Home » What Formerly Common Cars Have Completely Vanished?

What Formerly Common Cars Have Completely Vanished?

Aa Dodge Intrepid
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It’s been quite an experience watching my daughter grapple with the impermanence of life. When a store closes it’s possibly a minor disappointment to me, but to her it’s almost cataclysmic. She’s only been fully conscious of the world around her for a few years and so, generally speaking, all that was there is still there, and when it isn’t it’s a big deal.

She just feels so much and, you know, maybe she’s right. Maybe I’m too inured to the fluctuations of life. Perhaps I’d be better off also feeling that much.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

One area where I probably feel the shifting of time most is in the slow disappearance of cars that were once ubiquitous. Where have all the Cavalier Z24s gone? Or, for that matter, where the hell are all the old Dodge Intrepids?

While Chrysler’s attempt at making a front-wheel drive competitor to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord never quite had the same draw, falling short even of the Ford Taurus, the almost-a-Lamborghini 1st generation was fairly common when I was a youth. But now? It’s an occasion when you see one at a stoplight, on par with spying a falling star.

2g Dodge Interipd

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Even the 2nd generation car, which was on sale until 2005, is a rare spot.

So, in that vein, SWG has suggested you all help us come up with more examples of once-common cars that have given way to a rusty grave or to being recycled into something more desirable.

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Vee
Vee
2 months ago

Dodge Neons. Chevrolet Cavaliers. Fifth generation Honda Civics. Pontiac Bonnevilles. Chrysler anything, even the minivans, as only the Dodges remain. Dodge Durangos. Second generation Ford Explorers.

Saturns, oh my god Saturns. Used to be there were SL2s and SC2s out the ass everywhere, but nowadays I only see them in online adds, and mostly just the Ion.

Tinibone
Tinibone
2 months ago

For the Aussies around, any of the Holden H series cars, they’re all dead now, and same with pretty much and pre au falcons ????

Is Travis
Is Travis
2 months ago

Chevy Beretta. Man I loved my first car. Haven’t seen one rolling in several years.

Greensoul
Greensoul
2 months ago

The last gen of Buick Century’s. They were every where, and disappeared overnight. Maybe they were raptured? They were a fave with the blue haired Pentecostal women folk here in Texas.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
2 months ago

I would say you don’t see 90% of the cars that were made before 2004.

That being said, the ones where I can say “you never see them” are the full size Chrysler products from the 90s and early 2000s. I am thinking the LH platform, that was the Dodge intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, Eagle vision.

I honestly cannot tell you the last time I saw one.

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

Just last week I was shocked to be sitting at a light in Raleigh, NC and see a relatively clean Chrysler Concorde pass by on the cross street.

Goblin
Goblin
2 months ago

1) 4th and 5th gen Civics, massacred in the holy wars of Fast & Furious 1 and 2 and the mass ritual sacrifices at the altar of Holy Pantone that followed.

2) s2000, victim of same as above, sacrificed at the altar of St Suki. Survivors nowadays live in carefully protected natural reserves, unfortunately the population has long since dropped under the extinction treshold.

3) Hyundai Genesis Coupe – smacked hard in the face, it is true, but an ill-fated facelift mid-life and midlife.

Last edited 2 months ago by Goblin
Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

Genesis is a good one. Those things just apparently disappeared over night.

Dolsh
Dolsh
2 months ago

Basically small cars. Which is weird… up here in Canada, we love our small cars. I guess now we love our small CUVs even more.

You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing Neon’s and Cavaliers, and they’re gone now. The Civics from the same area are still around… maybe that’s more of an indictment on the domestics.

But there’s one car that I used to see all the time that I haven’t seen in a really long time: an Evo. The Lancer was fairly popular up here, and generally, Ralliarts and Evo’s were everywhere too. I would have bought one if they weren’t so ridiculously expensive. I see WRX’s of the same vintage all the time. Can’t remember the last time I saw an Evo.

Alec Harvey
Alec Harvey
2 months ago

Mitsubishi Magnas have vanished from the roads here in Australia, they sold hundreds of thousands of them, but they all seem to be gone now.

