Car models are like music legends. Farewell tours do not definitively signal the end of their run.
Like Cher or The Who, there are nameplates that have bid adieu with much public fanfare, only to return to the stage in dramatic fashion.
is crunching the numbers for the return of the Chevy Camaro, and muscle-car fans have their lighters held high in anticipation of an encore.
The Camaro and Pontiac sidekick, the Firebird, ceased production in 2002, and GM demolished the plant in Ste. Therese, Que., Canada.
Even if the Camaro gets the greenlight, GM suggests there will be no Firebird for Pontiac under a new brand strategy of trying to free itself of the onus of a model for every marque.
The Firebird was replaced in the Pontiac lineup with a revival worthy of the Eagles, who didnâ€™t let their 1982 breakup get in the way of a reunion tour from 1994-1996.
Filling the sports-car slot is the Pontiac GTO, a fabled name retired after the â€™74 model and resurrected in 2003.
Ironically, GM is discontinuing this latest GTO, a rear-wheel-drive coupe based on the Monaro from Holden, GMâ€™s Australian subsidiary. The last GTO is scheduled to roll off the line in June.
And it appears plans to offer a next-generation â€™08 GTO from GMâ€™s upcoming Zeta RWD platform have lost steam.
It would be so rock-legend-like to ditch the GTO name (tainted by poor styling and sales), and bring back a Firebird instead â€“ the way The Who completed their â€œfarewell tourâ€ in 1982 but re-banded in 1989 for a 25th anniversary tour and reunited again to perform Quadrophenia from 1994-1996.
Meanwhile, the mosh pit is growing for fans ready to embrace a modern muscle-car era.
went retro with the Mustang, and â€™s revival tour plans have the Dodge Charger on the road. In concept form, just waiting to be signed to a new contract is the Dodge Challenger.
Arguably, the worst offender of the basic rules of a farewell tour is the Plymouth Prowler.
The hotrod began production in 1997. When the auto maker announced it was dropping the Plymouth brand at the start of 2001, collectors started buying up â€™00 Prowlers.
The resultant brisk sales triggered the decision to instead give the hotrod a new name and tour â€“ as theProwler.
The curtain did not come down on the Prowler until Feb. 15, 2002, when the last â€™02 rolled off the line in Detroit, to the dismay of those with not-so-special â€™00s at home.
And now Audi is saying it may bring the Allroad wagon back to North America because it has a small, but fanatical following.
Audi is launching a new Allroad for Europe, but the vehicle was dropped in the U.S. in 2005 to make room for the â€™07 Q7 cross/utility vehicle.
The lesson in all this: Popularity means never having to say farewell.
Or as the Eagles would conclude, storied nameplates can check out any time they like, but they can never leave.Â