Lost Treasures on Wheels: 29+ Cars That Ceased to Exist Today
| LAST UPDATE 04/20/2023
The car market is constantly changing to keep up with shifting trends. Today, we're revving our engines to check out some of the incredible cars that are no longer available for purchase. Buckle up for the ride!
Since its start in 1986, Acura has been known as the luxury division of the Japanese carmaker Honda. The Acura TL was one of the brand's hottest cars on the market when it was introduced in 1995.
It was even considered Acura's best-selling model until 2007, when the MDX outperformed the TL. Four generations of safe, trustworthy, and well-priced vehicles were produced through the years before the whole model came to a close in 2014 and was replaced with the TSX by the TLX.
During its production years, the BMW Z8 was considered a successful roadster for the German manufacturer. The BMW was available from 1998 to 2003 and was first developed under the name E52 in 1993 for two years. The convertible two-door sports car had a longitudinally mounted front engine and rear-wheel drive.
The Z8 was supposed to honor the 1956 to 1959 BMW 507, and after years of prototypes and intense testing and alterations, it was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show. Upon its release, the all-aluminum vehicle cost a whopping $128,000 before it was taken off the market.
Although the American Motors Corporation automobile manufacturing company didn't last on the market for too long, its merger with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company was considered the largest corporate merger in U.S. history.
One of its most valued cars was the AMC Eagle. The car was the only four-wheel passenger car available upon its release in 1979. It had powerful off-roading features similar to a Jeep or another four-wheel drive car. Eventually, AMC introduced a two-door and convertible version before it was taken off the market in 1988.
In 1967, AMC entered the "pony car" market with the Javelin - an affordable, sporty, and stylish vehicle that quickly gained popularity. However, production of the Javelin was eventually discontinued in 1974, marking the end of an era for this iconic car.
The muscle car had an FR layout with a 2 door hardtop and was comparable to other pony cars on the market at the time in terms of performance and style features. However, AMC would soon see the end of their days, leaving the Javelin a few years on the market.
Manufactured between 1964 and 1973, the Fiat 850 was the supermini car of the time. The small rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car was the successor of the Fiat 600. Although mini, the engine was able to read 125 km/h. But overall, people were invested in the 850 for its delightful physical features.
The 850 was available in four body styles: Fiat 850 Special, Fiat 850 Familiare, Fiat 850 Coupé, and the Fiat 850 Spider. The Fiat transformed from a sedan, boxier vehicle to a convertible sporty two-seater known as the Spider. At that point, the Spider could reach up to 145 km/h.
Although Cord Automobile no longer exists, the luxury American automobile manufacturer knew how to make beautiful cars! The automobile brand went under in 1937, just one year after the Cord 812 was born. The car was actually first numbered 810 before becoming 812.
The sleek-looking vehicle was the first of its kind to feature hidden and pop-up headlights and was beautifully designed, truly representing the Gangster Era of the '30s. Upon its release, the entry-level sedan was available in four models, ranging from $1995 to $2195, and eventually hundreds more.
Although the British-made sports car was no longer produced after 1967, dedicated car lovers still consider this one a collector's item. The convertible Austin-Healey 3000 was first released in 1959, with a two-door, or two plus two-seater model, and was available in a series of some of the most desirable colors, from cherry-red to mint green.
Upon its release, manufacturers stated it would reach up to 60 mph in just 11 seconds and in 31 seconds up to 100 mph. The Austin Healy 3000 vehicle is actually considered a famous racing car and has raced at some of the most popular racing circuits in the world, from Le Mans in France to Sebring in the US.
The plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt was first manufactured by General Motors back in 2011. The compact car was first available in the US before it hit the international markets. It became a highly desired car for consumers because of its battery-electric features.
The 5-door liftback vehicle was such a success it was awarded the 2009 Green Car Vision Award, the Green Car of the Year award in 2011, the North American Car of the Year that same year and a few more. However, as more and more electric cars hit the market, Chevrolet officially said bye to the Volt in 2019.
Manufactured by Nissan in 1967, the Datsun 510 was only available for five years before getting the axe. Also called the Datsun Bluebird, the powerful car might not have been considered "luxury," but its simple features and affordable price tag made it desirable for consumers.
The car's engineering was tailored after other contemporary European sedans. It was available for purchase as a four-door sedan, a two-door sedan, a five-door station wagon, and a two-door coupé a few months later. The car's popularity inspired Hot Wheels to release a few versions of the vehicle.
The first generation of Dodge Darts hit the market in 1960 and was considered to replace the trustworthy Dodge Plymouths. The Darts were available as the basic Seneca, mid-range Pioneer, and premium Phonenix and had a completely new engine structure.
