iowaman
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10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:22 pm

Please continue the discussion here as the last thread was over 250 replies.

Previous thread:
10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) (by Geezer Nov 27 2012 in Non Aviation)
 
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:23 pm

No it was a pea soup green model with a black vinyl interior and the 232 cu engine. I had it for about six years. But it turned into a rust bucket. At 6 years old the passenger side floor board had rusted through, the tops of the front fenders looked like swiss cheese from all the rust. The engines oil pump failed and that was the last of that car.

I had seriously considered a Pinto or Maverick instead of the Gremlin, but after the Cougar I had had it with Ford for some years to come.

[Edited 2012-12-29 15:25:17]
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cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:35 pm

Wow; who would guessed this would transfer to to 'new' discussion? Anyhoo, although the thread has migrated to alternate discussions (like all topics do), I'll respond in kind to the last posts regarding AMC vehicles from a few fond memories.

I met Wally Booth in a local Dearborn saloon and we were talking drag cars. He had only limited sponsorship for campaigning a pro-stock Vega from Chevrolet at the time (big bucks were going Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins (RIP) and some other large crowd-drawing campaigners, and Wallace, Dick Aarons (engine designer), Dick Gostenick, Dave Tratechaud (master builders and crew) and others on the pro team were approached by AMC to campaign a Gremlin. Didn't really work out that well, but the Booth-Aarons team looked at the NHRA specs and worked a deal racing the AMC Hornet, Mr. Jim Rader from AMC was the competition activities point man. Not even a bad looking car at the time IMHO. It took me (self gloss) only a little while to use my sophomoric expertise but common sense in aerodymamics to eek out a little more speed and a little less 100'ths seconds in trap time. Long story short; we knocked Plymouth, Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet and anybody elses dick in the dirt and won the national NHRA pro-stock championship at Indianapolis.

To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.

Now, I didn't think the Gremlin (or the assymetrical Dick Teague doors on the Pacer are my cup of tea, although I guess they made sense), but then again, I don't like much the Cube (sorry, Geezer) or the prevalent trend to "smiley face" or "angry face" styling exhibited on current car designs.

Getting back to original thread, and maybe I've commented on this before, the Pontiac Aztek was a pretty damn good vehicle for its' purpose. Too bad that Wayne Cherry and the board of directors funded the concept with such gross styling. One of the the worst cars of all time? Probably not. One of the worst styled cars of all time? Probably.

Best regards...jack

)
all best; jack
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:06 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
Getting back to original thread, and maybe I've commented on this before, the Pontiac Aztek was a pretty damn good vehicle for its' purpose.

The Aztek was a genuinely bad car, but it seems to sometimes distract attention away from an equally bad GM effort of similar vintage: the Chevrolet SSR.

The SSR was not cheap.
The SSR was not fast.
The SSR was not practical.
The SSR was not fun to drive.
The SSR was not good looking.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Geezer
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:11 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool

Wow ! I think this is a pretty damned "cool" story ! Way to go, cptkrell !

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
Now, I didn't think the Gremlin (or the assymetrical Dick Teague doors on the Pacer are my cup of tea, although I guess they made sense), but then again, I don't like much the Cube (sorry, Geezer) or the prevalent trend to "smiley face" or "angry face" styling exhibited on current car designs.

When Toyota first came out with "Scion", and we started seeing these little "boxes" with wheels running around town, I guess I kinda felt the same way; like, "who in the hell would want to ride around in a damned "box" ? I didn't pay any attention to the things for a couple of years, and until just about a year ago, I had no earthly idea of ever buying another car, as I figured my 3500 Dodge Ram/diesel would "last me" as long as I needed anything to drive; and mechanically, I still think it would; but a few things happened, that taken together, changed my "needs" considerably; diesel fuel went sky high, then my "then" fiancee' (and "now" wife) got sick, and I was having to run back and forth, 65 or 70 miles round trip every day, to the hospital in Terre Haute, and it was putting a TON of miles on the Dodge, plus killing me buying the diesel fuel, and at the exact same time I finally "got around to" selling my house in Ohio, and when MY ex and I split the proceeds from the house...........I all of a sudden realized I really HAD to buy an inexpensive, fuel efficient small car; and just thinking about my needs, (and never even riding in any of them), I figured the car I needed was either the Scion "box", the Kia "Soul", or the Cube. The next day we were in Terre Haute, and I noticed a Cube sitting on the Nissan dealership's used car lot; I decided to stop and just "look it over"; when the sales guy came out he seemed like a pretty nice guy, so I drove the thing around the lot......probably no more than a couple hundred yards; and just like that......I told Arlene........this is it ! I liked everything about it; (except that one had 30K on the clock, and I didn't want one with more than 15K) I found one the next day in "Auto Trader", called up about it, and told the guy I'd drive up to Laffayette and pick it up the next day. Believe me.......Cubes just "grow on you" ! (I have however finally found ONE thing about it that makes no sense what-so-ever; you actually can't turn the damned inst panel lights out ! (if you're sitting in the car, listening to the radio while you're waiting for someone, if you don't wants the panel lights on.....you have to turn the engine off ! ) Which IMO, is completely ridiculous !

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:40 am

Geezeer (rep 4); I was no way implying I disagreed with your personal choice of the Cube. I simply was stating that ME don'ts likes the appearance of the car. Obviously, other people do and that is fine with me. A friend who owns one argues that it's "different". My response is that a case of the crabs is different too, but you don't necessarily want them.

BM727; I'm not entirely sure the Aztec was a "genuinely bad car". You have testimony or experience? Admitedly I never owned one but was "forced" to drive one for a few weeks as a company car and found it extremely capable irrespective of some of the immature tasks I requested of the thing.

As per your reference to the SSR, that project was somewhat mis-developed by the new chief engineer at the time, one Mr. Orndorff, who had come down to the then Advanced Project Engineering Center in Warren from C-K trucks in Pontiac, MI. The original concept was started on the S/T truck platform and would have enjoyed much more success (I think) because of weight, packaging, etc. but he dictated that the full-size pickemup truck platform be used and everything went down the tubes from there. So, I agree with your overall analysis, except I think it's kinda cool looking. regards....jack
all best; jack
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:07 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
I had it for about six years. But it turned into a rust bucket. At 6 years old the passenger side floor board had rusted through, the tops of the front fenders looked like swiss cheese from all the rust.



Yikes!
I thought AMC had pioneered galvanized steel and wouldn't have those rust issues.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.



Our family had a 1974 AMC Hornet hatchback with the straight 6. It also had rust issues.
That designed lasted all the way till the 1988 model year as the Eagle station wagon.
The Hornet SC coupe is a sweet car too.


For all of us AMC fans, check out this AMC fan site;

http://arcticboy.com/

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
The SSR was not cheap.
The SSR was not fast.
The SSR was not practical.
The SSR was not fun to drive.
The SSR was not good looking.



I never understood the point of that vehicle. Also why was it named after the Soviet Socialist Republics?

Quoting Geezer (Reply 4):
I figured my 3500 Dodge Ram/diesel would "last me" as long as I needed anything to drive;



Doesn't those diesels get pretty good mileage?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Geezer
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:50 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
The Aztek was a genuinely bad car, but it seems to sometimes distract attention away from an equally bad GM effort of similar vintage: the Chevrolet SSR.

