Muscle Car

Muscle Car Talk: What’s In A Car Name?

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By Mark Weisseg

Chrysler back in the mid seventies tried to slip this car on us and did it ever flop and splash in the Loo. They took a Dodge Aspen known as a Dodge Dustpan and called it a Road Runner. When I went down to my local dealer back then I nearly choked. A RoadRunner? A Plymouth Arrow, Plymouth Scamp, and so on.

But, it was the use of the name Road Runner on this Aspen that about drove me batty. It would be like putting the Corvette name on a basic Vega. It was a sin and to this day it taints me.

Chrysler was desperate. They did sell a lot of Aspens and such but the K car is what saved the company from going belly up again. That and the government buying thousands of those first K cars with the leaking oil four cylinders. Thank goodness the Road Runner / Aspen did not last long.

But if you research the amount of times this company used the Aspen, Charger, RoadRunner names it’s enough to make you barf buckets. Can they not come up with a new name? They tried the Dodge Dart again and it bombed- again. They have the 300 again and it’s doing alright but they tried to 200 and it bombed. Seriously, it’s hard to have a collectible car like a RoadRunner when you know that name plate has been used so many times on so many models.

A Mustang is a Mustang. A Corvette is a Corvette but a Charger can be nearly anything. A Roadrunner was the same way. At least for now FCA stopped whoring out Road Runner but once again the Charger name is attached to a four door car. In the 1990’s the Charger was a little tiny four cylinder car. Will they please stop this crap! I want FCA to live and be a profitable company. It’s not looking good right now but they must come up with viable, good cars and the marketing departments need to find new names. What’s next, the Imperial? Do not be surprised. Geeeesh.

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