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Thread: Saw a K-Car the other day...

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Saw a K-Car the other day...

    My buddy runs a repair shop and the other day I stopped by to get him to slap an inspection sticker on my truck.

    He had an '82 Aries K in for some brake work. I haven't seen a roadworthy one of these things in years.

    I noticed it had 14 inch steel wheels - not 16 or 17 inchers (with expensive tires) as even "economy" cars have today.

    Inside, there were bench seats front and rear, not buckets. It was actually pretty comfortable and compared to a typical modern small car, the interior was roomier and more functional.

    No stinkin' air bags, so the steering wheel was a simple thing and the dash wasn't a massive overstuffed presence dominating the cabin.

    If you don't remember these cars, they also got 40 miles-per-gallon, too.

    I found myself digging this car - and wishing they still made 'em like this.

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    I loved the 80's ,I use to have some thick hair back then too and dark not gray like today's hair. Life was simpler,no I phones or text messaging nothing. We use to enjoy ourselves without much techno gadgets,the cars were well I think today cars are better but some were made right like the K-car for instance. Gosh now I wish I bought that car instead of that miserable and lousy Yugo.

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    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    I loved the 80's ,I use to have some thick hair back then too and dark not gray like today's hair. Life was simpler,no I phones or text messaging nothing. We use to enjoy ourselves without much techno gadgets,the cars were well I think today cars are better but some were made right like the K-car for instance. Gosh now I wish I bought that car instead of that miserable and lousy Yugo.
    Check out the pic Mase posted above this... it's an unpretentious, tasteful looking little car. Reasonable and functional. I like that.

    It took me awhile to appreciate how solid a value those K-cars were. Relative to today's over-teched, over-heavy, over-powered (because people can't/won't drive fast anyhow) "economy" and "family" cars, they were inspired.

    They're also a reflection of a better America that wasn't completely in thrall to the ethic of over-buying and over-consumption; the "Hummer-McMansion" America of today.

    I know I'm committing heresy by saying nice things about the K-cars (and daring to point out the idiotic wastefulness of modern cars) but, so be it. I'm too cranky to pay the game anymore....

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  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Funny!

    But, in all seriousness, the K makes more real-world sense than the image people have bought into today.

    The K-car was affordable and simple; it did not cost so much to buy that a five or six year loan was necessary (as is often the case today). It was light, so performance was decent (0-60 in about 9-10 seconds with the manual transmission, which is comparable to current economy compacts and perfectly sufficient for real-world use in today's America).

    And it got 40-plus miles per gallon on the highway.

    Fer sure, it did not have GPS, or climate control, or multiple air bags, or 17 inch rims... etc.

    Which is precisely why it was superior to the current stuff, as a real-world "A" to "B" transportation device.

    That's what cars are for, in the real world.

    But we've been gulled into this stupid (because it's killing us by making us debt slaves) fantasy of "sportiness" that just doesn't exist in the real-world - and into buying an absurd level of capability/technology that most of us can't use and could very comfortably live without.

    I've harped on it before, but once again, please tell me: Does the average Joe or Jane need 16, 17, 18 inch wheels? Do you really think they'd notice any difference if the car had 14s like the K did?

    And 6-8 air bags? ABS and "high capacity" four-wheel-disc brakes? The capability to cruise all day at 90 mph (or faster)... given the way most Americans actually drive?

    I sat in the K-car at my friend's shop. It had more interior space than most of the new "mid-sized" vehicles I test drive. With three-across bench seats, you can fit six people in the K.

    Try that in an Altima or Camry.

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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Funny!

    But, in all seriousness, the K makes more real-world sense than the image people have bought into today.

    The K-car was affordable and simple; it did not cost so much to buy that a five or six year loan was necessary (as is often the case today). It was light, so performance was decent (0-60 in about 9-10 seconds with the manual transmission, which is comparable to current economy compacts and perfectly sufficient for real-world use in today's America).

    And it got 40-plus miles per gallon on the highway.

    Fer sure, it did not have GPS, or climate control, or multiple air bags, or 17 inch rims... etc.

    Which is precisely why it was superior to the current stuff, as a real-world "A" to "B" transportation device.

    I sat in the K-car at my friend's shop. It had more interior space than most of the new "mid-sized" vehicles I test drive. With three-across bench seats, you can fit six people in the K.

    Try that in an Altima or Camry.

    I've got a '98 Taurus that will sit 6 and Ford sold a ton of these. They weren't sporty enough so the Taurus was dropped and the new Taurus is a cross over. The K car really did save Chrysler and the basic floor plan was used well into the 90's. The minivans were based on it until they started having AWD offered, the early cloud cars were based on it (cirrus, stratus etc.) and the LeBaron's were all K cars under the skin.

    They had climate control. Window cranks, a heater and if you ordered air, a/c. I detest automatic climate control. I've got it on my '84 Lincoln and it works when it decides to. My '93 Town Car was the same way. If I get hot or cold, I can always turn the fan speed down. How hard is that?

