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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Model Names Spanning Six or More Platforms

Peter Tanshanomi October 19, 2015 Encyclopedia Hoonatica 84 Comments

EH-six-platforms

An acquaintance of mine who is a militant Ford fanboi was recently explaining to a few non-car-guy friends what makes the Mustang (in his opinion) so special. One of his talking points was the fact that six different platforms have worn the Mustang name, a feat he described as “unmatched.” I chose not to call him out debate the facts in front of his friends, but this is plainly hogwash. There have been plenty of other model nameplates that have been affixed to six different platforms—and more. Today, your Hoonatican task is to compile them all and help me demonstrate just how long a list it actually is.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Let’s stick with cars manufactured after 1960. Auto historians usually point to the early ’60s as the dawn of “platform sharing,” naming the Mustang/Falcon and the Special/F-85/Tempest triplets as the real harbingers of that design methodology, even though nobody had yet begun naming platforms.
  • A platform is generally defined as including the floorpan, the front and rear suspension, and the steering hardware. A mid-cycle styling refresh is not a new platform. New means NEW.
  • Likewise, we’re talking platforms, not generations. Sometimes cars can be widely considered a new “generation,” but have only styling and interior changes on the same old body structure and running gear.
  • Conversely, new mechanicals do constitute a new platform even if the manufacturer doesn’t want it to. For example, GM’s FWD full-size sedans were migrated in MY 2000 from the H-Body platform to what was undeniably the existing (Old Aurora) G-Body platform. Yet, they continued to call these cars H-Bodies for some coked-up, maddening, only-makes-sense-in-Detroit reason nobody can quite remember.
  • Some long-lived cars from smaller factories just sort of morphed little by little, in a series of ongoing alterations rather than wholesale revision, until it was a fundementally different car. At what point these became new platforms is debatable. Therefore, please feel free to post them — hopefully with arbitrary and dogmatic statements — and let the debate begin!
  • “Model name” means just that; trim levels, sub-brands, ad slogans, unofficial nicknames, race cars, etc. don’t count. For example, the Cutlass Calais and Cutlass Ciera were clearly two different models, even though Olds went a little crazy with Cutlass prefix for a while there.

Difficulty: One word: Wikipedia.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source:

  • dukeisduke

    Corvette, duh. Starting with 1960? Crap.

    • P161911

      The 1960 Corvette was still considered 1st gen.

      • dukeisduke

        That’s true! Thanks dude!

  • Borkwagen

    Well now, I can see a massive window of opportunity for all the Japanese cars that have different platforms in the US and the rest of the world, like the Corolla and the Accord.

  • The Real Number_Six

    Chevrolet Impala. At least six platforms but I fell asleep when I got to the FWD models.

    • dukeisduke

      But the Impala dates (as a sub-model) to 1958, and became its own model for ’59.

      • The Real Number_Six

        There are still six platforms since 1960. We may need a ruling from our moderator.

  • Alff

    Buick Century

  • 0A5599

    Suburban badges have been slapped on at least six Chevy platforms since 1960, some GMCs and Plymouths.

  • Manic_King

    VW Golf

    • SlowJoeCrow

      That was my first thought since the Golf is currently on A7

  • smalleyxb122

    Toyota Celica

  • Manic_King

    Mazda 626/Capella

  • Manic_King

    • Sjalabais

      One level up, there’s an image that has become quite the classic:

  • JayP

    Aren’t they up to Civic #10 now?

  • Manic_King

    Passat

  • Manic_King

    Toyota Crown

    • Mallomar

      Confirmed by this placemat I got at the Toyota museum restaurant.

  • Manic_King

    Hilux pick-up

  • Alan Cesar

    We’re up to the ninth or so Honda Accord.

    • Sjalabais

      …park that one next to the new Civic and you’ll find a lot of similar ideas, in their time.

      • Park two of them next to the new Civic and you might almost equal its size and weight.

        Maybe three?

  • Joram

    We’re currently up to the 11th Toyota Corolla-generation; here are the previous 10:

    • crank_case

      Plus, one of the few to have RWD/FWD platforms under the same nameplate simultaneously? (AE82/AE86)

  • Manic_King

    Land Cruiser

    • Jeepster

      1960 FJ28 Landcruiser over at the FJ Company

      ” price on request ” hate to ask

  • Manic_King

    Toyoace

  • Manic_King

    Toyota Carina

  • Alan Cesar

    Shit, there were six generations of the Euro-market Ford Escort.

    • The Real Number_Six

      Not so – a few gens are re-designs on basically the same platform.

      • Alan Cesar

        Proof that I don’t know anything about Euro-market cars except what I read on Wikipedia.

      • crank_case

        Even counting those, it’s still just five, and the Orion Saloon before they killed off the name and introduced the Focus, which was such a leap over the MK5 Escort it staggers the mind (don’t be fooled by the Cosworth, it has nothing in common with the FWD car other than a body shape, even the wheelbase is different).