BMI, if you happen to run across a picture of a "SSR", how about posting it; That must be something GM had attempted to "pawn off onto the public" since I retired in '97; ( the "SSR" name doesn't ring a bell )

I think I mentioned this one other time in a thread, but speaking of "worst cars"........(or dumbest idea / least useful product from a major car maker...........let's not for get the "Syclone" ! (excuse me while I get back up off of the floor, where I fell, just thinking about that idiotic mis-adventure ! ( I wonder if anyone still has one of those "super-trucks" still sitting around ? )

You gotta hand it to GM though..........no other manufacturer in automotive history has ever been able to "turn" fifteen cents worth of vinyl into 2 or 3 K, like GM did occasionally when they came out with one of their famous "special limited editions"; ( I think that's how they referred to them ) Remember when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway started the "Brickyard 400", to get NASCAR at Indy ? Anyway, I was driving out of Norwood, O. at the time, hauling Camaros's and Firebirds on the outbound trip; At the time, the top-of-line Firebird was the "TransAm"; In a feeble attempt to "associate" the brand with racing (and the newly created race), GM "slightly altered" the next 500 (or so) TransAms that came off the line, and referred to them as "Brickyard 400, Special Limited Edition TransAm"; The "differences" being..............they were ALL painted "sickly white"; they ALL had a pathetic little 2 inch vinyl "patch" (with "Brickyard 400" super-imposed over a tiny black outline, (supposedly showing the "Brickyard 400 track,) with a minuscule little "checkered flag"; this little vinyl patch was pressure-sensitive "stuck" on both sides of the "special limited edition" white TransAm; the third (and by far, the most important "difference"), was th price........about 3K MORE than other TransAns, ( which were already 3 or 4 K more than "plain old" Firebirds.) The whole marketing idea being, the "Special Limited Edition" nonsense, which was supposed to create in the mind of TransAm buyers, the notion that "I have one of the ONLY 500 built ! Yeah, right ! (sucker) The line usually ran at maybe 40 units an hour, to maybe 60 per hour........and for about a week and a half, EVERY TransAm rolling offv the line was white. with a 15 cent piece of vinyl "stuck" on both sides, and a 3k increase on the sticker-price ! The other amazing part of this sorry saga was, many of those "priceless", (read: "sorry") little dumb white vinyl "badges" actually managed to"stay stuck" on the side of the TransAM for several months ! (before finally falling off and further cluttering up the highways)

So.......was ANY ONE lucky enough to see a Brickyard 400 Limited Edition TransAm ?

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:01 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):

What year was that "Brickyard 400"?

The Pontiac Aztec as certainly ugly but more recently, Nissan/Infiniti has been putting out some awful looking crossover SUV/CUVs. The worst offenders being the Murano and and FX35.
The Mercedes M-class looks hideous also.
Bring back the Concorde
 
zippyjet
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:46 am

This may be a bit off topic but since AMC has been mentioned, here goes. All of a sudden it seemed out of nowhere for model year 1974 AMC actually made something style wise that didn't look like puke on wheels. They took the tired outdated fugly 4 door Matadoor/Ambassador platform and spun off a halfway decent looking 2 door Matador coupe. Along with the Mustang II this coupe sold like hotcakes for that year only. It wasn't a fuel miser by any reach. As a matter of fact AMC seemed hip for one year. Even the LAPD bought Matador's for their squad cars albeit the ugly 4 door. Even the James Bond entry for 1974 Man With The Golden Gun went with American Motors for their cars in this movie. A one time event. It seemed as if AMC might have become hip but then they reverted back to form with the bathtub Pacer and milking the stale fat Hornet design way too long (through 1988). Is it just me or do the Pontiac Aztek and the Hornet/Eagle wagon look like kissing cousins?

http://media.caranddriver.com/images/10q1/332639/2001-pontiac-aztek-gt-photo-336715-s-1280x782.jpg

http://www.gatsbyonline.com/Users/8/Images/GatsbyAutomobilesDivers/MatadorX-11.jpg

For AMC this was not a bad looking car!
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:52 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
Is it just me or do the Pontiac Aztek and the Hornet/Eagle wagon look like kissing cousins?


Nope. It's just you.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
For AMC this was not a bad looking car!


It's beauty on wheels.
My 1st. grade teacher had one.
There was also a two special editions. The Oleg Cassini designer edition and the Barcelona edition - the bullfighter from Detroit....
Bring back the Concorde
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:28 am

I browsed through the last thread and a few cars people hated I like quite a bit. The Smart car has one of the most comfortable cabins I've every been in. The ergonomics are excellent as is the quality of the interior. It is painfully slow mainly because of the horrible single clutch semi automatic transmission.

I had a lot of fun driving a Smart in Germany...I got the thing up to 153kph on the autobahn and passed quite a few Audis and the like. I also took it for a tour of the Nurbergring...probably the only Smart car to every do a lap...and probably the slowest lap ever.

A brother of mine had a Pinto...which was not a bad little car. Handled and rode pretty well. It seemed pretty solid and the drivetrain was very reliable. It did turn into a pile of rust though...but it was a fun car to drive.

AMC was a strange company...it had some great looking cars like the Javelin and the AMX. I always liked the oddball looks of the Gremlin but the Pacer, the Matador and Hornet were just terrible looking.

So many cars from the mid 70's could qualify in the 10 worst category; but I'd have to go with the Mustang 2 to lead the list...combining the worst from the Pinto and the Maverick...and not as good as either...though they both set the bar very low.
What the...?
 
zippyjet
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:40 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 11):

I browsed through the last thread and a few cars people hated I like quite a bit. The Smart car has one of the most comfortable cabins I've every been in. The ergonomics are excellent as is the quality of the interior. It is painfully slow mainly because of the horrible single clutch semi automatic transmission.

I had a lot of fun driving a Smart in Germany...I got the thing up to 153kph on the autobahn and passed quite a few Audis and the like. I also took it for a tour of the Nurbergring...probably the only Smart car to every do a lap...and probably the slowest lap ever.

Does the Hello Kitty looking Smart Car even offer a manual stick shift? At least in Europe? This is a car for a stick shift. I wonder how this car does with the A/C pumping out the cold air?
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
sccutler
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:54 pm

The Hornets were extremely stout, long-lasting cars, especially with either the 232 or 258 sixes. As for rust, I live in Texas, where we just don't have to deal with that much.

The Matador Coupe was a beautiful creature, so much more cohesive in design than its rivals from GM, Ford or Chrysler.

I saw one at a wrecking yard, must have been the "teaser" car from some dealer's advertising, because it had base everything- the 258 six, three-speed column shift, and no air conditioning. Very odd.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
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Polot
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:34 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
BMI, if you happen to run across a picture of a "SSR", how about posting it; That must be something GM had attempted to "pawn off onto the public" since I retired in '97; ( the "SSR" name doesn't ring a bell )

Since nobody posted any images of it, here it is in all its glory:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6ME53Do7Uus/Tk8_XgOPW_I/AAAAAAAAAn4/e2R8JkvUnR0/s1600/2003-Chevy-SSR-Red-Flat-Running-Boards-track-1280x960.jpg

That is a retractable hardtop by the way, here is how it looks with it down:

http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/260165/2005-chevy-ssr-photo-260198-s-1280x782.jpg

Keep in mind that it is on the same platform as the Trailblazer EXT. Images do no justice on just how large and out of proportion the SSR is.
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:05 pm

That series Matador (Zippyjet's photo; reply 9) showed up at NASCAR. In 1974 Gary Bettenhausen and Bobby Allison racked up 6 top five finishes including 1st @ Riverside.

In '75 Bobby Allison had 11 top fives including 4 first place wins.

In '76 Penske abandoned for Mercury and Allison only managed a 15th place @ Riverside, but then in 1977 Allison formed his own Matador team and had 6 top fives but no wins.

Economics precluded AMC from continued true sponsorship in NASCAR, NHRA, etc after that.

Yep, as I and others have said, the SSR is one of those "why?" cars. I still like its looks though, and the Corvette V8 gets you there quickly. A local butcher delivers fresh meat to several local saloons in one. "Cut them hot meats." No need for a refrigerated truck.

Geezer; there have always been Indy 500 and Brickyard 500 (and other) pace car editions for the public. Value or not, it has always seemed to be a good sales/marketing tool for the companies, although I do agree with you, the "value" is questionable. There will ALWAYS be some collector, though. Really unique pace cars were the Hurst T-top Indy 500 editions for Olds and Buick. They proved so succesful that they (the T-tops) went on as a regular option (although built off-line at an aftermarket supplier on a drop-ship basis). Kind regards...jack
all best; jack
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 5):
You have testimony or experience?

Thankfully not. It's far from the only bad crossover ever made, but a tent? Seriously?

I have heard that the biggest customer of the Aztek was GM themselves, who foisted them on quite a few employees who were entitled to a company car.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 5):
As per your reference to the SSR, that project was somewhat mis-developed by the new chief engineer at the time, one Mr. Orndorff, who had come down to the then Advanced Project Engineering Center in Warren from C-K trucks in Pontiac, MI.

