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Author Topic: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1970s, 80s and 90s  (Read 75379 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #50 on: May 10, 2016, 11:09:57 AM »


But they can be packed much more efficiently, just look at the the history of the BMW 3 series with I6 engines. 

The problem is that there is a huge disconnect between what even people my age (Gen Xers) and what all these kids growing like.  I've met a lot of people in college who don't even have a driver's license and have zero desire to travel anywhere in a car.  There has been a gradual downhill slide in the popularity of cars with young folks ever since the baby boomer generation.  For me, I just don't plain get it.  I've lived in and worked in six of the ten largest cities in the country and I consider them all urbanized versions of hell.  I'd much rather travel to work and travel out of town...it's completely different for people growing up today.  Kids today by and large...granted I know there are exceptions...are much more connected socially because of technology and in turn largely remain near home.  For people like me when we were growing up we kept few friends, wanted to move from home and see the country...culture among youth has done a complete 180.  For the most part the income levels of young people today will likely progress slower since they are staying home longer which begs the question....is designing city cars with low profit margins really worth the investment to cater to a group that has little interest and little money.  For the kids growing up today that seem to like cars they seem to like the ones everyone else does; muscle cars, trucks and affordable sports compacts. 

Besides straight 6 aka Inline 6, there was a time where straight 8 aka inline 8 was also available but after WWII, the V8 replaced the I8, Pontiac and Packard was the last ones who used a I8 althought Chrysler did made a concept car, the 1995 Atlantic who showed a I8 formed with 2 I4 engines from the Neon.


Not only the I8 but you had Cadillacs and other high end cars with V16s which had similar lengths back in their time.  Reminds me of the awesome Cadillac 16 Concept...I would have loved to see something this crazy enter limited production:


Ironically I think that we got a progression of this idea with the W16 Veyron.

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #51 on: May 10, 2016, 01:35:16 PM »

The real travesty with the 2.5L Iron Duke was when it found it's way into the initial run of 3rd generation F-Bodies.  I remember those cars being despised with a passion and some of the most hated Camaros/Firebirds ever built.
Again, such was offered due to rising CAFE standards and years of seeing the successful sales of 4-cylinder Mustangs (both Fox-bodies and the earlier Pinto-based Mustang IIs).

The Fiero was a really strange car with a very mixed message; sporty and economical don't usually go hand in hand.
One item that can make or break sales of a vehicle is timing.  The Fiero was designed in anticipation of a market where economy takes precedence over performance.  However, lower gas prices, a stabilizing economy and a government that wasn't so regulation-happy as its immediate predecessors were tilted the market emphasis back towards performance.   

For what it's worth I always felt like GM got it much more right with the Kappa platform Solstice and Sky.  They had a base four cylinder that would offer Miata level performance with the Turbo Eco-Tech as an option.  But to your point the Solstice never sold more than 20,000 units a year and had a low profit margin due to how the body was built.  But at the very least the Kappa cars were clearly meant from the get-go to be a performance model which made them much better for what they were.
What did those cars in was that both the Pontiac and Saturn brands were discontinued.  Had that not happened, at least one of those Kappa cars might be still in production.  Chevy wasn't interested in adopting the car/platform (they viewed that one 2-seater (the Corvette) was enough for them) and Buick (their present existence is largely because that brand is very popular in the Chinese market now) wasn't interested either (they had their 2-seater fling with the luxury-oriented Reatta 20 years earlier).  Cadillac also had and discontinued their Corvette-based XLR 2-seater as well.  As a result, those orphans had nowhere to go.   

I actually broke down the math on a Yaris vs a Prius with annual mileage at something like 10,500 a year and it showed a base ROI of 15 years for the Prius to pay you back for the money you could have saved on the Yaris.  The funny thing is that you mention politically ingrained culture....holy crap is that beaten into some people, especially people who tend to buy hybrids or electrics.  I've heard so much environmental misinformation from buyers of those vehicles to make your head spin....one thing is clear though, they buy them because they like them.
Of course, it's worth noting that Prius is a larger vehicle than the Yaris; (playing devil's advocate for a moment) so somebody could choose a Prius over a Yaris for better fuel economy and added interior/cargo room.