  • Jeepster

    1946-1986 ” CJ ”
    do they count ?

    • Jeepster

      Or if you want to go back to 1939, then there are 4 or 5 more scattered in the mix.

  • P161911

    Ford F series is on the 13th generation, 10th since 1960.

    • Alan Cesar

      Perhaps on the surface, but I’m not sure the mechanical underpinnings changed substantially except about every 20 years or so.

      • engineerd

        That’s what I was going to say. Tanshanomi was pretty clear to not fall in the generation trap since, especially in American full size pickups, multiple generations use the same basic platform for decades. Hell, the E-Series was on a 30+ year old platform when it was put to pasture. Same with the Panther cars.

  • engineerd

    The 2nd generation Ford Thunderbird debuted in 1958, but it went to 1960, so I’m counting it as within the rules. It was a new unibody chassis. It remained on that chassis until the 5th generation when it moved to a larger platform shared with the Continental Mk III. In the 7th generation it moved to a platform shared with the LTD II. In the 8th generation it moved to the Fox platform. The 10th generation moved to the MN12 platform. Then the 11th and final iteration went to the DEW90 platform.

    There, that’s six platforms (seven if you count the 1955-1958 models) with the name Thunderbird.

    • engineerd

      Also, this is the first time in a long time I haven’t broken a rule. It feels weird.

    • ptschett

      Mercury Cougar, also.
      Mustang based through ’73, shared platforms with Thunderbird from ’74 thru ’97, then briefly resurrected as a CDW27.

      • engineerd

        I looked at it and could only get to 5 platforms.

        • ptschett

          I’m figuring it as: Mustang gen 1 – Thunderbird 74-76 (Continental) – Thunderbird 77-78 (LTD II) – Fox – MN12 – CDW27.

          • engineerd

            Hmmmm…I must have missed one.

            • ptschett

              Or, I could be wrong. I thought the ’74-’76 Cougars were Mercury Thunderbirds, which may not actually be the case.

              • Alff

                Weren’t they Mercury Torino Elites?

  • GTXcellent

    Dodge Charger the first – 1965 Charger 273

    through today

    Depending on how deep you want to read it – there are at least 6 wholly different platforms

    • hubba

      Even if you count the 1965 Dart Charger, there are only four substantially different platforms.

      The 1962 RWD chassis ran for 20 years, through the R body sedans. Chrysler put a lot of old wine in new bottles.

  • pj134

    I think the most incredible part of this particular encyclopedia hoonatica is that the Suburban doesn’t fit the criteria. Mostly because the C/K platform lasted from 1960 to 1991. It has been on shared truck platforms since 1947 though, if that counts for anything.

    • Tomsk

      I know they kept the C/K designation around for a while (except for period in the 1980s when the Suburban wore a separate R/V designation), but weren’t there changes to the frame and/or floorpan stampings?

      • pj134

        My experience with the C/K is that it was pretty stagnant for its entire run. I will admit that in no way am I an expert on their floorplans or frames but I from what I’ve seen the changes were very mild if at all.

        • 0A5599

          You’re missing the point. C/K is not “a” platform. It’s two related platforms.

          The rules say:

          “A platform is generally defined as including the floorpan, the front and rear suspension, and the steering hardware. A mid-cycle styling refresh is not a new platform. New means NEW.”

          So, live front axle vs. IFS, different front floorpan to accommodate a transfer case, different steering, different frame dimensions in later years (thickness and height), especially when you add 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 to the mix.

          • pj134

            The difference being 2wd vs 4wd, so its two platforms used for the same purpose across three bodystyles using very similar floorplans. Im pretty sure 1960 through 73 are exactly the same with 73 to 91 having some very minor changes from the two earlier body styles. Most of those trims were available with very few modifications throughout the duration. I’d say they’re pretty damn close for over 30 years. In the spirit of this entry i think it shouldn’t make it.

            • 0A5599

              60 through 73 are NOT the same. There was a switch from an X frame to a ladder frame in 63. Of course, there were various other evolutionary changes throughout the years–leaf springs, for example, so that there isn’t much that interchanges between models built 30 years apart.

  • Tomsk

    I think the Chevrolet Suburban meets the criteria (though only just, since the GMT800 and GMT900 were fundamentally the same under the skin).

    • marmer

      I think it’s worth reiterating that GM didn’t (or couldn’t) register the trademark “Suburban” until 1988. In the pre-1960 era, large steel-bodied wagons were commonly called “Suburban.” It was a body type, not a model name. Nash, DeSoto, Plymouth, and Studebaker also offered them.

  • pj134

    Nissan can get in on the action with the GT-R. The less cool models quality as well.

