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25 Discontinued Cars Drivers Would Love To See Back

Vukasin HerbezMay 9, 2019

In the automotive industry, it’s common for automakers to introduce and discontinue various car models. In most cases, the news about stopping the production of a model rarely reaches the ears of car fans. But sometimes, such news gets a lot of publicity, usually when a car has many fans or has spent a long time on the market.

Multiple manufacturers have discontinued several interesting models over the years. Although they sometimes offer replacements for them, car enthusiasts still miss them and want them back. If they can’t get them in the same form, they want a modern version with the same character. Most of the cars people want to see back were unique at that time. Others offered special features, advanced designs, and powerful engines.

But some drivers simply love them for their quirkiness, strange features, obscure solutions, or rarity. Here is a list of the top 25 cars most people want to see come back to their local dealerships. Many people will know the cars on this list. So keep reading to learn about those highly sought-after classics and obscure pieces of car art that make the world a better place.

Photo Credit: Classic Auto Mall

25. AMC Eagle

Always flirting with bankruptcy, AMC needed to explore the limits of the conventional car classes and present new concepts to stay profitable. And one of their experiments was the Eagle, a passenger car lineup with a Jeep-derived all-wheel drive. It also had great off-road capabilities in the form of a sedan, wagon, or coupe. AMC conceived it in the late ’70s as their answer to the rising popularity of AWD vehicles and SUVs. They decided to combine their compact sedan and wagon lineup with the tough, proven Jeep AWD system. The result was a surprisingly capable vehicle with the comfort and luxury of a sedan. The Eagle had compact dimensions, a relatively low weight, and extremely good offroad characteristics. Also, the Eagle was one of the first crossover models in the world.

Photo Credit: Silodrome

The Eagle was a relatively popular car, especially in areas with harsh climates and long winters. It came with an AWD system as standard. Unfortunately, AMC was losing money elsewhere. They went out of business in 1987, which meant the death of the Eagle, as well. Today, the AMC Eagle is quite rare, but in some areas, you can still find them. Chrysler Corporation is the owner of the AMC name, so hopefully, some executive will decide to reintroduce the Eagle to the world. AMC could use the same sedan body with the Jeep all-wheel-drive system to achieve better success than the original model. Today, 30 years after they discontinued the Eagle, people can see how influential it was. The Eagle kickstarted the crossover class and nowadays, it is one of the most popular segments of the global market.

Photo Credit: Classics Honest John

24. SAAB 900 Turbo

SAAB presented their 900 models in the late ’70s. This was when they were at the height of their success as an upscale manufacturer of high quality, high tech cars. The 900 Turbo emerged at a time when turbocharging was new. So, only a few models had it as a regular production item. In fact, in the late ’70s, the 900 Turbo was briefly the only non-sports model that had a turbocharged engine. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder with forced induction produced 143 HP at first, and later 185 HP. They initially offered the 900 Turbo as a coupe and then as a convertible. In the ’80s, SAAB cars were popular among upper-middle-class buyers, intellectuals, and artists.

Photo Credit: Car and Classic

It was a stylish yet usable, affordable car with advanced technology and a unique design. Back in the day, the SAAB 900 was different from any other offering in that price class. The convertible was especially popular in yuppie circles and with young executives in the ’80s. Fast forward 30 years and SAAB as a factory is no longer around. But, the spirit of invention and uniqueness of the 900 Turbo still lives on. If you are looking for a usable import with a specific design and technology, the 900 Turbo could be the answer. SAAB fan clubs are well organized, so there is a good support of spare parts. The cars themselves are not expensive. The turbo engine provides lots of opportunities for tuning and going well over the 200 HP mark, too. These cars will be hard to find soon, so if you want one, you’d better start looking now.

Photo Credit: Elfer Spot

23. Porsche 928

The 928 is one of the best Porsche road cars despite the fact it was and still is a controversial model. This was the only true Porsche GT car, so most fans would love to see it back in some shape or form. But back in the mid-70s, Porsche decided the 911 was outdated and not profitable enough to keep the company afloat. So the board approved the development of a new model with a water-cooled V8 engine in the front. Also, they wanted to give it a different design, technology, and appearance. So, in 1977, Porsche introduced the 928 but kept the 911 in production. The 928 was a Gran Turismo coupe with a powerful V8 engine in the front and a transaxle gearbox. It had ideal weight distribution, intelligent suspension, and a space-age design.

