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Almost all the cars you see on the road right now come from a handful of mega-corporations. Strange to think about, isn't it? Around 14 different car companies currently own a total of 50 of the most popular car brands in the world.
Though Tesla has definitely shaken things up and disrupted the current car industry with its unique electric-hybrid car lines, the fact is that there really aren't too many different brands out there you can choose from. It's part of the reason why cars all seem to look the same today.
Historically, it wasn't like this. There was a point where car companies were far more plentiful—and the same could be said about cars. Over the years, many epic car brands came and went. These are the now-extinct car brands that we wish would come back to stay.
Even if you're not a "car person," chances are that your eyes light up whenever you see a DeLorean. It's the Back to the Future car brand which made one of the most famous cars in movie history.
Sure, DeLoreans were actually some of the most dangerous cars of the 80s, but they had something most cars do not: style. Personally, I don't know a single person who would say they hate DeLoreans. They are cars that are beyond cool.
Of all the car brands that we wish would come back, DeLorean is the one that has the most likelihood of actually working out and becoming a mainstream brand due to popularity alone. There's demand there, no doubt.
Right now, it's looking promising. One group actually sells DeLoreans that are made in small-production batches.
Matra is an Italian automaker that you might not have heard of, but once you see how pretty those cars were, you'll understand why it's one of the top car brands that we wish would come back to life.
These sporty cars had sleek, beautiful curves that often made them look 20 to 30 years ahead of their time. Matras were regular racing championship-winning cars, with many being favored by the glitterati of Europe due to their elegant look.
So, you're probably wondering how a brand this good died out.
When the Matra brand was merged into Lagardère, a lot of the focus on speed and horsepower was lost. Heck, even the twists they had on car design went away. By 2003, Lagardère had exited the auto business for good, taking the beautiful brand known as Matra with it to the grave.
Perhaps the only car brand to die out due to the wrath of Ford, Studebaker was an American car company known for making some of the most beautiful vintage cars in automotive history. Stately as they were, they could pack a nice punch of power.
A lot of the features that are now standard became the standard because of Studebaker. These days, they are major collectors' items and a serious status symbol among classic car fans. Considering the brand's reputation for excellent quality and luxury amenities, we really wish they stuck around.
Everything about the Studebaker brand was classy, including the note they left in the last Studebaker ever produced. You just don't see that level of elegance these days.
Chances are, they would have made brands like Porsche and Ferrari break a sweat—and Studebaker would have been way more powerful and unique in looks, too.
A lot of the Pegaso brand was focused on heavy-duty trucks and armored vehicles, but that's not what made them one of the more obscure car brands that we wish would come back into life. What made Pegaso great was their short-lived sports car years.
Pegaso sports cars were zippy, sturdy, and stunningly pretty. These beauties never really made it to the United States, which is a shame. They would have been a hit during the sports car and pony car eras of our country's automotive history.
During the earlier half of the 20th century, a lot of interesting car brands came about. One of the now-gone car brand that we wish would come back from this time period is Cord. During the 1930s, Cord was one of the hottest luxury vehicle brands in America.
These cars were powerful for their time, yes, but what made Cord such a favorite among car enthusiasts were their luxurious designs. Nice seats, a gorgeous dashboard, and an ever-so-slightly exaggerated body kit left these looking beautiful no matter where they were driven.
Right now, one gearhead has been working to revive the Cord brand—retro outfittings and all. However, it's not looking like Cord will come back into large-scale production anytime soon. As such, it's still functionally extinct as a brand.
Though Ford still uses the Shelby name, the fact is that the original car brand, Shelby American, has been dead for a while. That being said, Carroll Shelby, the founder of Shelby American, left behind one of the finest legacies in automotive history.
Shelby was known for having some of the most luxurious race cars the world had ever seen. They weren't just beautiful; they were race-winning machines that often had some of the most powerful engines inside of them.
Shelby cars are often the most expensive classic muscle cars in the world, with many specialized models going for upwards of $4 million. Anyone who loves American muscle cars would tell you that this is one of the few car brands that we wish would come back—and potentially could.
Ford owns the rights to the Shelby name. It wouldn't a stretch to see Ford choose to do to Shelby what BMW did for MINI. After all, the demand is there.
In the 70s and 80s, Pontiac was known for making some of the best muscle cars ever made. By the 90s, Pontiac was a cheap alternative to many sports car brands and muscle cars that were still being passed around on dealership lots.
Even though these cars were cheap, they were fun as could be to drive. (I used to have a Pontiac, so I should know.) The sound systems were fun, and truth be told, they did have a lot of options that made them worthy of being seen as a perfect "starter car."
Though others may disagree, Pontiac is definitely one of the most recently defunct car brands that we wish would come back. It had a place in the market—one that manufacturers are no longer willing to admit exists.
From 1899 to the late 1950s, saying that you drove a Packard sounded about the same as a person who currently says, "Yeah, I drive an Infiniti."
Packards were the biggest luxury competitor next to Cadillac, and boy did they offer a lot of amenities at the time. Looking back at their retro commercials and their pretty car designs, it's easy to see why a lot of gear heads feel like the Packard was a brand that went away too soon.
There's a lot of potential in Packard, and frankly, we would love to see it hit dealership lots once more.
Could you imagine what kind of car would put a Rolls-Royce to shame? Back int he 1920s and 1930s, the only car brand that could do that was Duesenberg—and even today, people marvel at how impeccably elegant these cars were.
Once the favored cars of the rich and famouse, Duesenbergs were infamous for shattering speed records and doing so in style. Rolling up in one of these was the way to make a head-turning statement.
It's hard to fully explain how much of a glamorous car this was at the time. Al Capone had one. Clark Gable had one. Even F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby had one, and he was fictional!
To give you an idea of how much of a huge pop culture impact Duesenberg had in its brief run, the phrase "It's a Duesie" (now commonly spelled "doozy" or "doozie") originated from Duesenberg.
If any of the car brands that we wish would come back could come back, it should be the Duesenberg.