It was announced this week that Fiat will be taking full ownership of Chrysler. Fiat makes some pretty good cars. Chrysler makes some pretty good (kinda?) cars. But will this new Italian-American mashup be any good? Here at Jalopnik we believe in the predictive powers of our past, so let's look at how this might play out.

Don't worry, these predictions will be terrible – though hopefully not as terrible as the ones Mercedes-Benz made, when it bought Chrysler for $36,000,000,000 back in 1998. For the record, Fiat is only paying a total of $3.7 billion for Chrysler. Either way, predicting the future is always a bit of a crapshoot, so why not give it a try ourselves?


As with any punditry worth its salt, you're probably going to want some methodology behind what our inevitably terrible predictions. What better methodology for two automotive companies, then, then automobiles themselves?

It's time to put on our Nostradamus wizard hats.

Here are five Italian-American mobile mashups which might bring us all the way into... the future.

Chrysler TC by Maserati

What was it?

The Chrysler TC by Maserati was sort of but entirely unlike exactly what it sounds. In the 1980s Chrysler invested in Maserati, and they agreed to jointly develop a car together. They basically took a Chrysler LeBaron, which was a terrible excuse for a convertible, and put in Maserati engines, which were terrible excuses for internal combustion. It was awful, like a Big Mac covered in Olive Garden pasta. Some bits in the interior did actually have Italian leather inside, but the cow peelings were pretty much the highlight.

What it portends:

Now that Fiat owns both Maserati and Chrysler, the Chrysler TC by Maserati will make a comeback. This time it will have the body of a current-generation Chrysler 200 and will keep the engine, but it will use a flappy-paddle Maserati transmission. The interior will be covered in scraps left over from Silvio Berlusconi's suits. Unlike the original TC, it will sell like hotcakes.

Photo credit: Alden Jewell

Cadillac Allante

What was it?

Chrysler wasn't the only company that decided to make ketchup-covered lasagna in the 1980s. That's not really fair, though, as the Allante wasn't entirely bad, it just had front-wheel drive. What it also had, though, was a body designed and manufactured by Italian styling house Pininfarina. Nowadays the Allante isn't known for much, really, besides its unusual manufacturing arrangement. Before it arrived at your door, the Allante would have already made two trips across the Atlantic. The first was from Detroit to Italy, when a 747 would've been loaded up with a whole bunch of parts, like chassis sub-assemblies and electronics. Pininfarina would then slap the bits together, fit a body and an interior, and then load 56 Allantes at a time back onto the plane for final assembly at the Hamtramck plant in Michigan, where the whole thing would be slapped together in final assembly. It was quite expensive.

What it portends:

When you buy a Fiat-Chrysler, the "delivery fee" will be the cost of cleanup for when a new Dodge is dropped on your house from a passing plane. But your new Dodge will look pretty good.

Photo credit: That Hartford Guy

Studebaker Avanti

What was it?

The Studebaker Avanti wasn't really an Italian-American mashup at all, except for the fact that Studebaker, an American company, decided to give one of its weirdest-looking cars an Italian-sounding name. Even though the original Avanti was only built for 18 months, replicas continued to be built for some reason for the next forty years. You could actually buy a new one until 2007. I have no idea why you would.

What it portends:

Chrysler will begin to manufacture a car called the Lateralmente, which will have no Fiat parts. The Chrysler Lateralmente will be kind of funny looking, but will otherwise be a footnote in history after being in production for only two weeks. Somehow you will be able to buy one new for the next 50 years.

Photo credit: Dok1

De Tomaso Pantera

What was it?

The original Working Man's Supercar, the Pantera was built in Italy from 1971 to 1991, and, unlike many Italian supercars of the era, they're actually relatively common. Over 7,000 were built in total. Unfortunately, they had traditional Italian supercar build quality. But hey, they had a Ford V8 engine, and in 1971 that was good for around 380 horses. That's not exactly something to sneeze at. Even Elvis had one.

What it portends:

Elvis will rise from the dead. He will open a car dealership in Reno, Nevada, where no one will believe his new identity. He will give you a great deal on a new Fiat 500 Abarth. You will be happy for the Abarth, a great little car. You will be unhappy for Elvis.

Photo credit: Brian Snelson

The Iso Grifo

What was it?

The Iso Grifo is a legendary car. Designed by Giotto Bizzarini, the same man who penned the Ferrari 250 GTO and who created the Lamborghini V12, it combined the best of both worlds. A fantastic Italian body with a Chevy 454, it spat out around 400 horses with a big V8 rumble. It looked good, it sounded good, it was good. This is what cars were meant to be.

What it portends:

The future is so bright, you're going to have to wear shades. Coming soon to a dealership near you will be achingly beautiful machines with thunderous V8 engines. You will weep, you will cry, you will dance for joy. This is what motoring was meant to be, and finally, after too many years, you will get to experience it as new.

Chrysler and Fiat, we can't wait.

Photo credit: BoyBentley

Topshot credit: ElCaganer