Photo Credit: Elfer Spot

In contrast to the 911, which still had some VW Beetle cues, the 928 looked like it came from another planet. Although the early 928s produced just a bit below 300 HP, they were fast. Porsche made this car fast for effortless cruising over continents in comfort, speed, and luxury. They kept improving the 928, introducing the S4 version in 1987. It featured a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 320 HP and a host of other modifications to improve the performance. The 928 S4 could reach 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, topping 160 mph. These results were fast for the day, so the 928 was among the fastest cars of the era.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

22. Buick GNX

The ‘80s were the dark ages of muscle cars and American performance vehicles, but there were a few bright moments. One of the cars that restored faith in the muscle car movement in the ‘80s was the mighty Buick GNX. The story of this model is an interesting one. As far back as 1982, Buick started experimenting with turbocharging its line of standard V6 engines. Results were satisfying, so their engineers got permission to develop a performance version with better acceleration figures. Soon, there was a Buick Grand National with 175 HP. This wasn’t impressive, but it was a start. In the next couple of years, the Grand National got a bigger engine and more power. It jumped from 175 HP to 200 HP, and finally to 235 HP.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

And with those numbers came acceleration times of under six seconds. Those black Grand Nationals were seriously quick cars. But, in 1987 came the ultimate version they called the Grand National Experimental (GNX). It featured the same 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 but with 275 HP and a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.7 seconds. At that moment, the Buick GNX was the fastest accelerating production model in the world. But at $29,000, it was expensive. However, there is a widespread legend that some owners paid for their cars just by street racing them for money. Unfortunately, the Buick GNX was a one year only model, so the company made just 547 of them. Drivers today praise those cars just as much as they did in the late ‘80s.

Photo Credit: Vista Pointe

21. Lancia Delta HF Integrale

It is a shame that Fiat is slowly killing Lancia. This once-proud Italian brand is close to shutting its doors for good. However, most car enthusiasts remember the Delta HF Integrale, which is the most famous hot hatch from this manufacturer. Lancia introduced their compact model, the Delta, in 1979. However, it was on the market for five years before the company started thinking about a performance version. Lancia was always big in rallying. So, after the banning of their Group B model S4, they wanted something that could work well on the street as well as the track. So, they created the HF Integrale. The main feature was a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 185 HP and later, up to 220 HP. It also came with a permanent, well-balanced all-wheel-drive system.

Photo Credit: W Super Cars

The Delta HF Integrale is an important hot hatch because it was the first one with an AWD system. It marked the beginning of the transition from front-wheel drive in simple, affordable hot hatches to the high-tech, all-wheel-drive performance monsters of today. The combination of a powerful engine, sharp handling, great traction, and low weight was intoxicating for magazine testers of the day. They gave the Delta HF Integrale nothing but praise. Over the years, the Delta HF Integrale proved to be a successful concept, not only on the rally stages all over the world but also among hot hatch fans. Production stopped in 1994 after they made almost 40,000 of them.

Photo Credit: Mecum

20. Chrysler 300 “Letter Car” Series

Even before muscle cars were a thing, Chrysler produced a series of high-performance coupes and convertibles. They delivered an unbelievable performance with unmistakable style. Chrysler named the model the 300. They followed it with the letters of the alphabet, with the C300 being the first model in 1955. Chrysler called it the Letter Series. Chrysler equipped the first models with early Hemi engines that could produce 300 HP; hence, the name. Those early Chrysler “Letter Series” models were the first American made cars with 300 HP ratings. With the introduction of advanced intake setups, power levels rose, so those big, heavy cars achieved impressive acceleration times.

Photo Credit: Mecum

However, the “Letter Series” models were always expensive and came in limited numbers. During the 10-year production run, Chrysler often made less than 1,000 examples per model year. This means 300 Letter Series cars are pricey and rare. They are also quite hard to restore since the parts are scarce. But one fan favorite is the 1958 Chrysler 300 D with a massive 392 CID Hemi engine and 380 HP. This glorious machine captivated the automobile public with its elegance and uncompromised performance. It even broke a few records on the Bonneville speed trials. Chrysler only made 618 coupes and 191 convertibles that year. However, this model is the perfect example of an early luxury muscle car.

