The Worst Swansongs For Great Car Companies

Whilst the most important car a company will ever make financially is its first one, the most important car for a brand’s legacy is its final outing.

After all, the last memory is the one that lingers longest sometimes, and a great final album such as David Bowie’s Blackstar or The Beatles’ Abbey Road leaves people wanting more and with a potent memory of what they will be missing.

However, not all automotive swansongs can be as good as Lancia’s Delta Integrale, a car that was arguably the best the company made before being fully absorbed by Fiat and disappearing, albeit later returning in a completely different form in 2007.

Here are some of the worst final farewells, made worse by the fact that once the company is dead getting engine rebuilds becomes more difficult.

Rover CityRover

After BMW bought the Rover Group and dealt with constant losses, they broke away the Land Rover and Mini badges and sold the rest to the Phoenix Consortium.

However, with MG Rover’s existing models badly ageing at this point, they needed a quick fix, which came in the form of the CityRover. MG Rover’s demise was soon to follow.

A rebadged Tata Indica, the performance was perfunctory, the handling was appalling and the car was not all that cheap compared to models like the Fiat Panda.

It was infamous for the company refusing to lend a model to the BBC TV show Top Gear, which went down as well as one could expect.

Reliant Scimitar SS1

Whilst far more famous for the three-wheeled Robin, Reliant’s final car was a surprisingly nice-looking convertible sports car to serve as the spiritual successor to the MGB sports car before it and a missing link between this and Japanese efforts like the Mazda MX-5.

The problem was that its very angular design was already dated by 1984, and only 1500 models were bought, although it did go on to shine in the music video for The Pretenders’ Don’t Get Me Wrong.

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