Collectors Car Insurance: Auto Flops Collectors Still Love
Over the hundred-plus year history of motor vehicles auto brands have come and gone, companies have merged and dissolved, and some have even been revived to rekindle their brand and spirit today. There have been hundreds of vehicle successes. Some models revolutionized motor vehicles, while others set new standards for style, performance and speed. Other models were bold and daring in design but never quite caught on. Some had mechanical complications while others simply failed to attract consumer interest.
Here are a few auto industry flops that still hold a special place in collectors’ hearts:
- Amphibious Cars: When first conceived, the idea of an amphibious vehicle seemed both useful and thrilling to a world on the brink of war, and why not? A car built for both land and sea, would surely seem to have its perks should you need to make a quick getaway or traverse various landscapes. Originally designed for the military during World War II, amphibious vehicles were developed and produced by foreign and American automakers from existing vehicle platforms. An amphibious version of the Willys MB Jeep, the Ford GPA were created to compete and successfully “sailed” around the world during the 1950’s. The German made Amphicar was one of the most successful amphibious vehicles ever built, however only a few thousand were ever produced before the trend was scrapped. Nevertheless, amphibious vehicles gained a small but loyal following among niche collectors who enjoy the novelty of these war time vehicles.
- 1970’s Subcompacts: In the late 1970’s AMC, GM, Ford and many others began to realize that while their muscle cars and other popular models of the era were luxurious, fun and sporty, they weren’t very economical. Raising oil and gas prices and changing consumer demands led many of the top automakers in a race to generate affordable and functional subcompact vehicle. One of the most notorious was the AMC Gremlin which TIME magazine calls “one of the most curiously proportioned cars ever.” The Gremlin competed with other subcompacts like the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto, as well as with smaller imports such as the Volkswagen Beetle and Toyota Corona. While these vehicles sold well, each had their own peculiarities and nuances which lead motorists to either love them or hate them. The Ford Pinto for example was known for erupting into flames when involved in an accident from behind, and the Gremlin was infamous for its quirky styling as well as its speed capabilities for its class and weight. Today, collectors and auto enthusiasts often use these vehicles as a relatively inexpensive way to dip their toes into renovation, restoration and custom car building.
- DMC Vehicles: If you are wondering whether or not you have heard of DMC, the answer is probably yes, but not by that name. You might know it better for the only model the automakers ever produced, The DeLorean DMC-12. Ring a bell now? The iconic DeLorean made its claim to fame as the time traveling car Marty McFly used in the 1980s Back to The Future.However, were it not for the vehicle’s starring role in the film saga, the DeLorean Motor Company may have never become a household name. Production was over nearly as soon as it began for DMC, who started releasing the DeLorean in 1981, right before one of the largest auto market slumps in American history. Only about 9,000 of the futuristic looking sports cars were created before production halted in 1983, at which point DMC went into liquidation. Only 6,500 DeLoreans are currently known to exist, which makes them a rare find, especially since this particular vehicle appeals to many different types of collectors.
Want more quirky collectibles? Read the second half of our list here.
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