Funny how gas always seems to come and go as a problem.  I remember there was a broken pipeline in Arizona I want to see back in 2002.  It basically led to gas prices escalating to $2 dollars a gallon for a weekend while the pipeline was repaired.  People lost their frigging minds and were lining up at gas stations just like they were in the 1970s.  There were even some people going around and puncturing fuel tanks for the gas inside.  Now people readily accept and expect $3-$4 a gallon gas but complain about it readily all the time.  I just tell people gas was $1.50 on average on 1980...when they tell me that's good I point out the fact that that roughly translates into $4.50 factoring inflation.  I guess as they would say, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Very true and some of the challenges we're seeing in the auto industry today, in principle haven't really changed all that much since the 70s.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 01:39:21 PM by PHLBOS »
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2016, 03:48:22 PM »

The sad thing for the Fiero, there was some plans for a 1989 Fiero. It didn't go further then the prototype stage and clay models.
http://www.gt.ppdictionary.com/prototype_photos_3.html http://www.midengine-motorsports.com/Prototype/Pontiac/Fiero/Fiero.htm
http://www.oocities.org/fierolisa/89a.html

There was some other variants studied.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #53 on: May 10, 2016, 10:40:09 PM »

I remember that Fiero prototype, it's too bad it never saw production.  A lot of GM's best designs were just left in clay models or on the drawing board.  The one I really liked was the early 2000's Chevy SS which was rumored to be called the Chevelle if it met production.

Speaking concepts around the same time as the SS, GM had the Kappa platform Nomad which was a four seater.  I would loved to see one of those make production with a turbo eco-tech but Chevy already had the Cobalt SS and Camaro by the time Pontiac/Saturn were shuttered.  The Kappa platform had a big issue with expensive hydroformed steel body pieces and which ate into the profit margins.  In turn that made the platform useless for Chevy and GM when the company declared bankruptcy.

The funny thing about CAFE is that it climbed from 18 MPG in 1978 to 27.5 MPG by 1985.  From 1986 to 1989 CAFE actually lowered slightly before stagnating at 27.5 MPG from 1990 all the way to the 2010s.  It's actually ironic watching all those old Motorweek videos that the automakers actually still made more efficient cars...certainly not trucks during the 90s when gas prices fell through the floor.  The original Fiero was a victim of several things; CAFE being among them but also the assumption by domestic automakers that a model needed to crank out well of 100,000 units if not 200,000 to be a profitable success.  Outside the Corvette GM could never make a low production car profitable back in those days and it was doubtful either Chrysler or Ford could as well.

The one other big factor with hybrids that would affect ROI even with costs coming down on hybrids is replacing the battery after it expires in about 100,000 miles or 8 years.  The Prius battery is still a very expensive part to replace and costs several thousand dollars.  A full-electric like the Tesla line was actually selling the replacement batteries during purchase with a discount from the $40,000 dollar price at something like 25% off....at least it was that way with the model S.  So factor that into something more comparable like a say...Corolla vs Prius and it would be interesting to see what the difference would be and if the investment could be recouped at all?  But that's not to say as time marches on and more cars use electric or hybrid power trains that the prices won't come down closer to conventional gasoline.  The Chevy Volt is actually finally starting to decline in price in the current generation and probably be a lot more attractive even with the possible lack of tax credits. 

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2016, 09:24:56 AM »

The funny thing about CAFE is that it climbed from 18 MPG in 1978 to 27.5 MPG by 1985.  From 1986 to 1989 CAFE actually lowered slightly before stagnating at 27.5 MPG from 1990 all the way to the 2010s.
Short one-word answer for the above (not to sound like a broken record): Politics.

IIRC, then-President Reagan requested Congress to relax the 27.5 standard to 26 mpg (he likely wanted to get rid of it totally but such (like the NSL) required an act of Congress to do so).  At the time, many police departments' vehicles were now getting socked with gas guzzler taxes because their cars fuel economy fell short of the guzzler tax threshold.

The increase back to 27.5 occurred shortly after Bush 41 come into office; such was right around the time the term global warming was being touted.

A few here are not going to like me for stating such but had it not been for the GOP sweep into Congress following the 1994 elections; the CAFE standard would have increased beyond 27.5 much sooner.

With the CAFE standard for cars remaining at 27.5 mpg while gas prices remained steady & low; automakers (and not just the Big Three) started marketing and emphasizing SUVs (which were subject to the lower truck CAFE standard of 20.7 mpg) more because marketing & selling more larger cars would yield more financial penalties (fines).

