Deja Vu - All Over Again

We read an interesting article by Hagerty's Historic Vehicle Association that researched a number of instances where vehicle models shared the same name, but were vehicles from not only different eras, but from different manufacturers too!

Here's what they found:

Reusing old model names is something pretty common in the auto industry. And it’s definitely nothing new. But here’s an interesting wrinkle: Have you ever seen a Studebaker Daytona? How about a Plymouth Concord? Some well-known car names actually owe their origins to entirely different makers than we associate them with today.

Edsel Citation/Chevrolet Citation

A cynic might say that this name is clearly jinxed and should never be used again. Going from one of the most maligned Ford products ever built, to arguably one of the most maligned cars GM ever built, the Edsel Citation (1958) was followed up decades later by Chevrolet Citation (1980-1985).

Packard Cavalier/Chevrolet Cavalier

A midsize replacement for its 300 series, the Packard Cavalier (1953-1954) bears little resemblance to Chevrolet’s high-volume seller made from 1982 until 2002. Some wags could say Chevrolet was very “cavalier” with this car.

Studebaker Daytona/Dodge Daytona

The Studebaker Daytona (1962-1966) was a cost-effective attempt by the automaker to update their image and style. Dodge, which bought the name from Studebaker, went onto to attach the nameplate to a now famous line of front-wheel drive hatchbacks based on the Chrysler G platform from 1984-1993.

Edsel Pacer/AMC Pacer

The phrase “twice jinxed” comes to mind when comparing the Edsel Pacer (1958-1960) to AMC’s infamous model produced from 1975 to 1980.

Studebaker President/Nissan President

Two top-of-the-line luxury models from two different countries half a world apart: the Studebaker President (1926-1942 then 1955-1958) was followed by the Nissan President made from 1965 until 2010.

Nash, Nash Rambler, Hudson Rambler, Rambler Cross Country Sub-Series Station Wagon/Volvo Cross Country

Did someone at Volvo spend their formative years riding around in the back of a Rambler wagon? Perhaps. Nash, Nash Rambler, Hudson Rambler and simply Rambler Cross Country sub-series station wagons (1955-1966) were more recently followed by Volvo Cross Country sub-series crossover wagon sub-series (1997 to present).

Studebaker Challenger/ Dodge Challenger 

In 1964—a challenging year for Studebaker—the company replaced its entry-level “standard” line of Lark sedans with the new and apropos “Challenger” nameplate. Studebaker Challenger (1965-1966) was followed up by Dodge’s answer to the Mustang and Camaro: the Dodge Challenger (1970-1974, 1978-1983, and 2008 to present).

Plymouth Concord/AMC Concord

One was an economically priced full-size, the other a low-cost compact. Plymouth Concord (1951-1952) came first. Then AMC used the Concord nameplate from (1978-1983). Finally, and who can forget, the Chrysler Concorde (1993-2004). Chrysler got the Concord name back along with the rest of AMC when it purchased the company in 1987.

Studebaker Land Cruiser/Toyota Land Cruiser

Both were revolutionary vehicles, each in their own way. Studebaker’s Land Cruiser (1934-1954) debuted at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. But the name is definitely now more associated with Toyota where the Land Cruiser (1951-present) hold’s the record for the company’s longest running series.

Lincoln Capri/Mercury Capri

Here’s a genuine within-company name recycle that’s a bit of a puzzler. What was the reasoning behind reusing the name of a huge luxury liner for a captive import? The car world may never know. Lincoln Capri (1952-1959) came first and was later followed by the Mercury Capri (1971-1974, 1979-1986 and 1991-1994).

Garagistry thanks Hagerty Historian, Glenn Arlt for a list of his all-time favorite name swaps.

Is There Good News Here? Yes

Which again asks the question, Why?  Clearly there are more nouns in the dictionary that could be used, and might actually be more descriptive. Thankfully, the 'Crayon & Scissors" marketing groups for the auto manufacturers have not taken a page from the pharmaceutical industry - otherwise we'd have vehicles appearing with nonsensical purely alphabetical monikers that we'd never decipher...
No thanks, I'll take my chances with another "Challenger" in the future.

The Garagistry Team