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A few readers who checked out our Fastest Cars of 1971 post expressed some dismay—and incredulity—that all of ranked vehicles posted 0-60-mph times within just one second of each other. In fact, those cars all posted times within half a second of each other.
As you may have taken note while reading our 10 Fastest Cars of 1973 post, ’73 was a fairly entertaining year for the editors of Consumer Guide. Not only did my predecessors have the opportunity to evaluate a DeTomaso Pantera, but that year’s docket also included a cadre of “mini buses” and sport-utility vehicles as well.
Fun fact: In 1980, Consumer Guide road tested seven different diesel-powered vehicles. Turns out those cars were the seven slowest vehicles we tested that year.
Charles Darwin once famously noted, “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” One wonders if Darwin’s definition of “waste” includes time spent waiting to reach 60 mph from a stop in an especially sluggish automobile.
As a follow up to our The 10 Slowest Cars of 1981* post, we examine the state of new-car acceleration two years later. As it turns out, things did improve, but not probably as dramatically as shoppers at the time would have liked.
Historians refer to the period in Europe following the fall of the Roman Era as the Dark Ages. Generally applied to the 10th and 11th centuries, the Dark Ages were a time of economic and cultural decline, and for the people alive then, a time of little hope.
According to website Statista, light-truck sales—which include crossovers and SUVs—have risen from about 2 million in 1980 to almost 12 million last year. One needs only to look around to see that coupe and convertible sales have fallen to all-time lows, but it’s the humble sedan that I am most worried about.
The American auto industry’s “Malaise Era” is generally defined as the 1973 through 1984 model years, and it was by and large a bummer for car enthusiasts. A confluence of several sobering factors—more-stringent emission standards, the introduction of low-lead gasoline, and rising auto-insurance rates—rather suddenly put the kibosh on horsepower, and as a result, on fun.
What makes a car fast? Generally, more power means more go, but back in 1982, power was hard to come by. Weight matters too, but not as much as you might think, at least for the cars tested by Consumer Guide back in 1982. Unlike previous “fastest” lists I’ve put together, I’ve included the final drive ratio for each car listed below.
I have never read Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic Dune, but by the time I became aware that the 800-page novel was being adapted for the silver screen, I was pretty well versed on the story.