GM should have just imported the Holden Ute and called it the El Camino. It would have been better than the SSR in basically every way. It would have cheaper, faster, more useful, and better looking.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
That must be something GM had attempted to "pawn off onto the public" since I retired in '97;

It was the early to mid-2000s. It started off fat, expensive, and underpowered. Then Chevy upped the engine output to 390 horsepower or so, and the SSR was fat, expensive, and slightly less underpowered.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
I think I mentioned this one other time in a thread, but speaking of "worst cars"........(or dumbest idea / least useful product from a major car maker...........let's not for get the "Syclone" !

The Syclone and Typhoon are some of the best things GM has done since the muscle car era. Sure the interior is nothing special, but GMC made those suckers go. You're talking about a truck that could blow away Camaro Z28s and Ferrari 348s. They packed 280 horsepower (officially, according to some forums and stuff the actual numbers are higher) when base Corvettes had only about 300.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
I wonder if anyone still has one of those "super-trucks" still sitting around ?

Many people have them and love them. GM screwed up dozens of times over the years, but the Syclone and Typhoon are not examples of that. Those models have become cult classics.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
You gotta hand it to GM though..........no other manufacturer in automotive history has ever been able to "turn" fifteen cents worth of vinyl into 2 or 3 K, like GM did occasionally when they came out with one of their famous "special limited editions";

Porsche does it better. They take stuff out and increase the price while having several special editions of pretty much all their models. And then there's the options: heated steering wheel? $270. Paint the key to match the color of the car? Over $300. And if you want your instrument dials colored it will cost you $690.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 15):
and the Corvette V8 gets you there quickly.

No it doesn't. A 5.3 0-60 time in the SSR could be equaled by the GMC Syclone from a decade earlier. And, weighing over 4700 lbs, you'd better hope that there are no corners between here and there.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:56 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
The Hornets were extremely stout, long-lasting cars, especially with either the 232 or 258 sixes.
Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
As for rust, I live in Texas, where we just don't have to deal with that much.


We had our Hornet from 1979-1981. It was a 1974 model and it rusted really fast. I never forget when the muffler and exhaust pipe rusted off at start-up and left a huge burn mark in the driveway.
Once we put a new muffler on, the car sounded brand new all over again.

Since the Hornet is the same car as the Eagle, is it possible to drop in a 360cu" V8 and still keep the car 4-wheel-drive?
That would be an awesome modification for a 1984 Eagle.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
The Matador Coupe was a beautiful creature, so much more cohesive in design than its rivals from GM, Ford or Chrysler.



..and good enough for a James Bond movie too.
Bring back the Concorde
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:21 pm

BM727; You answered (your Rep 16) in response to my SSR statement " and the Corvette V8 gets you there quickly"

"No it doesn't. A 5.3 0-60 time in the SSR could be equalled..."

I guess I'm missing something. I think 0-60 in 5.3 is quick. Especially in something weighing in at 4700 lbs. However, I agree with your other points.

Superfly (Rep 17) "..and good enough for a James Bond movie too." You do know the car manufacturers PAY to have their cars in movies and TV shows. Usually (not always, but usually) the highest bidder wins. Best regards...jack
all best; jack
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:42 pm

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
I think 0-60 in 5.3 is quick.

It was quicker then than it is now, but it still wasn't stellar. How anyone could show up at a Chevy dealer and leave with an SSR when presumably the dealer would also have a far superior and similarly priced Corvette on the lot is beyond me.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Okie
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:46 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
The SSR was not cheap.
The SSR was not fast.
The SSR was not practical.
The SSR was not fun to drive.
The SSR was not good looking

The artist concept drawings were released in 99 or 00 when the PT Cruiser hit the showroom floors.

As far as good looking I would say it was the talk of the break-room table from the concept drawings.
There was profound interest the best I could tell.
The problem seemed to be it took almost 4 years to get it to the showroom floor with a price tag equal or greater than a Corvette. Interest wained and the vehicle was useless as far as practicality or performance was concerned, it still looked acceptable but missed every mark as far as a reason to purchase a vehicle with that price tag. Something sure got lost in design and development, it is tough to market a vehicle that just does not excel in some area or the other.

Okie
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
You do know the car manufacturers PAY to have their cars in movies and TV shows. Usually (not always, but usually) the highest bidder wins.



You're right. A friend of mine's wife does product placement for Ford.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
How anyone could show up at a Chevy dealer and leave with an SSR when presumably the dealer would also have a far superior and similarly priced Corvette on the lot is beyond me.
Quoting okie (Reply 20):
it still looked acceptable but missed every mark as far as a reason to purchase a vehicle with that price tag. Something sure got lost in design and development, it is tough to market a vehicle that just does not excel in some area or the other.



I ignored the SSR when it was new. I had NO idea it was that expensive!  Wow!
I thought it was priced similar to a PT Cruiser. For someone to spend a Corvette price on a SSR needs their head examined.
Ford did a much better job with their retro styled Thunderbird and even that was less than a Corvette.
The best retro award should go to the new Dodge Challenger. It's beautiful, practical and priced right.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Geezer
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:10 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
Don't those diesels get pretty good mileage?

When you say,"pretty good milage", pretty good relative to what ? Sure, my 3500 Dodge / Cummins gets GREAT mileage, relative to a gas powered, 7,500 lb truck ! Probably about double; but there are a few more things to take into consideration, than just "miles per gallon"; I just filled my Cube at Krogers last night, and it took about 6 gallons to fill it; at somewhat less than $3.00 per gallon; ( and those 6 gallons got me something like 210 to 225 miles "down the road"; even the Cummins can't do that! ) Diesel fuel is still $4.00 a gallon ! Not to mention, to replace my Dodge with comparable equipment would cost upwards of 60K; I could buy about four brand new Cubes for that sum. ( OK, OK, nit-pickers, 4 "brand new" Cubes with 15K "on the clock"; OK ?)

Also, when you buy insurance for a vehicle, I'm sure the company selling the insurance is going to charge quite a bit more, if they know they're on the hook for 60K, as opposed to 15k; I guess what it proves is, there is no such thing as a vehicle that will "do everything", and be the most "economical" while doing "everything".

But when need a truck that is capable of carrying a heavy load, (safely and efficiently), a diesel engine is always going to be the better option for power; (which is precisely why ALL big, 80,000 lb. MGVW trucks have had diesel engines in them for about the last 60 or so years now.)

Quoting Polot (Reply 14):
Since nobody posted any images of it, here it is in all its glory:

Thank you, Polot ! Yep, just as I had "suspected"........I've been seeing "those things" here and there forever, and always wondered, "WTF" ? I think I may have seen one with the roof retracted a time or two, but I'm not sure. Also, I had heard "here and there" that they had Corvette motors in them, and that they "weren't cheap"; IMHO, attempting to design a vehicle that will "excite" the minuscule market segment that will dig down and actually BUY such a "less than single purpose" vehicle, while STILL trying to make a profit doing it, is "fraught with peril" ! ( Maybe just take the design investment bucks to Vegas and play roulette, and have a "better chance" of making a profit ? )

While we're on the topic of "single purpose" / "no purpose", HUGE investment to design and market vehicles, I'm very surprised that no one has yet mentioned that "thing" (I can't even remember what they called them any more)......the 40's & 50's era "hot rod" thing that Chrysler dropped a fortune on, and ended up selling about 6 copies ? You know, no fenders on the front end, but with two HUGE ugly looking .......... (I'd have to run get a dictionary to find enough adjectives to describe that pitiful looking "monstrosity"); but once again, there WERE people who loved them, ( which was proven when 3 people actually BOUGHT one !)

