Another Measure of How We’ve Been Gypped (and Fooled)

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Before I write a new car review, I like to do some background research – which helps provide context and hopefully makes the published review informative. Well, I found some interesting information while doing some background research on the new Dodge Dart. Actually, the information concerned the old Dodge Dart – last sold new in 1976. Dart 1

That year, Dodge offered a high-mileage version of the Dart called the Dart Lite (the Plymouth Duster version was called Feather Duster). To be precise, it was an option package that included a specially tuned version of the famous “slant six” 225 cubic inch engine, teamed up with an overdriven four-speed manual and a mileage-minded 2.94:1 rear axle ratio (vs. the standard car’s 3.21:1 ratio). Also included were lightweight body parts such as an aluminum hood and trunk lid bracing – which cut about 200 pounds of deadweight off the already-lightweight car. The result was 36 MPG on the highway.

The package added $51 to the cost of a ’76 Dart – which had a base price of about $3,300.

Now for some context:

The new Dodge Dart – a much smaller car, equipped with a much smaller four-cylinder engine – gets exactly the same 36 MPG on the highway as the ’76 Dart Lite/Feather Duster. This is startling, given the new Dart has the benefit of almost four decades of engineering advances – including such things as a six-speed manual transmission, direct port fuel injection and vastly better aerodynamics. Yet the 2013 car only manages to match the mileage of the 1976 car – a much larger car, with a much larger engine fed by a carburetor and without even an Atari-level computer running the show.   dart 2

This is seriously sad. Tragic, even. It’s also a measure of how much progress hasn’t been made since the mid-1970s as regards vehicle design. Or rather, a measure of how much progress in engineering and design has been obviated, negated or otherwise rendered “net zero gain” (or loss) by government diktats. Everything from weight-adding “safety” diktats to thou-must-burn-corn-alcohol-laced fuel diktats (which have reduced the fuel efficiency of new cars by 3-4 MPG, on average, relative to what they’d otherwise achieve if they were fed 100 percent gas).

Consider:

The old Dart – a mid-sized car by modern standards – weighed about 2,700 lbs.

The new (2013) Dart – a compact-sized car – weighs 3,186 lbs.

That’s about 500 pounds of additional deadweight – in a car that’s more than a foot shorter overall than the old model (183.9 inches for the ’13 vs. 196 inches for the ’76) and which is FWD and four-cylinder powered vs. rear-drive and six-cylinder powered.

The new Dart also has a starting price of $15,995. Dart 3

Let’s call it $16k to make the math easier – vs. $13,554 (and change) in inflation-adjusted terms for the 1976 Dart.

So, to sum up:

For about $2,441 more  – the price of a new Dart vs. the cost-when-new of a ’76 Dart – you get the exact same 36 MPG.

Ah, progress!

Now, to be fair, the new Dart has amenities (including touch-screen electronics and a really top-drawer audio system) the ’76 Dart never even thought about. Climate control AC – vs. wing-vent windows. Four-wheel-disc brakes, with power-assist – vs. four wheel drum brakes, without.

Etc.

The new Dart will also probably run reliably for longer, simply by dint of the much-improved manufacturing techniques and quality control that are now industry standard. That means eventually, you’ll probably make up the $2,441 extra you had to pay (relative to the ’76) in longer useful service life. You might get 15 years out of a new Dart – while a ’76 would probably have discorporated due to rust long before then. And the new model has the legs (courtesy of its more favorable gearing and vastly superior aerodynamics) to cruise comfortably at 90 – vs. feeling-like-you’re already-pushing-it at 75.

Still, the fact remains: We’ve taken two steps back for every three forward – and perhaps not even that. When considered in the context of the 1976 Dart, the 2013 Dart’s fuel efficiency seems pretty weak. All-new 2013 Dodge Dart

Because it is pretty weak.

Because the new car is pretty heavy. Absurdly heavy for a compact.

How absurd could be proved by finding an original ’76 Dart – and upgrading it with just a few basic pieces of relatively modern technology. I am not taking 2013 technology. I am talking 1985 technology.   A throttle-body fuel injection system, for example. That’s technology in common currency since ‘Ole Flatop was in the Oval Office. Plus a five-speed transmission.

And feed it real gas – no ethanol, please.

I’d lay $500 on the table that an otherwise stock ’76 Dart could hit 40 MPG so equipped – and so fed.

The new Dart can only get to 40 MPG when it is equipped with its optionally available (and turbocharged) 1.4 liter engine – which you can only order in higher-trim Darts that start at $17,995 – and  that’s before you pay the $2,300 additional for the upgrade package that includes the higher-mileage 1.4 liter engine. So, about $20,000 to get you what about $13,500 got you back in ’76.

Makes you feel all good inside, doesn’t it?

Throw it in the Woods?

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  154 comments for “Another Measure of How We’ve Been Gypped (and Fooled)

  1. dom
    January 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Not surprised. Clovers might be. Stoichiometric ratio for combustion has not changed and cars of today are stupid heavy.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      January 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Beginning with the VW Squareback in 1968 the transition from Carbs to Electronic Powertrain Management was an extremely rough time for conscientious Mectecs.

      I was a conscientious Mectec from April 1961 until I retired in 1995. I trained my son who in turn trained his two sons and that’s something that makes me very proud and happy. Not only are they great Mectecs but they are fair and honest with their customers.

      tgsam

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      January 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Existing Fuel Injection systems are probably about as close as they will ever come to burning every molecule of fuel that enters the combustion chamber, so, scientists, engineers, and designers must look elsewhere for ways to improve mileage. Unfortunately the rise in the world’s naked ape population will continue to nullify all technical and mechanical gains.

      tgsam

      • BigTigg
        January 4, 2013 at 3:46 am

        Tinsley,

        You truly have a way with words and you see our future very clearly.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          January 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

          Since human nature is static, It’s actually rather easy with the help of Critical Thinking.

          Have you ever noticed that individuals who want others to believe something that they themselves know is untrue, blather a lot? Well, they do. The truth can usually be presented in a few simple lines but convincing lies require greater effort.

          “A lie has a thousand faces while the truth has but one.” –Paraphrasing Montaigne

          *****

          Shine a light in the Petri dish and as you observe the movement of the primitive life in the dish, you will see the earliest beginning of human nature.

          tgsam

      • Runaway slave
        January 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        Rise in worlds naked ape population??? Come now tgs you dont really believe in the over pop myth do you?

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          January 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm

          I believe in simple arithmetic and the fact that resources are finite. I also believe that stuffing ten pounds of feces into a bag made for one has unpleasant consequences.

          There is also a spiritual problem with overcrowding. Even the most tolerant individuals will grow to hate one another. While seeking solitude in the wilderness, suddenly hearing someone giggling when you whip out the old lizard to piss is enough spoil the experience.

          Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

          • Tor Munkov
            January 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

            “How did we become the only species that becomes more prosperous as it becomes more populous?” – Matt Ridley @ 1:20 mark.

            When Ideas Have Sex
            http://www.youtu./OLHh9E5ilZ4

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            January 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

            The naked ape is clever but he is not wise. Consequences of overpopulation are already with us and they will worsen as more naked apes infest the only planet we will ever have. What good will so-called prosperity – whatever that is – do the general population when there is no room left to enjoy it?

            What is the price one must pay for prosperity? Whatever became of the four day week that was being seriously discussed for a short time in the 1960’s. It seems as though the subject was simply turned off one day never to be discussed again.

            After about a century, Henry Ford’s forty hour week is still the norm.

            tgsam

          • Runaway slave
            January 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm

            well your in luck the population will reach 8 billion around 2045 and will then begin to drop off slowly at first and then more rapidly as time goes on. The only real resource that matters for life is food and water and there is plenty of it. So unless you view the world through the eyes of a city dweller overpopulation is a myth mathematically speaking. remember 90% of the ppl live on 10% of the lnd.

          • Boothe
            January 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm

            Runaway Slave – you make a valid point. Tinsley sees the world through the filters of living in / around New Orleans, in and of itself enough to make one at least selectively misanthropic. Especially when your race is in the minority and on the decline (http://www.vdare.com/articles/whites-down-to-10-of-world-population-by-2060-does-it-matter).

            But as you point out R.S. the population will grow to the point that metropolitan areas will reach critical mass and a die off of enormous proportions is highly likely. Whether it be through disease, famine, warfare or a cataclysmic event, the results will be the same. I strongly suspect Tinley’s viewpoints are also colored by publications such as National Geographic and Scientific American, which I once considered to be bastions of impartiality and integrity myself. However, these as well as practically every other mainstream information source are agenda driven.

            I also believe that Tinsley probably read Desmond Morris’s book “The Naked Ape” (more than once) that was popular back in the sixties; hence his frequent use of the term. Morris looked at man from a zoological (and very popular at the time, Darwinian) perspective.

            When one becomes an adherent to the religions of atheism, moral relativism, evolution and the linear progession (and growth) of man one will find plenty of “facts” and “evidence” leading to confirmation bias. We all do it to a certain extent; even critical thinkers.

            I am convinced that the few (the “elite”) intend for there to be a massive die off to a “sustainable” level of approximately 500 million people worldwide. I believe Tinsley and others with a similar worldview will get their wish for a lot less “naked apes.” If things play out the way I think they will, it will be very nasty indeed. Of course there will a lot of new jobs for grave diggers and undertakers…

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            January 6, 2013 at 5:20 am

            Boothe, do not presume to know what makes me tick. I was misanthropic decades before moving to Louisiana. When Naked Ape came along I hijacked it because it fits so perfectly. In fact, I feel obliged to apologize to apes.

            The abyss that separates what Mankind is from what Mankind should by now be is still unfathomable. I find it profoundly sad and inexcusable.

            tgsam

          • Boothe
            January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

            My dear Tinsley, I do not presume to know what makes you tick; only that I have read what you’ve written and much of it closely mirrors popular “education” and “training” I received in the sixties and undoubtedly from some of the same sources. Don’t forget, I’m from the old South too, even more so being from the capitol of the Confederacy. And my dad is only eight years older than you are, so I’ve heard many of the same attitudes and arguments from him as well. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are indeed unique…just like everybody else. ;)

            I share your disgust that apparently the only thing man learns from history is that man doesn’t learn anything from history. One would like to believe that with all of our advances in technology and the vast body of information at the tips of our fingers now, that mankind would have risen above “human nature.” It ain’t never gonna’ happen. It relates to Aesop’s fable about the frog carrying the scorpion across the river. Some people really are evil. They will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Having no inner voice, no conscience, they don’t care what harm they do as long as their physical wants and needs are met and they don’t get caught. They gravitate into postions of authority and reward those who will go along with them so they can operate and exploit with impunity; it is their nature.

            So it has always been and arguably so it shall always be. Until we figure out how to prevent this type of people from working their way up through the ranks of religion, government and corporations and actually implement that plan, nothing will change. They will doom us and our culture, even if they themselves are included in the destruction, through their own selfishness.

            It is indeed depressing to think that this isn’t going to change, so I don’t dwell on it too much. But what I can do is expose them at every opportunity. And you don’t have to be one of them or even go along with them and neither do any of the rest of us.

