Two American classics are reborn

Radio commentary
Edward Lapham is editor of Automotive News

Sept. 4, 2001 - In the 1950s, Americans were delighted by the arrival of two homegrown sports cars, the Ford Thunderbird and the Chevrolet Corvette.

Over the years, they evolved. The T-bird got bigger and clunkier and ultimately became a garden variety coupe until Ford retired the name.

Meanwhile, the Vette hung in there. It too got bigger and more sophisticated, more expensive and uncomfortable.

Times change. Ford has brought back the T-bird in a version that sort of recaptures the early spirit.

And General Motors may add a second more powerful Corvette model to challenge the European super cars.

The Corvette name has such strong brand appeal that it makes sense to build on it.

The trick is to do it sensibly and responsibly.

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com

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