And the ONE "special purpose", "exotic" that I actually LOVED, and even got to deliver a couple of......the DeLorean ! (There's just "something about" a stainless steel, un-painted, gorgeous body, that makes you want to........(stand and gaze at it ? ) ( The interesting thing about the DeLorean was the "genius" that came up with it and had his name on it.)
(One time auto exec / turned designer,/ turned unsucessful marketer / turned dope dealer ? Whatta guy ! ) I'm sure there are at least a few on here that were "around" when the SS body DeLorean first came out; hell, everyone loved looking at the things, even if they weren't "high performance"; but the ONE copy of the type that REALLY caught my eye was............I used to go to this GM dealer in Charleston, W. Va. every once and a while, and this dealer sold a few DeLoreans; one day I was dropping off a unit or two, and they had taken a brand new DeLorean to their paint shop, and gave it the most "mouth-watering", BLACK, "imron" paint job, (what ever the hell THAT is ?) But the thing was BEAUTIFUL ! (That gorgeous balck paint looked to be about 6 inches "deep" ! ) ( I ofter wondered where THAT baby finally ended up ? ) A junk yard, maybe ?

Oh hell.......we have six inches of snow on the ground, the sun just came out, and I'm sitting here talking about "funny cars" ! I gotta run out and take pictures !

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:59 am

S'Fly; I think the Challenger is TOO retro. I mean when you see one on the road you don't know whether you're looking at vintage or new (unless each is side-by-side at the same time). Even retro flavour should have some "reach" appearance-wise IMHO.

Geezer; I'm thinking you might be referring to the '97-2001 Plymouth, then Chrysler (after Plymouth Division went tango uniform) Prowler. I dunno, I like them. They sold 11 or 12,000 btw.

Geezer; I can personally think of two real claims to fame for John Zachary. #1 was being so instrumental in the original Pontiac GTO which arguably ushered the American muscle car era and #2 for marrying Kelly Harmon. I must admit the DeLorean car was/is an eye catcher but there are just too many inherently questionable items about some of the original design intent. Two pet peeves of mine are #1; it's a TRUE rear engine car with the trans in front of the hanging-out-the-back-of-the-car power plant which is a no-no, and #2; a brushed stainless steel exterior body over a plastic chassis. Hell, it's hard enough to keep a stainless steel refrig or oven clean. Try keeping a stainless car clean, not to mention there are probably only a dozen or so craftsmen in the USA that would have the expertise to repair it without resorting to simply R&R a new zillion dollar piece of body skin. BTW, gull-wing doors are way cool if you don't have to use them in everyday driving. John Z. DeLorean certainly had the engineering and marketing credentials but I simply think his ego got in the way of his professionalism. If one is really interested in a "new" DeLorean, there is an American company that remanufactures them "to spec" for dollars large, but I can't remember where. Just my .02 cents.
all best; jack
 
BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:48 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I mean when you see one on the road you don't know whether you're looking at vintage or new (unless each is side-by-side at the same time).

Just weigh them. It will be very easy to tell them apart that way.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
Even retro flavour should have some "reach" appearance-wise IMHO.

The problem with retro is where to go with it. The Mini still looks pretty much the same after more than a decade, although the line has been expanded with some of the models being stranger than others. Ford has evolved the Mustang somewhat, but I'm thinking that quite a few people will be disappointed with whatever the 2013.5 or 2014 Mustang ends up being.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
Geezer; I'm thinking you might be referring to the '97-2001 Plymouth, then Chrysler (after Plymouth Division went tango uniform) Prowler. I dunno, I like them. They sold 11 or 12,000 btw.

The Prowler probably doesn't belong on any worst lists, but it always seemed underwhelming to me for what it cost. I don't see why anyone would have bought one instead of a BMW Z3 or Porsche Boxster.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I must admit the DeLorean car was/is an eye catcher but there are just too many inherently questionable items about some of the original design intent. Two pet peeves of mine are #1; it's a TRUE rear engine car with the trans in front of the hanging-out-the-back-of-the-car power plant which is a no-no, and #2; a brushed stainless steel exterior body over a plastic chassis.

The DeLorean absolutely does belong on a "worst cars" list. It wasn't especially good looking and the performance was embarrassing.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
zippyjet
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:54 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
Superfly (Rep 17) "..and good enough for a James Bond movie too." You do know the car manufacturers PAY to have their cars in movies and TV shows. Usually (not always, but usually) the highest bidder wins. Best regards...jack

It seems that for one year the stars aligned nicely for American Motors (1974). They played ball with the big guys and took the plunge to appear in the James Bond film of that year; Man With The Golden Gun.

This reminds me of what happened in 1957 (reading historical accounts) that Chrysler Motors did everything right with the 1957 big finned "Forward Look Cars." Great sales, car of the year etc.

Back to AMC how come their success only seemed to last just one year 1974? It seemed like overnight they again became an also ran. What was the last year for the Matador Coupe? And why did AMC not apply the modern styling of the coupe Matador and at least freshened up the 4 door Matador/Ambassador? This could have made the difference for them.

http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/AMC-matador-74.jpg
Actually this is quite a flattering picture of the staid 4 door. The basic models looked like crap.



The vent window on the 4 door dates that Matador.

I remember back in the day (1974) most of the Matadors on the road in the Baltimore area were the base and middle models. Even the dealerships usually had models that seemed rental car equipped. Basic bench seat, AM radio only and the splurge option was A/C. The Oleg models were very rare.

[Edited 2012-12-30 19:03:32]
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Type-Rated
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:56 am

The Rambler American SC coupe was quite a nice little pocket rocket.

A friend of ours had a AMX, very nice looking car. But over the years of ownership the front end would sag. If I remember correctly it was something called the tronion that was the cause of the problems. But it was nicely styled with a very stylish interior.

I think I paid $2,100 for my Gremlin, the only option it had was an automatic transmission, that was it. The Hornet would have been about $2,800 or so.
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MrChips
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:45 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
The Prowler probably doesn't belong on any worst lists, but it always seemed underwhelming to me for what it cost. I don't see why anyone would have bought one instead of a BMW Z3 or Porsche Boxster.

No, the Prowler deserves every criticism leveled at it. First of all, just look at it:
http://i.imgur.com/YgYFB.jpg
It looks ridiculous, especially with those stupid gray plastic front bumpers. The engine and drivetrain were crap, the interior was awful Chrysler parts bin, the handling was frighteningly bad (especially at highway speed) and to top it all off, the Prowler was within a few dollars of the Boxster's price, and quite a bit more than the Z3 six-cylinder, to say nothing of the four. As an example, a base model Boxster retailed for $38,600 in 1997; the Prowler was $38,300, while the Z3 2.8 was $35,900 and the 1.9 was $31,000 or so.

[Edited 2012-12-30 20:50:11]
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BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:22 am

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
It looks ridiculous, especially with those stupid gray plastic front bumpers.

The things people do for the government. Anyone would be better off buying a real hot rod.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
The engine and drivetrain were crap,

To be fair, at the time there weren't many great engines sitting around. This was before the Daimler merger and before the return of the hemi V8s so it wasn't as if there was really anything better, short of a Viper V-10, that could have been dropped in there.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
the interior was awful Chrysler parts bin,

That criticism can be leveled at most American performance cars since the muscle car era. It seems like almost every review has some variation of "interior should be better for what it costs." Corvettes have been criticized for this as long as I can remember, although for $50k it's borderline but for $100k, see your local Porsche dealer. Vipers kinda got a pass for it since being raw and uncivilized was always part of the shtick, but even the new GTS version appears to make great strides in this department.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:39 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 22):
First of all, just look at it:



Understood.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I think the Challenger is TOO retro.


In other words, it's PERFECT!  
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
What was the last year for the Matador Coupe?


1978.
The boxy coffin nosed sedan went to 1978 also.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
I remember back in the day (1974) most of the Matadors on the road in the Baltimore area were the base and middle models. Even the dealerships usually had models that seemed rental car equipped. Basic bench seat, AM radio only and the splurge option was A/C. The Oleg models were very rare.


In the Chicago area, we had plenty of fully-loaded AMCs. You would think that there were 4 major auto manufactures, not 3.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 27):
First of all, just look at it:


Although not my kind of car, I do respect it and it is a good looking car. My only complaint with that car is the cost and the dealer markups were insane.
Bring back the Concorde
 
DL_Mech
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:02 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
For all of us AMC fans, check out this AMC fan site;

Thanks for that link!