          • Ed
            January 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

            “I believe in simple arithmetic and the fact that resources are finite.”

            Really? If resources are finite, you should be able to put a number on one or two of them. What is the total volume of fresh, potable water on the planet? How much food exists, in metric tons at this moment? How much gold is there, that has yet to be mined? Ho many board feet of timber exist?

            Since you won’t be able to come up with a figure for any of these questions without pulling it out of your ass, I’d say that you’re claiming as fact something that Paul Erlich and his collectivist pals tried to push as the obvious truth decades ago.

            Cut the shit, Tinsley. It sounds as though you quit checking facts in the early ’70s.

          • January 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm

            Ed wrote on January 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm:-

            If resources are finite, you should be able to put a number on one or two of them.

            No. It’s quite possible for a finite number, even a finite integer, to be undiscoverable for practical or deeper philosophical reasons. For instance, there’s something in computer science called the Kolmogorov Complexity of a text string that is undiscoverable apart from some special cases.

        • Peetah
          January 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm

          http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?v=24&c=us&l=en Population growth in developed countries is near or below zero.

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            January 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm

            Seems like only yesterday the U.S. population was 300,000,000. Today it is 310,000,000. How long will it take for it to rise to 320,000,000?

            Shoulda closed the door on immigration long ago. The way it’s going there soon won’t be any woods to throw it in.

            I went to Walmart this morning and saw the usual crowd of Mindless and Ugly. Knowing that most of them have reproduced or will likely reproduce is downright frightening.

            tgsam

          • January 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

            In my lifetime – 40-odd years – the US population has almost doubled. It took roughly 400 years to get to 170 million – from the 1500s to the late ’60s.

            But only about 45 years to get to 310 million.

          • Boothe
            January 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

            Ah, but what happens when the FSA has no more FS to collect? We all know through simple arithmetic that the system is doomed to collapse. What happens when there’s nothing left on Wally-world’s shelves? When the FSA gets hungry and thirsty they will get desperate. When they get desperate, the looting and shooting will start.

            I suspect that the death toll during the war the war of federal aggression is going to pale by comparison to what may soon happen here over food; hence the renewed effort to disarm “Mr. and Mrs. America.” Can’t have the productive folks shooting Queen Feinstein’s and Princess Pelosi’s “voters” now can we?

          • BrentP
            January 6, 2013 at 12:18 am

            The FSA exists for the ruling class threaten the middle class. Pay the ruling class or they will turn the FSA loose.

            They may turn the FSA loose anyway so the middle class demands the police state the ruling class desires.

            What happens once the FSA consumes everything? No middle class. Just the wealthy and the very poor. There won’t be any food to fight over. There won’t be anything left to fight over. It will have all been consumed.

            3rd world country. Low productivity. Poor living conditions.

            immigrants attracted to the social programs and such will just go back to where they came from rather than put up with these conditions.

          • January 6, 2013 at 12:47 am

            My own take is that neither “illegal” immigration nor “overpopulation” is a problem per se.

            The problem is not even the Free Shit Army, as such.

            The problem is the Free Shit System. The FSS, not the FSA.

            The latter is merely a result of the former. It is the effect, not the cause.

            Of course, given “democratic majority rule,” aka mob rule by the largest gang, it is needless to say, a destructive feedback loop.

            The US population is about 310 million. If they were all, or even mostly bona fide libertarians who minded their own business, even 620 million would not be a problem.

            By contrast, a mere 6000 in a rural town of 10,000 would probably be unendurable.

            It’s the quality more than the quantity.

          • January 6, 2013 at 1:01 am

            Dear Brent,

            Exactly right.

            Historical examples?

            Mainland China under Mao. “Sincere” efforts to actually walk the walk re: coercive egalitarianism led to the death by starvation of 30 million Chinese.

            Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Similar “sincere” efforts to enforce economic equality resulted in nearly 2 million deaths by starvation.

            Attempts to “redistribute the wealth,” apart from being immoral, invariably end up merely redistributing the poverty.

          • Mike in Spotsy
            January 6, 2013 at 1:15 am

            Hello, Bevin. You said, “Attempts to ‘redistribute the wealth,’ apart from being immoral, invariably end up merely redistributing the poverty.” Precisely: history demonstrates beyond any doubt what the results of redistributionist policies will be. One can only conclude that TPTB fully understand this. For that reason, it is impossible to think of them as having “good intentions”. No, they must specifically intend the consequences that you allude to. They are not misguided humanitarians; they are pure evil, a putrid presence on the planet.

          • January 6, 2013 at 4:28 am

            Dear Mike,

            “They are not misguided humanitarians; they are pure evil”

            I agree, completely.

            Those who are sincere about liberty being the most important value in human society must no longer give them the benefit of the doubt. This has gone on too long.

            They are as many on this forum have noted in the past, sociopaths. That is not hyperbole. It is an accurate description.

            The harm they inflict upon other human beings can no longer be dismissed as the Law of Unintended Consequences.

            These people must be characterized as what they are — sadists who take perverse pleasure in others’ suffering, because it makes them feel “powerful.” In modern vernacular, they “get off on it.”

            They are no different from the perverts who kidnap young children and chain them in their basements for years on end, under the pretext that they are “taking care of them.”

      • Ed
        January 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        “Unfortunately the rise in the world’s naked ape population will continue to nullify all technical and mechanical gains.”

        Again with the ‘overpopulation of naked apes’. That particular hobbyhorse of yours passed its sell by date 20 years ago. So much for wisdom following age.

        I guess your solution is government mandated abortion and euthanasia. Enough, already.

      • Jesse G
        May 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        If that’s the case, why did Honda lean-burn cars run 22/1 A/F ratios back in the 80’s, and we’re running 14.7/1 now? If we’re burning every molecule now, how did they burn fewer back then? That’s logically impossible.

        There’s definite room for improvement, and it’s behind us. MPGs are kept low by the EPA; just look at the diesels getting 70mpg in Europe that the EPA bans, while we drive oversized inefficient gas guzzlers. Are European cities suffering from lower air quality than ours? No. Therefore it’s either madness or politics.

  2. liberranter
    January 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I have to imagine that if you were to read this article again to the Clovers, slowly, using words of no more than two syllables, their heads would probably explode. Their deformed little brainlets just could not process the contradictions between what their beloved government tells them about “safety” and “fuel efficiency” and how their cars are actually built and actually perform due to all of these new features “added for their own good.”

    Of course this is why so very few, if any, Clover-targeted publications address this topic at all.

    • Ed
      January 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      “if you were to read this article again to the Clovers, slowly, using words of no more than two syllables, their heads would probably explode.”

      That reminds me of something funny a friend said years ago when someone said he was stupid. He said, “One of my thoughts would bust your head wide open”.

      Thanks for stirring the memory. ;-)

  3. January 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    great post, it is amazing how the safety-stasi have put dead weight throughout modern cars.
    It is simply Orwellian when one realizes that the ones that call themselves “progressives” are the ones actually holding back progress.

    • Matt
      January 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      A strange word indeed:

      Taxation is “progressive”
      Cancer is “progressive”

      The picture is now clearer.

  4. trifith
    January 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    “And the new model has the legs (courtesy of its more favorable gearing and vastly superior aerodynamics) to cruise comfortably at 90 – vs. feeling-like-you’re already-pushing-it at 75.”

    Ha! Like you’ll ever be allowed to get it up to 90 on the clover-roads.

  5. Mike_A
    January 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I have a soft spot for those old Darts. We had a 76 Valiant when I was a kid. I don’t know about the reliability being better on the new Dart, that slant six was reliable as a stone axe and simple to work on. My dad drove it to the junkyard in the mid 80s because he couldn’t even give it to the guy across the street. Too ugly I guess.

    • Ed
      January 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      “I have a soft spot for those old Darts.”

      Yeah, so do I. A guy I knew back in the late 60’s had an old blue Dart he’d gotten cheap. The only upgrade he did was to paint an excellent scene of Mr. Natural walking with his hads behind his back, with the legend “Keep on Truckin”. That was indeed an ugly car.

      I had a ’60 Valiant, 3 on the tree, slant 6, with more rust than the original black paint. I named it Thunder, in honor of its gutted muffler.

      It’s funny. I bought Thunder in 1971 for $50 and spent about $80 getting it road worthy. Last week, I bought an ’02 PT Cruiser for $1,000 and spent another grand getting it up to par. It works out to about the same money, actually.

      Now, if I could just get old Mike to paint Mr. Natural on the side……

      • Ed
        January 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        “A guy I knew back in the late 60′s had an old blue Dart he’d gotten cheap. ”

        Oops, someone who remembers that car told me that it was a Signet, not a Dart. Sorry. I was confused.

  6. John G.
    January 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    What a great name for a fuel efficient variant, the ‘Feather Duster.’

    • The Bobster
      January 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      Years ago, my friend inherited his father’s old Duster, 10 years old with less than 20K miles on it. It was lightly driven in Buffalo and the interior was perfect, but being that it was Buffalo, the car had more holes than remaining sheet metal. He nicknamed it “The Ruster”.

  7. Larry
    January 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    When I was a young man, I owned a 1965 Dodge Dart GT. It was two-tone blue and was beautiful and absolutely reliable regardless of how cold the temperature would get in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How I loved that car. I sure wish I still had it. It met its demise when a young man ran into it from behind during a snow storm. The Dart was parked at that time and the driver that hit me had “defrosted” a roughly 12 inch circle of his dash with, my guess, his gloved hand. Through this porthole of visibility, he somehow did not see my car parked on the side of the road.

    What I really miss about that old car was the vent boxes by the driver and front seat passenger’s legs. These vent boxes were maybe 4×6 inches and when opened, had a direct conduit to the outside world, i.e., bypassing engine heat making a very cool and comfortable drive. Modern cars all seem to get their outside air through the engine compartment forcing us to use the AC because no matter how temperate the climate, going past the engine always delivers hot air to the cabin. My ’65 Dart showed a simple, elegant solution for getting cool, outside air.

    • Eric_G
      January 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      I remember those! We had a miniature schnauzer who was too small to stick her head out the window, but her whole head would fit in those vents. And I really don’t remember needing AC with them open, even on secondary roads.

      The black vinyl seats were anther story however.

      • Tor Munkov
        January 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm

        Video:

  8. BrentP
    January 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Eric, Have you ever heard of the 1969 Mustang ‘E’?

    Same basic formula as the Dart you mention, similar results.

    Of course we are told automakers never sold fuel economy before the government made them…. never mind ’69 Mustang ‘E’ wasn’t a new thing… Fuel economy was always a market selling point. Always. Mr. and Mrs. Clover couldn’t be bothered with just choosing these cars themselves and the tradeoffs that went with it. They had to use force and the government was more than happy to step in and do it.

    All people had to do was buy these countless fuel economy models and detroit would have build them like SUVs in the 1990s. Convincing people is too difficult so they use force instead.

  9. Stan Back
    January 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Dodge=worthless crap, shit and junk.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Stan,

      The original Dart was among the most reliable, durable cars of its era.

