Welcome to the fourth part in this series. As with the last part, we will continue looking at the whole world rather than a focus on one area, but this time we will focus more on the actual cars than the industry. We’ll be having a look at how companies have revived some classic nameplates, such as the Fiat 500 pictured above.
Revival of Old Nameplates
Plenty of old, abandoned nameplates were revived in the last decade. Chevrolet actually revived the Camaro in the same decade it killed it off. The fourth-generation Camaro ended the Camaro legacy in 2002, and then the fifth-generation revived the nameplate in 2006 with a concept car, eventually reaching production in 2009. The latest Ford Mustangs look much more like the original Mustang as well. Ford also briefly revived the Thunderbird from 2002 to 2005. Then there’s the Dodge Challenger, probably the closest car to its predecessor among the whole lot. It has essentially the same design, just larger and with a more modern feeling. Chrysler Group has revived a few more nameplates in the last decade actually, including the Dodge Magnum (Not a very worthy successor though), Dodge Charger (Not a particularly good successor either) and Chrysler 300C (Successor to the 300 letter series and not that bad a car actually).
It’s not all the Americans though. Fiat revived their 500. It’s undoubtedly a brilliant successor, a cheap, practical, fun car. Fiat Group also revived the Alfa Romeo Giulietta name for Alfa’s 147 successor. This happens to be quite a good car as well. Unlike the MiTo, it managed to take up Alfa’s new design very nicely, although I still prefer the 159/Brera design. The most important revival however, comes, oddly, from Germany. BMW took over a British company and it has reinvented an icon: the Mini. This car walks out of the showrooms, it has been a complete success. It was also released in about 3 million different forms: as a convertible, as a hot hatchback and soon as a coupe and 4×4.
Then there’s Aston Martin, who revived the old V8 Vantage name on their new 911 competitor in 2005. This is an amazing car and the old V8 Vantage must be proud to have such a successor. The new Rapide takes its name from the old Lagonda Rapide, and Aston Martin unveiled a concept at the 2009 International Geneva Motor Show, under which it will try to revive the Lagonda nameplate. As well, the new DBS succeeds the old DBS from the seventies, and the DBR9 and DBR1-2 race cars uses the Aston Martin DBR race car naming scheme from the 50s. That is a hell of a lot of old cars rising from the dead, and we’re glad to see most of them.