Quoting Geezer (Reply 7):
You gotta hand it to GM though..........no other manufacturer in automotive history has ever been able to "turn" fifteen cents worth of vinyl into 2 or 3 K

I must admit that I still really like one of those GM "sticker cars" from 1983. I saw one on the road near ATL recently.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
The Matador Coupe was a beautiful creature

I'm surprised at the amount of love for this car today. Back in the 70s, most people thought they were hideous.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Since the Hornet is the same car as the Eagle, is it possible to drop in a 360cu" V8 and still keep the car 4-wheel-drive?
That would be an awesome modification for a 1984 Eagle.

Why not go all the way and put in a 401? I doubt that the transfer case could handle either.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
I ignored the SSR when it was new. I had NO idea it was that expensive!

The SSR, Prowler and 2002-05 Thunderbirds had large "dealer adjustments" added to their window stickers when they first came out. I wonder if they would have sold better if the dealers had not played such games trying to "create exclusivity."

Quoting Geezer (Reply 22):
they had taken a brand new DeLorean to their paint shop, and gave it the most "mouth-watering", BLACK, "imron" paint job, (what ever the hell THAT is ?)

Imron was a brand of enamel made by DuPont.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:06 pm

"Imron was a brand of enamel made by DuPont."

Right, DL_Mech; we painted a couple of our airplanes with it (and a couple of show cars), and it will KILL you if safety resperation cautions are not followed. Of course any spray paint will eventually have the same effect (read lung disease as per smoking). Imron is just more lethal with quicker results.

Kind regards and Happy 2013 to ya'll...jack
all best; jack
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:49 pm

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 31):

Imron and Endura are two part epoxy vehicle paints...very tough and very toxic to use. They are isocyanate paints...they key part to note is 'cyanate'. It releases cyanide gas when it is used though it is entirely benign when it's dry.

I know guys who have been severely poisoned by painting with a leaky mask. The safest way is to use a positive pressure mask.

That being said, they are the toughest paints around...resistant to chemicals, rust and all sorts of abuse. It is a bear to sand blast.

Ok...sorry for the diversion...back to the regularly scheduled topic...
What the...?
 
Type-Rated
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:36 am

If you look back at 1970's editions of Flying magazine, Imron was heavily advertised as a brilliant and long lasting finish for your aircraft.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
DL_Mech
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:22 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 31):
it will KILL you if safety resperation cautions are not followed.
Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 32):
I know guys who have been severely poisoned by painting with a leaky mask. The safest way is to use a positive pressure mask

Wow....good to know.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:20 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 10):
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
Is it just me or do the Pontiac Aztek and the Hornet/Eagle wagon look like kissing cousins?

It's the near identical roof line from the tops of the doors upwards that does it.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Ford did a much better job with their retro styled Thunderbird and even that was less than a Corvette.

I was disappointed when they stopped making the new one. Around here you'd see quite a few on the road, but I haven't seen one in weeks now. Maybe the owners are putting them in storage?

And remember you can have your DeLorean overhauled by the factory or you can still buy a new one. Parts are readily available. The company is here in Houston.

http://delorean.com/
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BMI727
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:43 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Ford did a much better job with their retro styled Thunderbird and even that was less than a Corvette.

The Thunderbird was all about styling. Other than that, the Mustang was better in pretty much every way: two more seats, lower price, and better performance. And, as far as styling goes, the Thunderbird finally died in 2005, which was the same year the retro styled Mustang debuted. It wouldn't surprise me if some Thunderbird buyers (there weren't that many in 05) felt awfully stupid when they saw the new Mustang.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
zippyjet
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:44 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
The problem with retro is where to go with it. The Mini still looks pretty much the same after more than a decade, although the line has been expanded with some of the models being stranger than others. Ford has evolved the Mustang somewhat, but I'm thinking that quite a few people will be disappointed with whatever the 2013.5 or 2014 Mustang ends up being.



For whatever reason, I'm not tired of the now 8 year old general design of the Mustang. It evokes the best of the classic early Mustangs. The dash takes the best ques from the classic 1967-1968 design. The 2010 and 2011 Mustang tail lights took a bit of a nose dive but have redeemed themselves on the current models. I feel Ford has a winner with this current Mustang design. Unlike the Fox platform Fairmount looking wedges the designers have been able to keep the car cutting edge in looks.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next generation Mustang. But when I hear Ford wants to base it on a "world car design (Evos or Ewok) or whatever it's called I think of a blob on wheels that appeals to soccer hooligans from Italy and Brazil who have too much estrogen and live only for men's soccer/football. Ford almost made that fatal mistake during the Regan era by making the Probe the next Mustang (FWD). Luckily, enough wrote in protesting this move. The downside was more years of the horrid Fox Fairmont cheap looking Stang. Ford would be smart to leave the Mustang a Mustang and roll out their world blob for the soccer hooligan set. If Ford wants to redo the Mustang, keep certain things like the grille, tail lights, dash and galloping horse and maybe make the lines resemble the latest Porsche's and Maseratis. That would be a wild Mustang that could raise the bar.
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Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:59 am

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
Thanks for that link!


You welcome.  
Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
Why not go all the way and put in a 401?


Are they the same engine block?

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
I doubt that the transfer case could handle either.


Could the transfer case be mounted to any V8? The 258cu" straight six is a great engine with lots of low-end torque but no top-end power at all and lags on inclines at highway steeps. It only put out 110HP but at 2800RPMs.
Perhaps the last generation 258cu" with EFI made in the 1990s would do the trick?

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
I wonder if they would have sold better if the dealers had not played such games trying to "create exclusivity."


Probably.
I remember a Dodge dealer near San Francisco was asking $120,000 for a Plymouth Prowler!  Wow!
The list price was only $40,000 but the dealer thought he could get away with a $80,000 dealer mark-up and there were Dodge Vipers there on the showroom going for less.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 35):
I was disappointed when they stopped making the new one. Around here you'd see quite a few on the road, but I haven't seen one in weeks now. Maybe the owners are putting them in storage?


It's a summertime vehicle.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
The Thunderbird was all about styling.


Well of course, as all retro cars are.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
Other than that, the Mustang was better in pretty much every way:



Two different types of vehicles.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
It wouldn't surprise me if some Thunderbird buyers (there weren't that many in 05) felt awfully stupid when they saw the new Mustang.



Not at all. Two different types of buyers.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 37):
I'm not tired of the now 8 year old general design of the Mustang. It evokes the best of the classic early Mustangs. The dash takes the best ques from the classic 1967-1968 design. The 2010 and 2011 Mustang tail lights took a bit of a nose dive but have redeemed themselves on the current models. I feel Ford has a winner with this current Mustang design.


  
I agree! I am a fan of the current design and they can keep this design around for a long time just as they did with the Fairmont-based Mustangs.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 37):
that appeals to soccer hooligans from Italy and Brazil who have too much estrogen and live only for men's soccer/football.


LOL!   
I thought they rode on buses and subways.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
DL_Mech
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:10 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 38):
Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
Why not go all the way and put in a 401?


Are they the same engine block?

IIRC, all AMC V-8s from 1967-1991 (290,304,343,360,390,401) share similar mounting, only differing in deck height.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 38):
Could the transfer case be mounted to any V8? The 258cu" straight six is a great engine with lots of low-end torque but no top-end power at all and lags on inclines at highway steeps. It only put out 110HP but at 2800RPMs.
Perhaps the last generation 258cu" with EFI made in the 1990s would do the trick?

I think the 258 morphed into the 4.0 "power tech six" which was used for decades in countless Cherokees. I'm not a Jeep guy, but I think it's a well respected engine.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:00 pm

DL_Mech's observation (Rep 39) is correct; all the AMC V-8s were basically the same engine with displacements being accomplished by bore/stroke combinations and deck heights to facilitate longer stroke.

Also, IIRC from my Booth-Aarons racing days, they all also used Borg-Warner manual transmissions with with compatible bolt hole spacing to the bell housing, but one had to be aware of flywheel used (I don't remember why). We of course used the Lenco transmission (you know, the pictures you see with a different gear level for each speed) as did other pro-stockers. Each gear was actually a 2-speed transmission in itself with a 1:1 ratio and a 1:? ratio; just pull the individual lever for each gear. Cool. The car would scream doing 0-150+mph in the 8-second bracket, not bad for the era. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
PHLBOS
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:48 pm

Man, I take a couple of weeks off and this thread goes into a sequel.

