Some automotive enthusiasts groups get the good life. OEM factory parts support, publicity, sponsors and even international forums or events. Some others aren’t so lucky.
Remember the days of the Suzuki Samurai, the Geo Tracker and the Daihatsu Fourtrak? No? Well that’s because some time ago, the major manufacturers of this unique type of vehicle decided there was no longer enough of a market, and stopped selling almost all of them. Now, the closest thing you can get to a Geo Tracker in America, would probably be a Fisher Price Little Tikes car. And it probably doesn’t even have locking diffs!
Suggested By: Devon lost his burner, understands they’re magnets, Photo Credit: Joe Haupt via Flickr
As a rapidly dying brand, Mitsubishi will have no choice but to abandon their fans and loyalists, even more than they already have. Stef Scrader can explain how frustrating it is as a current Mitsubishi owner:
No new Evo, an aging Lancer, the Eclipse was neutered into obscurity before a slow, painful death, same goes with the Galant, no more Ralliart racing efforts, certainly no more WRC efforts despite the fact that a souped-up Mirage would be the stuff dreams are made of, nope, zero, zilch, nada.
Suggested By: Stef Schrader, Photo Credit: Jon Etkins/Stef Schrader
Trucks like the early Ford Broncos and Mercedes-Benz Geländewagens broke ground for the SUVs and 4x4s we have today, so why have we forgotten about them and those who own them? And let’s not bring up the ones that shall not be spoken about *cough* Evoque Convertible *cough* Murano CrossCab *cough*.
Owning a French car in America is almost as bad as owning a fish out of water. There is little to no parts support, brand-sponsored events or any promise of a French return to the US market. Why do you guys do it to yourselves?
Suggested By: reverberocket is nipping the apex..and gently blowing in it’s ear, Photo Credit: Craig Howell via Flickr
Come on, let’s face it. The last glimmer of hope for a reasonably priced mid-engined car was with Honda’s release of the S660. A car that will probably never see American soil. Mid-engined vehicles offer different driving dynamics and require different skill. Because of those things, the driving experience can be all the more special and all the more memorable.
There’s some promise with the release of the new Chevrolet Colorado, but other than that, this is a segment that has been filled with bloated, overpriced and questionably unuseful trucks. Compact trucks used to carry that ‘go-anywhere’ sprit and a low price tag. Now what are they? Where have they gone?
In its golden days, Lancia was a brand that was spewing racing history and creating enthusiasts for life each day. Now, Lancia is a brand with a lineup made up almost completely by an assortment of other rebranded FCA models. Maybe if they actually went forward with the new Stratos, that could turn things around.
Originally, Scion was launched as a brand marketed toward young drivers and young tuners. As time progressed, focus toward the enthusiast crowd began to fall and Scion began to lose touch. At least they haven’t given up on giving out free key chains and mixed CDs at auto shows. Those help, right?
With today’s safety and emission restrictions, it seems that it would be almost impossible for a car company to successfully sell and profit from a truly enjoyable car for around $10,000 in today’s market. But whyyyyyy!
What happened to the Roadmaster? The days when whole families could toss everyone and everything in, without complaint or issue, and just drive? Sure, your fancy modern “wagons” can be optioned with Ohlins suspension bits, or 6.2L V8s, all-wheel drive and the like, but who needs that hippy-tech? I want the backward seats, and I am not talking about those fake German ones you can find in the W212s.
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Top Photo Credit: Pininfarina/New Stratos