Forgotten Giants: A Look Back at Discontinued Car Models

In the ever-evolving world of automotive design and technology, many car models have come and gone, leaving behind legacies that continue to influence modern engineering and design. These discontinued models, often dubbed 'Forgotten Giants', played pivotal roles during their times. This blog post delves into the histories of some of these iconic models, exploring their impacts, the reasons behind their discontinuation, and how they are remembered today.

The Ford Capri: Europe’s Mustang

Launched in 1969, the Ford Capri was marketed as "the car you always promised yourself." Inspired by the success of the Ford Mustang in America, the Capri was designed to offer style and performance at an affordable price. Its sleek design and sporty image made it hugely popular across Europe. Despite its success, production ceased in 1986 due to declining sales, evolving consumer preferences, and increasing competition. Today, the Capri holds a cult status among classic car enthusiasts and is a prized fixture at vintage car rallies.

The Citroën 2CV: The Icon of Simplicity

The Citroën 2CV was designed to motorise many French farmers still using horses and carts in 1948. Known for its minimalist, utilitarian design and highly soft suspension, the 2CV was both loved and mocked for its simplicity and unique appearance. Over the decades, it became a symbol of French culture and was embraced for its reliability and economy. Production ended in 1990 as more modern and sophisticated designs became the norm. The 2CV remains a beloved figure in the classic car world, celebrated for its charm and eccentricity.

The Saab 900: Safety and Innovation

Introduced in 1978, the Saab 900 quickly became synonymous with safety and innovation. It was ahead of its time with features like turbocharging and advanced safety measures that set industry standards. Despite its strong following, Saab struggled financially, and the production of the 900 ceased in 1998 following General Motors' acquisition of the company. Saab enthusiasts lament the loss of this unique brand, often highlighting the 900 model as a pinnacle of its innovative approach to car manufacturing.

The Rover P6: Engineering Excellence

The Rover P6, launched in 1963, symbolised British engineering excellence. It was one of the first cars designed with safety as a priority, featuring innovations like disc brakes and a deformable structure for improved crash protection. The P6 was widely acclaimed and received several awards throughout its production life. However, by the late 1970s, the P6 struggled to compete with more modern designs and was discontinued in 1977 to make way for newer models like the Rover SD1. Today, the P6 is remembered for its refinement and groundbreaking safety features.

The Toyota Supra MK IV: The Performance Legend

The Toyota Supra MK IV, produced from 1993 to 2002, became legendary in performance cars. Known for its powerful engine and potential for modification, it became a star in car enthusiast circles and popular culture. Despite its iconic status and strong sales, the Supra was discontinued due to strict emission standards and changing market dynamics. The Supra was revived in 2019, much to the delight of its fans, bridging the gap between nostalgia and modern performance.


These forgotten giants of the automotive world may no longer be produced, but their legacies endure. They continue to influence automotive design and culture, each model having a unique place in history. For car enthusiasts and historians, these vehicles offer a fascinating glimpse into the automotive trends and technological advancements of their times. As we move towards an increasingly digital and electric automotive future, these discontinued models remind us of the rich tapestry of innovation and style that has defined the car industry for decades.

Get a quote from Motorwise