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Chrysler name games: stolen by, stolen from, and Star Trek

Chrysler names "adopted" by others

Name Chrysler Corporation Car Later or Current User
Acclaim Midsized sedans, 1980s-90s GM - Holden Commodore
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 cars, DeSoto trim option, European eight-passsenger sedans Freightliner trucks (also fictional racing car in The Way to Dusty Death)
Dart Dodge, 1950s-1970s Intended name of the Daimler SP250
Demon Plymouth Duster clone AMC
Diamonte 1969-70 concept car (based on Challenger, resembled Superbird) Mitsubishi — ironically, designed and built by the former Chrysler Australia
Diplomat Dodge, 1950 and onwards GM: Vauxhall (1990s), Opel (1964-77)
Duster Two-door Plymouth Valiant derivativeRenault/Dacia SUV
Dynasty 1980s Dodge Hyundai luxury car
Explorer 1954 Plymouth concept car,
1957-59 DeSoto wagon
Ford (SUV, 1980s pickups)
Falcon 1955 concept car Ford (1960s-present)
GTX 1970s GM and Renault trim package
Granada 1954 Dodge concept 1970s Ford sedan (globally, through 1994)
Lancer 1955-62 Dodge/1980s Dodge (LeBaron GTS) Mitsubishi; BMC-rebadged Wolseley 1500 (1957-61)
Laser 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 French car (1972-75)
Pacer Australian Valiant, 1960s (see note) AMC, 1970s
Phoenix Top 1960-61 Dodge Dart trim level GM - Pontiac (1970s-80s)
Pioneer1960-61 Dodge Dart trim levelAMC: Cherokee trim level
Premier US-designed Renault sold by AMC Olds Silhouette variant
PT Cruiser Neon-based SUV/mini-minivan Toyota (FJ Cruiser)
Sequoia Planned Dodge version of PT Cruiser Toyota’s Tundra-based SUV
Seville 1956 DeSoto hardtop Cadillac, from 1956
Sierra 1955-59 Dodge wagon GMC truck (1970s-1998)
Suzuki (Australian "Sidekick")
Ford (outside the US) (1982-1993)
Solara 1981-84 Talbot (refreshed version of a Simca made by Chrysler Europe) Toyota (1999 on) - 2 door Camry
Suburban 1936+ Plymouth wagons; used through the 1950s-1970s, on and off GMC/Holden truck (1937-present)
VIP1966-69 Fury trim level; export cars; 1965 conceptMercury Lynx trim level
Wagoneer1963+ Jeep wagon; to be used again around 2021Skyline Corp. trailers, trademark filed May 2009 (current status unknown)
300First used with 1951-52 Packards; Chrysler adopted for its luxury-sports car, the C300 (because of its 300 horsepower), followed by a series of “letter cars” (300B, 300C, etc). Nissan (1983-2001) 300ZX, named partly for its 3.0 liter (2960 cc) engine

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) Reliant-based family sedan
Challenger Studebaker (1964) with supercharger option 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 package for 1990s S-10 pickups; Dodge 1500 model sold by Chrysler Argentina
Dakota-based SUV
LibertySubaru Legacy sold in Australia since 1989 Jeep Cherokee replacement in the US and Canada
Pacer 1958 Edsel 1960s-70s Australian Valiant variant; 1970s AMC
Premier Holden (GM), 1962-80 Eagle car (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; 21st century Ram 1500 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 (1908-1914);
EMF and Flanders, 1911-1914.
1940s Plymouth
Super Sport Crosley, after WWII; Olds Model 47 V8 in 1922-23 1959 Plymouth concept, almost 1962 model;

When Chrysler 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. 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 Hotel

Chrysler Corporation had a period of stealing names from hotels. Some of the casualties:

Eagle brand

Eagle was first used by Willys. 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. Both are gone now.
  4. Lee Iacocca was part of both companies when the new makes were introduced.

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 pointed out that Star Trek ships were generally named after famous naval ships or star systems.)

Names that are too long

Notes

* Shannon wrote (some time ago) that 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.”

The Studebaker Wagonaire was similar to the Jeep Wagoneer.

Rod Miller pointed out that the Cranbrook and Kingswood were probably named after schools near Bloomington.

Thomas Beckman wrote that Studebaker used “Land Cruiser” as a body style, on and off, from 1934 to 1942; it was a separate model from 1947-1953. Toyota picked up the name in the 1950s, while Studebaker used “Cruiser” as a model name from 1961-66. Chrysler's “PT Cruiser” was, though, the likely source of the Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Phil Bruce and Ken Westmoreland wrote that the Ford Laser was a rebadged Mazda 323s in the 1980s and 1990s in some nations. The 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.

Hugh Potter wrote that Renault uses R/T as an option package, with a similar-to-Chrysler emblem. “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.”

Studebaker St. Regis
1932 Studebaker St. Regis courtesy of Thomas M. Beckman; “St. Regis” was the name of the two-door body style.

Bill Watson wrote: “The Chrysler Windsor fit into the theme Chrysler was pushing the time - royalty. Chrysler had the Royal, Crown, and Imperial, along with the American status names, New Yorker and Saratoga (a summer spot for the rich). The 1939 Windsor was actually called the Royal Windsor; King George V and Queen Elizabeth, of the Windsor royal family, toured North America in 1939.”

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 (corrected and clarified), Walt McCrystal (Phoenix, Pioneer), 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), CraneManBenny (300), Alvaro (Solara and Duster corrections), and Ken Westmoreland (Ranger, Acclaim).

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