Posts from ‘Review Flashback!’
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.
I think it’s fairly typical of people to group memories into convenient categories. Most people probably look back at their lives thus far and see periods of time easily identified by markers such as childhood, high school, post-acne, and marriage—or something akin to that. But, our memories can play tricks on us.
When Chrysler Corporation rolled out its redesigned big car for 1979, it did so without including a Plymouth in the lineup. New for 1979—though arguably not new enough—were the Dodge St. Regis, replacing the Royal Monaco, and the Chrysler New Yorker and Newport, the latter of which was intended to be the affordable big car in Chrysler/Plymouth showrooms.
According to Consumer Guide© Auto ’75, Best Buy selections are, “chosen on the basis of market research into what buyers in each category are seeking in their cars; and on a straight-forward, dollars-and-cents evaluation of what buyers are getting in quality, durability, economy, and function.”
It happened to the Ford Thunderbird in 1980, and it was about to happen to General Motors’ “E-Body” cars in 1986–a downsizing so dramatic and so incredibly unpopular as to render classic model names moot in the eyes of new-car shoppers.