I'll try to do a car-by-car overall reply. Note: many of the quotes are from the previous thread.

Mustang II and other Ford products:

Quoting Zippyjet: I specificially remembered that Consumer Reports auto issue from 1974. And they reviewed the Mustang. 1974 was the worst year when it came to anti-smog/pollution controls.

From the Mustang II enthusiast site link that Superfly posted on the previous thread, the April '74 Consumer Reports lists the one-day fuel economy test of the 4-cylinder Mustang II to be 22 mpg, not 13 mpg as you posted. The article also states that it was about 600 lbs. heavier than most 4-cylinder compacts of the era (many of which got over 30 mpg but were basically tin cans on wheels). 13 mpg was what I got around town on both of my 1976 LTDs w/the 351M engine that I owned from 1985-1988 and 1993-2008 respectively. I got a maximum of 18 mpg on both cars.

Quoting Zippyjet:
And, I felt, the Fox platform Mustang should have at least gotten re-skinned and lose some of it's boxiness as the design wore on. I did however like the Coupes of 1979-1982 and the convertible a bit.

A couple things:
1. The factory-produced convertible rolled out in 1983; earlier models were after-market conversions.

2. The Fox Mustang indeed got reskinned in 1987. The likely reasons why Ford didn't go further and alter the roofline then was due to costs (tooling costs can get expensive) and the fact that the would-be FWD Mustang/Probe (originally conceived back in 1982) would be offered by 1989. Why go through the trouble & cost of a major restyle if the car's going to be dropped a year or two later?

I agree w/you regarding the styling of the coupes BTW.

Quoting Zippyjet:
I do not remember the base Ford Fairmonts having that ugly manual window crank circle on it's doors!

Crank circle? Are you referring to what's on the door trim or the handles themselves? I know that both the Fox Mustangs & Fairmonts shared the same window cranks. My reply on the previous thread was in reference to the optional pivoting vent window cranks; which were a plastic black circular knob that indeed screamed CHEAP. Not sure about the final Fairmonts ('83) but I believe that Ford changed the vent window crank knobs to the type similar to what was on their trucks & vans, across the board by either 1984 or 1985.

Quoting Zippyjet:
How do you think the Mustang II would have been treated by history if it was simply just called the Mustang? The II sort of trivialized the cars. Personally, I feel had the II not been added, the 1974 through 1978's would have fared better.

The II designation was strictly Lee Iacocca's doing & decision. The reasoning behind it was that, even then, he didn't think that his Mustang II was worthy of being in the same exact league as his original Mustang 10 years earlier. So there was indeed some 2nd guessing regarding the Mustang II even inside the ranks back then; despite the strong first-year sales figures and MT's COTY award.

Quoting Zippyjet:
Throwing II after the LTD was sort of tacky

That was essentially Ford's way of captializing on the the then-still popular LTD name. The goal was 2-fold: update its mid-size offering but give it a name similar to its full-size to combat w/GM's newly downsized full-sizes. For 1977, Ford indeed marketed both the LTD & LTD II as a 'Shop where you have a choice' mantra in its brochures.

Quoting Zippyjet:
imagine if Ford made the 1977 through 1979 T-Birds, Thunberbird II?

There was no need to. the '77-'79 models were the best-selling T-Birds per model year ever; Ford clearly made the right move. It's worth noting that the some proposed names for original Mustang was indeed Thunderbird II and even Cougar. Some pre-production concept models circa 1963 even had Cougar badging and a cat logo on the grille (where the galloping horse would later be).

Quoting Superfly:
The LTD II did seem a bit redundant. Why have a stripped down Thunderbird? Was the price that much different?

One needs to remember that the LTD II coupe was a replacement for the Torino coupe, which was the bargain-basement of the standard mid-size lineup whereas the '77 T-Bird, in essence, replaced the '76 Elite... Ford's personal luxury mid-size coupe. It was no more redundant than the Chevy Malibu coupe vs. the Monte Carlo of the same era. There probably was a price difference back then. It wasn't until the 1980s that automakers started noticing the redundancy and started discontinuing the standard mid-size coupes to save on production costs.

Quoting Zippyjet:
I think this was due to Ford going with the Pinto platform. I learned on this thread Ford was seriously considering basing the 74 Mustang (II) on the compact Maverick frame. Then, they could have dropped an 8 under the hood as an option. Also the weight ratio would have been better. Front, back and side profile I actually liked the Mustang II looks. The coupes did hark back to the 1964 and a half through 1970 models.

As mentioned in the last thread, Ford's decision to go with the Pinto platform was based on the rising sales (even before the gas price shock of October 1973) of import (mainly Japanese) subcompacts. Ford originally envisioned the 1970 Maverick as a domestic alternative to VW, Toyota & Nissan (then called Datsun in the U.S.) but it was viewd as too big; so the samller Pinto was developed. Since many of these imports featured sporty variants of their models; Ford's decision for the Mustang II to use the Pinto platform to better combat them. The Mustang II's mission was essentially 2-fold: bring back the days when the Mustang wasn't so large & heavy; and to combat the various import sporty coupes (Toyota Celica & Datsun 240Z).

The downsides of using the Pinto platform, in retrospect, were obvious; a cramped interior and no space for a V8 without (according to Cptkrell) some modifications/alterations. Ford made a similar mistake w/the '89-'90 T-Bird/Cougar; the hood was too low to house the 5.0/302 V8; that would change in 1991.

Quoting cptkrell:
BTW, that '74 Cougar a bit dissappointed me. It's essentially a Montego notchback with specific trim and a window "port" hole poked into the C-pillar.

To a degree, that's essentially what Ford did w/the Elite; using the Torino coupe as a starting point. I guess Ford & Mercury did not have the funds to go with a completely different roofline for those coupes until the 1977 restyle of the Cougar XR-7 the new T-Bird. Like its T-Bird sibling, the '77-'79 XR-7s did enjoy some strong sales; the model was sold-out for 1978.

Quoting BMI727:
I'm thinking that quite a few people will be disappointed with whatever the 2013.5 or 2014 Mustang ends up being.

IIRC, the all-new Mustang will roll out in the Spring of 2014 as a 2015 model (unofficially 2014.5); so the 2014 Mustang will be a carry-over of the current 2013 model. As I stated in the last thread, I've seen drawings of the 2015 Mustang range from the outlandishly futuristic to something that looks like a face-lifted version of the current model; so I will withhold any judgment until I see an actual production model and/or prototype. Let's not forget the conceptual 2011 Explorer looked very different from the actual production model.

AMC

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2):
To this day I think the AMC Hornet is cool; very acceptable styling and just a hint of different proportions compared with the "big three" offerings of the era.

   IMHO, the Big-Three missed the boat by not offering wagon versions of their compacts during the early-to-mid 70s. For GM & Ford; there was too much of a gap between their pre-downsized mid-size wagons (Malibu & Torino) and their subcompact bretheren (Vega & Pinto). At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
I had it for about six years. But it turned into a rust bucket. At 6 years old the passenger side floor board had rusted through, the tops of the front fenders looked like swiss cheese from all the rust.

Yikes!
I thought AMC had pioneered galvanized steel and wouldn't have those rust issues.

Not in the early 70s. If memory serves, AMC started touting galvanized steel on their models during the very late 70s (1979) after the Hornet became the Concord and the Gremlin became the Spirit.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
Back to AMC how come their success only seemed to last just one year 1974? It seemed like overnight they again became an also ran. What was the last year for the Matador Coupe? And why did AMC not apply the modern styling of the coupe Matador and at least freshened up the 4 door Matador/Ambassador? This could have made the difference for them.

