GM Cars That Have Been Long Forgotten
It’s easy to talk about the best cars ever built, but what about the cars that have been forgotten? Lost to time. Nowhere to be seen like your uncle’s hair or your friend at a restaurant when the bill arrives. Yes, these cars are rare but not for the usual reasons. These GM gems disappeared because of their terrible looks, poor performances, unreliability or limited releases. However, some of these forgotten relics were actually pretty good; they were just too advanced for their time. Some of the most well-known disappearing acts are the Chevy Nova, Ford Maverick, and the Pontiac Solstice. GM is one of the automakers that has the most forgotten car models.
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151996 GM EV1
The 1996 GM EV1 was the first pure electric car to be manufactured for the masses. Yes, you heard us right. 1996. It came out before Tesla was even a twinkle in Elon’s eye. At the time, it was the world’s most aerodynamic car. It came with a brilliant design, compliant ride, good performance, and a quiet engine. The driving experience was outstanding. General Motors decided to stop mass production of this vehicle because it wasn’t profitable enough. There was a lot of controversy after the automaker ignored its happy EV1 drivers, going ahead to crush all examples. Another weird factor: GM allowed leasing of the car, but they didn’t accept purchases. This controversy even led to a documentary that sought to find out why the electric car came to an early death.
141982 Cadillac Cimarron
The 1982 Cadillac Cimarron is everything that isn’t. GM decided to create this car to keep up with consumers who were moving towards compact European luxury brands. The Chevrolet Cavalier inspired this front-wheel drive vehicle. According to automotive journalist Dan Neil, this model was among the “worst cars of all time.” He described it as lazy, venal and wrong. Not to mention it looks like a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with the soul sucked out of it. Eventually, Cadillac managed to recover from this disaster, but only by a whisker.
GM made this car hoping that it would rival the Mazda Miata. Unfortunately, the Solstice only lasted only between 2006 and 2010. It was sold as a reboot of the Opel GT and the Saturn Sky. The makers of this vehicle got their inspiration from the 2002 Solstice Concept. The Solstice boasts of being a pure roadster. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to lower the hardtop from the driver’s seat. In addition to a cheap plastic interior, it needed most of the trunk space when towing. It was so unmemorable that most people forgot the last model existed before it was even released.
Why was the Chevy Corsica so easy to forget? Just look at it. What event would you want to roll up to with a Chevy Corsica? We picture a broke Ph.D. candidate pushing the speed limit to get through traffic in his Corsica to get his research — a 30-year study of an obscure mushroom — to his publisher. Not exactly exciting stuff. However, it wasn’t like it was the worst car ever. It was a run-of-the-mill budget car that was effective in that it got you from here to there. It featured a V6 engine that delivered 140 horsepower and a four-banger that offered 120 horsepower. This car is no longer on the roads although it once dominated the late 80s like Arnold Schwarzenegger once dominated action movies.
This was a lame excuse of a car; a Chevy Equinox with a Pontiac badge. The Torrent was doomed right from the start. There was no way in hell that it would have made it through the next decade. GM shut down Pontiac after four years. According to consumer reports, the Torrent returned a poor fuel economy from its 3.4-liter V-6 engine. In addition to this, it had lackluster materials in the interior.
10The Chevy Nova of the 1980s
If you remember the end of the muscle car era, then you know something about the Chevy Nova. The Nova we’re referring to had too many Toyota parts. Because of that, it had no original flavor. Yes, sadly, it was just a little four-door box. And this box only offered 74 horsepower with the pedal all the way down. Although it was used in experiments to test the automaker’s pioneering twin-cam engine, the Nova name died on its watch.
9The GM Runabout
GM made this concept car for stay-at-home moms. It was launched during the 1964 World Fair. This three-wheeled concept was as weird as they come; it had a built-in shopping trolley and the shape of a spaceship. In addition to this, it also came with unusual doors. The only way to enter the car was through a canopy that folded forward and lifted upwards. The creators of this vehicle must have been smoking some terrible weed. Well, no matter what we think, it was definitely before its time. 2000 Years before its time. It isn’t surprising that it never went into production.
