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SmithAir747
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Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:31 pm

Who has owned or driven either the (US) Dodge Magnum wagon or the (European) Chrysler 300C Touring estate?

I was excited when the Dodge Magnum came out in the US in the mid 2000s, and hoped someday to own one (or at least test-drive one); I am a lifelong station wagon (estate) lover.

When I moved to London, UK, in 2004, I was surprised to see a similar-looking model over there--a Chrysler 300C Touring estate! After doing a double-take, I wondered why this model was not available in the US alongside its Dodge sister.

So, why no Chrysler 300C Touring model in the US alongside the Dodge Magnum?

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Polot
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:13 pm

The 300 Touring is the exact same car as the Magnum, just with the Chrysler front end since Dodge wasn't/isn't sold in Europe. There was no point in bringing it to the U.S. market, which does not like wagons. The Magnum sold poorly enough, no reason to make things worse by competing with yourself in a small market.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:41 pm

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Who has owned or driven either the (US) Dodge Magnum wagon or the (European) Chrysler 300C Touring estate?

I had a 2005. I leased it for three years and dumped it a year early. I couldn't wait to get rid of it. The visibility at night was terrible and the car kept getting hit in parking lots. I had three insurance claims while I had that car.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
So, why no Chrysler 300C Touring model in the US alongside the Dodge Magnum?

The same reason there was no Dodge Neon or Dodge Intrepid in Canada; Dodge wasn't a car brand there. Those cars were known as Chryslers in Canada.
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sccutler
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:59 pm

Same running gear as the Charger/300, which means it's a good, solid car. I like its looks but, as noted above, station wagons ("estates") are not good sellers here, as we've become The Minivan Nation, huge, corpulent, waddling masses, shoveling burgers, fries and shakes into our great, quivering, poly-jowled maws, striving all the while to get asses as big as possible, and driving minivans that look the same, left lane, cruise control, cellphone-blabbing, blocking traffic.

You think I like minivans?
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af773atmsp
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:22 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 3):

That also applies to SUVs and some CUVs.

Every once in awhile I see a Magnum. It seems a lot of them have been "pimped out".
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PHLBOS
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:19 pm

IMHO, the two main problems with the Magnum wagon were:

1. Concept was poorly conceived. While it looked like a station wagon; it lacked many of the virtues of a station wagon... mainly skimpy (for its size) cargo space (it wasn't much roomier than a compact Ford Focus wagon of the era despite the 120" wheelbase) and the fore-mentioned poor visibility (many of today's vehicles are actually worse in this department).

2. Poorly marketed. Unlike other first-year models; Dodge did a rather shabby job in advertising the Magnum. It was almost like they intentionally wanted it to fail.

In contrast, Chysler advertised its similar-platformed 300 sedan and it sold like gangbusters.
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falstaff
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:12 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 5):
Concept was poorly conceived. While it looked like a station wagon; it lacked many of the virtues of a station wagon...

The back seats would not fold down perfectly flat. My 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD and 1978 Chevy Caprice wagons fold perfectly flat, enabling me to load the car better. I had the Benz at the same time as the Magnum and I could put more stuff in the Benz, even though it was smaller.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 3):
Same running gear as the Charger/300, which means it's a good, solid car

Not if it had the 2.7 liter V-6, which the base model did. Those things had PCV issues and would sludge like crazy.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 3):
as we've become The Minivan Nation

Not as much at twenty years ago. CUV and SUV has taken that away.
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b727
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:56 pm

We had a 06 wagon. Cool looking car. Helpless in the snow as it is RWD. We had a v6 it was under powered. We traded it a year later.

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falstaff
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:59 am

Quoting b727 (Reply 7):
Helpless in the snow as it is RWD.

Never had trouble with mine in that regard. I drive rear drive vehicles exclusively and have for 20 plus years. I never have trouble in snow and it snows plenty in Detroit. I have friends who claim to have trouble in 4x4s, but my 4x2 trucks get me where I need to go without issue. I have a Cadillac ATS RWD and that handles better in the snow than anything I ever owned.

Of course you live on the other side of the lake where it snows more.... Mine was the 2.7 V-6 and was too underpowered to do much. I would bet the V-8 model with performance tires would suck in the snow.

[Edited 2015-04-04 05:05:38]
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Aesma
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:28 pm

I don't see how power would help in the snow. A manual transmission, on the other hand...

