Posts from ‘Datsun’
By most accounts, the automotive period known as the Malaise Era lasted from 1973 until 1983. During that time, the performance of most new vehicles paled in comparison to the less-regulated cars of just a few years earlier. Blame the government if you will, as low-lead gas, fuel-economy standards, and emissions regulations all took a serious toll on the horsepower output of most engines. I say most, because some cars suffered less than others. And there was one main reason for that relative immunity to the Malaise Era woes: fuel injection.
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.
Much was made of the fact that, as of 2019, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) outsold cars equipped with manual transmissions. And, if you’re of the save-the-manuals movement, this was distressing news, no doubt.
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.”
There was whimsy in those little trucks. Back, say, 30-40 years, small pickups were not only cost-effective light-duty commercial vehicles, they were also compelling commuter alternatives to traditional coupes and sedans.
We have shared classic wagon advertisements before, but the bounty of great ads out there has compelled us to revisit the subject.
One of the biggest recurring disappointments of my elementary-school days was thinking that I was going to class to see a movie, and finding out I was really going to be sitting through a crappy filmstrip presentation.
Most automotive styling affectations were born of functional vehicle features. Real wire wheels, for example, lead to the faux-wire hubcaps that were so common in the Eighties, especially on Buicks and Oldsmobiles. Likewise, the vinyl and landau roof craze of the Seventies and Eighties was born of the landaulet and carriage-roof vehicles from decades earlier.
If you were looking for a diverse collection of affordable sporty cars, you’d probably want to set the time-machine dial for 1984. You would be hard pressed to find a broader collection of fun-to-drive rides at any time other than the mid Eighties.