That Difficult Second Album

Car manufacturers have, for years, mirrored the pain suffered by rock groups when faced with the challenge of the Difficult Second Album. When Stone Roses released The Second Coming a huge number of Manchester rock aficionados cradled their heads in despair, crying “What have you done!?” into their Joseph Holt. How do you top a release which became an instant legend?
To my eyes, the Bugatti Chiron looks like an old prototype which was abandoned halfway through the Veyron development programme, but I suppose it’s a good thing that the headlamps no longer look like they’re from a Passat. In replacing the Veyron Bugatti had carte blanche to do absolutely anything, literally whatever they wanted with the new car. So, just as the EB110 looked nothing like the Veyron, could the Chiron not have taken a wild leap into the esoteric? I mean, I know brand identity is protected with military force if necessary, but when it’s a marque as definitive as Bugatti, why shackle your cars into a corporate uniform at all?
Thanks goodness it’s been proven that this can be done. So let’s take a moment to look at the good times, examples of cars which shone brightly and became iconic on launch, yet whose successors still managed to equal them.

If you disagree with my sentiment above, you’ll probably disagree with this, too. I believe that the latest Ford GT was about as well judged a follow-up from the beloved previous car as we could have possibly asked for.
Rather than heading back down retro road while carrying the added weight of today’s on-trend accessories, the new GT nods sagely at the past while maintaining a huge degree of momentum. This is a design which exudes confidence and modernity, while still paying respect to its noble roots. So it’s not as pretty as the GT40, nor even its re-imagining as a concept in 2002, but it certainly wears its evolution on its sleeve. What more could we want?
So, just as T2 was better (IMO) than The Terminator, what other sequels have managed to achieve the impossible and equal, or better, the original? Or, if you’re feeling cynical, lets remind ourselves of the big let downs.
(Lede image from Amazon, second image stolen from All opinions those of the author, who’s wrong a lot)

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  1. neight428 Avatar

    Why is it that the Bronco II seems an appealing concept. Modern quality control and powertrains would do wonders for something like this. Alas, it would compete with the Escape/Flex/Edge/Explorer/McCaugnheyX. Did Sergio get dirty pictures of someone to keep the world out of the Jeep Wrangler’s market segment. Fiat Chrysler reputational baggage should make something with similar measurables competitive out of the gate.
    Not technically a “sequel” to the original, but it has “II” in the model name, so it occurred to me first.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Hummer had the H4 concept, which would have competed head-on with the Wrangler, but then GM killed off Hummer.

      1. neight428 Avatar

        I guess it wasn’t Sergio that had the pictures, maybe Lee Iacocca stashed them in the Pentastar vault.

    2. dukeisduke Avatar

      “Bronco II” would be a good name for a dog that likes to roll over.

      1. JayP Avatar

        My buddy Nigel landed his Eddie Bauer on it’s ear at the Bristol Mall.
        Didn’t take much…

      2. Vairship Avatar

        Samurai would be an awesome dog’s name.

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    I still think that Bugatti should have built the Galibier. How many Chirons will be sold outside of the Gulf States? And I don’t mean the Gulf of Mexico.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      From wiki: “In an interview with Top Gear,
      President of Bugatti Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber said that Bugatti will
      never manufacture Galibier nor SuperVeyron because it will confuse their
      How fricken stupid must these customers be?!?11

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        To buy a $1m plus car that has tires only designed to last 2,500 miles? Pretty damn stupid.

        1. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar

          Some owners have experience million dollar depreciation levels with them too (bought for ~2 million after tax, dealer fees and markup, special editions, etc.).

        2. nanoop Avatar

          2500 miles, some of them at 250+ mph for a couple of minutes? Not bad. And among actual future owners: The tires are probably only a couple of thousands per corner, so who cares?

  3. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    Ford again (GT350)

  4. Maymar Avatar

    I like T2, but it’s hard to ignore that you can’t take Skynet seriously as the bad guy when their goal is killing teenaged John Connor, who really, really had it coming.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      I like T2 also. How it ever managed to get away from the later model Terminator is a mystery though…
      By User Ermel on en.wikipedia – Photographed by Erik Meltzer in 2000., CC BY-SA 3.0,

    1. neight428 Avatar

      Given the relative pricing between the 67-69’s and the 70-73’s, you may be in the minority with that opinion, though I like them both personally. As with all matters of personal preference, De gustibus non est disputandum.
      I will, however be That Internet Car Guy for this post and point out that the blue car in your first photo is a ’68 Camaro. ‘67’s had vent/smoker windows just aft of the A-pillar.

      1. salguod Avatar

        Yo’re absolutely right, I knew of that distinction and didn’t catch it. I’m appalled that Googling for “1967 Camaro” would get me a 1968! I’ll have to fix it.
        At least I hit the ’70 Camaro’s low back buckets & small rear spoiler.
        On the pricing, I can’t really comment. I was simply felt the design and performance, at least in the early gen 2’s, relative to the gen 1 was a big improvement. This was the end of GM’s heyday, when designers and engineers still had clout.

  5. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    At least The Stone Roses had Love Spreads…
    Most seem to get worse with age and generation. Look at the Thuderbird, SHO, and (among certain sets) the Miata.
    I will say the Corvette, despite missing a beat with the C4, has consistently delivered in its era.
    On the oppositie end of the spectrum, Chrysler Town&Countries are a vast improvement on what they were at launch and are significantly better for it. If it weren’t for crossovers, modern minivans would be a huge story about how consistent they have been at providing value and packaging that works for families on the 3 side of 2.7 kids.

  6. Hatchtopia Avatar

    I think both the Chiron and the new GT40 are magnificent. That’s all.

  7. Roody Avatar

    Semi-car related, but had to bring it up after the T2 mention. Expendables 2 was far better than the first, and light years better than the 3rd. They figured out that the movie was better for laughing at than being taken seriously, and it worked.