When the Democrats regained control of both the House & Senate following the 2006 elections and gas prices started rising again; they saw an opportunity to increase CAFE standards, voted on and passed legislation in 2007.  It is rumored that the bill was sent to the White House in a Prius.  As a means of having Bush 43 agree to sign such; a provision was placed in the bill that allowed the President (present & future) to make changes to the CAFE figures as needed.  Such would, in the eyes of car enthusiasts, turned out to be a big mistake.  While the originally signed bill called for the CAFE figure for cars to increase to 35 mpg by 2020 (the first increase would take effect for the 2011 model year), President Obama modified the future standards to be more stringent and sooner (35.5 mpg standard by 2016).

Later on, President Obama signed on a CAFE mandate for cars & light trucks to average 54.5 mpg by 2025.  Needless to say, the only way to achieve such would be greater emphasis on hybrids & electrics.

The above is something to think about, especially if one's a car enthusiast, this coming election year (and I'm not just referring to the Presidential race).  If the above goes as planned, we could very well see a return of the days of doldrum performance in the coming years that the OP was referring to.
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GCrites80s

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2016, 08:53:39 PM »


The real travesty with the 2.5L Iron Duke was when it found it's way into the initial run of 3rd generation F-Bodies.  I remember those cars being despised with a passion and some of the most hated Camaros/Firebirds ever built. 

See, I was too young to remember that. The first 3rd gens I noticed were the 350 IROCs (well, besides K.I.T.T.) I didn't know anything about 95hp Iron Dukes or 155hp non-HO 305s from 1982 at the time. So 3rdgens looked really bad ass to me. I've had a 350 IROC for 21 years now. 155hp had to be a real bummer after the 220hp Pontiac 400 Trans Ams.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2016, 09:23:42 PM »

The funny thing about CAFE is that it climbed from 18 MPG in 1978 to 27.5 MPG by 1985.  From 1986 to 1989 CAFE actually lowered slightly before stagnating at 27.5 MPG from 1990 all the way to the 2010s.
Short one-word answer for the above (not to sound like a broken record): Politics.

IIRC, then-President Reagan requested Congress to relax the 27.5 standard to 26 mpg (he likely wanted to get rid of it totally but such (like the NSL) required an act of Congress to do so).  At the time, many police departments' vehicles were now getting socked with gas guzzler taxes because their cars fuel economy fell short of the guzzler tax threshold.

The increase back to 27.5 occurred shortly after Bush 41 come into office; such was right around the time the term global warming was being touted.

A few here are not going to like me for stating such but had it not been for the GOP sweep into Congress following the 1994 elections; the CAFE standard would have increased beyond 27.5 much sooner.

With the CAFE standard for cars remaining at 27.5 mpg while gas prices remained steady & low; automakers (and not just the Big Three) started marketing and emphasizing SUVs (which were subject to the lower truck CAFE standard of 20.7 mpg) more because marketing & selling more larger cars would yield more financial penalties (fines).

When the Democrats regained control of both the House & Senate following the 2006 elections and gas prices started rising again; they saw an opportunity to increase CAFE standards, voted on and passed legislation in 2007.  It is rumored that the bill was sent to the White House in a Prius.  As a means of having Bush 43 agree to sign such; a provision was placed in the bill that allowed the President (present & future) to make changes to the CAFE figures as needed.  Such would, in the eyes of car enthusiasts, turned out to be a big mistake.  While the originally signed bill called for the CAFE figure for cars to increase to 35 mpg by 2020 (the first increase would take effect for the 2011 model year), President Obama modified the future standards to be more stringent and sooner (35.5 mpg standard by 2016).

Later on, President Obama signed on a CAFE mandate for cars & light trucks to average 54.5 mpg by 2025.  Needless to say, the only way to achieve such would be greater emphasis on hybrids & electrics.

The above is something to think about, especially if one's a car enthusiast, this coming election year (and I'm not just referring to the Presidential race).  If the above goes as planned, we could very well see a return of the days of doldrum performance in the coming years that the OP was referring to.

All the more reason why I got my Challenger this past year instead of waiting.  I had an SS Camaro and Mustang GT prior to that Challenger and only saw an escalation in horsepower.  First 300hp was a lot....then it was 400hp....now it's 500hp...that isn't sustainable for a lot of reasons beyond just fuel economy.  Granted I feel like the gravitation to performance cars and away from SUVs as the big engined vehicle is at least putting things in a more proper place.  Most of the people who wanted the SUVs for utility have long since gone to CUVs which are more a Mini-Van/Station Wagon combo. 

