Mopar Collaborative Hits and Misses

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The Chrysler Group has enjoyed collaborating with many different car companies mostly because it has owned (and been owned by) so many. Unfortunately, those relationships produced mixed results. In the 1980’s Chrysler collaborated with Mitsubishi Motors which led to two great Mopars: the Chrysler Conquest and later, the Eagle Talon. Both were fun, sporty cars that were well-received by enthusiasts.

More recently, while Chrysler was owned by Daimler-Benz, the relationship went the other way as Dodge provided the basis for the Mercedes-Benz SLS—the Dodge Viper. Don’t believe us, look at them side-by-side, the package is nearly identical. Mercedes-Benz reciprocated by providing their SLK which became one of the more goofily-styled sports cars of all time—the Chrysler Crossfire (granted: Chrysler designers had to utilize the SLK’s strange proportions).

But probably the most dumbfounding and brand-diluting car that Chrysler’s many dalliances produced was the TC. Wait, let’s give it the honor of using the full moniker—the Chrysler TC by Maserati. It was indoubitably the result of a 1980’s celebratory cocaine-induced coma following the partial purchase of Maserati. Chrysler decided that it would be a good idea to put an opera-windowed hard-top on the LeBaron, clean up the headlamps, tail-lamps and wheels and stick a turbo and Maserati badge on it. Shockingly, it wasn’t a good idea. It cost $33,000 in 1989; the Space Shuttle cost $34,000. Fortunately, the Dodge brand has been spared such indignations. Which Mopars stand out to you as glaring failures of badge engineering?

Bad, Mopar! Bad!

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