    I'm looking to get rid of some iron and get one decent car since it looks like I won't be hauling mom and her wheel chair much longer. I want tilt, cruise and air. Add in a nice radio and I've got all I need for long or short trips.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric;125257But, in all seriousness, the K makes more real-world sense than the [I
    image [/i]people have bought into today.
    I thought the K-car was the beginning of the end for Chrysler. Those little dougnut wheels, with the huge wheel wells. There were all sorts of reliabilty and rust issues. The same car sold by both Plymouth and Dodge - just a different exterior trim. Even GM was a little smarter.

    IMO that pretty much made Chrysler the laughing stock.

    Maybe a good concept (simple and accomadative), but bad execution.

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    I thought the K-car was the beginning of the end for Chrysler. Those little dougnut wheels, with the huge wheel wells. There were all sorts of reliabilty and rust issues. The same car sold by both Plymouth and Dodge - just a different exterior trim. Even GM was a little smarter.

    IMO that pretty much made Chrysler the laughing stock.

    Maybe a good concept (simple and accomadative), but bad execution.
    All that's true, but it's also true that they saved the company. Chrysler sold scads of them; so many that it was the most profitable of the Big Three, with the largest cash reserves, before the (hahahahaha) "merger of equals" (read: buyout) by Daimler Ag, who raped the company and used those cash reserves to finance the expansion/updating of the MB product lineup.

    And what did Chrysler get?

    The outgoing E-Class platform (for the 300).

    Huzzah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    And what did Chrysler get?

    The outgoing E-Class platform (for the 300).

    Huzzah!
    If I were to buy a German car it would be a BMW.

    IMO it's pretty easy to see that the MB's look like Chryslers. I think MB used their prestiege with cheap shit Chrysler internals.

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    If I were to buy a German car it would be a BMW.

    IMO it's pretty easy to see that the MB's look like Chryslers. I think MB used their prestiege with cheap shit Chrysler internals.
    I'd buy neither.

    MBs have become garish nig-mobiles; the perfect conveyance for a cRapper or shyster lawyer type. The old MBs had class; they were stately, incredibly over-built (tough) things that really were the best things on wheels in that respect.

    BMWs:

    Weird looking and way over-teched. It took a German to make a simple function such as changing the radio station an aneurism-inducing exercise in frustration.

    Old BMWs had great looks (635 Csi) and were very driver-oriented machines that really delivered.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    All that's true, but it's also true that they saved the company. Chrysler sold scads of them; so many that it was the most profitable of the Big Three, with the largest cash reserves, before the (hahahahaha) "merger of equals" (read: buyout) by Daimler Ag, who raped the company and used those cash reserves to finance the expansion/updating of the MB product lineup.

    And what did Chrysler get?

    The outgoing E-Class platform (for the 300).

    Huzzah!

    Yeah, the current Chrysler 300 is based on the Mercedes W210 chassis that debuted in 1996. Chrysler is only 15 years behind.....

    Also, Chrysler is using the W163 ML platform that debuted in 1997 for the new Grand Cherokee.

    IMO it's pretty easy to see that the MB's look like Chryslers.
    Uhhhh, not really. Chryslers look like MB's and Hyundais also look like MB's (and BMW's)

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    How are they using the W163 chassis? It was body-on-frame, and the Grand Cherokee is unibody.

    The ML-320 I had (body-on-frame) did pretty good in the mild-to-moderate off roading I took it on. There were some chassis creaks and moans, but you could still open the doors with one wheel off the ground. It was the rest of the vehicle that broke all the time...

    Chip H.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    How are they using the W163 chassis? It was body-on-frame, and the Grand Cherokee is unibody.

    The ML-320 I had (body-on-frame) did pretty good in the mild-to-moderate off roading I took it on. There were some chassis creaks and moans, but you could still open the doors with one wheel off the ground. It was the rest of the vehicle that broke all the time...

    Chip H.
    Yup, you are right. I figured that MB gave Chrysler the oldest technology possible. They haven't, so the Grand Cherokee must be based on the W164.

    Also, MB gave Chrysler the Sprinter van platform to use.

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    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Isn't the Crossfire a Mercedes knock-off?

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Isn't the Crossfire a Mercedes knock-off?

    How so? It does have a resemblance to the new SLS, other than the silhouette it has few similar styling cues.

    This is a Mercedes knock-off.



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  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    The Crossfire is an SLK under its skin!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    The Crossfire is an SLK under its skin!
    I have never heard that anywhere before, but it's true. So it's 80% MB, holy shit MB! what were you thinking?

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieseleverything View Post
    I have never heard that anywhere before, but it's true. So it's 80% MB, holy shit MB! what were you thinking?
    It's the last generation chassis... and the Crossfire never sold especially well.

    I actually kind of liked it.

    It had an art deco Batmobile/Tim Burton look...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    It's the last generation chassis... and the Crossfire never sold especially well.

    I actually kind of liked it.

    It had an art deco Batmobile/Tim Burton look...
    We have a couple of Crossfires running around locally. I will admit that I like the brutish looks and could be tempted if one came up at the right price. The SLK background I was not aware of but, much as I like the SLK I think the Crossfire is not so - what's the word I'm looking for - 'Feminine' I think, a bit like the BMW Z3.

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