This is actually a debate that I've had with a lot of friends in the car hobby over the years....when will it all end and crash like the 70s?  Granted I don't think we're in for something as drastic as the decline of the 1970s with the OPEC crunch with all the new technologies and computer controls onboard cars these days but I do think at some point in the next 10 years that we'll see a cap of something like 400hp for the every man once CAFE goes to the 40s or even 50s in terms of MPG.  I'd say if you want an affordable fast car that now is the time to do it because you might not have many options or they'll be watered down compared to what is available today.  I just wonder if this era is going to be remembered as fondly as the muscle car era 30 years from now, I guess it's just a wait and see.  One thing is for sure though, I still drive a really heavy duty fuel efficient car around every day and likely will stick with that formula in the future.


The real travesty with the 2.5L Iron Duke was when it found it's way into the initial run of 3rd generation F-Bodies.  I remember those cars being despised with a passion and some of the most hated Camaros/Firebirds ever built. 

See, I was too young to remember that. The first 3rd gens I noticed were the 350 IROCs (well, besides K.I.T.T.) I didn't know anything about 95hp Iron Dukes or 155hp non-HO 305s from 1982 at the time. So 3rdgens looked really bad ass to me. I've had a 350 IROC for 21 years now. 155hp had to be a real bummer after the 220hp Pontiac 400 Trans Ams.

Those T/As of the late 70s were about the only thing that was really worth having or really worth collecting in today's market.  The 400 still maintained a fair level of performance and made the Firebird and T/A much more desirable than the Camaro was in the model years.  The real shame is if you got stuck with a California Emissions or High Elevation T/A which got you a Oldsmobile 403 which was a complete dog.  It's largely because of cars like the T/A and the 400 that all cars are designed around California emissions which includes high end performance operating at 91 octane instead of 93.

The real damper is that you can't even really do too much with a 305.  There was never much of a performance aftermarket for that engine and typically they get swapped out with a ZZ4 GM Small Block crate engine.  The latter 3rd Gen Camaro IROCs were definitely nice car, my personal preference is for the Turbo T/A.  If I could find a good solid and fair priced example of either I would probably snatch one up in a minute.  The same would apply for any 98-02 F-body since they had the LS1 instead of the LT1 that was in the 93-97 cars.  The LS1 wasn't really detuned out of the Corvette and those cars are performance bargains.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 09:30:42 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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GCrites80s

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2016, 09:50:59 PM »

And those late Pontiac 400s can get right back too 1hp/CI with a heads/cam/intake swap. The automatic also forced the Olds 403. I had a 10th Anniversary '79 T/A with the 403 until 2011 that had sat since 1999. The guy I sold it to was sure happy to get it for $1100! I needed money at the time.

Frankly, I don't feel I can use more than 350hp on the street unless the car weighs over 4000 pounds. Today's cars have "Torque Management" in the computer to make transmissions last, so they dial out torque unless someone has disabled it with a tune. Still, how long do you have in a Hellcat before you have to let off? 2 seconds? I've been autocrossing for almost 10 years and have done track stuff, yet still the party is over in seconds with my IROC on the street since it makes about 300hp now and I don't street race. There's always some reason you have to let off -- at least in Ohio. Too many people. I saw a Challenger and a S550 Mustang trying to go at it on the freeway section of 104 in Columbus and I could have caught them easily in my 4cyl Colorado I was driving since they had to let off so much due to traffic and whatnot.

I'm pretty sure the jig is up on the '89 Turbo T/As. If there's one with less than 75k miles it's going to be $20k minimum. Most people babied them since they were so expensive and rare. They were definitely not an '89 305 that got driven daily on snowy dirt roads in West Virginia before having subwoofers drilled into the gas tank and drip tint applied.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 09:55:39 PM by GCrites80s »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2016, 10:27:22 PM »

And those late Pontiac 400s can get right back too 1hp/CI with a heads/cam/intake swap. The automatic also forced the Olds 403. I had a 10th Anniversary '79 T/A with the 403 until 2011 that had sat since 1999. The guy I sold it to was sure happy to get it for $1100! I needed money at the time.

