(#9) In the aftermath of World War II, Preston Tucker was one of many entrepreneurs who tried to get one of this country's former weapons factories that were available. In Tucker's case, it was part of the B24 plant in Ypsilanti, MI. Like so many others, Tucker's plans didn't work out. There were allegations of fraud on Tucker's part and conspiracies by his larger competitors to put him down. The real story is anyone's guess. The only thing we know for sure is that only 51 Tucker Torpedos were built before the company went down for good. The example in the photo is sitting in front of the former Tucker family home in Ypsilanti, MI. The photo was provided by Jack Miller of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum.
(#8) Hard as it is to believe, the Ford Crown Victoria was not always the standard of New York City cabs. For 60 years Checker Motor Co of Kalamazoo, MI built the definitive American cab before finally succumbing to the realities of the modern world in 1982.
(#7) Studebaker was one of the old time brands that never quite figured out how to survive after WWII. Studebaker actually started building mining wagons in 1852, before switching to cars in 1897. The company struggled on until it finally went down for good in 1967.
(#6) In the late 1980s, General Motors decided that in order for its small import cars to be taken seriously as challengers to Toyota and Honda, they would need a unique name. The Geo brand was sold through Chevrolet dealers much like Scions are sold in Toyota stores today. Unfortunately, the tin box Metro and uninspired Storm didn't cut it and Geos eventually went back to wearing bowties.
(#5) Oldsmobile was one of the original GM brands and celebrated its centennial in 1997. Unfortunately, it was already well on its way to extinction by then and the last Olds models finally rolled out seven years later.
(#4) AMC was born in 1954 out of the merger of Nash and Hudson. Over the next three decades it absorbed Jeep as well, but never really could compete with its bigger Detroit rivals. AMC was eventually consumed by Chrysler after generating such stylistic winners as the Matador, Gremlin and, of course, the iconic Pacer.
(#2) After John Delorean left his position as a rising star at General Motors, he tried to start his own car company. As so many others have discovered, that's a lot easier said than done. The stainless steel, gull-wing DMC-12 is probably best remembered today as the star of the Back to the Future movies
(#1) In the mid-1950s, Ford created a new brand that was meant to be a step up from Mercury and just below Lincoln. Unfortunately, using the peculiar name that the founder gave to his son and an ugly horse collar grille doomed the Edsel to a short lifespan.
Honorable Mention: After Chrysler consumed AMC in 1987 in order to get control of Jeep, the AMC and Renault branded cars were re-badged as Eagles. The Vision was Eagle's version of the LH cars that saved Chrysler in the early 90s.
Honorable Mention: One of the classic American luxury brands, Deusenberg was once considered among the best in the world along with Rolls Royce. The company went belly up in 1937 although numerous attempts to revive the name happened after the war. None should ever be remembered.
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