AutoGuide Answers: Automakers We Want Back From the Dead

AutoGuide Answers: Automakers We Want Back From the Dead

It’s a sad, familiar feeling of loss of when someone or something is taken too soon. 

A lot of automakers didn’t make it through the test of time and tough economies. We asked our editors to share their thoughts on automakers and brands that should come back from the dead. Here’s what they said:

Jodi Lai, Editor-in-Chief: Studebaker


“Back in its day, Studebaker made some really beautiful cars, and the company had a reputation for reliability and quality. Unfortunately, the last car to be made by the American auto company from Indiana was produced in 1967. Its pre-war cars were sights to be seen, but the company’s retro-futuristic post-war cars from the 1950s and 1960s are my favorite. The Studebaker Starlight above, for example, has a jet-inspired bullet nose, a design cue that I absolutely love.

But Craig stole my first answer. I love Delahayes and it has nothing to do with my obsession for all things French. Handbags, pastries, cars, whatever. I love it all.”

[Photo from Wikimedia Commons]

Dan Ilika, Road Test Editor: Saab


“Nothing makes me reflect with fondness quite like the sight of a Saab wagon. Gone too soon is one way I would describe this Swedish automaker, which is all but dead despite a handful of resuscitation attempts over the past decade. Saab always found itself somewhere between mainstream and premium brands, with stylish and sporty cars that didn’t cost a fortune.”

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Defunct Auto Brands

Craig Cole, Associate Editor: Delahaye


“The one automotive brand I’d love to see raised from the dead is Delahaye, a somewhat obscure French marque that crafted what could be the most beautiful cars in history. Arguably, the pinnacle of their design and engineering prowess is the Type 165, a stunningly ornate cabriolet that debuted in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair. With a body crafted Figoni and Falaschi, this luxury vehicle is long, low and almost unbelievably curvaceous. Seriously, have you seen those front fenders? With a hemi-head V12 and four-speed transmission, it probably runs even better than it looks. Just think for a moment, if this is what Delahaye could build eight decades ago on the eve of the Second World War, what they could do today with all the technology at our disposal?”

Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor: Triumph


While I own a Scion, I didn’t exactly care much for the brand image or product lineup. Instead, one defunct auto brand that I remember fondly is Triumph Motor Cars. Not that I was alive to see them flourish, but looking back at the Triumph cars on the road, it’s hard to see how this brand disappeared. There are plenty of roadsters and sports cars that look wonderful and I always find myself drawn to them at local classic car auctions. If only I could get over that ‘unreliable’ tag that most old British automakers are branded with.”

[Photo Source: Primo Classics International]

Stephen Elmer, News Editor: Hummer

2008 HUMMER H2

“The history of the automotive industry is vast and varied, with plenty of brands that couldn’t hack it. My love for everything off-road makes this decision pretty simple. I’d bring back Hummer.

Sure, the H3 wasn’t exactly an off-road champion, but everything that came before was. The H2 had a style and personality all its own and was fairly capable in the mud. The H1 was born for the military and could climb over or through just about everything. That’s the SUV that I’m looking for from Hummer. Something with tons of clearance, locking diffs and a do-anything attitude, like the old H1. Because more off-roaders are always a good thing.”

Jason Siu, News Writer: Pontiac

1970 Pontiac GTO

“My favorite dead car brand didn’t even die that long ago. Pontiac ended its production in 2010 and it’s a bit sad to wonder what could have been if it was still alive. Throughout its history, the brand has had some fantastic sports cars and even the G8 prior to the company’s demise was one hot sedan. Looking at today’s pony cars and with Dodge pushing out 707-horsepower Hellcat models, you can’t help but imagine that Pontiac would be doing for its GTO and Trans Am nameplates if they were revived.”

  • smartacusⓊ

    i can’t figure out why nobody has resurrected PEERLESS with a V16

  • Bwayne

    Yes for Studebaker, Delahaye and Packards

  • oldsnut

    I would love to see Oldsmobile resurrected, but they killed themselves by forgetting who their market was and quite honestly there is nothing that has replaced them for the combination of looks, comfort, quality and performance from the 60s and 70s.

