an association with over 2,000 members.
20 Triumph TR4
Triumph is yet another British car company that died because of the Layland debacle. The company produced some premium vehicles in its prime, the TR4 being one of them. The TR4 was the natural successor of the TR3 and was in production from 1961 to 1965. A total of 40,253 units were built. Those were high numbers given the time, and it goes to show that the car should've stayed alive up to now.
The fascia ventilation design was a new one to be used in the TR4. It had a 2.2-liter L4 Version engine, which produced a total of 200 horsepower.
The car had a successful spell in motorsports and even came first in class and 13th in the overall position at the Sebring racing competition in 1961.
19 Daimler DS420
This is another vehicle that's owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The DS420 was the limousine version of the car and prioritized interior luxury above everything. The queen still uses the car to date, although it's preserved for serious family functions.
Regular folk like us should be able to enjoy such beauty just like it's enjoyed by the Queen of England. The car brand was first established in 1898 by a Belgium coachbuilder.
Their company didn't have money to do advertising and marketing activities. Daimler as a company hasn't changed. The only thing that's changed is the use of the 'Jaguar' name when it came to the North American market. There aren't so many Daimler DS420s in the world.
18 Allard KI
Allard produced a lot of race vehicles. The company was founded in 1945 by Sydney Allard. Allard had built cars before, but none were for mass production until 1946. Sydney Allard raced the cars himself and one of his vehicles, the J2, came third in the Le Mans race in 1950.
The KI was a touch of class with the design and the interior. There were a total of 151 K1s fitted with a 3622 engine. The car had a top speed of 90 mph. Allard built the K2 and the K3, but it was the K1 that paved the way. In 1966, there was a fire that destroyed Allard's car factory. It was a sad occurrence because Sydney Allard died on the same day at his home during the night.
17 Alpine A110
On the list, this is one of the very few cars that might just be resurrected. The car was produced by French car manufacturer Alpine between 1961 and 1977.
The vehicle was termed as 'Berlinette,' which in post-WW2 meant a small 2-door coupe. The car succeeded the A108, which was in production earlier. Most Alpine vehicles, including the A110, used Renault parts, even for the engine.
The A110 was different from the previous models because it had new body style, which was meant to accommodate a bigger engine. The A110 became very successful in the '70s because of its rally exploits. There have been different variants over the years, with the most powerful one being the A110 1600S, which was capable of producing 138 hp.
16 Bristol Fighter
The Bristol fighter is a recent car and was produced from 2004 to 2011. During that time frame, only 13 cars were ever produced, which was disappointing, given the publicity the car received.
The vehicle is classed as a supercar and had gullwing doors that made it stand out. The car has a V10 engine that was borrowed from the Dodge Viper.
It can produce up to 563 hp at 5,600 rpm. There's a more powerful displacement in the Bristol Fighter S, which can produce 628 hp. The car can manage 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and comes with a 4-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission option. The company died in 2011 when it fell into receivership, and the Bristol Fighter was buried with it.
15 DeLorean DMC-12
This was the only car model ever to be produced by the DeLorean Motor company. There are rumors that there may be a new modern version in the works, but we just have to wait and see. The car was produced from 1981 to 1983 and was mainly targeting the American middle class.
The car was a success despite being produced for just 2 years. It's estimated there are a total of 6,500 DMC-12s that are still running today.
The company announced in 2016 that it was planning to build 325 replicas of the 1982 DeLorean and that the base price would start at $100,000. We'll soon be able to witness the resurrection of this great car even if it'll take a couple of years.
14 Datsun 240Z
The Datsun 240Z was also known as the Nissan S30 and went on to become the most successful sports car line ever produced by the company. The car was first introduced in the American market in 1970. Production went on for 3 years until it was stopped in 1973. The car came at 2nd place for the ''Top Sports Car of the '70s'' according to the Sports Car international magazine.
In 1973, the Datsun won the East African Safari Rally and was driven by Shekhar Metta. The car came in 3 different drive modes. There were the 4-speed manual transmission, the 5-speed manual, and a 3-speed automatic transmission. Datsun prides itself as one of the first car producers from Japan to conquer the UK market.