      • joeallen
        January 4, 2013 at 12:44 am

        We had a lot of those 60s through 80s Chryslers. Great cars to work on, got lots better fuel mileage. I had a 64 studebaker commander that got 39 mpg on the highway, 33 around town. For $2 I could drive from Indianapolis to Louisville and back. Had a new Colt I bought in 1983 with a 1.4 L motor that got 44 in town and 52 on the road. No a/c. My first new car.

        Now I live in Ozland. I have a GM Holden full size wagon with the US made 3.8L V6 and auto. Gets 10 km per liter. Weighs 1380 kg. My 2001 Camry with auto and 3.0L V6 gets similar mileage, but weighs 1880 kg. A good solid heavy car that is just great for my wife to drive, but my Commo will blow it away. It’s also approaching 400,000 km. Motor only opened to replace an intake manifold gasket, tranny has had 3 fluid & filter changes, and real axle has never been touched. And it’s never been babied. But the camry needs premium fuel to allow the V6 to run efficiently and get the mileage it does. Also these front drive cars are significantly more to maintain and repair. Any extra mileage gets eaten up by parts. I mostly do my own labor.

        • January 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

          Cars like the ’70s-era Dart (and Chevy Nova, etc.) were – my opinion – damn near ideal; the apotheosis of “A to B” transpo cars. Their drivetrains were absolutely sufficient – and unlike modern drivetrains, could be easily maintained almost indefinitely by almost anyone. For example, the slant six in the Dart/Duster was known for running reliably for 200k or more. It required little more than oil/filter, spark plugs and other very basic maintenance during that time. And the entire thing could be rebuilt for what it costs, today, to pay a mechanic to do a timing belt change.

          Modern cars have their merits, too – but they don’t come cheaply.

          • Ed
            January 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

            “For example, the slant six in the Dart/Duster was known for running reliably for 200k or more. It required little more than oil/filter, spark plugs and other very basic maintenance during that time. And the entire thing could be rebuilt for what it costs, today, to pay a mechanic to do a timing belt change. ”

            True, that. I just sold my ’62 Belvedere 2 door hardtop to a neighbor two years ago. It has the slant 6 w/3 speed manual.

            He’s almost done with a complete restoration and he told me that all the engine needed was to have the head redone, with hard exhaust valves and pushrods for unleaded gas and a rebuild of the Holley carb..

            I can’t wait to see it once it’s painted. I’ll probably try to buy it back. ;-)

    • Matt
      January 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Regarding the slant-six, history disagree with you. It was a major contributor to Chrysler’s troubles when Iacocca stepped in. The darn things kept running long after the bodies rusted off their frames! Kind of hurt their profits for at least a few years, no? Then Chrysler learned something about obsolescence… and built some into every K-car!

    • Ed
      January 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      “Dodge=worthless crap, shit and junk.”

      Maybe nowadays. Not in the ’60s. I had a tank-like ’55 Dodge pickup, w/ a flathead 6. It was a solidly reliable hauler well into the late ’70s.

  10. January 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Eric,

    Got it…..same highway MPG for both the 1976 and 2013 Dodge Darts. A city MPG comparison however, is conspicuous by its absence. And how do the 0 to 60, and quarter mile numbers stack up? If you want to make an accurate assessment of how big a problem that extra weight is (or isn’t) we need a comparison that is not so one dimensional.

    • January 4, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Well, the ’13 (base engine) only gets 25 city – which is pretty shitty (for a compact FWD car with a four). I wasn’t able to find city stats for the ’76 w/the “Lite” package, but I doubt very much it registered significantly less. The standard Dart was rated 17 city. So, probably, the Dart Lite/Feather Duster was capable of about 20 or so in city driving, given its lighter weight and so forth. Less than the ’13 – but only slightly.

      As far as 0-60:

      The ’13 takes about 10 seconds. Again, I wasn’t able to find stats for the ’76. But I’d bet it’s also in the same ballpark. Remember: A VW Beetle from that era did the deed in about 17 seconds. The Dart – with a much bigger engine – was surely quicker. I’d guess it got there in about 12-13 seconds.

      • John Illinois
        January 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm

        You have to realize that the way the testing is conducted now is much different than what they did in the 70’s. We used to joke that if you couldn’t do better than the EPA rating, then maybe you should learn how to shift out of first gear.

        • January 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

          Hi John,

          That’s true –

          Also, that “gas” isn’t anymore. E10 (10 percent ethanol) dramatically reduces mileage. If we still got real gas, the EPA stats of most new cars would be several MPG higher than they are.

  11. babydriver
    January 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    HA. I won’t mention fuel milage here but the ’68 Dodge Dart GT 340 Four Barrel would flat out leave many cars in it’s rear view mirror. That car would cook!

    • Rooney
      January 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      LOL…I think they also shoehorned a 383 into a few of them. I would have loved to have seen THAT particular variation named the Coyote.

      • January 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        They did!

        And the 340/360 cars were no slouches. Even a mild 318 V-8 in a 2,700 lb. car will deliver pretty a pretty solid P-W ratio.

        I’ve mentioned, in this context, the much-maligned ’74 GTO (last GTO), which was based on the Ventura, which was a twin of the Chevy Nova. It only had a 350 CI V-8 and just 200 hp (rated) but it was as quick as many of the earlier, “desirable” GTOs with much bigger engines, higher hp – but higher curb weight.

        • Rooney
          January 6, 2013 at 6:39 am

          Thanks Eric. I honestly did not know about the Coyote variant. My senior year car however was a ’68 Barracuda Notchback 340 that was heavily optioned for the time and it was pretty quick.

          The 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS though, that came after it had a 327/4-speed, heater, and not much else. So your point about low weight/horsepower ratio was certainly understood by those of us fortunate enough to come of age back then.

          True story–those medium to large Mopars would sure get the jump on me off the line, but if I got my shifts right I could generally catch ‘em by the eighth mile marker and beat them in a quarter. But a Hemi?….FUGEDDABOUT IT!

          • January 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

            Morning, Rooney!

            Yup – and, here’s another way to view it (weight, etc.):

            A new Camaro needs 426 hp – SAE net – to run a mid 13 second quarter mile.

            Let’s put that in some perspective.

            426 SAE net hp is probably around 470-500 SAE gross hp – the way power was measured/advertised back during the original muscle car era (1960s/early ’70s).

            Only a handful of factory cars from that era touted more than 400 or so hp – SAE gross. Which means, a lot less than SAE net. Yes, they sometimes deliberately under-rated the power of the original-era muscle V-8s. But even if you “spot” them say 10-20 percent, that gets equalized out by SAE net measurement requirements – engine in production line tune, with all accessories installed and a full factory exhaust; power measured at the wheel – not the crankshaft.

            With that in mind, consider the 1968 L-88 427 Corvette. Factory rated (SAE gross) 430 hp. It ran virtually the same 1/4 mile as the current Camaro: mid 13.56 seconds.

            But, the L-88 427 probably made about 375-390 SAE net – honest – hp.

            So how come the Corvette, with a less powerful engine, is just as quick as the new Camaro? Because it weighed 3,210 lbs. – vs. 3,860 for the 2012 Camaro! (Some stats here: http://www.carjunky.com/classiccars/corvettes/1968-corvette-sting-ray.html )

            The new Camaro is lugging around about 600 pounds of deadweight relative to the ’68 Corvette!

  12. Dave
    January 4, 2013 at 5:49 am

    I may be wrong but I believe the Feather Duster had the aluminum block slant six. I searched, unsuccesfully, for about 5 years for an aluminum block slat six for a project car.

    Regarding new vehicle weight, my 2011 Ford Ranger is close to the same weight as my ’76 F-150. The Ranger is equiped with the most useless piece of safety equipment I have ever seen, electronic traction control.

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

      “Regarding new vehicle weight, my 2011 Ford Ranger is close to the same weight as my ’76 F-150.”

      It’s incredible, Isn’t it? Here’s another comparo:

      My ’76 Trans-Am (a large, RWD muscle car with a huge – 7.4 liter – cast iron V-8 and a bolt-on front frame) weighs about 3,700 lbs. Only about 500 pounds more than the new Dart (FWD, compact, alloy four cylinder engine).

    • Tre Deuce
      January 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Dave,

      The Extremely rare ‘aluminum block’ slant six was on the early(1962-3)Valiants with the long Ram 4-barrel carburation.

      I had a the long Ram iron block 62′ Valiant hdtp coupe. Been looking for a wagon for years.

      http://medford.craigslist.org/cto/3505669824.html

      • Tre Deuce
        January 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        By the way, those 318’s had good power and MPG(hwy-mid 20’s).

        Find an old Dart/Duster like the 73′ above and put a newer tranny with ‘OD’, and a locking converter coupled with electronic ignition, and you can probably hit the high twenties driven carefully.

        Note; Tranny up-grade requires drive-line length adjustment.

  13. willb
    January 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    The “standards” placed on autos are not designed to improve the
    product but are in place to eliminate competition in the market.

    As far as simplicity and efficiency goes, no one has improved on
    the air cooled VW beetle which pissed off U.S. auto makers (unions)
    to the point of making them illegal.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      January 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      If I could purchase a ’67 Beetle today I’d do it.

      tgsam

      I could remove, recondition and reinstall an engine in a Beetle in a single day.

      In a twenty year period I reconditioned hundreds of Beetle engines. I became so tired of it that I would constantly try new routines. With a little effort I probably could have reconditioned one with my hands behind me.

      tgsam

      • willb
        January 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        @tgsam

        There used to be an actual competition to drop and replace a VW engine. I think the world record is 3 minutes using only a single box wrench and a screwdriver.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          January 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm

          I replaced a flywheel, clutch, release bearing and input shaft seal on a ’62 beetle in less than thirty minutes. Replacing the flywheel involves the use of a dial gauge and shims to adjust the crankshaft end play.

          Realistically, a clutch job on an early Sixties Beetle should take about an hour.

          tgsam

          • Tre Deuce
            January 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm

            @ 250 pounds of torque on the flywheel nut it also required serious leveraged grunt. Consequently, the flywheel was not often resurfaced when a clutch job was performed by the home mech.

            Axle nuts @ 220 ft.Pds. were a bit easier with the employment of a long bar bolted to the wheel studs.

      • Tre Deuce
        January 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        I used too use two VW jacks and plywood skid to remove a VW motor. Jacked it up removed all the bolts/nuts and fuel/electrical connections and rear wheels, lowered the car, slid the engine back and dropped it on the plywood, jacked the car up and slid the motor out. Picked up the motor and put it on the bench.

        The plywood skid had a hole in each rear corner with a loose rope tied between the holes too assist with sliding the engine back on the skid.

        Installation was a bit more difficult assisted by a crude block and lever lift system with rope tied to both sides of the intake manifold and then to the lever. Sure is nice to have good tools and lifts these days.

        • January 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm

          I did that – but in a weekend! – with my ’73. Great memories. Anyone who never got to own/drive an old Beetle will probably never realize what a good, basic car is supposed to be like. For a high school or college kid especially, the Bug made transpo both affordable – and fun.

          It cost virtually nothing to keep one on the road. $20 for a tire. $5 for a set of plugs. A can of Gumout to keep the carb clean. Three quarts of oil – a new set of of points every now and then. Shim the fan belt. Just one of those. Last for years.

          I, tool, would love to have another Bug – and hope someday I will.

