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Gosh, I am sure most people would guess what my answer would be.  At one time, the former GM at Olds, myself and a group of guys were working on a project in Indianapolis called Motorapolis.  Automotive themed park with a small manufacturing facility for building 4-4-2's.  Ambitious project, I still have the "prospectus" and may use it for a future story in AA.  Needless to say our attempt met with failure despite massive interest by the government agencies and the private sector.  GM was not so cooperative.

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I don't fully understand the question, nobody wants a 1910 automobile in 2010, so I'm all for a new replacement for my 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue daily driver. I've had the back seat folded down for a year and use it as a Pickup, the vehicle I really need. So with that in mind, maybe GM could bring back Oldsmobile as their High End Truck. Crew cab, eight foot bed with cap,room for the three grandkids and go carts. Fifth wheel hitch option for a two car enclosed trailer, for the kids Sprint cars when they get older and Gramps Pebble Beach cars. Owning the company I'd finally be able to have a car out there on the lawn. Bob 

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I agree with Steve and many of the comments, Oldsmobile would be a great choice.  You'd have to get rid of the "old man" image that the marque had for a while at the end.

 

I think one of the cleanest designs of the post war Oldsmobile was 1969, in particular the Cutlass.  The car was just a perfect size, great lines, and one could "customize" from the factory from a four door sedan to a more than sporty 442.  I swear I think they would sell in today's market, if all the government regulations could be met without totally ruining the look.

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2 hours ago, hidden_hunter said:

Doble, steam technology is really going places :D

 

I am with hidden Hunter on this. 

 

I like the concept of a modern flash steam generator vehicle that would burn just about any fuel coupled to a modern heat recovery condenser.

 

Just think, you could drive it or park it just to make distilled water too!

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Brass is Best said:

How about GM back when it was run by the car guys in Design and Engineering. Not by accounting and focus groups?

 

That would be before 1980.  Before the ascension of Roger Smith and the finance guys = the beginning of the end of GM when it was a power house.

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What we are really asking is what car company, if projected to today's environment, would continue with the styling flair and technology advances that it had when it was in operation. Packard, Stutz, Mercer and Duesenberg all come to mind for me but the question is, how would they be made into a viable car company. Would they be another Tesla or Mercedes Benz, or Ferrari competitor?  I can't see any of them competing on the level of Toyota or Ford for everyday cars.  At times it seems the American auto companies have given the driving experience market to European manufacturers and give us pickup trucks and boring so-so designs for cars.  The mention of Cadillac and Lincoln no longer conjure up the picture of fine cutting edge automobiles like they once were.  Although not a mainstream car, Tesla has broken out of the mold to make a car that shows how innovative thinking and style can produce a car that merits discussion as it sets new targets for driver input requirements and powertrain development with its Ludicrous mode of operation.

 

There continues to be room in the auto development market for new, fresh and innovative ideas.  What it should be called is sure open for debate.

 

Terry

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15 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

With all the interest in electric cars these days what about Detroit Electric, Baker or Rauch and Lang? For a start it would be interesting to see what a 100 year old electric would do on modern batteries.

 We are just beginning restoration of a 1916 Rauch and Lang. The owner has specified Optima batteries, 7 of 'em.  7x12=84 volts.

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Historically significant car companies are recognized as "Bucket list models" by virtue of their combination of great styling and engineering (and cars we would universally love to own), and were typically owned, started or inspired by a creative genius, Bugatti, Ferrari, Cord (marketing genius?), Porsche, Alfa (Nicola Romeo), perhaps Rolls-Royce, etc, and latterly Tucker. Some continue to this day due to their ongoing focus on excellence in design and engineering (and manufacturing quality). So who has the chops to suggest they are of that caliber! Any Creative Geniuses? If not, your product line would likely be pretty hohum.

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A modern version of the 442 and a remake of the 1966 442 along with a Toronado would sell.   I would not have more than three or four cars rolling of the line but the ones that do would be heavenly. I would start a team of engineers working solely on a flying Oldsmobile car along the lines of the Mohler. So that way Oldsmobile could be one of the first mass produced flying cars. We are nearing that point in time now where flying cars are about to become reality.  

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Now that people have said which defunct companies

they'd like to restart, tell us what the vehicles would be like.

Use your imagination and creativity.

 

Would your cars conform to today's all-pervasive round styles,

with today's increasingly sculptural accents;  or would they

stand apart from all the others?  Would they have some of 

the classic styling lines?

 

How would you keep the trademark styling elements, such as

the recognizable Packard grille?

 

Would you produce something more than gray 4-door sedans

and cross-over utility vehicles? 

