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What happened to those old Chrysler names?

Chrysler names "adopted" by others

Name Chrysler Corporation Car Later or Current User
Acclaim 1980s-90s extended K-car (EEK) - Spirit GM - Holden Commodore Series III model
Aspen 1976 third-generation Valiant Renault; Ford (model of minivan)
Challenger Famous muscle car, then rebadged Mitsubishi! Mitsubishi (truck); Renault (Europe)
Concord 1951-52 Plymouth AMC Concorde, 1970s; Chrysler, 1990s
Cordoba 1970s high-end Chrysler Seat (VW subsidiary)
Coronado“Spring specials,” South American Chrysler models; trim option on 1954 and newer DeSotos; European eight-passsenger sedans starting in 1958Freightliner trucks (also fictional racing car in Alistair MacLean’s The Way to Dusty Death)
Dart Dodge, 1950s-1970s Intended name of the Daimler SP250
Demon Dart/Valiant variety AMC
Diamonte 1969-70 concept car (based on Challenger, resembled Superbird) Mitsubishi. It was, ironically, designed and built by the former Chrysler Australia
Diplomat Dodge, 1950 and onwards (Nash had wanted the name for the Rambler); 1980s M-body (Volare derivative) GM: Vauxhall (1990s), Opel (1964-77)
DusterHighly successful two-door Plymouth Valiant derivativeRenault pickup truck for emerging markets
Dynasty 1980s Dodge Hyundai luxury car
Explorer

Plymouth concept car, 1954
DeSoto wagon, 1957-59

Ford (SUV, 1980s pickups)
Falcon 1955 concept car* - almost Valiant Ford (1960s-present)
GTX 1970s GM and French (esp Renault) trim package
Granada 1954 Dodge concept Ford (1972-1994 including non-US usage)
Lancer 1955-62 Dodge/1980s Dodge (LeBaron GTS) Mitsubishi (outside the US)
BMC-rebadged Wolseley 1500 (1957-61)
Laser early 1980s Daytona variant Ford/Mazda (see notes)
Magnum 1970s and 1980s cars, 1990s engines,
1967 440 V8 model
GM - Vauxhall (1970s Vivas)
Mitsubishi truck
Renault cars
Matador 1960 Dodge AMC, 1971-78
Monica Not sure Limited edition French saloon (1972-75)
Pacer Australian Valiant, 1960s (see note) AMC, 1970s
Phoenix 1960-61 Dodge GM - Pontiac (1970s-80s)
Premier Re-engineered Renault sold by Eagle Olds Silhouette variant
PT Cruiser Neon-based SUV/mini-minivan Toyota FJ Cruiser
Sequoia Dodge version of PT Cruiser, planned but eliminated Toyota’s Tundra-based SUV
Seville 1956 DeSoto hardtop Cadillac from 1956 (Eldorado hardtop)
Sierra 1955-59 Dodge wagon GMC truck (1970s-1998)
Suzuki (Australian "Sidekick")
Ford (outside the US) (1982-1993)
Solara 1980-84 Simca Toyota (1999 on) - 2 door Camry
Suburban 1936+ Plymouth
(but...also 1908-1914 Studebaker!)
-
used through the 1950s-1970s, on and off
GMC/Holden truck (1937-present)

* This was to be used for the Valiant until just before its introduction, when it was suddenly discovered that Ford was about to use it...apparently Chrysler had not protected the name.

Know of any others? Pass them along! Want to read about the damages of “the name game”?

Then, of course, there's the other way around...though at least Chrysler generally only stole names from automakers who were no longer in business, such as Studebaker and Packard!

Names Chrysler "adopted"

Name Original User Chrysler Use
300 Packard (1951-52) Top-end luxury/sport models with a letter;
full size models without a letter
Acclaim Triumph (1981/2-1984) - rebadged Honda,
last car to use the Triumph name*
Reliant-based family sedan
Challenger Studebaker (1964) Muscle car, Mitsubishi import
Champ Studebaker (1960s pickups) Mitsubishi import
Colt Mitsubishi, from about 1965 Imported Mitsubishis so maybe it was OK.
Daytona Studebaker (1962-66) 180-mph Charger model; sporty Reliant derivative
Studebaker Daytona
Durango Durango 95 kit car (1971);
Chevrolet option package for 1990s S-10 pickups;
Dodge 1500 model sold by Chrysler Argentina
(not sure which came first)
Dakota-based SUV
LibertySubaru Legacy sold in Australia since 1989 or so (“Legacy Australia” is a group that helps veterans, so Subaru did not use the name in Australia)Jeep Cherokee replacement, called Jeep Cherokee except in the US and Canada, where it sold alongside its predecessor for a time (otherwise it would still be called “Cherokee”)
Pacer 1958 Edsel 1960s-70s Australian Valiant variant
Premier Holden (GM) from 1962 to 1980 Eagle model (modified Renault)
Ranger Edsel (also GM export models) Australian Valiant model
Rebel 1957 Nash (which with Hudson formed AMC),
1970s AMC
1960s South African Valiant variant
Reliant English automaker* K-car
Sebring Maserati 1962 3500 GTIS 2+2.
St. Regis Studebaker (1930s body style, see illustration below) 1980s Newport variant, 1956 Chryslers
Suburban Studebaker (1908-1909);
EMF and Flanders, 1911-1914.
1940s Plymouth (later used by GM on SUVs)
Super Sport 1959 Plymouth concept, almost 1962 model;
Crosley had used the name after WWII
Olds Model 47 V8 in 1922-23

Note: when CC bought AMC, they got (and used) the Spirit. The Fifth Avenue name was also taken from DeSoto after that brand was ended and used on Chryslers. I had thought that the Concord name was taken from the AMC Concorde, but "Sparky" told me that there was a Plymouth Concord in 1951-52. In addition, when Maxwell (which was to become Chrysler) bought the remains of Stoddard-Dayton, they got the circa-1911 name Savoy which ended up with Plymouth.

