Since the dawn of the automobile, hundreds — if not thousands — of cars and car names have come and gone in the U.S. market. Many of these were popular at inception and then, thanks to market changes, oil crises and fickle consumer interest, the cars and their monikers were discontinued. However, there are a few vehicles for which automotive oblivion was only temporary. These models went out of production and in some cases were resurrected many years later — often completely different than the original — still wearing the familiar name. Here’s a quick look at cars that left the market but roared back to life and are still surviving on the streets.
Acura NSX | 1991–2005
Original Base Price: $65,000
In 1986 Honda launched a new premium label, making Acura the first Japanese luxury brand in America. A mere three years later the company wowed the automotive world with the introduction of the NS-X concept, which was destined to become the first exotic sports car from Japan. In late 1990 the Acura NSX went on sale in America, boasting an all-aluminum chassis and body and a high-tech 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine that produced 270 horsepower. The sleek sports car was the first Japanese model to challenge the Italian exotics, bringing with it reliability — a trait not typically present in exotics of the time. The NSX experienced several iterations over its lifetime; by 2005 the NSX no longer had its signature pop-up headlights and power was up to 290 horses, but that was the last year of production. It would be 12 years before Acura returned to market with a flagship sports car of the same name.
Acura NSX | 2017–present
Current Base Price: $156,000
As much as that original NSX changed the idea of an exotic sports car, one could say the same for the returning NSX. Relaunched last year, the new NSX uses a hybrid gas-electric powertrain to produce impressive power and handling. Still a mid-engine sports car, the mean-looking NSX is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine teamed with thee electric motors to produce a total of 573 horsepower. Two of the electric motors provide power to the front wheels, while the V6 and third electric motor send power to the rear. This setup allows for Acura’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which can continuously vary torque to the front wheels individually, greatly improving agility and handling.
Alfa Romeo Giulia | 1962–1978
Original Base Price: $3,595
Founded in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo developed a rich racing history, including five World Championships and 11 European Championships. With the Giulia, Alfa Romeo was one of the first manufacturers to offer a powerful engine in a lightweight 4-door car, creating one of the first sport sedans. The Giulia was a rear-wheel-drive sedan, powered by a 90-horsepower 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with a 5-speed manual transmission. A total of 572,646 Giulias were produced and today the original Alfa Romeo Giulia is highly regarded by Alfa Romeo aficionados, along with the Giulietta Coupe and Convertible of the same era.
Alfa Romeo Giulia | 2018–present
Current Base Price: $37,995
Last year Alfa Romeo brought back the Giulia name, appropriately for an all-new sport sedan. The stylish 4-door doesn’t offer the manual transmission of the original, but it is available with rear-wheel drive as well as a very quick-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox. Offering a bit more power than the previous generation, the Giulia Sport and Ti get a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder unit producing 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. But for the ultimate in performance, the Giulia Quadrifoglio gets a 2.9-liter bi-turbo V6 that puts out 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, which is good enough to deliver this sport sedan to 60 mph in a mere 3.8 seconds. The Giulia Quadrifoglio lapped the famed Nurburgring track in 7:32 — the fastest time ever recorded by a 4-door production sedan.
Chevrolet Camaro | 1967–2002
Original Base Price: $2,466
The original 1967 Camaro hit the streets in 1966 at the height of the muscle car era. Based on the Chevrolet Nova, the front engine, rear-wheel-drive Camaro got rushed to market to compete with the Ford Mustang, which had become an unexpected sales success. The first-year Camaro was offered as both a coupe and a convertible, with a long hood, short rear deck, 2+2 seating and a broad range of engine choices — from inline 6-cylinder units to big-block V8s — to appeal to a wide range of customers. The sporty Camaro would go through four generations with major design changes as well as a range of power options, including high-performance variants like the Z28 and SS.
Chevrolet Camaro | 2010–present
Current Base Price: $25,905
After an eight-year hiatus, Chevrolet introduced a 5th-generation of the legendary Camaro in 2010 with styling reminiscent of the original 1967 design. In 2016 the Camaro was redesigned to usher in the current generation. While styling seemed evolutionary, almost every part on the 2016 Camaro was new. The 2018 Camaro is offered in a variety of trims, ranging for the base LS to the extreme-performance ZL1 that boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that produces 650 horsepower that can be teamed with either a 6-speed manual or a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic. Camaro can be had as a coupe or convertible.
