Cars you just don't see anymore

I apologize in advanvce for the North American orientation of this OP, but those across the pond, in either direction, are welcome to participate.

After car shopping this wekend, I was thinking about vehicles that I used to see on the roads in great abundance, or at least every so often. All of a sudden … poof! They’re gone, as if most examples were taken off the road at once.

For instance, I haven’t seen any of the following on the road in at least a few years, even though they weren’t that rare not so long ago …

  • first generation Ford Escort
  • Chevrolet Chevette
  • Suzuki Samurai
  • Yugo
  • any model Sterling
  • Merkur XR4TI
  • Volkswagen Fox
  • pre-1998 Volkswagen Passat (B4 and B3 body styles)

It didn’t seem like old Escorts disappeared slowly over time. It was more like one day, there were a lot on the road, and the next … nothing.

Are there any other cars you have noticed that just disappered from the roads, just like that? (snaps fingers) Are they still common in your part of the country?

There’s a VW repair/used VW sales joint up the street from me with 3 VW Foxes.

I haven’t seen any GMC Syclones or Typhoons lately, though.

Huh, I’ve seen dozens of Yugos in the past month.

Mind you, I am just back from Belgrade.

I see a few first gen Escorts from time to time on the freeways. Most of them seem to have at least one side or the rear window missing and replaced with plastic.

The guy down the street has an ugly brown Sterling sedan.

I saw a red Merkur XR4Ti in the mall parking lot about a month ago.

I haven’t seen a Studebaker or a VW Karmann Ghia in a very long time…

Anything AMC is getting to be a rare bird these days. Too bad, my favorite car that I ever owned was a 1973 Gremlin X with a 304 V-8, 21 gal gas tank, 3 speed stick, air shocks, and dual exhaust. I was hell on wheels!

Ghias are pretty popular around here (San Diego). A babe in a lavender one nearly backed into me just yesterday.

My husband had one in his younger days and he had to be very careful where he parked it. People were constantly stealing small parts and decorative bits, undoubtedly to outfit their own cars. Once he was housesitting in a perfectly nice neighborhood and looked out the window to discover someone trying to remove the windshield from his car in broad daylight.

Do they still make those over there or something?

My little brother had a Studebaker as his first car until a couple of years ago.

Yep. In fact, Mr Ruadh, who lives there, tells me there’s some guy who’s determined to get them distributed in the States again. Consider yourself warned :smiley:

My condolences, my poor chap! AMC unquestionably produced some of the most ghastly automotive creations ever seen! (Although the Gremlins seemed to be the least offensive to me personally; I’m not sure why). In the town I grew up in a young guy drove a Pacer (the Moon Car) that he had “chopped” (he torched off the ‘bubble’ part of the back) and closed off the passenger compartment; painted it army green camouflage; and jacked it up with truck tires. :eek: This car was, without doubt, the *ugliest * thing I had ever seen! (For a car that is). Every time I saw it, I laughed, then cringed, then felt an overwhelming desire to take up a collection and try to buy the poor guy a pickup. Oddly enough, it was *so * peculiar a vehicle, he was something of a local celebrity, so I guess if he was happy… :smiley: , what the heck. Still a damn ugly car tho’… Anyway, AMC’s seemed to me to just “POOF”, gone, seeya, all at once. Haven’t seen any in years. But, BobLibDem, some people do get so attached to their cars, esp. first ones, (myself included) that when you get older (if you have the opportunity), it would be really cool to fix up an old one (like your beloved Gremlin if you could find one) and relive those salad days again. Just think; hell on wheels again… :cool:

Thats cause in the late 70s Renault bought a controlling interest in AMC, and thus most of the cars they marketed were Renault Alliances and Encores, built in U.S. plants IIRC, plus importing French made LeCars and Fuegos.

At the same time, the real AMCs…Matadors, Pacers, Gremlins, Hornets…were either being renamed (Gremlin=Spirit, Hornet=Concord) or being phased out altogether. A trend became to convert the AMC line into 4WD cars called Eagles.

Renault was working on a new Eagle Premiere with AMC based upon the Renault Medallion, when Chrysler Came in and bought AMC in 87. The last true AMC product was an Eagle 4WD wagon based on the Hornet/Concord, which ended production in 88.

AMC hardware continued for a little while though, with the AMC 360 cui. V8 in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, both cancled in 91.

The Jeep in-line six cylinder 4.0 l engine is a direct decendant of the AMC 4.2l.

AMC door handles are still seen on Jeep Wranglers.

My first car was a Plymouth Volare. Haven’t seen one on the road in a long, long time. In fact, I may have been driving the fabled Last Volare Still Running. Merciful Hera, that was a crappy car.

Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, my father had both a Volare AND as Aspen. He was a Chrylser/Plymouth fan for some ungodly reason. I learned to drive in a 1970 Chrysler Newport. It was a dull gray with a black vinyl top, weighed about 47 tons, and handled like the Titanic AFTER the iceberg.

Before that he had a 1967 Valiant.

It is because of these rolling piles of metallic crap that I absolutely hate anything from Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth (may Plymouth rot in hell).

I would just like to say…JUNK!!!

Despite being left by the side of the road countless times by this specific hunk of scrap metal (the timing gear/distributor drive like to eat each other), I recently cosidered buying a 1970 Javelin SST.

I got better shortly after and didn’t give it another thought.

Our neighbor owns a '94 model.

The Volkswagen “Thing”

I actually saw one this week with a home-made roof top.

[ul][li] DeSota[/li][li]Packard[/li]Henry J[/ul]

1st generation Escort - was built to replace the explosive Ford Pinto

2nd generation Escort

3rd generation Escort (this shared a platform with the Mazda 323)

4th (and final) generation Escort

You guys have mostly mentioned cars that weren’t that popular to begin with but I know of one extremely popular car that I haven’t seen in quite some time; and I know because I’ve been looking: the Chrysler K-car.

It seemed like up until the late 90s everybody and their brother had a K-car, now I just don’t see them.

Knowing the nature of the boards someone will come along and inform me that they own 6 of them and their neighbor lives in a driveable castle built of them but I’m telling you: I haven’t seen one in forever.