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Thread: Crappy TV & movie cars...

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Crappy TV & movie cars...

    Steve McQueen's Highland Green "Bullitt" Mustang is a pop culture icon. But how about the automotive Omarossas? Which movie and TV cars were the worst ever?

    Here's a list of possible nominees:

    * "Magnum, PI" '83 Ferrari 308

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBVHKwf5mSc

    One of the very few slow - and cheap - Ferraris. Though it looks fast, the 308's little V-8 produced just 205 hp - about 60 hp less than a Camry V-6 and about 200 hp less than a current Ferrari.

    Now you know why Magnum was reduced to doing burnouts on the grass. The 308 may have a prancing horse on the fender - but there's a Gerbil under the hood.

    You can buy a nice one these days for about $20,000 - and that ought to tell you something.

    * "Smokey and the Bandit" '77 Trans-Am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZZPalUHlxc

    A great movie - about a once-great car. There's a reason why they speeded up the film in several driving sequences to make the action at least look fast. The '77 T-top Trans-Am driven by Burt Reynolds may have been menacing in its black paint with gold trim - but all Burt had to work with was a low compression 185-hp 403 V-8 pirated from an Oldsmobile Delta 88 - and a sloshy three-speed automatic transmission.

    The stunt scenes - and sound track - were done with a modifed car equipped with a much-massaged 455 Pontiac V-8 - an engine not offered in a Trans-Am since 1976 - and a real-deal 4-speed manual gearbox.

    * "Charlie's Angels" '78 Mustang Cobra II

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OtvSLLOx6g

    This sheetmetal cousin of the "hit me - and we die together" Pinto remains the undisputed Most Embarrassing Mustang Ever Built. It's amazing Farrah was able to chase down any criminals in this tarted-up, toothless faux muscle car. They probably slowed down - so she could catch up.

    The one admirable design feature of the Mustang II was its tendency to rapidly dissolve from rust - like an old soup can left out in the yard. So few are left in existence to blight the roads.

    * "Starsky & Hutch" '76 Ford Torino

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2en-Ihaxn0

    This car ("Zebrathree") was an even bigger load than David Soul and Paul Michael Glazer. Like a washed-up jock in a baggy sweat suit, the customized '76 Torino was a typical mid-late '70s overweight, underpowered smog machine. Its 200-something horsepower 460 V-8 was a low performance boat anchor of an engine better at sucking gas than hauling ass.

    A loud paint job and white stripes only called attention to its mediocre performance.

    This unfortunate Ford was the el cheapo equivalent of a Chrysler Cordoba - only without the "rich, Corinthian leather" to class it up a little.

    * "Back to the Future" '82 DeLorean

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yosuvf7Unmg

    It'd be hard to get to the next stop light - let alone 1985 - in this stainless steel road toad. With a feeble Renault-sourced 2.8 liter V-6 under the hood - and all of 130 hp on tap - Doc Brown would have had to stuff a lot of bananna peels into "Mr. Fusion" to get the car to 88 mph - the "magic number" for time travel.

    Even with a ""flux capacitor," Biff's old Chevy would've blown its Gullwing doors off.

    * "Corvette Summer" 'Vette

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr_yxNf1Cxk

    Take a perfectly good mid-'70s Corvette - and ruin it with a couple hundred pounds of slapped on fiberglass pontoons, wings and oversized hood scoops. Then spray thoroughly with garish metalflake paint and prisma. Put Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill in the lead role - and you've got all the makings of a first-class stinker of a movie about Corvette mutilation and '70s stoner anomie.

    The movie is all about finding the car after it got stolen by thieves - but the smarter move would've been to cash the insurance check and send the crooks a thank-you card.

    * "Hardcastle & McCormick" Manta kit car

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIMAfwJSfKw

    The music and intro were pretty cool - especially the part where the car cuts under the tractor trailor - but the VW-sourced kit car Lola GT/Lotus wasn't.

    Even if it did have a Porsche engine (no one knows for sure; some say it was Corvair-powered) a fake exotic sports car is about as classy as Potomac River caviar.

    You're not foolin' anyone, son. Put those gold chains away, tuck in your shirt - and buy a real car.

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    88mph was the magic number for the DeLorean.

    The Peugot-Renault-Volvo V6 in it was recently voted one of the worst motors ever, by Jalopnik readers. Along with the GM almost-a-diesel V8 and the Chrysler 2.7 liter V6

    Chip H.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    88mph was the magic number for the DeLorean.