          • willb
            January 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm

            And this is the crux of the whole issue being discussed here.

            The auto manufacturers (unions) have used our congress to prevent us from owning inexpensive autos. To them, liberty is a good idea but bidness is bidness. In the end (literally) it’s all about the money.

            Administrative regulations and tariffs have ruined much more than the auto industry and the theft has been going on since Lincoln. Every Northern industry you can name is a protected racket.

          • January 5, 2013 at 6:16 am

            Agreed, Will – with one minor adjustment:

            It’s not “our” Congress. It’s theirs.

          • Tre Deuce
            January 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm

            Probably, the only car I will ever fully restore in the future,is an early Wolfsburg Bug with the soft sunroof. Just got to find one.

            Mine(62′), that I bought in HS when it was only nine months old, was destroyed by a hit and run driver in 1996. For everyone of my kids, it was their first experience driving, in Dad’s lap. I still mourn for that car.

            Driving a Bug is a unique experience. By the way, there are still a lot of old bugs in daily use in the Grants Pass/ Medford, Oregon area. Usually driven by older couples and baby boomer women. I rarely see one in the NW urban areas.

          • January 5, 2013 at 6:14 am

            That’s tragic about your ’62… especially since it survived all the way to ’96. Crikey.

            I see a fair number (2-3 a week) around here in what appears to be daily driver service. They’re presentable and appear functionally sound, but aren’t show cars. In fact, I’m seeing a fair number of older cars (pre-1980s) of all kinds in circulation. Might be more of us kooks out there than we thought!

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            January 5, 2013 at 5:25 am

            The ’67 was as near perfection as basic transportation can get.

            tgsam

          • willb
            January 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

            @eric

            “I’m seeing a fair number of older cars (pre-1980s) of all kinds in circulation. Might be more of us kooks out there than we thought!”

            Why didn’t these kooks take advantage of the federal “cash for clunkers” program?

            Question: Was that program designed to help the (Northern) auto industry or the (Northern) banking industry? Or perhaps it was to help us poor Southern folk replace our tired old (dependable and paid-for) cars by going out and getting a fresh crisp car loan and a brand new union-made lemon.

          • January 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

            It seems (this is anecdotal; just my personal experience in my area) that the “clunkers” program rounded up mostly 1990s and newer stuff. The ’80s and older stuff seems to have survived. Perhaps because they’re old enough to be considered “classics” – or potential classics – and not just old cars.

      • Bill Jones
        January 5, 2013 at 2:10 am

        As a callow youth I owned an original Mini Cooper S.

        When I had to take the engine out, a couple of friends helped me roll it on its side onto a couple of mattresses and work on the sub-frame the easy way.

        The metal in the body was thick enough to be unaffected by this

        • willb
          January 5, 2013 at 3:32 am

          Ha!
          One of our favorite high school pranks in the early 70’s was to find a bug in a crowded parking lot and literally lift it and turn it sideways in its own parking spot (parking spots in the 70’s were a couple feet wider than they are today.)

          I like Coopers but doubt I will ever be able to justify the price. I bought my first bug for $200. It had a hydrostatic clutch and ran perfect.

          • Tre Deuce
            January 6, 2013 at 10:30 am

            ‘Willbe’

            So your one of ‘those’ guys..COL!

            My best friend in HS had a new 63’Sprite. One day we came out from school and couldn’t see the car. Examining the area that it had been in, we caught sight of it on the porch of the house it was parked by.

            Just the two of us couldn’t manage to pick it up. Didn’t know what to do. A neighbor came over who was retired from the fire dept. He called the firehouse and the crew soon had it back on the street, but not without a bit of good natured guff about them little Fur’n cars.

            We drove my 41′ Cad to school for awhile, they weren’t going to pick that baby up.

  14. chris m
    January 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    …Also is the fact the old Dart looked better…lower and more pleasing to the eye. Most of today’s “cars” are too tall for how wide they are- the aspect ratio is off- and they are almost SUV-like (the new Challender is an example).

    cm

  15. Tor Munkov
    January 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Even under full spectrum gyppitude & foolery, a man of mind is still wealthy beyond measure. The more men come to him demanding he give more, the more he can provide, if he should so choose.

    Bobby McFerrin creates a pentatonic keyboard out of thin air and a crowd of naked apes.

    Even under 100% taxation & 100% incarceration; Bobby McFerrin will still drive his unstealable car.

    They are the stator. By harnessing the law of induction, our every mechanical motion is converted to current which powers their dynamo. The dynamo that only does their work. Awakened ones first notice the commutator, see it reversing flows and directing power to parts of the rotor they choose. Increasingly awakened ones can enter and exit the dynamo at will, can raise and lower the torque, and can make the dynamo do the work one choose as an individual.

    • Ed
      January 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      “They are the stator. By harnessing the law of induction, our every mechanical motion is converted to current which powers their dynamo. ”

      There it is. Right there. Anybody who spouts that “naked ape” bullshit needs to read the last paragraph of your post, at least. We are not the sum of our outward appearance added to our least lovable actions.

      Thank you, Tor.

      • Tor Munkov
        January 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        The Naked Ape belongs to the sexual revolution and anti-establishment counter-culture of the late 60s & early 70s. He is a glorious self-aware creature; sometimes a cog in his own machine, sometimes a bold individual maverick. Wherever he is found, he leaves behind a rapidly growing living array of amazing accomplishments and experiences.

        Intro to The Naked Ape

        THERE are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a
        naked ape self-named Homo sapiens. This unusual and highly successful species spends a great deal of time examining his higher motives and an equal amount
        of time studiously ignoring his fundamental ones. He is proud that he has the biggest brain of all the primates, but attempts to conceal the fact that he
        also has the biggest penis, preferring to accord this honour falsely to the mighty gorilla. He is an intensely vocal, acutely exploratory, over-crowded
        ape, and it is high time we examined his basic behaviour. I am a zoologist and the naked ape is an animal. He is therefore fair game for my pen and I refuse to avoid him any longer simply because some of his behaviour patterns are rather complex and impressive. My excuse is that, in becoming so erudite, Homo sapiens has remained a naked ape nevertheless; in acquiring lofty new motives, he has lost none of the early old ones. This is frequently a cause of some embarrassment to him, but his old impulses have been with him for millions of years, his new ones only a few thousand at the most – and there is no hope of quickly shrugging off the accumulated genetic legacy of his whole evolutionary past. He would be a far less worried and more fulfilled animal if only he would face up to this fact. Perhaps this is where the zoologist can help

        Review of 1973 Movie

        Underrated retro-gem of the Sexual Revolution. It’s beyond me why this movie isn’t better regarded, let alone hasn’t been released to any home format (legally that is). Produced by Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Productions–it takes the theses of Desmond Morris’ pop-anthropology book and translates them into a series of pro-sex, but more importantly pro-tenderness and pro-humanism sketches.

        Some are cleverly animated (in various styles), others acted out in terms that range from the satiric to the tragic. The non-cartoon segments are primarily acted out by a pert young Victoria Principal.

        “The Naked Ape” is imagined in creative and narrative ways that would never happen again after the mid-70s. It’s conventionally sexy/humorous on the surface. But the overriding message is that the sexes should respect one another, and that mankind’s tilt toward warring, macho self-destruction is anything but “natural.” It’s a beautiful message, one that the film arrives at with an entirely appropriate weight of melancholy and anti-Establishment critique.

        This counterculture-relic is still forward-thinking, and would earn an even larger cult following were the original movie released in a home video format.

        1967 The Naked Ape – full book
        http://evolbiol.ru/large_files/naked_ape.pdf

  16. Don
    January 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    “The new Dart will also probably run reliably for longer, simply by dint of the much-improved manufacturing techniques and quality control that are now industry standard.”

    Not likely. I have a 65 Dart that has run well for 48 years and I expect another 40 years out of it, while I doubt that in fifteen years you will be able to find a replacement when the new car’s microchips fail.

    • January 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Don,

      The old Dart’s one big weakness is… susceptibility to rust. If you can keep it garaged – and keep it from being exposed to the elements (especially road salt in winter) then, yes, it is a car that can be kept running almost indefinitely. But if you were to drive your ’65 daily – in the wet, in the snow (and in contact with road salt) the body panels would rot within six or seven years and by 12 or so, the frame would almost certainly be structurally unsound.

      The new Dart (and just about any new car) can take incredible abuse as far as exposure to the environment for years without showing any signs of rot – and many more years after that before the rot becomes a structural issue.

  17. Tre Deuce
    January 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Surprised that no mention was made of the new Darts platform origin_ Alfa

    • January 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      It’s coming… working on the review now…

  18. Tor Munkov
    January 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    The Gypping and Fooling will stop when a way is found to avoid the wars and shakedowns which serve only to support the American Gays’ swordfights with the Middle Eastern Gays.

    Quentin Tarantino reveals that Top Gun was the ultimate gay recruiting video for the most powerful Gay Organization in the world, the US Military.

    Every tax dollar and vehicle surcharge dollar goes to fund the various Overseas Gay Bases. Drones, Ships; they all are cruising vessels of the vast Gaydar system looking for more Gays to recruit and shoot projectiles at.

    Since American soldiers have gone full Gay now, wearing matching outfits and saluting each other, one anticipates their eventual defeat by future militias of non-costumed straight men.

    Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
    http://www.movie2k.to/Django-Unchained-watch-movie-2365977.html

    • January 5, 2013 at 4:15 am

      Dear Tor,

      Since American soldiers have gone full Gay now, wearing matching outfits and saluting each other, one anticipates their eventual defeat by future militias of non-costumed straight men.

      I heartily agree that a pro-liberty militia would probably defeat a pro-tyranny standing army.

      I’m not sure the straight/gay issue is going to be the deciding factor though. I’ll have to give that one some thought.

      One variant of Murphy’s Law however makes a lot of sense. It says that in any war, the side with the sharper looking uniforms will lose.

      That makes sense because the side with the sharper looking uniforms is probably invading a poorer nation merely defending its homeland.

      The ragtag fighters defending their own homeland are likely to be far more dedicated than the snazzily attired invaders eager to get home before they receive a Dear John letter.

      • Tor Munkov
        January 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        To what end are military men kept in harem-like barracks and forced to live with less respect than a one gives a One Rupee Calcutta brothel fluffer?

        Why are they denied personal property, and any individuality whatsoever?

        Why must they play dress up and be called to lineups for inspection and selection by grizzled old Madam Sergeants?

        I submit that the subjugation and sexual humilitation of the grunts makes them unfit and unable to compete against normal men who live in uniquely customized dwelling with their wives, children, private property, and the simple dignity of an individuated consciousness.

        Though much less egregrious, most Amoricon citizen grunts are also despised worldwide because they too have been conscripted into a nonstop warmachine society since the World Wars. They lack any meaningful individuation beyond having favorite songs, cars, movies, and superficial materialistic tokens of identity.

        Afraid to go AWOL from their military/industrial prison lives even while outside the homeland, they imperiously demand everyone else comply, conform, and salute while extending them credit and taking their marching orders wherever they go.

      • liberranter
        January 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        One variant of Murphy’s Law however makes a lot of sense. It says that in any war, the side with the sharper looking uniforms will lose.

