Chrysler Group's decision to resurrect a long-dead name -- the Dodge Dart -- for a new compact drew sharp reactions last week.
Some commentators thought the name carries too much baggage. Others said it still has value. Here's a sampling of comments:
"A new Dodge Dart has not left the factory floor since the 1970s, when people wore bell bottoms and pointed a lot while dancing, but the model name retained its currency, kept alive by hipsters eager to roll in vintage slant six. Dodge must have realized the model still has cachet."
-- Wayne Cunningham, automotive reviewer, CNET.com
"Judging by the Dart's Italian pedigree, it will not be the plain vanilla scoop of the '60s that its namesake was."
-- Paul Stenquist, The New York Times
"To hot-rodders, the plain-Jane, typically underpowered Dart was a 'grocery getter' -- the kind of car your grandmother, kindergarten teacher or half the church choir drove in 1974."
--Jonathan Welsh, auto reviewer, The Wall Street Journal
"The name Dart works for me. Through the 1980s and 1990s, old Darts were being driven to their graves because their engines hadn't started belching blue smoke and their transmissions were still shifting just fine."
-- Dave Zatz, webmaster, Allpar.com.
"A valiant effort."
-- jfs22, commenter on autonews.com
Chrysler Group revealed the name last week for the new sedan, built on a Fiat platform. The car is due in showrooms in the spring.
Dodge used the Dart name on a production car from the 1960 to 1976 model years, and 3.3 million units were produced over that span. The Dart name lived on internationally for at least five more years.