You would be forgiven for trying to chew on this vehicle because it looks like a damn loaf of bread! It is based on the Corvair. It only lasted between 1961 and 1965. Just like the Porsche 911, this funky looking van came with an air-cooled, flat-six engine on the back. Unlike the Porsche 911, however, the Greenbrier had several bodies: a windowless workhorse option, a motorhome option, and a clever unfolding pickup option. During this time, Chevrolet was at the peak of its innovativeness. In the end though, the automaker got tired of the Greenbrier because it couldn’t match its cheaper rivals, Dodge and Ford.
71970 Chevrolet Vega
You don’t have to be an automobile genius to guess that this particular vehicle was launched in 1970. The Vega boasted having the looks of Hercules, but it was quite unreliable. In the beginning, this vehicle made good sales despite competing against the Ford Pinto and several Japanese competitors. Unfortunately for Chevy, these good sales did not last. The manufacturer used poor materials in order to maintain its low price, result in numerous problems. For instance, it was prone to rust because it had an unusually thin body sheet metal. Also, there were numerous complains about the vehicle’s overheating engine. The weedy 80 hp engine also suffered from gasket failure, which destroyed multiple engines. By 1977, the Vega was nowhere to be seen. It was killed off like a writer’s least favorite character in a fantasy novel.
6The 2004 GMC Envoy XUV
Nobody asked this question, but decided to answer it anyway. This was a crossbreed of a conventional SUV and a pickup truck. The GMC Envoy XUV was a five-passenger vehicle with a retractable rear roof. The passenger compartment could be partitioned from the cargo area by raising the Envoy’s “midgate”. The cargo area came with a drainage system, and it was also waterproofed. Unfortunately, the XUV was not a complete SUV because the seats lacked the third row. In addition to this, the cargo area was too small for a pickup; so really it was the worst of both worlds. It was scrapped in 2005.
51975 Chevrolet Chevette
The Chevette stayed around for a while, but it still ended up in the tomb of forgotten cars. It was introduced when Japanese and European subcompacts were about to dominate the American market. This Chevy was hopelessly outshined by rivals like the Volkswagen Rabbit and the front-wheel-drive Honda Civic. The Chevette had a meager 53hp four-cylinder engine that worked with rear-wheel drive. It also had archaic suspension. It maintained healthy sales until 1987 thanks to its bargain-basement pricing and an overall endearing trapezoidal shape. Eventually, the base model became adopted by badge-engineered Isuzu and Suzuki.
41975 Chevrolet Monza
The Monza was like Michael Jackson as he grew older; the same guy just with a different skin. Yes, the Monza was just another Chevrolet Vega in an attractive Italian suit. It looked like a goddess on the outside, but it was the same awful car in the inside. Just like the Vega, the entry-level Monza was seriously underpowered. The Monza was dropped after a six-year run.
The Eldorado ran from 1952 to 2002. It was if Gatsby himself willed a boat-car into existence. It had style, class, and came in a ton of fun colors. However, what it didn’t have was maneuverability. This was a car that was known for wide turns. In the beginning, it was among the best cars in the Cadillac lineup, but it was neglected in its last days. Its last generation was manufactured between 1992 and 2002. Most of the new models have since been forgotten, but some folks still remember the old classics.
This is one of the most forgotten cars, and not because it’s terrible. No, it’s actually a very good car that was hampered only in that it was limited edition. Between 1975 and 1976, the automaker produced less than 300 models. This vehicle was a pickup truck that was based on a Cadillac Coupe de Ville. The juice came from an 8.2-liter V-8 engine that produced 200 horsepower. There’s plenty of people out there that would shell out a pretty penny to have the Mirage parked in their driveway.
In the 1980s, GM showcased this funky little concept car which foretold the driving experience of the future. It was the canvas used to portray emerging electronic technology. Some car experts even claim that it had 14 computers. They also say that it came with a “laser” key that turned on the ignition and opened doors. It made a comeback in the mid-1990s. It is almost unbelievable that nobody remembers the Questor, especially considering that it laid the groundwork for most of the technology we see in cars today.