13 Bugatti Veyron
The Bugatti Veyron broke a lot of records for a car that was produced from 2005 to 2014. We're well aware that what makes a supercar unique is scarcity, but the world has not had enough of the Veyron.
The car was officially the fastest vehicle in the world for a period of 10 years with a top speed of 267 mph. The car can go from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds. The Bugatti Grand Sports Vitesse was the last trim to be produced by the company.
The Chiron might've succeeded the Veyron, but the general feeling is the former has a lot more history. Bugatti should introduce a new model of the Veyron to excite car enthusiasts once again.
The Autobianchi was jointly created by Fiat, Pirelli, and Bianchi in 1955. They were targeting the small-luxury-car market and only a handful was ever produced.
Fiat was a popular Automobile maker, but the Autobianchi was priced higher. The car was designed to test new cutting-edge technologies in vehicles at that time. The technologies used in the Autobianchi would later be incorporated in Fiat cars.
One of the most popular models of the vehicle was the A112, which was launched in 1969. The car was a popular Italian racing car and came in a hatchback variant.
Their Y10 was also popular and was among the first cars to use FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotised Engine) from Fiat. Autobianchi was eventually bought off by Fiat, and the car was discontinued in 1995.
11 Daewoo Matiz
The Daewoo Matiz was a Korean brand that took the British car market by storm when they introduced the Matiz. Before then, they were known to produce near-average cars that didn't resonate well with the European market.
The idea behind the Matiz was borrowed from the Lucciola, which was a concept Fiat had outrightly rejected. What made the Matiz an instant hit was the fact that it was compact and was reasonably priced. The car was first launched in the UK in 1998. There were two versions available: the SE and the SE+. The car went on to win numerous awards. It was voted as the Best Small car in the year 2000 by Top Gear Magazine.
10 DAF 66
The DAF 66 was sold as a family car and was manufactured from 1972 to 1976. The car succeeded the DAF55 and was the last to feature the 4-cylinder engine. The car was available as a 2-door coupe, a 2-door saloon, and a 3-door estate. There were a total of 146,297 units built.
The car become so popular that the Dutch Army commissioned the company to build a personnel carrier.
It was a modification of the 66 Sedan but with a more jeep-like roofless design. The army decommissioned the personnel carrier, and the rest sold to the public in the early '90s. The DAF company, together with their vehicles, died when Volvo took over. The car looked good for its time and Volvo needs to bring it back to life with a new modern face.
9 De Tomaso Mangusta
The De Tomaso Mangusta was an Italian sports car produced by De Tomaso between 1967 and 1991. What's unfortunate is not only did the car die but the whole company disappeared in 2004, although there have been attempts to resurrect it.
There was a time the company owned Maserati and produced cars like the Quattroporte III, the Kyalami, and the Biturbo.
The Mangusta had the Vallelunga chassis and was seen as the natural successor. Mangusta is Italian for "mongoose," and that's clearly reflected in the design cues of the sports car. There had also been rumors that the name came about because De Tomaso had talked with Carroll Shelby to replace the Cobra race car, but it never came to fruition.
8 Bond Equipe
Sharp Commercials was the company behind Bond Equipe. It was founded after the Second World War and specialized in three-wheelers between 1950 and 1960. It produced some of the 'ugliest' three-wheelers to have graced the automobile world. Their first attempt at a four-wheeler produced the Bond Equipe. The car was conceptualized in 1963 and sold up to 1970.
The design is what you'll see in today's Dodge cars. The Bond Equipe was a sports car with a 2-liter 1998 CC 4-speed manual transmission.
It came in either a 2-door saloon or a 2-door convertible. The car looked so good that it would've been the basis for better models over the years that were to come. This car is the reason why the Bond brand should be resurrected.
7 Bedford CF
Bedford produced some of the best vehicles that were meant to last for a long time. Their line of vans was very successful commercially, with production running for over two years from 1969.
The CF was introduced as a successor of the CA vans, which had been operational for 17 years. In the '70s, any van you saw on the road was likely from Bedford.
