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Not since the attack on Pearl Harbor has another nation engaged in battle on U.S. soil, at least with the U.S.
Auto industry buffs may remember the “Asian Invasion” of the early Nineties, which was not a battle of military conquest, but one for the attention of upscale car shoppers. And the battle did not involve American interests, at least not directly.
As far as automotive fads go, four-wheel steering (4WS) is one of the more technically sophisticated examples. Beginning with the 1988 model year, four American-market Japanese models were available with 4WS: the Honda Prelude Si, Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, Mazda 626 Turbo, and Mazda MX-6 GT Turbo.
By the mid-Seventies, Mercury wasn’t selling much beyond gussied up Fords. Wedged between Ford and Lincoln in FoMoCo’s family album, Mercurys were charged with drawing a customer type that was somewhat more affluent than Ford intenders, yet nowhere conservative enough to commit to a Lincoln.
There are two maxims that apply to the short life of the Volkswagen Corrado–one born of hot-rod and drag-racing legend, the other I just made up.
So sue us. At least we got the small V8 part right. Way back in Consumer Guide’s 1975 Car Preview magazine, we—and by we I mean guys I never met who left long before I started working here—made some bold predictions regarding the impending arrival of Chevrolet’s new-for-’75 sporty subcompact car.
It’s almost like a trivia question: What Japanese station wagon combined a luxury cabin, rear-wheel drive, and rear leaf-spring suspension with a Toyota Supra engine and woodie trim?
Art lovers aren’t accustomed to finding flaws in masterpieces, and a couple of decades ago, auto writers weren’t accustomed to talking smack about Mercedes-Benz.
According to at least one source, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, despite having completed an estimated 900 works. Incredible as it may seem now, contemporaneous critics found Van Gogh’s work to be dark and lifeless—a snub that no doubt helped pave the way to the artist’s eventual suicide.
By 1984, the term “yuppie” was officially part of the American vernacular. Almost always applied in the pejorative, anyone dubbed a yuppie was expected to be self centered and profit motivated. Riding a wave of Wall Street growth, many of these young business successes were wont to flaunt their gains, often by dressing well, and driving well.
It would be difficult to find another Eighties car that better illustrated the occasional gap between auto-critic opinion and actual sales than the Pontiac Grand Am.