Hotel names

1986 Grand Wagoneer at the St. Regis HotelChrysler Corporation had a period of stealing names from hotels. Some of the casualties:

Eagle brand

Eagle was first used by Willys. AMC got it when they bought Jeep, CC when they bought AMC. Mike wrote about the Edsel/Eagle parallels:

  1. Both Edsel and Eagle are 5-letter words starting with "E".
  2. Both were new makes from established manufacturers.
  3. Lee Iacocca was associated with them when the new makes were introduced.
  4. Both are gone now.

Chrysler names used by Star Trek (or vice versa)

Ryan Connell pointed out: "did you realize how many Chrysler names have been used as starships on Star Trek? Aries, Avenger, Challenger, Concorde, Conquest, Cordoba, Dakota, Horizon, Intrepid, Reliant, Saratoga, Talon, Valiant, and Voyager, at least. Other makes don't have nearly as many."

Dennis Menefee noted that Star Trek ships were generally named after famous naval ships or star systems (Aries) ... maybe Chrysler took some names from ships, and maybe they borrowed some from Star Trek... or maybe both drew from the same sources.

Names that are too long

  • 1970 Plymouth Sport Satellite Suburban
  • 1970 Plymouth Sport Fury Brougham
  • 1977 Dodge Charger Daytona SE
  • 2006 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T
  • 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z C/S

Notes

Robert Johnson noted that the Chrysler Sebring hails from the earlier Plymouth Satellite Sebring.

Ed Ellers wrote: "'Lumina was considered by Ford for what became the Taurus." (Lumina was used by Chevrolet in the 1980s.)

Rod Miller pointed out that the Cranbrook and Kingswood could have been named after schools near Bloomington.

Thanks to Wayne Toy (Matador, Spirit, Concord), Mike Sealey (Phoenix, Sierra, Ranger, Explorer), George Yost (Solara), Jim Benjaminson (Rebel, Seville, Suburban, Fifth Avenue), Bryan Sharp (Super Sport), Rod Linnett (Holden Suburban, Australian Sierra), Sami Hugelshofer (Sierra, GTX), Stuart D. Somers (Edsel, 300), Christopher Krisocki (Challenger, Acclaim), Ed Ellers (Granada), Bob Neas (Premier), Shannon Stevenson (details on several counts and Magnum), Sparky (provided dates for many of these and clarified some that were unclear or incorrect), Frank Billington (Diplomat), Tom Cotrel (Dart, Eagle), NytWolf01 (Durango), J.R. Rodriguez Jr. (Magnum), Richard (Studebaker Suburban), Ingvar Hallstrom (Durango, Sebring), Vic Hughes (Colt, Premier, Lancer), Paul and Vivian Novak (Crosley Super Sport), Mike Fettes (Demon), Aussie Dave Somer (Liberty), and Ken Westmoreland (Ranger, Acclaim).

Thomas Beckman wrote: Studebaker used "Land Cruiser" as a body style in 1934, 1935, 1941, and 1942, and as a separate model from 1947 to (at least) 1953. Toyota picked up the "Land Cruiser" name in the 1950s. Studebaker then used "Cruiser" as a model from 1961 - 1966. Chrysler's "PT Cruiser" seems to have made more impact than the combination of all of those.

Phil Bruce and Ken Westmoreland noted that the Laser was made by Ford in the Asia-Pacific region and other markets for rebadged Mazda 323s in the 1980s and early 90s. The car was also sold as the Ford Meteor and Mercury Capris. In in an old plant in Homebush (near the Olympic stadium). The Laser name continues on rebadged Mazdas (sold until recently as the Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer in the US). The switch in the US from Ford Escort to Laser/Mazda 323, sans name change, occured in 1990. The 'Laser' name was also used on some Ford Sierras in the UK and Ireland around 1985-86.

Ray Jones wrote: The Ford F100 and F150 also used the Ranger name before using it on the small pickup.

Keith Summers wrote that the name Durango had been applied to a Mercury Ranchero-type vehicle in 1979, but that only around four were made. They seem to have been an aftermarket custom job.

"Bob" pointed out that Mitsubishi used Chrysler names after purchasing Chrysler's Australian facilities; they might have gained trademark rights along with the facilities.

* Shannon wrote: Reliant "has been in receivership a few times in the mid-1990s, [but] it does currently build the 3 wheeled Reliant Robin, small coupes and has contracts to import vehicles from India to the UK."

Hugh Potter wrote: "Renault (in the UK at least) on several of their models use the R/T as a high level option package, even the emblem they use is very similar if not the same ! I have also noticed Challenger, Aspen and Magnum on Renault cars, I guess this link is due to the fact that Renault bought Chrysler Europe, I guess they kept the right to use the names at some point, also Renault had the Renault “Dodge” pickup trucks."

Studebaker St. Regis
Studebaker St. Regis courtesy of Thomas M. Beckman. This is a 1932 President St. Regis. The "St. Regis" designation was used for the two-door body style. In this instance, I think Studebaker has Dodge beat on "Impressive."

Bill Watson wrote: “The Chrysler Windsor just fit into the theme Chrysler was pushing the time - royalty. Chrysler had the Royal, Crown and Imperial names, along with the American status names, New Yorker and Saratoga (a hoity-toity summer spot for the rich north of New York City). When the Windsor first appeared for the 1939 model year it was actually called the Royal Windsor. The family name of the Commonwealth's royal family is Windsor, and King George V and Queen Elizabeth toured North America in 1939.”

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