Frankly, I don't feel I can use more than 350hp on the street unless the car weighs over 4000 pounds. Today's cars have "Torque Management" in the computer to make transmissions last, so they dial out torque unless someone has disabled it with a tune. Still, how long do you have in a Hellcat before you have to let off? 2 seconds? I've been autocrossing for almost 10 years and have done track stuff, yet still the party is over in seconds with my IROC on the street since it makes about 300hp now and I don't street race. There's always some reason you have to let off -- at least in Ohio. Too many people. I saw a Challenger and a S550 Mustang trying to go at it on the freeway section of 104 in Columbus and I could have caught them easily in my 4cyl Colorado I was driving since they had to let off so much due to traffic and whatnot.

I'm pretty sure the jig is up on the '89 Turbo T/As. If there's one with less than 75k miles it's going to be $20k minimum. Most people babied them since they were so expensive and rare. They were definitely not an '89 305 that got driven daily on snowy dirt roads in West Virginia before having subwoofers drilled into the gas tank and drip tint applied.

Ah...you hit on a major change in the last 20 years.  Progressively the automatic has become the more efficient and faster option than even the manuals of old.  Hell almost every automatic comes with some form of multimatic if not paddle shifters like my Challenger...not to mention many exotics don't even offer a stick anymore.  That's a shame to hear about your T/A though...at least it sounds like a project car from your description.

Yes...I really think the cat is out of the box with the 3.8 Turbo T/A.  I think a lot of Grand National fans caught on that might be a cheaper option to look for the T/A.  That's the problem with most 3rd Gen F-bodies, they were used and abused because they were daily drivers.  They generally aren't worth the money to restore but could be worth it for a cheap racing modification platform.

See the thing with the Hell Cat is that it's basically TOO much for the streets and day to day use.  Most people I know who own a Hell Cat would never drive it daily, 707hp isn't streetable in the slightest.  Funny thing is though that it does come with two keys; one for the full 707hp and another for something like 500hp.  For me it wasn't worth double the price of an SRT8 and Scat Pack so I went with the Scat Pack with the 6.4L.  Even 485hp and 470ftlb of torque isn't something that can be used or managed daily in commute form.  The 1st gear on mine is so friggin tall that I often paddle shift it into second so I don't spin my tires at every traffic light.  Not to mention at least in Scat Pack form the tires are too hard of a compound and are too narrow on the rear for decent traction.  It's definitely not a car that is good in the rain and will spin like crazy even at half throttle. 

Funny how the Challenger can be so unruly in daily use while something like my Camaro SS that had 426 hp could be the total inverse.  I never found that Camaro to be anything that couldn't be managed in day-to-day driving.  The one problem I always had...which was more of an annoyance was that driving it every day chewed through tire sets every 20,000 miles since I was using a 220TW compound....that and every dent/ding/scratch became nightmare fuel.  But I digress....that Camaro only got 1 out of 5 years in daily driver status while the Challenger never will.  The Mustang GT was an SN95 and wasn't really anything that I  thought was too special, it actually made a decent daily driver but I did buy it with pre-existing body damage which I repaired.  Basically the conclusion I've come to is that it is much more comfortable driving a compact or sub-compact that I get new for cheap, drive for 150,000-200,000 miles and throw in the trash only to get another.  Dents, dings, dirt, scratches....wear....none bother me on a lower end car and it's strangely comforting.  I don't think I'll drive a muscle car or sports car in daily driver duty again, it's not fun, uncomfortable and generally not worth it financially.  Besides who wouldn't want a cool car to take out on a day off for the mountain roads or a good car show? 

Really what I'm clamoring now is to try to find an older CJ Jeep, GMC Jimmy or even a Chevy Blazer equipped with 4wd.  There is a lot of off-roading and mild towing that I want to do out in the Mojave that I need to get rental equipment for now.

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #59 on: May 12, 2016, 04:47:52 PM »

Slightly off-topic, Nissan just acquired 35% of Mitsubishi motors.
http://www.autonews.com/article/20160512/OEM/160519957/nissan-will-take-34-controlling-stake-in-mitsubishi-motors

We might see the beginning of acquisitions or mergers of some Japanese automakers. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/12/heavy-consolidation-ahead-for-japan-autos-amid-scandals-slowing-earnings.html
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GCrites80s

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #60 on: May 12, 2016, 08:45:57 PM »

^That's almost the opposite of the topic; Mitsubishi was way less sad as an automaker in the '90s than they are now.  :biggrin:
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Max Rockatansky

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2016, 11:22:33 PM »

Alternate fuel source if I've ever seen one....