Photo Credit: Mecum

19. Studebaker Avanti R2

Once successful and highly popular, the Studebaker is now a long-forgotten American brand. Studebaker closed its doors in 1966 after suffering poor sales for over a decade and losing ground to Detroit’s Big Three. However, just before this legendary brand left the market, it produced one interesting luxury model with muscle car credentials: the Studebaker Avanti R2. In the early ‘60s, Studebaker management decided to invest in a luxury coupe to fight poor sales. They thought a new, fancy upscale model would attract customers and attract attention back to Studebaker. So, in 1962, they introduced the sleek, modern-looking Avanti. The innovative design, construction, and technology earned praises from the motoring press.

Photo Credit: Mecum

The base version was not powerful, but soon Studebaker introduced a supercharged R2 option with 289 HP. But, the R2 version didn’t come with an automatic transmission. It was only available with a close-ratio manual gearbox and air conditioning was not available. Besides that, they included lots of performance upgrades, turning the Avanti into a fast machine. In fact, the R2 model broke 28 world speed records, achieving top speeds of 170 mph. This was a big deal back in 1963. The acceleration numbers were impressive because the R2 could sprint to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Unfortunately, Studebaker had problems with production, so the Avanti had limited availability. This affected its popularity and by 1964, they discontinued it. Today, people recognize the Avanti R2 as one of the coolest ’60s cars and an early luxury muscle car. During its short production run of just over 4,600 Studebaker Avanti cars, they built only a handful of R2s.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

18. Acura Integra Type R

Back in the late ‘90s, the Acura Integra Type R was one of the purest performance cars you could buy on the American market. With a high-revving four-cylinder engine, 195 HP, a lightweight, and a balanced chassis, the Integra Type R was a car enthusiast’s dream in a compact package. It was like the Honda CRX from the ’80s, but better in all aspects. It was even capable of killing much more expensive and powerful sports cars. They stripped the Integra Type R down to the essentials, so the only option was air conditioning and it only came in two colors.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

After they discontinued it in the early 2000s, Honda never produced a precision driving machine again. Although the S2000 roadster was close and had a similar engine as the Integra Type R, it was not the same. That is why many car fans wish Honda would introduce a perfect driver’s coupe again. Since the new Civic Type R with more than 300 HP is here, transplanting this drivetrain into a coupe body could be a possibility.

Photo Credit: Artebellum

17. Cadillac Eldorado

Cadillac discontinued the Eldorado nameplate in 2003. Although they introduced several interesting coupes and convertible models, they couldn’t come up with an appropriate replacement. The CTS and ATS coupes are great and the XLR was an interesting model. However, Cadillac needs a powerful flagship model to remind consumers they are still one of the best premium car manufacturers in the world. The Eldorado model came out in 1953 as a limited production convertible. It featured the best of what Cadillac had to offer in the early 1950s. It was expensive, big and full of style.

Photo Credit: Car Styling

For the next 50 years, Eldorado models were popular choices in the personal luxury segment. Since 1967, Eldorado has moved on to front-wheel drive, which was a radical move for a big U.S. coupe. The convertible option was also a common choice. Everybody remembers the mid-70s Eldorado Convertible with the 500 CID V8 engine and enormous dimensions. It was the true definition of a land yacht and the last proper American convertible.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

16. Honda Prelude

Honda has always been a sporty car company offering nimble, lightweight vehicles with high-revving engines. They built the fantastic NSX sports model, but in recent years, it seems like Honda is oriented towards crossovers and SUV models. That’s too bad since Honda’s true heritage lies in performance models, rather than big SUVs with third-row seating. Car fans may have the new Honda Civic Type R, but what they want is to see the Honda Prelude make a comeback. The Prelude was an attractive, two-door coupe.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

Honda produced it in several generations, from the late 1970s to 2001 until they discontinued it. During its production run, the Prelude always offered affordable performance and perfect road holding in elegant style. The last generation went up to 200 HP and produced a vivid performance for the ‘90s. And that’s the reason it is unclear why Honda killed the Prelude. But now is the time to revive the nameplate in a sleek two-door sports model with the Honda Civic Type R drivetrain.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

15. Lotus Esprit

From a variety of racetracks to the famous James Bond movies, the Lotus Esprit was one of the best sports cars of the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Colin Chapman conceived the Esprit in the mid-70s as the most ambitious Lotus project up to that date. With new construction, an Italian designed body, and low weight, consumers praised the Lotus Esprit for its handling and performance. Since it was a British-built car, it had a few problems with reliability.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

But once drivers got it moving, they forgot about the dodgy electronics, rust, and disintegrating interior panels. Powered by a small 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, the Esprit eventually moved to V8 engines in the late ‘80s. The production eventually stopped in 1996 and the Lotus has been without a replacement since. There were a few concepts for a 21st century Esprit, but nothing seemed to materialize in production-ready form. Car fans want to see the Esprit back since there is a space in the overcrowded sports car market for a legendary British brand with a unique way of building cars.