        “Sharper looking uniforms” also tend to be the most impractical for actual battle conditions. (For historical conformation of this, consider the Zouaves and their uniforms during the U.S. War to Prevent Southern Independence. While this is an extreme example, the standard-issue “federal blue” uniforms were about the most inappropriate attire for combat imaginable. These, along with federal military leadership incompetence on an unbelievable scale, makes it a wonder that the federal government prevailed in that war at all.)

        • Tor Munkov
          January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

          Interesting and enlightening liberranter.

          Consider The Beijing 2010 Military Parade
          http://www.youtu.be/uSfS0H5oBu8

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          January 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

          In my opinion the German uniforms during the Third Reich were, to this day, the best looking ever worn by any armed forces past or present. I can understand how so many young Krauts were so eager to wear one.

          Wenn die Soldaten
          Durch die Stadt marschieren,
          Öffnen die Mädchen
          Die Fenster und die Türen.

          • January 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

            Without question! The Panzer Corps especially.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      January 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Gays have always been numerous in America’s Military. Don’t ask, don’t tell was the natural way to deal with it and it worked rather well.

      Were I wounded in battle I certainly would not refuse assistance from a gay Corpsman, Nurse, or Doctor.

      I’ve had gays make a pass at me but not one persisted after I made it clear that I am terminally heterosexual.

      tgsam

      • Tor Munkov
        January 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Thank you Tinsley for your honesty. I was born into the rear echelon of the rear echelon. Never had to make a devil’s bargain to prostrate myself before the monoliths of the military.
        One is free to survive by all means necessary. Including getting a foothold and path of ascencion out of the dregs of the muck and shit at the base of the stone cold hierarchical pyramid of a warrior society as a mercenary manbanger or sadistic scrapplejacker.
        To say, Gays in the Military seems redundant. To mention only the Gay Corpsmen, Nurses, or Doctors is to omit the context of why these triage tricks are out hustling the roid raves of annihilatory orgies outside the battlefield boudoirs.
        Those who freely choose outlier choices of sexual activity are not being discussed. I am speaking of institutions and traditions that are designed to maximize deviance from optimal and enriching relationships into unnatural and debilitating relationships to increase institutional power at the expense of the individual.
        One can deny the spewing man gravy and skewered man juices across altars and spits of the arenas of vicarious sacrifice theaters until the pigs fly home, but it’s aftermath festers and spreads throughout our society and isn’t going to abate until we confront the problem.

        I assert that a prisoner violently sticking either a shiv or his willy into a fellow same sex inmate kept in inhumanely close quarters and conditions is essentially one and the same unnatural act. They want you behind those walls. They’re counting on the fact that “you can’t handle the truth.”

        My Existence While Grotesque & Incomprehensible…
        http://www.youtu.be/5j2F4VcBmeo

        # # # # #
        “Gay” Sheep
        Sheep have attracted much attention due to the fact that some rams seem to have an exclusive homosexual orientation.
        An October 2003 study states that homosexuality in male sheep (found in 8% of rams) is associated with a region in the rams’ brains which the authors call the “ovine Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus” (oSDN) which is half the size of the corresponding region in heterosexual male sheep.
        Scientists found that, “The oSDN in rams that preferred females was significantly larger and contained more neurons than in male-oriented rams and ewes. In addition, the oSDN of the female-oriented rams expressed higher levels of aromatase, a substance that converts testosterone to estradiol, a form of estrogen which is believed to facilitate typical male sexual behaviors. Aromatase expression was no different between male-oriented rams and ewes.”
        These results suggest that “naturally occurring variations in sexual partner preferences may be related to differences in brain anatomy and its capacity for estrogen synthesis.”
        The Merck Manual of Veterinary Medicine considers homosexuality among sheep as a routine occurrence and an issue to be dealt with as a problem of animal husbandry.

        “Gay” Bonobo
        The Bonobo, which has a matriarchal society, unusual amongst apes, is a fully bisexual species—both males and females engage in heterosexual and homosexual behavior, being noted for female-female homosexuality in particular.
        Roughly 60% of all bonobo sexual activity occurs between two or more females. While the homosexual bonding system in Bonobos represents the highest frequency of homosexuality known in any species, homosexuality has been reported for all great apes Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal on observing and filming bonobos noted that there were two reasons to believe sexual activity is the bonobo’s answer to avoiding conflict.
        Anything that arouses the interest of more than one bonobo at a time, not just food, tends to result in sexual contact. If two bonobos approach a cardboard box thrown into their enclosure, they will briefly mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species. But bonobos are quite tolerant, perhaps because they use sex to divert attention and to defuse tension.
        Bonobo sex often occurs in aggressive contexts totally unrelated to food. A jealous male might chase another away from a female, after which the two males reunite and engage in scrotal rubbing. Or after a female hits a juvenile, the latter’s mother may lunge at the aggressor, an action that is immediately followed by genital rubbing between the two adults.

  19. January 5, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Eric, you contrast disk brakes with power assistance with drum brakes without that. However, drum brakes can actually get some power assistance as an integral part of their construction, depending on their geometry. The thing is, you typically have two brake shoes being pulled together or pushed out calliper fashion around or inside the drum, pivoting on bearings offset to the side. The friction on one will either tend to pull it in tighter or tend to push it out unless it is carefully adjusted and laid out not to do that, making a multiplier (think how the sprags work to lock up certain parts of a hydrodynamic torque converter). With one possible layout, you get a near balance between the increase in friction on one shoe and the reduction on the other – but not quite, with the increase being slightly larger than the reduction (I won’t do the mathematics). And you could have a different layout that produces an increase for both shoes during forward motion and a reduction in reverse (or vice versa), though that’s not always a good idea since you could get the brakes snatching if the adjustments were wrong.

    • BrentP
      January 5, 2013 at 4:25 am

      Drum brakes are what is called ‘self-energizing’. That’s the term you are looking for.

      The power assist can be applied regardless of what is at the wheels, for it is a boost to pushing the hydraulic fluid, not anything else. I have a non-power assist disc brake set up ready to be put on my ’73 mav.

  20. Mike
    January 5, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I owned a ’75 Dodge Dart; it was an easy car to work on, oil filter, plugs, distributor right on top, plus there was room enough to sit inside the engine compartment. You had to keep a spare ballast resistor in the glovebox as that would burn out on a regular basis but rust was the real killer. One morning on the way to work it just died instantly so I rolled it to the side of the road and got out my handy ballast resistor spare only to find out on popping the hood that the electronic ignition module had rusted off the firewall, losing it’s ground. Somehow I managed to clip lead it to a clean part of the chassis to get moving again. I finally got rid of it when the right side torsion bar let go, the end having rusted thru it’s attachment to the frame; quite the bang, scared the crap out of me at the time.
    Eric – I also had a 1965 VW while I was a student, great car, wish I could have it again! My only bitch was the heater, didn’t do much on the cold Boston winter mornings.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      January 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      The 40 hp VW engine has some serious weaknesses, one of the worst being a soft crankcase and an absence of cam bearings. The 53 hp 1500cc was the best air cooled engine VW ever made. The major flaw with the 1600 that followed was the narrow surface contact where the cylinders contacted the heads. Pop,Pop,Pop . . .

      tgsam

      • Tre Deuce
        January 6, 2013 at 6:12 am

        @ TGSM,

        Yes, lack of cam bearings could be a problem on a poorly maintained(Good oil)or high mileage 40Hp motor.

        If the cam thrust area of the case was serviceable, I would line bore and put insert bearings in.

        Poor contact area and stretched or pulled cylinder studs, would cause that sharp popping under acceleration, heavy loads, or going up hills. The heads or cylinders are lifting, releasing pressure in the cylinders.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          January 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

          The late Ernst Gottschalk did our crankcase milling and line boring at Catlin Griffin Volkswagen in Jacksonville FL. During the war Ernst worked at the Horch truck factory.

          BTW, the 36 hp cases were much harder than the 40 hp cases. I never saw a wallowed out cam bore or a cylinder head stud pulled out on a 36 hp.

          tgsam

  21. Tre Deuce
    January 6, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Hi! Eric,

    Glad you appreciate the old Bugs. It is really the kind of car you and the commentators here talk about, along with the early Falcons, Nova’s, Valiant’s, and Darts. Solid simple stuff, but like it or not, few want that anymore. It is not all, the governments fault.

    Reg; “That’s tragic about your ’62… especially since it survived all the way to ’96.”

    Survived in great condition, had to replace the pedal pads, brakes, and muffler, but it only had 27,000 miles on it at its demise, and had never had the motor out. Still have the original motor and radio from it. It survived, because I had numerous VW’s and other cars to take the load. My Hot Rod VW Bug was a 57′ vert, then later a 63′ tire smoker. But those didn’t come until the later sixties and early seventies.

    The 62′ was my all original garage queen baby, amidst a lot of other cars. New stuff might sit out on the drive in the rain, but not my 62′ Bug. She was in the garage every night, but one, the night she was destroyed.

    • January 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

      I revere old VWs – not just Beetles!

      I’ve owned (in addition to a Beetle) a Thing, a Squareback and a Fastback. These last two lesser-known (but known to you and other discerning folks) boasted some pretty impressive stuff for their time, including fuel injection. Almost no cars had that circa late 1960s, early 1970s. Same basic Beetle engine, though – so same simple serviceability.

      I’m not sure about today’s buyers not being interested in such a car. It’d be interesting, at any rate, to find out. Few under 40s have ever had the opportunity to experience a car like an old Beetle, or Nova (etc.). I suspect that they might like the experience, if they had the opportunity.

      I’ve got a couple of friends in their mid-20s. They’re broke. Like I was, when I was in my mid-20s. The last thing these guys want is a $400 a month payment plus insurance plus $100/labor to fix something. I suspect that they’d very much like a solid transpo unit like the old Beetle. I bought my ’73 – the last VW I owned – in 1991 for $800. Drove that thing every day, in DC area traffic. Sure, every once in awhile something would happen – like the clutch cable snapping, or that little metal plug on the back of the carb popping off. But unlike modern car troubles, these troubles were “field expedient fixable.” You can still get a VW with a snapped clutch cable home – if you know how to drive. And a dime just happens to exactly fit that plug hole on the back of a VW Solex carb!

      • Tre Deuce
        January 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

        Reg; “You can still get a VW with a snapped clutch cable home”

        Got me laughing on that one, Eric. I drove one of my Bugs for a few weeks with out the clutch cable. Just put it in gear and hit the key, shift when the gear load comes off at throttle close(drive torque matches road torque). Not good for the starter.

        Replaced a lot of clutch cables in other peoples VW’s. Tuned a lot of heater boxes, and gave lot of instruction on proper use of heater controls.

        Had a type-3 Sq. Back and a Notch. Briefly drove a type-4 squareback that I bought for its motor to put in a KR-1 that I built. Taking VW aircooled’s to the air.

        Speaking type-3 injection, somewhat successful used Type-3 injection on a 300″ Ford six I built for my 61′ Falcon coupe ‘Gasser’. Did it before Ford finally did in 1987. I bought one of those new in an 87′ 4X4 150. I think maybe it was my last ‘ordered’ American vehicle. Still remember the build sheet.