Cautionary Tail-Light
Cautionary Tail-Light
2 months ago
Reply to  Alec Harvey

100% – its successor the 380 too – although you could argue it was stillborn.

I’d also add the Excel that really established Hyundai here (wheels falling off notwithstanding), the Mitsubishi Lancer, often found with a fart-can exhaust and other wannabe-Evo accessories, and the 4th-generation (TS) Holden Astra which was an Australian sales sensation for a good chunk of the early 00s.

And the Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons have fled the suburbs and been replaced by Korean/Japanese SUVs. They all live in rural Australia now.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

Maverick, dart, concord, pacer, gremlin, Javelin, Fairlane, Jensen Healey, cutlass, Valiant, econoline, Buick wagon, just a few our family owned.

Steve Davis
Steve Davis
2 months ago

This may have already been said but I’ll go ahead and throw it out anyway:

1990’s era catfish grill Camaros, Firebirds, and fox body Mustangs. Used to be all over the place up to the early aughts but I rarely see them now, and I live in the deep south!

Torque
Torque
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Davis

I saw a catfish Camero last week Friday, though agreed it was a rare sighting

Luke8512
Luke8512
2 months ago

I was thinking about this just the other day and after a few weeks to confirm Dodge Nitros and Calibers have completely vanished from North western Pa roads. They’re not even that old and they used to be everywhere around here.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
2 months ago
Reply to  Luke8512

The Caliber is an inspired choice. You see more Neons than Calibers on the road at this point, and the Calibers were everywhere when new.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
2 months ago
Reply to  Luke8512

I feel like I still see Calibers fairly often but when’s the last time you saw a first gen Jeep Compass?

Look, a Volvo!
Look, a Volvo!
2 months ago

May just be an Oklahoma thing, but I’ve gone my entire life without seeing a Chevrolet Corsica.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
2 months ago
Reply to  Look, a Volvo!

That’s a miracle…my Grandma had one…you’re not missing much ha ha

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
2 months ago
Reply to  Look, a Volvo!

I saw one just an hour ago. Some dude who works across from the post office dailies one.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
2 months ago
Reply to  Look, a Volvo!

Oh they were around when I was in HS. One person we knew had some letters fall off, so it was a “Chevrol Corsic”

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
2 months ago

I saw Chrysler Cirrus last Saturday and was equal parts baffled, impressed and annoyed at its existence.

On that same drive, I was stuck behind an early GMC Envoy.. and it looked showroom fresh. I’m all for taking care of your things, but it looked as though it had just been polished and ceramic coated. I’m still extremely confused about that one and I don’t know how it makes me feel.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

I saw a Cirrus as well! And it was immaculate too! I was completely floored; it was one of the strangest things I’ve seen in a while. Every year or so I’ll see a totally beat to hell Stratus, but a seemingly brand new Cirrus in Upstate NY is about at rare as it gets.

Someone had to have brought it from the west coast or something.

Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin
2 months ago

We all must be living in some parallel universe. I saw an immaculate white Cirrus not more than two weeks ago up here in Wisconsin. I did a double take at that as I thought the salt had taken them to the grave already.

Then discovered that my work has an immaculate Plymouth Voyager on loan in our fleet. THEN saw a good condition late 90s Dodge Caravan Sport right before Christmas.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

I’ve got to imagine Wisconsin and Upstate NY are twins separated at birth when it comes to rotting away every damn car from the 90’s. So yeah, what a sight to behold, those Chrysler products.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
2 months ago

Chevy Chevette. Yugo GV.

CRG
CRG
2 months ago

When I moved to New England in 198(clearing throat), Saabs were a common sight, and their presence even lasted well past the GM years, so much so that even after they really died as a company, it was common to see them in lots and on the road.

Now, post-Covid, I am surprised to see one of any era knocking about, and I sound like a crazy person to my kids, like I’m describing bison on the plains pre-railroad.

Not common like GM, but you could see them anywhere, from Maine to shabby li’l RI.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago
Reply to  CRG

I own a ’67 96 in Seattle and belong to the local club but even in this highly concentrated self-selecting circle it’s rare to see any year of 99 these days.