Dodge Darts were sold throughout the '60s and into the '70s, with various models constantly introducing new and desired features. The car's reality and affordable price were the main reasons Dodge was able to market and sell the car so well. After 35 years, the Dodge Dart was reconstructed and brought to the domestic market.
The Cadillac ATS was developed by General Motors in 2012, but by 2019 it was no longer being mass-produced. The compact car was available as a 4 door sedan or a two-door coupe, with either rear or all-wheel drive arrangements. The vehicle eventually became available outside the US a year after its release.
Before the ATS was put on the market, Cadilliac's smallest available car was the mid-size CTS, which was comparable in price to compact cars such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Upon research, Cadallic found that customers were looking for smaller, compact cars at these price levels, which was how the ATS was eventually born.
Chrysler Town & Country
It may not be a sports car, but it is a minivan! Families across America have been dedicated to driving minivans since the beginning of time! There's nothing like piling in the family after soccer practice with popsicles in hand as they fight over who gets to press the button to close the car door.
And the family's favorite van was the Chrysler Town & Country minivan. The vehicle was manufactured for nearly 30 years before it was taken off the car market. The many generations of the Town & Country were considered safe and reasonably priced for families, so no wonder it stuck around for so long!
Ferrari 308 GTS
Now this is a beauty! The Italian automobile company was founded by Enzo Ferrari in the late '30s, and the world was immediately in awe of their luxury cars. The Ferrari 308 GTB was only manufactured decades later, in 1975, and was discontinued ten years later.
The two-seater sports car replaced the Dino 246 GT and GTS in 1975 and was further renovated in '85. The Ferarri was actually considered quite famous after Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) was seen driving the car around Oahu during eight seasons of Magnum, P.I.
With three generations under its belt, the Mazda RX-7 was a beloved vehicle by consumers before it was officially discontinued. In 1978, the front-engine, the rear-wheel-drive sports car used a lightweight rotary engine that produced a solid power-to-weight ratio.
The first generation of the car was a two-seat hatchback coupe, the second generation was a two-seater coupe offered as a convertible, and the third generation was a two-plus two-seater coupe with a short run of a two-seater option. However, by 2002 Mazda stopped producing the vehicle.
Honda Del Sol
One of Honda's sport-styled compact vehicles, the Honda del Sol was a two-seater targa top car manufactured in 1992 for only a few years. Before the car was no longer available for purchase in 1998, audiences enjoyed the affordable yet stylish vehicle.
The del Sol, referring to the car's open roof, was based on the Honda Civic model and was the automobile brand's first open-air vehicle sold in the US. Most of the car's models were fitted with a 24-pound aluminum roof that could be manually removed and stowed away in the car's trunk.
Another true beauty is the Ford Thunderbird! Considered one of the most popular cars of the 20th century, the Thunderbird was produced from 1955 until 1997. Although, it quickly returned back to the market in 2002 until it was finally no longer available three years later.
Commonly called the T-Bird, the personal luxury car was a hot commodity throughout its 11 generations of manufacturing. Though it was first introduced as a two-seater convertible, it was later introduced with various seating and body configurations.
The Geo Metro was first produced as the evolution of the Suzuki Cultus through the collaboration of General Motors and Suzuki. The trustworthy vehicle was manufactured from 1989 until the early 2000s and saw quite an evolution of models during its thirteen years.
The car saw three generations and four body styles, from a four-door sedan to a five-door hatchback, and was eventually replaced by General Motors with Daewoo Kalos. However, the Geo Metro was considered extremely popular for its fuel efficiency and affordability.
The Toyota MR2 had a long run before its sales started slowly declining, and Central Motors eventually took it off the market. The two-seat, mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports cars were first manufactured in Japan and marketed by Toyota until 2007.
With over 20 years of production, it was considered one of the most affordable compact sports cars in the '80s and '90s. Upon its release, car magazines Car and Driver and Road & Track placed the MR2 on their "ten best" car lists. The Australian Wheels magazine even picked the car as its favorite sports vehicle in 1988.
The Honda S2000 was considered one of the most favorable entry-level roadsters on the market during its time. The front-mid engine open-top sports car was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995. The ready-to-hit-the-market production version was available four years later to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary.
With ten years under its belt, the Honda S2000 was awarded the "Best Affordable Sports Car" twice and made a top ten list every year during its run. However, the auto industry crisis in 2008 would eventually be the reason the beloved vehicle was no longer produced.
Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am
You might have seen this super sleek vehicle on the TV show Smokey and the Bandit, but regardless the Pontiac Firebird is considered an all-American classic sports car. First produced in the late 60s, the General Motors vehicle stopped producing these muscle cars in 2002.
The Trans-Am became the best-known Firebird of all the generations due to the car's upgraded horsepower, suspension, handling, and physical appearance. After some controversy over the engine size, the sports car was eventually used in the Trans-Am Series, a car racing series held in the US.