        Damn! Its snowing

  22. Tor Munkov
    January 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you Boothe & Tinsley, for bringing Desmond Morris to my attention.

    Desmond Morris, age 84, curator of the London Zoo, ethologist and surrealist, author of The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo.

    [Modern Cities Are Inhumane Zoos - D. Morris]
    “under normal conditions, in their natural habitats, wild animals do not mutilate themselves, masturbate, attack their offspring, develop stomach ulcers, become fetishists, suffer from obesity, form homosexual pair-bonds, or commit murder. Among human city dwellers, needless to say, all of these things occur… Other animals do behave in these ways under certain circumstances, namely when they are confined in the unnatural conditions of captivity. The zoo animal in a cage exhibits all these abnormalities that we know so well from our human companions. Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.”

    “The politicians, the administrators and the other super-tribal leaders are good social mathematicians, but this is not enough. They must become good biologists as well, because somewhere in all that mass of wires, cables, plastics, concrete, bricks, metal and glass which they control, is an animal, a human animal, a primitive tribal hunter, masquerading as a civilized, super-tribal citizen and desperately struggling to match his ancient inherited qualities with his extraordinary new situation. If given the chance he may yet contrive to turn his human zoo into a magnificent game-park. If not, it may proliferate into a gigantic lunatic asylum, like one of the hideously cramped animal menageries of the last century.

    [Hatred of Establishment - D. Morris]
    “I have a life long hatred of the establishment. The church, the government and the military are all on my hate list and have remained there.” My reasoning for joining the surrealist subculture is that living as a child of the Great War, and losing my father to its repercussions of violence, I have an inner urge to rebel against oppressive authority of all stripe.”

    D. Morris – Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

    D. Morris – Body Language
    http://www.youtu.be/EHOdJ0qlavQ&

    [conclusion]
    I am learning a lot from Morris, but my hope is that the statist quo somehow be bifurcated, many times. Rather than monism, I want to achieve twelvism, or some higher number, where people have wide spectrums of choices among competing civic habitats and can choose the one that is most nourishing & healthy for their mode of existence.

    The Builders/Founders would call the 12 districts 1)high achieving, 2)good, 3)less good, 4)conforming & strict, 5)anarchic & loose, 6)okay-underperforming, 7)probationary, 8)rejects & non-producers, 9)masculist, 10)femnist, 11)industrious, 12)leisurely

    • Scott
      January 24, 2013 at 3:31 am

      Tor I found D. Morris’ analysis poignant. “under normal conditions, in their natural habitats, wild animals do not mutilate themselves, masturbate, attack their offspring, develop stomach ulcers, become fetishists, suffer from obesity, form homosexual pair-bonds, or commit murder.” He had my complete attention after that.

      But where is the solution? Better zoos?

  23. Don Cooper
    January 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    @Ed – resources are finite in the short-run. In fact that’s the definition of the short-run in the context of economics: a time period too short to vary the inputs of production (resources).

    If resources weren’t finite then you wouldn’t be able to sell them. Nobody would be willing to pay for something that there’s an infinite supply of. That would be tantamount to a Star Trek food replicator. Scarcity is the foundation of all economic analysis.

    In the long-run those short-run finite resources can be added to and/or renewed: water, trees, iron ore, food etc… so they are infinite in that sense.

    • Ed
      January 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      “If resources weren’t finite then you wouldn’t be able to sell them. ”

      Not true at all. It isn’t the resources that are finite, or even scarce, it’s the finished products that can run out if not constantly replenished.

      City water systems are designed to produce potable water from contaminated freshwater. Water is so plentiful that for all intents and purposes it may as well be regarded as infinite in supply. Water is a resource but fresh, potable water is often a product of human labor and design.

      The more people we have, historically, the more food, clothing, housing, potable water we produce. That’s a fact, historically. Anyway, the argument in favor of mass graves to hold 75% percent of us, which is exactly what population bomb doomsayers are getting at, is repulsive to me.

      The point is that human population levels are not to be controlled by humans. We have seen the result of that idea in the Ukraine under Stalin and in China under Mao.

      People who want a decline in human population levels and who use derogatory terms for humanity (naked ape, the human virus, etc.) should volunteer for the dirt nap themselves or shut the fuck up. Otherwise their insinuation is that other people should die or be denied reproductive rights, to ease their worried minds. Bullshit.

      Sorry, but that’s just the way I see it. We’re human and wanting to see humanity dwindle to a “sustainable number” is thoroughly inhumane.

      • BrentP
        January 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        Division of labor. Resources are created from human labor. There is no reason people can’t mine the garbage dumps. Can’t make hydrocarbon fuels, can’t come up with something else. There is no finite limit except for space. But we can get more space too, just leave this rock and start having people live on another rock.

        The first layer problem is always productivity. If we get rid of or at least reduce governments and other structures of enslavement productivity increases dramatically, in a fast compounding way. We don’t have a population problem. We have a government problem. That’s the root cause of misery. The state and everything that functions with or like a state. (which includes warlords, criminal gangs, etc and so forth)

        • Boothe
          January 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

          As usual BrentP, I have to agree with you. Right here in Missouri we had a plant in Carthage (http://www.changingworldtech.com/information_center/index.asp?id=5) that took various waste feedstocks (organic & inorganic) and converted them to cost competitive bio-diesel. The “area residents” complained about the “odors” emanating from the Carthage plant, so the gun-verment ordered them shut down (http://articles.ky3.com/2011-02-15/renewable-environmental-solutions_28538307).

          I suspect it had more to do with the waste disposal industry, oil industry and other, better connected “renewable energy” players’ fear of competition and lost revenue than it did odors. Be that as it may, the technology is here, now. It was the usual suspect, the gun-vernment, that stepped in and attempted to stifle this free market solution to new fuel. To paraphrase Henry Ford, if you think government is your friend, you’d better take a closer look at the plight of the American Indian.

          • BrentP
            January 8, 2013 at 3:12 am

            I have been aware of cwt for years. I was not aware they had shut down and filed bankruptcy. I often cited their work as proof we cannot run out of oil because we can make it from feedstock we can grow.

            CWT as I recall tried or did get some renewable fuel subsidy. However it was peanuts compared to what the connected players get. Just the per gallon type on what they made.

            It probably had to do with their process creating good oils to be used directly or further refined by conventional processes.

          • MoT
            January 8, 2013 at 3:52 am

            This wasn’t that one operation where they took the left over bits from a chicken processing facility and turned that into bio-fuel? Wasn’t Buffet or some well heeled honcho involved in that?

      • Don Cooper
        January 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        “It isn’t the resources that are finite, or even scarce.”

        If resources are not scarce then by definition that would mean that everyone could get all of them that they wanted freely from nature and so no one would be able to sell anything.

        Scarcity of resources is the foundation of all economic analysis, and it is correct – IMHO as an economist.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarcity

        • Tor Munkov
          January 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm

          The good news is there’s water on 18 of the major bodies of our solar system, including Uranus & Uranus’ moons.

          http://io9.com/5827649/a-map-of-all-the-water-in-the-solar-system

          • methylamine
            January 8, 2013 at 4:20 am

            Yep. There’s water on Uranus.

            God that never stops being funny!

          • January 8, 2013 at 4:44 am

            Dear meth,

            Not just on Uranus, but as Tor was careful to note, also on Uranus’ moons!

            Juvenile humor for sure, but I can’t help laughing either!

            Given our status as milk cows on a tax farm, perhaps we can be forgiven a little crude humor now and then.

  24. Don Cooper
    January 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    “Water is so plentiful that for all intents and purposes it may as well be regarded as infinite in supply.”

    It is not infinite, it’s finite. The amount of surface area, for example, that the water covers can be quanitified. Furthermore, if you live in Iowa, water is not only finite, it’s scarce as well.

    If water were infitite and not scarce there would never be another drought in Iowa.

    • BrentP
      January 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      We produce water every time we drive our cars or use any hydrocarbon or hydrogen fuel.

      For every molecule of CO2 produced from a hydrocarbon fuel there is more than one molecule of H2O produced. (the carbons on the end of each chain have an extra H) We add water to the environment daily. Man’s use of hydrocarbon fuels adds CO2 and H20 to the environment. Which is why I pose the theory that man is part of nature. Like bacteria changed the environment to make it more suitable for more complex life, human technology increases the ability of the planet to support life by turning nearly useless hydrocarbon chains into life giving CO2 and H2O.

      Furthermore, the oceans contain water to what is by engineering approximation, infinite. Thus all that is needed is a level of productivity that makes desalination and transport cheap.

      What stands in the way of human productivity? Government and those close to it who seek to make their way not by the productive means, but by the political means.

      • Don Cooper
        January 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

        “What stands in the way of human productivity? Government and those close to it who seek to make their way not by the productive means, but by the political means.”

        No argument from me there but raw water is not infinite and potable water is scarce. That’s why a price can be attached to it and sold.

        Even if technology were to get to a point where water could more efficiently be desalinated, it would still be scarce since other scarce resources – work and money – went into the desalination and transportation processes.

        The only supply of “infinitely free” water is rain. It takes no effort on anyone’s part and water is produced.

        • BrentP
          January 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

          Human labor and productivity is the bottleneck.

          We crate water every day. There are entire planets out there with water and/or hydrocarbons for the taking. The problem is the economics from point A to point B and that is question of productivity, of labor.

          I think my view of this is summed up by yet another insightful Twilight Zone episode:
          “The Rip Van Winkle Caper”
          http://tzone.the-croc.com/tzeplist/winkle.html

          What is scarce and apparently finite today may not be tomorrow.

        • Boothe
          January 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

          Don, you can’t count on rain water being potable either. In particularly polluted areas (usually big cities) you wouldn’t want to use rain water from the initial downpour (it’s literally cleaning the air as it falls) due to airborne contaminants; even radio-isotopes. Then your collection system my contaminate the water as well. Potential problems are bird droppings, insect and plant matter, microbes and anything that runs off or leaches out of the collection system itself. After that you have a similar potential for contamination during storage. So filtration, distillation and sterilization may still be in order. That’s barring drought conditions (scarcity) in your region. So even rain water requires human labor to make it potable in the practical sense. No free rides.

          • Tre Deuce
            January 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

            In Short___ Acid Rain

  25. John Illinois
    January 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Just for giggles, I called my local chain auto parts store and priced out what it would cost to rebuild a ’66 Dodge Dart 6 cyl, automatic into a new car. A re-manufactured long block costs $1,400. A torqueflite transmission $700, You can buy Classic Air specifically for the car for $1,400. I have installed these–they went in easier than a factory unit. I priced power brake master cylinder with booster–$125. I didn’t price power steering because I have driven one with power steering, and it is squirley. A new set of skins–$180, mounted and balanced. New brake parts, $125. Exhaust system, $125. Wiring harness $350. Paint job at MAACO, (hey, were are making a used car,not a collectable), $600. My local auto upholstery shop says that if he can use material he has on hand, and when he gets around to it, he’d do the whole interior for $1,500.
    I figured on starting with a complete car, hopefully operable enough that you can drive it home, or at least onto the trailer.
    Then you have all of your cores, and accessories. My brother says that these and Valiants are around where he lives in Texas, $1,500 tops for a good usable body. I come up with $7,880. On a good day, it only gets 25 MPG tops, but is 15 MPG worth an additional $12,000 for a new much smaller car? Besides, if you sell your Dart in a year or two, there is not a bad chance of actually getting all of your money back. With the new car, in the first couple years, you just might loose $7,800 in depreciation. I’d buy collision insurance on the Dart, because I can’t handle loosing $8 grand, but collision insurance on an $8,000 car is a whale of a lot cheaper than on one costing $20 grand. And the pot of air bags in the new car means you’ll hit the total button a lot quicker than you’d believe.
    I did this exercise with a 70 Chevy Impala a few years ago. This is up about $2,000 in that time.