CRG
CRG
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

I saw an amazing orange (tic-tac) 99 early one morning in SF last April. I had an Antelope Brown 99 in college and I still miss it. Wonderful cars.

(Full disclosure: I have a 900t convertible, so I am always on the lookout/listen for them.)

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  CRG

I’ve gotten flak for this on other articles, but I’m a Pennsylvania resident (grew up in the coal region; currently near Harrisburg) born around the turn of the century and I’m still not sure if I’ve ever seen a Saab in real life, and my only defense is that I’ve only become more “car-aware/enthusiastic” in the last 10 years or so.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
2 months ago

Dodge Neon. Straight up gone like an alien abduction.

I still see clapped out Chevy Cavaliers and Honda Civics form that same time. But the Neon’s just vanished.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago

Any early Northstar Cadillac, my parents’ neighbor recently brought a low mileage 90s Seville in pearl white, it’s the first working one I’ve seen in like 15 years. They also have a DeLorean, so I guess the Caddy qualifies as their practical car.

Also, of course, any ordinary, regular car from the ’70s and ’80s , when’s the last time you saw a Pontiac Phoenix or an Oldsmobile Omega, or a T1000? Gone. GM sold millions and millions of T-cars and X-cars, but good luck finding one now. And if you have one, forget parts support, you’d have an easier time buying new parts for a 1924 Model T than a 1985 Chevette. Also things like the Plymouth Sapporo – actually sold pretty well new, was easy to find on used car lots into the 1990s, virtually gone now. Along with the L-body Omni/Horizon, I think the Rampage pickup is easier to find now despite selling in vastly smaller numbers than the hatchbacks

LactoseTheIntolerant
LactoseTheIntolerant
2 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

My grandma had a 1981 Oldsmobile Omega fwd… It drove fine, but was slooooow.

What did it in was the Rusty Jones sticker didn’t do anything to keep the rust away. I remember washing underneath it as a teen in the late 90s seeing chunks of rust come from some unknown place.

It was sent to the crusher with 60k on the odometer and the suspension, body, and brake lines were failing. Being a Wisconsin unibody car, it did make it to the early 00s, which was impressive.

Its demise was not missed.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
2 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

yeah it’s been a minute since I saw a northstar on the road. I had an opportunity to buy one a few years back for like $800 that ran and drove fine and did not have any major problems that we were aware of from a relative but did not have the cash on me at the time.

Ben Lamb
Ben Lamb
2 months ago
  • Mercury Villager / Nissan Quest
  • B12/B13/B14 Nissan Sentra
  • 1st / 2nd gen Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth minivans
  • The ugly rounded Ford-150s that did so obviously horribly in that crash test footage
  • Chevy Cavalier, any generation
VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben Lamb

Oh man! My grandparents had an early 90s Quest when I was a kid.

My parents had to borrow it on a few occasions. Its eventual scrapping was due to a persistent smell of gas that no mechanic could figure out.

That was one of my earliest conversations about mortality…”if anything happens, get yourself out of the car. Don’t worry about us.” (Nothing ever did happen, so that will be one of my life’s unsolved mysteries, I guess.)

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
2 months ago

My mom had a ’94 Intrepid and the build quality and reliability was garbage. She sold it to the local mechanic for a few hundred bucks. For years afterwards that POS sat in the back lot of that shop and refused to run properly. I took my Camry in for some work once and saw 3 mechanics hunched over the engine compartment trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with it that time. It was nice enough to drive when it worked but it put my entire family off of domestic cars for good. That, and the K-car that she had replaced with the Intrepid, which was also garbage.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

Yep, our ’96 Stratus was the last domestic car my parents ever owned. 90’s Chrysler will do that to you.

Codfangler
Codfangler
2 months ago

I had the misfortune to own two Plymouths from the 1970s. I have not owned a “domestic” vehicle since then.

These two facts are connected. I am not disappointed that I seldom see a Volare or a Horizon anymore.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
2 months ago
Reply to  Codfangler

I have ptsd from having to live with a Horizon when I had zero $ and had no public transit options. The stress I was under was immense.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
2 months ago

80’s Chrysler as well.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

I don’t doubt that, lol.

