The cars that came back to us


After what will be 24 years in the wilderness, the Bronco, complete with its bucking Bronco logo, is coming back to Ford’s SUV stable.

The carmaker announced a homecoming date of 2020 at the Detroit auto show last month (along with 2019 for the Ranger pickup), giving fans of the iconic off-roader plenty of time to prepare a warm welcome, and get the garage ready.

It’s not the first time that ground’s been covered, of course. Here are five more comebacks that lit up the automotive world:


A 2017 Challenger SRT 392.


Dodge Challenger

This is the muscle car that keeps fighting back. After several generations and spells of production, the latest Challenger was introduced in 2008 and has delighted enthusiasts ever since with powerful engines up to 6.4 L. The entire 2008 U.S. run of cars was pre-sold, many above the MSRP. (Building upon the Challenger’s success, Dodge is planning to bring back its Demon nameplate for the “new ultimate performance halo” that is the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon.)

VW Beetle

The first incarnation of the Bug was sold in the United States between 1950 and 1979, and besides clocking up significant sales, found a place within the counter-culture of the 1960s. It was reinvented and made a return in 1998, attracting a new following with its modern but unmistakable design, this time with the engine at the front.


Technically it was a brief departure from the automotive world, but what a comeback. The original British Mini was manufactured by various automakers from 1959 to 2000 and returned as the new Mini in 2001, under the ownership of BMW, bigger, and many would say, better. The brand has taken on a new life and the 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman, while even less mini than its ancestors, takes its performance line forward.

Ford GT

The new Ford GT is built upon a storied past. The GT40 made headlines with four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race during the 1960s, wiping the floor with its European competitors. The automaker came back with the Ford GT from 2005 to 2006, inspired by the GT40, and is now making a statement with the latest version priced $450,000 (with buyers needing a tidy $225,000 up front). It’s also back at Le Mans, winning the GTE Pro class in 2016.


Going back to the future has to be the ultimate comeback. While the real-life DeLorean can’t quite emulate the time-traveling automotive star of the “Back to the Future” movies, it’s making its own remarkable return. About 9,000 DeLorean DMC-12s were built from 1981 to 1983 before the automaker’s collapse. But there are plans to start production of the iconic vehicle in 2017, courtesy of Stephen Wynne, a mechanic who has been fixing old DeLoreans for more than 30 years. Production is expected to start gradually, with a small number of vehicles produced each year.


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