    • BrentP
      January 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      I wouldn’t want a chain parts store reman engine. I don’t care how cheap it is.

      A ford racing 302 long block crate engine MSRP is $6700. Sure it’s a 302 of really nice quality, far better than anything off the 1960s production line, but the cost of a well done six is somewhere between the figure you got from the auto parts store and the list price of the small block V8 crate engine.

      I don’t think anyone is going to get away with less than $2500 for a properly built stock slant six long block in a ready-to-install form. It doesn’t change the point, but it is a peeve of mine that for one side of the equation it’s always dealer/OEM list but on the other it’s whatever Manny Moe and Jack can slap together. It just isn’t apples to apples.

      • John Illinois
        January 13, 2013 at 12:18 am

        Gee, I’m sorry you have had bad luck with “cheap parts store reman engines”. Over the past 25 years, I have had wonderful luck with them. I put a 302 from Autozone in a 74 Ford Pickup. I wanted a little more power than a 302 provides, but one of the guys around here thought it was just fine. He is still driving it. I replaced it with a 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive Chevy with a heavy duty 4 speed, with a big hole in the block. I got a 350 from Autozone. It has probably been in there for more than 20 years. I plow snow with it, and have drug a 10 ft disk around the field a few times. I got my combine stuck and pulled it out with this truck. I send my kid off to the elevator pulling a few gravity wagons with this thing, too. Works just fine. Compared to spending $50 grand for a new one, I can afford to replace the engine every now and again, which has not been necessary. I don’t know how many engines I have replaced with units from Autozone, but when you can fix an otherwise decent car that is worth $3,000 with a $1500 engine (I was surprised at how much the 225 inch 6 was, because a 318, 360, 302, 350 are a lot cheaper), it looks like a good deal to me. I suppose if you want to make a lot of tire smoke on the track, this wouldn’t do, but if you just want to get to work, they work just fine.

        • BrentP
          January 13, 2013 at 1:18 am

          I didn’t say I had bad luck. However I wouldn’t buy an engine from them. For all your stories above I’ve heard countless others on the other side about reman parts and engines from the chain stores. The last one I heard before yours a above was about a V8 that turned out, when it was being rebuilt because it failed, had mismatched heads. One head was correct, the other was from a different engine, that is a V8 of the same make but different year and displacement. It was wrong and shouldn’t have been on there.

          What was 20 years ago is also not what it is today. Also I didn’t argue ‘paying 50 grand for a new one’. There are many other options for engines besides chain parts stores.

          I really don’t like what I see with a lot of reman parts and I wouldn’t put a reman autozone anything in one of my cars. Same goes for most of the rest.

          I would sooner get an unmolested used engine from a wreck before something from the likes of a chain discount auto parts store.

    • January 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Hi John,

      Yup – absolutely.

      The cost of modern transmissions is especially obnoxious. Some cost $3,000 or more. You can still buy a high-quality rebuilt TH350 from Summit or JEGS for $600 or so. With a reasonable axle ratio (2.41 or some such) you can still get very decent mileage without OD.

      And fuel systems: The latest issue of Hot Rod magazine has an article about swapping a TBI injection system in place of the factory Quadrajet. This is a fairly simple system: TBI (not port) and with only a few basic sensors. Retail cost? $2,200. Versus $70 or so for a high-quality rebuild kit for the Q-Jet.

      Etc.

      • John Illinois
        January 13, 2013 at 12:27 am

        Exactly right, Eric. We are talking affordable basic transportation. Even if you have to borrow a few grand from Hank Frank and Charlie, if you borrow $6,000 and pay if off over 3 years, the payment is $192 a month. If you borrow $20,000 for 6 years, you are facing a payment of $592. I’d still be willing to bet that even with $4 gas, your finances will be better off with a 20 MPG car that costs you less than $200 a month for 3 years, than a 40 MPG car that costs darned near $600 for 6 years. Not only that, but at the end of 3 years, there is a real possibility that the rebuilt car will be worth pretty much what you have in it, where the new car might be worth half what you paid when it is actually yours.

      • Tre Deuce
        January 13, 2013 at 1:38 am

        After market TBI or in the case of a GM Sm. Blk, a factory one from the recyclers.

        If you want something pretty, the Camaro/Corvette injection looks very nice bead blasted or polished. Be sure to grab the electronics, or pick up the after market units that are designed for the OEM TBI/Tuned Port units.

        I have used the aftermarket ones several times, and bolt on and play is about 3 hours or less. Throttle response and instant starting in all temps are some of the benefits along with the higher(5%-15%) MPG. The Holley 2-barrel is plenty adequate even on a big block hauler/tow rig. If your into serious play(300+ HP) then the 4-barrel Holley is the unit to apply.

        Recently I posted a CL link for a 73′ Dart with an auto and 318″. I figure that with a TBI, RV cam, electronic ignition, and an ‘OD’ tranny, Headers and dual exhausts, the nice little Dart could be a lot of fun, sound good, and get decent MPG when you need that. And it sure beats the cookie cutter appliance look. And, what would you rather be seen washing in your drive on Saturday morning… ?

        All up, paint, parts, after market upholstery and rug kits, some cosmetic parts, wheels & tires, and your about $12,000 and looking good. There is plenty of after market support for the Dart, so it should be easy too take it all the way to a 100% resto.

        The difference in Mileage cost, is made up in the difference in all up cost per mile, and really looks good several years down the road with the advancing depreciation of the New Dart.

        The old Darts are a bargain and plentiful, so take your time and find a decent one, and while I’m a big fan of the Slant-Six, I would take the 318″. The mileage penalty is minimal and the fun of another order.

      • Tre Deuce
        January 13, 2013 at 2:48 am

        Eric… The Holley 2-barrel TBI is around $1,100. A rebuilt Q-Jet around $300+. A new replacement Q-Jet is around $800.00

        While a big fan and proponent of the Q-Jet, I just wouldn’t consider one these days, with TBI’s, Demons, and the AM replacement models available from Holley, Pro-Form, and Edelbrock.

        • January 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

          Hi Tre,

          Right –

          But, $1,100 is a pile of money for a 2BBL TBI. At least it is to me!

          Plus, the 2BBL TBI unit you mention is inadequate in terms of fuel delivery for most performance V-8 applications. So, you’d need the $2,000 4BBL version. But that’s not the end of it. When a Qjet needs a new accelerator pump or air horn gasket, it’s $30 or so. Functionally/mechanically, there is very little that can/will go wrong with a fresh/rebuilt carb for decades of use. Its chief negative is that it will require more in the way of tuning/cleaning over the years, while FI is “set – and forget.”

          However, there is much that can – and will – go wrong with FI, over time. Simply by dint of the fact that there are more things to go wrong. More sensors, more electronics – many of them not cheap. Just the O2 sensor (routine maintenance) is typically $50-plus. Then you have throttle position sensors, airflow sensors, etc. Plus a computer.

          Meanwhile, a rebuilt/replacement carb will not even be needed if you have a good core to begin with. Good cores are still readily available – and most of the time, you’ll already have one on the engine. Rebuilding them is pretty easy unless the throttle shafts are shot – in which case, find another good core. Less than $100 for that. Plus say $100 for a rebuild kit and some extra jets/metering rods to tune it. For $200 – or less – you now have a very sophisticated fuel metering device. I don’t believe any carburetor has ever matched the Q-Jet’s near FI operating characteristics. Once properly tuned, they work beautifully. My TA starts almost immediately – and never stalls.

          I just don’t see the value of it (FI) in the situation we’ve been discussing (older cars). As you know, the main functional advantage of FI is not power/performance. It is cold-start driveability and emissions/mileage. For purposes of our discussion, these attributes are rendered moot by the FI’s much, much higher cost.

          $2k – just on the fuel delivery system?

          I can go through my engine (the TA’s 455) for that!

  26. Tre Deuce
    January 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Hi! Eric,

    I have been rebuilding and optimizing Q-Jets since the late sixties, and am well versed in their attributes and issues.

    “Decades of use”… Lets see, they came out in 66′. My wife’s new 66′ Impala convertible had one on its 275Hp Sm Blk.(which, by the way is the best all around Sm. Blk, Chevy ever made… imo) and by the late sixties I had already rebuilt dozens of them. The local garage would send them to me to rebuild overnight for $10.00 a unit, kit provided. I use to fix the fuel bowl plugs with silver solder, today epoxy is commonly used. No, they didn’t last for decades, especially the early ones. One reason they had little respect in the general consumer market and were little understood by hot rodders, so a Holley or Carter was preferred to a Q-Jet. People used to heap all kind of offense on me when I tried to extoll the virtues of a Q-Jet, back in the day.

    The cost comparison was for a new Q-Jet versus the new TBI. Note; not sure if ‘new’ Q-J’s are still available. Edelbrock made them for a time followed by Pro-form.

    As regards Q-Jet cores, good ones like Flathead Ford V-8’s are few and far between. Throttle shaft bores nearly always have to be bored and sleeved. Plate alinement isn’t something for the inexperienced home Mech. And then there is casting warp-age on the early ones, and mech abused ones. The electronic Q-Jets are another rebuild situation from the older ones. Another issue is some Q-J parts are very hard to find, so make sure you get a complete one to rebuild.

    The GM TBI is nearly bullet proof, my 88′ Truck with 176,000 miles on it, has never needed any service including the ancillary parts. They are just not that easy for the inexperienced to put on a non TBI engine/vehicle, which makes the after market ones desirable if the budget allows.

    These days a $1,000 to $2,000 a for fuel system a isn’t cheap, but it is compared too other modern performance parts, and small change compared to the cost of the servicing of an out of warranty newer car.

    A good set of headers these days is $6-$800, and they are just bent and welded pipe & plate.

    Well, back to work.

    Regards…Tre

    • January 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Hi Tre,

      Me too – though not as long as you (’80s).

      But my experience is different! I’ve found Q-Jets to be durable for a long time – provided some idiot doesn’t over-tighten the mounting nuts and warp the base plate or otherwise screw it up. But that’s not the carb’s fault, even so. My ’76 has its original sitting on top of the 455. It’s been apart several times, but mostly just for tuning. Last full-on rebuild was back in the ’90s sometime. And then all it needed was the usual stuff – plus epoxy on the wells (which do leak). But it’s otherwise almost 40 years old, with no major work (or money) needed to keep it going. Do you think a TBI system will run reliably for 40 years without needing more than say $200′ worth of repairs/parts during that time? Moreover, my Q-Jet should be good to go for another 40 years. Sure, it might need to have the throttle shafts sleeved or some such eventually. But I’m not exaggerating when I state that this unit can operate without requiring much more than periodic cleaning/tuning/adjustment for 3-4 decades.