Photo Credit: The Drive

14. Hummer H1

Back in the mid-80s, the U.S. Military started using the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which they affectionately called the Humvee. This was a big, heavy military truck capable of running over anything and surviving landmines. Even though they made the Humvee for the military, constant requests for a street-legal version got AM General thinking about entering the lucrative civilian market. Finally, in 1992, they introduced the civilian Hummer H1. It looked the same as the military version with similar technology and engines. The power came from a 6.2-liter diesel V8 with just 165 HP and loads of torque. Basically, the only real difference between the military and civilian Hummer was the interior.

Photo Credit: The Drive

The street-legal model had a plush interior with air conditioning, leather upholstery, and a premium audio system. The Hummer H1 was expensive, huge, and difficult to drive, making it impractical for most drivers. However, it was extremely popular with customers who wanted something different and opulent. So, for those who didn’t care about practicality or fuel economy, the Hummer H1 was a perfect choice. Besides, the H1 was as pure as it gets, making it oddly popular in the first place.

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13. Toyota MR2

One of the most compact and affordable sports cars that car fans want back is the Toyota MR2. Toyota introduced it in 1984 and sold it until 2007 in three generations. The MR2 was always a great handling and lively performing two-seater model with great driving dynamics.

Photo Credit: Asg Miami

Toyota invested in the GT86 sports model in recent years. But many car enthusiasts think what they should do instead is to remake the MR2. They feel that it would have a better impact on the market than the GT 86, which is not the global bestseller Toyota hoped it would be.

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12. Pontiac GTO

Even though the 2004 to 2006 GTO wasn’t a successful model, it was a good and powerful muscle car with great features. But it did miss the mark, so Pontiac enthusiasts all over the world deserve another model. However, this time it should be a proper muscle car and an instant classic.

Photo Credit: Which Car

GM has several components and advanced platforms like the Alpha that could be the basis for a modern-day GTO. And the power is no problem since GM has one of the best lineups of performance V8s in the world. Many car fans would be delighted to see a modern-day GTO hit the streets and racetracks.

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11. Chevrolet SS

With a 6.2-liter V8, 412 HP, precise steering, and neutral handling, the Chevrolet SS rival Europe’s finest sports sedans. But what most people don’t know is that they rebadged Holden from Australia as a Chevrolet and fine-tuned it for U.S. customers. The performance numbers are respectable since a 0 to 60 mph sprint is possible in just 4.7 seconds.

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The top speed is over 150 mph. So, the Chevrolet SS is for people who need a practical sedan but who want a sports car. So, although they discontinued the SS, most people would love to see it come back.

Photo Credit: Pedigree Motor Cars

10. Cadillac Fleetwood

The Fleetwood name was in use from 1934 to 1992 on various models. But it’s been decades since Cadillac used the Fleetwood name as a designation for its flagship model. So, car fans all over the world feel this legendary brand needs to dust off this famous nameplate.

Photo Credit: Pedigree Motor Cars

They could use it on a new prestigious model that could battle their foreign competitors. Even though the new CT6 model is a truly amazing luxury car, Cadillac can do better. In fact, they need to present an over the top sedan with all the best features and big power.

Photo Credit: Blender Market

9. Buick Riviera

In 1963, they unveiled the Buick Riviera. Almost immediately, it became one of the most interesting cars on the American market. The combination of sleek and elegant styling, a modern interior, and the powerful Buick Nailhead engine made the Riviera an instant bestseller.

Photo Credit: Consumer Guide

Also, it was the first real competitor to the famous Ford Thunderbird. The Riviera stayed in production until 1993. But the first three generations, especially the GS, remained the most desirable luxury muscle cars Detroit ever produced.