The wagon has been discontinued now. I was looking at wikipedia and see that the new 300, now sold as a Lancia here in Europe, has a 286hp V6 as its smallest gas engine, I wonder if they even sold one of those. There is a more frugal diesel, but a quick look at the French Lancia website doesn't show the Thema at all, I guess they didn't sell any !
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:18 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
. I would bet the V-8 model with performance tires would suck in the snow.

I can't see how would that be the car's fault.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 9):
I don't see how power would help in the snow. A manual transmission, on the other hand...

The manual transmission, or rather lack of thereof is the reason why I don't drive a LX car.
In reality most of the LX cars (except for the 2.7l version that shouldn't even exist) were equipped with a 5AT with manual mode, which makes it just as good for driving in the snow as any MT. This has been lately replaced with a 8AT, but the manual mode is an option now.
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Max Q
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:26 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 3):
Same running gear as the Charger/300, which means it's a good, solid car. I like its looks but, as noted above, station wagons ("estates") are not good sellers here, as we've become The Minivan Nation, huge, corpulent, waddling masses, shoveling burgers, fries and shakes into our great, quivering, poly-jowled maws, striving all the while to get asses as big as possible, and driving minivans that look the same, left lane, cruise control, cellphone-blabbing, blocking traffic.

You think I like minivans?

         


Rented both versions, nice, comfortable powerful cars but would not buy one, the quality is just not there.
I only buy Japanese cars.
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sccutler
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Rented both versions, nice, comfortable powerful cars but would not buy one, the quality is just not there.
I only buy Japanese cars.

Heh.

Worst car I ever owned (by a long shot) was a Honda Civic. Just could not be made to run reliably.

At this point, most cars are so good, the diff is statistically meaningless, and *most* GM and Ford cars have it all over *most* Japanese cars.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Max Q
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:23 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 12):
Heh.

Worst car I ever owned (by a long shot) was a Honda Civic. Just could not be made to run reliably.

At this point, most cars are so good, the diff is statistically meaningless, and *most* GM and Ford cars have it all over *most* Japanese cars.

I guess everything's subjective.


I've bought several Toyota and Honda products, (including two civics) they've been nothing less than superb.


Before I went 'Japanese only' I had a few American cars and they were awful, unreliable and poor quality.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:05 pm

If I was looking for an estate from that time frame I'd be hard pressed to choose a Magnum/300 Touring over an E46 wagon or B6/7 A4/S4 Avante.
 
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Kaphias
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:25 pm

Mid-2000's wagon?



250hp/250lb-ft, Japanese reliability, AWD, and enough room to sleep in the back.

Though an E46 wagon isn't bad either:



Or even better, this.
 
Flighty
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:09 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 3):
You think I like minivans?

Totally agree but I think the gargantuan ravenous people-oids in this country prefer full-size pickup trucks, Toyota Sequoias, Tahoes, Escalades, etc. Even for "work." Gotta have that capacity.

Meanwhile in Europe, people doing an equal amount of hauling buy vehicles half as heavy to do it. A Ford Ranger or Nissan Frontier can haul so much, even the strongest 2 men you've ever seen would be utterly exhausted by its capability. But we go for trucks 2, 3, even 4 times more capable, because we "need" to (psychologically because of insecurities and phobias).

A Ford Fiesta or a Prius can easily carry 2 400 lb people. But people prefer larger vehicles... maybe in case they reach they weigh 1,000 lbs in the future. They might need some sort of tactical humvee to get to dialysis as their giant bellies bend the steel frame of a lesser vehicle.

My 100-something lb mom drives a 4,800 lb Volvo SUV that gets 16 mpg. Why, because other cars are "so tiny" uhhh okay
 
 
Max Q
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:27 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):
They might need some sort of tactical humvee to get to dialysis as their giant bellies bend the steel frame of a lesser vehicle.

             
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
sccutler
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:00 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):

Quoting sccutler (Reply 3):
You think I like minivans?

Totally agree but I think the gargantuan ravenous people-oids in this country prefer full-size pickup trucks, Toyota Sequoias, Tahoes, Escalades, etc. Even for "work." Gotta have that capacity.

Heh.

I drive a Suburban as my everyday transport.

I wouldn't, except (1) I got a screamin' deal on it, and (2) my daily commute is, if I take my sweet time, about 4 minutes.

If I drove a meaningful amount, I would never tolerate the level of fuel consumption required. As it is, when we road trip, if the space is not needed (such as moving the kid to and from college), we take my wife's car, which is very economical.