    The Peugot-Renault-Volvo V6 in it was recently voted one of the worst motors ever, by Jalopnik readers. Along with the GM almost-a-diesel V8 and the Chrysler 2.7 liter V6

    Chip H.
    Fixed!

    Gotta love a shitty car...

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    One of my favorite T.V. shows of all time was Columbo. I loved his old Saab. That was a great show too.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    88mph was the magic number for the DeLorean.

    The Peugot-Renault-Volvo V6 in it was recently voted one of the worst motors ever, by Jalopnik readers. Along with the GM almost-a-diesel V8 and the Chrysler 2.7 liter V6

    Chip H.
    How did the Cadillac V8-6-4 rank?

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    How about the Citroen 2CV in "For Your Eyes Only", or the Renault 11 in "View To A Kill"?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtRoiIf2A3s
    Last edited by misterdecibel; 08-18-2010 at 03:29 PM.

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    You mean the V8-6-4-0 ?
    It's in there.

    Chip H.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    How about the Citroen 2CV in "For Your Eyes Only", or the Renault 11 in "View To A Kill"?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtRoiIf2A3s
    And the Condormobile!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g-TkGM4nKI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    * "Starsky & Hutch" '76 Ford Torino

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2en-Ihaxn0

    This car ("Zebrathree") was an even bigger load than David Soul and Paul Michael Glazer. Like a washed-up jock in a baggy sweat suit, the customized '76 Torino was a typical mid-late '70s overweight, underpowered smog machine. Its 200-something horsepower 460 V-8 was a low performance boat anchor of an engine better at sucking gas than hauling ass.

    A loud paint job and white stripes only called attention to its mediocre performance.

    This unfortunate Ford was the el cheapo equivalent of a Chrysler Cordoba - only without the "rich, Corinthian leather" to class it up a little.
    I had a 1969 Torino GT 428 SCJ with Ram Air and a Detriot Locker rear and an oil cooler. It was a drag strip car. It could do a quarter in about 15-16 seconds.

    But really the car was an engineering POS. Over 100 mph and the front end was sooo light, you thought you might go airborne. It was 335 hp. My wifes 2.8 liter, twin turbo, Volvo S80 is 285 hp. I've had that car up to 140 mph, and it hugs the road like a vacuum cleaner.

    So much for the 'bad old days.'

    At college (Penn State 1970) I met a guy from Georgia that had a Talladega with a Boss 429. I think the Talladega is now collectible. It drove much like my GT.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    I had a 1969 Torino GT 428 SCJ with Ram Air and a Detriot Locker rear and an oil cooler. It was a drag strip car. It could do a quarter in about 15-16 seconds.

    But really the car was an engineering POS. Over 100 mph and the front end was sooo light, you thought you might go airborne. It was 335 hp. My wifes 2.8 liter, twin turbo, Volvo S80 is 285 hp. I've had that car up to 140 mph, and it hugs the road like a vacuum cleaner.

    So much for the 'bad old days.'

    At college (Penn State 1970) I met a guy from Georgia that had a Talladega with a Boss 429. I think the Talladega is now collectible. It drove much like my GT.
    Similar experiences!

    In their defense, the 335 hp rating of your Torino was under the old "gross" system, which was wildly optimistic. Using the current "net" (engine installed in the car, with full production exhaust and all accessories, normal production tune, etc.) that 335 hp rating would likely fall to around 270 hp... about the same as the Volvo, but in a much heavier, far less aerodynamic car.

    My '76 Trans-Am has a modified 455 and has the power to do probably 140 or so... but I would never attempt it. The car is scary above 100, just as you describe.

    But I routinely drive new cars - including economy cars - at triple digit speeds, because they are so much more stable and comfortable at such speeds!

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    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Well, how about Columbo's car?

    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Don't forget the "Mentalist's" wheels.....

    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Well, how about Columbo's car?

    He had a Nash Metropolitan, right?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Don't forget the "Mentalist's" wheels.....

    I have never driven one of these, but for some sick reason I am attracted to them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    He had a Nash Metropolitan, right?
    See:
    http://eurocarguy.blogspot.com/2007/...umbos-car.html
    Trevor

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    That was a really well-done article; I enjoyed reading it very much!

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Well, how about Columbo's car?
    That Peugeot 403 convertible is more rare than hen's teeth. Probably a decent car too, although this one could use some time in the body shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I have never driven one of these, but for some sick reason I am attracted to them...
    I am, too, but not enough to buy one.

