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Thread: Once a piece of sheet, then a good car, then cancelled.

  1. #1
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Once a piece of sheet, then a good car, then cancelled.

    I remember a lot of cars that started out as really poorly designed cars. Repeated ungrades made them pretty decent cars, then the company dropped them when they finally turned into something decent.

    First off, the Edsel. I got quite a few of these in the salvage yard I ran. The first ones did have problems because of the electric pushbutton shifter on the steering wheel. New for '58, it was mainly a waste of good space. The 1960 Edsel was a pretty decent car but was the same basic car as a Mercury and it had a bad taste in peoples mouths.

    Next up the Corvair. Comedian Ernie Kovaks was killed when his early model Corvair blew a tire, the axle tucked under and the car rooled, decapitating him. In 1969 it was a really good car but GM was tired of the jokes about it.

    How about the Vega? My sister bought one of the first ones and at 30,000 miles, it got 100 miles to a quart of oil. The 4 banger had no steel sleeves in the cylinder bore (the aluminum 225 in 1961 had them) the steel rings would hone the cylinders out while the engine was running. In 1975 steel liners were installed and the engine stayed in production for years afterward. The car was also reputed to be made out of compressed rust. I shut the door once when it was about a year old and rust fell through the headliner.

    Remember the Yugo? It was a cheap knock off of a cheap car to begin with. The basic design wasn't bad, but it was poorly executed.

    I remember the 1973 redesign on the basic Chevrolet/GMC pickups. Probably the worst bodies ever used on pickups. If you didn't add hood stiffeners, or remembered to push back as well as down, the hoods bent if you looked at them wrong. Meant to be a safety feature in a crash, it just meant a bunch of buckled hoods running around. A friend bought a new 1974 truck and after 10 months, the bed rusted and fell off the truck going down the road. Mechanically they were good trucks, just rotten bodies.
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  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I remember a lot of cars that started out as really poorly designed cars. Repeated ungrades made them pretty decent cars, then the company dropped them when they finally turned into something decent.

    First off, the Edsel. I got quite a few of these in the salvage yard I ran. The first ones did have problems because of the electric pushbutton shifter on the steering wheel. New for '58, it was mainly a waste of good space. The 1960 Edsel was a pretty decent car but was the same basic car as a Mercury and it had a bad taste in peoples mouths.

    Next up the Corvair. Comedian Ernie Kovaks was killed when his early model Corvair blew a tire, the axle tucked under and the car rooled, decapitating him. In 1969 it was a really good car but GM was tired of the jokes about it.

    How about the Vega? My sister bought one of the first ones and at 30,000 miles, it got 100 miles to a quart of oil. The 4 banger had no steel sleeves in the cylinder bore (the aluminum 225 in 1961 had them) the steel rings would hone the cylinders out while the engine was running. In 1975 steel liners were installed and the engine stayed in production for years afterward. The car was also reputed to be made out of compressed rust. I shut the door once when it was about a year old and rust fell through the headliner.

    Remember the Yugo? It was a cheap knock off of a cheap car to begin with. The basic design wasn't bad, but it was poorly executed.

    I remember the 1973 redesign on the basic Chevrolet/GMC pickups. Probably the worst bodies ever used on pickups. If you didn't add hood stiffeners, or remembered to push back as well as down, the hoods bent if you looked at them wrong. Meant to be a safety feature in a crash, it just meant a bunch of buckled hoods running around. A friend bought a new 1974 truck and after 10 months, the bed rusted and fell off the truck going down the road. Mechanically they were good trucks, just rotten bodies.

    Yes, yes and yes!

    Another one: The Pontiac Fiero.

    The first ones were pretty Chevettes prone to engine fires. But the later/updated V-6 GTs were great little sports coupes.

    And the Allante...

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