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QOTD: Model Gone Missing?

As we told we yesterday, Volkswagen’s kiboshed devise for a next-generation Beetle isn’t as final as primarily thought. Seems there’s still some people — CEO Herbert Diess many of all — who wish to see a indication return, if for zero else than “emotional” appeal. If it does, it won’t seem with gasoline thrust and dual side doors.

To return, initial a indication needs to die. Which, in a United States, anyway, is something a Beetle has finished before. Many other nameplates have met an untimely, or maybe very timely end. No longer right for their day and age, automakers mislaid seductiveness and left some to swab on a vine; others met a discerning genocide out of financial necessity.

The Beetle’s not alone in carrying many lives. Other nameplates disappeared, usually to lapse again on a vastly opposite vehicle. Think of a Aspen. Pacifica. Eclipse (Cross!). Blazer. Which nameplate do we feel deserves a second (or third, or fourth) possibility during life, usually not in a strange bodystyle?

There’s copiousness of names to select from, any carrying a possess singular birthright and appeal. I’ll tell we my choice — it’s maybe a many recycled indication name in history.


Image: 1955 Imperial Coupe

Depending on your age or area of interest, a name Imperial conjures adult a slew of vehicles travelling 80 years. There’s no doubt it has legs. Bowing on a successful high-end-but-not-unattainable oppulance automobile launched in 1926, a Imperial name graced coupes and sedans for an undeviating half century. It became a possess marque from a mid-1950s to mid-1970s — a not wholly successful gambit that continued with a ephemeral 1981-1983 personal oppulance coupe so dear by Frank Sinatra.

The Imperial name returned to a Chrysler overlay from 1990 to 1993, merged to a final of a landau epoch vast sedans. Proving we could widen a K-car height to nearby infinity, this front-drive Imperial offering an choice to Lincoln’s Continental and Cadillac’s deVille — informed territory, as a Imperial was always meant as an choice to Chrysler’s determined domestic oppulance rivals.

DaimlerChrysler saw fit to give a name one final go-around in 2006, rising a Imperial judgment during that year’s Detroit automobile show. Sporting self-murder doors, a hulking, Bentley-esque profile, and a face usually a mom could love, a 2006 Imperial one-off hailed from a not-too-distant time when a high-end vast automobile from a domestic manufacturer wasn’t seen as a ridiculous thing. Chrysler’s newly launched 300 had shown Americans wanted big, brash, rear-drive cars, and a Imperial was floated as a new apex of a range. Alas, it never reached production. After that? Imperial faded from a automotive lexicon, clearly for good.

1981 Chrysler Imperial, Image: imperialclub.org

There’s no doubt that “Imperial” has no destiny in a newcomer automobile realm. Sad to say, though application tops magnificence in today’s world. So, an SUV it contingency be. But for a application automobile to infer estimable to a name, it initial contingency be big. Grand. Regal (wait, blemish that word). My devise for a Imperial’s lapse involves a Chrysler chronicle of a arriving Jeep Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer — a full-size, body-on-frame SUV roving atop a Ram 1500 platform.

Jeep competence not like a thought of a Ram-based Imperial muscling in on a turf, though this is my fantasy, not theirs. The new Imperial would give a shrunken and low Chrysler code something vast and adorned to uncover off. Something to aspire to for fans of vast American opulence. Like a Wagoneers, it would go head-to-head with a Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and GMC Yukon Denali.

Imperial was always meant to be a cool proprietor of a domestic tip tier. Now that a market’s changed from sedans to SUVs, it usually seems wise that a name reappear on a BOF automobile with 3 rows and a liftgate.

What aged name/new bodystyle combo do you have in mind?

[Images: Murilee Martin, Corey Lewis]

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