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 1958||Freightliner trucks (also fictional racing car in Alistair MacLean’s The Way to Dusty Death)|
|Dart||Dodge, 1950s-1970s||Intended name of the Daimler SP250|
|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)|
|Duster||Highly successful two-door Plymouth Valiant derivative||Renault pickup truck for emerging markets|
|Dynasty||1980s Dodge||Hyundai luxury car|
|Explorer||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)
|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|
(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.
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|
|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)
|Liberty||Subaru 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),
|1960s South African Valiant variant|
|Sebring||Maserati||1962 3500 GTIS 2+2.|
|St. Regis||Studebaker (1930s body style, see illustration below)||1980s Newport variant, 1956 Chryslers|
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.
Chrysler Corporation had a period of stealing names from hotels. Some of the casualties:
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:
- Both Edsel and Eagle are 5-letter words starting with "E".
- Both were new makes from established manufacturers.
- Lee Iacocca was associated with them when the new makes were introduced.
- 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
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 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.”