Chevrolet Impala | 1958–1985, 1994–1996
Original Base Price: $2,586
Chevrolet introduced the Impala in 1958 as the top-level trim of the Bel Air. Available as a hardtop or convertible, the Impala proved to be quite popular. The following year Impala became its own model line and with almost 500,000 units sold, became America’s best-selling model. In 1961 Chevrolet came out with a new generation of Impala and introduced the Super Sport (SS) with a 409-cubic inch V8 under the hood. Impala received many redesigns over the years and was finally discontinued in 1985. The Impala name had a brief comeback in 1994 as the Chevrolet Caprice-based Impala SS. The Impala SS was slightly lower and meaner looking than the standard Caprice and was powered by 260-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine. The Impala SS only lasted until 1996, and the famous name went dark once again.
Chevrolet Impala | 2000–present
Current Base Price: $27,895
The current version of the Impala — introduced for the 2014 model year — is the tenth generation to be sold since the model premiered in 1958, and the third generation since the name returned. One of the few full-size sedans available in the U. S. market, the 2018 Impala is available with the latest in high-tech features that include active noise cancellation, 4G LTE wireless connectivity, Adaptive Cruise Control, forward collision alert, a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay. Power comes from either a standard 196-horsepower 2.5-liter engine with start/stop technology, or a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that comes standard on the top-level Premier trim.
Chrysler 300 | 1955–1965
Original Base Price: $4,100
The first Chrysler 300 got its name from the 331-cubic-inch 5.4-liter HEMI “Firepower” V8 that produced 300 horsepower. The HEMI engine — so-called because of its hemispherical combustion chambers that deliver better efficiency and power for their size — was teamed with Chrysler’s relatively new “Powerflite” fully automatic transmission. This much oomph was a big deal in 1955 — the 300 was the most powerful American production car on the road (the Corvette had 195 horsepower that year). Over the next 10 years, Chrysler would bring to market a range of 300s now referred to as the “letter series,” starting with that first 300 and continuing with the 300B, 300C, 300D — a new letter every year with the final 300L in 1965. These special Chryslers were among the fastest production cars on the road, equipped with the latest in luxury features. Other 300 models followed the letter series, but none would ever be as special as those first versions.
Chrysler 300 | 1999–present
Current Base Price: $28,995
The 300 name returned on the 1999 300M, named to be the logical successor to the 300L from 34 years earlier. The 300M was built on an entirely new architecture, called the LH platform. This new model was front-wheel drive and its V6 was not particularly powerful — it’s connection to the original letter series 300s seems to be in name only. In 2005 an all-new 300 premiered — this one with a fresh new design and rear-wheel drive. The top-of-the-line 300C was powered by a 345-horsepower HEMI V8, and in 2012 Chrysler added the 300C SRT8 boasting a 6.4-liter 470-horsepower V8. The SRT8 only lasted until 2015 — the current 300 is available with V6 or V8 power options as well as available all-wheel drive. Like the earlier letter series, the 300 is available with the latest in luxury and performance features.
Chrysler Pacifica | 2004–2008
Original Base Price: $28,845
Before the Pacifica minivan, Chrysler came to market with a vehicle of the same name. The original Pacifica was one of the first crossovers — not quite a minivan, not quite a wagon and not quite an SUV. As Chrysler described it in its press materials, the Pacifica was a “stylish vehicle with the flexibility and utility of an SUV or minivan but the fuel economy and safety of a passenger car.” Pacifica offered all-wheel drive as well as some advanced features for the time such as a backup camera and Bluetooth hand-free calling. Seating was available for six via three rows of two seats. With SUV and minivan offerings available from Chrysler/Dodge at the same time, sales of the Pacifica peaked in its first year, declining until the vehicle was discontinued after the 2008 model year.
Chrysler Pacifica | 2017–present
Current Base Price: $26,995
Chrysler introduced a new generation of its legendary minivan, bringing back the Pacifica name on this improved people mover. Taking the place of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, the modern-day Pacifica is arguably the best minivan Chrysler has built since it created the category more than 30 years ago. Pacifica can be equipped with seating for up to eight occupants, which still leaves plenty of cargo space in the rear. Stow n’ Go seats can be folded into the floor for a completely flat cargo area all the way to the front seats. Passengers can enjoy the available Uconnect Theater featuring a 10-inch high-res touchscreen display with a variety of inputs and integrated games. There’s even an available Stow ‘n Vac — a powerful vacuum cleaner located conveniently behind the second row, and easily accessible from any door opening. A plug-in hybrid version of the Pacifica also is available, making it the first hybrid minivan ever sold in America.