The Suburban drives like a new car, most reliable vehicle I've ever owned, 167,000 miles.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Flighty
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:41 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 18):
The Suburban drives like a new car, most reliable vehicle I've ever owned, 167,000 miles.

They are great vehicles. Large American cars always have been. My friend has a 2000 Tahoe with 212k on the clock. The mechanicals are beefy enough to really last. I was impressed compared to my Jeep Grand of the same era. The GMs are far better engineered.
 
IH8BY
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:37 pm

Problem is, even in Europe where wagons are a much bigger deal (particularly in the retail market) there wasn't much reason to choose the Chrysler (other than 'being different') when there were plenty of far more capable and efficient wagons out there. It's awesome, but heavy and compromised. I've always liked it because it's different, but if I were in the market for a wagon would I like it enough to buy it? No. And now that crossovers are eating into the traditional wagon market, there's just no room for it.

I had a Peugeot 508 SW (2.0 diesel) a couple of years ago which I loved, but I just didn't need the space for 99% of the time so I've downsized into a Peugeot 308 hatchback and now into a Peugeot 208 GTi.
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:27 pm

I saw a Lancia Thema in an underground parking lot yesterday, not the wagon (not made anymore), probably diesel but I couldn't tell. Unlike crossing it on the road I could walk around, man, that's a big car ! It's the same size as the largest European sedans, and usually those don't have a wagon variant either.
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Revelation
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:12 pm

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 4):
Every once in awhile I see a Magnum. It seems a lot of them have been "pimped out".
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 5):
In contrast, Chysler advertised its similar-platformed 300 sedan and it sold like gangbusters.

Sold like gangbusters to gangbangers!  
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:35 pm

I love my wifes A6, nothing beats a good wagon.

 
Skydrol
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:48 pm

Much of what has been discussed are derivatives of extended hatchbacks...

A real station wagon can carry 4' x 8' sheets of plywood with the seats folded down and tailgate closed, carry 8 to 10 passengers with all seats raised, be rated to tow 5,000 to 7,000 lbs, have a usable, adjustable metal roof rack with roof support ribs, and have a power rear window that can get out of the way into the door, which folds down as a tailgate, or swings to the side like a regular door... this is called utility. The modern swing-up hatches are useless.

Below are examples from the "big 3" from the 70s and 80s. If massive Escalades, Excursions and Armadas can be built today (which get equal or worse fuel economy), why can't there be a lower-profile heavy duty wagon offering with the features of a 70s wagon with modern engines, suspension, brakes and safety features.


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/1e/74/6e/1e746e47992f58f5fb8491b2cc8693f3.jpg
http://blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2010/10/1972ChryslerTownCountry_01_700.jpg
http://assets.blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2013/05/1971FordLTD_02_700.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b8/55/a7/b855a7b87b2b68d2e117bd7ec6e2a9f2.jpg




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Aesma
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:52 pm

Good fun parallel parking those !
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Flighty
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:02 pm

Skydrol, thanks for the great pictures. The car wagons were practically made illegal by CAFE. Because you can't legally call a car a "light truck." And light trucks are allowed to burn 20% more gas or so.

Therefore, almost everybody who wants a bigger vehicle goes with trucks. There are some big V8 sedans available, but their sales are low. They are not all that common. So what I said is like 90% of the story. Those vehicles were replaced by Tahoes, Grand Cherokees, and so forth. If you lowered those vehicles and called them Cars, they would be illegal to sell in this country, in terms of CAFE. It is a complete joke. Take a look.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fuel_Economy#Agreed_standards_by_model_year.2C_2011-2025

[Edited 2015-04-11 12:04:13]
 
sccutler
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:50 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 25):
Good fun parallel parking those !

You'd be amazed at how adept I am at parallel parking my 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser - and it is the coolest car around!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Skydrol
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:51 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 27):
You'd be amazed at how adept I am at parallel parking my 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser - and it is the coolest car around!

Actually, because of the steering geometry used on 1977 and later GM B bodies, like a Caprice or your Custom Cruiser, their turning circle is smaller and manoeuverability is often better than many smaller front wheel drive cars. The B bodies were built with police and taxi service in congested places like NYC in mind.