We need more good ideas than today's manufacturers are currently producing,

and car fans with a sense of history are up to the challenge!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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The Tesla Company is the best example at the moment of a possible revolution in Automobile manufacturing that reflects both the present and the future. Creating a signature car at this time, one which will reflect 50 years from now the leading edge of car design and technology and responsibility (in relation to the planet) will need to be fuel efficient, low carbon, lightweight, low cost, durable, easily repairable (replaceable components such as motors/batteries etc), safe, and have a style that reflects these other needs (form closely follows function). Most manufacturers have designed their base models as 4/5 passenger 4-door pods, which they then hybrid as 2 door coupes/converts, and other variations, with a wide range of power-train options and decoration schemes, all part of marketing. It appears so far that Tesla (which had a highest consumer rating of 91%) is limiting their offerings. They are also developing a Semi tractor using the same technology and clean streamlined design.  In the transition period (between gas guzzling V8's and a move to all electric), they may come out with a "hotrod" version, more power, more classic look, aimed at a niche market. If they do I hope they stick to their original guiding principles in respect to the planet. Overseas, several companies are announcing they wil be going all-electric in 5 years or so. It will be interesting to see if the looks of their cars will dramatically change. We all recall in the 20's when the Air-Cooled Franklins eventually began installing a fake chrome radiator shell/grill because of consumer demand. Another area for wise thought is wheels/tires. The fascination of buyers for $500 wheels and ridiculously poorly designed tires has to go. Most cars would ride better and handle better with narrower tires and they could be made to last 50K miles. Today you can probably but from any major manufacturer 50-75 (or more) different car tires, with widths from 5"-12", profiles from 30 to 80, treads from smooth to rugged, rim sized from 10"-21", black or white-walled etc, etc. Just think how inexpensive a tire could be made and marketed  if it was available in 3 sizes, 3 widths, 2 profiles, 3 treads designs, etc. Same goes for wheels, 3,4,5,6,8 bolt, rims dias from 10"-21" plus, widths from 4"-8", plain steel and every conceivable variation of alloy spoke configuration. Car models from year to year seldom use same wheels let alone tire size, bolt pattern etc. 

 

In my view, VW had the formula correct in principle with the first Beatles, and sold more of them than Ford's Model T's. I think you could probably take a set of wheels and tires off a 1949VW and put in on their last model. Same goes for their engines and most body components. Seems a lesson could be learned there, build a good solid practical affordable car and keep it that way.    

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24 minutes ago, Gunsmoke said:

The Tesla Company is the best example at the moment of a possible revolution in Automobile manufacturing that reflects both the present and the future. Creating a signature car at this time, one which will reflect 50 years from now the leading edge of car design and technology and responsibility (in relation to the planet) will need to be fuel efficient, low carbon, lightweight, low cost, durable, easily repairable (replaceable components such as motors/batteries etc), safe, and have a style that reflects these other needs (form closely follows function). Most manufacturers have designed their base models as 4/5 passenger 4-door pods, which they then hybrid as 2 door coupes/converts, and other variations, with a wide range of power-train options and decoration schemes, all part of marketing. It appears so far that Tesla (which had a highest consumer rating of 91%) is limiting their offerings. They are also developing a Semi tractor using the same technology and clean streamlined design.  In the transition period (between gas guzzling V8's and a move to all electric), they may come out with a "hotrod" version, more power, more classic look, aimed at a niche market. If they do I hope they stick to their original guiding principles in respect to the planet. Overseas, several companies are announcing they wil be going all-electric in 5 years or so. It will be interesting to see if the looks of their cars will dramatically change. We all recall in the 20's when the Air-Cooled Franklins eventually began installing a fake chrome radiator shell/grill because of consumer demand. Another area for wise thought is wheels/tires. The fascination of buyers for $500 wheels and ridiculously poorly designed tires has to go. Most cars would ride better and handle better with narrower tires and they could be made to last 50K miles. Today you can probably but from any major manufacturer 50-75 (or more) different car tires, with widths from 5"-12", profiles from 30 to 80, treads from smooth to rugged, rim sized from 10"-21", black or white-walled etc, etc. Just think how inexpensive a tire could be made and marketed  if it was available in 3 sizes, 3 widths, 2 profiles, 3 treads designs, etc. Same goes for wheels, 3,4,5,6,8 bolt, rims dias from 10"-21" plus, widths from 4"-8", plain steel and every conceivable variation of alloy spoke configuration. Car models from year to year seldom use same wheels let alone tire size, bolt pattern etc. 

 

In my view, VW had the formula correct in principle with the first Beatles, and sold more of them than Ford's Model T's. I think you could probably take a set of wheels and tires off a 1949VW and put in on their last model. Same goes for their engines and most body components. Seems a lesson could be learned there, build a good solid practical affordable car and keep it that way.    

The wife and I were just saying the same things about Tesla. Also noted was the body styling has the angles of a stealth fighter or bomber. All those small angled panels that are used to hide from radar. We still have cars that get their body styling cues from airplanes.

 

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How about Saturn?  They made good cars, especially the 2005, 6 & 7 Vue with the Honda V6 engine and transmission.  (255 HP and 246 ft. lbs, of torque)  As good as any Japanese car, and made the same way

but with polyurethane bodies.  Also the Saturn Sky, which Buick should have kept.
.

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 I would revive Willys. It would have no airbags and a solid steering column. Plate glass would be used in all windows including the windshield. All models would be equipped with biased tires and four wheel drum brakes. All master cylinders would be single piston. Dash lighting would be enhanced with a generous application of iridium with an extended half life. A six volt electrical system and vacuum wipers would be on all cars.

003.thumb.jpg.248794bcb9394163c7d8ebcd6c89a3be.jpg

 

The vehicle will live up to it's name. Stop in the showroom today "We'll Give You The Willys!"

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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