Dodge Challenger | 1970–1974, 1978–1984
Original Base Price: $3,023
The Dodge Challenger may have been a little late to the pony-car party — the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang were both already on sale — but the Challenger certainly made a splash and is still one of the best-known muscle cars of the 1970s. While it shared a platform with the Plymouth Barracuda, the Challenger had a longer wheel base which provided a roomier cabin. Challenger was available as a coupe or convertible in a variety of trims, but it was the range of engines that really made it stand out. Nine different power units were available, ranging from a 145-horsepower six cylinder to the legendary 426-cubic-inch HEMI V8 putting out 425 horsepower. With colors such as Plum Crazy and HEMI Orange as well as optional shaker hoods and big wings, the Challenger screamed performance. The original Challenger was short lived, ending production after the 1974 model year. A few years later Dodge slapped the Challenger name on an undeserving 2-door coupe imported from Mitsubishi; it had a base powerplant that produced a paltry 77 horsepower — looking like a sad end to the Challenger name.
Dodge Challenger | 2009–present
Current Base Price: $27,295
At the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Dodge took the wraps off the Challenger Concept and immediately stole the show. With styling reminiscent of that original 1970s Challenger but with completely modern features, demand to build the car was high. Two years later the 425-horsepower Challenger SRT8 production car roared to life. Like the original, the Challenger has been available with a variety of powertrains, ranging from an efficient 3.5-liter V6 to a line of HEMI V8s, and Dodge brought back colors such as Plum Crazy. But the most talked-about variant is the Challenger Hellcat with its massive 707 horsepower supercharged V8 powerplant that pushes the car to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. And if even more power is required, Dodge introduced a next step — the 840-horsepower Challenger Demon, capable of completing a quarter-mile run in less than 10 seconds.
Dodge Charger | 1966–1978, 1981–1987
Original Base Price: $3,120
Making its debut on January 1, 1966, the Charger had a Dodge Coronet chassis but its own body style — the brand’s first fastback, built as a high-speed street racer. The unique design evolved from the Charger II concept car shown a year earlier, featuring hidden headlights and four buckets seats. Standard power came from a 5.2-liter V8 engine with 230 ponies, but the famed 426 cubic-inch HEMI engine boasting 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque was what really put Charger on the map. In 1969 the Charger received styling updates that included the optional Performance Hood with a functional hood scoop and bold graphics that called out the engine below. The 1969 Charger found more fame when it became known as the General Lee on the popular TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” With the fuel shortages of the mid 1970s, Charger became a much more docile in its 4th generation, and after a few-year break, returned as a front-wheel-drive economy car, what seemed like an unworthy end to the legendary Charger name.
Dodge Charger | 2006–present
Current Base Price: $28,995
Dodge reintroduced the Charger for the 2006 model year. Although it was rear-wheel drive with HEMI power like the original, the new model was a four door. And in keeping with Charger tradition, Dodge has made a few powerful engine choices are available, including the R/T Scat Pack with a 485-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8, or the SRT Hellcat with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 producing a mind-blowing 707 horsepower. With a top speed of 204 mph, the Hellcat is one of the quickest, fastest and most powerful production sedans in the world. For 2018 Dodge adds the GT AWD, which comes standard with a 300-horsepower V6 engine.
Fiat 124 Spider | 1968–1985
Original Base Price: $3,265
The original Fiat 124 Spider debuted at the Turin Auto Show in 1966 and was sold in the U.S. from 1968 through 1985. Considered to be one of the most affordable, mass-produced sports cars of the time, the Fiat 124 Spider was designed by Pininfarina and was so successful that the car was not extensively redesigned during its 19-year production run. A 2-seat rear-wheel-drive convertible, the Fiat 124 Spider was powered by a 1.4-liter twin-cam 4-cylinder engine with a 5-speed manual transmission and 4-wheel disc brakes. The water-tight soft-top could be lowered easily from the driver’s seat, and rear quarter-wipers improved visibility. Nearly 8,000 of the original Fiat 124 Spiders are still registered in the U.S. today.
Fiat 124 Spider | 2017–present
Current Base Price: $24,995
The current Fiat 124 Spider arrived on U.S. shores last year, marking its return after a 30-year absence from the U.S. market. The result of a collaboration between Fiat and Mazda, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but with Italian styling and a Fiat drivetrain, suspension and tuning. The new Fiat 124 Spider was designed in Turin, Italy, and takes styling cues from the original 124 Spider, including the hexagonal upper grille, power domes on the hood and sharp horizontal taillights. Like the original, the soft-top can be manually operated from the driver’s seat and stows behind the seats without a tonneau cover. The rear-wheel-drive 124 Spider is powered by Fiat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower (164 in Abarth) and 184 lb-ft of torque, teamed with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic. The sportier 124 Spider Abarth also includes a sport instrument cluster, leather-trimmed sport seats, a sport steering wheel, performance-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, a gunmetal roll bar and 17-inch gunmetal aluminum wheels.