We all remember this gas-guzzling oversized SUV! It was impossible to miss a Hummer H2 driving down the road. However, after a few years on the market, General Motors pulled them off the market once and for all. These monster vehicles only had a seven-year run.
Based on the GMT820 GM three-quarter-ton pickup truck, the five-door SUV was a controversial brand for many. Some found it aesthetically unappealing, while others couldn't justify its fuel intake. Hummer's debut happened during an economic crisis, leading to high gas prices and poor environmental choices.
The Imperial went through many transformations throughout the years. The first Chrysler Imperial was introduced in 1926 and was considered the automobile company's top-of-the-line vehicle. The company first released the car under the Chrysler name until the '50s before letting it ride solo and becoming a standalone brand.
For years, the car was Chrysler's luxurious automobile, sought after by many government officials, royalty members, and celebrities. Throughout the generations, the car's appearance, luxury features, and technological advancements altered until it was off the market once and for all in '93.
The iconic British-made sports car was first available in 1976 and, after nearly three decades, was taken off the car market. The Lotus Esprit was first introduced to the world at the Paris Motor Show in '75 and was immediately considered a powerhouse of a vehicle.
First called Series 1, these cars saw many alterations throughout the years. Eventually, the specialty vehicle was such a hit it was featured on the big screen in some of Hollywood's best films, from Pretty Woman to James Bond and more, solidifying it as a symbolic car of the '70s and '80s.
There were only 282 of these babies ever produced! The two-seater sports car manufactured by the British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar was created in tandem with a specialist automotive and race engineering company, Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and was only available for two years.
The XJ220 was the fastest car from 1992 to 1993, with a top-noted speed of 212.3 mph. However, for promotional reasons, Car magazine predicted the Jaguar would reach up to 220 mph. Still, after it was tested again at the Nardo Ring in Italy, it maintained its original high speed.
The Countach sports car was one of the many elaborate designs belonging to the Italian design house known as Lamborghini. The sleek two-door coupe launched and eventually popularized the "Italian Wedge" shape. The vehicle was developed as a successor to the Miura, another widely acclaimed Lambo.
After the Mirua's popularity started to weaken amongst consumers, the Countach was born. The Italian-made sports car debuted in 1974 with the scissor door model, doors that rotate upward from a fixed hinge. However, nearly 2,000 cars later, the Countach was no longer mass-produced.
The compact sports car was taken off the car market in 2012 after four generations of the vehicle being sold. For just over two decades, the Eclipse was considered very popular amongst younger drivers, in addition to those who enjoy road racing, but it was eventually discontinued.
Built under Mitsubishi Motors, the Eclipse got its name from an unbeaten 18th-century English racehorse that won 18 straight races before retiring. Despite the model ceasing to exist in 2012, the Japanese automobile manufacturer revived the Eclipse with a compact crossover vehicle, the Eclipse Cross, in 2017.
The Triumph Herald was first introduced in 1959 under Standard-Triumph manufacturer, and by 1971 it was no longer being made. The car saw such high success during its 12-year run, with multiple styles available to the public, from convertible, to van models and coupe-style cars.
The Triumph Herald was considered a significant success, with more than half a million sold. Years later, the car was seen throughout the media in popular TV shows and movies. It was even used during the closing ceremony in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Packard Motor Car Company released some of the most stylish and desirable cars for consumers, including the Packard Eight. The luxury automobile was first available in 1924, and after 12 years, they were no longer on the market. However, it was a hot commodity at its time!
The company merged with Studebaker in 1953 but eventually went under. However, the Packard Eight still came out shining on top, with four different models over the years: Standard Eight, Custom Eight, De Luxe Eight, and Speedster. The cars were priced between $2425 and $3150.
VW Karmann Ghia
Upon its release, the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was introduced as a two-plus-two coupe and a two plus two convertible. The 1955 car merged together the mechanics and the chassis of the Type 1 and Type 3 Beetle. Almost 450,000 Karmann Ghias were created in Germany during the two decades it was available.
However, during its last year on the market, the vestigial rear seat was taken off the North American model as it did not have seat belts installed. In 1974, all Karmann Ghias were built as two-seaters. However, it was a beautiful ride that everyone wanted their hands on!
Eventually, the Plymouth Duster would no longer be available on the market, with the Mustang being its competitor. Still, upon its release in the '70s, the car was considered an affordable compact car. The semi-fastback two-door coupe was eventually no longer sold in 1976.
The Duster was considered comparable with Ford's semi-fastback Maverick and the AMC Hornet, which were both introduced in 1970. Multiple varieties of the car were available with names such as Feather Duster, Gold Duster, and Space Duster. We'll take one Space Duster, please!