Return of the Chrysler Atlantic?

When Chrysler was having its renaissance in the 1990s, breaking stereotypes and barriers, Tom Gale was trying to find a flagship car to represent each of the brands. Dodge had the Viper; Jeep already had the Wrangler; and Plymouth would have the Prowler. Chrysler was his one failure; he never nailed down the brand that changed the company from Maxwell Motors back in 1924-25.

Chrysler Atlantic

The Chrysler Atlantic was one of his early attempts. True to form, Gale did not reserve design to himself, but asked his staff to use ideas from curvy 1930s French coupes such as the Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, and Delage, and to mix those with new ideas. Bob Hubbach’s take on this assignment was brought to life as the 1995 Chrysler Atlantic concept. With 21 inch wheels up front and 22 inch wheels in back, the concept was powered by a “straight eight” made of two Neon engine blocks set up nose-to-tail, funneled through Chrysler’s four-speed automatic. Later concepts, such as the Phaeton, built on Atlantic themes.

This is all relevant because FCA US started to trademark the name “Atlantic” again back in 2017; it abandoned it in late 2020. The category for that trademark was “Motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, their trim and badges sold exclusively by authorized dealerships.” Even before abandoning that, though, they started the trademark process for the same name, but with the category of “Land vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles.”

That trademark was published for opposition in February 2021 and is still “live.” The category suggests an actual car on the way, since the name can’t be used on models; but it could conceivably be for a concept, perhaps a variation of the Airflow. Indeed, the name could be used on the production car the Airflow presages; or on any number of other potential incoming cars, such as a version of India’s Jeep Meridian. Only time will tell; but it seems unlikely it will be anything like Tom Gale and Bob Hubbach’s concept car.

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