The Makes That Didn't Make It remembers the lost American automakers, great and small, in story and in picture. These lost marques have been sorted, for the most part, into the historical era in which they met their demise. If one of the pictures below has a title, click the picture to get the story. Likewise if the make is highlighted under the Index of Makes Histories to the right. If you don't see your favorite, do be patient and try again later. I want to do justice to each make's story, and that takes time.
The Recently Departed
Throughout the evolution of the automobile, economic hard times have naturally selected out the weakest makes. Between the bursting of the DotCom Bubble and the Great Recession, the first decade of the 20th Century sent a fair share of storied marques to their graves.
The Age of Malaise
It was the American automobile's dark days. The triple wallop of oil embargos, government smog and safety regulations, and an nearly constant state of recession took down most of the last remaining independents, as well as several promising upstarts.
The Great Contraction
As the realities of the post-war world set in, many of the storied independent makers found they could no longer compete. Soon thereafter, the nation's worst recession since the Great Depression forced even the Big Three to retreat (or at least two of them.)
The Post-War Boom...and Bust
A time of boundless optimism, the immediate post-war period ignited America's spirit of enterprise. But these entrepreneurs soon discovered that building a successful car company takes a lot more than making a really cool car.
The Last Independent
Like the nation it was named after, the 100-year history of American Motors derives its essence from many varied automotive cultures. The story of America’s “last independent” spans the early years of the Jeffery and Rambler, to Nash Motors, absorbing Hudson, Kaiser and Willys-Jeep, to Rambler again, AMC, then a French fling with Renault, and finally the Chrysler Corporation, who laid the storied brand to rest.
For the Love of Cars
And finally...some cars just had to be built.