    • tokumeikibo

      There’s only 1 Nissan GT-R in the pic. Oh, you meant Skyline GT-R? There’s only 4 of them in the pic. Oh you meant Skyline and/or GT-R? There’s 13 generations of Skylines, but only 5 of them are designated GT-R.

      • pj134

        So you wouldn’t count the current (R35) GT-R as a successor to the R34 because they didn’t say skyline this time?

        • tokumeikibo

          It’s complicated. It’s a successor to the R34GTR but not to the R34 Skyline. Especially because they continued with the Skyline name which was sold as Infiniti G35/G37 etc.

          It’s like the Supra. Is the Supra a Celica? Because initially it was a performance version of the Celica. The first Supra was called Celica Supra in the USA and Celica XX in Japan. The Mk1 & Mk2 Supras (in North America) were not Supras in Japan. The Mk3 Supra is the first Supra sold as Supra in Japan. and the Mk4 Supra was only the 2nd generation of Supras in Japan.

          Or how about the Chevy Chevelle/Malibu?

          In any case, your picture is confusing because it doesn’t have all the generations of the Skylines, the cars in the pictures aren’t all skylines, and they aren’t all GT-Rs

          • pj134

            I can explain the picture, there aren’t a lot of good pictures of all of the GT-Rs together out there. At least not that I could find.

            • tokumeikibo

              Skylines, and GTRs.

  • pj134

    Does anyone have an idea as to what car did six platforms the fastest?

  • pj134

    The Sonata has done it fairly quickly. I think the Camry and Accord have it beat though.

    • Alan Cesar

      I suspect some of those are mere facelifts, not new platforms.

      • pj134

        With facelifts included in the count and not just new platforms they’re actually at 11 now. Each of those was a new platform.

        • Alan Cesar

          Holy crap.

    • Sjalabais

      I like that they show an ancestry that some might call laughable, but they’re proud nonetheless. Rightly so – it is amazing how far Hyundai and Kia have come in 30 years.

  • ptschett

    Using the Chrysler definition of platform: Chrysler Town & Country. Platforms S, AS, NS, RS, RT thus far with RU coming out next year.

  • tokumeikibo

    13 Generations!

  • Jaap

    Think I count six VW Polo’s, Ford Fiesta, Ford Taunus, Merc S, Honda Prelude, Maserati Quatroporte. I’m quiet content with the Maerati!

  • peugeotdude505

    Mercedes E-class ?

    • Tomsk

      Works for me, however if one was the hair-splitting type, it could be argued that there have only been four generations of E-Class, since M-B didn’t start using that designation until the big model nomenclature changeover of 1993-’94 (which also coincided with the W124 family’s facelift).

  • AlexG55

    Vauxhall (but not Opel!) Astra. The Opel Kadett D and E were sold as Vauxhall Astras in the UK, and there have been four generations of Opel/Vauxhall Astra after that, with a fifth just launched. It went from launch to 6th platform in 30 years (is that the record?)

    to

    • crank_case

      ..and they’ve all been equally joyless and mediocre up til now, Astra G, the only car I’ve owned that I genuinely hated. I would have burned it, but someone offered me actual money for it.

  • Regrettably, Prelude is not the answer this time. There were only five, and the 4th and 5th gens are pretty much the same car under the skin. They have much more in common than the distinctly-more-similar-looking 2nd and 3rd gens.


    So, yeah. I don’t actually know anything about any other model of car. I’m done.

  • 0A5599

    Chrysler New Yorker

    1960-64 Unibody
    1965-78 C body
    1979-81 R body
    1982 M body
    1983-88 E body (FWD)
    1988-93 C body (FWD)
    1994-96 LH

    Lebaron

    1960-75 Imperial
    Chrysler
    1977–1981 M-body
    1982–1988 K-body
    1985–1989 H-body
    1987–1995 J-body
    1990–1994 AA-body

    Note the overlapping production years.

  • 2016 marks the debut of the 6th generation Camaro, I believe each was a separate platform. Generations 5 & 6 might be the the same, however.

    • 1977ChevyTruck

      Nope, 6 is on the new Alpha platform.

      5 was on the Zeta platform.

  • March_Hare

    The Falcon. XK-XP; XR-XY; XA-XC; XD-XH; EA-EL; AU-BF; FG-FG-X. The successive platforms often carried over engines and transmissions – hell, the Falcon six has been the Washington’s Axe of the Australian motor industry – but each successive generational shift marked such a massive change in the structure of the chassis that there’s no way to argue that that year’s model change was just a ‘refresh’.

    • March_Hare

      Also, we’re up to, what, six generations of Fiesta now? Though I think the current one is referred to as the Mk 9 in the U.K., I suspect those increments include facelift partway through the platform lifespan.

      • engineerd

        I had thought about the Fiesta.

  • barney fife

    Ford F series.

  • crank_case

    Nissan Silvia – I count at least seven generations in Japan, though sold under different names in other markets

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