My parents spent the 80’s learning to hate Ford and GM. The only domestic that was left to disappoint them in the 90’s was Chrysler.

Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin
2 months ago

Try telling that to my mom. Growing up we had:

Dodge Omni
Plymouth Sundance
(2) Dodge Stratus
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Jeep Commander

And now she is on to a Jeep Wrangler. Every one of those except the GC had been a turd, and I am expecting her new Wrangler to be a money pit any day now.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

My parents had a ’95 Intrepid. Over the course of a 2-year/24k mile lease, I remember multiple crank/no start issues, the air conditioning dying on a trip to South Carolina, and more visits to the shop than their other car, which was an ’89 Mazda 626 with over 150k miles on it. They never bought an American car again either.

StayPutReachJump
StayPutReachJump
2 months ago

I’ve got a first gen BMW 3 series, a 1980 320i. I rarely see these around anymore, and they were so hot and popular in suburban CA where I grew up.

Lincoln Clown CaR
Lincoln Clown CaR
2 months ago

My dad taught me to drive stick in a 1980 320i. Therefore I have a search set up to tell me when one is for sale. You’re correct – there aren’t that many.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

90’s-00’s Chrysler products are all but extinct in my neck of the woods, but that’s not a surprise, as they were unreliable trash. I actually saw a genuinely nice looking Cirrus the other day and I nearly spit out my coffee.

I live in Upstate NY, which is a tough place for anything to survive really. So for things I’m surprised I don’t see often anymore, it’s the Jeep Liberty. They were fucking EVERYWHERE. First gen, and second gen. And now they’re all but gone. Ok, maybe I’m not that surprised because they were also trash, but we’re talking cars from this century here.

76Eldorado
76Eldorado
2 months ago

1st generation Ford escape. 02-12 It is a good thing those all rusted a horrible death and were miserable shitboxes. You couldn’t even learn to work on them every one I saw was broken in in own unique way.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
2 months ago

Wow, the top photo is literally my wife’s old ’97 Intrepid- green with beige interior, even the exact same wheel covers over steelies.
I sure miss that car. Handled WAY better than any 2-ton sedan had a right to.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago

There’s one car that I used to see everywhere that I don’t see anymore, and given its reputation, it’s strange that I don’t.

The XV-10 “wide body” Toyota Camry from the early 90’s. Those are widely regarded as some of the best built Toyotas, and they were HUGE sellers. Can’t remember the last time I saw one. Almost every other car mentioned here (1st gen Grand Am excepted) I have seen recently. But no big eyed Camrys.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
2 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I think a lot of them fell victim to poor maintenance ownership after finding their 3rd, 4th, or 5th owners. Toyota builds a helluva mousetrap, but there’s always a better mouse out there.

Tim Connors
Tim Connors
2 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I still occasionally see 90’s Camrys and Corollas. And that is in the salty midwest.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
2 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

My kid has one of these, so I see it quite often.
That being said, the XV10 is the only car from that era you’ll see in the wild in any kind of numbers. There are at least 4 owned by residents in the town I work in- parked in driveways in running condition.

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael Beranek
Clark B
Clark B
2 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

A guy I knew in college wanted a sub-$500 car to drive when the weather was too bad for his motorcycle. After driving a hilariously sketchy, overpriced Galant (complete with donut spare and bullet holes) we found one of those Camrys with over 300k on the clock, for $300. Needed some gasket replaced as it was dumping oil. But it drove far better than any roached-out car with moon mileage should have. He bought it, although I moved away later that year so idk what happened to it.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
2 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

300k is going to the moon…AND doing laps around it

Rhymes With Bronco
Rhymes With Bronco
2 months ago

Volkswagen Rabbits.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
2 months ago

Yeah, love those and want one…they’ve gotten expensive…I’ve seen ads for cheap ones but they were trashed

Torque
Torque
2 months ago

Growing up a vw mechanic I knew had a diesel mk1 rabbit. In the winter when it was well below zero F he would lock it with a spare key and keep it running as it used so little fuel idling and that way he didn’t have to worry about if it would start

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