Ghost Cars of the Past About to Return
Three automotive icons of the 1970s and 1980s could be well on their way back to modern society.
And why not? Plenty of companies have seen success with bringing retro designs and brands back to experience new life and make new sales. The Mustang, Camaro and Challenger trio remains the most obvious example. The reinvention of the Dodge Dart also proves the point. Going beyond cars, the Star Wars saga will reappear in U.S. theaters, and the band Queen will play a new show (though with a very questionable stand-in for the great Freddie Mercury).
Nissan, BMW and Buick hope there is room for at least three more pieces of automotive nostalgia.
Nissan will resurrect its Datsun brand, BMW has applied for a patent on the Triumph name and logo, while tuning house SLP, which owns the rights to the fabled “GNX” name, reportedly has plans to transform a Buick Regal GS into the car everyone still refers to as Lord Vader’s ride.
The Wall Street Journal says Nissan
is actively “studying” the re-launch of Datsun, which it retired as a sub-brand in 1983, as it looks to target the fastest-growing emerging markets over the next five years with a range of low cost vehicles, the person said.
Details of the new marketing effort remain sketchy and it is unclear which markets are in line for a resuscitated Datsun, a brand first introduced in 1932 and perhaps best known among former loyalists in the U.S. and U.K. markets.
I say, as long as the brand makes a comeback, why not give us a modern 240Z to play around with? Make it a cheap tin-can with a turbocharged four-cylinder and half the price of a Nissan 370Z and I’ll buy one. I’ll even sign a waiver!
Meanwhile, Autocar say that BMW has applied for a European trademark on the Triumph “wreath” badge. The application covers the use of the badge on jewelry, watches, books, leather goods, luggage, cleaning materials, textiles, Christmas decorations and, yes, automobiles, too.
That mix of products isn’t quite as odd as it sounds, since they are common promotional items related to car launches. While the move is no guarantee that BMW will revive the brand, it’s certainly a first step. Anyone up for a new version of the TR8?
Finally, Inside Line says tuning house SLP will build 500 copies of a new GNX. It’ll reportedly have 300 hp and look like the sketch shown here. Not bad, but it better be blacked-out like the original. Too bad they can’t do anything about the car having FWD, though. That might be a deal-killer right there.
Which car would you most like to see brought back, the Datsun 240Z, Triumph TR8 or Buick GNX?