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Could these classic cars be resurrected?

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You know all those old TV shows that have been rebooted?

“Full House,” “Saved by the Bell,” “Punky Brewster.” All have come back in one way, shape or form.

In the same way, the auto industry has been tapping into American nostalgia, too, by resurrected long-dead vehicles that once were beloved. The Jeep Wagoneer, Ford Bronco, Toyota Supra and Chevrolet Trailblazer are among the many that are making a comeback.

So, a few weeks ago, USA TODAY wrote about other long-gone vehicle names that could be ripe for revival, including the Cadillac Eldorado, the Chevrolet El Camino, the Dodge Dakota and the Subaru Baja.

If the moment’s right, why not? After all, automakers are finding it hard to identify new real-word names that haven’t been used before – plus, it’s expensive to market a brand-new nameplate.

“So, if you still own one of those nameplates, that alone gives you some incentive as an automaker to revive it,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst with car-buying site iSeeCars.

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What’s tougher to figure out is which dormant nameplate to revive – and when to do it. For instance, some vehicles were popular when they were first sold, but their body style has fallen out of favor. That can lead automakers to consider turning cars into SUVs, but that could alienate fans. 

“It comes down to how long it’s been gone, whether it was allowed to fade off into the sunset or what was really happening when they stopped,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst for research firm IHS Markit.

So many readers loved our first story on this topic and suggested other contenders that we thought, why not take another look at vehicles we might have missed?

Without further adieu, here are vehicles USA TODAY readers suggested should be rebooted:

Ford Falcon
One hundred year-old Rita Doucette leaves her Fairview Estates home and turns onto East Main Street in Hopkinton aboard a 1963 Ford Falcon on Friday, Sept. 25.

One hundred year-old Rita Doucette leaves her Fairview Estates home and turns onto East Main Street in Hopkinton aboard a 1963 Ford Falcon on Friday, Sept. 25.
Daily News and Wicked Local Staff Photo/Ken McGagh

Talk about a name that still resonates. The Falcon just rings. And the passenger car’s heritage is still cherished by many.

“The Ford Falcon was the Mustang’s predecessor, and one could argue the name is easily as cool as Mustang,” Brauer said. “While the original Falcon was a relatively pedestrian vehicle, easily overshadowed by the Mustang when it arrived in 1964, a modern Ford with the Falcon name could have plenty of consumer appeal.”

Brauer suggested that Ford could make a Falcon based on the Bronco SUV platform, making a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive vehicle like the Subaru WRX.

The Falcon has another thing going for it that shouldn’t be taken for granted: The word “falcon” is currently featured in a popular TV show, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” on Disney+. 

That calls to mind how much success automaker Nissan had in marketing its Nissan Rogue SUV when the Star Wars movie “Rogue One” was released. It was a pure coincidence that Disney used the word “rogue” in its movie title, but it paid off big time for Nissan.

Chevrolet Bel Air
A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air custom convertible.

A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air custom convertible.
Barrett-Jackson

The body style of the Bel Air wouldn’t work. It was a large car, and those simply aren’t selling well these days.

And the Bel Air name might turn off some people given its association with wealth and privilege. Think the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

But the nameplate still carries a cachet that could prove hard for General Motors to ignore forever.

“Chevrolet Bel Air might be an interesting one,” Brinley said, adding it could be among the classic “names from the ’50s that might be able to come back.”

Volkswagen Scirocco
The Volkswagen Scirocco was discontinued in 2017.

The Volkswagen Scirocco was discontinued in 2017.
Martial Trezzini, AP

This performance-oriented two-door vehicle dates back to the 1970s. But it actually didn’t go out of production until around 2017.

Yet it continues to have devoted fans. Much like the Cadillac Eldorado and the Plymouth Barracuda, some of them have clamored to get it back.

Brauer said it could be a contender to return, though he acknowledged that the market for small performance cars is limited.

Toyota Previa
A visitor steps out of a Toyota Previa at an import car expo in Beijing, China, on Nov. 1, 2011. The Toyota Previa was discontinued in the U.S. in the 1990s.

A visitor steps out of a Toyota Previa at an import car expo in Beijing, China, on Nov. 1, 2011. The Toyota Previa was discontinued in the U.S. in the 1990s.
Alexander F. Yuan, AP

Today, this minivan’s design looks pretty funny because of its curvy, almost space-ship-type design. No wonder it never gained much traction in the U.S. and was discontinued after several years of production in the 1990s. Toyota eventually gained much more traction with the Sienna minivan.

Yet the Previa has held on as a collector’s vehicle. In fact, collector car insurer Hagerty recently compared a Hyundai model to the Previa.

“That’s a compliment,” Hagerty said.

Here’s a thought: Given the resurgence of #VanLife during the pandemic – a trend in which Americans are upfitting commercial vans to use for life on the road – maybe it’s time for Toyota to custom design a van for just that purpose. Why does the Previa have to be a minivan? Make it a van fit for the road.

After all, VW has generated enormous buzz with its forthcoming release of the … ID.Buzz, a revived version of its famed microbus. 

one person tweeted in response to USA TODAY’s story.

Chevrolet S10
The 2001 Chevrolet S10 pickup.

The 2001 Chevrolet S10 pickup.
General Motors, Wieck

Aging versions of this compact pickup can still be seen on the road today. It had devoted fans because, well, pickups tend to generate a lot of loyalty.

Which is a clear reason why it could make a comeback. One thing that helps: GM still makes a pickup branded as an S10 in markets outside the U.S.

Plus, compact pickups could be coming to a dealership near you soon. Ford is rumored to be considering one, and GM probably would not want to be left out. But it would risk competing with its own Chevy Colorado and GMC midsize pickups if it did one, just as Ford will risk competing with its Ranger midsize truck.

“What does it do for you that Colorado doesn’t?” Brinley said, questioning whether the S10 makes sense as a returnee.

Honda CR-X
The 1988–91 Honda CR-X Si was among the hottest classic cars of 2020, according to the Hagerty Bull Market List.

The 1988–91 Honda CR-X Si was among the hottest classic cars of 2020, according to the Hagerty Bull Market List.
Dean Smith

The Honda CR-X was small. Really small. It weighed just over 2,000 pounds in some variations.

When the second generation was introduced in 1988, it included an Si variant, ushering in sport features that attracted a legion of fans.

“These later-gen cars are the stuff of legend, welterweight stature notwithstanding,” Hagerty wrote in 2019. “They were cheap, light, precise, and about as mechanically complex as a screwdriver. To say nothing of the little H badge on the front, which meant they were as reliable as the sun. These virtues also came at a small sticker price, further adding to their desirability.”

While small cars aren’t in vogue, performance cars are. Brauer said the CR-X could be a good fit for a comeback because there’s still “a lot of equity” in the name.

You can follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter here for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning.

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