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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

5 classic nameplates that deserve an electric comeback | Hagerty Media

As much as we'd love for our favorite classics to be revived as pure internal combustion vehicles, the industry is at present clearly embracing EVs. Our wishes were at least partially granted with the return of the Ford Lightning as an all-electric truck, so we've naturally been thinking about which of our favorite vintage vehicles deserve a similar resurrection.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/5-classic-nameplates-electric-comeback/
106 REPLIES 106
Dond
New Driver

Evs who cares.
valhallakey
Pit Crew

Someone could have 2 models a 2 door as a 110 and a 4 door 220.
mhealy1
Detailer

220, 221-whatever it takes.
Brandan
Hagerty Employee

It's all ball bearings these days.
Tim
Instructor

I'm not sure if the day will ever come, but if coupes and sedans return to vogue, there could be a place for some of these vehicles. It would be sad to slap one of these names on a crossover just to push sales. A T-bird as a crossover? Weird to me. But a T-bird as an EV luxury convertible sounds like just the way it was meant to be--whisper quiet cruising with the top down.

Some of these names have been gone long enough that if they were brought back, most people would think they were new.
RickL
Intermediate Driver

GalaxiE would have been a better name than Mustang Mach E and has not been used for some time.
PePe-LePu_For_2
New Driver

How about the Pontiac Fiero? It was initially presented to GM’s brass as a two seater commuter car. It makes a great electric commuter. How do I know? I built one back in 2011. With modern batteries and driveline components, it could be designed to go nearly 200 miles on a charge and be quick and fun to drive as well.
Andy
New Driver

An ideal opportunity for the UK "cottage" automotive industry: Bring back the Fairthorpe ELECTRON Minor!
KBetts
Intermediate Driver

Let's address the elephant in the room.....
We all know we're talking about the abomination of the Ford Mustang name being applied to the California Compliance Vehicle (Mustang Mach E). They took specifications laid down by California Air Resources Board and designed a vehicle to comply with those requirements. Marketing decided they could only sell the bureaucratic CARB turd by using a name totally dissociated with compliance... Mustang.
Ford took the Mustang name and put it on a four door 4900lb SUV while still selling Mustang as a pony car. They didn't resurrect a defunct name. They didn't even have a design theme they were following. Naming the CARB compliance vehicle a Mustang was the ultimate non-car guy move. Once enthusiasm is dead, people walk away. Bye, bye Ford.

If other car companies follow suit then they can expect similar results.
Lightning1
Detailer

Then there's the trainer version for bad drivers, the seat is an electric chair and when you are about to do something stupid it zaps your backside. Also can be adapted to a breathalyzer.
Lightning1
Detailer

Call it the Electro Nun
Ragtop69
Intermediate Driver

This all seems somewhat premature. Despite constant promises of "new technology" has anyone resolved major problems with electric vehicles like battery charge duration (range), battery life, the amount of time it takes for a recharge compared to refueling an IC vehicle, known fire hazards represented by the lithium ion batteries, etc.? Beyond that has anyone "settled the science" that says that we are saving the Earth by switching to electric vehicles or has anyone done a trade off between the amount of carbon fuel that would be used to generate the electricity necessary for this venture vs the amount of carbon fuel necessary to drive the same miles in IC vehicles? Stop pushing a woke agenda!
Moostang
New Driver

The next EV should be called the "Virtue Signaler". It would have a super cool, futuristic body that makes it look like it's capable of incredible speed. On close inspection, the body panels won't actually fit that well. Inside it is a beautiful rendition of colors and the requisite giant driver distracting LCD screen that dominates the dashboard. It will be capable of 230 miles an hour for one mile. Most people will drive them below the speed limit with the A/C off to ensure that they are seen driving it and can actually get somewhere.

It can be rebadged for any automaker, under the brand "Me Too" or "Please don't cancel us" in order to ensure that each manufacturer can compete for 3% of the vehicle market.

Owners can expect a maximum 10 year lifespan, as the battery replacement cost will be twice the cost of the vehicle, ensuring maximum manufacturer and dealer profit. The car will use rare earth materials mined by indigent African Children who will die horrible deaths before they are 18 from exposure, and will have a net carbon footprint equal to heating your house with raw lignite for 100 years.

We the ICE drivers and restorers of ICE cars will be required to subsidize it, and wear a scarlet "I" at all times so we can be identified as the deplorable 97%.