  • Silver Bullet

    I feel exactly the same way yall do. but the automakers dont have a clue. I just dont get it. Of course there are automobiles that are so advanced out there, stage right, just waiting to be ushered in. NONE were developed by the big three. As a matter of fact they are frightened out of their wits about them but dont even want to bring them into the marketplace themselves.
    One of those is the Merlin. A twenty five year project by a pioneer in solar energy from the sixties. He has had his share of abuse. Years ahead of his time. But he has always been right! Here are some of the features….


    1/Full time four
    wheel drive
    2/Steel perimeter
    3/Full, one piece
    space age canopy
    4/Kevlar bands on the
    lower perimeter of canopy
    5/Total 360 degree
    view with no blind

    6/Steel framework
    designed for
    maximum strength under
    7/No doors
    8/Canopy lifts for
    9/Seats four
    (Can be increased to
    10/Escape hatch
    (Opens inward) in floor
    11/Floor built to
    withstand 1800 psi
    12/Entire passenger
    compartment can
    be mil spec for total
    13/Approximately 2900
    14/No drive shafts
    15/No paint.
    16/No conventional
    brakes, no rotors,
    discs, drums, wheel
    master cylinder
    proprietary braking system
    stops in 47 feet from
    60-0 mph (Not Regen)
    platform design with one
    piece floor and

  • George Sweeney

    Most of today’s vehicles, in my opinion, look the same or close to their competitors in today’s Automotive Market. It saddens me to see so may cars with absolutely no style, no real body lines, mediocre performance and a heck of a lot of today’s cars don’t even offer a standard transmission with stick shift option.
    That’s not saying there are exceptions to the rule:

    Obviously Dodge/Mopar whatever they’re called with their killer RS’s and enviable Hellcat which is really cool. Although the Charger really needs a facelift as it looks absolutely unlike any Charger I have seen in my aging lifetime.

    GM finally brought back the Camaro however, if you want a V8 option, you might have to take a second mortgage out on your house, the new Corvette Stingray? You might want to sell your house, move into an apartment in order to buy that gorgeous piece of American Engineering. Zora Arkus-Duntov finally has something he can see from Heaven and be proud of.

    We cannot forget and oh, this pains me so in just mentioning it, Ford has finally brought a really nice Mustang Platform into play. I saw a different body style on a Porsche the other day with a cockpit that looked a couple of inches lower and quite possibly more accentuated curves on its’ body lines. That too will put middle class people such as my self in a category that simply cannot afford this car too.

    I saw a Lamborghini Aventador which made me just drool and dream which is all I can do as used 2016 models fall in the $500,000.00 price range.

    I really wish today’s Automotive Designers and Engineers would be given more creative license as opposed to “You can’t spend more than $$ on so and so part and please, don’t make such drastic changes that we have to completely retool our model lines in our production facilities.” I guess I am just nostalgic as I miss seeing a Super Bird flying down HWY 290 here in Austin, Texas in the 1970’s or a 1967 Camaro, possibly a 1967-1969 Camaro Z28 which I first saw at the age of 3 or 4 and have been in love with them ever since. My dad had a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge when I was in the 1st grade and broke my heart when he sold it because he was afraid that car would kill him. Of course, being a 1st grader qualified me as an “Expert.” lol. I did love sitting in the passenger side as he would puch it at a green light and pull me all the way back in the seat. Ah, those were the days!
    Thanks for reading my rather lengthy post.

  • Gordon558

    The problem with most car companies is they are run by bean counters, not car people. The bean counters don’t know and don’t care about what it takes to sell a car, what the public likes and doesn’t like. They just want the bottom line this quarter to look good. They can do that by cutting a few dollars out of car costs at the expense of quality, looks, performance, etc.

  • Perry F. Bruns

    Hummer? Mmmmmno.

    The H1 was basically a de-militarized HMMWV, and is really good off-road for that very reason. It’s terrible on-road, though, also for the same reason. The H2, however, was just a clapped-out over-built short-wheelbase Tahoe (GMT 912/913 vs GMT 920), but heavier, less efficient, and less reliable. If you want to go off-road without a Jeep, start with a Tahoe and add suspension bits to taste, and you’ll probably still come in lower on total cost than a stock H2. The H3? Same recipe, applied to the already overweight first-generation Colorado.