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January 9 Weekly Open Thread

As always, this is the right place for all the other random conversation that doesn't belong anywhere else.

What we noticed:  Popular Mechanic's 10 Greatest Failed U.S. Auto Companies.  We mostly agree with their selections, what do you think? 

We're also delighted to announce that we'll be holding another Our Cars event in the next few weeks and are now accepting reader submissions. For those unfamiliar with this, Our Cars is our semi-regular reader-powered feature in which readers are invited to share the stories about their own cars that they have loved and despised over the years. Car Lust's contributors will likely chime in as well, but this is really about our readers sharing their own stories.

Most of our Car Lust contributors began their career with this blog by contributing Our Cars posts. If any of you are interested in contributing to this blog, Our Cars is the way to start.

If you're interested in participating, here are some suggested steps and guidelines:

  • Choose a car (or, I suppose, multiple cars) with which you actually have some personal experience. Ideally, this would be a car that you personally owned, but it's possible to put together a great Our Cars post on a car that you drove regularly (like a friend's car, a company car, or a parent's car).
  • Tell the story of why you found that car interesting; the more the car interests you, the more it will likely interest the rest of us.
  • Don't feel bad if the car you'd like to write about isn't a supercar; most of us find everyday cars as interesting, or potentially even more interesting, than exotic hardware.
  • Include some pictures to help us follow the story and appreciate your car. Ideally, they would be pictures of your actual car, bu representative images are fine as long as you credit the source.
  • E-mail your piece to us using the "E-mail Car Lust" link in the right column.  We'll take submissions through January 27.
  • If you're looking for some good examples, read this, this, and this. Or, simply browse through all of our Our Cars posts; the farther back you go into the archives, the more reader-submitted posts you'll see.

--Amazon Automotive Editors.

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I agree with them...with the possible exception of Vector, all hype, no(okay few) cars. And thanks for not including Tucker...since it didn't survive long enough to become a real producer of cars.

In mentioning Studebaker, they should have pointed out the Golden Hark, a pre-60s Muscle Car and the fact that they did introduce America's first all new postwar car. And I appreciate them not blaming the Avanti for Studebaker's failure. Basically, by the 50s, a mid-sized independent could not survive against the "Big 3" due to inceased R&D and production costs.

You can understand the great classics...Stutz, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow failing to survive the depression, but that we lost Packard is still hard to accept. If there was a car company that deserved to survive, it was Packard.

Also hard to accept is GM's foolish dumping of Pontiac and Olds.
One or the other, okay...but both?
But then again, I could never understand the GM business model of
Chev, Pontiac, Olds, Buick and Cadillac (not to mention Saturn and Geo). I can see one low, one medium and and one high price brand, so clearly there was one too many. I'm no MBA, but I don't think I could have driven the worlds largest industrial company (with 60% market share not that long ago) into bankruptcy.
GM has a lot to answer for.

"I can see one low, one medium and and one high price brand, so clearly there was one too many"

I agree, although I think they used the Japanese 2-lines as their model: Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity. I'm pretty sure you can fit the majority of the market comfortably with two lines myself. Still, I would have thought they'd have kept Pontiac over Buick (to snag more of the youth market), but apparently Buick sells very well in China, sooooo. . . . .

I would swap out DeLorean for Vector since they actually produced some cars and were at least *interesting*. Funny, but this past week I saw a DeLorean. . . .on the back of a flatbed.

Technically, was the DeLorean an American car?
Yes, it headquarters were here, but it was built abroad (Northern Ireland).
Also, its engine and chassis were designed abroad as well.

Well, yeah, I went by the HQ location. Otherwise you can tie yourself into all kinds of knots.

I actually didn't realize there were so many: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_United_States_automobile_manufacturers

A few of 'em have been featured here at one time or another: Stout, Stutz, REO, Shawmut, ACME, Stearns. . . .and Citicar! And don't forget International Harvester!

What about Plymouth? Or Imperial? Maybe thats just my pro-mopar bias. I'd include AMC as well.

I suppose the "10 Greatest Anything" can be subjective to whosoever's opinion that thinks about them. These are all great brands/marques that have fallen, and we miss them all.

Well, most of them anyway.

AMC would absolutely make my list.

is it too late to create a post? I have one that has been itching to be written.

It's not too late. We're still taking submissions.

Considering AMC was a legit full-line company until the 80s, it deserves to be on there.

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