Ford Ranger | 1983–2011
Original Base Price: $6,695
Ford introduced the compact Ranger pickup truck in 1983 to replace the Courier, which was built by Mazda. The Ranger was the first Ford designed and produced compact pickup, coming at a time when fuel economy was an important aspect of new-car buying. As a result, the base engine for the Ranger was a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder motor that put out only 73 horsepower. In 1986 Ford added an extended-cab variant to the Ranger lineup, which provided a storage space behind the front seats that could also fit two small jump seats. Although there were design refreshes and new features throughout its life, the Ranger was always built on the same chassis — quite a long time without a complete redesign. The Ranger continued to be sold in various parts of the world, although 2011 marked the end of the Ranger in the U.S.
Ford Ranger | coming 2019–????
Current Base Price: NA
Rumors of the Ranger’s triumphant return have been circulating for years, but at this year’s Detroit Auto Show Ford finally took the wraps off an upcoming all-new model. The 2019 Ranger features a high-strength steel frame, a 2.3 -liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Even though Ranger is already sold in other markets around the world, the new model has been engineered specifically for the North American market. The exterior design features a high beltline, a raked grille, a dual-dome hood, the Ranger name stamped in the tailgate, and short overhangs for off-road clearance. Inside, the 2019 Ford Ranger offers seating for up to five, a center stack with an 8-inch touchscreen for the available SYNC3 system, and dual LCD screens in the instrument cluster to display vehicle, navigation and audio information. Production of the new Ranger is scheduled to begin in late 2018 with sales beginning in early 2019.
Jeep Cherokee | 1974–2001
Original Base Price: $4,161
Jeep introduced the Cherokee in 1974 as a 2-door version of the Wagoneer, and it remained that way until the 4-door variant debuted in 1977. The Cherokee remained on this platform until it was completely redone in 1984. Considerably shorter and narrower than the big Wagoneer, the new Cherokee was built on a unibody platform rather than the traditional chassis and frame. Two different 4-wheel-drive systems were available — Command-Trac part-time and Selec-Trac full-time 4-wheel drive. Cherokee was originally offered with either a 2.5-liter four cylinder or a 2.8-liter V6 engine until the highly-regarded 4.0-liter inline 6-cylinder arrived for 1987. The 2-door version of the Cherokee was discontinued in 1988, and in 2002 Jeep introduced the Liberty to replace the Cherokee.
Jeep Cherokee | 2014–present
Current Base Price: $24,395
The Jeep Cherokee returned for 2014 as an all-new compact SUV to replace the Liberty in the Jeep lineup. The new Cherokee featured a modern, aerodynamic design powered by a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine or a 2.3-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 engine, both teamed with a standard 9-speed automatic transmission. Legendary Jeep off-road capability continued with the Cherokee Trailhawk, which includes lifted off-road suspension with skidplates, tow hooks, Selec-Terrain traction control, Jeep Active Drive Lock with rear locker, Selec-Speed Crawl Control with 56:1 crawl ratio and aggressive approach, departure and break-over angles. Earlier this year an all-new 2019 Cherokee debuted at the Detroit Auto Show with updated styling, a new turbocharged 270-horsepower engine and the latest high-tech features.
Lincoln Continental | 1939–48, 1956–2002
Original Base Price: $2,783
One of the oldest names in the automotive industry, the Lincoln Continental got its start almost 80 years ago as a one-off coachbuilt convertible for the Ford Motor Company’s Edsel Ford. The V12 powered luxury car ended up going into production and continued until 1948. When production ended, it became the last American production car to be powered by a V12 engine. Eight years later the Continental name came back on the brand’s new flagship, dubbed Continental Mark II. With a price around $10,000, the new Continental was one of the most expensive American cars on the market. A few years later a new Continental premiered, but this one shared a platform and components with other Lincoln models — it wasn’t as exclusive, but it could be sold at a lower price. The Continental would see several major redesigns over its very long life, but with sales declining 2002 would be the final year of the Continental, or so it was thought at the time.
Lincoln Continental | 2017–present
Current Base Price: $45,160
Fifteen years after its cancelation, the Continental name returned, this time on a new flagship sedan for the Lincoln brand. The new Continental offers a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The interior is befitting of a Lincoln flagship with a quiet and relaxing experience for all passengers and available Perfect Position seats that can be adjusted up to 30 different ways with heating, cooling and available massage functions. The rear seats offer available adjustable recline, heating, cooling and massage as well. The outside door handles are an interesting and unique design element, moved from the traditional position in the door to the chrome trim below the windows and operated by a microprocessor-controlled E-latch electronic door handle that releases the door; an available auto-cinch feature secures the door when closed gently.