Oh... Wait... everything except the last sentence has already happened. Never mind!
chrlsful
Instructor

all 'd B OK (cept w/the gremlin) as anything to catch up/surpass the others in a world car EV is good to me. We might have it on autonomous but need support to market a world beater EV. Here's hoping the fed, 'big 3', colleges, etc realize this and begin to collaborate. Can Uncle Joe get it goin?
KenO
Pit Crew

No, No, No, No, Yes, Yes - The pictures bring back some memories, and then thoughts of "What If!"
The EV concept is intriguing. But as an Old Car Guy with many years of Maintenance and Servicing Experience, I still see EV's as Concepts. Toyota has come close with the Prius until it's time to buy a new battery, and I'm sure when my brother gets his Tesla Cyber Truck, he'll be delighted.
The government is still dabbling with how to collect the revenue lost to not using gasoline. It's a bit rough when it's collected annually when renewing the tags.
AND, ultimately the electricity has to originate somewhere - solar is the environmental answer to that.
But what happens when the sun isn't available for several days and the main power has also been out because of a storm.
Hacksaw
New Driver

Since there is no longer any originality and nearly all cars look alike it just doesn't matter what you call it. You won't find one in my garage. I don't know, maybe the Discharger 400 might be a cool name.
Autocar
New Driver

Maybe a electric Trifive. If every manufacturer is going EV, gas stations will revert to fast wireless charging stations.  Pull up on a charging pad to get an instant wireless charge. Just like your phone. You can charge it wirelessly by placing the phone on the wireless charger. I realize that the technology is not their yet for EV's but like every thing else someone will invent fast vehicle charging stations along the highways. Remember $80 pocket calculators that only calculated basic math. 

mhealy1
Detailer

It took about 15 years for calculator technology to progress. What do we do in the interim, using your analogy, with electric vehicles? What would we do with existing electrics incompatible with your new tech?
pickles_468
Pit Crew

I don't agree with manufacturers using previously successful models to sell their EV's, especially some of the historic names. The Mach E to me is ridiculous, The Thunderbird doesn't seem likely. The F150 should have just been the F150 with an EV model.
The Charger makes perfect sense because they have a current model that can become an EV. If they turn the Charger into an EV SUV, it's no longer a Charger.
The Corvair and the Electra should be left alone. The Gremlin might catch on when these old EV's start to fail with age!! lol
NadrHatr
New Driver

The Corvair was an engineering tour de force for GM compared to the other tech deficient cars. Unibody, turbo, aircooled. Better than Porsche in the early 60s. Give Nader a final middle finger!
Drebin
New Driver

As long as they make them look good on 17-18” wheels. I’m so sick of new cars coming with heavy 20-22” wheels with more fender gap and less ground clearance than old ones. Cars look goofy with a full size truck wheel well.
jagplates
Pit Crew

If they are going to bring them back as EVs, at least don't stick them on SUVs. It is really nauseating to see an SUV badged as a Mustang. Hopefully the SUV fad will play out as people realize they don't actually need them and are paying an unnecessary price in weight and handling.
Lightning1
Detailer

If you are going to bring back an old name, call the limousine the Electrolux
BobV
Pit Crew

Does that mean it sucks like the vacuum cleaner of yore?
bowtiefan
New Driver

Like the resurrected Hummer brand, it would be nice if GM would bring back the Pontiac or Oldsmobile nameplates for some future EVs. Perhaps a Pontiac Firebird (Trans Am) or an Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser? Sad that these brands are no longer around and it would be fun to see them again!
SS4Jimmy
New Driver

The problem with reissuing a name is that we all compare to “said name” to what we remember in the past. These EVs are a different machine and should be baptized with new names! The EV is coming and evolving and we will see it initially more in fleets. Think of all the delivery that is done by vehicles within a large city, these would save the environment a ton and the cost of these EVs will come down as a result. The police cruiser would be another example. I believe the 4 door Charger came about because of the police crown vic no longer being produced? Tough throwing bad guys in the back seat without another set of doors! This is also a good example of what we are expecting to see as a Charger, two doors not four.
1Bad65Stang
New Driver

As the owner of 12 fossil fuel collector vehicles including 5 Mustangs, 3 historic formula cars and one evil 700hp Noble, ''EV'' will NEVER be part of my vocabulary. Call me an anti ''Green New Deal'' heathen but I love the sound of one of my formula cars at full song on the backstretch at Road America.....
in_garage
Pit Crew

