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Open Diff – What other dead brands will be resurrected as electric vehicles?

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Photo by Russ London.

“Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?” – Mary Shelley, from “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus

I’m hearing reports that a new electric Hummer will soon appear in my supper bowl, which makes sense because I’m already used to receiving messages from the outside world encoded in my alphabet soup. It’s an interesting phenomenon in which…

Oh, wait, Super Bowl. They said Super Bowl. My bad.

Still, there’s supposedly a new Hummer on its way, nearly a decade after GM gave the brand the ax. My alphabet soup sources say it won’t be a standalone brand, rather an electric truck of some sort under the GMC brand. Make of that what you will.

What intrigues us is that this comes on the heels of FCA’s introduction of an EV that’ll use the Airflow name and not long after a company that had secured the rights to the Morris name announced a new electric version of the Morris van. There was also an attempt to revive the Detroit Electric brand using a Lotus chassis a few years back, but that effort appears to have made little headway. Regardless, it seems the hip new trend – along with building electrified versions of classic cars and trucks – is to re-animate dormant or dead brand names with a jolt of electricity.

(Literary note: Despite my inclusion of the quote above, Mary Shelley didn’t really make much ado about how exactly Dr. Frankenstein went about his work. The closest her text comes to the popular images from the movies of lightning bolts and whatnot is when she wrote “I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.”)

So, because we’re all the types to stay on top of hip new trends, let’s brainstorm which dead brands make the most sense coming back to life as electric vehicles. (And, we suppose, which ones don’t have an active club that would take action against a trademark revival.) We’ve already seen somebody mention Edsel in this context, but – presuming Ford still has the rights to the Edsel name – Ford’s putting all its EV beans into another heritage name.

Feel free to transmit your questions via my dinner this evening. Or via my Alpha-Bits in the morning.