IIRC, AMC was bleeding some serious red ink back then. While they had some success in the compact & subcompact market; they were struggling in the mid & full-size retail markets (many police departments bought them due to price). AMC was the first domestic car company to completely axe their full-size cars (the Ambassador) after the 1974 model year in response to the gas price spikes of late 1973/early 1974. They had no money to design and tool a downsized full-size car like GM, Ford & Chrysler had & did. Once the CAFE standards took effect in 1978, the handwriting was literally on the wall for the mid-size Matador.

Had AMC not offered a 4WD variant of its compact Hornet/Concord (which by then had very strong competition by Ford/GM/Chrysler in the 2WD department) called the Eagle in 1980 and its subcompact Spirit a year later; the only vechilces w/AMC badging for the 80s would have very well been only Jeeps; which became an AMC brand during the early 70s(?)).

Others:

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 30):
The SSR, Prowler and 2002-05 Thunderbirds had large "dealer adjustments" added to their window stickers when they first came out. I wonder if they would have sold better if the dealers had not played such games trying to "create exclusivity."

IIRC, that's what did in the DeLorean. John DeLorean originally envisioned his gull-wing coupe to be priced in the Mustang/Camaro range (around $9-11k at the time). However, dealerships were pricing it 2 to 3 times as much, thinking that looks alone would sell it, and the whole thing blew up in their face. Since the V6 DeLorean did not outperform the V8 Mustang or V8 Camaro nor got 4-cylinder-like fuel economy; it was essentially a dud... until the Back to the Future movies started rolling out a few years after its production was halted.

The main issue w/the Chevy SSR, Plymouth Prowler and the '02-'05 T-Bird is that these were primarily offered as toys/fun/collector's cars and not everyday daily drivers. Which is fine when the economy is good; not fine when the economy is either soft and/or weak.

In the case of the retro T-Bird, which rolled out about 3 years too late IMHO, it debuted shortly after the economy took a hit post-dot-com bubble-burst & post-9/11/01 fallout. In a soft economy, these kind of cars are the first to take a hit saleswise. Plus, most 2-seaters aren't known for selling in high numbers to begin with; regardless of what price market they're in (remember the Pontiac Fiero & Ford EXP of the 80s were launched as economy-minded 2-seaters).

A similar argument could be stated for the SSR, although the economy improved by the time it rolled out for the 2004 model year; as you stated, excessive dealer mark-ups certainly contributed to its downfall. Plus, for a pick-up, it wasn't exactly practical at all.

In the case of the Prowler, it failed due to timing of its roll-out; right when the Plymouth brand was slated for discontinuation. A similar fate might have been in store for the PT Crusier had it rolled out a year or two earlier as a Plymouth as originally planned.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 29):
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 23):
I think the Challenger is TOO retro.


In other words, it's PERFECT!

  
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:36 am

PHBOS; thanks for a very nice summary in your Rep 41. I'm not entirely sure I could have written anything better and I concur with your observations/opinions with only little (moot) points. Well done.

One disagreement with y'all. I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour. Almost anybody (doesn't have to be a professional-degreed designer, either) can zoom up or down proportions of an original and call it "new". My case in point; I think Chrysler failed a bit on this Challenger project styling-wise but succeeded on the new Viper.

Back to a note that PHLBOS (and others) have alluded to; TIMING means a lot. Not to shoot and kill all product planners and corporate sales minions in the industry, but that IS what they get paid for.
"Hey, Rastus, let's do a new XYZ 2-seater off the current ABC platform."
"Hey, Goober, do you think peoples will buy it?"

Sometimes NOT. all best...jack
all best; jack
 
MrChips
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:02 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):

One disagreement with y'all. I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour. Almost anybody (doesn't have to be a professional-degreed designer, either) can zoom up or down proportions of an original and call it "new". My case in point; I think Chrysler failed a bit on this Challenger project styling-wise but succeeded on the new Viper.

I'm no fan of the Challenger either - partly because it is so incredibly bland to behold, but mostly because I really don't care for most of this "retro" styling craze that has gripped several automakers (not just American ones either). While I understand and appreciate the need (and in fact the desire) to have a car's design evolve over time, throwing away the book and going totally retro speaks of a styling department that is just plain out of ideas. Sometimes they do alright (the latest edition of the Mustang is pretty sharp admittedly, but that's because they've embraced modern design concepts as much as the old ones with that car), but in the case of the Challenger and the Camaro, it reeks of a cynical marketing ploy to separate Boomers from their money.

Just as bad is this need to incorporate historical flourishes in the design of your car; a character line here, a shape there and all of a sudden, everything looks like you went to the achives, took a bunch of bits and stuck them together in an incoherent and messy rolling history lesson - one need look no further than the W212 Mercedes E-Class and the SLS AMG as prime examples of this concept running amok.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
Back to a note that PHLBOS (and others) have alluded to; TIMING means a lot. Not to shoot and kill all product planners and corporate sales minions in the industry, but that IS what they get paid for.
"Hey, Rastus, let's do a new XYZ 2-seater off the current ABC platform."
"Hey, Goober, do you think peoples will buy it?"

The biggest problem is that the time elapsed between the birth of the concept and the time the first car hits the showroom floor is long enough that conditions can change so much that the car is as much of a dinosaur to the public as, well, a dinosaur. Look no further than the body-on-frame SUV; how many of those are still on sale today? (good riddance to those, I might add).
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
FI642
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:18 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 12):
Does the Hello Kitty looking Smart Car even offer a manual stick shift? At least in Europe? This is a car for a stick shift. I wonder how this car does with the A/C pumping out the cold air?

There was a Smart tonight at Los Portales with a wind-up-key on the back. Stupid.
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
cptkrell
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:59 am

MrChips; I agree with your observation that timing between a product planning decision (let alone the "bubble up" of the design/engineering phase) is still a dreaded several years prior to proof of concept and job 1 prototypes. It used to be a lot worse at the USA companies after implementation of external forces (i.e. a lot of government stuff and other out of the loop concerns). The gap seems to be improving somewhat, but our international competetors still apparently have an edge.

But then, it used to be a lot better. Remember 1957, 58, 59 when GM introduced totally new vehicles not for just each of those three years but for every division coincidingly? Different times.

Additionally I would comment on your last opinion that certain body-on-frame SUVs (Chev Suburbans and GMCs come to mind) are very viable because they are more useful and rugged for their intended purposes. I'm not saying that every purchaser uses them for their designed purpose (more than likley many of the vehicles will see their most severe duty in a WalMart parking lot) but a unibody won't cut it around here for crossing creeks, hauling horse trailers, flatbeds with endloaders aboard, etc.

F1642; I think the wind-up key Smart is a cool R.F. We had a prototype 1991 Caprice delivered to styling and it was unloaded in the employe's parking next to the wind tunnel. It was all white. At lunch time the clay modelers cut out a giant whale water spout from a 3/4" thick 4X8 sheet of foamcore and duct taped it to the hood of the car. Charlie Jordan was PISSED! I still laugh. Wish I had a photo. Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
zippyjet
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:30 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
PHBOS; thanks for a very nice summary in your Rep 41. I'm not entirely sure I could have written anything better and I concur with your observations/opinions with only little (moot) points. Well done.



  

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
The biggest problem is that the time elapsed between the birth of the concept and the time the first car hits the showroom floor is long enough that conditions can change so much that the car is as much of a dinosaur to the public as, well, a dinosaur. Look no further than the body-on-frame SUV; how many of those are still on sale today? (good riddance to those, I might add).



Couldn't have said it better. Case in point; The much maligned laughing stock Edsel. The concept and design were spawned back in 1954/1955. The economy was strong and life in the USA was hunky dory, I Like Ike Sha Boom Sha Boom. Life was but a breeze. That is why the car got that horse collar grille which resembled the female genitalia fertile tirangle. Reverse angle vent windows and chrome chrome everywhere. However whent that creampuff rolled out in 1958 the country was in a recession and the USA was smarting from playing catch up to the Soviet Union in the space race. Therefore the Edsel was the biggest dud of all time on wheels. At the same time Packard had the king of the pimpmobiles, a concept car named the "Predictor." !Back to timing: The what was then progressive futuristic Chrysler co. "Forward Look" creampuffs were originally going to be held back and roll out for the 1960 model car year. Instead someone at Mopar made the ballsy moove to bring them out for model year 1957 with the now hoaky advertising slogan: Suddenly it's 1960! Imagine had they waited till 1960. Those cars would be big finned dinosaurs!