I'm actually fairly surprised that some yahoo or car company at least hasn't tried a steam concept for $%*%s and giggles.

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #63 on: May 13, 2016, 12:31:37 AM »

I had a friend with the 3.8 Turbo in a 1987 Regal.  He added all sorts of performance items to it.  When done, the 231 cubic inches performed like a 455 from the premium leaded days.  Boy did that engine scream!
Speaking of Buicks with 455's, I actually know someone from a car show near me who used to work in a Buick factory, and built a 1980's Regal as a GS Stage 1 with a 455 engine in it. I've actually got pictures of the thing.

Only '80s era car we had was an '85 Caprice Classic, and that was only because we inherited it from my grandfather when he passed in '87.
I actually had an '85 Caprice at the turn of the millennium. I bought the thing from a St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store between Coram and Gordon Heights, New York. At the time it was one of the better cars I've ever driven, despite the fact that the adjustable front seat was broken. The thing was stuck all the way back, which was no problem for me.

My parents bought a lot of '80's cars brand new though (Hey, they were working class adults and they could afford them). 1980 Datsun 310 Hatchback, a 1980 Buick LeSabre with the infamous 5.7L Diesel engine, a 1985 Nissan King Cab pickup just before the "Hardbody" era, and a 1988 Honda Accord. In spite of the 1977 downsizing of full-size GM's I liked the Buicks, but the Chevy's were pretty nice too. I once took it to a charity car wash off of NY 112, and overheard the kids talking about how huge the thing was. These kids didn't know what huge is.



« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 12:45:29 AM by D-Dey65 »
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PHLBOS

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #64 on: May 13, 2016, 10:35:43 AM »

In spite of the 1977 downsizing of full-size GM's I liked the Buicks, but the Chevy's were pretty nice too.
One reason IMHO why those downsized cars clicked with the public was that despite their smallish size; the basic character of those cars didn't really change in the process, they were still roomy, durable cars (with a full-perimeter frame).  For the '77-'79 model years, one could still get a 400+ cubic inch engine with any of the downsized B & C body cars except for the Chevy.  Which was one reason why it was not uncommon to see a Buick LeSabre, Olds Delta 88 or Pontiac Catalina back then in police forces.  Police packages weren't just restricted to Chevys among GM vehicles in those days.

I once took it to a charity car wash off of NY 112, and overheard the kids talking about how huge the thing was. These kids didn't know what huge is.
I've gotten similar responses with the '89 Caprice I owned as well the various Panther-platformed cars I've owned & own ('85 Grand Marquis, '97 Crown Victoria and now a 2011 Crown Victoria) and not just among kids.  Some people from my generation (& even older) have stated such, and I just want to smack them across the back of their heads because, unlike the younger folk; my generation and those before, grew up and rode in the largest of the full-size cars of the 70s.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 10:38:12 AM by PHLBOS »
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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2016, 11:05:58 AM »

IMHO, the 1980s were the most boring decade ever, because every car seemed to look the same with its boxy look. The 1990s looked better because of their more rounded shape, but they still couldn't hold a candle to the 1960s and 1970s styles that had lots more variety among them.

FWIW, I would've loved to see that 1989 Fiero actually being built. And I also like to pretend that Pontiac still exists as a replacement for Cadillac, given that the latter make is now made up of mostly high-performance sedans that are aimed at the import market (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.).
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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #66 on: May 13, 2016, 03:54:25 PM »

IMHO, the 1980s were the most boring decade ever, because every car seemed to look the same with its boxy look.
I guess you forgot about the aero/jellybean-styled Fords that started hitting the scene during the early-to-mid 80s:

1983 Thunderbird


For better or worse, the 1984 Tempo


And, of course, the original Ford Taurus that first rolled out as an early 1986 model

I wouldn't exactly call those boxy vehicles.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 09:40:04 AM by PHLBOS »
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D-Dey65

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2016, 06:13:01 PM »

I guess you forgot about the aero/jellybean-styled Fords that started hitting the scene during the early-to-mid 80s:
I sure as hell didn't forget. That's when this whole aerodynamic trend of the past 30+ years started. My old neighbors used to own a 1984, T-Bird, and I used to urge them to preserve it as a collectible car all the time.  They should've listened to me.

BTW, your Taurus pic isn't showing up.