Photo Credit: Hi Consumption

8. Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The Grand Wagoneer is one of the cars most car enthusiasts want to see again. Happily, Chrysler will introduce the 21st-century version of the legendary Wagoneer in 2019 as the 2020 model. All anyone knows so far is that they will build the new Grand Wagoneer on a modified Cherokee chassis.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

Also, it will feature more luxurious features, powerful engines, and possibly a cool Woodgrain panel option. Car enthusiasts and collectors alike would love to see the Wagoneer make a comeback. It brought something special to the car market and could still do so today.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

7. Ford Bronco

One of the best news from Ford is the return of the legendary Bronco for the 2020/2021 model year. In the sea of shapeless modern SUVs, the return of a classic boxy Bronco with a powerful engine and true off-road usability is refreshing. It would be more than a welcomed addition to the lineup.

Photo Credit: Ford Trucks

Although there isn’t much information on the car, it will look something like the Bronco Concept Ford introduced in the early 2000s. They will definitely use Eco Boost turbo engine, but Bronco fans are hoping they will feature a good old naturally-aspirated V8 under the hood.

Photo Credit: Automobile Mag

6. Honda CRX

One of the most interesting compact and affordable cars is the legendary Honda CRX. They built it from 1983 to 1991, basing it on the Civic. However, it came with a lower and sportier body and only two seats. Since it was light, nimble, and had precise steering, the CRX was a true sports car except with front-wheel drive and up to 140 HP.

Photo Credit: Automobile Mag

But the biggest selling points of this model were the extremely light body of just 1,800 pounds and the high revving four-cylinder engine. Honda never repeated the success of the CRX and most of their fans feel their lineup can use a car like this.

Photo Credit: DNA Collectibles

5. Subaru BRAT

They conceived the idea for the Subaru BRAT or “Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter” in the late `70s. In fact, Subaru designed it to take advantage of the popularity of compact trucks in America. However, there were steep import taxes for foreign trucks that would kill all of Subaru’s profits.

Photo Credit: DNA Collectibles

So the company thought of a genius way of selling the truck as a passenger car by installing two seats in the back. The BRAT became popular and legendary in its own right. So, today’s Subaru could use some of that charm and uniqueness to revive its magic.

Photo Credit: Mecum

4. Lincoln Mark III

Today, the Lincoln brand struggles with recognition and its future is unclear. Divided between the production of old-fashioned sedans and modern upscale SUV models, Lincoln needs a signature car, something that will remind its customers what this brand is all about. So, how about a cool, luxury coupe like the legendary Mark III?

Photo Credit: Wallpaper Up

Lincoln introduced the Mark III in late 1968, building it on a Thunderbird chassis using the new, powerful 460 V8 engine. The front was dominated by a big chrome grille, reminiscent of Rolls Royce models. The hideaway headlights were an interesting touch and the trunk had a cool-looking spare wheel hump with Continental lettering. In combination with the vinyl top, all that made the Mark III design unique and special.

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3. Toyota Celica

Toyota might have the GT86 as its entry-level sports car. But somehow, this model lacks the coolness and appeal of the original Celica. Built on a standard Toyota Carina basis, the Celica was one step above the popular Corolla in terms of size, technology, and engine power.

Photo Credit: Japan Bullet

Toyota presented the new Celica to their American buyers in 1970 with two body styles, a regular two-door coupe, and a hardtop fastback. The Celica proved to be popular, so by the end of 1977, they sold more than 200,000 of them. The best versions were with the 2.0 and 2.2-liter engines. They delivered a solid performance and satisfying driving dynamics at a modest price.

Photo Credit: Classics Auto Trader

2. International Harvester Scout

The Scout was a small and usable off-road SUV with choices of engines ranging from the 2.5-liter straight four to the 4.4-liter V8. They introduced it in 1961 and produced it until 1980. The International Harvester company still exists today, so it has the capacity to produce a new-age Scout.

Photo Credit: Velocity Restorations

Unfortunately, there aren’t any rumors of this happening anytime soon. But, there is an army of classic SUV fans who are craving a small, compact, and attractive SUV with an unmistakable design and off-road capabilities.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1. Dodge Viper

There’s no need to explain this one in too much detail. The Viper is the quintessential American sports car with tons of power, a fantastic design, and thrilling performance. And as such, its demise truly affected Viper enthusiasts globally. Everyone knows that Chrysler can produce it again. They just need to find a financially stable model because the car industry without the Viper is a boring mess.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

These are the 25 discontinued cars we would love to see back. While that is a possibility for some of them, others will never see the light of day again. If you happen to see one of them, be sure to snap it up while it is still available.

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