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BangShift Question Of The Day: Which Concept Car Was A Missed Opportunity?


BangShift Question Of The Day: Which Concept Car Was A Missed Opportunity?

Do you remember the 1999 Pontiac GTO? Probably not. I spent twenty years trying to erase that image out of my head…when it debuted, so did an irrational hatred of it within my soul. Not that I’m a diehard Pontiac fan, but even without that I could tell that between the arrival of the Plymouth er, Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Volkswagen New Beetle, that a strong wave of retro was going to be here for a long time to come. And wouldn’t you know it, I was right. But the GTO Concept was a strange mother…it looked like the nose of the 1969 Judge mashed with the ass end of a 1964, fed through the processing engine that was responsible for the cutting-edge 3D graphics of the Star Fox video game, and painted in Acid Trip Tangerine. I loathed that car. But looking at it now, and there is a lot more than just a hint of fifth-gen Camaro within it’s lines. Compare for yourself…

So, for today’s Question of the Day, we want to know what concept car had potential but thanks to politics, beancounters or whatever, didn’t get approved. My call: the 2002 Mercury Marauder concept. Here’s my argument: Mercury, in a situation like Plymouth, was a brand with no direction, just schlepping rehashes of the parent company’s offerings. Mercury was also preparing this strange marketing campaign that touted style. So why not a full-on throwback? The tooling wouldn’t be too difficult…the Panther platform had supported a two-door coupe in the past and being body-on-frame, there wasn’t much to change for a convertible to work. Utilize the Terminator Cobra’s powertrain, blower and all, keep the monochromatic black-and-chrome look, and use all of the good bits from the Crown Victoria and P71 Interceptor bins, and you end up with a throwback droptop roughly the size of a 1970s intermediate that could walk, talk, and bark like a proper musclecar. Instead we got an evil taxicab with a floor shifter. What is your pick?


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11 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: Which Concept Car Was A Missed Opportunity?

  1. Anthony

    I liked the GTO. It needed to be cleaned up a little and look more streamlined but the roof/glasshouse was nice. Yup looks like a Camaro a little. The Mercury could of been cool too.

  2. TN Jeepster

    the 1989 GTO concept car based on a wide Fbody & looked like a 1969 model.

    also the 1989 Jeep XJ Cherokee Sahara Convertible would have done very well

    Ford 49

  3. Mopar or No Car

    Chrysler turbine cars. Not just a showroom floor concept, 55 cars driven more than a million miles. Killed by beancounters at the EPA and Chrysler Corp.

  4. Scott Liggett

    Somehow I don’t think the bean counters and lawyers at Ford would want to put the highest horsepower engine they made in a car with no top. Ever wonder why there never a Mustang Cobra Convertible or Shelby Mustang convertible now?

    1. Wolf

      Look again Scott. I own a Mustang Cobra convertible, they definitely exist. YOU SAW IT at RMRW in 2018. And the previous 662 HP GT500 engine was available in a convertible too. It’s only a matter of time before the new GT500 ends up with a convertible variant.

  5. Matt Cramer

    The 1999 Dodge Charger concept car. A rear wheel drive successor to the LH-body cars developed entirely in-house by Chrysler. Then the Mercedes guys took over and forced them to shift the RWD development to one of their platforms, scrapping the Chrysler design.

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