Open mic / Panhard

Open mic: What car company deserves to live again?

Renault took us by surprise yesterday when officials confirmed plans to revive Moskvitch. The Paris-based automaker is also busily bringing Alpine back to life, the Chinese recently resurrected Borgward, Jensen is on track to introduce a new Interceptor next year and TVR believes it can launch four new sports cars in the next few years.

All told, it’s been a pretty good year for fans of defunct European automakers. What other car companies do you think deserve to live again?

I think it’d be interesting to see what PSA Peugeot – Citroën can do with Panhard. Most of Panhard’s cars were characterized by a unique design that was highly aerodynamic, and the later models were powered by an air-cooled flat-twin engine. Aerodynamic cars and down-sized engines are becoming increasingly popular today as automakers desperately try to reduce emissions, so I think the idea of a 21st century Panhard has potential if it’s done right.

Of course, you can easily argue that it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie — god forbid Panhard gets revived as a low-cost brand that sells cheap crossovers and ten-year old PSA models on the Chinese market, or something like that.

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20 thoughts on “Open mic: What car company deserves to live again?

    • A small team of designers, engineers and businessmen were trying to bring back Facel Vega a few years ago. I don’t know what happened to their project, I haven’t heard from them in a while.

  1. I’d love to see a new Oldsmobile. If only GM had killed Saturn instead back in 2004 and focused on making Oldsmobile more then rebadged Chevrolets (Silhouette, Bravada, etc), I think they would still be around.

  2. The problem with bringing any defunct manufacturer back from the dead is its likely just to be a badge engineered version of an existing model. Indeed in a lot of cases – Lancia, Wolseley, Riley etc – thats what killed them off in the first place.
    In many cases what enthusiasts want is the philosophy of a car manufacturer to be brought back – think Panhard, NSU and so on – not just the badge. And thereby hangs the problem – very often the maker died a death because no-one bought into that philosophy so they were forced to sell out to a larger maker who badge engineered cars using their name only. If too few people bought into the philosophy in the first place I doubt a few dewy eyed enthusiasts can drum up enough sales to support the existence of a reborn manufacturer – sad but true

  3. BORGWARD.

    It is an injustice of history (and some people involved, names are known) that this brand was “murdered” in the first place. If Borgward had survived, BMW wouldn’t exist any more, today. Everybody knows, they were involved in this crime. There is no justice in this world.

    Nice to know that some offspring is trying to bring Borgward back. Even if the cars have nothing to do with Borwgard’s heritage. I’m not sure they’ll survive this adventure.

    To have Panhard and Delahaye back would be great, but I don’t think anyone would survive with a concept like that.

    I love Hudsons of the early fifties and it would be cool to imagine what cars they’d build, today. But as much as I like them, I still think, they vanished for a reason… At least that was justice.

    I am a huge fan of vanished brands. As soon as a brand vanishes, I get interested… Nostalgia at its best.

    • Borgward’s revival is largely the brainchild of a Chinese company called Beiqi Foton Motor.

      The impression I get is that the members of the Borgward family involved in the project don’t have a lot of control over what happens.

    • Agreed — actually, Lancia was absent from the Geneva Auto Show earlier this week. I think this is the first major auto show without a Lancia presence in decades.

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