Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Datsun's Rebirth In India And The Revival Of Long-Gone Cars

We have news this Monday that automaker Nissan is reviving the Datsun name for the Indian market — where the larger auto sector is struggling.

The new Datsun Go — priced at below $6,700 — doesn't look like the iconic 240z, which for many years was the top-selling sports car in the U.S. Here's an old ad for it:

Still, Datsun's rebirth for the world's emerging markets — and the successful reboot of the Beetle and the Mini — made us think about what other brands have made a comeback in recent years.

There is China's Red Flag sedan. Chinese officials favored the Red Flag until the model was discontinued in the 1980s. It's now back in the world's largest car market, with prices starting at around $50,000.

A model stands beside a Red Flag L7 during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing.
Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
/
A model stands beside a Red Flag L7 during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing.

Closer to home, there's Detroit Electric.

The company built electric cars until 1937 (you read that right). This is what it looked like:

Vintage car collector Bill Lloyd shows off his Detroit Electric model from 1915, in Australia last year.
Romeo Gacad / AFP/Getty Images
/
Vintage car collector Bill Lloyd shows off his Detroit Electric model from 1915, in Australia last year.

The new model — when it is released — will look a lot more aerodynamic:

This image provided by Detroit Electric shows the automaker's SP:01, a limited-edition electric sports car. The company was revived in 2008. <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130601/AUTO01/306010006/1148/Detroit-Electric-delays-its-first-EV-by-month">Last month it announced</a> that production would be delayed by a month. The model is priced at $135,000.
/ AP
/
This image provided by Detroit Electric shows the automaker's SP:01, a limited-edition electric sports car. The company was revived in 2008. <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130601/AUTO01/306010006/1148/Detroit-Electric-delays-its-first-EV-by-month">Last month it announced</a> that production would be delayed by a month. The model is priced at $135,000.

But possibly the most exciting car revival we heard about was the Trabant — the pride of East Germany and the punch line of jokes around the world.

Here's a video from MotorWeek that reviews the Trabi:

This is what the revived car would have looked like:

The Trabant NT is presented during a show at a shopping center in Dresden, Germany, in November 2009.
Matthias Rietschel / AP
/
The Trabant NT is presented during a show at a shopping center in Dresden, Germany, in November 2009.

Sadly, we learned that the project has funding trouble.

Have we missed any brands? And which other cars would you like to see revived? Let us know in the comments below.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

More Stories