    I have driven a Citroen DS__, more or less as pictured. It was amazingly comfortable, thanks to thick foam seats and hydropneumatic suspension. ... and pretty fast once you got it rolling, thanks to a tiny but willing engine. The brakes, operated by a button on the floor, took some getting used to, but worked very, very well.


    I have also driven a Citroen SM, with the Maserati V6 engine, and a conventional brake pedal, much faster but otherwise much like the earlier model, with super-fast steering and steering range like a London taxi.

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

    In their defense, the 335 hp rating of your Torino was under the old "gross" system, which was wildly optimistic. Using the current "net" (engine installed in the car, with full production exhaust and all accessories, normal production tune, etc.) that 335 hp rating would likely fall to around 270 hp... about the same as the Volvo, but in a much heavier, far less aerodynamic car.

    My '76 Trans-Am has a modified 455 and has the power to do probably 140 or so... but I would never attempt it. The car is scary above 100, just as you describe.

    But I routinely drive new cars - including economy cars - at triple digit speeds, because they are so much more stable and comfortable at such speeds!

    Actually, the way engines were rated changed but power dropped a little later than the rating change. The old gross h.p. rating was the bare engine with no accessories, like a water pump. The rating was also dependent on where in the power curve the rating was taken. The 426 Hemi for instance was rated at 426 h.p. but everybody was sure that Chrysler was "poor mouthing" the numbers. A few years ago, the Canadian TV show "Dream Car Garage" took several of the old time muscle motors and tested ones that were rebuilt to factory specifications. The Hemi was over 800 h.p., but the engineers took a rating at a lower engine speed.

    The gross rating did not have any kind of exhaust, other than a fan pulling it out the wall, outside cooling, outside fuel supply, etc., etc., etc. The net rating had the wate pump, alternator, fuel pump and anything else that went on the engine in the car. Each small accessory had a large impact on the final numbers. Just adding a larger alternator and then adding a bunch of electrical things will decrease your fuel mileage. The big drop in engine power from lower compression was about a year after the rating change.

    A lot of the increase in engine power in new cars comes from the accessories. A lot of vehicles are losing the belt driven fan for an electric one. Electric power steering, rack and pinion steering and anything else that lightens a car will increase fuel mileage and available power.

    I help a friend from time to time with his race car and one major increase in power to the wheels came when he dropped the mechanical water pump and cooling fan. The water pump frees up some power and when he's doing a run down the strip, a toggle switch shuts off the fan.

    Any small thing on the engine will have a greater impact on power after it goes through the drivetrain and torque multiplication. So when they added all the doodads onto an engine, it really sucked the power down.
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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Actually, the way engines were rated changed but power dropped a little later than the rating change. The old gross h.p. rating was the bare engine with no accessories, like a water pump. The rating was also dependent on where in the power curve the rating was taken. The 426 Hemi for instance was rated at 426 h.p. but everybody was sure that Chrysler was "poor mouthing" the numbers. A few years ago, the Canadian TV show "Dream Car Garage" took several of the old time muscle motors and tested ones that were rebuilt to factory specifications. The Hemi was over 800 h.p., but the engineers took a rating at a lower engine speed.

    The gross rating did not have any kind of exhaust, other than a fan pulling it out the wall, outside cooling, outside fuel supply, etc., etc., etc. The net rating had the wate pump, alternator, fuel pump and anything else that went on the engine in the car. Each small accessory had a large impact on the final numbers. Just adding a larger alternator and then adding a bunch of electrical things will decrease your fuel mileage. The big drop in engine power from lower compression was about a year after the rating change.

    A lot of the increase in engine power in new cars comes from the accessories. A lot of vehicles are losing the belt driven fan for an electric one. Electric power steering, rack and pinion steering and anything else that lightens a car will increase fuel mileage and available power.

    I help a friend from time to time with his race car and one major increase in power to the wheels came when he dropped the mechanical water pump and cooling fan. The water pump frees up some power and when he's doing a run down the strip, a toggle switch shuts off the fan.

    Any small thing on the engine will have a greater impact on power after it goes through the drivetrain and torque multiplication. So when they added all the doodads onto an engine, it really sucked the power down.
    If I recall correctly, the big fall-off in power (generally) came after the 1971 model year. Only a few muscle motors were still putting out more than 250 hp by 1974. Compression ratios were dropped and cams got a lot milder.

    On the Hemi: I agree it was under-rated. But 800 hp is way far-fetched. 500 is believable, given the ETs of stock production Hemi cars.

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