© 2022 KPCW

KPCW
Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Datsun's Rebirth In India And The Revival Of Long-Gone Cars

Nissan Motor Co. President and CEO Carlos Ghosn poses with the Datsun Go in New Delhi on Monday. Its the first new Datsun model in more than three decades.
Manish Swarup
/
AP
Nissan Motor Co. President and CEO Carlos Ghosn poses with the Datsun Go in New Delhi on Monday. Its the first new Datsun model in more than three decades.

We have news this Monday that automaker Nissan is reviving the Datsun name for the Indian market — where the larger auto sector is struggling.

The new Datsun Go — priced at below $6,700 — doesn't look like the iconic 240z, which for many years was the top-selling sports car in the U.S. Here's an old ad for it:

Still, Datsun's rebirth for the world's emerging markets — and the successful reboot of the Beetle and the Mini — made us think about what other brands have made a comeback in recent years.

There is China's Red Flag sedan. Chinese officials favored the Red Flag until the model was discontinued in the 1980s. It's now back in the world's largest car market, with prices starting at around $50,000.

A model stands beside a Red Flag L7 during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing.
Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
A model stands beside a Red Flag L7 during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing.

Closer to home, there's Detroit Electric.

The company built electric cars until 1937 (you read that right). This is what it looked like:

Vintage car collector Bill Lloyd shows off his Detroit Electric model from 1915, in Australia last year.
Romeo Gacad / AFP/Getty Images
/
AFP/Getty Images
Vintage car collector Bill Lloyd shows off his Detroit Electric model from 1915, in Australia last year.

The new model — when it is released — will look a lot more aerodynamic:

This image provided by Detroit Electric shows the automaker's SP:01, a limited-edition electric sports car. The company was revived in 2008. <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130601/AUTO01/306010006/1148/Detroit-Electric-delays-its-first-EV-by-month">Last month it announced</a> that production would be delayed by a month. The model is priced at $135,000.
/ AP
/
AP
This image provided by Detroit Electric shows the automaker's SP:01, a limited-edition electric sports car. The company was revived in 2008. Last month it announced that production would be delayed by a month. The model is priced at $135,000.

But possibly the most exciting car revival we heard about was the Trabant — the pride of East Germany and the punch line of jokes around the world.

Here's a video from MotorWeek that reviews the Trabi:

This is what the revived car would have looked like:

The Trabant NT is presented during a show at a shopping center in Dresden, Germany, in November 2009.
Matthias Rietschel / AP
/
AP
The Trabant NT is presented during a show at a shopping center in Dresden, Germany, in November 2009.

Sadly, we learned that the project has funding trouble.

Have we missed any brands? And which other cars would you like to see revived? Let us know in the comments below.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.