In terms of general statistical sexiness, brake performance has long taken a backseat to acceleration. Horsepower numbers are fun, 0-60-mph and quarter-mile times are fun. But braking? Most car guys know that reaching 60 mph from a stop in less than 6 seconds is an impressive feat. How many folks, I wonder, know what a decent time would be for coming to a complete stop from 60 mph?
All things considered, 1974 was a pretty big year for Dodge’s large cars. In addition to a complete redesign, the Polara name was dropped from the lineup. Monaco, previously the top trim level, was now the base and midlevel moniker, while the new Monaco Brougham capped the lineup.
If you’re a fan of Lexus’s bold “spindle grille” front-end styling motif, we have good news for you. There’s an especially large example of that controversial façade that you may not be aware of. Manufactured in Japan and sold exclusively in select Asian markets, the Lexus LM may be the ultimate expression of the luxury minivan, as well as the bearer of the biggest-ever spindle grille.
In his 2012 book Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century, historian Eric Hobsbawm noted, “In terms of literary pedigree, the invented cowboy was a late romantic creation. But in terms of social content, he had a double function: he represented the ideal of individualist freedom pushed into a sort of inescapable jail by the closing of the frontier and the coming of the big corporations.”
If you didn’t think about it too hard, you might have predicted at the time that the 2003 Mercury Marauder would have been a hit with the car-buying public. The car had a lot going for it: a powerful V8, decent handling, cop-car lineage via its Ford Crown Victoria corporate cousin, and stealthy good looks. Plus, the Marauder should have filled the void in muscle-car enthusiasts’ hearts created when the popular V8-powered Chevrolet Impala SS was discontinued in 1996.
This is an installment in a series of posts looking back on show cars that we feel deserved a little more attention than they got. If you have a suggestion for a Forgotten Concept topic, please shoot us a line or leave a comment below.
Let’s get one thing straight right away: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo WAS a personal-luxury car. I have received at least a dozen emails and instant messages on this issue, mostly from car guys who insist that a personal-luxury car must come from a luxury brand. Not the case. For anyone who would like to spend time learning about the origins of the term, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the topic.
Being first to market is no guarantee of success. Social-media platform Myspace arrived on the scene almost a year before Facebook came online, but as of this week, Myspace doesn’t rank among the top 2000 most-popular websites globally; Facebook ranks number 4.
By 1988, light-duty trucks—a category which includes pickups, minivans, and SUVs—accounted for roughly one third of new-vehicle sales. At the time, the popularity of trucks seemed scandalous to many in the automotive media, most whom wagged a stern figure at automakers, warning that a sudden surge in the price of gas would leave dealers with lots full of unsellable product.
If you were a computer nerd, 1975 was a big year for you. Featured on the cover of Popular Electronics magazine, the Altair 8800 made its commercial debut, heralded as the first “micro computer.”