AMC's Hornet Nameplate May Be Revived By Chrysler
Strange things sometimes happen in the auto industry. One of the strangest is that the Hornet nameplate may be revived by Chrysler for the third time since the 1950's to be used on the Chinese built Chery automobile to be build in China and sold by Chrysler worldwide. Chrysler has floated a concept car called the "Hornet" recently that is likely the same automobile that Chery will be building as a likely Dodge nameplate marketed model. It could also be possible that another entirely different name may surface in the end for the likely new Dodge line of cars. Chrysler has recently been experimented with intriguing names like "Nitro", etc.
In the 1950's, the Hornet name first surfaced on the Hudson Hornet, a very powerful car that was powered by a twin carbed 308 cubic inch six, that was a big winner in the early days of Nascar forerunner racing. This big six was more than able to keep up with the early V8s of the 50's. Later in the 1950's when the marriage of financial convience brought Hudson and Nash together in what proved to be the biggest corporate merger of all time back then, the Hornet nameplate was retired and more practical economy based compact models with Nash styling replaced the larger and great looking Hudson models. The new AMC Corporation seemed to combine the less than completely beautiful styling of Nash with the engine design durability of Hudson, making AMC cars a worthwhile alternative to the offerings of the big three and Studebaker/Packard for years.
In 1966, AMC built a concept car called the Cavalier that was eventually to replace the last automobile produced by AMC with the Rambler nameplate. In September of 1969, the model was finally ready for production as a 1970 model , but with the Hornet name once more revived as $1,994 base priced economy compact car. Until 1977, these Hornet models gained a reputation for a durable and long running design, when the model was renamed the Concord. In reality, the Hornet design was so durable that these cars served as main product line of AMC cars until the end of the company in 1987, when Chrysler took over as the new owner of the company asets when it really sought to purchase the Jeep lineup of cars from AMC. For 17 model years, some variation of the original 1970 Hornet existed as either the Hornet, the shortened subcompact Gremlin or Spirit models, the four wheel drive Eagle or Eagle SX4 models, or as the Concord. The 1970 AMC Hornet based automobiles then became the longest run ever for an automobile model based off a single original car model, even beating the 1958-1974 Checker automobiles by far.
Now, the only question remaining is whether the Hornet nameplate will find use for the third time since the 1950's once again on the new Chery built automobile line from China. If it does, then it will set it's own record as only the third completely different line of automobiles to use a popular nameplate called "Hornet". Strange things happen sometimes.