The van was so popular as a 'caravanette' because it had sliding doors on the side of the panel. There was a facelift in the '80s that saw the introduction of the CF1. It featured a 2.3-liter 1998 CC diesel engine. There was also the CF2, which was similar to the CF1 in terms of the exterior design. The Bedford brand was closed by GM in 1986.
6 Facel Vega FVS
The FVS was produced by French manufacturer Facel Vega between 1954 and 1962. The company was founded in 1934 and ceased operations in 1964. The vehicle had an uncommonly luxurious interior for a car of its time.
The car was fitted with a 4.5-liter V8 engine, which was mind-blowing for a car in 1954. It came with the option of a four-speed manual or a 2-speed PowerLite automatic transmission.
The car had a top speed of 120 mph, which was dependent on the axial ratio implemented. The styling was done by an American and featured basic tail fins. The car was mainly produced for the rich and famous. A modern FVS could probably fetch a lot of money, but there will be willing buyers given the history of the car.
5 Polski Fiat 125P
The car was produced by FSO, a company that was commissioned by the Polish Government in 1951. FSO was under a license agreement with Fiat, and it was simply a modification of the Fiat 125.
There was only one car manufacturer for passenger vehicles in Poland in the '60s, and that was the FSO. During its production, there were two main versions of the Fiat 125P that were available. There was a clear distinction between Polish and Italian cars. The 125P, for example, had 4 round headlights, whereas the Italian ones had a square shape with a simple bumper grill.
In terms of exports, the Fiat 125P did very well in the UK and Ireland markets. It was the cheapest car in the late '80s and early '90s with a base price of £3,099.
4 Gilbern Invader
The Gilbern Invader has been described as the best Welsh car ever. There were different Gilbern Invader car offerings, and the first one was a GT. It had Austin mechanicals under the hood and was made from glass fiber.
This vehicle looked so good that it caught the eyes of Prince Charles. Some people have questioned his taste up to this date, but you only need to look at Camila to know the lad is refined.
There were around 500 cars produced by Gilbern as an automobile company before the Invader was introduced. The Gilbern had a Ford V6 engine, which produced 140 hp and could go from 0 to 60 in 10.7 seconds. There was also a shooting version, which was meant to store guns and hunting trophies.
3 Gordon Keeble GT
The Gordon Keeble GT was produced between 1964 and 1967. There were only 100 units that were produced.
The car was first shown to the public in the Geneva motor show in 1960 and was named just "Brandon." There are people who argue that "Gordon Keeble" is the most British-sounding name for a vehicle manufacturer.
The car had amazing numbers in its time, and you can't help but wonder what the company could do with the current technology. The car had a 5.4-liter V8 engine, which could produce 300 hp.
There was a big problem with suppliers, as manufacturing a vehicle with such numbers needed a lot of work. The company soon ran out of money, and there was no any other option but liquidation.
2 Innocenti GT
The Innocenti GT was jointly developed by Ferrari and Innocenti from 1963 to 1964, but the sad part was that the car never went into mass production.
A lot of factors might have contributed to the problem, but it mainly stemmed from Innocenti's part. Innocenti was known more for producing industrial machinery. They had a short, successful stint with car manufacturing and produced cars like the Mini 90, which was to compete with its British counterpart.
The founder of the company, Ferdinando Innocenti, wanted to expand his car-manufacturing business and saw the chance of partnering with Ferrari as a perfect opportunity. He wanted to the Innocenti GTI to be molded in the eyes of the Ferrari Enzo. There were only 2 units produced, out of which only one survived.
1 Iso Grifo
The Grifo isn't the only car from Iso that should be resurrected from the grave. The Italian company came up with amazing car models like the Lele and the Rivolta.
The Iso Grifo had a futuristic design for a car that was manufactured between 1963 and 1974. The first production model came out in 1965 and was powered by a 5.4-liter Chevrolet engine and came with a 4-speed manual transmission.
1970 saw the birth of series II, which had a better and sleeker design. It has also had a bigger 7.5-liter engine and featured hideaway lights. There was also the 1972 IR-8 variant, which was the last vehicle to be produced before the company filed for bankruptcy. The oil crisis played a big role in the company going under.
Source: cars.com; Wikipedia.org; classiccarz.com