Top 5 Dead American Automakers

In light of the current American auto industry which is alive and doing well currently with the "big three"; General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler. Styling, performance, quality, innovation and efficiency continue to improve and it shows as sales increase. Besides the current state of the American auto industry there lies an historic past. There has literately been hundreds of automakers in the US along in the past 150 years. Click Here to see entire list compiled on Wikipedia. But today we're going to talk about what we believe to be the "Top 5 Dead American Automakers" or atleast the ones that are believed to have impacted the auto industry in such a way that they'll never be forgotten.


Duesenberg(1913-1937) Information Top 5 Dead American AutomakerDuesenberg(1913-1937)

Founded in Des Moines, Iowa, Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company, Inc at one point was known to be the among most exclusive and luxurious cars in the world. Only the most wealthiest and famous people could own these glamorous cars. They were like the Rolls-Royce or Bentley of today. The phrase "It's a duesie" is thought to have come from the Duesenbergs which is a goto phrases describing something that is extremely impressive, which these cars were just that! One of the most famous people to have owned a Duesenberg was Al Capone's lawyer, Jake "The Barber" Factor. Duesenberg's meant business with the likes of their luxury limo like designs that challenged the worlds best cars of it's time.


Packard (1899-1953) Information Top 5 Dead American AutomakerPackard(1899-1958)

Built by the Packard Motor Car Company founded in Warren, Ohio these cars where an American luxury standard, much like Cadillac is today. They were known not only for luxury but Packard was also known to have some of the fastest production cars built in their time. Packard was always on the cutting edge of style, performance and luxury. Packards famous tag line was "Ask the man who owns one." Eventually Packard was laid to rest when Studebaker had bought them out whom at the time had ties to Mercedes-Benz. Of course they protected their own turf and helped to ensure both automakers failure. In 1999 a small company had bought the Packard trademark and built a prototype called Packard Twelve. Early investments have plans to produce 2,000 units but funds stalled and plans have been stalled every since.


1999 Packard Twelve Concept


International Harvester 1980 Scout Information Top 5 Dead American AutomakersInternational Harvester(1907-1980)

The company it's self is not dead, but they now only make commercial trucks and school buses. IH is most known for it's light duty trucks like the Scout, which was a direct competition for Bronco's, Blazers and Jeeps during it's time. They were very capable and rugged 4 wheel drive off roading vehicles in their time. And currently there is no real competition for Jeep Wranglers and the International Harvester Scout could easily be just that. IH was also know to have a well designed 7-passenger SUV like the Jeep Grand Cherokee called the Travelall. Perhaps these vehicles were built before their time, they are well known to off roading enthusiast around the world.


1968 AMC Javelin-Top 5 Dead American AutomakersAmerican Motors Corporation-AMC(1954-1988)

AMC was founded to specifically go after other car makers like "the big three" GM, Ford, and Chrysler. They were known for some ground breaking cars that would be considered to have been before their time. Like the all wheel drive Eagle sedans which are considered to be the first crossover built in the 70s, 30 years before crossovers were even known by most. Other cars like the Gremlin and Pacer were upon some of the first compact cars every built. Don't forget about the Javelin and AMX which were among the coolest and competitive muscle cars of their time. In the mid 80s Chrysler set off to buy out AMC. Perhaps for the sole purposes of owning the Keep line which we all know today. Jeep is the one brand that is still alive that goes back to the 70s started by AMC and known to be the first line of Sport Utility Vehicles or SUV's. Technically you could say that AMC still lives on today in the Jeep division of Fiat-Chrysler.


1969 Pontiac GTO JudgePontiac(1926-2010)

Perhaps the most famous and successful automaker that is no longer around, Pontiac is best know for producing some iconic cars such as the Grand Am, Firebird and GTO. Many people have even said that General Motors made a huge mistake closing this division of it's company. But with all the financial whose and turmoil in 2008 General Motors had to come up with a plan to trim off some of it's very large company in order to survive. The GTO & Firebird TransAm now live on thanks to a company talked TransAmDepot. They're most known for taking the new Camaro and redesigning it. They've actually bought the rights from General Motors to built the GTO and Firebird Trans Am. Click here to visit their website. One of the newer cars that consumers missed the most was the Pontiac G8, which was actually a rebranded Holden Commodore. Holden is a division of GM in Australia and is know for full-sized sports sedans along with a few other cars and does very well. The G8 or Commodore is now known as the Chevrolet SS reintroduced in the US market in 2014.

Pontiac G8 - Chevrolet SS - Holden Commodore
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3 thoughts on “Top 5 Dead American Automakers

  • July 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I miss Pontiac So So So much, I really think that was a bad move of General Motor’s part, I firmly believe they should have killed Buick over Pontiac! I am a Proud owner of a 69 Firebird, 69 GTO and 2002 Trans Am WS6. NEVER FORGET PONTIAC!!!! Good article too thanks for the information!

  • January 8, 2016 at 8:13 am

    The scout wasn't the Bronco, blazer and jeeps competition. The scout came out in 61 and the big 3 made trucks to compete against the scout. Unfortunately union strikes and poor management put the nail in the coffin with the light line.

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