Fight electric vehicle government subsidies. If people want them, fine, let them pay full price. The auto and oil industry (American Petroleum Institute for example) should ramp up the PR to support petroleum products and talk about where most electricity comes from. We don't need electric vehicles yet. Gas and diesel are good and should not be allowed to be bogeymen for the woke class., Support Clean Diesel.
Lightning1
Detailer

Government has always been involved in behavior modification through financial intervention. Look at alcohol and cigarette tax. All these people that think a milage tax will make "those lectric cars" start paying their share don't realize gasoline tax will not go away, rather everyone will just be paying another tax and EVs will be paying at a lower rate. Remember Cool Hand Luke, "You gotta get your mind right"
Code3me
New Driver

I vote for the "Shocker" name for any platform EV for the obvious reasons. It might be a PR nightmare though, but what fun!
lepiane
Pit Crew

Bring back Pontiac and make them all electric.Firebird fits. I miss great names like LeMans, Tempest., Grand Prix, Catalina, & Bonneville. Don't forget the Torrent, that works!. GTO sounds like its powered. Super Duty becomes Super Cell! Trans Am(plified). Even the beloved Aztek can be an Eztek! 😉
Mike_E_V
Detailer

Buick has the perfect name in waiting with the Electra. A 225, and a 300 model. Mercedes should make all electrics "E" class. Instead of Thunderbird how about Thunderbolt? A nice tribute to the lightweight Fords from the 60's. Maybe a Galax "E" 500 with 500 hundred miles of range? I'd drop the "ER" from Charger to create a Dodge Charge. Possibly better would be a Dodge 440. 440 miles of range or as in 440 volts. Instead of a "Super Bee" one could have a "Super E". Maybe even a Chrysler 300 E. Somebody stop me! In reality, as revolutionary as EVs may be, I think their success will be in creating what appears to be a traditional, existing vehicle into an EV. Nothing better than a good fitting pair of shoes. Familiarity may be the key in the transition from liquid fuels to EV's.
83ragtop50
Intermediate Driver

I would not degrade an original model name by putting it on an electric vehicle. I suggest honoring historical figures or animals. How about a "Benjamin" in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Or maybe an "Edison" to honor Thomas Edison. But my best idea is really to name one "Eel" in honor of those sleek and slimy electric eels.

What are tow trucks providing a "jump start" for a Tesla when it runs out of juice in the middle of nowhere? Hard to carry a five gallon can of electricity. Maybe a very small nuclear power plant? Oh, that's right, Uncle Sugar is going to put in charging stations everywhere just like they did gas stations back in the day (wink. wink.)? For those who do not recall, private enterprise not Big Brother established stations for a growing market. I think that might be called capitalism.
Lightning1
Detailer

Obiden will make sure you pay for those charging stations whether you use or like them.
GTOKEN
New Driver

I'll pass on electric. Over 100 years ago the same "war" happened between gas and electric, and gas won out. I believe the same "war" will happen again and when the dust settles, gas will be the winner once again, if the government stays out of it. Very few of the buying public want electric cars, just look at the take rate. Electric is great for golf carts but not so much for a car. Besides range and charging time, where are we getting all the materials to build batteries from? I've heard there isn't enough material to build batteries for every car. I know we don't have enough electricity to charge them all! Just look at Cali with it's rolling brown outs, not to mention the electrical grid that's 50 years outdated. The ONLY we'll switch is if we're forced to by the government.
BobV
Pit Crew

Rumors abound that the Avanti may come back as an electric.
SJ
Advanced Driver

Charger, Electra, should be a shoo in like the "Lightning".
BigBeautySedans
New Driver

I think it would be awesome if the EV innovation sparked (see what I did there), a resurgence of big American luxury sedans: imagine modern, big, beautiful, non-guzzling Cadillac Eldorados, Lincoln Zephyrs, and Buick Electras cruising down highways again. It would be interesting to see if really cool car styling, spacious interiors, in better handling, could be the thing to finally challenge SUVs in the American auto market.
Raycuda
New Driver

The Buick should be called the Riviera, and should be available in a Coupe and convertible only.
fbwilliams69
New Driver

How about Nova - and have the nameplate automatically translate from Spanish (no va) to English (no go) when the battery is discharged.
RonD
Intermediate Driver

