The mid-1970’s to mid-1980’s was considered to be the dark ages for automobiles here in the United States. Smog regulations increased and rising insurance premiums all but killed off the powerhouses of the muscle car era. That left us with tiny cheaply built imports and domestics that literally ripped the heart from the performance enthusiast. Manufacturers did everything they could think of in those dark times to sell cars, but unfortunately crappy cars brought dismal sales. One such action taken by the auto industry was the renaming of new models with the popular names of performance cars that were killed off earlier in the decade.
Take this 1978 Dodge Challenger for example. It was small, underpowered and built in conjunction with Mitsubishi motors. Sure it got good fuel economy, but as for looks and performance, there was simply too little to be had. Hell, back in 2005 Dodge did the same thing with the release of the 4-door Charger, a stunt that enthusiasts will likely never forget.