8 November 2011

Threatened Endangered and Extinct Cars: Readers' picks

The most recent iteration of our list of threatened, endangered and extinct cars generated hundreds of comments from readers suggesting cars that should be included. So we crunched the numbers, and it's clear: The latest cars qualifying for inclusion on the list were roundly decried by critics or shunned by consumers, likely accounting for the few remaining examples of these vehicles.

Below are four cars that we’re adding to the list, four that we insure in very low numbers but that we won’t include because they were produced in limited numbers, and three more that we insure in numbers greater than 500.

Merkur XR4Ti

In 2009, Car and Driver apologized for including the XR4Ti on its 1985 10 Best Cars list. At the time, editors wrote, “The Merkur (“Mare-coor”) XR4Ti is about the slickest thing to ever come out of a Lincoln-Mercury dealer’s showroom, maybe the slickest thing ever to come out of the Ford Motor Company.” Although it’s been robbed of its 1985 glory, the XR4Ti now makes our list — as threatened.

Status: Threatened


What do you call a Yugo with a flat tire? Totaled. Why does a Yugo include a rear-window defroster? To keep your hands warm while you push it. Best known for mechanical flaws and an all-encompassing aura of poor quality, the Yugo is quite possibly the most hated car in U.S. automotive history. Well-preserved examples are few and far between, so we’re listing this car as endangered.

Status: Endangered

AMC Pacer X

Complete Hagerty Threatened, Endangered and Extinct List
(new additions italicized)

Threatened: Hagerty insures fewer than 25

• 1975-1981 Volkswagen Scirocco
• 1971-1974 Mazda RX-2
Merkur XR4Ti

Endangered: Hagerty insures fewer than 15

• 1981-1985 Chevrolet Citation X-11
• 1963-1966 Studebaker Wagonaire
• 1979-1981 Toyota Supra
• 1974-1981 Volkswagen Dasher
• 1985-1986 Chrysler Laser XE
• 1983-1986 Chrysler Executive Limo
• 1971 Plymouth Cricket
• 1988-1989 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo
• 1980 Dodge St. Regis
• 1984-1985 Ford EXP Turbo
• 1985-1987 Renault/AMC Alliance Convertible
• 1987-1991 Sterling 825/827
• 1979-1980 Plymouth Fire Arrow
• 1974 Oldsmobile Toronado
• AMC Pacer X
• Yugo

Extinct: Hagerty insures no examples

• 1983-1986 Isuzu Impulse
• 1986-1987 Renault/AMC GTA
• 1978-1980 Oldsmobile Starfire Firenza
• 1984 Plymouth Voyager (Dodge Caravan)
1983 Dodge Challenger

Back in 2007, we polled readers about cars with the most questionable designs. The Pacer came out on top, with one respondent remarking, “I’d like to know what planet the designers were from.” Available from 1975-1978, the sporty “X” package included features such as vinyl bucket seats, a floor-mounted gear shift, exterior chrome detailing and stylish road wheels.

Status: Endangered

1983 Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challengers of the 1970 and 1971 model years are sort of like the overachieving big brother of the Challenger family, while second-generation Challengers, produced from 1978-83, are the younger sibling who could never quite measure up. While first-generation Challengers remain some of the most collectible muscle cars on the market, second-generation cars are virtually nonexistent. In fact, we don’t insure a single one.

Status: Extinct

Readers correctly identified that the following four cars exist in very few numbers — we insure fewer than 25 of each — though they were produced in low numbers to begin with. Because they were produced in numbers less than 10,000, they don’t make the official list.

  • NSU Wankel Spider
  • 1966 Mercury Cyclone GT Convertible
  • Maserati 3500GT
  • 1969 Ford Ranchero Rio Grande

Readers missed the mark on the following vehicles, each of which we insure in numbers greater than 500.

  • 1970-71 Ford Pinto
  • Triumph Spitfire
  • 1981-83 DeLorean

What do you think of the cars on our threatened, endangered and extinct list? Weigh in below.

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