Classic Cars A to Z

Car Companies That Went Out Of Business

Just like in any other business, automotive manufacturers have come and gone. Common reasons include bad management, poor marketing, mergers, or being phased out by a parent company.

car companies that went out of business

Quite often it is a series of events that puts a car company out of business.


Tucker (1947-1948)

The many innovations of the Tucker automobile included aerodynamic styling, rear mounted engine, four wheel independent suspension, and a host of safety features.

history of the Tucker automobile

Read: Tucker Automobile History (1947-1948)


Crosley (1939-1952)

While the Crosley car company was not a financial success, they were pioneers for microcars in the North American market.

Crosley cars history

Read: Crosley Microcars History



At the end of World War II, there was a great demand for automobiles, which prompted several newcomers to enter the industry. The most promising of these was the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation.

defunct car companies

Read: Kaiser-Frazer Cars


Edsel (1958-1960)

Aside from minor first-year problems, there were no major mechanical issues with the Edsel. And it's styling wasn't any wilder than other American cars in 1958. It's failure, and it's ultimate bad reputation, was the result of bad marketing.

Classic Car history

Read: Was The Edsel A Bad Car?


Packard (1899-1956)

Before World War Two, the Packard Motor Car Company produced some of America's finest luxury cars, featuring hand assembly and traditional craftsmanship. After the war was over, a series of events contributed to their descent, putting the famed automaker in a position they were never able to rebound back from.

car companies that went out of business

Read: Packard History (Post WW2)


Hudson Motor Car Company

Based in Detroit, Michigan, Hudson began producing cars in 1909, merged with Nash Motor Company in 1954, and was last offered in 1957.

Car Companies That Went Out Of Business

Read: Hudson Car History


Studebaker (1852-1966)

The five Studebaker brothers began by building horse-drawn wagons, and in 1902, started producing electric vehicles. Two years later they started making gas-powered vehicles.


Read: Studebaker Car Company Post WW2


Checker Motors

Although primarily known for their taxicabs, Checker Motors also sold cars to the general public. However, the vast majority of their vehicles saw fleet use in major cities such as New York City, Chicago, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

History of Checker Taxicabs

Read: Checker Car History


Post-WW2 Mergers

The main advantages of two companies merging are strengthening sales organizations and reducing production costs for both parties. In 1953, Kaiser merged with Willys to become Kaiser-Willys.

The Studebaker-Packard Corporation was formed in 1954.

defunct car companies

The Nash Motor Company acquired Hudson in 1954 and became American Motors Corporation (AMC).

By 1966, American Motors, Avanti, Checker, Kaiser Jeep, and International Harvester were the only other U.S. automotive manufacturers aside from Ford, GM, and Chrysler.


American Motors (1954-1986)

Based out of Wisconsin, the history of American Motors begins with the acquisition of Hudson by the Nash Motor Company. A name change to Rambler was seen from the mid-fifties until the late sixties, and then back to American Motors for the seventies and eighties.

American Motors car company history

Read: American Motors Car Company History


Studebaker Avanti

With the Studebaker company's demise in December 1963, the Avanti seemed destined to become another footnote in classic car history.

1963 Studebaker Avanti

Read: Studebaker Avanti (1962-1964)


Excalibur (1964-1990)

Styled after the 1927-1928 Mercedes Benz SSK, the Excalibur automobile was America's first repli-car. After the original company failed in 1986, the Excalibur was revived several times.

Excaliber Series 3

Read: Excalibur Motorcar History


Bricklin (1974-1976)

The mid-seventies was not a good time to introduce a new sports car, but that's when Malcolm Bricklin debuted his. Unique features of the Bricklin SV-1 included gull-wing doors, a built-in roll cage, and a host of safety features.

Bricklin history

Read: Bricklin SV-1 Sports Car


Delorean (1981-1982)

In 1982, John DeLorean was arrested and charged with conspiring to smuggle illegal drugs into the United States. DeLorean was exonerated, but with all the publicity the trial garnered, irreparable damage was done both to him and the car bearing his name.

Delorean sports car history

Read: Delorean DMC12 Sports Car