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This quote from Consumer Guide’s ’73 Auto Test magazine says almost everything you need to know about the performance potential of the vehicles discussed below:
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.
For Mercury, 1977 was eventful year. The brand’s staple Comet compact cars were making one last appearance, while the midsize Montego lineup was redesigned and renamed.
New cars cost a lot. The statement is based on more than anecdotal evidence. Based on the current rate of inflation, the average transaction price of a new vehicle will pass the $35,000 mark some time late this year or in early 2017—and for most folks, that’s a lot of bread.
According to the U.S. Government, the average household income (HHI) in America is about $53,000. It only takes a little calculator time to determine that the average new car costs 73 percent of the average family’s pre-tax income.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so we’ve been told. Odds are that a parent or guardian first presented this tired adage to us, likely on the occasion of our honest appraisal of an unwanted Christmas sweater, hand-me-down bike, or nerdy cousin.
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.
I well recall the household madness that preceded any event that involved my sister and I getting dressed up and the family arriving someplace on time. Church, weddings, funerals–it didn’t matter. If we needed to be clean, presentable, and punctual, there was invariably a period of yelling and parental threat making. Regardless of these moments of extreme stress, my father was–and remains–a family guy. He seeks out family restaurants, encourages togetherness, and seemingly has forgotten forcing me to eat liver.
This random collection of holiday-themed classic car ads is probably a poor representation of automaker Christmas marketing efforts over the years, but it’s worth noting that three of six ads include Santa Claus, three a Christmas tree, and one a very, very expensive gift. Make of that what you will.
History’s greatest disaster metaphor is inarguably the Titanic, the giant, “unsinkable” ship that would go ahead and promptly sink on its maiden voyage. I would argue that NBC’s prime-time drama “Super Train” was actually a more impressive disaster, but since no one remembers the show, it’s unlikely to catch on as a cultural reference point.
It took a little kerfuffle with OPEC, but the American buying public finally added fuel economy to its collective list of new-car purchase considerations. Though carmakers had always put some effort into touting the fuel efficiency of the vehicles it produced, it took the 1973-74 oil embargo gas-price spike—and gas lines—to really kick the marketing of mileage into high gear. The subsequent 1979 oil embargo only served to cement the movement.