I would say that Hornet or Toronado would be good EV nameplates.
Westwoodbob
New Driver

El Camino!
El Camino!
El Camino!
An Electric Elco please!!!
Rider79
Instructor

Boy, that Avista looks soooo good. No electric for me, though. If it was produced with the Cadillac twin-turbo 3.0 V6 (400+ HP) and AWD, and in that red colour, I would be all over it. Of course, it won't be; as the article says, if it was ever produced, it would be as an SUV. :<(
02-orignal-ownr
Detailer

In 1900, 38% of all cars sold in the US were electric; 40% were steam, and gasoline-powered cars accounted for only 22% of sales. Then people started venturing out of the cities and hit the open road. Myriad tinkerers messed with IC engines and improved 'em...by 1905, electric cars had only 6.6% of the market. The main reason? range and recharging time. Over a century later, neither problem has been completely solved. IC engines still have greater range and "refuel" considerably faster than EVs...

My choice for a modern electric car, resurrected from the turn of the 20th Century: Electrobat...
RdrChRy
New Driver

Just lets those nameplates die/
jsfury
Intermediate Driver

Should these five classic nameplates deserve a come back as EV's? In a word, NO! I'm going to be blunt about this. Electric Vehicles don't do anything more for the "environment" then a fossil fuel vehicle. In fact, it will do more damage. So let's stop with the "EV" agenda crap, because those of us who know, know this has nothing, ABSOLUTELT NOTHING, to do with saving the word. And those of you who wish to condemn me for saying this, please, have at it.
PurelyPMD
Intermediate Driver

I laugh at those who call this "Clean Energy" - electricity comes from a power plant unless you are producing it from solar panels in your own yard. Even then have you seen what it takes to get Lithium out of the ground? Nickel? To process them into batteries, then dispose of them afterwards?

Lets assume for a moment the country goes electric - most urban & rural grids will need to be upgraded, copper, rubber and plastics for new power lines, chromated copper arsenate for pressure treated poles, trees removed from around the new or upgraded lines, the environmental costs of these items alone will negated any environmental gain we may seek to achieve. The idea we would be spending billions on these cars and the support services for them as some sort of infrastructure plan is maddening.
mhealy1
Detailer

I know this is an article (a little tongue-in-cheek at that I might add), but I can’t resist one more comment on the electric debate.
I keep seeing posts on charging overnight in the garage, often with a reference to a home solar panel. Where does that leave renters and/or people without garages?
About one third of the US population rents (check the 2020 US census for confirmation). Most renters, as well as many homeowners, have no garage and park on the street or in parking lots instead. They won’t have the ability to charge at home. Instead they’ll being stuck with spending who knows how long every few days at a public recharging station.
By the way, if recharging takes three or four times as refueling, how large will “electric stations” need to be? I’m guessing three or four times larger than existing gas stations. What’s the environmental impact of creating vast asphalt wastelands devoted to recharging stations? Where will the space be found, particularly in cities? Charging at work? How many employers will equip their parking lots (if there even is a parking lot) with an adequate number of of charging stations, let alone maintain them properly?
Most Hagerty readers probably have the resources to allow at-home charging, but we’re probably in the minority. Those pushing for electrification need to rein in their “let them eat cake” attitude.
By the way...as a Mopar nut and a current Charger owner, I’d love to see a high-perf electric Charger-after the infrastructure is in place.
MYTFAST
Intermediate Driver

Yes, all electric cars for everyone. The grid can't handle the draw now & here in Baltimore, BGE has cash incentives for allowing them to cycle off your air conditioning during high usage hot days. Baltimore, like many other cities have high density side by side housing where implementing personal charging stations would be impossible, since it's hard enough to get a parking space nearby. Check out the cost on the internet - here in Baltimore the cops cannot control the theft of copper plumbing & electrical wiring in vacant houses! They even have crooks cutting down over 130 of the 50 foot high poles along the Baltimore highways & recycling the aluminum. SEE: https://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/25/us/light-poles-are-vanishing-and-baltimores-police-are-baffled.ht... and https://www.fox5dc.com/news/md-man-arrested-for-trying-to-cut-down-light-pole-near-highway AND UNBELIEVELY, THEY ARE RARELY ARE CAUGHT BY BALTIMORE POLICE
MARK400
Intermediate Driver

E-Pacer ?