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4 canceled vehicles that deserved a second chance
The automotive industry is brutal. Dollar signs drive design decisions every day, and if a product doesn’t continue to satisfy bean counters and board executives, it’s tossed aside regardless of the cult that might follow the nameplate to its grave.
Today we both celebrate and mourn the loss of several models that were axed before they could be polished or refined to the full extent. Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
I spent my life working at GM but being a car guy I always thought the Dodge Magnum looked like a chopped top hot rod right from the start. I can only imagine what Havoc a flamed all-wheel drive Hellcat Magnum would have wreaked on the automotive world!
But for me the big loss was Fiero! At a time when Corvette had lost it’s way in the World, the new mid-engine 1989 Fiero would probably have finished it off.
I worked on the new Fiero program as the stamping plant support engineer and had seen the mockups and mules many times. Being a car guy, hot rodder and owner of 3 Corvettes and a 32 Five Window by then, I knew Chevrolet would not like the new Fiero! It had grown enough to become a beautifully proportioned mid engine car and an engine that had also been improved giving the Fiero a performance advantage on Corvette.
When we learned Pontiac was going to GM Corporate for final approval there was a lot of apprehension on Chicago Road that we were not going to be able to go with the new design. We never considered that GM would kill the car totally.
The next week, I walked into the design building on Chicago Road for a Fiero design meeting with John Fricko the Body Stamping Design Boss and oh boy! Everyone was just kind of milling around, looking like they had lost their best friend.
John gave me the news that Chevrolet had told GM Bosses that GM only had one sports car and Chevrolet built it!
It only took Chevrolet another 30 years to do what Pontiac did for 1989! No surprise then that the GM I worked for went bankrupt!