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Top 10: Cars that transformed their makers

When a car manufacturer suffers from stagnant or falling sales and its finances look decidedly dodgy, there’s a lot riding on its next make-or-break model. That’s why motoring history is littered with cars that have completely transformed the image of their own manufacturers – or even saved them from disaster.

So we’ve put together ten of the most obvious models that were image-changers in their day, the kind of machines that brought customers flocking to the showroom and gave real hope for the future. It’s just a shame that such success was relatively short-lived in some cases.

By Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Aston Martin DB7

Let’s forget the fact that the new DB7 of 1994 was based on the same platform as the Jaguar XJ-S, because this is the Aston Martin that brought major business back to the marque – with around 7000 DB7s sold worldwide during its ten-year career. That makes it the best-selling Aston Martin of all time, and therefore one of the most historically significant.

The DB7 featured 3.2-litre (335bhp) straight-six supercharged power until 1999, when the new (420bhp) 5.9-litre V12 arrived. Any DB7 is a quick car – and early versions are now the most affordable way to enter into Aston ownership.


Peter McGuire    on 3 December 2016

The Chrysler K car (Plymouth Aries / Dodge Reliant) should be on this list. Whilst pedestrian and boxy under Lee Iacocca it saved Chrysler's bacon in the late 1970's / early 1980's. I believe it was also the 1st N. American "budget" car with FWD. It spawned a whole series of other badge engineered vehicles, including the original Chrysler minivan.

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