Mini Cooper | 1960–1967
Original Base Price: $1,340
The original Mini Cooper was the brainchild of Alec Issigonis — an engineer with the Morris company — who had the daunting task of designing a small, fuel efficient but affordable car that could carry four passengers. By pushing the wheels to the corners and turning the engine sideways, Issigonis maximized interior space while at the same time creating a car with excellent balance and handling. With its low cost and fun-to-drive characteristics, the Mini quickly became a cult classic. In 1961 British racer John Cooper added a more powerful engine and bigger brakes and took the Mini rally racing with considerable success — the little race car won at the Monte Carlo rally from 1964–67. Thanks to new emission regulations, the Mini was pulled from the U.S. market in 1967 but continued to be sold around the world until the late 1990s.
MINI Cooper | 2002–present
Current Base Price: $21,600
Considerably larger than the original version, the current MINI is still one of the smallest cars on the market. And like that original, the MINI is still front-wheel drive, fuel efficient and great fun to drive. MINI returned to the U.S. market in 2002 with the MINI Hardtop — since then MINI has added the Convertible, Clubman and Countryman to the lineup. The MINI Hardtop was redesigned for the 2015 model year followed by the 2016 MINI Convertible. The base MINI coupe or convertible is powered by a turbocharged MINI TwinPower 1.5-liter engine 3-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, while the Cooper S is powered by a turbocharged MINI TwinPower 2.0-liter engine that produces 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with a 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission optional.
Nissan (Datsun) Z | 1970–1996
Original Base Price: $3,526
In the fall of 1969 the first ‘Z’ car was introduced to the American market. The Datsun 240Z (the Nissan name wouldn’t be used in the U.S. until 1981) featured a 2.4-liter engine producing 150 horsepower teamed with a 5-speed manual transmission. Considered advanced for its time, the stylish sports car had 4-wheel independent suspension, magnesium wheels and front disc brakes. Over the years, the Z gained more power from larger engines which resulted in name changes to 260Z, 280ZX and eventually in 1990 Nissan introduced the 300ZX which boasted a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that put out 300 horsepower. This was also the first generation of Z car to be available as a convertible. But as prices went up, sales began to decline, and a final Commemorative Edition closed out the Z car in America in 1996.
Nissan Z | 2003–present
Current Base Price: $29,990
The idea behind the Z car hasn’t changed much from the original but — as expected — performance has moved forward. As the name 370Z indicates, the current rendition utilizes a 3.7-liter V6 engine rated at 332 horsepower, available with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission. A special NISMO edition boosts output to 350 horsepower. For 2018 Nissan is offering the 370Z Coupe Heritage Edition that honors the original Z, offered in two exterior colors: Chicane Yellow and Magnetic black, with yellow interior trim. The Chicane Yellow features black mirrors and gloss black graphics, and the Magnetic Black includes gloss silver graphics. The 2018 370Z Heritage Edition also features updates that are standard for all 2018 370Z Coupes including new headlights, a new rear combination light treatment, and a new rear fascia paint scheme.
Toyota Supra | 1979–1999
Original Base Price: $9,578
The Toyota Supra had its start as a higher-performance version the popular Celica. Longer and wider than the standard Celica, the Supra ran a 2.6-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that represented Toyota’s first use of electronic fuel injection. Available with a manual or automatic transmission, the Celica Supra was equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes and 4-wheel independent suspension. In 1986 Supra was separated from the Celica as an individual model, retaining its rear-wheel-drive platform now powered by a 200-horse engine. In 1993 the Supra received a redesign that transformed it into a true supercar. Built for performance, this new Supra was available with a turbocharged engine putting out 320 horsepower. By the late 1990s the American appetite for high-performance cars had dwindled, and production of a Supra for the U.S. ended.
Toyota Supra | 2019–????
Rumors about a return of the legendary Toyota Supra have escalated in the last few years. Toyota has shown concept vehicles that hinted at the idea of bringing back a high-performance sports car, but at this year’s Geneva Motor Show Toyota revealed the GR Supra Racing Concept, finally heralding the Supra’s long-awaited return. Supra will share a platform with the new BMW Z4; however, the Z4 will be a convertible and the Supra is anticipated to be a hardtop. Very little information has been released about the new Supra, but those close to the project say it will be rear-wheel drive and carry proper sports car proportions. The Z4 has already been shown in concept form, so expect to see a Supra non-racing concept at an auto show later this year with more concrete information about the return of the legend.