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B777LRF
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:25 am

I had the great misfortune of being given a Chrysler 300C estate, diesel powered, as a rental a few years ago. It was horrendous in every way; cheap and crap quality on the inside, extremely thirsty and with utterly despicable handling. Found out later it actually had the underpinnings of a Mercedes E300D, but somehow Chrysler managed to make a same-sized derivate weigh 500 kgs more. How such incompetence is even possible is utterly baffling.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 18):
my daily commute is, if I take my sweet time, about 4 minutes.

You, Sir, should really consider using another mode of transport for your daily 'commute'. I'd recommend a bicycle.*

*My daily 'commute' is 10 minutes, whether by car or bicycle. I always take the bike, unless it's really p1ssing down, in which case I'll take the metro for the 2 stops to work.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:15 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 27):
You'd be amazed at how adept I am at parallel parking my 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser - and it is the coolest car around!

Only in your dreams.

 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:47 am

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 20):
I had a Peugeot 508 SW (2.0 diesel) a couple of years ago which I loved, but I just didn't need the space for 99% of the time so I've downsized into a Peugeot 308 hatchback and now into a Peugeot 208 GTi.

That 508 Sw is sure a nice looking wagon! (The 208Gti is a blast!).

I drove one of those Magnums back in 2005 2 weeks as a rental, it had a very vague steering and being rear wheel drive it was not easy to drive at 75 to 85 mph. The interiors were pretty ANTI ergonomic and squarish, it had good power and rear visibility but other than than it was a Pita and very gas inefficient, I put snow cables and it was so difficult because th clearance with the struts was very small....chains? forget it....

I love wagons used to have a Sable wagon (biggest POS ever), and now I have a loaded Golf Sportwagen. I love that darn car..

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sccutler
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:25 pm

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 28):
Actually, because of the steering geometry used on 1977 and later GM B bodies, like a Caprice or your Custom Cruiser, their turning circle is smaller and manoeuverability is often better than many smaller front wheel drive cars. The B bodies were built with police and taxi service in congested places like NYC in mind.

That is the thing - it can make a U-turn in a remarkably small radius, and that absolutely makes the parking task (especially backing-in) very easy, indeed.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 29):

Quoting sccutler (Reply 18):
my daily commute is, if I take my sweet time, about 4 minutes.

You, Sir, should really consider using another mode of transport for your daily 'commute'. I'd recommend a bicycle.*

You, Sir, are correct! I could certainly benefit from the exercise, and there is a well-equipped fitness center with showers readily available at the building, so no excuse there.

More practical issues, though, are: (1) there is no "bike-friendly" route to the office, and I do not ever intend to ride a bicycle along the frontage road for Interstate 635; and (2) I require an automobile at the office at all times, for client and jobsite visits, many of which cannot be anticipated or scheduled in advance, and it is impractical to keep an "extra" car there.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):

Quoting sccutler (Reply 27):
You'd be amazed at how adept I am at parallel parking my 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser - and it is the coolest car around!

Only in your dreams.


It is unfair (and, perhaps, immoral) to compare my beautiful, stock Custom Cruiser, to that egregiously and (perhaps) criminally adulterated "donked" abomination. Next thing, you'll post a picture of a 5-Series BMW with up-pivoting "Lambo" doors (yes, I have seen this foul thing done). Shudder!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Dodge Magnum Wagon/Chrysler 300C Touring Estate

Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:24 pm

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 24):
A real station wagon can carry 4' x 8' sheets of plywood with the seats folded down and tailgate closed

Since one of your photos includes that of the 'downsized' Chevy Caprice Estate wagon from the early 80s...
I might be mistaken on this, but when the full-size station wagons were downsized ('77 for the GM models, '79 for the Ford models); one could still lay 4'x8' sheets of plywood flat but I don't think that the tailgate could close. If it did, there wasn't much space between the plywood sheets and the tailgate door. When the wagons downsized, they did indeed took a hit in the overall cargo capacity department (the Ford & Mercury wagons lost about 5 cubic feet overall in their '79 downsizing).

Quoting Flighty (Reply 26):
Skydrol, thanks for the great pictures. The car wagons were practically made illegal by CAFE. Because you can't legally call a car a "light truck." And light trucks are allowed to burn 20% more gas or so.

Therefore, almost everybody who wants a bigger vehicle goes with trucks. There are some big V8 sedans available, but their sales are low. They are not all that common. So what I said is like 90% of the story. Those vehicles were replaced by Tahoes, Grand Cherokees, and so forth. If you lowered those vehicles and called them Cars, they would be illegal to sell in this country, in terms of CAFE. It is a complete joke.

   Very true, I could not have siad it better myself.
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