      Because it already has!

      They made millions of these things (as you know). The Pontiac/Olds versions (with straight fuel inlets) are getting a bit harder to find, but only because Pontiac stopped building V-8s a long time ago. Chevy side-entry Qjets are still pretty easy (and cheap) to find.

      Lookee here:

      $20

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/17057262-ROCHESTER-QUADRAJET-CARBURETOR-MID-70S-PONTIAC-FIREBIRD-TRANS-AM-OEM-/380550347887?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item589a917c6f&vxp=mtr

      $30

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/1979-CHEVY-CHEVROLET-TRUCK-ROCHESTER-QUADRAJET-4BBL-CARB-CARBURETOR-17059506-/321034019019?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4abf1e60cb&vxp=mtr

      And here’s a straight-inlet Pontiac

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/17057262-ROCHESTER-QUADRAJET-CARBURETOR-MID-70S-PONTIAC-FIREBIRD-TRANS-AM-OEM-/380550347887?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item589a917c6f&vxp=mtr

      These took all of 3 minutes to find on eBay.

      In my area, there are several big “pick your part” places – ample selection of mid-late ’70s and ’80s-era Q-Jets.

      The only ones that are hard to find – and expensive when you find them – are pre-’75 high-performance models, which are desired by muscle car restorers. If you want a correct-stamp RA III 400 or L-82 Q-Jet, then sure, you’ll pay a lot and it’ll be hard to find. But a straight-run Q-Jet? Not in my experience!

      • Tre Deuce
        January 13, 2013 at 8:31 pm

        Hi! Eric,

        I’m speaking primarily about 66′ to 73′ Q-J’s. I have had little to do with them beyond that, except for my 81′ crewcab in which I have, as I recall, rebuilt that carb at least 3-4 times in 500,000 miles.

        The Q-Jet on a decades old car with lower miles on it would of course be in better shape, but given average mileage for a vehicle in constant use, a carb would have well over a 100,000 miles on it in a decade. More like 150,000+/- miles, per decade.

        Newer Q-Jets are plentiful. I recently sorted through several big yard bins of core carbs at the wreckers, and many were 74′ and newer Q-J’s. I was looking for 2-GC’s, but I didn’t see a single desirable Q-J in the bunch, or it would be in my inventory.

        Bottom line…The Q-Jet is a great all around carb, affording decent MPG and Performance.

        Regards

  27. John Illinois
    January 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    You guys totally missed my point. I was after cheap, dependable transportation, not tire smoking performance. The car was originally designed and built to make it through the original 36 page payment book without problems. The factory’s idea was that you’d buy a new one because the styling cycle had changed, and you were supposed to want a new one. Rebuilt components will generally perform like the OEM ones originally installed. Frequently, the aftermarket parts were built in the same factory to the same specs, or sometimes better, than the OEM ones.

    • Tre Deuce
      January 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      John,
      Who missed your point? I thought you made a good case for your Dart build. I just put another spin on it.

      I also agree that Auto Zone/Shucks/etc long and shorts are sufficient remans, Just be aware of the build sheet, and check torque before installation. Personally, I would disassemble, thoroughly clean and reassemble. The new GM replacement engines are hard to beat for price, especially the long block.

      A great source of parts and kits for the do it your self type, is Northern Auto Parts.
      http://www.northernautoparts.com/images/catalog/issue100a.pdf

      Regards… Tre

      • John Illinois
        January 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        Yes, I know about Northwestern Auto Parts. I have been dealing with Sam for almost 40 years. I used to live in Grand Rapids. I have been amazed at the number of parts for my various real old cars I can get from Carquest, Advance Auto, and a couple local stores, delivered in a day or two, without shipping charges. Especially when you take the part in and they can cross reference casting numbers. For things like brake and fuel parts, I am no longer amazed that they have some of them in stock.

        • Tre Deuce
          January 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm

          John; The inclusion of NAPARTS was for the general readership.

          NAPARTS is in Sioux City, IA

          Computers and the net have changed the parts availability picture. The large number of older cars/trucks still in use and, or, being brought back to life and service is growing. Something Eric advocates on this site. A GOOD THING.

          The shipping for the ‘Master’ rebuild kit for my old Nissan pick-up was $26.00. Certainly affordable, considering.

          Their Sm Blk 383″ kit(s) is/are a bargain.

    • BrentP
      January 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      I needed stock reman rear calipers for my nearly 200K mile ford because the parking brake mechanism was sticking. Requires the labor of a caliper rebuild to address. I bought motorcraft remans from amazon. Many remans cut corners. Lots of corners. Like the A1-Cardone distributor I got from carquest. First one had this terribly made replacement plate inside and the vacuum retard was soldered shut instead of repaired. The second one had the OEM plate and the vacuum retard was still soldered shut. I took the vacuum unit from my original. I then found that they had an as-cast surface instead of a machined surface where it went into the engine. It didn’t fit. Much sanding later it was functional. I ate the core charge to keep my original.

      There are many places to get a reman engine or trans. I would choose carefully. That’s all.

      • Tre Deuce
        January 14, 2013 at 1:43 am

        Brent; I only get Reman brake parts from NAPA. Mostly I buy new or rebuild and custom paint calipers, hangers, and discs.

        There is a difference between Re-manufactured and Rebuilt.
        A re-manufactured part or unit is brought back to OEM specs as New. Rebuilt can mean anything…beware!

        Due diligence is a given if you value your time, and treasure.

        Poor quality and short cuts are typical in rebuilt carbs, I never use one.

        I have only bought New GM crate engines, or rebuild myself.

        Regards… Tre

  28. Scott
    January 24, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Eric, I see the essential difference between the Squeegee Man and the Government Worker in the simple truth that the Squeegee Man can’t call out the Marines if you don’t pay him. I have no trouble with the entrepreneur, however I detest the extortionist.

    “Aqualung my friend,
    don’t you start away uneasy.
    You poor old sod,
    you see it’s only me.

    Neck hurting bad
    as he bends to pick a dog end.
    He goes down to the bog
    to warm his feet.”

    — Ian Anderson

    • January 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

      Absolutely.

      He’s also got some guts. He approaches his victims himself – without back-up. Nothing enrages me more than the squishy nonentities who “work” in a government office, sending out their extortion notices and so forth….

  29. Tinsley Grey Sammons
    January 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Re: Excessive population.

    Once again I am painfully reminded by responses that Mankind will have to learn the hard way . . . as usual.

    Individuals don’t always get what they deserve but Mankind certainly does.

    Astronomers complain of Light Pollution.

    A park is not a forest.

    GROWTH and IMPROVEMENT are definitely not synonyms.

    tgsam

    Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

    • BrentP
      January 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      If it wasn’t for the nature of how people are ruled over, population would have leveled out and stablized before now. The more people try to control the more uncontrolled things ultimately become.

      Population is ultimately related to the productivity of individual. Lower individual productivity requires more people. The ruling class, in order to keep people poor, must lower individual productivity and then steal most of what remains. This in turn increases population. They take what they steal and use some of it for welfare, which subsidizes low, actually no productivity, which increases population. If the control freak risk players were removed, if people were free to be productive, population would stablize in a few decades and then slowly decline to a stable sustainable level.

    • January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Dear Tinsley,

      I tend to agree with Brent on this one.

      Freedom is always the best policy.

      Freedom ensures that human society, via “supply and demand,” retains the virtues of ecological balance in nature.

      Government extortion to subsidize irresponsible child-bearing has led to artificially increased populations among those subsidized. Big surprise.

      Remove the perverse incentives, and watch the numbers go way down.

      • methylamine
        January 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        Bevin–absolutely.

        First: I must say how much I appreciate all of you on this site. It is a refuge of sanity, a refreshing elixir after a day’s slogging through mediocrity and muddled thinking. Thank you to all of you!

        Next: QED; as peoples’ prosperity increases, their population stabilizes and decreases. It’s so simple it’s axiomatic; to achieve highly in a complex wealthy system, people must be educated and work hard…therefore they delay child rearing, and when they do so they concentrate more resources on fewer people.

        The answer to “overpopulation” is more wealth, and the only way to achieve more wealth is more freedom.

        Jefferson’s agrarian Renaissance-man ideal really is achievable. Imagine the future, with small (often family) businesses with a half-dozen 3-D printers cranking out millions of different products, highly customized, constantly evolving. The era of mass production will be OVER when the state-enforced monopoly of corporations breaks; people will be free to buy the goods they really want…not what monopoly crony capitalism supplies them.

        Imagine the CARS we’ll have! Sure, you’ll still get your appliance-style Camry. But you want a Lotus 7 with five hundred horsepower? You bet! There’s a company in Texas…three, actually…that make those. And they source their parts from three dozen small companies that make everything from suspension parts to engine computers.

        The engines might still come from big companies with the resources to do the massive research…but that will be open-sourced eventually too.

        We have been held back at least a hundred years in technology. The Elites are terrified; when we’re unchained, we will BURY them with innovation so fast their plodding, Industrial-age companies will simply vanish under a tsunami of freedom.

      • Tinsley Grey Sammons
        January 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

        *snip* Government extortion to subsidize irresponsible child-bearing has led to artificially increased populations among those subsidized. Big surprise.

        Remove the perverse incentives, and watch the numbers go way down. *snip*

        Nothing to disagree with here. What you have said here was obvious to me fifty years ago.

  30. Tor Munkov
    January 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    The Seventh Sense

    I see squeegee people. They don’t know they’re unwelcome. They don’t see themselves for what they really are. They only see what they want to see. They think everything can be made better with their ratty squeegees and filthy rags. They’re everywhere. All the time. Walking around like regular people. They see only what they want to see.

    The Sixth Sense – Fu11 Movie
    http://www.youtu.be/raK-6oyCibg

  31. Tre Deuce
    January 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Nice 72′ Plymouth Valiant ‘Scamp’ one owner … 70,000 miles

    Slant six/auto http://medford.craigslist.org/cto/3523149569.html

    • January 30, 2013 at 10:31 am

      That looks like a sweet deal! 20 years ago, I’d have pulled the six in favor of a 360… today, I’d baby that six and leave the whole car stone stock….

  32. Tre Deuce
    January 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    The ‘XNR’_ A piece of ‘Slant Six’ history with the aural delights of a revving performance lazy six.

  33. Tre Deuce
    February 1, 2013 at 5:30 am

    More ‘XNR’ and Lazy Six goodness_

  34. Tre Deuce
    February 5, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Nice utility with the venerable ‘Lazy Six’.
    http://medford.craigslist.org/cto/3590459615.html

  35. Tre Deuce
    February 6, 2013 at 4:11 am
  36. May 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    The Didge itself represents the best car ever made from my oppinion, but i have to agre with Dom on this one. I`m not suprised either about the “extra” things that are being added on each model type, making the car look heavily filled with alots of useless stuff.

    Maybe that is why, classic cars are so expensive and only collectors afford to buy them. Nowadays it`s al about the size, colour and engine noise, am I right u guys?

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