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
One needs to remember that the LTD II coupe was a replacement for the Torino coupe, which was the bargain-basement of the standard mid-size lineup whereas the '77 T-Bird, in essence, replaced the '76 Elite... Ford's personal luxury mid-size coupe. It was no more redundant than the Chevy Malibu coupe vs. the Monte Carlo of the same era. There probably was a price difference back then. It wasn't until the 1980s that automakers started noticing the redundancy and started discontinuing the standard mid-size coupes to save on production costs.



Actually the LTD II was basically the Torino line carried over but with a sheet metal face-lift. The dash, and other components were literally identical! And the Torino was Ford's midsized line across the board. You had your bare bones models with the depressing thin bench seats all the way up to the Elite. There were even Torino Broughams and Gran Torinos. The T-Bird moved down market from sharing the Lincoln Mark IV platforn to the mid sized Torino/LTD II platform which tranlated to the best ever selling T-Birds.
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
MrChips
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:09 am

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 45):
MrChips; I agree with your observation that timing between a product planning decision (let alone the "bubble up" of the design/engineering phase) is still a dreaded several years prior to proof of concept and job 1 prototypes. It used to be a lot worse at the USA companies after implementation of external forces (i.e. a lot of government stuff and other out of the loop concerns). The gap seems to be improving somewhat, but our international competetors still apparently have an edge.

The same external pressures that are slowing things down in the US auto development cycle slow down every other manufacturer in their home countries (or more, if you're talking about an EU-based manufacturer), so blaming it solely on government is a bit of a red herring. The issue is that US manufacturers are simply trying to build too many cars on too many platforms. If you look at the Koreans and (increasingly) the Europeans, they're simplifying their lineups dramatically; not from a model range perspective, but from an engineering perspective. VW, for example, will have three platforms upon which their entire extended model range across all of their brands (something like 250 different models altogether) will be based upon by the end of the decade; one for tranverse-engine cars (MQB), one for longitudinal engine cars (MLB) and a variant of MLB for rear and mid-engined cars. Contrast this with GM, who as of today are building far fewer models worldwide (100 or so) on no fewer than 14 different platforms. It's a simple math equation...250 models, three platforms; or 100 models, 14 platforms - which will make for faster, cheaper model cycles?

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 45):
Additionally I would comment on your last opinion that certain body-on-frame SUVs (Chev Suburbans and GMCs come to mind) are very viable because they are more useful and rugged for their intended purposes. I'm not saying that every purchaser uses them for their designed purpose (more than likley many of the vehicles will see their most severe duty in a WalMart parking lot) but a unibody won't cut it around here for crossing creeks, hauling horse trailers, flatbeds with endloaders aboard, etc.

The only reason why BoF trucks have survived as long as they have is because they are cheap as chips to build, making them very high-margin vehicles (especially when we're talking about an $80,000 Cadillac Escalade) and they're easy as hell to market to a willing public. While I will agree that the current crop of BoF trucks are very tough vehicles, there is really very little need for that kind of over-engineered strength in the average daily use that probably 80% of work trucks and 99% of privately owned trucks would see. I've said for a long time that a unibody truck would better serve the general public (it could also be made to be almost as strong while being much safer and lighter all at once too), and keep the old BoF trucks for commercial users only - most consumers would never be able to tell the difference, as long as the unibody truck was big like a locomotive and aggressive-looking.
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
Superfly
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:25 am

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 39):
I think the 258 morphed into the 4.0 "power tech six" which was used for decades in countless Cherokees.


Hmmmm, could the transfercase handle that engine? Those were putting out around 200HP towards the end.
Would be cool to fit a diesel engine in one of those Eagles as well.
Perhaps a Jeep Commonrail diesel or a Mercedes 3.5 liter diesel. .

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
LTD & LTD II



Mustang II, Bronco II.
Any other IIs I'm missing?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.



That explains why that was the most popular AMC of the early to mid 70s

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
Not in the early 70s. If memory serves, AMC started touting galvanized steel on their models during the very late 70s (1979) after the Hornet became the Concord and the Gremlin became the Spirit.



Thanks. I thought it was something they were doing in the 1960s.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
The main issue w/the Chevy SSR, Plymouth Prowler and the '02-'05 T-Bird is that these were primarily offered as toys/fun/collector's cars and not everyday daily drivers.



At least the Thunderbird was based off a car that once existed. The SSR was a retro vehicle of a modified truck. It was a hot-rod from the factory. Usually hot-rods are custom jobs by the owner.
The Thunderbird was much more true to it's heritage.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
A similar fate might have been in store for the PT Crusier had it rolled out a year or two earlier as a Plymouth as originally planned.



I wish the PT Cruiser was larger - minivan sized. That would have been much closer to the original 1940s design they were going for. Regardless, I'm glad that the model was a success.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour.


No, no, no!
It's a perfectly designed car.   
Bring back the Concorde
 
PHLBOS
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RE: 10 Worst Cars Of All Time (A Survey) #2

Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:29 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
LTD & LTD II


Mustang II, Bronco II.
Any other IIs I'm missing?

None others that I'm aware of. It's worth noting (I know you know this but for those that are not 100% aware) that unlike the LTD/LTD II & Bronco/Bronco II; the Mustang II was not sold alongside another model bearing the Mustang in the same model year.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 46):
Actually the LTD II was basically the Torino line carried over but with a sheet metal face-lift. The dash, and other components were literally identical! And the Torino was Ford's midsized line across the board. You had your bare bones models with the depressing thin bench seats all the way up to the Elite. There were even Torino Broughams and Gran Torinos. The T-Bird moved down market from sharing the Lincoln Mark IV platforn to the mid sized Torino/LTD II platform which tranlated to the best ever selling T-Birds.

I am very well aware that the LTD II was, in essense, a mildy restyled Torino. I took my driver's test in my mother's '77 LTD II back in May of 1982.

Like the Torino before it, the LTD II (at least in its first year) had the same basic trim line-up and body style choices (coupe/sedan/wagon). The LTD II S replaced the base Torino, the LTD II replace the Gran Torino and the LTD II Brougham replaced the Gran Torino Brougham. The biggest visual difference was that the LTD II had a longer nose & hood than its Torino predecessor. It was even longer than that of its full-size LTD/Custom 500. It also was the first Fords to feature rectangular headlights (which were still relatively brand new to the market at the time).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
Not in the early 70s. If memory serves, AMC started touting galvanized steel on their models during the very late 70s (1979) after the Hornet became the Concord and the Gremlin became the Spirit.


Thanks. I thought it was something they were doing in the 1960s.

Mind you, I may need to recheck on that. I'm just basing my earlier assumption on TV ads I saw during the late 70s. That's when I, personally, first heard the term galvanized.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 42):
I still believe that the new Challenger needs a little more upgraded styling flavour.

You might get your wish come 2015. According to one car magazine article a few months ago (I can't remember which one); the Challenger is slated to be replaced with a smaller, lighter, but still RWD car called the Barracuda. It's worth noting that the 70s Plymouth Barracuda was slightly smaller than its original Dodge Challenger cousin of the era.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 43):
Look no further than the body-on-frame SUV; how many of those are still on sale today?

At present & not counting used models, the only domestic body-on-frame SUVs available for 2013 are the full-size Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/XL/Escalade from GM and the Expedition/EL/Navigator/L models from Ford. The only mid-size body-on-frame SUVs on the market for 2013 are import brands (Toyota 4Runner & Nissan Xterra(?)).

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango, although being RWD-based and offering available V8s, feature unitized construction.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 48):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 41):
At the time, the AMC Hornet was the only domestic compact wagon on the market.



That explains why that was the most popular AMC of the early to mid 70s

AMC certainly capitalized on such in this 1976 ad. for its Hornet Sportabout wagon (from a Nov. '75 issue of Popular Mechanics):
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff304/meanbuicks/Station%20Wagon%20stuff/1975_Hornet_wagon2-1.jpg


[Edited 2013-01-03 06:31:12]
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981

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