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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2016, 08:36:23 PM »

I guess you forgot about the aero/jellybean-styled Fords that started hitting the scene during the early-to-mid 80s:
I sure as hell didn't forget. That's when this whole aerodynamic trend of the past 30+ years started. My old neighbors used to own a 1984, T-Bird, and I used to urge them to preserve it as a collectible car all the time.  They should've listened to me.

BTW, your Taurus pic isn't showing up.

GM had their aero car models too with the Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe and Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 which both had the huge rear window.  It's funny to think that car companies were still going out of the way to make special production bodies back then to use in racing...in this case NASCAR...god has that changed.  I remember thinking the Monte Carlo SS was the coolest thing out there when I was a kid....nothing quite 80s like the burgundy interior on this one:


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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #69 on: May 14, 2016, 10:02:01 AM »

Hard to believe that 400hp was unbelievable just back a quarter century ago:

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2016, 10:23:57 AM »

BTW, your Taurus pic isn't showing up.
I've since replaced the pic. with another one.  Does it show up now?

GM had their aero car models too with the Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe and Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 which both had the huge rear window.
Those were nowhere near as radical as the aero Ford's.  The doors and the front ends were identical to the standard version coupes.  Not to mention that the G-body coupes were still pillared-hardtops (no frames around the door windows).

The downside of GM's G-body aero-coupe design was that such made the trunk lid opening way too small for a car that size.  Such was probably why that particular body style sold in small numbers.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 10:39:52 AM by PHLBOS »
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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #71 on: May 16, 2016, 11:08:23 AM »

BTW, your Taurus pic isn't showing up.
I've since replaced the pic. with another one.  Does it show up now?

GM had their aero car models too with the Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe and Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 which both had the huge rear window.
Those were nowhere near as radical as the aero Ford's.  The doors and the front ends were identical to the standard version coupes.  Not to mention that the G-body coupes were still pillared-hardtops (no frames around the door windows).

The downside of GM's G-body aero-coupe design was that such made the trunk lid opening way too small for a car that size.  Such was probably why that particular body style sold in small numbers.

It's still interesting to see GM go out of the way to add aero pieces to production cars just so they could skirt by NASCAR body rules of the time.  If I recall correctly the rule for models in NASCAR at the time was that there had to be 200 units sold to the public which spot on for 1986 production before GM sold rougly 6,000 in 1987.  The Thunderbird was killing everyone else back in those days especially on super speedways before restrictor plates were a thing.  It's just funny to look back now and realize that there was actually a production input into racing back then as far as body work went.  You'd think that would have all died out with the Daytona and Superbird.

Funny to think that a car that large selling 100,000 units a year back then was a failure.  You'd never see something RWD and of that size selling anywhere close to that mark today:

http://www.montecarloss.com/SS_FAQ_2.html

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #72 on: May 16, 2016, 01:49:22 PM »

Funny to think that a car that large selling 100,000 units a year back then was a failure.  You'd never see something RWD and of that size selling anywhere close to that mark today
One needs to remember that the vehicle market then wasn't as fragmented (in terms of vehicle types) back then as it is now.  SUVs were only starting to get noticed and most pick-up trucks came one-way... single-cab.  The term, crossover (aka CUV), wasn't yet even a term in the automotive sense.
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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #73 on: May 16, 2016, 10:12:46 PM »

Funny to think that a car that large selling 100,000 units a year back then was a failure.  You'd never see something RWD and of that size selling anywhere close to that mark today
One needs to remember that the vehicle market then wasn't as fragmented (in terms of vehicle types) back then as it is now.  SUVs were only starting to get noticed and most pick-up trucks came one-way... single-cab.  The term, crossover (aka CUV), wasn't yet even a term in the automotive sense.

True...lineups are far more diverse then they used to be.  Market share probably plays a huge part of all this too, way more than people think it does.  Back in those days GM had market shares near the 40 range while today it's in the ball park of slightly under 20%.

Funny thing about the CUV is that it basically took market share from three segments; boxed SUVs, mini-vans and station wagons.  The boxed-SUV managed to survive the best out of the three while the Mini-Van and Station Wagon basically are close to extinct.  I would find it greatly amusing to rename the CUV segment the Station Van class.  :-D

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Re: The Sorry State of Affairs in Automobilia in the 1980s and 90s
« Reply #74 on: May 20, 2016, 01:59:34 AM »

BTW, your Taurus pic isn't showing up.
I've since replaced the pic. with another one.  Does it show up now?
Nope. Just an "Image hosted by Tripod" panel.
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